There's a ton of activity down by the creek tonight as security camera footage captures everything from opossums to coyotes!
There's a ton of activity down by the creek tonight as security camera footage captures everything from opossums to coyotes!
ARTHUR – A large housing subdivision planned in Arthur raised some concerns from residents and councillors at a Wellington North public meeting on Monday night. The developer, Cachet Homes, is proposing to build a 240-home subdivision in Arthur’s west end bordered by Preston Street North, Domville Street, Smith Street and Conestoga Street North. This will consist of 141 single detached and 99 townhouses as well as five new internal streets, a stormwater management pond and upgrading Preston Street to asphalt with a sidewalk. The report to council noted a large portion of the land was approved for a subdivision back in 1993. A similar development was proposed of single and townhouse units, about half the number currently proposed, but also included a large school block and park area. The school block is no longer required by the school board. Mayor Andy Lennox clarified that there was no decision being made and ultimately the County of Wellington is the authority on approving subdivision plans. The purpose of the meeting, he explained, was to collect information for the county and to consider zoning changes to setbacks and frontage which would fall on the township. Stephen Closs, a planning consultant for the developer, said that Arthur is intended to grow by nearly 1,000 people within 20 years and this development is an opportunity to reach this growth target. A common theme among delegates, particularly those who live on Conestoga Street, at the public meeting was a concern over stormwater management. Many mentioned concerns they have about their property flooding on occasion already and wanted clarification that things would not get worse with a new development where the water drains. Marcus Gagliardi, Cachet Homes development planner, stressed that they are up to the challenge of working on this issue with township engineers and other organizations. “We’re going to make sure the situation post-development is a much better situation than what currently exists,” Gagliardi said at the meeting. Two delegates, Mike DeWitt and Brent McKee, were both troubled about wildlife that inhabits the field and forested area where the subdivision will go up. They noted that there was no green space incorporated into the plan. “Why do we always have to destroy everything for the sake of a couple extra houses?” DeWitt asked. “I think development is going to come regardless but could we not set something aside for the wildlife as well?” Closs said ecological impacts will be mitigated but the land is already zoned as residential and is therefore intended to be developed. Some councillors agreed that parkland should be considered as part of a subdivision this size. The development as it stands is proposing cash-in-lieu of parkland but Gagliardi said they aren’t opposed to taking another look at it. “The comments about park space are valid and we’ll have to take it back and look at it as we look at the overall plan,” Gagliardi said. Some other councillor concerns were around the density of the development and if it would truly fit into the character of the small town. The mayor finished the meeting by bringing up how they’re going to manage an increase in sewage. “We’ve seen a number of development applications come forward and if it all comes to fruition we probably have a sewage capacity problem,” Lennox said, noting that the town has a sewage allocation policy that manages the rate of growth. Gagliardi said they will work with the township on a phased approach to not overwhelm their wastewater system as it works on growth and reiterated their stance of wanting to work with the township as best they can. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
A fire at Freeman Lumber in Greenfield, Queens County, November 20 destroyed a piece of equipment, but further damage was prevented thanks to a quick response by the Greenfield, Liverpool, and North Queens fire departments. Firefighters were called out at 10:30 a.m. and remained on the scene for about two hours. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. There were no injuries at the scene and neither EHS nor RCMP responded. In total, 28 firefighters were at the scene. Meanwhile, the Tri-District Fire Department was on stand-by in Greenfield, Port Medway Fire Department stood by in Liverpool, and the Mill Village Fire Department traveled to Port Medway in case it was needed.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
LAS VEGAS — The Nevada Supreme Court made Joe Biden’s win in the state official on Tuesday, approving the state's final canvass of the Nov. 3 election. The unanimous action by the seven nonpartisan justices sends to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak results that will deliver six electoral votes from the western U.S. battleground state to Biden. The court action drew extra scrutiny amid legal efforts by the state GOP and Trump campaign to prevent sending vote-by-mail ballots to all 1.82 million active registered voters and then to stop the counting of the 1.4 million votes that were cast. Nevada’s six Democratic presidential electors are scheduled to meet Dec. 14 in the state capital of Carson City. Biden won Nevada by 33,596 votes, according to results approved by elected officials in Nevada’s 17 counties — including Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, and Washoe County, which includes Reno. Biden got 50.06% of the vote and Trump 47.67%. Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican who has avoided the public eye in recent weeks, presented the results to the court. She noted the first-ever use of all-mail balloting statewide in a general election, same-day voter registration and early voting. “The result was more of a hybrid model where voters had a choice of how to participate,” she said, adding that a record number of voters participated. Certification of the vote does not stop several lawsuits pending in state and federal courts. They include bids by two Republican congressional candidates and a state Senate challenger to obtain re-votes in those races, an open-records case by the state GOP, and a U.S. District Court action alleging that thousands of ineligible people voted. A federal judge in that case declined a bid for an immediate injunction that would have stopped the use of a signature verification scanner during the vote count. Jesse Binnall, an attorney for the Trump campaign who is handling an election challenge pending before a state court judge, said Tuesday he intends to prove that so many fraudulent votes were cast statewide that Trump won Nevada. Turnout among the state’s more than 1.8 million active registered voters was almost 77.3%, including mail, early voting and Election Day ballots cast amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to secretary of state data. That was up from a turnout of 76.8% during the presidential election in 2016, when Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Nevada by a little under 2.5% over Trump. Nevada was one of several states due to certify the election on Tuesday. Ken Ritter, The Associated Press
Remember “The Croods”? It’s understandable if the answer is a “sure, kinda?” The 2013 animated film about a cave family in a fictional prehistoric era featuring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds and Cloris Leachman was pretty enjoyable, made a decent amount of money and even got an Oscar nomination. Nothing earth shattering, but it wasn’t surprising that DreamWorks Animation decided to greenlight a sequel.That it took seven years to do so is, but “ The Croods: A New Age ” got caught up in a crazy cycle of corporate acquisitions, director changes and shifting priorities. It was even flat out cancelled at one point. And this all happened pre-pandemic. That it still eventually got made with all of the original cast is a downright miracle.But it’s certainly a lot of drama for a silly animated sequel that’s neither terribly special nor all bad. Directing duties transferred from Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco to first-time director Joel Crawford.This time around we meet up with the Crood clan Grug (Cage), Ugga (Catherine Keener), Gran (Leachman), Eep (Stone) and her boyfriend Guy (Reynolds) on the search for a new place to live, somewhere they dreamily refer to as “Tomorrow.”And they do stumble upon a “Tomorrow” of sorts: A walled-in community with farming, tools and comforts, things that are wholly foreign to the rag-tag survivalist cave family. All of this progress is thanks to the not-so-subtly named Bettermans, Hope (Leslie Mann), Phil (Peter Dinklage) and their daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran).The Bettermans look, to put it bluntly, like modern urban hipsters on vacation in Indonesia. With mom in a tasteful shift dress and turquoise jewelry and dad with a man-bun, sandals and an open shirt, it seemed like we were about to discover that this isn’t prehistoric times at all and maybe the Croods had been living in some deranged social experiment to mimic the conditions of primitive peoples. Don’t worry, they aren’t. It’s simply that this fantastical prehistoric society has gotten even more cartoonish and over-the-top.These two families do not mesh together particularly well, with one valuing privacy, tidiness and progress and the other being, well, crude. You can already guess the misunderstandings, the hurt feelings and where it all eventually ends up and it’s a journey with a good heart. Some kids might even take some comfort in relating more to one family or another, or, as Dawn discovers, wanting what the other family has.There is some clear imagination and talent behind this world, although the esthetic won’t be for everyone. The Betterman’s home is colorful and imaginative and will no doubt be a visual feast for youngsters, especially the gadget-curious and treehouse fans. And there are some genuinely funny moments, and a bit with “punch monkeys” that will likely produce giggles and then, depending, a follow-up conversation about punching.It might not be as novel as the first, but it’s essentially harmless, if a little chaotic, fun for kids and doesn’t need to be anything more than that.“The Croods: A New Age,” a Universal Pictures release, is rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for “peril, action and rude humour.” Running time: 95 minutes. Two and a half stars out of four.___MPAA Definition of PG: Parental guidance suggested.___Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahrLindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
Quebec is planning on strengthening its French Language Charter, also known as Bill 101. Simon Jolin-Barrette, the province's minister in charge of the French language, announced Tuesday afternoon that he will table a bill to modify the law in order to better protect, valorize and promote the French language in Quebec, at the next legislative session. "I want to reaffirm that the French language must be the only common language for Quebecers," Jolin-Barrette said at a news conference, expressing concern that the language is in decline in workplaces and certain municipalities. The announcement comes as a series of recent news stories about the state of French in Montreal from Quebecor media is putting pressure on the government to act. "All the indicators say there is a decline of French in Quebec, particularly in Montreal," Jolin-Barrette said Tuesday, citing a report from Quebec's French-language watchdog, L'office québécois de la langue française, from September, that showed a decline in the use of French in the workplace."I think it's urgent to act about that situation," Jolin-Barrette said. The bill will include measures specific to the City of Montreal, which has been a point of concern for Jolin-Barrette in recent months, as well as ways to ensure French is the language used to integrate immigrants to Quebec. It's possible the bill could also affect CEGEPs in the province, where Jolin-Barrette says the normal language of study should be French, but government officials say a final decision has not been made on the matter. In an attempt to reassure anglophones, Jolin-Barrette insisted the Quebec government would continue to respect English-language institutions "The bill that we will table will not affect the rights of the English-speaking community," Jolin-Barrette said. He also said the bill would not affect the ability of Indigenous people to maintain their languages. The idea of strengthening Bill 101 has support from parties in the National Assembly.When asked about the subject at a news conference Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government will review the province's bill and do whatever it can to protect French in Quebec and everywhere in Canada. "As a government, we have always been focused on protecting French, and the protection of official language minorities across the country," Trudeau said.
A survey of university students, faculty, and academic librarians in Ontario suggests that the shift to online learning during the pandemic has negatively affected the quality of the educational experience. The poll of 2,700 people was commissioned by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations and released on Tuesday. It reveals that 62 per cent of student respondents and 76 per cent of faculty and academic librarians surveyed believe online learning has had a negative impact on education quality. Rahul Sapra, president of the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations, said that the survey's results show a meaningful engagement between students and faculty is a fundamental part of the learning process. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scramble to move courses online, we have lost that human connection and educational quality has suffered,” Sapra said. The survey also found that financial security, care demands, and work-life balance are significant stress points for both groups. A majority of students that responded to the survey said they are concerned about their financial security as a result of high tuition fees and fewer opportunities to earn income during the pandemic. Kayla Weiler, Ontario representative of the Canadian Federation of Students, said that a lot of the usual ways that post-secondary students save money or budget for the school year have been affected by COVID-19. "Their summer employment was altered, their fall employment might look very different than in past years," said Weiler. "But also last year we saw $670 million cut to OSAP and we're still feeling that well into the pandemic." Other issues students who were surveyed cited were mental health and the ability to manage non-academic responsibilities, including caregiving, while studying. Faculty and academic librarians who participated in the survey indicated they feel they are falling short of their own expectations. Respondents cited an inability to adequately teach and support students, and difficulty sustaining their desired level of professional development. Sapra said that another issue is that approximately 60 per cent of Ontario's faculty are part-time or on contract and therefore have less job stability. "During COVID-19 contract faculty had to do additional work to convert in-class courses to online courses but received no extra pay for this work," said Sapra. "Because of the rise in the size of online courses, less courses were offered so many contract faculty lost their jobs." The survey suggests that one in two faculty members are working longer hours, and four of five have an increased workload. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020. John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Nearly two months later, Chris Wallace can't bring himself to watch a rerun of the disastrous first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden. “I'm not sure I ever will,” said Wallace, the “Fox News Sunday” host who moderated the slugfest. George Washington University brought leaders of the Commission on Presidential Debates and moderators of all three encounters together for a remote debrief Monday night. Two takeaways: increased early voting means the commission is considering earlier debates, and the mute button may be here to stay. It was a boisterous, uncomfortable fall for the debate commission, which dropped the second of three planned presidential sessions when Trump refused to agree to a remote debate following his COVID diagnosis. Trump and supporters also attacked the bipartisan commission as being biased toward Biden. “No one likes to be on the receiving end of attacks in reference to us being swamp monsters,” said Kenneth Wollack, one of the commission's co-chairs. He said there's “not an ounce of partisanship” that goes into the commission's decisions. One decision, the subject of much internal debate, was to mute the microphones of Trump and Biden when their opponent was giving a two-minute answer at the introduction of a new subject matter. The commission said it wasn't a new rule, but a means to enforce rules that had already been agreed upon. Trump's repeated interruptions during the Sept. 29 debate, an apparent strategy to knock Biden off stride, forced the change. NBC's Kristen Welker, the moderator who benefited from the mute button, said she was “pleasantly pleased” with how it worked; the commission will formally evaluate its future next spring, said Frank Fahrenkopf, another co-chair. If he has any regrets, Wallace said he wished he would have acted sooner to suggest a “time out” so the candidates might be convinced to better behave themselves. “I realized after 15 minutes that I had a problem and the country had a problem,” he said. But Wallace said it was a “very bad strategy” on the president's part because it quickly became clear that Trump was hurting himself more than Biden. Fahrenkopf said he believed Trump's performance that night was a key factor in his election loss. “For better or worse, I think the first debate was a deeply clarifying moment,” Wallace said. USA Today's Susan Page, who moderated the debate between Vice-President Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris, was bedeviled by the candidates' long-windedness and elusiveness, preventing her from following up questions unanswered. If she had a do-over, she said she would have been more aggressive in cutting Pence off. The moderators shared preparation strategies. Welker, who drew praise for her handling of the final debate, left her beat at NBC News to concentrate on getting ready. She said she called people across the country, like undecided voters and teachers working remotely due to COVID. “It gave me a sense and sensibility of what voters cared about,” she said. “I really wanted it to not be a Washington debate.” Fahrenkopf said it's getting more difficult to choose moderators because the commission wants to make sure there's nothing in their work to make them appear to favour one candidate over the other. With more voters retreating to media outlets that reflect their points of view, debates offer an increasingly rare chance to see different viewpoints side-by-side. If he had one piece of advice to viewers, Fahrenkopf said it would be to turn off their televisions after the debate's conclusion and not listen to TV analysts telling them what they just saw. “I think that's very bad advice,” replied Wallace, who fills that role when he's not moderating. David Bauder, The Associated Press
Here's the latest for Tuesday, Nov. 24: Joe Biden unveils his national security team; Restaurant workers lose jobs again as virus surges anew; Dow crests a historic 30,000 points; Trump pardons Thanksgiving turkeys.
Rochelle Pokeda is having to do things a little bit differently with her home-based business — Norwex with Rochelle — in the fall of 2020. Ordinarily, she’d be busy filling her orders at various pre-Christmas craft fairs. But the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health orders have closed the doors on such events for now. Without that income to help her cover the costs of her own Christmas celebrations, Pokeda has had to think outside the box — so she has rented space at Sahali Mall, with her final two days being Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. “We are going to sell our products so people can come in, look, touch, feel, and get away from the computers and have a little bit of that human interaction,” Pokeda said of her cleaning and personal-care household products. She is teaming up with another home-based business — Daunte Tropics with Dawn, which creates glass block designs as well as one-of-a-kind silk floral home decor — in the pop-up store endeavour. But Pokeda is also using her pop-up store to help raise money for the local Salvation Army. She is donating 10 per cent of every sale over $100 to the Salvation Army's Adopt-A-Family program. Pokeda is also accepting gifts and cash donations for the families in the program. She hopes to be able to support a number of families through the Sally Ann program. “I would love to be able to have the fun of doing the shopping myself, but I also understand that it may not look like that this year,” she said. “I’m talking with Kelly [Capt. Kelly Fifield of the Salvation Army] and we’ll figure out how best it’s going to suit them and the families.”Todd Sullivan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week
The fourth annual Liverpool shopping promotion is just around the corner. Formerly known as Downtown for the Holidays, this year’s occasion is called Christmas in Liverpool – Holiday Shopping Event. It takes place December 5. The first three years of the promotion focused on getting people to the downtown — Liverpool’s Main Street. This year, organizer Heather Kelly decided to encompass all of Liverpool. More than 25 town retailers have signed on to participate in the event so far. “Myself and Brian Fralic, when we were councilors of RQM, started this about four years ago to get people downtown,” said Kelly, who is the former deputy mayor of the Region of Queens Municipality. “The retailers love it and I think the shoppers do as well.” Participating businesses will have special promotions. Shoppers will be invited to fill out a ballot to be entered for the chance to win a $200 “Shop Local” gift certificate. “A lot of people go into businesses and fill out their ballot and leave. But I think that is all right. I just hope they take a bit of time at least and look around and see what the stores have to offer,” said Kelly. Retailers will have red flags identifying their participation in the event.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
WELLINGTON COUNTY – Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph (WDG) Public Health will be providing a more detailed breakdown of COVID cases by community starting in December. This means case count will be shown in each municipality rather than just an overall number in Wellington County. WDG public health had previously said they would not release this data due to concerns over privacy and giving some communities a false sense of security. Danny Williamson, communications specialist with WDG Public Health, said by email that they have been reviewing how they release information and ways to make it more detailed. “Local level data has been a frequent request and public health has worked to validate a process that could deliver this information efficiently and protect individual privacy,” Williamson said. “We have continued to work on adding data to our public dashboard since the start of the pandemic and will seek to continue to add to and improve the dashboard.” Williamson said a breakdown by municipality will be added daily starting Dec. 1 and they hope to add additional information in the future. Minto mayor George Bridge said in a Monday Facebook video update that public health had given the town data they had formally requested in a letter sent from their council. They sent this letter as a response to a recommendation from their economic development committee. Some business owners were concerned about an assumption in their community that rising cases were predominantly in the southern parts of Wellington County. Williamson clarified that the Town of Minto did ask for this information but the decision to give a breakdown by municipality isn’t a result of that request. A news release from Minto shows, as of Nov. 23, they have six active cases and have had 20 in total, including the current cases. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Tuesday it had rejected a petition from ZTE Corp asking the agency to reconsider its decision designating the Chinese company as a U.S. national security threat to communications networks. The FCC announced in June it had formally designated Chinese's Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE as threats, a declaration that bars U.S. firms from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies. ZTE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
En ces temps de pandémie, il est bon de se rappeler que nos prédécesseurs, eux aussi, ont connu l’isolement, la maladie, la privation… et l’espoir d’une vie meilleure. Écrit avec l’aide de Paul Carle, président de la Société d’histoire et du patrimoine de Val-David. Les premiers colons arrivent à Val-David vers 1850. Les premiers chemins, eux, n’arrivent qu’autour de 1880, et ils n’étaient pas ouverts l’hiver! Et le train arrive à Sainte-Agathe seulement en 1892. Si vous vouliez tenter votre chance dans les « cantons du nord », on vous remettait un bond de la colonisation, un petit papier vous donnant droit de vous installer sur un lopin de terre. Vous vous rendiez ensuite à Shawbridge (aujourd’hui Prévost) où les chemins s’arrêtaient. Vous faisiez le reste du trajet à pied, dans le bois, peut-être équipé d’un sac à dos et d’une hache. Arrivé chez vous, au cœur de la forêt laurentienne, vous faisiez une petite cabane temporaire, pour passer l’hiver, et vous commenciez à couper des arbres. Vous en couperez beaucoup, des arbres, pour construire votre maison et défricher votre terrain. Au moins, l’été suivant, votre femme viendra vous rejoindre, et après 2-3 ans à bucher, vous serez installés. Mais ne vous attendez pas à recevoir beaucoup de visite… Bien des colons ont été amèrement déçus lorsque leur terre défrichée s’est révélée rocailleuse et pratiquement infertile. Les récoltes étaient à peine suffisantes pour survivre. Pour espérer gagner quelques piastres, il fallait, encore, couper du bois. On raconte que des colons frustrés, en quittant la région, auraient laissé des pierres sur le perron du presbytère du curé Labelle, pour lui exprimer leur mécontentement. En perspective, les contraintes de la pandémie semblent plus tolérables. En 1895, l’infirmière new-yorkaise Elizabeth Wand s’aperçoit que l’altitude et l’air sec de Sainte-Agathe forment le climat idéal pour les patients atteints de tuberculose. Entre 1895 et 1922, 22 sanatoriums seront construits dans la région. À l’époque, le traitement peut prendre jusqu’à 20 ans! Ainsi, les familles viennent souvent visiter leurs proches en train. Tranquillement, elles prennent goût aux grands espaces naturels, aux lacs et aux sports d’hiver. Certaines familles finissent même par s’installer dans la région. Le tourisme, qui commence alors, sera l’un des principaux moteurs de développement des Pays d’en Haut. À la demande des propriétaires de pentes, il sera enfin possible de se rendre à Sainte-Agathe par la route, en hiver, à partir de 1942. L’arrivée massive de touristes crée bien des frictions avec la population locale. Les curés, qui ont la mainmise sur la vie sociale de la région, voient d’un mauvais œil ces touristes anglophones, la plupart protestants, et certains de la communauté juive de Montréal. Ce n’est pas d’hier qu’on craint l’arrivée des gens de la ville… Nombre de colons y voient toutefois une manière de faire un peu d’argent et, peut-être, sortir de la misère. L’été, ils louent leur maison à des touristes et déménagent… dans leur grange ou leur remise. En 1947, on dénombre 450 maisons à louer à Val-David, soit presque l’entièreté du village. Durant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, des Québécois qui fuient la conscription s’exilent ici. On construit des abris pour accueillir et protéger les déserteurs. On croit d’ailleurs que beaucoup des premiers colons, autour de 1850, seraient en fait des Patriotes en exil. Plusieurs d’entre eux venaient de la région de Saint-Eustache, mais tout lien plus précis est difficile à documenter. Quoiqu’il en soit, aujourd’hui encore les Pays d’en Haut accueillent les citadins qui fuient le stress et le brouhaha de la ville. Ces jours-ci on reçoit même, parfois malgré nous, ceux qui fuient la pandémie et son confinement.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
WHITEHORSE — Residents of Yukon will be required to wear a non-medical mask in all public indoor spaces effective Dec. 1.Premier Sandy Silver made the announcement during the territory's regular pandemic briefing in Whitehorse.He says everyone who does not have a medical exemption and is over the age of two will be required to wear a mask. The territory has 38 cases of COVID-19, including 14 active cases related to what Yukon's top doctor says is the second wave of the pandemic, involving two separate outbreaks.Dr. Brendan Hanley says the illnesses have been linked, either directly or indirectly, to travel outside Yukon.The territory reintroduced COVID-19 control measures last week that include a mandatory 14-day quarantine for almost everyone entering or returning to the territory after travel outside its boundaries.Hanley says there is no plan to impose a lockdown, despite the arrival of the second wave, but he warned residents to prepare."Now, I don't mean, by preparation, you need to run out and buy toilet paper," he says."Prepare yourselves, more, that we may see more cases, perhaps many more. Prepare your mental health by being ready to see worse before we see better," he says.Hanley also urged residents to "start to think" about organizing virtual gatherings this holiday season.Silver reminded residents who must quarantine, or follow other public-health orders, that the restrictions are not optional.He says 26 charges have been laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act, including the most recent charge last week against a person who failed to self-isolate.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
COVID-19 tests will be available at the Rizzardo Health and Wellness Centre in Innisfil. Starting on Nov. 25, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) will open a COVID-19 testing clinic inside the Rizzardo centre, which is located at 7325 Yonge Street, Innisfil. The clinic will be open on Mondays and Wednesdays between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. According to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, you can get a test if you are showing COVID-19 symptoms, have been exposed to a confirmed case, were informed by your public health unit or through the COVID Alert app, or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak. To book an appointment at the COVID-19 testing clinic, visit https://www.rvh.on.ca/covid/rvhtestingcentre/Pages/default.aspx or call 705-797-3120. All appointments require your name, health card number and date of birth. For more information about COVID-19 and to find the province of Ontario’s self-assessment tool, visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/covid-19-stop-spreadShane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Children under the age of five are amazing sponges for information. Ask any childhood researcher, or any parent who has told a story to another adult, only to have a child bring it up at an inopportune moment. But that sponge-like nature, if encouraged and nurtured, means a child has the opportunity to grow into their best self, and have the tools and capabilities that will allow them to succeed in whichever way they see fit. “We know that the child’s first experiences with language and culture come from within his own family, and within early childhood settings.” says Josée Latulippe, manager of Collège Boréal’s Centre d’innovation sociale pour l’enfant et la famille (CISEF – Child and family social innovation centre). It is for this reason that the FrancoFUN program was created by the Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO – Francophone association for early childhood education) as a way to ensure that early childhood educators are not just offered the chance to enhance early French-language learning for children, but to ensure that they can view their classroom through the Francophone lens, and build identity as well as skill set. “Identity building is vital, “Latulippe said. “Because studies show that it is a key mechanism to ensure the vitality of minority-language communities and prepare young children to be educated in French when they enter elementary school.” And it is this “continuum of language,” as Latulippe calls it, that ensures language and cultural identity survives. As children here in Sudbury, both Anglophone and Francophone, have the ability to enjoy their education in French from childhood to post-secondary, it ensures that a culture and language that could be considered already marginalized is one that will last the test of time, regardless of the surrounding majority. The FrancoFUN program focused not just on providing language to students, but also the cultural identity behind the Franco-Ontarien legacy. It is a specific culture, with a specific dialect — headed to ‘camp’ anyone — and stories and history all its own. And it is one that, if shared, can enrich a child’s ability to learn a language, and bring together a community that is consistently working to preserve its cultural identity. And now that the FrancoFUN program has been in place for some time, helping Early Childhood Educators find ways to continually incorporate cultural, historical, language-based, and just plain fun aspects of the Franco-Ontarien peoples, they are now ready to measure the success, and share their methods with others. “We are always reflecting,” said Latulippe, and notes the questions they continually ask: “How can I better my program? How can I make it more accessible? Do we have a welcoming structure in place to welcome families that are French and English?” For it is not just fully Francophone families that can benefit from this type of study, and action. If you would like your child to speak French, but your home is mixed-language, or perhaps somewhat disconnected to the culture, then this type of programming will not only offer you the opportunity to increase your child’s chances of success, as Latulippe notes that research shows language learning is greatly helped by immersion into the culture of the language, not just the words. And this is especially true for parents who would like their children to speak French, but do not do so themselves. Simply by building a bridge between your home and the school, said Latulippe, you can enrich your child’s language learning without knowing a word yourself. With a program like FrancoFUN, you can learn about the culture as well. “It doesn’t mean you need to take French classes,” Latulippe said. “You just need to support the culture in your home. It’s because we are all the first educators.” And now, as the program has raised awareness among early childhood educators about their role in encouraging Francophone identity in their classrooms, it’s time to find out how the tools are working. From now until March of 2021, a survey of the educators and their thoughts and feeling about the program will be gathered, and shared amongst interested parties. “We are hoping we will have a tool to promote culture and language identity within Early Childhood settings,” said Latulippe, “which can then be shared within the community, with teachers at the college, and with the Franco-Ontarien culture really.” And it is this tool that Latulippe hopes will encourage not just French-language learning across Ontario, but also an understanding of the unique and beautiful qualities that make a culture, and a portrait of those who have come before, and those who will come after. Because the loss of any culture is a horrific idea; but the loss of folklore, of La Nuit sur l'étang, of ‘Notre Place’, of CANO, and of tourtière and tarte au sucre, is much too tragic to imagine. Jenny Lamothe is a Local Journalism Reporter at Sudbury.com, covering issues in the Black, immigrant and Francophone communities. She is also a freelance writer and voice actor. Contact her through her website, JennyLamothe.com.Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Nonobstant la récession provoquée par la COVID-19, la ville de Laval maintient sa cote de crédit. La firme de notation financière S&P; Global Ratings vient en effet de lui renouveler la cote «AA» avec une perspective stable, indique l’administration Demers par voie de communiqué, le 24 novembre. Dans un rapport publié quatre jours plus tôt, l’agence «confirme que la structure économique dynamique et diversifiée ainsi que les rigoureuses pratiques de gestion financière de la Ville sont des facteurs favorables au maintien de la cote», résument les autorités municipales. Rappelons qu’il y a à peine un mois, la Ville anticipait clôturer l’année 2020 avec un surplus de 29 M$, une projection basée sur une mise à jour budgétaire au 31 août dernier. «Cette cote, qui témoigne de la qualité de notre gestion, permet de positionner avantageusement Laval afin de poursuivre la réalisation de projets et d’investissements nécessaires aux besoins de sa population croissante», a réagi le maire Marc Demers. Celui-ci a profité de l’occasion pour rappeler l’engagement de son administration «à maintenir l’attractivité de la ville et à la propulser vers une reprise économique robuste en 2021». À cet égard, une récente étude économique de Desjardins prévoit que le produit intérieur brut (PIB) bondirait de 7,3 % à Laval, l’an prochain, comparativement à 6,3 % à l’échelle de la province, sous réserve que le virus demeure sous contrôle. Enfin, pour la Municipalité, la cote de crédit qui lui est attribuée démontre qu’elle «possède la capacité de respecter ses engagements tout en s’assurant que le niveau de sa dette demeure prévisible et sous contrôle».Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
New restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 are being introduced in the Halifax region — the current epicentre of Nova Scotia's outbreak.The restrictions apply to western and central parts of the Halifax Regional Municipality, from Hubbards to Porters Lake. It also includes the communities of Enfield and Mount Uniacke to the north of Halifax, which are part of Hants County (see full map here).They come into effect midnight Wednesday and will continue for at least two weeks until midnight Dec. 9.Here's a guide to what can remain open and what has to close under the new restrictions:What's open * Public schools, with the exception of those where cases have been identified. * After-school programs. * Child care. * Hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons, except for procedures that cannot be done while a patron is masked. * Grocery stores, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Retail stores, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Liquor stores, including distilleries, wineries and breweries, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Pharmacies, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Restaurants and coffee shops for takeout or delivery only. * Hotel restaurants for hotel guests only.What's closed * Restaurant dining rooms, bars and nightclubs. * Gyms, recreational facilities. * Libraries. * Museums and art galleries. * Casinos. * Distilleries, wineries and breweries for in-house tastings — retail sales are allowed. * Sporting facilities for both practices and games, recreational and professional. * Faith activities, events and gatheringsOther guidelines and limitations * The gathering limit in public is five, or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household. * Mandatory masking now applies to common areas in multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartments and condos. * No visitors in long-term care facilities, except volunteers and designated caregivers — this applies provincewide. * Non-essential travel into and out of the restricted region of HRM is discouraged. * Non-essential travel to other Atlantic provinces is also discouraged.MORE TOP STORIES