York Region public health certified health inspector Nadia Varbanova shares the biggest issues and concerns she comes across during her inspections at big-box stores.
York Region public health certified health inspector Nadia Varbanova shares the biggest issues and concerns she comes across during her inspections at big-box stores.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. On Monday, several regions in Ontario moved ahead with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it. The backpedaling did not end hopes of addressing the minimum wage issue in Congress. Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, for the first time since 2009, although they disagree on how much.
WASHINGTON — U.S. manufacturing expanded in February at the fastest pace three years with the arrival of a surge in new orders. The Institute for Supply Management reported Monday that its gauge of manufacturing activity rose to a reading of 60.8% last month, 2.1 percentage-points above the January level of 58.7%. It was the strongest performance since February 2018. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion in the manufacturing sector. The survey found optimism increasing with five positive comments for every cautious comment, up from a 3-to-1 ratio in the January survey. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Before a late night rehearsal in December, Terrence Floyd couldn’t remember the last time he squatted on a drum throne, sticks in hand and ready to perform. Surely, he said, it had not happened since his brother, George Floyd, died at the hands of police in Minneapolis last May, sparking a global reckoning over systemic racism and police brutality. Now, Terrence is lending a talent he honed as a youngster in a church band to help produce and promote a forthcoming album of protest anthems inspired by the Black Lives Matter demonstrations prompted in part by his brother's death. “I want to pay my respects to my brother any way I can, whether it’s a march, whether it’s just talking to somebody about him, or whether it’s doing what I do and playing the drums,” Terrence told The Associated Press. “His heartbeat is not beating no more,” he said, “but I can beat for him.” The untitled project, set for release one year after George Floyd’s death, follows a long history of racial justice messages and protest slogans crossing over into American popular music and culture. In particular, music has been a vehicle for building awareness of grassroots movements, often carrying desperate pleas or enraged battle cries across the airwaves. Terrence was recruited for the project by the Rev. Kevin McCall, a New York City activist who said he believes an album of street-inspired protest anthems does not yet exist. “These protest chants that were created have been monumental,” said McCall. “It created a movement and not a moment.” Some songs make bold declarations, like the protest anthem album’s lead single, “No Justice No Peace.” The well-known protest refrain, popularized in the U.S. in the 1980s, is something that millennials grew up hearing before they joined the front lines of their generation’s civil rights movement, McCall said. McCall is featured on the track, along with his fiancée, singer Malikka Miller, and choir members from Brooklyn’s Grace Tabernacle Christian Center. The song is currently available for purchase and streaming on iTunes, Amazon Music and YouTube. Godfather Records, a label run and owned by David Wright, pastor of Grace Tabernacle Christian Center, plans to put out the seven-song album. His late father, Timothy Wright, is considered the “Godfather of gospel music.” “We’re mixing gospel music with social justice, to reach the masses,” Wright said. “We have always been strengthened through songs, like ‘We Shall Overcome’ and ‘Wade in the Water.’ I want to put a new twist on it.” There is a history of interplay between music and Black protest. The 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles Police Department officers — as well as the contemporary “war on drugs” — amplified NWA’s 1988 anthem, “F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) tha Police,” and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power,” released in 1989. More recently, Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Beyoncé’s “Freedom” featuring Lamar, and YG’s “FDT” provided a soundtrack for many BLM protests. Legendary musician and activist Stevie Wonder released his hit 1980 song, “Happy Birthday,” as part of a campaign to recognize the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday as a federal holiday. King’s Day, which faced years of opposition at the national level, was officially recognized in 1986, three years after it won the backing of federal lawmakers. Some historians cite Billie Holiday’s musical rendition of the Abel Meeropol poem, “Strange Fruit,” in 1939 as one of the sparks of the civil rights movement. The song paints in devastating detail the period of lynching carried out against Black Americans for decades after the abolition of slavery, often as a way to terrorize and oppress those who sought racial equality. The new film “United States vs. Billie Holiday” depicts the jazz luminary’s real-life struggle to perform the song in spite of opposition from government officials. Singer and actress Andra Day, who portrays Holiday in the film, recently told the AP the song's significance influenced her decision to take on the role. “It was her singing this song in defiance of the government that reinvigorated the movement,” Day said. “And so that was really incentivizing for me.” Todd Boyd, the Katherine and Frank Price Endowed Chair for the Study of Race and Popular Culture at the University of Southern California, said many of the most well-known protest chants came out of the civil rights and Black power movements, and then inspired songs. “That’s how culture works,” Boyd said. “Something that starts out in one space can very easily grow into something bigger and broader, if the movement itself is influential.” Terrence Floyd said the protest anthem project feels like a fitting way to honour his brother’s memory. Many years before his death, George Floyd dabbled in music — he was occasionally invited to rap on mixtapes produced by DJ Screw, a fixture of the local hip-hop scene in Houston. “If his music couldn’t make it out of Houston, I’m using my Floyd musical ability to reach people in his name,” Terrence said. ___ AP entertainment reporter Jamia Pugh in Philadelphia contributed. ___ Morrison is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aaronlmorrison. Aaron Morrison, The Associated Press
In the past, telecommunications gear tended to come from a handful of major players such as Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei Technologies Ltd, who supplied everything from software to run the networks to gear for radio towers, along with custom chips inside the gear. But companies like Facebook, the social networking giant that maintains a business focused on improving internet infrastructure, have pushed for what are called open radio-access networks, which are made up of software and hardware designs that can be mixed and matched and are sometimes free to use. Facebook has focused on developing software for the open networks while partnering with hardware companies to come up with designs for hardware.
MOSCOW — Two top United Nations human rights experts urged an international probe into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called Monday for his immediate release from prison. Agnès Callamard, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Irene Khan, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said Navalny’s poisoning was intended to “send a clear, sinister warning that this would be the fate of anyone who would criticize and oppose the government.” “Given the inadequate response of the domestic authorities, the use of prohibited chemical weapons, and the apparent pattern of attempted targeted killings, we believe that an international investigation should be carried out as a matter of urgency in order to establish the facts and clarify all the circumstances concerning Mr. Navalny’s poisoning," they said in a statement. Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell sick on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown while still in a coma to Berlin for treatment two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities have denied any involvement in the poisoning. In December, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as a fake. Callamard and Khan on Monday published their official letter sent to the Russian authorities in December and noted that “the availability of Novichok and the expertise required in handling it and in developing a novel form such as that found in Mr. Navalny’s samples could only be found within and amongst state actors.” The experts emphasized in the letter that Navalny “was under intensive government surveillance at the time of the attempted killing, making it unlikely that any third party could have administered such a banned chemical without the knowledge of the Russian authorities.” Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the nerve agent poisoning. The arrest triggered massive protests, to which the Russian authorities responded with a sweeping crackdown. Last month, Navalny was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation while convalescing in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated — and which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled to be unlawful. Last week, Navalny was sent to serve his prison sentence to a prison outside Moscow despite the ECHR's demand for his release, which cited concerns for his safety. Russian officials have dismissed demands from the United States and the European Union to free Navalny and stop the crackdown on his supporters. Mikhail Galperin, Russia's deputy justice minister, charged Monday that Moscow has contested the ECHR's ruling demanding Navalny's release in a letter sent to the Strasbourg-based court. Meanwhile, the UN rights experts noted that an international probe into Navalny's poisoning is “especially critical” now when he is in prison. They called for his immediate release and reminded Russia that it's “responsible for the care and protection of Mr. Navalny in prison and that it shall be held responsible for any harm that may befall him.” Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
(CBC - image credit) Carol Henzie says the provincial and federal governments need to do more to protect people like her parents after they were exposed three times to COVID-19 in a Pointe-Claire home for independent seniors. "The people that are supposed to be caring and taking care of our parents and our seniors are exposing them to the virus," said Henzie, citing Feb. 18 as the third time her parents were put at risk. "We're supposed to protecting our seniors, and we're not." Her parents live in Maywood Pointe-Claire and she recently found out that an in-home care worker from a local CLSC tested positive for the disease just a few days after visiting her mother and father. Now her mother has tested positive, and is in quarantine with her husband. They had both been vaccinated earlier in the week and, so far, Henzie said her father is doing just fine. "Neither of us have any symptoms," said Terrence Henzie. "We neither have a cough or cold or sneezing or wheezing. Nothing of the kind." Preliminary data from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec suggests the vaccines are 80 per cent effective after two weeks for health-care workers and after three weeks among the residents of long-term care homes. Carol Henzie said she holds public health accountable for her parents being exposed. She wants to see all health-care workers tested regularly for the disease if they work with seniors. CIUSSS says it is following regulations Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the West Island regional health board, said the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal follows the provincial directives for screening health workers. "We strongly encourage our employees to get tested preventively and on a regular basis," she said in an email. "To facilitate access, mobile screening clinics are located in some of our facilities." Quebec 85-years-old and over lined up for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Laval last week, but most who live in long-term care homes have already been vaccinated. The agency also follows infection prevention and control rules, providing all employees with the appropriate equipment and training they need to safely provide quality care and services, Bergeron-Gamache said. "Remember that, with community transmission still present, no one is safe from contracting the virus," she said. Quebec long-term care homes struggled through pandemic Long-term care homes — in particular CHSLDs, where residents have significant health or mobility issues — were hit hard by COVID-19 last spring as both staff and visitors brought the highly contagious disease into facilities. There has been a chorus of calls for reform since the early days of the pandemic, as its impact on long-term care homes has brought to light many issues with the way both private and public residences are managed. Francine Ducharme, a geriatrics researcher and nursing sciences professor at Université de Montréal, recently helped prepare a report on long-term care for the Royal Society of Canada in 2020 that showed Canadian seniors' homes have allowed staff-to-patient ratios to drop. The homes have also increasingly shifted to lower-paid care aides and personal support workers, who are often given "variable and minimal formal training," according to the report. A separate report by Quebec's ombudsman revealed the majority of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the province between March and June 2020 were among long-term residents — 3,890 in all. In some cases, ombudsman Marie Rinfret noted, overworked staff could not meet residents' basic needs such as being fed, changed or comforted as they died.
YEREVAN, Armenia — Political tensions in Armenia heightened Monday, with supporters of the embattled prime minister and the opposition each staging massive rallies in the capital. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has faced opposition demands to resign since he signed a peace deal in November that ended six weeks of intense fighting with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The Russia-brokered agreement saw Azerbaijan reclaim control over large parts of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas that had been held by Armenian forces for more than a quarter-century. Opposition protests seeking Pashinyan's ouster abated during the winter but intensified last week amid a rift between him and the country's military leaders. The spat was sparked by Pashinyan firing a deputy chief of the military's General Staff who had laughed off the prime minister's claim that only 10% of Russia-supplied Iskander missiles that Armenia used in the conflict exploded on impact. The General Staff then demanded Pashinyan’s resignation, and he responded by dismissing the General Staff chief, Col. Gen. Onik Gasparyan. The dismissal has yet to be approved by Armenia's largely ceremonial president, Armen Sarkissian, who sent it back to Pashinyan, saying the move was unconstitutional. Pashinyan quickly resubmitted the demand for the general's ouster, and the prime minister's allies warned that the president could be impeached if he fails to endorse the move. Sarkissian's office responded with a strongly worded statement condemning “inadmissible speculation” about his move and emphasizing that his decision was “unbiased and driven exclusively by national interests.” Amid the escalating tensions, a group of protesters broke into a government building in central Yerevan on Monday to press their demand for Pashinyan's resignation, but they left shortly afterward without violence. Later, Pashinyan's supporters and the opposition rallied in the capital at separate sites. Pashinyan, a 45-year-old former journalist who came to power after leading large street protests in 2018 that ousted his predecessor, still enjoys broad support despite the country's humiliating defeat in Nagorno-Karabakh and the opposition calls for his resignation. He defended the peace deal as a painful but necessary move to prevent Azerbaijan from overrunning the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region, which lies within Azerbaijan but was under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. The fighting with Azerbaijan that erupted in late September and lasted 44 days has left more than 6,000 people dead. Russia has deployed about 2,000 peacekeepers to monitor the Nov. 10 peace deal. Armenia has relied on Moscow’s financial and military support and hosts a Russian military base — ties that will keep the two nations closely allied regardless of the outcome of the political infighting. Last week, the Russian Defence Ministry rebuked the Armenian leader for criticism of the Iskander missile, a state-of-the-art weapon touted by the military for its accuracy. The Russian military said it was “bewildered” to hear Pashinyan’s claim because Armenia hadn’t used an Iskander missile in the conflict. In a bid to repair the damage to Armenia's ties with Moscow, Pashinyan rescinded his claim Monday, acknowledging that he made the statement after being misled. —- Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed. Avet Demourian, The Associated Press
Initiée par le Service des loisirs, de la culture et de la vie communautaire de la Ville Matane, la publication de la série Traces de vies met en valeur dix personnes remarquables de la Matanie. Par le biais de ces portraits, la créatrice de contenu Mélanie Gagné et le photographe Louis-Philippe Cusson voulaient contrer l’isolement causé par la pandémie de la COVID-19, d’abord pour ces aînés. « Nous avons apprécié les entretiens avec ces êtres d’exception dans le respect des normes sanitaires de circonstance, d’indiquer en substance Mme Gagné et M. Cusson. Nous les remercions de leur générosité et de leur chaleur humaine. Ces belles rencontres auraient pu se prolonger des heures et des heures, car leur vie est inspirante et palpitante! » Jusqu’au 18 avril sur les présentoirs du parc Jean-Charles Forbes Ces portraits inspirants sont exposés jusqu’au 18 avril sur les présentoirs du parc Jean-Charles Forbes, en face de la bibliothèque municipale Fonds de solidarité FTQ sur l’avenue Saint-Jérôme. Ils ont aussi paru pendant autant de semaines en version plus longue dans l’hebdomadaire L’Avantage gaspésien. Les personnes retenues : Fernand Desjardins, un patenteux reconnu; Gaétane Fillion, une bénévole à la bibliothèque mobile à la Résidence des Bâtisseurs; Monique Fournier, une passionnée d’horticulture, de musique et d’histoire; et Denise Gentil, une fonceuse, mobilisatrice, persévérante et vaillante Plus Guillermo Jaramillo, un homme sensible et plein de talents; Yvette Lapointe, une passionnée d'histoire et d’horticulture; Roger Marquis, un grand-père moderne; Berthier Pearson, un voyageur et auteur prolifique; Gaston Roussel, gestionnaire du cimetière et enfin, Georgine Ruest, une femme aux loisirs multiples. Ouvrir/fermer la section Yoast SEO Romain Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Monmatane.com
Trystan Lackner first got interested in urban food security way back in his senior year of high school after a supportive vice-principal helped him build a community garden in barren soil where portable classrooms had been removed. It ended up producing around eight or 10 grocery bags full of lettuce, potatoes, carrots and other produce that they donated to local volunteer group Feed The Need Durham. But it only lasted the year that Lackner and classmates he had brought along were there to sustain it. “It was a seed,” says Lackner, explaining he didn't have the experience or knowledge at the time to carry it forward. “The community garden was there, and then it wasn't, and there wasn't any communication of those ideas.” Fast-forward a few years and a degree in international development later, and Lackner is looking to make a more lasting impact. After six months of preparation, Lackner and colleagues hosted an online summit called "Does Your Meal Plan Cover Climate Change?" last month as part of Youth Challenge International’s Innovate MY Future program. “Our whole idea was to develop an educational summit for young people to become more aware, get involved, and connect with the experts within the field,” he says, about the Youth Roots Durham project. The hope is that more informed communities will build more resilience into the process by which they get fed, one that faced a sharp shock due to COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, as well as ongoing threats to the same system from climate change. The summit included a weekend panel discussion of experts followed by networking, and workshops on the links between food and climate change, the benefits of moving from mass production of commodity crops, and how to get involved in pushing for more sustainable practices. One speaker at the summit was a local permaculture farmer, who grows multiple crops in proximity to each other for mutual benefit. The practice can reduce the need for pesticides and cut carbon emissions by limiting the need to transport food, Lackner explains. The information gathered in the course of the project is being prepared to be archived on a page of the Durham Food Policy Council’s website, ensuring that unlike his high school garden, Lackner’s legacy may live on. The region — which is suburban in its southern sections near Lake Ontario and more rural in its north towards the Lake Simcoe border — exports most of its produce in the form of commodity crops, such as soy and corn, Lackner says. He says that with demand for food to expand by roughly 70 per cent in coming decades as our global population approaches 10 billion people, innovative solutions applied locally will be key. “There is a very high possibility that you will see in the next decade or two, if we can innovate more with the greenhouses and produce more in warehouse settings, you can essentially urbanize and create factories of food within these large urban centres,” he says. In addition to these modern factory farms, Lackner wants to see more rooftop gardens and government policy that sets aside land to protect it from being developed other than as farmland. And for young people wondering what they can do, he says just dive in. “Get out there, get your hands dirty. Make that change that you want to see,” he says. “If you see something that no one else is doing or that's missing, don't wait for someone else to get that going, start it yourself and get involved. There is a way to do all that and connect with the experts and community partners.” Morgan Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
On Friday, it was announced that $550,000 will be provided to Sault Ste Marie by the Ontario Government and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. These funds will help create affordable housing for Indigenous women and children. They are aimed at supporting women fleeing domestic violence, women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness during COVID. According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous women are over 3 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence then non-Indigenous women. Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services is using the funding to purchase four three-bedroom houses, which will serve as single-family homes. These homes are in close proximity to schools, parks and nearby public transit. "It is critically important to ensure Indigenous women and their children fleeing domestic violence have access to safe housing," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the new variants, we need to provide vulnerable people immediate access to housing so they can stay home, stay safe, and save lives." Domestic violence has increased significantly during COVID, as many are stuck isolating in unsafe situations. This makes it difficult to get away from the abuser when your reasons to leave the house are few and far between. According to the United Nations, projections show that for every three months a lockdown continues, an additional 15 million women are expected to be affected by violence. This grant is only a starting point for the City of Sault Ste. Marie when addressing domestic violence in the pandemic. Additional resources for domestic violence in Algoma:Children's Aid Society of AlgomaSexual Assault Care CentreNimkii Naabkawagan Family Crisis ShelterNogdawindamin Family and Community ServicesWomen in Crisis Josie Fiegehen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SaultOnline.com
TORONTO — Professional rugby league in Canada lasted less than four seasons with the Toronto Wolfpack. The Ottawa Aces have yet to take the field. But there are plans to kick-start the sport at the grassroots level in Canada, in the form of the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League (CCCRL). Organizers hope to eventually establish a 12 -team league with both men's and women's teams with fans literally able to buy into the concept. Sandy Domingos-Shipley, a Toronto native now based in Leeds, England, is looking to help get the project off the ground. "I've got children born and raised here," the mother of three said in an interview. "And I've seen the impact of rugby league from a kid's point of view — how much they really do get involved in community and the good that comes out of the sport from the grassroots level. "And I really want the people in Canada to have a bit of that. I want them to have more of it … We can make rugby league grow in Canada the right way." The Canadian co-op league idea is the brainchild of 37-year-old Chris Coates, an English native who is the founding firector of CCCRL. He has been mulling over the concept for some years now. Coates is coach of the Sheffield Forgers, who play in the Yorkshire Men's League. He also has a hand in the international game as coach of the Lithuania men's team, describing himself as a "diehard expansionist at heart." "I believe that the game really should be for everybody," he said. "And I find it perplexing that so many people love the game but don't want to see it grow outside its (northern England) heartlands." His day job is in the tech world. "I build super-computers for a living." Looking to develop the sport, the league will feature rugby league nines which is akin to rugby union's sevens — a faster, condensed nine-a-side version of the rugby league game. They believe nines is an easier introduction to the game. The idea is to start with a six-team league in 2023, with plans of increasing up to 12 teams — six men's and six women's — with representation from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Divisional competition will be followed by championship play. Domingos-Shipley says the league will also serve as a home for members of the Canadian national teams: the Wolverines (men) and Ravens (women). Players will be paid on a pro-am model. The Canadian Rugby League Association is on board, although not contributing financially. " What's exciting from our point of view is that the initiative is based on the development of grassroots rugby league," said CRLA president Bob Jowett. "We certainly wish them al the best with it and are supportive of the initiative." Domingos-Shipley says the plan calls for the governing body to benefit from some of the profits from the proposed league. Coates says the league will be funded 40 per cent in the form of private equity and 60 per cent by fans. Investors would get an annual return. They have not yet disclosed the minimum investment but say the average fan will be able to afford to get involved. "The thing with a co-operative is it effectively buys brand loyalty," said Coates. "People who invest in something are inclined to want to make that work." "Fans want to be part of growing something and this is the way they can do that," added Domingos-Shipley, who moved to England in 2001. Her passion for rugby league started four years ago when she started following the Wolfpack in England, becoming essentially a super-fan. Coates applauded the expansion to Toronto although he says he saw "risks" with the Wolfpack agreeing to pay visiting teams' travel and accommodation costs. Unable to play at home due to the pandemic, the Wolfpack stood down in July saying it could not afford to play out the remainder of the 2020 Super League season. The club's subsequent bid for reinstatement under new ownership in 2021 was voted down in November. "As a business owner, I couldn't get my head around how we got to the place where we were," said Domingos-Shipley, who runs a consulting company. Coates, meanwhile, was prompted to look for alternate ways to grow the game. In his words, "If you could do it completely differently, how would you do it?" He started talking to other people about the Wolfpack, including Domingos-Shipley, sharing his idea for a co-op league. "I was like 'Right I'm helping you do this. I want this to work,'" said Domingos-Shipley, who is billed as the CCCRL co-founder and director of governance and compliance. Coates also watched tape of the East-West game played at Lamport Stadium in January 2020. "It was good quality stuff," he said. He believes the talent and interest for a domestic league are both there. "The Wolfpack have done fantastic job of growing that market, from nothing. To grow to 10,000 fans in four years from zero fans is a great achievement. But the problem is that it was done in an unsustainable way." Organizers say they are working with "appropriate organizations" to ensure that all financial participation is in line with regulations and expectations. Coates says his group already has some commercial partners "in the pipeline." --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Some 329 nominations have been received for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, likely reflecting the profusion of pressing human rights issues around the world, the secretary of the committee which awards the prize said on Monday. "It is the third highest ever total number," Norwegian Nobel Committee Secretary Olav Njoelstad told Reuters. "It reflects a lot of international interest in the Nobel Peace Prize," he said.
(RCMP New Brunswick - image credit) New Brunswick RCMP seized 17 unsecured long guns hidden in the wall of a home in Tobique First Nation last week, resulting in the arrest of a 68-year-old man. In a statement, police said the man was later released pending a court appearance in April at Woodstock provincial court. Police executed a search warrant at the home on Fourth Street on the evening of Feb 26, as part of an ongoing investigation. These guns were found inside the wall of the residence. Police said a large amount of cash was also discovered during the "extensive search of the property," but didn't disclose how much. In a photo released by RCMP there, several $50 and $100 bills were visible. The investigation was conducted as part of a co-ordinated law enforcement approach with West District RCMP and RCMP police dog services and involvement from the Woodstock Police Force and Fredericton Police Force.
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
La cinquième édition du salon "stages et emplois" 2021, qui s'est tenue virtuellement, a rassemblé un nombre record d'employeurs. Plusieurs chercheuses et chercheurs de stages et d’emplois de niveaux collégial et universitaire ont profité de cent kiosques virtuels d’entreprises et d’organismes lors du Salon stages et emplois. 1 046 clavardages en une seule journée Les employeurs et les organismes avaient l’occasion d’afficher un nombre illimité de postes permanents, d’offres de stages, d’offres d’emploi à temps partiel et d’été. Ils avaient également la chance de positionner leur marque employeur, de même que des photos, vidéos et coordonnées. « 100 employeurs ont participé au Salon virtuel. Ils ont affiché 500 offres de stages ou d'emplois, pour un total de 870 postes disponibles. Le Salon virtuel a attiré 380 visiteurs uniques, dont 205 provenant du Cégep et 175 de l'UQAT » fait savoir la directrice des Affaires étudiantes et des communications chez Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, madame Kathleen Slobodian. « Au total, 13 040 pages ont été visités (kiosques virtuels et offres d'emplois) sur les 10 jours. Il y a eu 833 clics pour postuler sur une offre d'emploi ou de stage et 1 046 clavardages en une seule journée » poursuit-elle. Une pénurie de main-d’œuvre Le directeur général du collège, monsieur Sylvain Blais, a exprimé sa joie quant à la possibilité pour la relève profiter d’une activité d’une telle envergure malgré la crise sanitaire actuelle. « La région connaît toujours une pénurie de main-d’œuvre importante dans plusieurs domaines où nous offrons une formation de grande qualité, reconnue ici comme ailleurs » a-t-il déclaré. Le Salon virtuel était accessible sur les navigateurs Google Chrome, Firefox et Edge et les chercheuses et chercheurs d’emploi avaient la possibilité d’y accéder via leur ordinateur, tablette ou téléphone intelligent. Pour des questions de sécurité des données, le Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, précise que les données virtuelles sont hébergées au Canada, et, bien sûr, à l’intérieur de serveurs sécuritaires. Une satisfaction atteinte Les organisateurs étaient très satisfaits du déroulement de cette nouvelle édition du salon "stages et emplois" 2021. « Nous avions 100 places disponibles et elles ont toutes été comblées. L'activité s'autofinance à 100 %. Nous pouvons observer que les étudiants ont navigué sur la plateforme virtuelle, ils ont posé leur candidature sur les offres disponibles. Les résultats du sondage de satisfaction aux employeurs et aux étudiants n'étant pas encore compilés, il est difficile de se prononcer sur l'atteinte des objectifs et sur les améliorations à apporter » souligne la directrice des Affaires étudiantes et des communications chez Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue. « Est-ce que l'événement a répondu aux attentes des employeurs et aux besoins des étudiants? C'est ce que nous saurons prochainement, car c'est la satisfaction des participants qui fait le succès de cette édition virtuelle. Nous espérons pouvoir revenir à un Salon en présentiel en 2022 ou de moins, à une formule hybride » a-t-elle conclu. Moulay Hicham Mouatadid, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
LOS ANGELES — Prince Harry says the process of separating from royal life has been very difficult for him and his wife, Meghan. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after she and Prince Charles divorced. “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago,” Harry said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.” “But at least we have each other,” Harry said, in a clip from the interview special, which is scheduled to air March 7 on CBS and the following day in Britain. Diana was shown in a photo holding toddler Harry as he made the comments. His mother died in 1997 of injuries suffered in a car crash. Harry and Meghan sat opposite Winfrey and side-by-side, holding hands during the interview that was conducted in a lush garden setting. The couple lives in Montecito, California, where they are neighbours of Winfrey. Meghan, who recently announced she is pregnant with the couple’s second child, wore an empire-style black dress with embroidery. Harry wore a light gray suit and white dress shirt, minus a tie. As Meghan Markle, the actor starred in the TV legal drama “Suits.” She married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later. The brief promotional clip was one of two of that aired Sunday during CBS’ news magazine “60 Minutes.” Winfrey’s questions and comment were predominant in the other clip, including her statement that, “You said some pretty shocking things here,” without an indication of what she was referring to. Meghan was not heard from in the clips. Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in March 2020, unhappy at media scrutiny and the strictures of their roles. They cited what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is African American. It was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year. On Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple will not be returning to royal duties and Harry will give up his honorary military titles — a decision that makes formal, and final, the couple’s split from the royal family. The pair, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, verified “they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. “ A spokesperson for the couple hit back at suggestions that Meghan and Harry were not devoted to duty. “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role,” the spokesperson said in a statement. Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
(Giacomo Panico/CBC - image credit) Rocksane Forget, who works with the Association des Neurotraumatisés de l'Outaouais, was asked to find a way to improve folk hero Jos Montferrand's look, ultimately deciding to mobilize a group of knitters. One towering lumberjack of legend is getting a makeover this winter. The frame of Jos Montferrand on Gatineau, Que.'s rue Montcalm was created for Mosaïcultures, a horticultural exhibition held in Jacques-Cartier Park in 2017. The sculpture had been set on fire in a controlled setting by an artist tasked with stripping it and restoring its beauty. As a result, the tribute to the folk hero who steered logs down the Ottawa River in the early 1800s and inspired myths of his strength and fearlessness had seen better days. The sculpture of local lumber legend Jos Montferrand sported a face covering Jan. 13, 2021 before getting the scarf. "We needed to put some colour on this guy," said Rocksane Forget, who works with the Association des Neurotraumatisés de l'Outaouais, a support group for people with head injuries and strokes. Forget was tasked by the City of Gatineau with finding ways to freshen up Montferrand's look, ultimately deciding on mobilizing a group of knitters. The scarf was garter stitched and crocheted piece-by-piece by knitters who are all members of the Association des Neurotraumatisés de l'Outaouais. The group worked separately from home with wool and a plan, creating a 5.5-metre yarn scarf. Kaitlin Brown, who helped create the rainbow-coloured neck attire, said each patch took about six to seven hours to make. Each knitter spent 120 hours on their respective sections, she said, resulting in about 500 hours of labour in total. Jos Montferrand, sometimes called Grand Jos, felled trees and rolled logs down the Ottawa River in the early 1800s. While the knitters were unsure of the project at the outset, Brown said she's pleased with the final product, which they hope will raise awareness for their organization. "Having that colourful scarf on Jos is going to put a nice smile on everyone's face," Forget said.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said a "disappointing" $1.7 billion had been pledged by countries on Monday for humanitarian aid in Yemen - less than half the $3.85 billion the world body was seeking for 2021 to avert a large-scale famine. Childhood in Yemen is a special kind of hell. Some 16 million Yemenis - more than half the population of the Arabian Peninsula country - are going hungry, the United Nations says.
SILVER SPRING, Md. — Spending on U.S. construction projects rose 1.7% in January as new home building continues to lift the sector. Last month's increase followed small revised gains in December and November. Spending on residential construction rose 2.5% in January, with single family home projects up 3%, the Commerce Department reported Monday. Despite an economy that’s been battered for nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, historically low interest rates and city dwellers seeking more space in the suburbs and beyond has boosted home sales. Last week, the Commerce Department reported that sales of new homes jumped 4.3% in January, and are 19.3% higher than they were last year at this time. In a separate report, the government reported that applications for building permits, which typically signal activity ahead, spiked 10.4% in January. Spending on government projects, which has been constrained by tight state and local budgets in the wake of the pandemic, rose 1.7%. Matt Ott, The Associated Press