Election officials in Iowa report plenty of in-person voting Tuesday even after receiving record numbers of early votes. (Nov. 3)
Election officials in Iowa report plenty of in-person voting Tuesday even after receiving record numbers of early votes. (Nov. 3)
Jeff Lantz has been appointed as the new chief judge of the provincial court of Prince Edward Island.He replaces Judge Nancy Orr, who has completed her five-year appointment.In a news release, Bloyce Thompson, P.E.I.'s attorney general and minister of justice, said Lantz's five-year term begins immediately."Judge Lantz has been an integral part of the provincial bench for the past 15 years. His dedication to encouraging healthy and thriving communities throughout his career has served Islanders well," Thompson said."As he begins his new expanded role, I have no doubt he will continue to serve Islanders with fairness and thoughtfulness."Thompson thanked Orr for her service."I know she will continue to serve Islanders well as one of our prominent Island jurists."More from CBC P.E.I.
A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
Quebec hospitals usually see a rise in visits to the emergency room in early January, yet many across the province are already swamped.Doctors at some hospitals are urging Premier François Legault to cancel Christmas gatherings to avoid pushing the province's health-care system beyond its limits.Emergency rooms in several regions, including Montreal, Laval, Quebec City, the Laurentians and the Lanaudière, are operating well above capacity. About 30 percent of the province's ERs are operating at full capacity or far beyond that. Here are some examples, as of Wednesday morning: * Lakeshore General Hospital (Montreal): 142 per cent capacity. * Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital (Montreal): 141 percent capacity. * Cité de la Santé Hospital (Laval): 129 per cent capacity. * Pierre-Le Gardeur Hospital (Lanaudière): 158 per cent capacity. * Pierre-Boucher Hospital (Montérégie): 189 per cent capacity.The number of people in emergency rooms traditionally rises between December and January. Last year, Quebec was 113 per cent in December, and 123 per cent in January, according to data provided by Quebec's Health Ministry.In the view of Dr. François Marquis, the head of intensive care at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, many facilities are taking in more COVID-19 patients, and that is putting pressure on emergency rooms across the province."As a doctor that looks strictly at the physical health aspect, and that's very restricted [as a perspective], the answer is simple: nothing at Christmas, we see no one," said Marquis."The reason I make that distinction, there's also mental health and we need to see people."Quebec reported Tuesday more than 700 people in hospital due to COVID-19, an issue Legault alluded to when acknowledging he may need to scrap the province's holiday gathering plan.Dr. Vincent Bouchard-Dechêne, an internal medicine specialist at Notre-Dâme Hospital, doesn't see how hospitals can deal with an increase in COVID-19 patients after the holidays, while still providing service to people with other ailments."To limit gatherings during Christmas time, would be the best gift we could give ourselves," said Bouchard-Dechêne.For now, the province plans to allow up to two gatherings between Dec. 24 and Dec. 27, with a maximum of ten people in attendance and with no limit on the number of households those people would come from.Legault is expected to make a final decision by Dec. 11.Is nine days enough?The characteristics of COVID-19, including the time it takes for its symptoms to appear, make it difficult for trends to change much between now and Dec. 11, according to Dr. Matthew Oughton, a physician with the Jewish General Hospital's infectious diseases division. "That's really at the fine cutting edge of where anything that you would do today, you'd really see changes reflected in the numbers by Dec. 11," said Oughton. "I'm certainly not optimistic that we're going to be able to change course in such a short time."Oughton said it was a mistake for the premier to release the plan for gatherings first, and then tell Quebecers they would only be allowed if the number of cases, deaths and hospitalizations went down."[He should've] said, 'look, this is what's at stake, it's Christmas gatherings. In order for us to situate ourselves well, we need to get our numbers down," said Oughton."Rather than giving up the reward upfront, and then sort of threaten to take it away.A growing number out outbreaks in private seniors homes (RPAs) could also make the health-care system even more fragile during the holiday period. On Tuesday, Health Minister Christian Dubé highlighted the situation in Quebec City, where a number of nurses have had to be deployed to 16 RPAs in an effort to contain the virus within those homes.Dubé admitted that taking staff away from hospitals is not ideal, but said the province has no choice but to offer help."What we need to is stop contacts in RPAs, to be certain that we don't have to transfer personnel that we currently don't have, to be very, very clear," Dubé said.
Teen banking app Step has raised $50 million (37.4 million pounds) from investors led by Coatue Management alongside celebrities such as singer Justin Timberlake, influencer Charli D'Amelio and former quarterback Eli Manning. Step, which offers teenagers a bank account connected to a secured spending card and peer-to-peer payments, also said it had secured funding from existing backers including Stripe, Will Smith's Dreamers VC, CrossLink Capital and Collaborative Fund. San Francisco-based Step allows parents to view balances and real-time activity, add money to their teens' accounts and manage and freeze cards.
A former Barrie surgeon has given up his licence to practise medicine and has promised his regulatory body to never apply to register as a physician ever again, anywhere. The agreement arose following a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) disciplinary hearing last week. “The agreement to never reapply for registration… is the maximum level of punishment available in this situation,” said CPSO communications advisor Josh McLarnon. The college had earlier launched investigations into Dr. Emad M. Guirguis and his now-defunct Lakeview Surgery Centre on Dunlop Street following complaints. He was found to perform cosmetic surgery that was outside his scope of practice as a physician, not having the proper training and certification. He also engaged in unprofessional conduct through online advertising and communications with a specific patient. In addition to the practice ban, he was ordered to pay $6,000. “Dr. Guirguis has been brought forward to the discipline committee on a number of occasions,” McLarnon added. An investigation was first launched in 2015 resulting in a caution three years later. Another caution was later issued relating to his compliance of the first issue. In one complaint, Guirguis tried to perform bariatric revision gastric band surgery, but decided not to complete the surgery because he encountered extensive scar tissue from previous surgeries. According to documents from the college’s compliance and monitoring department, he perforated the patient’s bowel during the surgery, resulting in ongoing complications. The complainant said he did not communicate or follow up with her after the surgery or provide a refund of her fee. “The committee... was of the view that the respondent’s pre-operative assessment was insufficient,” the decision of the inquiries, complaints and reports committee found. In another report, an independent assessor concluded: “Dr. Guirguis did not meet the standard of practice of the profession in some of the cases reviewed; his knowledge was adequate but basic; his surgical skills were adequate for his limited scope of practice; his judgment was not always adequate, mostly because the brief documentation does not allow a full understanding of his train of thought and exposes omissions or incomplete assessments; and in the reviewed cases his clinical practice, behaviour, or conduct had the potential to expose one patient to harm.” Other assessors, it added, found broad deficiencies in Dr. Guirguis’s practice. In a report from Dec. 14, 2018, Guirguis was cautioned about not providing a full explanation of a procedure to a patient and ensuring the patient had full clarity about what was going to be done following a complaint to the college about the outcome of a cosmetic surgical procedure. According to CPSO documents, Guirguis agreed he has engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. He was ultimately found to have committed an act of professional misconduct. Dr. Guirguis’s certificate of registration expired Sept. 4, 2020. In addition to the clinic, Guirguis was also once a staff general surgeon at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Guirguis did not respond to requests for comment, but according to his Facebook page he is studying for his master's degree in theological studies at Tyndale University College and Seminary.Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
The Terrace RCMP have arrested Kenton David Fast Tuesday, Dec. 1, according to a media release. According to a Dec. 1 media release, police are were searching for Fast, who was unlawfully at large. Police said they could not share why Fast is at large. To report a crime, or have information regarding an ongoing investigation, call Terrace RCMP at (250) 638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
The Orangeville Public Library has followed the trend of finding creative solutions to Christmas in 2020, — new ways to bring their usual festive activities to children in the community. Beginning on Dec. 4, children young and old will be able to tune in every Friday and enjoy a recording of Santa reading around the fireplace. Videos will be posted to the Orangeville Public Library’s YouTube channel at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4, 11, 18, and on Christmas Day. Additionally, the library will extend the festive fun through holiday-themed story time craft kits for families to enjoy together at home. These kits will be available for pickup from the Mill Street branch beginning on Dec. 4, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Stories with Santa program has been a favourite at the library over the years, with one aspect of it being Santa’s annual gift of literacy. This facet of the festivities will not be forgotten with the virtual event. Beginning on Dec. 18, children will be able to pick up a wrapped picture book at the Mill Street Library. There is a limit of one book per child, and quantities are limited. Additional virtual programming is available online during the closures via the library’s YouTube channel. Notifications are available by subscribing to the channel. For more information visit www.orangevillelibrary.ca.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
NAIROBI, Kenya — In a breakthrough a month after deadly conflict cut off Ethiopia’s Tigray region from the world, the United Nations on Wednesday said it and the Ethiopian government have signed a deal to allow “unimpeded” humanitarian access, at least for areas under federal government control after the prime minister’s declaration of victory over the weekend. This will allow the first food, medicines and other aid into the region of 6 million people that has seen rising hunger during the fighting between the federal and Tigray regional governments. Each regards the other as illegal in a power struggle that has been months in the making. For weeks, the U.N. and others have pleaded for access amid reports of supplies running desperately low for millions of people. A U.N. humanitarian spokesman, Saviano Abreu, said the first mission to carry out a needs assessment would begin Wednesday. “We are of course working to make sure assistance will be provided in the whole region and for every single person who needs it,” he said. The U.N. and partners are committed to engaging with “all parties to the conflict" to ensure that aid to Tigray and the neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions is “strictly based on needs." Ethiopia’s government did not immediately comment. For weeks, aid-laden trucks have been blocked at Tigray’s borders, and the U.N. and other humanitarian groups were increasingly anxious to reach Tigray as hunger grows and hospitals run out of basic supplies like gloves and body bags. “We literally have staff reaching out to us to say they have no food for their children,” one humanitarian worker told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. “We have been urging, waiting, begging for access,” another aid official, Jan Egeland with the Norwegian Refugee Council, told the AP. “We're ready to go tomorrow. ... It has been heartbreaking to be forced to wait." More than 1 million people in Tigray are now thought to be displaced, including over 45,000 who have fled into a remote area of neighbouring Sudan. Humanitarians have struggled to feed them as they set up a crisis response from scratch. Communications and transport links remain almost completely severed to Tigray, and the fugitive leader of the defiant regional government this week told the AP that fighting continues despite Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's declaration of victory. It remains almost impossible to verify either side’s claims as the conflict threatens to destabilize both the country and the entire Horn of Africa. “It is critically important to get objective information as to what is going on,” the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Tibor Nagy, told the BBC. “The active military phase is basically over. I’m not saying the fighting is over. So at this point, the humanitarian phase is the most important one.” Nagy added that “now the danger is this evolving into a long-term insurgency." He also disagreed with Ethiopia's description of the conflict as a “law enforcement operation” to arrest the Tigray leaders, saying that “it was obviously a military operation.” The fighting between two heavily armed forces has seen airstrikes, rocket attacks and tanks. For weeks, the U.N. and others have been increasingly insistent on the need to reach some 600,000 people in Tigray who already were dependent on food aid even before the conflict. Now those needs have exploded, but Abiy has resisted international pressure for dialogue and de-escalation, saying his government will not “negotiate our sovereignty.” His government regards the Tigray regional government, which dominated Ethiopia’s ruling coalition for more than a quarter-century, as illegitimate after months of growing friction as he sought to centralize power. Amid the warring sides’ claims and counter-claims, one thing is clear: Civilians have suffered. The U.N. says food has run out for the nearly 100,000 refugees from Eritrea whose camps close to the Tigray border with Eritrea have been in the line of fire as the fighting swept through. Reports that some refugees have been killed or abducted, if true, “would be major violations of international norms,” the U.N. refugee chief said over the weekend in an urgent appeal to Abiy. These are “extremely vulnerable people” who fled persecution in Eritrea, Egeland said. “It’s been extremely frustrating to lose access and communication.” With infrastructure there and elsewhere in Tigray damaged, the U.N. has said some people are now drinking untreated water, increasing the risk of diseases. In the largest hospital in the Tigray capital, Mekele, staff had to suspend other activities to focus on treating the large number of wounded from the conflict, the International Committee for the Red Cross said. The ICRC, the rare organization to travel inside the Tigray region and its borderlands, has reported coming across abandoned communities and camps of displaced people. No one knows the true toll of the fighting. Human rights and humanitarian groups have reported several hundred people killed, including civilians, but many more are feared. Inside Tigray, and among the majority ethnic Tigrayan refugees in Sudan, people are exhausted. “The world hasn’t seen anything like this year. I have never seen anything like this,” said one refugee who gave his name as Danyo, standing on the edge of a river that people on Tuesday were crossing to seek safety. “When Dr. Abiy came, we saw him as a good thing,” he said. “Our hopes were fulfilled, because his talk in the beginning was as sweet as honey, but now the honey has gone sour.” ___ Fay Abuelgasim in Hamdayet, Sudan, contributed. Cara Anna, The Associated Press
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: Local communities continue to report a number of active COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, November 29th, the Durham Region Health Department reported the highest number of new cases of the virus in the region, at 130. As of press time, the Durham Region Health Department is reporting Uxbridge continues to have the highest number of active cases in North Durham, with five people listed in isolation. The Durham District School Board reports three cases have been confirmed at Uxbridge public school, with two classes listed in isolation. The Uxbridge community has had 131 confirmed cases to date, with 105 listed as resolved and 21 deaths. Scugog currently has one case listed in isolation, and 28 resolved cases. Brock Township also has one case in isolation, and 20 resolved cases. Meanwhile, the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health unit is reporting Kawartha Lakes currently has six unresolved cases of the virus, 174 resolved cases, and 32 deaths.Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper
Like many academic programs, due to COVID-19 regulations, the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Indigenous Public Health certificate program, which works to include Indigenous perspectives into the healthcare system, has shifted online this year. There are eight one-week intensive courses. They are offered two at a time, twice a year, by the UBC’s Centre for Excellence in Indigenous Health explains Program Manager Rhonda Carriere. The centre has a mandate to raise the health status and self-determination of Indigenous communities. For Carriere, who’s Métis from Red River, inclusion is an essential part of their work. “Our real aim is to make a bridge for people who maybe haven't had the same opportunities,” says Carriere. Normally, the program is held in person, at the UBC campus, but the Winter Institute 2021 will run online from February 15th to the 19th. The program works to decrease barriers Indigenous Peoples face when entering the healthcare field explains Carriere. The training also seeks to address multiple, intersecting Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, including number 23, which calls for increased numbers of Indigenous health practitioners. The program’s courses cover core disciplines in public health, but are approached through Indigenous experiences and perspectives. Students learn about the historic and ongoing health disparities and inequities faced by Indigenous populations, in order to build “applied and theoretical knowledge affirming Indigenous rights to self-determination in relation to health services, research and program development,” the program website states. “Pandemics in Indigenous Communities: Before, during and after COVID-19,” has been added to the curriculum, as well as revamped summer courses: “Introduction to Indigenous Health Research Ethics” and “Social Determinants of Indigenous Health.” Carriere says the program is one part of the vision of co-director Dr. Nadine Caron who’s an Anishinaabekwe (Anishinaabe woman) from Sagamok First Nation. Caron says the program is meant to bring Indigenous community members, leaders and health professionals together, to learn through dialogue and public health perspectives. “For our health care to be responsive to Indigenous peoples in Canada, I think we need our specific direction coming from Indigenous communities,” she says. This, just as a recent investigation confirms “widespread” racism in the B.C. healthcare system. “We need lndigenous leadership embedded within our healthcare system,” Caron adds during an address to the B.C. Patient Quality Council’s series of Health Talks. “This is needed in the evolution of healthcare in order for reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous Peoples.” Caron says Indigenous communities will trust in the healthcare system, when they can identify with leaders in formal positions, that are Indigenous. “I tell my daughter, despite residential schools, assimilation policies, broken treaties, that we’re still here,” adds Caron. “We are still here, and we are expecting the results that generations before us fought for.” During a UBC Learning Circle, one of the program’s graduates, Linda Jones, from the ‘Namgis First Nation, echoes the idea that “inclusion matters.” “It creates this support system, you feel so included, everybody is so welcoming, and it’s just an amazing feeling. Because of that, now I’m on this clear path of what I wanted to do and how I needed to do it,” she says. Jones is in the process of becoming a doula, also known as a birth worker, for expecting parents. She says the Indigenous Public Health program helped her weave her previous education into something she could offer to Indigenous communities. Jones hopes this program will “get more people out there that'll help create change for all Indigenous people.”Odette Auger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Sherbrooke — Alors que les mesures pour accroître l’autonomie alimentaire fusent depuis quelques mois, les agriculteurs urbains comme Agropol se sentent bien souvent oubliés. Ils ont beau « penser en dehors de la boîte », mais la boîte, elle, ne s’agrandit pas tellement, constatent-ils. « En tant qu’agriculteur urbain, on ne tombe pas dans la chaise de l’agriculteur traditionnel. On n’a pas nécessairement droit à de l’aide ou à la reconnaissance de tout ça. On n’est pas non plus un restaurant, donc on ne va pas avoir les subventions gouvernementales qui permettent de couvrir le loyer actuellement. On tombe vraiment entre deux chaises, c’est quelque chose avec lequel on vit depuis deux ans et demi. On apprend à voir ça venir et à le dévier d’une façon ou d’une autre et à essayer d’être inventif », confie Samuel Sigouin, copropriétaire d’Agropol, cette ferme urbaine qui cultive verticalement des pousses biologiques et qui se spécialise aussi dans la transformation alimentaire. Difficile par exemple de profiter des incitatifs d’expansion pour les productions serricoles annoncés vendredi dernier, même s’ils doivent contrôler l’environnement de leur culture, puisqu’un bâtiment ou milieu fermé ne fait pas partie des dépenses admissibles. Difficile aussi d’aller chercher une aide auprès de la Financière agricole, qui a refusé leurs demandes pour différents motifs, indique-t-il. « On se bat souvent pour des niaiseries. Et les jeunes entrepreneurs, on n’est pas non plus toujours pris au sérieux. On se fait demander une fois sur deux si on fait pousser du cannabis parce qu’on fait de la culture intérieure », témoigne M. Sigouin. L’entrepreneur déplore également l’absence de soutien de la Ville de Sherbrooke, qui n’offre ni programme d’accompagnement ni subventions pour ce genre de projets. La municipalité a bien un PDZA (Plan de développement de la zone agricole), mais il ne couvre que la région périurbaine. À quand donc un plan d’agriculture urbaine à Sherbrooke, comme l’ont fait Québec, Longueuil, et même la MRC de Rimouski-Neigette ? Gabrielle Rondeau-Leclaire, présidente de REVE Nourricier (Réseau d’espaces verts éducatif et nourricier), pose la question. « Il y a une effervescence à Sherbrooke et j’ai confiance que l’agriculture urbaine pourrait prendre sa place, plaide-t-elle. Le problème c’est qu’on n’a vraiment pas de soutien concret du côté municipal. On n’a pas non plus de structure qui encadre l’agriculture urbaine en ce moment. En mon sens à moi, parmi les gens qui constituent la relève agricole de demain, la plupart habitent en ville. Les gens qui ont les étoiles dans les yeux et toute la gang d’étudiants qui sont à l’université, qu’on le veuille ou non, ils vivent en ville. Et tous ces gens-là n’ont pas vraiment de contact avec l’agriculture ou même avec la source de leur alimentation. Je pense que c’est en faisant de l’agriculture urbaine qu’on vient éduquer la population et qu’on vient éventuellement créer de la relève », dit Mme Rondeau-Leclaire. « Nouvelle ère » L’élue municipale Nicole Bergeron, présidente du Comité consultatif agricole de la Ville de Sherbrooke, démontre une grande ouverture devant ce genre de projets à Sherbrooke. Mais avec un PDZA qui vient à peine d’être lancé (mars 2018) et des élections dans moins d’un an, il faudra fort probablement attendre le prochain mandat pour un véritable plan d’agriculture urbaine, dit-elle. « En temps de pandémie plus que jamais, on demande aux gens d’être créatifs, innovants, et de sortir des sentiers battus. On a tous des défis pour dire comment on peut arriver à faire en sorte d’aider un entrepreneur qui, avec son projet, est un peu différent de ce qu’on a l’habitude de voir. [...] Ça, il faut le faire d’une façon concertée et faire le tour du dossier avec les différents partenaires qui peuvent aider une entreprise », commente-t-elle sans ne pouvoir cibler précisément le cas d’Agropol. Celle-ci assure également que « Sherbrooke sera là » en ce qui concerne le développement du secteur serricole enclenché par le gouvernement à l’aide d’un investissement de 112 M$. « On est dans une nouvelle ère et il faut s’adapter. On peut penser qu’on aura une réflexion plus globale à faire pour voir comment on peut atteindre une plus grande autonomie alimentaire [...] Il y aura sûrement bientôt plusieurs projets qui seront présentés. En amont, on va réfléchir où on souhaite le faire, comment et avec qui. » Même que Mme Bergeron n’exclut pas de rendre le zonage plus flexible à l’endroit de projets d’agriculture urbaine. Une stratégie à venir Le ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation indique de son côté « travailler ardemment à ce que les producteurs agricoles urbains trouvent leur place à l’intérieur des mesures du Ministère » et mentionne que les agriculteurs urbains sont considérés au même titre que les agriculteurs ruraux en ce qui a trait aux programmes et initiatives bonifiés dans les dernières semaines. On affirme également qu’une deuxième stratégie de soutien à l’agriculture urbaine est en cours d’élaboration. Celle-ci s’intéressera, comme la première, à l’agriculture urbaine commerciale, communautaire et citoyenne, promet-on. La première stratégie du genre, instaurée par l’ex-ministre Pierre Paradis sous le gouvernement Couillard, est venue à échéance en 2019. Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
TEMAGAMI – The Paramedic Memorial Bell made a stop in Temagami recently. Temagami Mayor Dan O’Mara told The Speaker in an email that paramedics from the North Bay base brought the Memorial Bell to the town last week so that “the crew here could get to host it and give recognition to those who died on the job.” The travelling bell honours Canadian paramedics who lost their lives in the line of duty. O’Mara, who took part in the ceremony during its stop in Temagami, explained that Paramedic Services in the Temagami area “is our lifeline to emergency care as our closest hospital is close to an hour away, depending where you are located.” He also added that the local base provides services to Bear Island, along with all of the lake areas around Temagami. “We do appreciate the efforts put forth,” he said. “Having the bell visit the Temagami area gave us the opportunity to see the names of those who have lost their lives providing us these type of emergency services and to pay some respect to them.”Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local): 9:25 a.m. President-elect Joe Biden says he won’t immediately lift tariffs placed by President Donald Trump on many imports from China or break Trump’s initial trade deal. Biden says he wants to maximize his leverage in future talks with the United States' geopolitical rival. Speaking to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Biden said, “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs.” Biden adds in Friedman's column published Wednesday: “I’m not going to prejudice my options.” Under Trump, the U.S. and China engaged in a yearlong trade war that has been largely frozen since a Phase One deal was reached in January. While some industries have benefited from Trump’s protectionist policies, the policies have been largely panned by the business community and most experts — and most of the cost of tariffs has been borne by American businesses and consumers. Biden tells Friedman an early priority after his January swearing-in will be to restore relationships with allies to strengthen his negotiating position with China. Biden says key to talks with China is “leverage” and in his view "we don’t have it yet.” ___ HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN'S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE: President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done. Read more: — Ron Klain brings decades of DC experience to Biden White House — Trump threatens defence veto over social media protections — Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud — Senate GOP leader sticking with partisan COVID-19 relief plan The Associated Press
Rotaract Haliburton Highlands is organizing a special festive scavenger hunt for local youth over the Christmas period. Starting this Saturday (Dec. 5), participants will have to scour the downtown area for hidden clues to complete the challenge. In total, 12 local businesses have signed up to play a part in the community scavenger hunt. Speaking to the Echo, Rotaract member Vivian Collings said the local club wanted to “do something a little special” this holiday season to help spread the Christmas cheer and put smiles on people’s faces. “We’re going to be handing out activity sheets at the Rotary Drive-Thru Christmas Party this weekend that explain what businesses participants will need to go to, and will also include Haliburton trivia and a colouring page,” Collings said. “As a group, we’re going to go around town and put up pictures of Christmas characters in the windows of participating businesses. Kids will then have to write down what character they find in which business.” Participants that successfully complete all three stages will be entered into a draw with a chance to win a prize. “We’ll have prizes for different ages groups,” Vivian said. “Right now, we have some outdoor games and activities, we have a kite, and some craft kits. Then we’ll also have some stuffed animals for younger children as well.” Rotaract is still a relatively new concept here in Haliburton. The local group was launched in January, and received their official charter from Rotary International in February. At present, the club boasts around 35 members. Rotaract Haliburton Highlands has close ties with the Rotary Club of Haliburton. As Vivian explains, “Rotaract is basically Rotary, just for younger adults.” The club is made up of individuals between the ages of 18 and 30, although allowances are made on a case-by-case basis for people who want to join, but are outside of that age bracket. “We formed the group because we wanted to help out our community in any way that is needed,” Collings said. “There’s a big social component too – being able to build more connections with other people in our age group. We found there’s a big gap between high-school age people in our community and Rotarians – there really wasn’t any other group in town [servicing] people our age, so we started one.” There are currently 10,698 registered Rotaract clubs in 180 countries. The local scavenger hunt is being offered at no cost to anyone wanting to participate. Activity kits will be handed out at the Rotary Drive-Thru Christmas Party this Saturday, and will be available for pick-up at Century 21, located at 191 Highland St. To be eligible for a prize, completed activity sheets should be dropped off at Century 21, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
Lisa Charendoff talks about Dairy Farmers of Ontario #FillUpWithLove initiative sharing well wishes for children, parents and front line workers at Ontario children's hospitals like SickKids.
Waterloo Region council will vote Dec. 2 on whether to get rid of the five child-care centres it operates. Parents and advocates say the move would harm quality of care and leave hundreds of children in the lurch. Tania Gonzalez said her son Marcus has been well cared for since going to Christopher Children's Centre in Cambridge in mid-2019, when he was an infant. Caretakers at the centre recognized when Marcus was behind on his speech and made her aware of it. Marcus started talking around March, said Gonzalez, just before the province declared a state of emergency and closed all child-care centres. When Marcus returned to Christopher in July, they “lost all the progress,” Gonzalez said. “Not for lack of trying at home, but again, we ... don't specialize in children's development,” she said, adding, since returning to Christopher, Marcus is using easily up to 50 words. “It's not just a daycare. It's not just a babysitter. It's a whole system looking out for my kids.” Tania Resendes said her kids Leo, three, and Matteo, one, really love seeing their teachers at Christopher. Matteo, who has hearing loss, could only speak around three words when he started out and saw a “significant difference” within a month of being at the centre, using over 12 words. Resendes said parents should have “options,” and believes it would be hard to find care of the same calibre in a private daycare system, especially for children with special needs. She said she has tried calling around to child-care centres, but it has been hard to find available spots during the pandemic, when child-care centres are operating at a around 70 per cent capacity. “The prospect of closing or off-loading child-care centres during a pandemic is absolutely shameful,” Carolyn Ferns, policy co-ordinator at the Ontario Coalition of Better Child Care (OCBCC) stated in a media release. “The regionally-operated child-care centres play an important role in the child-care system in the Region of Waterloo. “High-quality, public child-care centres are a benchmark for decent wages, pensions, and benefits for educators who are predominantly women.” With the closures, the region would lose around $2.2 million in fees from parents and would free up $4.3 million in provincial financing earmarked for child care, a consultation review found. Closure would also, it found, require the region to immediately shell out up to $6.4 million in severance pay as the region is projected to be $25 million in the red. CUPE Local 1883, which represents workers in each of the five child-care centres, said the move would leave parents, caretakers and the children in the cold. “Hundreds of working families in the region are already at their breaking point during this brutal pandemic,” says Noelle Fletcher, president of the local. “Losing public child-care spaces due to closures or off-loading them to the community will result in a destabilization of care. “Many parents and caregivers may have to quit their jobs and rely on unlicensed, private care with exorbitant fees or be placed on lengthy wait lists in community-based centres.” Staff recommend eliminating Cambridge Children’s Centre, Kitchener’s Edith MacIntosh Children’s Centre, Kinsmen Children’s Centre and Christopher Children’s Centre, both in Cambridge, by mid-2021. Elmira Children’s Centre is recommended to be closed at a future date. As a result, around 250 children would lose support and 62 full-time staff would be permanently laid off. In 2015, council voted against the closure of all five centres amid public pressure. This time, Resendes said, parents were given too little time to prepare. “From the moment that we found out to when it's going to vote, we've been given three weeks to try and advocate, do our research ... and figure out exactly what's going on.” The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and will be livestreamed. Call 519-575-4400 to leave feedback.Swikar Oli, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cambridge Times
MONTREAL — Garda World Security Corp. has raised its hostile takeover offer for British security firm G4S to 3.68 billion pounds or about C$6.3 billion.Under the proposal, Garda says it will pay 235 pence in cash for each G4S share, up from its earlier offer of 190 pence announced in September that amounted to about 2.97 billion pounds.Montreal-based Garda also reduced the level of acceptances needed to a simple majority from 90 per cent.Garda called it a final offer and set a deadline of Dec. 16 for shareholders to accept the bid.The move follows a rival proposal by Allied Universal Security Services for G4S of "at least" 210 pence per share that the G4S board rejected on the basis that it was highly conditional and at 210 pence undervalued the company and its prospects.G4S has more than 533,000 employees in 85 countries, including more than 9,000 in Canada. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
RIO DE JANEIRO — A large gang of heavily armed bank robbers invaded the Brazilian city of Cameta just one day after a similar force struck another mid-sized city on the opposite side of the country, taking residents hostage as they looted a bank.Para state’s public security secretariat said in a statement Wednesday that more than 20 criminals with assault rifles attacked a branch of the state-run Bank of Brazil in the city in the Amazon region overnight.Neither the bank nor officials immediately said how much money might have been stolen.Video on social media showed a line of roughly a dozen hostages being led away from a square in Cameta, a city of 140,000 people, and shots ringing out in the night. Local media reported that a military police station was attacked, preventing officers from responding.“They drove around shooting at the police and at the houses. It was a horrible scene to see,” said Junior Gaia, who lives nearby, in an interview with television network Globo News. “We were all laid out on the floor, afraid they would invade the homes.”The co-ordinated attack came a day after a similar overnight robbery of a Bank of Brazil branch in Brazil's southern region. In the city of Criciuma, dozens of gunmen armed with assault rifles seized the city and took hostages as they used explosives to rob a bank.As in Cameta, they took actions to impede police response and fired shots into the air, apparently to scare people and keep them at home.The robberies took place at the start of December, when bank coffers are filled in anticipation of employees withdrawing their year-end bonuses, according to Cássio Thyone, a council member of the non-profit Brazilian Forum on Public Safety. Many Brazilians get an extra month’s salary paid out in December, known as the 13th salary.“It doesn't happen without planning,” Thyone told the Associated Press by phone. “It's another demonstration that everything is planned. They think of the location, and the timing.”Thyone added it isn't possible at this stage to say whether the two incidents might have been co-ordinated by the same group. Brazil’s powerful organized crime and drug trafficking rings have been suspected of involvement in such attacks in the past.Bank of Brazil said in a statement that it is collaborating with police investigations, and has yet to begin evaluating the structural damage to its branch. Images published by online media outlet G1 showed the facade blown open and shards of glass littering the ground.In Cameta, tactical forces as well as police from other areas were dispatched to reinforce the police. Authorities located the criminals’ abandoned truck and found explosive devices within it, according to the security secretariat.Two people were shot, including one hostage, a young man, who was killed. The other has been hospitalized with a leg wound.Cameta Mayor Waldoli Valente offered his condolences for the victim on Facebook.“Our city was always peaceful and I ask that everyone stay at home,” he posted about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.___Associated Press writer Marcelo Silva de Sousa contributed to this reportDavid Biller, The Associated Press
Israel received its most advanced warship on Wednesday, describing the German-made vessel dubbed "Shield" as a bulwark for vulnerable Mediterranean gas rigs as tensions with Tehran soar over the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear scientist. The Saar-6 corvette that docked in Haifa port, and three of the same model to follow next year, will bring to 15 the number of missile boats deployed by an Israeli navy which, while small, carries out missions as far away as the Red Sea and the Gulf. Israel also wants to protect off-shore natural gas fields close to Lebanon, an old foe with which it has held so far fruitless U.S.-mediated maritime border talks.
LOS ANGELES — Native American tribes and advocates are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims.They also have assailed the network and the show's producers for failing to respond to their complaints, which they first made known in a Nov. 17 letter. On Tuesday, the makers of “Big Sky” broke their silence.“After meaningful conversations with representatives of the Indigenous community, our eyes have been opened to the outsized number of Native American and Indigenous women who go missing and are murdered each year, a sad and shocking fact," the executive producers said in a statement to The Associated Press.“We are grateful for this education and are working with Indigenous groups to help bring attention to this important issue,” according to the statement. The producers include David E. Kelley ("Big Little Lies," “The Undoing”) and novelist C.J. Box, whose 2013 book “The Highway” was adapted for the series.Created by Kelley, “Big Sky” stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury as private detectives searching for two white sisters on a road trip who go missing and turn out to be part of a pattern of abductions.With a disproportionate number of American Indians among Montana’s missing and murdered girls and women, the fictional approach represents “at best, cultural insensitivity, and at worst, appropriation,” said the signers, including the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council that represents all of Montana’s tribal nations.“I’m not at all surprised that they’re doing this because Hollywood’s been appropriating our trauma and our lived experience for years and years and years,” said Georgina Lightning, an actor and longtime activist. “And we’ve always cried about it. We’ve always called it out. But nobody ever cared. Nobody ever listened and nobody cared.”In the November letter, ABC was asked to consider adding an on-screen message steering viewers to information about the entrenched peril facing Indigenous women in North America. They cited “Somebody's Daughter,” a documentary detailing the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls crisis, as it's known to those fighting the scourge.“This is such an easy fix for ABC to make,” the film's director, Rain, said in a statement. “Indigenous leaders are reaching out to ally and inform, to open a dialogue. They’re not asking for ‘Big Sky’ to be taken off the air,” he said, but instead be used to inform.When no response was forthcoming, the coalition took its effort public and enlisted support from other tribal organizations, including Canada’s Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association.“Two-thirds of this country doesn’t even know that Native Americans still exist," said Tom Rodgers, president of the Global Indigenous Council and a co-signer of the letter to ABC. “We thought, what a teachable moment.”In response to the producers' statement, a skeptical Rodgers said Tuesday he hadn't heard from anyone connected with the show and called for further details, including which Indigenous partners were being consulted.While more than 5,000 Indigenous women were reported missing in 2016 in the U.S., reporting by The Associated Press has shown the number is difficult to determine because some cases go unreported, others aren’t well-documented, and a comprehensive government database to track the cases is lacking.Advocates, including some lawmakers representing Native Americans, also link the long-standing problem to inadequate resources, indifference and a jurisdictional maze. The rise of the MeToo movement helped give the issue political heft, but Hollywood has lagged in paying heed.While Lightning said she was “a little bit shocked” when she saw a Native American tragedy mirrored in a story but without Native American characters, her years working in Los Angeles meant she wasn’t surprised. Now living in Alberta, she’s in the Canadian miniseries “Trickster,” about a dysfunctional Native family.“There's such resistance” to change in Hollywood, she said. "When you’re used to being one of the good old boys... there's no way they think they’re going to have to conform to the rest of society. It’s such an arrogance.”Native Americans are used to being routinely ignored by American popular culture, registering barely a blip on TV as they're usually seen on only one or two shows, such as Paramount Network's “Yellowstone.” A University of California, Los Angeles, study released this year found that Indigenous actors were cast in six of 1,816 broadcast and cable series roles for the 2018-19 season.But being slighted on the crucial issue raised by “Big Sky” is too bitter a pill to accept, said Rodgers, a Blackfeet Nation member whose Global Indigenous Council, an advocacy group for Indigenous peoples worldwide, helped organize the outreach to ABC.“The one thing we won’t be anymore is ignored. We’re not going to be made invisible, we will not be erased," he said.____Lynn Elber can be reached at email@example.com and is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.___This story has been corrected to use the accurate pronoun for filmmaker Rain.Lynn Elber, The Associated Press