Ivanka Trump helped load boxes of food into the cars of drivers who showed up at a South Florida drive-through food distribution event for those in need. (Dec. 23)
Ivanka Trump helped load boxes of food into the cars of drivers who showed up at a South Florida drive-through food distribution event for those in need. (Dec. 23)
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden has directed law enforcement and intelligence officials in his administration to study the threat of domestic violent extremism in the United States, an undertaking being launched weeks after a mob of insurgents loyal to Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol. The announcement Friday by White House press secretary Jen Psaki is a stark acknowledgment of the national security threat that officials see as posed by American extremists motivated to violence by radical ideology. The involvement of the national intelligence office, created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks with a goal of thwarting international terrorism, suggests U.S. authorities are examining how to pivot to a more concerted focus on violence from extremists at home. The threat assessment is being co-ordinated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, and will be used as a foundation to develop policy, the White House said. The National Security Council will do its own policy review to see how information about the problem can be better shared across the government. “The Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we all know: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” Psaki said, adding that the administration will confront the problem with resources and policies but also “respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.” Asked whether new methods were needed, she said, “More needs to be done. That's why the president is tasking the national security team to do exactly this review on the second full day in office.” Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said it was “critical” that the Biden administration appeared to be prioritizing the threat of domestic extremism. “In particular, far-right, white supremacist extremism, nurtured on online platforms, has become one of the most dangerous threats to our nation,” Schiff said. The riot at the Capitol, which led last week to Trump's second impeachment, raised questions about whether a federal government national security apparatus that for decades has moved aggressively to combat threats from foreign terror groups and their followers in America is adequately equipped to address the threat of domestic extremism. It's an issue that has flared repeatedly over the years, with different attacks — including a shooting rampage at a Pittsburgh synagogue — periodically caused renewed debate over whether a law specific to domestic terrorism is needed. It is unclear when the threat assessment will conclude or whether it will precipitate law enforcement and intelligence getting new tools or authorities to address a problem that officials say has proved challenging to combat, partly because of First Amendment protections. FBI Director Chris Wray said last fall that, over the past year, the most lethal violence has come from anti-government activists, such as anarchists and militia types. Law enforcement agencies are under scrutiny for their preparations for Jan. 6, when a violent mob of Trump supporters overran the police and stormed into the Capitol. Scores of people are facing charges so far, including a man who was photographed wearing a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt, as well as people identified in court papers as QAnon conspiracy theorists and members of militia groups. ___ Follow Eric Tucker at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
TORONTO — After a 10-month investigation, a task force commissioned by the Ontario government has issued a range of sweeping recommendations to reform the province's securities regulator. The Capital Markets Modernization Task Force's 70 recommendations include major governance changes to Ontario Securities Commission, such as establishing an adjudicative body within the OSC to rule on alleged securities act violations. The task force also recommends expanding the agency's mandate to augment its regulatory function, and changing its name to the Ontario Capital Markets Authority. The task force was commissioned in 2019 by Ontario's finance minister, with the goal of encouraging growth and competition in the province's capital markets. In the report, the task force decried the lack of new securities issuers in Ontario, which they warned could lead to fewer head offices and fewer investment growth opportunities in the province. Over the course of its investigation, the task force met with more than 110 different stakeholders as it was developing its recommendations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Calgary police have laid several charges against a former basketball coach after a male teenager came forward with accusations of sexual assault. The alleged victim — who was 14 years old when he joined Genesis Basketball in 2016 — reported to police in November 2020 that he had been sexually assaulted several times by the team's coach. The coach befriended the victim and would drive him to school, games and practices, police said Friday in a news release. The teen was also invited to the coach's home, where multiple assaults are alleged to have taken place. Sean Maheu, 38, was charged on Tuesday with sexual assault, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and sexual exploitation. He is set to appear in court on March 11. "In this instance, it was what we would refer to as a historical report, where it was reported after the fact. So, the victim has come forward as an adult," said Staff Sgt. Michelle Doyle, who is with the Calgary Police Service's sex crimes unit. Maheu well-known in basketball community, Genesis says Genesis Basketball president Eddie Richardson said in an emailed statement on Friday that the organization is aware of the allegations against Maheu, who began coaching with the organization in 2015 and left in 2018. The basketball club said it has been co-operating with CPS, and will continue to do so. "[Maheu] was well-known in the basketball community and worked with other programs before coming to Genesis," the statement reads in part. "At the time of Mr. Maheu joining our club, he was employed with Hull Services, an organization that works with some of the city's most vulnerable youth and families." According to the statement, Genesis coaches are required to have a CPS police check that is no more than a year old. "We have always been proactive in leading our community in providing our athletes with a safe learning environment and will continue to improve going forward," Richardson said in the release. "With respect to the charges that have been laid, out of respect for the family and the young man involved, Genesis will have no further comment at this time." For more information, please visit the Calgary & Area Child Advocacy Centre website at www.calgarycac.ca.
British Columbians living on the South Coast should take advantage of the last couple of days of sunshine on Friday and Saturday, as clouds are expected to roll in Saturday evening, bringing a light dusting of snow with them. Environment Canada has posted a special weather statement warning of a "cool air mass and low-pressure system" Saturday night and Sunday morning, with potential snowfall of two to five centimetres for the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast, inland sections of western Vancouver Island and for the Central Coast. However, eastern and inland areas of Vancouver Island, including the Malahat Highway could see more, with up to 15 centimetres falling. CBC Vancouver meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe says it looks like the snow won't begin to fall until the pre-dawn hours on Sunday. "The approaching system isn't packing quite as much moisture for the top-end scenario of snow," she said. "I think we are trending toward just a few centimetres before a change-over to rain on Sunday." This combination sets the South Coast up for its first slushy snowfall of the year, Wagstaffe says. Vancouver opening shelters The City of Vancouver says its crews are monitoring the weather and a coordinated response plan is underway. Major roads, bridges, bus routes, and bike paths are being treated with brine ahead of the snowfall. A city statement says over 100 vehicles and 3,000 tonnes of salt are ready to be used on any snow and ice, and crews will focus on priority routes first. It asks residents to take only essential road and bike trips, and property owners must clear any snow from walkways and sidewalks by 10 a.m. the morning after a snowfall. The city says it's also opening additional indoor shelter spaces for people experiencing homelessness, from January 22 to 27, as a "life saving measure." The warming centres will be located at: The Powell Street Getaway, at 528 Powell St., from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. The Vancouver Aquatic Centre, at 1050 Beach Ave., from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The Creekside Community Centre, at 1 Athletes Way., from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. The city says these centres will also allow people who have pets and carts, and hot drinks and snacks will be provided. All sites have reduced their capacity, in order to meet the province's COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.
With COVID-19 cases on the decrease at Sugar Cane, Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) leaders are looking to reopen government offices next week. WLFN acting emergency operations centre (EOC) director Aaron Mannella said 23 WLFN members have been considered to be free of the disease since their EOC was activated Jan. 8. “That’s something our EOC is incredibly happy about and incredibly excited about, and we’re looking forward to those recovery numbers to improve,” he said in a Jan. 21 community Facebook update. As of 4 p.m. Jan. 21, Mannella said there had been 38 confirmed cases within WLFN membership. The EOC continues to operate at level two, with EOC staff remaining focused on supporting members with groceries and supplies, mental health resources and traditional medicines. Since its activation, Manella said groceries and supplies had been delivered to 55 homes. He said staff has responded to an additional 34 calls for general support and information through the WLFN COVID-19 support line. In conjunction with EOC staff, Borland Creek Logging has also delivered 23 loads of firewood. Mannella said chief and council had provided approval Jan. 21 for a gradual reopening plan for government offices, Little Chiefs Daycare, Little Chiefs Primary School and recreation programming and after-school support at Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium. WLFN government offices in Sugar Cane and Williams Lake will be staffed but remain closed to the public as of Monday, Jan. 25. Little Chiefs Daycare will also open that day. Little Chiefs Primary School and recreation programming will not reopen until Monday, Feb. 1. “Keep in mind this is a concept,” Mannella said. “Obviously, our council, our leadership is going to continue to adapt anything that changes.” Next week, vaccines are expected to be available to WLFN elders via appointment through Three Corners Health Services Society. Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his government is looking at ways to strengthen the vetting process for the next governor general after his choice for the job — Julie Payette — resigned yesterday following reports she presided over a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall. Trudeau faced multiple questions from reporters today about the vetting process he followed in appointing Payette back in 2017, and the red flags raised by former employers about her behaviour. "Obviously the vetting process that was in place was followed, but obviously we're going to also look at ways we can strengthen and improve the vetting process for high-level appointments," he said outside his home at Rideau Cottage, not far from Rideau Hall. "We are looking right now at processes that can be strengthened as we move forward and we will have more to say on that as we make decisions." WATCH | Trudeau is asked why Payette wasn't thoroughly vetted before being appointed GG In an unprecedented move, Payette and her secretary, Assunta di Lorenzo, resigned Thursday after an outside workplace review of Rideau Hall probed allegations she had belittled, berated and publicly humiliated Rideau Hall staff. "Notwithstanding, in respect for the integrity of my vice-regal office and for the good of our country and of our democratic institutions, I have come to the conclusion that a new governor general should be appointed," the former astronaut wrote in her statement. A senior government source (speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly) said about 100 public servants took part in the outside review. The report concluded it was an overwhelmingly toxic and poisonous workplace and the two people at the very top, Payette and Di Lorenzo, were responsible for it, the source said. PM and Queen spoke today The source also said Payette received parts of the report that pertained to her on Monday and that the clerk of the Privy Council and Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc had a tense conversation with her on Tuesday. Speaking from prepared remarks, Trudeau said he spoke to the Queen Friday morning and let her know Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Wagner will fulfil the duties of the governor general — her representative in Canada — on a temporary basis. He said a recommendation on Payette's replacement is coming. Trudeau was asked repeatedly today about his decision to not use a selection committee in 2017, something his predecessor implemented. "We will continue to the look at the best way to select people for the vice regal appointments. It is an important role for Canadians and we'll look at how we can improve it," he said. WATCH Jagmeet Singh on Payette resignation Conservative House leader Gérard Deltell said this could have been avoided if Trudeau hadn't shunned the Harper-era committee. "This is all sad, but it's so Justin Trudeau's style," he said. "He thinks that he knows better than anybody else, than the special committee created by the Conservatives. But we were right at that time. We made the right decision, he did the wrong decision and unfortunately, today we paid a price for this mess." NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh suggested other parties be brought into the process of selecting the official 30th governor general. "The system is deeply problematic in that the federal government, whoever's in power, can choose who they want," he said Friday morning. "I think there would be a great benefit in having a better system...so that the selection is not just a government appointment, but it's something that is done in a manner that is more fair." Questions about annuity Payette will collect a six-figure annuity for the rest of her life, a tradition critics are calling into question given the report on the Rideau Hall workplace climate — a report LeBlanc said came to some "disturbing" and "worrisome" conclusions. Under the Governor General's Act, former vice-regals are entitled to a lifetime annuity — which, according to the 2020 Public Accounts, amounts to $149,484. They are also entitled to a lifetime expense program for office and travel expenses. Documents obtained by the National Post in 2018 show that each former governor general is allowed to claim up to $206,000 per year under the program, which has existed since 1979 and is based on the notion that governors general never truly retire. "This country has very clear rules and regulations and processes and procedures in place to follow in these cases of reporting expenses, or indeed on annuities for governor generals," Trudeau said Friday. "Those processes will be followed, but obviously we're always open to having discussions on changes that need to be made moving forward." A spokesperson for the NDP said that if there's a way to cancel Payette's annuity, New Democrats would support it since Payette failed to provide a harassment-free workplace for her workers. WATCH | Trudeau is asked about the annuity Julie Payette will receive after her resignation "With respect to the annuity, I think that Canadians, rightly so, are concerned that given this report and how horrible the workers were treated, that this doesn't sit well with people," said Singh. In a statement, the outspoken Canadian Taxpayers Federation called on the Liberal government to change the way former governors general are paid. "With the resignation of Julie Payette, now is the time for this government to ensure that taxpayers are not on the hook for the expense accounts of former governors general," said Aaron Wudrick, the advocacy group's director. "Two years ago, the prime minister said he would 'review' this program. Nothing has happened since. It's time to save taxpayers money by scrapping this outrageously wasteful program." In 2018, following reports that Adrienne Clarkson had billed more than $1 million in expenses since leaving the viceregal job, Trudeau called for more transparency. "These are people who've stepped up and offered tremendous service to this country but Canadians expect a certain level of transparency and accountability, and we're going to make sure we're moving forward in a thoughtful way," he said. A spokesperson for the Privy Council said the final cost of the Quintet Consulting review was $393,367.13, nearly four times higher than the original value of the contract. The original terms of reference of the contract did say the amount could change depending on how long the review took.
Officers of the Lennox & Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to the report of a single vehicle collision on County Road 2 near Unger Island Road at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. According to a release from OPP dated Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, a westbound vehicle left the roadway, struck a snow bank and rolled over, coming to rest in a marsh. The driver was transported to hospital with minor injuries and later released. The driver was subsequently arrested and, as a result of the investigation, L&A County OPP has charged Steven Tyler Slaunwhite, age 29, of Deseronto, contrary to the Criminal Code with: - Operation While Impaired - alcohol and drug; and, - Operating a motor vehicle while over legal blood alcohol limit. The accused was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Greater Napanee in March 2021. The accused's licence was suspended for 90 days and the vehicle was impounded for seven days. Slaunwhite will be responsible for all related fees and fines. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
Coup de théâtre mercredi après-midi, alors que le Directeur général des élections du Québec (DGEQ) informait l’avocat de Virginie Dufour qu’une enquête était ouverte relativement aux allégations de financement politique illégal qui visent sa cliente. Cette information est tombée dans les heures suivant une entrevue que Mme Dufour, conseillère municipale de Sainte-Rose, accordait au Courrier Laval, où elle annonçait son retour au sein du comité exécutif dont elle s’était retirée le 30 novembre dernier «pour ne pas nuire aux affaires de la Ville». Or, ce mercredi 20 janvier, elle estimait que l’«injustice» dont elle se dit victime «a assez duré». D’autant que, affirmait-elle, le DGEQ ne l’avait jamais relancée à la suite de son courriel - il y a sept semaines - où elle demandait à l’institution de faire enquête sur les allégations formulées à son endroit afin de «rétablir sa réputation». À défaut d’une enquête formelle, elle disait réintégrer l’exécutif «la tête haute» avec en main un affidavit signé par Normand Cusson, l’homme qu’on entend sur l’enregistrement incriminant rendu public par le Journal de Montréal, le 30 novembre. Dans une déclaration assermentée, M. Cusson, un proche de Virginie Dufour, affirme avoir menti lorsqu’il dit que ses contributions versées par chèque au Mouvement lavallois – Équipe Marc Demers lui sont remboursées en argent comptant par l’élue de Sainte-Rose. Considérant que le DGEQ ouvre une enquête, Virginie Dufour entend-elle se retirer à nouveau du comité exécutif le temps que la lumière soit faite sur ces allégations? Une décision devrait être rendue d’ici les prochaines heures, informe-t-on au cabinet du maire.Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Le gouvernement Legault a manifesté son intention d’encadrer plus strictement les produits de vapotage. L’objectif est de réduire l’attrait de la cigarette électronique auprès des jeunes. Mais des usagers croient que la nouvelle réglementation sera trop sévère. Parmi les mesures envisagées par le gouvernement, il y a de limiter le taux de nicotine et la grosseur des fioles de liquide, et d’interdire les saveurs et les arômes autres que le tabac. Pour Natasha Carvalho, intervenante en dépendance jeunesse au Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) des Laurentides, il s’agit d’une bonne initiative. « La cigarette électronique est un produit d’initiation au tabagisme. On ne peut pas travailler auprès des jeunes et ne pas se rendre compte que c’est un phénomène grandissant. » Les adolescents qui vapotent ont trois fois plus de risques de fumer la cigarette plus tard. Les liquides utilisés pour vapoter sont offerts dans une kyrielle de saveurs et d’arômes au Canada, de la barbe à papa au chocolat, en passant par le melon d’eau et la mangue. La vapoteuse elle-même, ou cigarette électronique, a aussi son propre attrait. Les modèles vont du petit format élégant et facile à dissimuler, au « Hummer » imposant qui affiche cadrans et statistiques. « C’est un véritable objet technologique! » Il y a aussi les « wax pen », qui permettent de vapoter des concentrés d’huile de cannabis, par exemple. « C’est très répandu et populaire chez les jeunes. La vapoteuse ne dégage pas d’odeur identifiable. On peut donc consommer du cannabis, au vu et au su des adultes surveillants », explique Mme Carvalho. Le principal risque pour les jeunes, selon l’intervenante, c’est qu’ils développent une dépendance au geste, au rituel de vapoter, qui est le même pour la cigarette. Le taux de nicotine contenu dans une fiole de liquide peut aussi être beaucoup plus élevé que dans un paquet de cigarettes, accélérant la dépendance. Quant à l’impact sur la santé physique, c’est plus compliqué. Peu de recherche a encore été faite, comme le phénomène est récent. Mais déjà, les usagers peuvent faire de la haute pression, ressentir de l’essoufflement et sont plus à risque de maladies cardio-vasculaires. « Même si ce n’est pas de la combustion, le liquide est chauffé. Ça peut libérer des contaminants, comme le nickel, l’étain, l’aluminium, le formaldéhyde… » Sans compter que certains produits disponibles sur Internet proviennent d’ailleurs dans le monde, où la réglementation et les contrôles de qualité sont moindres. Selon Marlène-Lyane Richard, porte-parole de la Coalition des droits des vapoteurs du Québec (CDVQ), il ne faut pas oublier que la vapoteuse a également aidé bien des fumeurs à se sortir du tabagisme. Elle-même est parvenue à arrêter grâce à ça, alors qu’elle fumait depuis l’âge de 8 ans, en volant des cigarettes à ses parents. Elle a aujourd’hui 44 ans. « Avec la vape, ce n’est pas la même routine. La cigarette, quand elle est allumée, tu la fumes au complet. Avec la vapoteuse, tu peux prendre juste une ou deux poffs. On finit par délaisser le besoin d’inhaler. Ça va faire presque un an que j’ai arrêté. » Mme Richard est bien d’accord que les produits doivent être mieux encadrés et que les jeunes doivent être protégés. Mais elle croit que l’interdiction des saveurs et des arômes va trop loin. « 93 % des gens prennent de la saveur dans leur vapotage. C’est beaucoup! » Sa crainte, c’est que d’ex-fumeurs retombent dans la cigarette. « Il n’y a personne qui veut arrêter avec une saveur de tabac dans la bouche. » Bien que le vapotage représente des risques, Mme Richard soutient qu’ils sont moindres qu’avec la cigarette. « Dans les produits de vapotage, il y a 4 ingrédients, pas 60! Tous les produits nocifs de la cigarette ne sont pas là. C’est sûr que la toxicité est bien moindre avec le vapotage », affirme-t-elle. Certes, il existe d’autres solutions, comme la gomme et les patches, mais le vapotage offre une option de plus selon elle. Elle aimerait que ceux qui ont arrêté la cigarette grâce au vapotage, comme elle et d’autres, soient au moins entendus par le gouvernement avant que les nouvelles réglementations deviennent loi. « Il ne faut pas jeter le bébé avec l’eau du bain! »Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Midland's top staffer says more clarity around enforcement means sterner action by the town against those that disobey stay-at-home orders. "I know there's been a lot of discussion with the health unit around educating people," said CAO David Denault. "The education can only go so far. I think you're going to have to enforce much more strongly. The health unit itself is getting around to some of the areas where we've heard some of the complaints, like the malls. "Unfortunately, we're going to have to start patrolling areas like the toboggan hills and rinks," he added. "If people don't listen, we're going to have to ticket them. If numbers continue to rise as they're predicting, I think there will be a sterner side to enforcement." Until now, said Denault in his update to council this week, the approach was to educate and then enforce. Since Nov. 15, he said bylaw has issued 282 tickets and done 12 tows (non-COVID related). "We really don't want to do that to the public," said Denault. "But to be efficient and make sure we're taking care of our services, we need to do this. Please make sure you move your vehicles so we can get around and take care of the facilities." Coun. Jon Main wanted to know what the town planned for warming centres, considering public buildings are closed due to the stay-at-home orders. "Unfortunately, a lot of our warming centres are municipal facilities, which are not open," he said. "Is it our responsibility to provide warming centres?" Denault said that is one facet municipalities are struggling with. "It is one of the opportunities we have with the rec centre," he said. "We have been able to accommodate some individuals that have come there during frigid times. We'll continue to do that. We'll make sure we connect with our organizations in the community to understand that can be done. The more traditional facilities just aren't able to open." At the beginning of the meeting, Coun. Bill Gordon also asked what had become of the YMCA's request for town support in reopening its facility. "I know the YMCA had approached us without a financial ask, but with the indication that there would be something coming," he said. "It looks like we attempted to reach out to them and do something that didn't work out so I wonder if we could talk a little bit about that." Denault said all municipal CAOs had met up with the YMCA to discuss what they would need and to share with them options their municipalities may be able to bring forward with council approval. "There were no offers made," he said, adding he couldn't share any numbers due to a request of confidentiality by the Y. "At the end of the day, the YMCA determined they could best address their needs on their own. "We did leave them with the option that if they do require some assistance from the municipality, we can be engaged to help out," said Denault. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
OTTAWA — A new third-party advocacy group is launching an ad campaign aimed at ensuring Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole never becomes prime minister.The Protecting Canada Project will start airing today its first 30-second ad, in English and French, on television and online.The ad predicts that an O'Toole government would cut funding for health care, even as the country struggles through the COVID-19 pandemic.The tag line concludes that O'Toole and the Conservatives "are hazardous to your health — at the worst possible time."Group spokesman Ian Wayne, who formerly worked for NDP leaders Jack Layton and Tom Mulcair, says Protecting Canada was formed by Canadians "with diverse political experience" and a common goal of ensuring the Conservatives don't win the next election. How an O'Toole-led Conservative government would tackle the massive national debt and deficit created by pandemic spending will be a key question for the party in the next campaign. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Mark Sakamoto and business partner Sachin Aggarwal’s digital health company has made another big move in the business world. Think Research recently announced the acquisition of fellow health company MDBriefcase – a transaction worth more than $25 million in cash and stock options. Think Research is also taking on roughly $3 million in debt from MDBriefcase. “We’re really excited about this,” said former Hatter Sakamoto. “This is a classic example of a one plus one equals three scenario. “This just made a lot of sense.” Aggarwal, Think Research’s CEO, says the acquisition was an easy decision. “We knew these guys and we’ve been working with them for the better part of two years,” he said. “They have certain reach into the health-care marketplace, just like we have certain reach. “We do different things, but what each group does is highly complementary to the other.” Think Research’s goal is to get the best data to health-care workers, so in turn, patients can get the best care possible. MDBriefcase puts a large emphasis on education, which ties in perfectly with what Think Research is doing, says Aggarwal. “Together we become one of the largest players in the world in getting evidence to the bedside,” he said. “We really are stronger together because of the size and scale. “No one in Canada comes close to our size when it comes to knowledge-based healthcare.” Aggarwal says MDBriefcase creates tools based off evidence. “When someone does a study, nothing would come of it if no one read it or analyzed it,” he said. “They take research and create digital tools that will then be used to teach nurses, doctors and pharmacists. “Those medical professionals get their continuing education credits by consuming that content.” Aggarwal added that MDBriefcase will not be downsized or closed after being bought out, but the opposite may happen. “These are complementary companies, so some things may be merged,” he said. “But overall, we expect that MDBriefcase will expand, not shrink.” Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
THUNDER BAY — A number of inmates from the Thunder Bay jail have been temporarily transferred to a Toronto detention centre in an effort to manage the current number of active COVID-19 cases at the facility. On Friday, Jan. 22, a spokesperson with the ministry of the solicitor general confirmed the Thunder bay jail currently has 12 active inmate COVID-19 cases and six COVID-19 positive cases among staff. The inmates were transferred to the Toronto South Detention Centre (TSDC) temporarily to bring the facility within operating capacity and reduce the risk of infection, spokesperson Andrew Morrison said in an emailed statement. “The inmates selected for transfer are low risk for COVID-19 and will be isolated for 14 days upon arrival at the TSDC,” Morrison said, adding the ministry cannot provide details about inmate transfers for security reasons. All inmates are being transferred to a separate area at the TSDC and won’t be placed with current inmates to reduce any potential spread of the virus, Morrison said. “Appropriate protocols are being followed to ensure the protection of all staff and inmates,” Morrison said. The Toronto facility is the ministry’s newest jail with a modern health care unit with medical isolation units to effectively manage and support inmates with COVID-19, the ministry says. The Thunder Bay Correctional Centre currently has 42 active inmate cases and two active cases among staff of COVID-19. According to the ministry, any inmate who tests positive for the virus is placed under droplet precautions and is isolated from the rest of the inmate population while they receive medical care. The ministry continues to work with local public health authorities to complete contact tracing. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
BROCKTON – Jennifer Stephens, general manager, did a presentation on the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority’s 2021 budget at the Jan. 12 meeting of Brockton council. This year’s budget shows a 1.6 per cent increase over last year, representing a dollar amount of $27,570. Brockton will be paying an additional $2,546. She stated the goal of the SVCA over the past few months has been to focus on the mandated programs and services outlined in the Conservation Authorities Act. Stephens outlined some of those programs including flood forecasting and warning. The goal is to “keep people away from the water, and keep the water away from people.” This is accomplished through a variety of measures including physical structures such as dams and channel work. SCVA is also involved in stewardship activities, environmental planning and regulations, conservation education, forestry, and non-revenue parks and property management throughout the watershed. To help identify priorities over the next five years, the SVCA is undertaking a strategic planning exercise. It will involve extensive consultation with the public, municipalities and other partners. The plan will incorporate recent changes to the Conservation Authorities Act through Bill 229. Council asked a number of questions, including about changes that have a direct impact on Brockton. Coun. James Lang mentioned two staff members who had played an important role in promoting tourism in the Greenock Swamp. Stephens responded by saying the business of the SVCA is to “protect natural spaces and conduct our mandated programs” through the entire watershed. Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak addressed plans to conduct needed maintenance work in the SVCA’s parks and said he was pleased at the direction that’s been put in place by Stephens. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
Pendant que la neige tombait à gros flocons samedi dernier, j’ai déniché quelques trésors cachés sur le site web de l’Office national du film, onf.ca. Pour vous, j’ai fait une sélection des meilleurs courts-métrages mettant en vedette la neige, l’hiver et nos paysages nordiques. Idéal pour une soirée de couvre-feu, faute d’aller jouer dehors. Découvrez l’homme derrière la légende qui a sillonné les Laurentides pendant des décennies et qui en a tracé les plus importants sentiers. Ce portrait, réalisé pour le centenaire d’Herman Smith-Johannsen, révèle un explorateur infatigable, sa résilience et son humour. Le documentaire trace des parallèles entre sa Norvège natale et ses Laurentides d’adoption, et nous fait voyager dans le temps. Dans une scène, on le voit racontant ses souvenirs dans une voiture, cigare en bouche, pendant que des paysages enneigés défilent par la fenêtre. En noir et blanc, ce court-métrage offre un regard d’ensemble du ski au Canada, de Banff aux Laurentides. On y retrouve l’enthousiasme des premières neiges, la leçon de ski, le remonte-pente pour les « moins vaillants » (dit le narrateur), et la vue magnifique une fois arrivé au sommet. Somme toute, le sport a bien peu changé, 73 ans plus tard. Une journée à la patinoire, présentée par Gilles Carle, le célèbre cinéaste québécois dans ses débuts. La musique de Claude Léveillée anime même ce court-métrage sans paroles. En bottes ou en patins, on y découvre le simple plaisir de patiner, de glisser et de jouer sur la glace. Pourquoi ne pas jouer une amicale partie de hockey, avant de se déhancher sur la glace au rythme de la musique de l’heure : le rock ‘n’ roll! Suivez ces deux Inuits (appelés Esquimaux dans le film) alors qu’ils bâtissent un iglou pour la nuit, pendant que le narrateur vous explique comment faire. Vous n’aurez besoin que d’un couteau à neige… et de neige. Les Inuits peuvent prendre aussi peu que 40 minutes ou aussi longtemps que 2 jours pour construire leur iglou, selon leurs besoins. Mon préféré. Suivez l’artiste Alexander Young Jackson dans la création de ses paysages uniques. Jackson est membre du Groupe des sept, un rassemblement de paysagistes canadiens qui ont révolutionné l’art durant les années 1920. Pour faire ses ébauches, Jackson part en expédition dans la nature automnale de l’Ontario, au Lac Grace, puis dans les collines enneigées de Saint-Tite-des-Caps, juste au nord de l’Île d’Orléans. On le voit en canot, faire du portage et même escalader les parois rocheuses du bouclier canadien, tout pour trouver le parfait paysage.Simon Cordeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
JACKSON, Miss. — A leader of the Brexit movement and newly appointed government trade adviser in the United Kingdom is now the head of a conservative think-tank in the American South. Douglas Carswell, 49, started working this month as the new CEO and president of Mississippi Center for Public Policy. Carswell, a libertarian and former member of Britain’s governing Conservative Party, was a member of Parliament for 12 years and a co-founder of Vote Leave, the campaign that pushed the Brexit referendum in 2016. Carswell said his home country was his primary focus as the U.K. negotiated terms of its recently finalized split from the European Union. However, he said he has had a growing interest in working in the U.S. “I think the fight for freedom in America is the most important battle for freedom in the world, because America is the exceptional country in the world,” Carswell told The Associated Press. Former Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant, a Republican who left office a year ago, has developed a work relationship with Brexit leader Nigel Farage, and Bryant attended a 2019 event for the lobbying group World4Brexit. Carswell said he has never met Bryant. Carswell clashed with more populist Farage after being the first of only two U.K. Independence Party candidates ever elected to Parliament. Farage ran unsuccessfully more than half a dozen times. Carswell's 2014 election victory gave political momentum to the party and the Brexit cause. He left the U.K. Independence Party in 2017, later stepping down from Parliament. After Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union, many of the figures who led the campaign have moved on to new ventures. Farage became a radio talk-show host and Donald Trump’s main British supporter, once even attending and speaking at a 2016 Trump campaign event in Mississippi. Others have been appointed to the House of Lords by Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government. It’s common for former British lawmakers of all political stripes to seek think-tank or academic posts in the U.S. — a career move that can often bring prestige back home. In an email introducing his new position in Mississippi, Carswell said he believes freedom in the U.S. is “under attack” from a “radical New Left.” “If liberty is extinguished, the United States will become just another over-regulated, over-taxed, debt-ridden country, presided over by remote officials,” he said. “That would be a catastrophe for the whole world.” Carswell said he thinks school choice can give low-income Mississippi families more opportunities. He said he will push policies to make the state more competitive in attracting new businesses and allowing existing ones to grow. “Businesses that are traditionally located in hubs like New York, or Chicago or California, quite a few of those businesses are moving away from high tax and regulation regimes to Texas, Florida or Tennessee,” he said. “Why not Mississippi?” The Mississippi Center for Public Policy lobbies for lower taxes, fewer government regulations and free-market approaches to health care. Carswell said he admires that people’s freedoms in the U.S. are defined in federal and state constitutions. “In America, if your local mayor wakes up one morning and decides to take away your fundamental freedoms, you can take the politicians to court under the Constitution, you can enforce your rights as an individual,” he said. It allows “ordinary folk to live their lives free from the arbitrary whim of government,” Carswell said. “It’s only when you don’t have that that you realize quite how precious it is,” he said. “It really is the secret of American success.” Carswell plans to live in Jackson with his family but is not leaving U.K. politics. In November, he was appointed to a three-year term as a nonexecutive director of Britain’s Department for International Trade. Liz Truss, the U.K.’s secretary of state for international trade, said Carswell will work at “striking free trade agreements in markets around the world, operating our own trading system after the transition period, boosting exports and investment across the UK, and championing free trade and shaping global trading rules.” ___ Associated Press reporter Jill Lawless contributed from London. ___ Leah Willingham is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Leah Willingham, The Associated Press
Le bilan lavallois de la COVID-19 est désormais de 1473 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela représente une baisse de 87 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Il s’agit toutefois d’une augmentation de 128 cas confirmés, ce qui porte le total à 21 087 citoyens lavallois touchés depuis le mois de mars 2020. Au total, 809 personnes (+4) sont décédées du virus sur l’île Jésus. Parmi les Lavallois actuellement touchés, 88 (-4) sont hospitalisés, dont 27 (-1) aux soins intensifs. 91 employés du CISSS de Laval sont quant à eux absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Quatre des six secteurs de Laval présentent désormais moins de 400 cas confirmés sur leur territoire respectif au cours des 14 derniers jours. Parmi ceux-ci, Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac (+12) est celui qui en compte le moins avec 318 personnes touchées sur cette même période. Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose (+15) détient quant à lui le plus bas taux d'infection avec 453 cas par 100 000 habitants. À l'inverse, Chomedey (+44) est encore le secteur le plus affecté de l'île Jésus dans les deux dernières semaines, que ce soit en chiffres absolus (744) ou en taux d'infection (781 cas par 100 000 habitants). De leur côté, Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul et Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides constatent respectivement 17 nouvelles personnes touchées sur leur territoire en ce vendredi 22 janvier. Malgré un bon bilan lors des 14 derniers jours, Vimont/Auteuil présente la deuxième plus importante augmentation du jour avec 24 nouveaux cas confirmés. *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 26 cas jusqu’ici.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
CBC News gains access to a unique inoculation site in the U.K., where vulnerable groups are being prioritized.
The South Klondike Highway south of Carcross, Yukon, is still deemed impassable Friday morning after a series of avalanches earlier this week. A map on the 511 Yukon road report shows the closure extends from Carcross and south beyond the Yukon border. While crews have been working away to clear the road, Greg Eikland, western area supervisor with the Department of Highways and Public Works, says there's still a lot more snow to be dealt with as of Thursday before it can reopen. He says the avalanches are rated about a three on a one-to-five scale and can be around 15 feet high and between 40 to 100 feet wide. "A size three is [like] a very small car," he said adding it could take out a smaller building and bring down trees with it. So far, he says since there isn't any reported damage, though sometimes avalanches can cause problems for the guard rails on the road. Right now, crews are still working on digging through the snow. "We just target areas that are frequent avalanche zones," Eikland said. He explained that if the avalanches don't come down, when they should or if there is a lot of snow storage, such as large overhangs, then they'll do controlled snowbombing. "We'll actually close the road, bomb them and deal with snow that way," he said. "One particular [avalanche] that is a pretty active one, it didn't come down, so [we] threw some charges on that and brought it down." "So that just adds to the amount of work that we have to get everything cleaned up so we can open this road back up." More avalanches than usual Eikland says there can be up to about eight people working on the snow clearing. While the avalanches are only a little bigger that usual, he says it's an exceptional year in terms of how often they're tumbling. "It's just the frequency of them — they're coming down quite a bit," he said. "It's a good winter for snow for sure." He says, despite the border to Alaska being closed to all non-essential travel, it's still important that the highway is passable for fuel trucks and other traffic needing to get through. "We try and get a hole punched through so at least if we have to move some traffic for emergencies or what not we can all get them out," Eikland said. "Hopefully we can get that out as soon as we can … just keep keep plugging away at these avalanches and then we should be ready to open." It's hard to predict when the highway might open, but Eikland said on Thursday that the highway could open Friday afternoon or sometime on Saturday. 'Avalanches still possible out there' James Minifie, lead avalanche field technician for Avalanche Canada in Yukon, said Friday morning that people should stay aware of the fact that big storms have been creating sizeable avalanches. "People should continue to look for that pattern of storms coming, you know avalanche danger goes up during and shortly after the storm, and then kind of slowly comes down over the next few days." He said if people are heading out into inland areas they should build time into their day to account for varying conditions. "You might get surprised by avalanches in places that you wouldn't expect them, so, you know, really taking time to think hard about your route and using terrain wisely to ... reach your objective." "Avalanches are still possible out there, even though we've come into the moderate danger rating. You know just really thinking about the steepness of the slope," he said. He said people should also be aware of the quality of the snow, listen for "whompf" sounds, and watch for cracks. He said people in Yukon can get information on the Yukon avalanche website or the Avalanche Canada website. People should also post to the Mountain Information Network so they can track inland snow conditions.
France has one of western Europe's highest rates of distrust in modern-day vaccines. On Unreported Europe we take a look at why, what anti-vaxxers have to say and what can bring sceptics rounds. View on euronews