Jaleel White talks to Yahoo Entertainment and looks back on 'Do the Urkel' 30 years later. White also teases his pitch for a Family Matters reboot and explains why a modern day Steve Urkel could not exist today.
Jaleel White talks to Yahoo Entertainment and looks back on 'Do the Urkel' 30 years later. White also teases his pitch for a Family Matters reboot and explains why a modern day Steve Urkel could not exist today.
When the Perseverance rover successfully landed on Mars last month, it arrived with a B.C.-made tool in its figurative tool belt. The six-wheeled, plutonium-powered U.S. rover landed on the red planet on Feb. 18, with a mandate to drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be returned to NASA in about 2031. That drilling will be done using a drill bit tip designed and manufactured by a company based in Langford, B.C. "It has great wear and fraction resistance so it is perfect for a Mars application," said Ron Sivorat, business director for Kennametal Inc., during an interview on CBC's All Points West. The drill bit tip is made from K92-grade tungsten carbide blanks, which Sivorat said are one of the toughest grades used for drilling here on earth and he is confident it will be good enough for Mars. According to Sivorat, the company has had a relationship with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 2014, when the space agency first began ordering and testing Kennametal Inc. drill bit tips. In 2018, the company learned NASA wanted to work with it to build a bit for Perseverance. Sivorat said staff built the drill bit to NASA's specifications and then sent it to the agency who finessed it somewhat for its Mars mission. When Perseverance landed safely on the fourth planet from the sun, it was an exciting moment for Kennametal Inc. employees, many of whom watched the landing online and are continuing to check on Perservance's daily progress updates. "We know that we are going to be part of, in one way or another, an historical event that will be remembered for many years to come," said Sivorat. Sivorat said he expects the drill bit built in B.C. to start penetrating the surface of Mars in the next couple of weeks. And B.C. is not the only Canadian province with a connection to Perseverance. Canadian Photonic Labs, based in Minnedosa, Man., manufactured a high-speed and highly-durable camera that played an instrumental role in landing the rover. The Manitoba company's relationship with NASA dates back roughly 15 years, he said — but much of the work that's happened in that time has been cloaked in secrecy.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
La Fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante (FCEI) exhorte Ottawa à communiquer les nouveaux critères de la Subvention salariale d’urgence du Canada (SSUC) et de la Subvention d’urgence du Canada pour le loyer (SUCL) avant le 14 mars, date de la prochaine période de demande. Selon cette corporation, les nouveaux critères d’admissibilité devraient être connus au moins 30 jours à l’avance pour permettre aux PME de planifier. « Les entrepreneurs font face à une tonne d’incertitudes en ce moment, notamment en raison des restrictions gouvernementales en cours, a affirmé Jasmin Guénette, vice-président des affaires nationales à la FCEI. « La subvention salariale et l’aide au loyer demeurent essentielles à la survie de beaucoup de PME. Voilà pourquoi les propriétaires ont besoin de connaître les règles rapidement afin de prendre les décisions appropriées pour leur entreprise », a-t-elle ajouté. Plus de la moitié des PME (53 %) dépendent toujours de la SSUC et 27 % bénéficient de la SUCL selon la FCEI qui a établi que seulement un quart des entreprises ont retrouvé leur rythme normal au Canada. Dans un communiqué, elle a plaidé pour le prolongement de ces deux programmes au-delà de juin étant donné qu’il est probable que certaines restrictions soient toujours en vigueur à ce moment-là et qu’une bonne partie des entreprises risquent de ne pas avoir encore retrouvé un niveau de ventes normal La fédération a également exhorté le gouvernement fédéral CEI à repousser la date limite pour les demandes du Compte d’urgence pour les entreprises canadiennes au-delà du 31 mars, mais aussi à augmenter le montant accordé par ce compte à 80 000 $ ainsi que la portion pardonnée à 50 %. De janvier à mars, le taux compensatoire maximum de la subvention salariale est de 35 % et le montant maximum de la subvention pour les employés en congé payé est de 595 $. Les entreprises, les organismes à but non lucratif ou les organismes de bienfaisance canadiens qui ont subi une baisse de revenus pendant la pandémie de COVID-19 peuvent aussi avoir droit à une subvention pour couvrir une partie de leur loyer commercial ou de leurs dépenses immobilières jusqu’au mois de juin 2021. Cette subvention doit fournir des paiements directement aux locataires et aux propriétaires de biens admissibles, sans passer par les locateurs. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The Senate voted Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as education secretary, clearing his way to lead President Joe Biden’s effort to reopen the nation’s schools amid the coronavirus pandemic. Cardona, 45, a former public school teacher who went on to become Connecticut’s education chief, was approved on a 64-33 vote. He takes charge of the Education Department amid mounting tension between Americans who believe students can safely return to the classroom now, and others who say the risks are still too great. Although his position carries limited authority to force schools to reopen, Cardona will be asked to play a central role in achieving Biden’s goal to have a majority of elementary schools open five days a week within his first 100 days. He will be tasked with guiding schools through the reopening process, and sharing best practices on how to teach during a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month released a road map for getting students back into classrooms safely. The agency said masks, social distancing and other strategies should be used, but vaccination of teachers was not a prerequisite for reopening. Cardona, who gained attention for his efforts to reopen schools in Connecticut, has vowed to make it his top priority to reopen schools. At his Senate confirmation hearing last month, he said there are “great examples throughout our country of schools that have been able to reopen safely.” The debate has become a political firestorm for Biden, who is caught between competing interests as he aims to get students into the classroom without provoking the powerful teachers unions that helped put him in the White House. He says his goal of returning students to the classroom is possible if Congress approves his relief plan, which includes $130 billion for the nation’s schools. Republicans have rebuked Biden for failing to reopen schools faster, while teachers unions opposed the administration’s decision to continue with federally required standardized tests during the pandemic. The tricky terrain is nothing new for Cardona, however, who faced similar tension navigating the pandemic in Connecticut, and who has won early praise even from Biden’s critics. Republicans in Congress have applauded Cardona’s efforts to reopen schools in Connecticut, and some see him as a potential ally in their support for charter schools. Teachers, meanwhile, see him as a partner who brings years of experience in education and knows the demands of the teaching. The nomination continues a meteoric rise for Cardona, who was appointed to lead Connecticut’s education department in 2019 after spending 20 years working in Meriden, Connecticut, public schools — the same district he attended as a child. He began his career as a fourth grade teacher before becoming the state's youngest principal at age 28. In 2012, he was named Connecticut’s principal of the year, and in 2015 he became an assistant superintendent of the district. When he was appointed state education commissioner, he became the first Latino to hold the post. Cardona grew up in a public housing project in Meriden, raised by parents who came to Connecticut from Puerto Rico as children. Through his career, he has focused on closing education gaps and supporting bilingual education. It’s a personal issue for Cardona, who says he spoke only Spanish when he entered kindergarten and struggled to learn English. Cardona was the first in his family to graduate from college, and his three degrees include a doctorate in education from the University of Connecticut. He and his wife, Marissa, have two children in high school. His deep roots in public schooling fit the criteria Biden was looking for in an education secretary. During his campaign, Biden vowed to pick a secretary with experience in public education. It was meant to draw a contrast with then-secretary Betsy DeVos, a Michigan billionaire who spent decades advocating for school choice policies. In an increasingly fractionalized world of education, Cardona has vowed to be a unifier. At his confirmation hearing, he promised to engage with “the vast, diverse community of people who have a stake in education.” He added that, “we gain strength from joining together.” As he works to help schools reopen, he will also be tasked with helping them address the damage the pandemic has done on student learning. He has echoed Biden’s call for further education funding, saying schools will need to expand summer academic programs and hire more counsellors to help students with mental health issues. He's also likely to face an early test as he weighs how much flexibility to grant states as they administer standardized tests. Last week, the Education Department ordered states to continue with annual testing but said assessments could be offered online or delayed until fall. The agency also held out the possibility that states could be granted “additional assessment flexibility” in certain cases. Some states are already pushing for that extra flexibility, including Michigan, which is asking to replace state tests with local “benchmark” assessments that were administered this year. It will be up to Cardona to decide how much leniency to provide. Republicans have also set the stage for a fight over transgender athletes. At last month’s hearing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., raised objections with policies that allow transgender girls to participate in girls’ athletics. It’s the subject of a legal battle in Connecticut, where some cisgender athletes are challenging a state policy that lets transgender students participate as their identified gender. Pressed by Paul to take a stance on the issue, Cardona said he would support the right of “all students, including students who are transgender.” Collin Binkley, The Associated Press
Several provinces began expanding their COVID-19 vaccination programs to members of the general population on Monday, as new recommendations on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine suggested it should be targeted at younger Canadians. A national panel of vaccine experts said provinces should not use the newly approved vaccine on people 65 and over out of concern there is limited data on how well the vaccine will work in older populations — even though Health Canada approved the vaccine for all adults. Rather, the recommendations issued by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization noted that the AstraZeneca vaccine could help speed up vaccination for younger age groups, who otherwise would have to wait longer for protection. The arrival of a third vaccine raises the prospect of further accelerating Canada's efforts to inoculate the general population, which hit a new gear Monday in several provinces. Ontario, Quebec and B.C. started or announced plans to start vaccinating older seniors living in the community on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province has already finished vaccinating long-term care residents with a first dose and was almost finished in private seniors homes, the premier said Saturday. There were long lineups and some frustration among vaccine recipients at the Olympic Stadium, but at another site, Montreal's downtown convention centre, people reported a swift process. Julie Provencher, a spokeswoman with the regional health authority asked people not to be too harsh. "For the first day of the biggest mass vaccination in the history of humanity, I think it's going OK," she said in an interview. Several Ontario health units were also set to begin giving COVID-19 vaccines to their oldest residents after a provincial website for appointment bookings opened in six regions. Some health units reported thousands of bookings and high call volumes, as regions such as York, Windsor-Essex and Hamilton began taking appointments for seniors aged 80 or 85 and up, depending on the region. In York Region – where those aged 80 and older could start scheduling and receiving their shots on Monday – vaccination clinics were fully booked just two hours after they started taking appointments, according to a spokesman. “At this time residents are urged to remain patient and will be notified as more appointment bookings become available,” Patrick Casey said in a statement. A similar problem occurred in Nova Scotia, where the COVID-19 vaccination-booking web page was taken off-line Monday after it experienced technical issues the first day it opened to people aged 80 and over. The Health Department said high traffic to the site prompted the slowdown and suggested people could book by phone in the meantime. In British Columbia, Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlined the next phase of the province's immunization plan, which covers all seniors 80 and over and Indigenous seniors 65 and up. Despite the good news, Horgan warned that the province still has several difficult months to come. "Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, we’re far from out of this," he said. The Public Health Agency of Canada is expecting delivery of about 445,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and none from Moderna — numbers that are down from last week's all-time high. It's unclear when the first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive in the country, but a senior government official told The Canadian Press on background Sunday it could be as early as midweek. The advisory committee's recommendations raise the prospect of younger Canadians getting vaccine much earlier than originally planned. There are no concerns that the vaccine is unsafe, but the panel said the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are preferred, especially for people 65 years old and above, "due to suggested superior efficacy." The advisory committee said AstraZeneca should be offered to people under 65 as long as the benefits of getting a good vaccine early outweigh any limitations the vaccine may have in terms of effectiveness. It also noted that because AstraZeneca, unlike the first two vaccines, is stable at normal refrigerated temperatures, it allows for "a variety of alternate vaccination sites." Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna reported about 95 per cent effectiveness at preventing COVID-19 overall, while AstraZeneca reported its vaccine to be about 62 per cent effective. B.C. announced it would extend to four months the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine in order to allow the province to vaccinate more people sooner. Henry said the decision was based on evidence that showed the first two approved vaccines provide "a high level of real-world protection" after one dose. Ontario confirmed Monday that it is considering following suit, adding that it's asking the federal government for guidance on possibly extending the intervals between doses. Despite the positivity surrounding vaccines, some Canadians were returning to lockdown on Monday. Those included residents of the Thunder Bay and Simcoe Muskoka health regions in Ontario as well as Prince Edward Island, which entered a 72-hour, provincewide lockdown Monday meant to stop two clusters of COVID-19 cases from spreading. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. — With files from Mia Rabson, Stephanie Marin and Holly McKenzie-Sutter Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
Need help with errands or shovelling snow? How about meeting someone for a chat or a walk around the neighborhood? The Community Ninja program helps with all of that and more. It's a newly-formed program through Community and Family Services (CFS), which replaces the Snow Angels program. "It's a 2021 concept," said Chris Woo, community development co-ordinator with CFS. "We started talking about it in December 2020. We wanted to have something that's going to have a little more longevity." CFS staff is working on details, but the program is ready to go. "Jasper’s stealthy helpers are ready to slip on their masks and take on your tasks," Woo said. He explained in an email that participation in the Snow Angels program had decreased over the years. It was a community-based program facilitated by Community Outreach Services (COS) that encouraged volunteers to shovel snow for community members who are unable to clear their own sidewalks. The program would begin after the first snowfall of the year. Residents in need of assistance could contact COS and have a Snow Angels sign placed on their lawn. The program relied on the good will of neighbourhood volunteers seeing the sign and taking the time to shovel the snow for their neighbours. Less use of the Snow Angels program was the catalyst for reimaging the concept. The new program now encompasses more than just snow shovelling. "When we thought about the people in our community who could use assistance with snow removal, we realized there are likely many other tasks that they might require help with," Woo said. "So, we created a program that could help with shoveling, as well as so much more. "Volunteers with the new program are community members who run errands, help with snow shoveling and yard work, meet for friendly conversations and provide companionship on walks.” The program is open to all folks. "Whether you’re currently in isolation, have a compromised immune system, have mobility issues, recently broke an arm or are experiencing loneliness because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Jasper’s stealthy helpers are here to help," Woo said. Woo acknowledged it can sometimes be hard for folks to ask for help. "That’s why we came up with the ninja concept; this way we can keep things stealthy and anonymous," he said. "We achieve that goal in a number of ways. First, all requests for a community ninja come directly to the community development co-ordinator and he personally recruits a ninja to complete the task." Woo emphasized the help is free of charge. If folks want to provide some kind of payment though, "it can be a charitable donation to the Caring Community Fund.” All community ninja volunteers must complete training and sign confidentiality agreements. “Our hope is that we’ll soon have community ninjas heading out all over town doing odd jobs and providing a helping hand wherever they are needed,” Woo said. Many members of the community notice and appreciate the help, such as Jasperite Sheila Couture. "The neighbours on both sides of me generously shovel my walk. When I get out there first, I reciprocate and shovel theirs,” Couture said in an email. "It is also a good time to visit with people that are walking by." Clearing snow on a bigger level is something Couture thinks the town does well. "I really enjoy watching the graders' skilled maneuvering around obstacles (as well as) the snow eating machine that makes such quick work of removing the windrows of snow from the middle of the road into the strategically placed dump trucks and the hands-on employees chipping away at the ice and snow on the cut-aways in the downtown area," she said. If you need the help of a Community Ninja or you want to sign up to be a community ninja, contact Chris Woo at email@example.com or by phone at 780-852-6536. Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has agreed to live in the seat of state government in Charleston, ending a long-running challenge over his residency. A Kanawha County judge Monday signed an order dismissing a 2018 lawsuit filed by a former state lawmaker. Through his attorney, Justice said he intends to reside in Charleston “consistent with the definition of ‘reside’ in the Supreme Court of Appeals’ opinion," according to the dismissal order signed by Senior Status Circuit Judge Dan O'Hanlon. “The parties agree that Respondent’s voluntary agreement to reside at the seat of government within the meaning of the Constitution renders this case moot and that the case should be dismissed,” O'Hanlon wrote. In allowing the lawsuit to proceed in November, the state Supreme Court rejected arguments from Justice that the courts could not force him to live in the state capital. The challenge has been a thorn in the side of Justice, a two-term governor who defended living in Lewisburg even though the state constitution says the governor “shall reside at the seat of government” in Charleston. The justices wrote that courts had the right to compel the Republican governor to comply with the constitution. Justice's lawyers had appealed to the Supreme Court after the lower court declined to throw out the case. Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle brought the suit after bipartisan criticism that Justice lived 100 (160 kilometres) miles away from Charleston, near his resort, The Greenbrier. Both sides had argued over the definition of “residency.” Sponaugle claimed the common sense meaning of the word “residency” holds that the governor needs to sleep in Charleston. But Justice's lawyers have said the term was vague and the matter was a political question outside the court's purview. While defending the constitution's residency clause, the justices also said the governor "failed to meet his burden to show that the circuit court exceeded its legitimate powers.” Under the terms of the dismissal order, Justice, a billionaire businessman and richest person in the state who owns a complex business empire of coal and agricultural entities, agreed to pay $65,000 to Sponaugle for attorney fees and costs. John Raby, The Associated Press
After two full weeks of virtual events and activities, Bonhomme Carnaval has come to an end and the identity of this year's mascot has been unveiled. The annual carnival wrapped up with a virtual concert and unveiling of the Bonhomme last Saturday, Feb. 27. Emma Bertrand, a dance teacher at Dansons La Ronde and Melissa Kelly Dance Academy, was this year's Bonhomme Carnaval. The carnival was held virtually this year. Centre Culturel La Ronde’s executive director Lisa Bertrand said she didn’t expect such a big turnout and she was very happy with how many people tuned in online. “I’m super happy that the community supported (us). With the window contest, teachers and the principals were so supportive and the French community as well,” she said. “When I mentioned doing a virtual carnival to the board, I didn’t think it was going to be as much work as it was but I’m very, very happy with the result.” The evening show featuring the Lapointe family and Dayv Poulin and the reveal of Bonhomme reached 6,794 people on Facebook and garnered 1,770 engagements, 189 comments and 35 shares. Bertrand said the cooking workshops, as well as the Sip and Paint workshop, were a “great hit.” For the next year’s carnival, the centre is looking into offering virtual events again. “If we have our building, it will definitely be at our Centre Culturel La Ronde. If not, I’ll do a couple of events virtually. It was different and we had a lot of participation,” Bertrand said. “It was fun because we did have people from Montreal that joined, a few people from Cochrane, Iroquois Falls.” Hosting the carnival from a technical perspective has been challenging, Bertrand said, but it was also fun getting together virtually, seeing interactions between people and receiving love and support from the community. “It was virtual but we definitely felt the love,” said Bertrand. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Abundant with meadows of colourful flowers and other pristine wildlife, a remote Salish Sea island is being returned to its rightful owners — the W̱SÁNEĆ people. The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (TLC) recently purchased SISȻENEM, a four-hectare island off the eastern side of Sidney Island, from a private owner for $1.55 million. On Friday, the charitable land trust signed an agreement with the W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Council (WLC) to transfer title and to commit to shared management of the site, also known as Halibut Island. Those behind the agreement believe it to be the first of its kind between a land trust and an Indigenous community in Canada. Tsartlip (W̱JOȽEȽP) Chief and Chairman of the WLC board Don Tom says the transfer is historic — and a tangible way the Land Back movement has become a reality. “This is the first time W̱SÁNEĆ First Nations have been asked about land acquisition unprompted,” Tom says, speaking during a signing ceremony over Zoom. “To me it is history in the making. It’s a history that will be told.” Tom points out that the land itself was never given up by his people, who are protected by the Douglas Treaties and their inherent Aboriginal rights and title. Still, the island was owned privately for many years. When it went up for sale in 2019, TLC approached W̱SÁNEĆ leaders about returning rightful title to SISȻENEM and did most of the legwork in the transaction, Tom says. It was facilitated in part by Tara Martin, a conservation scientist with the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry, who contacted TLC and sought out a major unnamed donor to fund the purchase. Martin grew up on Salt Spring Island, and remembers being curious about SISȻENEM since she was a child. “I could see from the boat that it was something special. It had not been logged, it had not been developed,” she says. “I could see with my binoculars even at a young age that there were some extraordinary wildflowers on the island.” When Martin became a scientist, she continued to think about SISȻENEM and wanted to study the wildlife there, but she says she was denied permission by the landowner at the time. When the island came up for sale and she was finally able to visit the island to do a survey last year, Martin says what greeted her was “extraordinary.” She was greeted by an abundance of important plants — there were meadows carpeted with wildflowers such as camas, barestem desert parsley, chocolate and fawn lilies, as well as plentiful shellfish, Saskatoon berries and more. The island was also rich with old-growth Douglas firs, Garry oak, pollinators, and other animals such as eagles and ducks. “These ecosystems don’t exist in very many places anymore,” Martin says. “They used to be extensive and these were the gardens of First Nations across this region.” Tom says, to him, the island’s pristine condition and diversity of wildlife feels “like going back in time.” W̱SÁNEĆ Elder SELILIYE (Belinda Claxton) says she has good memories of SISȻENEM as a place of bountiful harvesting. She recalls, when she was younger, going from island to island to gather everything from seagull eggs and boxwood to sea urchins and stick shoes (chitons) and being struck by the smell of wildflowers on SISȻENEM. “It brings back such beautiful childhood memories. It was so natural and so pleasant to be able to see that when I was a child,” she shares in a statement. “This is the sort of experience I want my children and my grandchildren to have … There are not many places like this left.” Fellow W̱SÁNEĆ Elder J’SIṈTEN (John Elliott) says that the name of the island in the SENĆOŦEN language loosely translates to “sitting out for pleasure of the weather.” “This little island we call SISȻENEM, it comes from the word SISḴ, which in our language it means, you know when you’re out enjoying the sun? That’s what that word comes from,” he says. “That’s a place where you go to enjoy the beautiful sun and be just there for the enjoyment of the beautiful weather.” TLC executive director Cathy Armstrong says now that the agreement has been signed and the land is being transferred back to W̱SÁNEĆ leaders — the council represents Tsartlip, Tseycum, and Tsawout Nations — work can begin on an eco-cultural restoration plan. TLC will work on the plan with W̱SÁNEĆ Elders and community members as well as Martin and her team at UBC. “TLC is humbly grateful for the opportunity to facilitate this ground-breaking transfer of title for the benefit of future generations,” Armstrong says. A press release about the title transfer adds that TLC will be fundraising this spring to assist efforts of restoration and monitoring. “Most importantly for W̱SÁNEĆ people today, SISȻENEM will be a place where W̱SÁNEĆ people can be in peace,” the release states. Cara McKenna, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Donwood Park public school is temporarily shutting its doors because of a COVID-19 outbreak that include four cases of variants or concern. Erica Vella has details.
Une photo du premier ministre François Legault et de son épouse Isabelle Brais visant à vanter la saison des sucres au Québec a été trafiquée par une microbrasserie pour en faire sa promotion. L'image originale a été mise en ligne sur la page Facebook du premier ministre dimanche matin. On le voit tenir une boîte de livraison de produits d'érable sur laquelle on retrouve le logo de l'initiative «Ma cabane à la maison», lancée par l’Association des cabanes à sucre du Québec. Un peu plus de 24 heures plus tard, la même image s'est retrouvée sur la page de la microbrasserie Farnham Ale & Lager, mais avec les logos du fabricant de bière. L'entreprise a ainsi utilisé sans son autorisation l'image du premier ministre pour faire la promotion de ses produits avec un message faisant référence au couvre-feu en vigueur dans la province pour lutter contre la pandémie de la COVID-19. Au bureau du premier ministre, on confirme que personne au gouvernement – ni M. Legault, ni Mme Brais – n'a autorisé l'utilisation de l'image pour cette publicité. Une demande devait être formulée auprès de la microbrasserie afin qu'elle retire ce montage de ses réseaux sociaux. L'image s'y trouvait toujours en début de soirée, lundi. Au moment de publier, la direction de Farnham Ale & Lager n'avait pas répondu à nos demandes de commentaires. Ugo Giguère, Initiative de journalisme local, La Presse Canadienne
VANCOUVER — Axel Schuster's first season as sporting director of the Vancouver Whitecaps was anything but boring. Despite navigating a series of unprecedented challenges, he believes the club finished last year with a solid foundation they can build on as training camp opens this week. "We spoke about it. We still think we did some sustainable, good steps," Schuster said. "Obviously we didn’t really meet our expectations at the very end, but it was close and now we have a new bar and we want to jump over this.” Last year, Schuster navigated the club through a season full of stops and starts as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on the Major League Soccer schedule and forced all three Canadian clubs to relocate south of the border. The Whitecaps lived at a hotel in downtown Portland for more than two months and played at Providence Park, home of the rival Portland Timbers. The 'Caps ended the unusual campaign outside of the playoffs for the third year in a row with a 9-14-0 record. All of the upheaval took its toll on the group, Schuster said. “It took us too long to come back into shape and into structure, to be that team that we wanted to be at the beginning of the season, that we had been in the first two games," he said. “I will stress and challenge my team and my coaches to say ‘We want to be a big step better than last year.’” There'll be more hurdles this season, however. The team is holding its training camp in Vancouver but plans are in the works to relocate to Salt Lake City due to border restrictions. There's hope the team can return to Vancouver before the end of the season if conditions improve. COVID-19 has also made it difficult to organize pre-season games, Schuster said. The club isn't planning on playing any exhibition matches until they arrive in Utah ahead of the season kick off on April 17. One positive note heading into 2021 is the team's relatively low turnover. Two dozen players from last year's roster are back, including last year's leading goal scorer Lucas Cavallini. The team will also get back goaltenders Maxime Crepeau and Thomas Hasal, who both suffered season ending injuries in 2020. Crepeau went down with a fractured thumb in July and Hasal followed in September with a concussion and stress fracture in his left tibia. Having so many returning players means the club can skip the rebuilding process this pre-season, said coach Marc Dos Santos. It's a very different starting point from what the 'Caps have seen in the past two years, where the club attempted to integrate a number of new players before the season began. "It gives you a better chance to succeed," Dos Santos said Monday after the team's first voluntary group training session. "At the end of the day, when I look at the teams that succeed in MLS, they're groups that have been together for a good amount of time. They're groups that there's a chemistry between guys, there's a core that's important that comes back year after year. And that's where we have to get as a club." A few new faces will filter into the training facility in the coming weeks. Colombian striker Deiber Caicedo has yet to join the group after signing a three-year deal in January. Draft picks Javian Brown, a Jamaican right back, and David Egbo, a Nigerian forward, are still finishing up immigration paperwork. And goalkeeper Evan Newton is in Vancouver, finishing his quarantine and is expected to begin training soon. Adding to the team this off-season was tougher, Schuster said, not only because of the pandemic, but because he and Dos Santos are confident in the squad's existing core. "That makes it more complicated to add more quality because you only want to add more quality, you want to add better players," he explained. "So obviously the recruitment process is also more complicated because you have to go to another shelf in the store, in the market to find the right players." Still, there are likely more pieces to come. There's talk that the Whitecaps are looking to sign Bruno Gaspar, a 27-year-old right back with Portuguese side Sporting CP. Schuster declined to comment on any pending deals, but said he is still working hard on bolstering the team. "We feel even better knowing that there are more to come," he said. "We are hopeful that we get them." No matter who's on the roster this year, the club's objective will be clear, Schuster said — play hard and make it into the post-season. "The goal is to go straight to the playoffs and be a playoff team," he said. "We want to be a team that competes to win every single game." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Gemma Karstens-Smith, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Air Canada is simplifying its regional operations amid COVID pressures by reaching a deal to make Chorus Aviation Ltd.'s Jazz Aviation subsidiary the exclusive operator of Air Canada Express flights. The change means Air Canada will transfer operation of its 25 Embraer E175 fleet to Jazz from Sky Regional where they have operated for a decade. Jazz will become sole partner for regional flying for aircraft with at least 70 seats until 2025. It will also remove 19 Dash 8-300s from its fleet this year. Air Canada says the consolidation of regional flying with Jazz is due to the pandemic and the need to reduce costs. "This necessary realignment of our regional services will help Air Canada achieve efficiencies and reduce operating costs and cash burn by consolidating its regional operations with one provider," stated Richard Steer, senior vice-president, operations and express carriers. "Moreover, by streamlining the regional fleet, this agreement will also position Air Canada to operate more competitively with a single provider as traffic returns following the pandemic." Air Canada said it expects to save $400 million over 15 years by combining its fleet under one operator, reducing overall regional flying compensation and related operational cost savings from changes to the capacity purchase agreement. In addition, the new agreement will lower future contractual capital expenditure and leasing costs, avoiding an estimated $193 million in future capital expenditures. For Halifax-based Chorus, the agreement provides greater cash flow certainty and eliminates potentially significant draws on working capital. "With the Jazz fleet operating at a fraction of the capacity it flew a year ago, now is the time to update the CPA to help preserve regional flying and Jazz’s place within it," said Chorus CEO Joe Randell. "Bringing the Embraer 175 aircraft into the Jazz Covered Aircraft fleet ... is a demonstration of our cost competitiveness and strong relationship with Air Canada," he said in a news release. The changes to the capacity purchase agreement with Jazz are subject to Jazz reaching an agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association, International. Walter Spracklin of RBC Dominion Services said the changes were "positive." "For Air Canada, we view the consolidation of its regional flying with Jazz as a sound strategic move," he wrote in a report. Spracklin added that Chorus can sell or lease the Dash 8s that it owns, 15 of which have had their useful life prolonged by about 15 years, or convert them for cargo operations. Air Canada's shares gained $1.21 or 4.8 per cent at $26.31 in afternoon trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Chorus shares were up 23 cents or 5.5 per cent at $4.43. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:AC, TSX:CHR) Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press
Toronto began vaccinating members of its police force against COVID-19 on Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. "It is approximately 2,250 frontline members who were moved in to the current phase by the province," said Connie Osborne. Toronto Mayor John Tory said some police officers are involved frequently in calls that require enforcing COVID-19 restrictions and performing CPR. "You have a certain number of them that are daily, in many respects, involved in that kind of a call, similar to the way firefighters are and similar to the way, obviously, the paramedics are," said Tory. "They're simply medical first-responders." A day earlier, the city said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The identification of both police officers and the homeless as priority groups came amid ongoing criticism of Ontario's vaccine rollout, which some have said has been too slow and lacking in details. The province did not immediately respond to request for comment on the identification of police officers as a priority group. Last week, the province said Ontarians aged 80 and older will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in the third week of March, although it noted that the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. The government also said essential workers will likely begin getting their shots in May if supply allows, but noted it was still deciding who will be in that group. Toronto's fire chief, who leads the city's COVID-19 response, said Monday that the city's plan to vaccinate those aged 80 and older depends on supply. "We are limited right now and controlled by the availability of vaccine," said Matthew Pegg. In neighbouring York Region, residents aged 80 and older started getting their COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday after the region opened up its own booking system. Toronto's top doctor said her city had a large number of people in the highest priority groups that it had to vaccinate before targeting those aged 80 and older in the general population. "Because we are such a large city, we have many health-care institutions," said Dr. Eileen De Villa. "We have a significant number of people to actually cover as part of the provincial prioritization framework." Ontario reported 1,023 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with 280 of those in Toronto. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 1, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press
The old cliché says a picture is worth a thousand words; Piapot First Nation figures seven more won’t hurt. The Cree nation north of Regina is using photo-billboards with short, seven-word phrases to remind its members to stay COVID-safe through the pandemic. Each of the four, double-sided billboards feature images of band members doing safety protocols to stop the spread of the coronavirus: A young toddler wears a racoon face shield while munching on a snack; a middle-aged man wearing a mask readies his hands for a squirt of hand sanitizer; and, among others, a girl is washing her hands while wearing her pink Barbie mask. “I’m so glad we decided to use band members (as models), instead of just strangers on the signs. I think when people see themselves out there, their family sees them, and then they’ll share it more,” Piapot communications manager Kristin Francis said. Piapot’s leadership has been keen to educate the community’s members about the dangers and safety measures of COVID-19, she said. Each sign’s image has one of two phrases written beside it: “Be Safe Our Lives Depend On You,” and “Be Safe Your Community Depends On You.” The signs went up in mid-January, placed at high-traffic locations — the main roads into and out of the community, near the band office and at the First Nation’s main crossroads. “It would be the last image they would see when they’re leaving … if they see familiar faces, it would make you think about your own children, and your Kokum and Moshum (grandma and grandpa),” Francis said. Piapot leadership gave her creative control to design the billboards, she said. Part of the goal with real, physical signs is catching elders’ attention. “Chief (Mark Fox) was adamant about it: (They) don’t have social media ... so they’re not seeing all the communications out there.” Piapot’s total recorded COVID-19 infections is still below 100; 88 people in the community have caught the virus, based on numbers Francis provided. As of Monday, there were zero active cases in the community. One band member has died after testing positive for the virus. The band has 688 members living on reserve. Fifty-two band members have been vaccinated with both doses, while another eight have received their first doses, Francis said. Band administrators have kept Piapot’s school and office closed since November, when a viral outbreak was declared there. Data from Indigenous Services Canada shows COVID-19 infections in Saskatchewan First Nations have consistently been at or greater than 242 infections per week through the first two months of 2021. The lone exception is last week (Feb. 21-27), when ISC recorded 24 cases; infections have been declining slowly since a mid-January high of 663. Francis said administrators are now busy disbursing payments of $150 to all 2,550 band members, as part of financial relief efforts. It’s the second such payment Piapot leadership has given out. She said they’re eager to open the community’s youth centre, which is to host virtual Cree and craft-making lessons for Piapot’s kids. firstname.lastname@example.org Evan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
BARRIE, Ont. — Police say they have closed Highway 400 in both directions due to a series of vehicle collisions. Ontario Provincial Police have shut down the major artery from Highway 88 outside of Bradford, Ont., to Mapleview Drive in Barrie, Ont. Whiteout conditions on the highway north of Toronto have limited visibility and made driving treacherous. Police and paramedics are on the scene, although they say no serious injuries have been reported yet. Sgt. Kerry Schmidt of the OPP estimates that dozens of vehicles have been involved in accidents on the 30-kilometre stretch of Highway 400. Schmidt says that police have begun to remove cars from the road, but they're asking commuters to avoid the area as high winds and poor visibility continue. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021. The Canadian Press
MADRID — It was a tactical change that didn't last more than 15 minutes, but it was just long enough to cost Real Madrid a chance to fight for the Spanish league lead in the derby against Atlético Madrid next weekend. Coach Zinedine Zidane's attempt to push Madrid forward by switching formations midway through the game against Real Sociedad backfired on Monday, leading to a 1-1 home draw that kept the defending champions from getting within range of the city rival going into the derby at Atlético's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday. Madrid conceded after Zidane changed a 4-3-3 formation to 3-5-2 at halftime, leaving Madrid more exposed defensively. It needed an 89th-minute equalizer by Vinícius Júnior to salvage the draw. “We changed to three defenders because I didn't like how we were pressing forward, but then we changed it back quickly,” Zidane said. “Maybe it hurt us. I was trying to change the dynamic of the game.” The draw halted Madrid’s four-game winning streak in the league and left the club five points from its city rival, which has a game in hand. Madrid has the same points total as second-placed Barcelona but trails on goal difference. A win would have moved Madrid within three points of Atlético entering the derby. “We had our chances but couldn't capitalize on them and in the end we lost two points at home,” Zidane said. “We can't forget that we were up against a great rival and it played very well.” Sociedad, which had won three in a row in the league, stayed in fifth place, six points from fourth-placed Sevilla in the final Champions League place. “We leave with a bad taste in our mouth,” Sociedad forward Cristian Portu said. “We deserved more. Usually an away draw against Real Madrid is a good thing, but not with the way that the game developed.” Madrid, still without injured players such as Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos, struggled against Sociedad’s well-organized team at Alfredo Di Stéfano Stadium. Portu opened the scoring for the visitors with a header into the top corner in the 55th minute, taking advantage of some soft defending by Madrid left back Ferland Mendy. “There was some disconnection after the change to three defenders,” Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said. “We were a bit lost and they had more space. In the end, Mendy couldn’t get to the cross in time and they scored a great goal.” Zidane said he made the tactical change because he wasn’t happy with how the team had been playing. “It was only for about 10 or 15 minutes and then I changed it back to a 4-3-3 formation and we played better,” he said. Vinícius Júnior, in his 100th match with Madrid, equalized with a shot from inside the area. Madrid forward Mariano Díaz came close by hitting the crossbar earlier in the game, and midfielder Casemiro also wasted a couple of good opportunities with second-half headers that flew wide. It was Madrid’s first draw at home in the league, adding to three losses. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Tales Azzoni on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
Hannah MacKinnon says her symptoms include a headache, sore eyes, sore throat, and runny nose — 'a lot like normal cold symptoms, as well as aches and pains in my body.' Hannah MacKinnon says she always wore a mask when she was supposed to, sanitized her hands so much the skin cracked, limited close contact, and went out only a few times. All that didn't prevent her from contracting COVID-19. MacKinnon, 22, is one of the 11 cases announced on the weekend, and one of P.E.I.'s 18 active cases. She's home in Montague, self-isolating. So far her parents have both tested negative but they too are isolating for the next two weeks. "I'm feeling OK, definitely better than I thought I would considering the circumstances," MacKinnon said in a message to CBC News. Be kind to your neighbour, as you never know the full story from their point of view. — Hannah MacKinnon "I have a headache, sore eyes, sore throat, and runny nose — a lot like normal cold symptoms — as well as aches and pains in my body." MacKinnon said she posted about her condition on Facebook because she wants people to know anyone can catch COVID-19, even people like her who are careful and follow the rules. "Even if you're doing everything right, there's still a chance you could contract it. And that slim chance decided to choose me. "I'm scared, it's very real, and it's hard on my family, but I hope everyone takes this as a lesson — be kind to your neighbour, as you never know the full story from their point of view." MacKinnon's father, Dan MacKinnon, supports his daughter's decision to go public. He said they still don't know how Hannah caught the virus. "We live in a small town. We might as well get out there and tell people the facts so they don't get false information, and just kind of deal with whatever happens," he said in a video interview with CBC's Steve Bruce for CBC News: Compass. Even if you're doing everything right, there's still a chance you could contract it. And that slim chance decided to choose me. - Hannah MacKinnon "So far, it's been very positive. "Not everyone who has contracted COVID-19 necessarily even knows that they have it. You could be walking around for two or three days and not [think] that you have it, and then all of a sudden, symptoms appear." Dan MacKinnon says his family wanted to go public with his daughter's condition to help people understand that anyone can become infected with COVID-19 — even if they follow the rules. In order to protect the privacy of her co-workers, CBC News is not identifying Hannah MacKinnon's place of employment. "Trust me, your health and everyone else's is so much more important than a couple days missed [work]. Better safe than sorry," she said. "I called in sick as soon as I was experiencing cold-like symptoms — and even though I thought I only had a cold, here I am." More from CBC P.E.I.
Forget using a bike or walking, 15-year-old Jason Riley Evon is hitting the streets of Windsor with his e-scooter. As someone with asthma, Evon says the e-scooter has given him a way of getting around without having to over-exert himself. He said it's also a good alternative mode of transportation for those who don't want to take the bus, but have to reach a destination that's far away And, they're a lot of fun, he said. "The thing I like is the thrill of riding it," Evon said. "It may not seem like much fun but when you get on it and you start like ... it's a really exhilarating and fun experience." Many other Windsorites may soon join Evon sometime this year as city council is set to revisit a 12-month e-scooter pilot project that would allow the devices to be made publicly available and used on the riverfront and select parks. Council had approved the project last February, but discussions on how it would rollout were deferred until spring 2021 due to the pandemic. E-scooters, or electric scooters, involve handlebars and a horizontal board for a rider to stand on. The speed limit for e-scooters approved by the province is 24 kilometres per hour. Evon says he's been riding his e-scooter for about a year now. E-scooter riders must be 16 or older and helmets must be worn for those younger than 18. The last day for public, private and not-for-profit sector companies to submit a bid to the city for bicycle and e-scooter sharing programs was Feb. 8. Now, Ward 9 Counc. Kieran McKenzie says the city is committed to implementing a bylaw that will allow the devices to be used on city trails, which is one of the next steps in moving forward with the program. "I think it's an important component of diversifying the transportation options that we have available to people in our community and proceeding with a pilot project to see what that interaction can be like and should look like," he said, adding that once the pilot wraps up then they can have a better idea as to how to expand the program. The use of e-scooters on the city's trails and sidewalks has been debated, with Windsor's environment, transportation and public safety standing committee having been against endorsing the use of the motorized devices where people walk. Ward 9 Counc. Kieran McKenzie says he's in full support of the e-scooter pilot, adding that council is committed to passing a bylaw this spring that outlines where scooters can be used in the city. At this time, the city says the pilot project will operate in a Phase 1 service area that includes the Riverfront Pathway to the north, Prince Road to the west, Tecumseh Road to the south and Drouillard Road to the east. The city says once a successful vendor is selected, it will allow access to certain sidewalks and other areas where the devices can be used. In total, the city says it is looking to have a maximum of 600 devices. Though the details of Windsor's pilot are still unclear, Ottawa kicked off its e-scooter pilot last summer and plans to bring it back again this year. The program was popular among users, who rode scooters that required an app on a mobile phone to unlock the devices. But, the city said it did receive 250 complaints about the scooters being allowed on sidewalks.
A massive iceberg twice as big as the city of Toronto broke off Antarctica on Friday, according to a news release from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The BAS operates a base on the Brunt Ice Shelf, where the 1,270 square kilometre iceberg — nearly one-third the size of Prince Edward Island — broke off. The Halley Research Centre, which is closed for the Antarctic winter, is unlikely to be impacted by the event, the organization said in the release. "Our teams at BAS have been prepared for the calving of an iceberg from Brunt Ice Shelf for years," BAS director Jane Francis said in the statement. Calving is the scientific term used to describe ice breaking off from a glacier. "Over coming weeks or months, the iceberg may move away; or it could run aground and remain close to Brunt Ice Shelf," Francis said. "Halley Station is located inland of all the active chasms, on the part of the ice shelf that remains connected to the continent." In November, a new chasm in the Brunt Ice Shelf — which the organization named the North Rift — headed toward another large chasm, the BAS said in its statement. It was the third major crack to become active in the last decade and eventually cut through the 150-metre thick ice shelf and released, the organization said. BAS said changes in the ice at the research centre is a "natural process" and said there is "no evidence that climate change has played a significant role."