Jodi Kantor | NOT DONE: Women Remaking America
Jodi Kantor | NOT DONE: Women Remaking America
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
The union that speaks for jail workers says that COVID-19 is now in all of the Saskatchewan correctional centres.Saskatoon is the hardest hit, with 76 inmates and 15 staff testing positive for the virus as of Friday. That number is expected to rise as more test results come in, said Glenn Billingsley, a labour relations officer with the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU).Other positive cases include two staff at the Regina jail, one at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre, one at the Paul Dojack Centre, one at Kilburn Hall and one at a Prince Albert youth residence, he said.The Saskatoon jail is not accepting new inmates. People arrested in Saskatoon and remanded will be sent to a jail in another city.Billingsley said he isn't sure how long this will last."That direction could change on any given notice depending on the staff infection rate, as well as the inmate infection rate at all of those centres," he said.Staff at provincial court in Saskatoon on Friday worked with the new reality.Four of the five men arrested in the city Thursday were released this morning — one with an explicit warning from prosecutor Aaron Martens.The man is facing an assault allegation along with six other charges."This is a consent release but only on the narrowest of margins," Martens said."This is because of COVID-19 at the jail."On Thursday, SGEU proposed that the government give jail staff "optional accommodation" so that workers need not return to their households between shifts.It believes this could help prevent transmission of the virus into the community.The government said no."We're extremely disappointed in the government's reaction," Billingsley said."Transmission of the virus causes more stresses and more economic hardship on this province and the economy than simply supplying optional accommodation for our correction workers."What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Two Native American tribes in northern Minnesota are asking state regulators to stop the imminent construction of Enbridge Energy's Line 3 crude oil pipeline replacement, saying it would increase the risk of coronavirus infections spreading.The Red Lake and White Earth Bands of Chippewa filed a motion late Wednesday asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to stay its approval of the $2.6 billion project. They argue construction would put locals at increased risk of coronavirus infections as workers move into the area.The bands and other pipeline opponents have sued and protested to try to block the project, and an appeal by the state Commerce Department is pending. They want the PUC to halt the project while that legal challenge plays out.The pipeline project took a step forward on Monday when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approved the final federal permit needed. The Public Utilities Commission has already approved the project several times, but still needs to give construction a final green light.Enbridge says the pipeline replacement will provide a safer way to transport the oil to Midwest refineries while creating 4,200 construction jobs and generating millions of dollars in local spending and tax revenues.Opponents say the project threatens spills in pristine waters where Native Americans harvest wild rice and that the Canadian tar sands oil it would carry would aggravate climate change.The Associated Press
Randy Van Horlick, 71, was sentenced to six months in jail followed by two years of supervised probation for attacking two nurses at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital in Moncton in March 2019Judge Yvette Finn said the aggravating factor was Van Horlick's lack of remorse for what he did.Reading from her notes, Finn highlighted Van Horlick's statement at a sentencing hearing earlier in the month, when he maintained that he would not have assaulted Poirier if she'd done her job properly and that she was lucky he didn't kill her. "He is still angry about the position he was put in," said Finn.Nurse manager was first victimFinn read the facts of the case that included a blow-by-blow account of the assault against Poirier.She was a nurse manager at the Dumont Hospital when Van Horlick stuck his head into her office.Within minutes he had her by the hair and was striking her in the face and temple as well as twisting her arm. The injuries she suffered have left lasting effects.Reading from Poirier's victim impact statement, Finn said the nurse now has chronic neck and arm pain, and her brain injury stops her from following conversations and leaves her feeling, "even stupid at times."Poirier wrote that she may not be able to return to her position as a nurse manager.Teresa Thibeault was working as a licensed nurse practitioner the afternoon of the assault. She heard her colleague screaming and, following the cries for help, entered Poirier's office to find her on her knees, with Van Horlick holding her by the neck, punching her in her face. Three times she intervened, and her wrist was twisted and injured in the struggle. Thibeault was off work for six months after the attack.Van Horlick's backgroundThe pre-sentence report said Van Horlick was born in Vancouver and moved to Acadieville in 2012 with his wife.The report said she had epilepsy and health issues when the two married 21 years ago.Van Horlick refused to go into details about his family or background but did talk about the stress he felt being his wife's primary caregiver for such a long time.She has since died, and the report said he has had a hard time accepting that she is gone.Finn said stress and fear of losing his wife were explanations for what Van Horlick did, but they shouldn't influence her decision on sentencing."I find in this circumstance there are few mitigating factors,"Defence sought community sentenceThe crown had previously asked that Van Horlick serve three to six months in incarceration, while the defense asked the sentence be served in the community.Finn said her decision to send Van Horlick to prison for six months was to act as a "denunciation and deterrence" for him and others.As the hearing ended, Finn said to Van Horlick, "Just let it go."He shook his head no and was led from the court into custody.Nurses reactAfterward, Poirier said she didn't have much to say other than she was glad it's over.Thibeault said, "It's a little bit disappointing."She said she was hoping for a longer jail term. Notice of civil suitThe Crown had asked for restitution, but Finn said the victims would have to go to civil court for compensation.Papers filed with the court of Queen's Bench show that Natasha Poirier did just that in August. The notice of claim asks that Van Horlick be held responsible for Poirier's income loss and the loss of future earnings, among other costs.VanHorlick filed a notice of intent to defend in September.
Le Témiscouata souhaite se présenter comme une destination de choix pour mener des études professionnelles, collégiales ou dans le cadre de la formation aux adultes. Afin d’attirer des étudiants et de les inciter à rester dans cette sous-région du Bas-Saint-Laurent, la campagne Espace Campus a été officiellement lancée, ce jeudi 26 novembre. Car même si le Témiscouata est une zone rurale dont la municipalité la plus peuplée, Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, ne dépasse pas les 5000 habitants, il est possible d’y étudier. En effet, il existe depuis trois ans un centre d’études collégiales à Cabano, lequel donne quatre cours en présence (sciences humaines, tremplin DEC, techniques d’éducation spécialisée et soins infirmiers pour infirmière auxiliaire) et deux à distance (techniques juridiques et techniques de bureautique), pour un total de 57 élèves. Quant au Centre de formation professionnelle (CFP) du Fleuve-et-des-Lacs, il offre 13 options de formation, avec notamment plusieurs programmes en foresterie et en acériculture. Environ 200 étudiants y sont inscrits. « On veut consolider et développer les institutions d’enseignement postsecondaires professionnel et collégial et de formation aux adultes sur notre territoire, explique l’agente de développement Virginie Beauregard-Bouchard, de la SADC du Témiscouata. À plus long terme, on veut permettre aux entreprises de notre territoire d’avoir accès à un bassin de main-d’œuvre. » Le tout nouveau site web d’Espace Campus rassemble toutes les informations dont pourrait avoir besoin un étudiant qui veut aller vivre au Témiscouata, avec une mise en page qui facilite la navigation. On y retrouve notamment la description des programmes d’études, mais aussi toutes les activités sportives et culturelles qu’on peut faire dans la région en dehors de l’école. Un accompagnement de A à Z On explique aussi sur le site web toutes les étapes qu’un étudiant étranger doit suivre pour mener à bien son inscription, et comment obtenir des bourses ou aides financières. On y détaille même les ressources d’aide du Témiscouata et les emplois que l’on peut occuper pendant ses études ou à la suite de celles-ci. Une employée, Roxanne Morin, aura pour tâche de répondre aux questions des intéressés et de les aider dans leur cheminement. Par la suite, la campagne va se poursuivre sur les réseaux sociaux et par le biais de vidéos. Les commerçants témiscouatains vont également participer à l’attraction des étudiants : plusieurs offrent d’ores et déjà des rabais pour cette clientèle, et un autocollant dans leur vitrine permet de les identifier. Le directeur adjoint du CFP, Luc Soucy, entend « créer un sentiment d’appartenance » chez les nouveaux venus en organisant régulièrement des rassemblements lorsque ce sera à nouveau possible. En effet, la manière dont le CFP est organisé, avec des antennes à Dégelis, Cabano, Pohénégamook et même dans la MRC voisine des Basques, complique la tâche quand vient le temps de mettre en place une vie étudiante dynamique. Mais le Témiscouata a bien d’autres atouts : la proximité du personnel enseignant, un coût de la vie moins élevé qu’en ville, et une superbe nature. Du côté du Centre d’études collégiales, on se fixe un objectif modeste pour la première année d’Espace Campus : la directrice Édith St-Amand vise l’arrivée de quatre nouveaux étudiants attirés par ce biais. Parallèlement, les établissements d’enseignement vont poursuivre leurs missions à l’international (notamment en France) pour recruter des étudiants.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
OTTAWA — The federal government is sending $542 million to Indigenous groups to help them set up welfare services for children and families, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. The Canadian government has been promising to transfer control over child and family services to Indigenous governing bodies so they don't need to rely on outsiders to protect children in First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities. In 2019, Parliament passed a law to reform the system, requiring that children on reserves have access to services equal to those who live off reserves. The legislation also recognize that Indigenous Peoples' constitutional right to self-government includes the right to run their own welfare agencies. "We are keeping our promise to give them the support they need to keep children within their families and their communities, so they can grow up surrounded by the strength of their culture to achieve their full potential," Trudeau said. Child-protection agencies have often removed Indigenous children not just from their parents but out of their communities entirely when workers decide the kids aren't safe — often because a lack of funding left them with few other options. That's broken up families and hurt children's connections to their heritage. Federal census figures say Indigenous children make up more than half the kids in foster care across the country, despite being fewer than eight per cent of the children in Canada. "Behind these devastating numbers, there are real children, real and terrible stories," Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Friday in a separate news conference. The new money is for everything from research and expert advice to consultations on how those Indigenous governments will establish and run their own child and family services, as well as to support their negotiations with provincial and federal authorities. Miller said this is an "essential step to correct the errors of the past" and will help unleash the potential of Indigenous young people who have been held back for generations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. The Canadian Press
Une étude émise par le cabinet de recrutement Robert Half démontre que les appels vidéo peuvent épuiser les travailleurs en ce contexte de pandémie de la COVID-19. 44 % des répondants ont affirmé qu'ils ont éprouvé de la fatigue liée à ceux-ci. On note aussi que 15 % d'entre eux trouvaient ces appels épuisants et inefficaces, préférant communiquer par d'autres moyens, que ce soit le téléphone ou les courriels. Deux éléments précis des réunions virtuelles sont moins appréciés par les personnes sondées : les problèmes techniques (33 %) et le trop grand nombre de participants (19 %) qui résulte en plusieurs personnes parlant en même temps. Par ailleurs, 22 % des professionnels interrogés croient que l'attrait de commodité et de la nouveauté des vidéoconférences s'est atténué au cours des huit derniers mois. «Les appels vidéo demandent souvent plus d'énergie que d'autres moyens de communication, comme les appels téléphoniques ou les courriels, note David King, président de district principal de Robert Half au Canada, par voie de communiqué. Comme de nombreux employés gèrent déjà d'importantes charges de travail, s'en tenir au nombre nécessaire de réunions de la sorte peut aider à réduire la fatigue liée à celles-ci, et à augmenter le temps de concentration des employés.» Notons que 72 % des répondants ont déclaré participer à des réunions virtuelles, jugeant passer 24 % de chaque journée de travail devant la caméra. Avec un bilan de 11 163 personnes testées positives à la COVID-19, Laval a connu une hausse de 80 cas en 24 heures. Le total de décès depuis le début de la pandémie demeure stable à 725. Le CISSS de Laval cumule également 9836 guérisons, ce qui signifie qu’il y a désormais 602 cas actifs confirmés (+62) sur le territoire lavallois. Parmi les personnes touchées, 28 sont hospitalisées, dont 5 aux soins intensifs. 19 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Six résidences privées pour aînés (RPA) de Laval sont présentement touchées par la COVID-19. Voici la liste complète de celles-ci : Par ailleurs, le Jardin des Saules a été placé dans la catégorie des RPA en situation critique en raison du taux d'infection. Au Québec, le bilan est maintenant de 138 163 cas et 6984 décès. Au total, 669 personnes sont toujours hospitalisées, dont 90 aux soins intensifs.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Dr. Susan Shaw says she's getting frustrated with people in Saskatchewan downplaying the danger of COVID-19.Speaking at a Saskatchewan Health Authority event on Thursday, the chief medical officer for the Saskatchewan Health Authority said the health system is under strain by the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, and people need to take the issue seriously."It's so frustrating when I get emails, I get letters, I get phone calls, I get texts and tweets from people saying, 'This isn't real and you're exaggerating. It's not really happening.'"I just have to say it is real. I cannot tell you enough how real this is."Shaw is a practicing doctor, and had just completed a shift at Saskatoon's St. Paul's Hospital before making her remarks.She said the extra patients are straining the system, and many people are having to work extra shifts to keep up with the demand."I've worked for 20 years in intensive care units," she said."This is a sustained increase in very sick people for the longest period of time that I think we've ever seen. And we know it's going to continue for the weeks to come."'What patients really need is staff'Shaw said the health authority has plans to take care of more patients, but staff numbers are limited."We can have machines, we can have space, we can have equipment, but what patients really need is staff and they need nurses, many doctors, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, dietitians, housekeepers, special care aides," she said."These are the biggest resource we have and they're our biggest asset."While she said staff are doing well, the pressure is on."We are tired and people are really sick," she said."They require a lot of care and we are there for them and we want to be able to be there for them."On Thursday, the province reported 299 new cases of COVID-19 and three new deaths.
Selon un sondage effectué par Equifax Canada, 62 % des Canadiens prévoit dépenser un montant similaire ou supérieur à l'an dernier lors de leur magasinage des Fêtes. À l'inverse, seulement 33 % prévoient dépenser moins qu'à pareille date en 2019. La façon de magasiner sera quant à elle bien différente en raison du contexte de pandémie de la COVID-19. 65 % des répondants prévoient magasiner en ligne cette année. Le sondage révèle également que 56 % des citoyens canadiens ne visiteront pas leur famille élargie cette année. Ce nombre grimpe à 60 % pour les consommateurs de 55 ans et plus. Bien que 54 % des personnes sondées ont préparé un budget en vue de leur magasinage des Fêtes, plusieurs d'entre elles affirment avoir des difficultés à rattraper le retard dans le paiement de leurs achats (33 %) à la suite de cette période de l'année. Un même pourcentage (33 %) éprouve beaucoup d'anxiété au sujet de leur niveau actuel d'endettement personnel. On note aussi que 19 % des répondants regrettent leurs achats des Fêtes lorsqu'ils reçoivent leur relevé de carte de crédit. La COVID-19 a eu des effets sur la situation financière des répondants. 68 % d'entre eux ont dû reporter un achat important depuis le début de la pandémie, que ce soit des vacances (59 %), un projet de rénovation (25 %), l'achat d'un véhicule (22 %) ou d'une nouvelle maison (19 %). 31 % s'entendent également pour dire que leur emploi est moins sûr en raison de la pandémie. «Même si personne n’aime devoir reporter un achat important, les données de notre sondage confirment que la plupart des gens continuent d’agir de manière responsable par rapport à leur endettement, a expliqué Rebecca Oakes, vice-présidente adjointe, Analyse avancée chez Equifax Canada, par voie de communiqué. Le fait de trop s’endetter en période d’incertitude financière peut être stressant. L’optimisme est une bonne chose, mais il est très important de planifier les achats importants.» Par ailleurs, 45 % des personnes sondées disent s'attendre à ce que les finances de leur ménage se stabilisent au cours des six prochains mois.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Despite the pandemic travel advisories, Amherstburg resident Jude Stewart says she's still heading south this winter to her home in Florida — though she'll have to take a bit of a detour to get there. A service in London, Ont., will transport Stewart's truck across the border and fly her, her husband and their golden retriever over to Detroit in a private chartered plane, she told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning. She will be reunited with her car at the Detroit airport and then drive the rest of the way down to Florida.Typically, Stewart said she would drive across the Canada-U.S. border, but with land border crossings restricted this year due to COVID-19, there were limited options to getting all her belongings to Florida. "It's a challenging year, we all know it. The virus is serious, we all have to take it seriously but as a pet owner this year we are extremely limited, we don't have choices," said Stewart, who has owned property in Florida for 35 years. She says she couldn't take a commercial flight because of flight restrictions on larger pets. And that she needed to get her truck over as she plans to be in Florida for the next four to five months. While it's a bit of hassle and pricier than usual, Stewart says it's worth it. She also split the cost of the plane with some friends of hers who also head down to Florida. "It is pricey this year but we're hoping it's a one [off] year and by this time next year we're all healthy and this virus is part of the past," she said. "I feel safe. I can get to my home in Florida, I can isolate, I can stay in my small little bubble with a couple neighbours and I can be as happy there as I am here minus the cold weather."And while she would have preferred to just drive across in a car with just herself, her husband and her dog — she said this was the better option than flying across on a commercial airline with dozens of other people. A 'mistake' to cross borderWindsor-Essex's medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Friday that people shouldn't be travelling for non-essential reasons, especially into the United States where the case counts are a lot higher than Canada. "I think it would be a mistake for people to go to the other side and using these excuses to do whatever, we really have to be careful and I really hope that the federal government will be looking at those travellers and making sure that we are keeping our borders tightly controlled to prevent any importation of cases in Canada," he said. Since cases are so high in the U.S., Ahmed added that the risk is "much higher" than what they would encounter in Canada.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford is lashing out at people protesting COVID-19 lockdown measures outside his house. During his daily briefing, Ford called the protesters "buffoons" and asked them to respect his family and neighbours.
Rowley Ramy knows the support offered by Seasons Centre for Grieving Children in Barrie is making a difference in the lives of those who use its resources. “I know it works when I see someone having a fuller life trying to give back,” the centre's managing director said. “It comes full circle.” Since opening 25 years ago, the centre, which provides peer support to children between the ages of five and 24 who are grieving the death of immediate family members, has helped a lot of people. For Ramy, it’s been a deeply personal journey. On Jan. 18, 1995, his daughters Samantha and Jessica were killed in a car accident. Ramy described an outpouring of support and a realization. While there was support for grieving adults, the same could not be said for children. And so, Seasons Centre for Grieving Children was created, and dedicated to his daughters. “Unfortunately, what happens with loss is none of us think about it until it happens, and then we look for the resources,” Ramy said, adding he still feels there could be more resources available. “There should a Seasons Centre in every regional health centre in the country.” As part of the 25th anniversary, the centre unveiled a new stained-glass sign, designed by Norma Vowels, who spent 15 years working as an office manager at the centre. “I’ve seen firsthand the difference they make in children’s lives,” she said, explaining how she would meet children and their families when they would first come to the centre. Speakers at the event talked about the isolating effects of grief, and the difficulty children can have navigating those powerful emotions. “We gave them the tools so that they don’t act out,” she said. “It makes a huge difference in their careers at school and their lives out in the real world.” Seasons Centre for Grieving Children is located at 38 McDonald St. For more information, or to support the centre, visit grievingchildren.com.Shane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Walt Disney Co. announced plans to lay off 4,000 more workers in its theme parks division in California and Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the industry.The announcement by the company was made in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week, saying 32,000 employees will be terminated in the first half of fiscal year 2021, which began last month. In late September, the company had already announced plans to terminate 28,000 theme park workers.In the SEC document filed on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, the company said it also put 37,000 employees not scheduled for termination on furlough as a result of the pandemic.“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the document said.The company also said they may make more cuts in spending such as reducing film and television content investments and additional furloughs and layoffs.In Florida, the company has been limiting attendance at its parks and changing protocols to allow for social distancing by limiting characters' meet and greets.The company has not specified the number of workers that would be affected in its Orlando theme parks.Disney’s parks closed in March as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened in the summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen pending state and local government approvals.The Associated Press
L'Association québécoise des centres d'intervention en dépendance (AQCID) et Drogue : aide et référence (DAR) ont dévoilé, le 18 novembre, leur nouvelle plateforme Trouvetoncentre.com. Celle-ci propose une carte interactive et des filtres de recherche qui permettent de trouver aisément les centres de prévention, traitement, réduction des méfaits en dépendance et usage de substance, ainsi que les points de distribution de naloxone. À Laval, un total de neuf centres sont identifiés parmi les ressources disponibles. L'objectif des organismes est que la plateforme devienne un outil incontournable pour le réseau de la santé et des services sociaux, tout comme pour les citoyens. «Il est d’une grande importance pour Trouvetoncentre.com de bien se positionner sur le Web et dans le réseau pour rejoindre les individus qui ont besoin de services en dépendance et usage de substance, précise Vincent Marcoux, directeur général de l’AQCID, par voie de communiqué. En cette période d’insécurité, il est d’autant plus important d’outiller ces personnes fragilisées et stigmatisées, souvent aux prises avec des problématiques de santé mentale.» Par ailleurs, les intervenants de DAR seront les ressources à contacter par téléphone ou clavardage afin de répondre aux questions. Ceux-ci seront disponibles à tous les jours de la semaine.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
As COVID-19 progresses into the holiday season, there is an overwhelming urgency to support individuals, families and children throughout the community. The Salvation Army has served Trenton and surrounding areas for over 100 years, but this year due to circumstances beyond their control, the Salvation Army is unable to operate their annual Christmas Food Hampers program. Owner of Smylie’s Independent in Trenton John Smylie explained that the Christmas Food Hampers program is a great annual initiative that typically supports from 380-450 families in the community. This has posed a challenge for families seeking support during the holiday season in the Trenton community and surrounding areas. Thankfully, At the Crossroads Church didn’t skip a beat in finding a solution. At the Crossroads Church in downtown Trenton has stepped up this year and filled the gap in the community, undertaking the local Christmas Food Hampers operation. “Normally, the Salvation Army would have their kettles,” explained At the Crossroads Chruch program coordinator Allen Robinson. “So, this is part of our fundraising to support the Christmas Food Hampers. All the money stays local and goes towards supporting families in the community during Christmas time.” On Thursday, November 26th at Smylie’s Independent, At the Crossroads Church launched their fundraising operations and is inviting residents to support the Christmas Food Hampers campaign. “COVID-19 makes what we’re doing much more difficult, from our perspective, in order to keep everybody safe,” explained Smylie. “The Trenton Salvation Army left a gap in the community this year, and the At the Crossroads Church has stepped forward to provide this great program for our community.” John Smylie and Mayor Jim Harrison made the first official donations at Smylie’s Independent, and afterwards At the Crossroads Church then stopped by The Treasure Chest, a local consignment and thrift store in support of the Trenton Christan School Society, to collect a generous donation of $2575.11 for the Christmas Food Hampers. Christmas Food Hampers provide families in need with the requirements to make a Christmas dinner for four and are distributed on the Sunday before Christmas. At the Crossroads Church is encouraging residents to consider donating one of the donation boxes located at Smylie’s Independent and Metro in Trenton. Donation boxes will also be onsite at Freshco in Trenton all day on December 11th and 12th. Residents looking for more information on how to participate can visit atthecrossroads.ca/ministries/christmas-hampers or email email@example.com.Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Three funeral workers have been fired for posing for photos alongside the body of soccer star Diego Maradona shortly before his funeral.The images distributed across social media created outrage, even death threats, across a nation that venerated Maradona, who died Wednesday of a heart attack at age 60. Tens of thousands lined up for a chance to file past his body at the nation's presidential palace on Thursday.Claudio Fernández confirmed to Radio Diez on Friday that he'd lost his job at the Pinier funeral home, along with his son Ismael and Claudio Medina.One of the images shows Fernández and his son — smiling and with thumb raised — alongside Maradona's body in the coffin on Thursday. Medina appears in another in the same pose.Fernández insisted that he hadn't known they'd planned to take a photograph, much less distribute it. “It was something instantaneous. I'd just raised my head and my son did it like any kid of 18,” he told the radio station.He said he had been receiving threats from others living in the El Paternal neighbourhood where Maradona debuted as a professional in 1976 with the Argentinos Juniors team.“They know me. I'm from the neighbourhood," Fernández said. “They say they are going to kill us, break our heads.”The team issued a statement saying it was considering expelling Fernández from its membership rolls.ience (asterisk)The Associated Press
It's hard to imagine the same outcome if Adam Skelly were a Black or brown restaurant owner.
Medicine Hat College students are doing their part to help the community this winter. Operation Warm the Hat is running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, encouraging people to donate new or used winter clothing at the college. Second-year social work student Gabriela Carreon says the event is COVID-safe. “We’re going to do this as a drive-thru at the parking lot of the main entrance at the college,” she said. “We want to collect used and new winter gear for kids and adults.” The college students are asking for all sizes from newborn to adults. The gear will be donated to three different places: the city, the Miywasin Friendship Centre and Nurture Pregnancy Centre. “We just wanted to help the community of Medicine Hat,” she said. “For us students, our passion is to help others.” The drive-thru event will allow for physical distancing. It is running as first-come, first-served. After the coats are donated, residents in need will be able to contact each of the three organizations to get information on getting a coat. Coats will be quarantined for a week before people can get them, due to COVID-19. More information can be found on the Medicine Hat College Facebook feed.Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Colin Ratushniak has a lot to be excited about right now. The new mayor of La Ronge took the election with 406 of the 777 votes cast in the northern town. The remaining 371 votes split among the three other mayoral candidates. Former mayor Ronald Woytowich did not seek re-election. The 35-year-old is the first openly gay mayor in Saskatchewan and only the second west of Winnipeg with Mayor of Whistler Ted Nebbeling being first elected in 1990. Ratushniak said he has always strived to be his authentic self and has always promoted everyone having that ability to do that, even when growing up in Gillam, Man. where he did not see other people who were like him. While being gay is part of Ratushniak’s identity, he does not consider it a big deal in his new role, he said. “My sexuality does not deter or improve my ability to act as an official, nor does it give me the ability to work hard and make change within the community.” Being new to the council, Ratushniak sees people who also want to see positive change especially at the council table, he said. Ratushniak and the new council, which includes two incumbents and four newly elected council members, were sworn in on Nov. 12. “We all have the same wholeheartedness for positive change and new things to come into our town and I'm really excited for this new council that's coming into place.” Based on the results from the Nov. 9 election, Ratushniak said the people wanted a go-getter and someone who would listen to their concerns. During his campaign he knocked on 99 per cent of doors in La Ronge, he said, so he showed residents that he wants to listen. Safety and crime reduction in the tri-community, which includes the Town of La Ronge, the Village of Air Ronge, and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band, were major concerns that residents discussed with Ratushniak. As a young person himself, what is evident in La Ronge is the lack of programming for young people, he said, which has led to the problem with crime in the community. In the coming term, Ratushniak said the town needs to invest in the community and focus on economic development. There is no reason why La Ronge is not already a northern tourist destination, he said, especially considering the success of Waskesiu resort which is located 180 km from La Ronge in Prince Albert National Park. The biggest approach they will have to take is stronger communication and being transparent with residents, Ratushniak said, something that was lacking in previous councils. Ratushniak first moved to La Ronge in 2019 and got involved in municipal politics when he helped organize a rally in support of a pride flag being flown at La Ronge town hall in June of that year. The original resolution to fly the flag for pride month in 2017 was struck down five votes to one after it was brought forward by councillor, Jordan McPhail. McPhail knew this outcome did not represent what the community wanted, he said, so he decided to continue pushing for more awareness and events within the community. The first La Ronge Pride Parade was held that year. McPhail kept the issue at the council table as well and brought the flag-raising motion forward again in 2018. The motion was not seconded and therefore did not reach any vote or discussion, he said, but he contributed that to a lack of understanding among the councillors and not the will of the people of La Ronge. He could not let the issue lie and used it as a chance to raise awareness in his community and eventually start the Lac La Ronge Regional Pride Committee. There were already gender and sexual diversity groups in La Ronge, including in the schools that were alive and well and getting people involved in the group took very little organizing effort, he said. With a similar result anticipated in 2019, a small Facebook post and word of mouth brought a possible rally to the public’s attention. It had turned into a much bigger crowd than Ratushniak was expecting, he said. McPhail said they had about 100 people at the rally, and he was told later that it was the biggest public meeting that was ever held in the town. The success of the rally resulted in council passing a flag policy for a flag pole in Patterson Park for special interest groups. While Ratushniak is taking this as a win, he said, the LGBTQ2S community does not exactly fall under that definition of a special interest group. You have to pick your battles though, he said. The rally did much more than just ensure the pride flag would be visible in La Ronge. It showed Ratushniak the community wanted to support people like him, he said, and since then, even before his run for mayor, Ratushniak dove right into growing more programming in La Ronge through both his work and volunteering. “What that showed me was that this town wanted a council that was open-minded and wanted some change from what the traditional narrative was. So ever since that moment, I think that I took on a more political stance.” In 2020, the vote was unanimous to fly the flag at Patterson Park, as well as in other parts of the tri-community. This was something that both the councils of Air Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band supported long before La Ronge town council brought it to a vote, Ratushniak said. While there is no flag pole in Air Ronge, they jumped at the chance to put one up in their office and painted two pride crosswalks in front of their school. The band office raised up a two-spirited pride flag as soon as they could, he said.Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
TORONTO — A man who drove a van down a Toronto sidewalk and killed 10 people showed no anger toward women during his psychiatric evaluations, court heard Friday.Dr. John Bradford, one of the country's foremost forensic psychiatrists, testified that Alek Minassian's complete lack of anger and emotion is in direct contrast with Elliot Rodger, an American mass murderer he purportedly idolized.Minassian has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of first-degree murder and 16 of attempted murder. The defence argues the 28-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ont., should be found not criminally responsible for his actions on April 23, 2018 due to autism spectrum disorder. His state of mind at the time is the sole issue at trial, which is being held by videoconference due to the pandemic.After a brief cross examination by the prosecution, Justice Anne Molloy, who is presiding over the case without a jury, took time to ask Bradford several questions."Did he ever talk to you about any degree of hatred or rage directed towards women?" the judge asked."In my contact with him, he didn’t show any anger whatsoever," Bradford said. "I don't think he expressed any particular hatred, other than in the context of what he focused on with Elliot Rodger and why he followed that."Rodger went on a rampage in Isla Vista, Calif., in May 2014, killing six people and injuring 14 others before killing himself. His "manifesto" and his video before the murders focused on his hatred towards women and has found an audience in the bowels of the internet where he is treated as the forefather of so-called "incels," men who are involuntarily celibate.Minassian told police hours after the attack that he killed innocent people as part of an "incel uprising." In that world, incels are on the bottom rung of society, below alpha males called Chads and the women they sleep with, called Stacys, and below them are "normies," or normal people. Minassiand told a police detective he hoped the attack would upend that societal order.But in his interviews with Bradford, Minassian changed his story."He denies that is part of incel although he has been disappointed in the past with his social interactions, but when confronted about being extremely angry, enraged, he denies this now categorically and maintains that he (has) only been disappointed and that he made this up about being enraged," Bradford wrote in his report.Bradford said Minassian told him while he was obsessed with the "incel theme," he was not a follower. "He talked about that theme, but without much emotion," said Bradford, who met with Minassian more than 15 times as part of a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. Minassian also told Bradford his motivation was due to his anxiety about failing at a new job as a computer programmer he was set to begin a week after the attack. He also said he was motivated by the notoriety the attack would bring, even though he had planned to die in a "suicide-by-cop."Then in later interviews, Minassian reverted to the incel uprising as his motivation. Bradford testified Minassian's affect was flat through their meetings and he showed no emotion when describing in great detail the attack. Minassian also lacks empathy, Bradford testified, but he is not psychotic and, therefore, does not meet the test to be found not criminally responsible.Bradford did leave the door open to a "theoretical" pathway for Minassian to be found not criminally responsible through autism spectrum disorder, but noted he was not of that opinion, partially because he has little experience with that disorder.He said Minassian suffers from no other disorder, is not and has never been psychotic, is not a psychopath and did not have depression despite the suicide plan and a later suicide attempt in jail."This is a unique case of somebody with no autism co-morbidity who carried out a mass homicide and lived who by his own planning would be deceased," Bradford said."I knew that this was going to be unusual. As an expert, I believe my role is to give my opinion and give it as clearly as possible, but also to acknowledge that others may have a different opinion."Another psychiatrist testified that Minassian's autism spectrum disorder left him fixated on mass killings and vulnerable to the ramblings of an American mass murderer.Dr. Alexander Westphal, an American psychiatrist who is set to testify Monday, is expected to be the lone voice to say Minassian is not criminally responsible for his actions due to autism spectrum disorder.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020. Liam Casey, The Canadian Press