In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, U.S. president-elect Joe Biden says he'll ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days after his administration takes over on Jan. 20.
In an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, U.S. president-elect Joe Biden says he'll ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days after his administration takes over on Jan. 20.
Any members of the U.S. Congress who helped a crowd of President Donald Trump's supporters storm the Capitol should face criminal prosecution, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Friday. The unprecedented Jan. 6 attack on the seat of Congress left five dead and led the House to impeach Trump a second time, for a fiery speech that day in which he urged thousands of his followers to fight Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Democratic Representative Mikie Sherrill, a former U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, has accused some Republican lawmakers of helping Trump supporters, saying she saw colleagues leading groups on "reconnaissance" tours on Jan. 5.
Police are searching for more possible victims after an alleged child abduction earlier this week. Curtis Poburan, 52, was arrested Tuesday after allegedly luring a 10-year-old boy from a park in west Edmonton. A call to the Edmonton Police Service led to the arrest and the boy found physically unharmed at a nearby shopping complex. Poburan has been charged with abduction of a child under the age of 14 and criminal harassment. The child is receiving support from the Zebra Child Protection Centre. "We believe that the accused may have been in other areas of the city and may have been doing the same luring in other parks or areas," Det. Rob Davis with the EPS Child Protection Section said during a media availability Thursday. Police are asking anyone with any information to come forward. Davis said Poburan befriended the boy and escorted him away with the offer of a vape pen. He said the suspect had been released on probation in early December. According to court records, Poburan was sentenced Dec. 11 after being convicted on a criminal harassment charge. He was previously convicted in 2016 of abducting a person under 14. Last July, police issued a public warning that Poburan was a convicted sexual offender being released and that he posed a risk to the community. Witness called police Police said Wednesday evening they had charged Poburan with abduction of a child under the age of 14 and criminal harassment. At around 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, police responded to reports of a suspicious person near 177th Street and 69th Avenue in west Edmonton. Police said they were told a man was trying to lure a child away from the area. Police said that when they arrived, a witness directed them to a nearby shopping complex where they found the child and took a suspect into custody without incident. "Thank you to that person who made the report," Brooklyn Alcock, director of justice partnerships and supports with the Zebra Centre, said Thursday. "You don't always have to be right to make a report but in this situation, we were able to help that child." The suspect had two imitation firearms when he was arrested, police said. Poburan has also been charged with use of an imitation firearm in the commission of an offence, two counts of possession of an imitation weapon for the purpose of committing an offence, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, three counts of breaching probation and failure to comply with an order. A publication ban is in effect for the child's identity.
As construction work continues on Library Square, money for its operations has been included as part of Aurora’s 2021 Operating Budget. In the last Council meeting before the winter break, local lawmakers formally signed off on a 1.96 per cent increase on the municipal portion of the tax bill. This increase includes half-a-per-cent for Library Square, and a further 0.5 per cent will be factored into the 2022 Budget. The approval came after Councillor Rachel Gilliland made a motion, which ultimately fizzled at the table, to defer the half-percent increase in 2022. From her perspective, the 0.5 per cent increase in 2021 and 2022 was based on a business plan that, in her view, might be in need of some revisions given present uncertainty. “We get an opportunity to save this year and maybe we will have a re-assessment then,” she contended, noting there are still sponsorship opportunities that could come forward to help offset Library Square’s operating costs. “I do feel we are all in the same boat where we…want to have a thriving Library Square that is functioning and paying for itself, and also giving back to the community.” When asked by Councillor John Gallo what the impacts might be of deferring these operating costs until next year, Director of Finance Rachel Wainwright van Kessel said Library Square has a project manager already in place and there are ongoing costs related to the displacement of the Aurora Cultural Centre from 22 Church Street for the duration of the construction. Deferring these costs for another year might save in 2021, she said, but those costs might increase in the interval. “It leaves us pretty tight,” said Town CAO Doug Nadorozny on the possibility of deferring the issue. “If there are other expenses – for example, the Aurora Cultural Centre or other things we want to start early with regards to Library Square operations, we would have to come back to Council to find the funds for that if everything was spent as per the plan. We would have to add 0.5 per cent onto the budget for next year just to get us at ground zero.” Asked by Councillor Michael Thompson how ongoing talks over the final governance model that will ultimately run Library Square might be impacted by a deferral, Mr. Nadorozny said neither the governance model nor business plan were cast in stone. “We know we’re going to have three or four different entities that are all going to play a role in the overall performance of Library Square,” Mr. Nadorozny continued. “Depending on where that governance model goes and what resources are required by the various entities, you could start to deviate off the $720,000 plan.” Replied Councillor Thompson: “While we have done our best to forecast the operational impact of Library Square, there still remains the potential that it could increase based upon the governance model and the needs of the various organizations, be it the Library, be it the Aurora Cultural Centre, or some hybrid model like that. So, in deferring this for next year, there is a possibility that it is only 0.5 but there is also a possibility it could be more.” Mr. Nadorozny agreed that that is a possibility. “We’re not exactly pinned down to the operating model for Library Square and its various entities,” he concluded “I am merely suggesting by deferring this to 2022, which is very doable, you would add 0.5 to the budget. If there were other stresses, we would have to find savings somewhere else or [go] beyond the 0.5.” The motion to defer the operational funding for Library Square was defeated on a vote of 5 – 2 with Councillors Gilliland and Gallo voting in favour.Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
East Ferris is pulling the plug on its community centre rink and curling ice in Astorville due to the uncertainty of escalating provincial restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jason Trottier, chief administrative officer, said Thursday that the ice will come out Monday following discussions during their community emergency management meeting. “We tried to make it work,” Trottier said about the decision to open the rink this winter despite not knowing if groups would be able to rent enough hours to justify the expenditure. “But it doesn’t make sense now,” he added, noting the provincial restrictions extending the shutdown until Feb. 10 was only leaving a month or so of hockey. And Trottier said there’s no guarantee there won’t be further extensions. The cost of keeping the ice plant running without customers and prospect of more dead time without revenue left little recourse, he said. George Suszter, president of East Nipissing Minor Hockey Association, said the decision isn’t surprising considering the complexity of the pandemic restrictions, cost and unknown timeframes. “I understand their decision because the taxpayers will have to pay the brunt of the cost,” he said, although as a sport program administrator it “would be nice to have had an option.” Suszter said it is “kind of sad to hear because even if the players are not able to play hockey right now they had hope in a month it would come back.” The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit was telling municipalities Thursday to close their outdoor rinks as well to further protect from viral transmission. The province had said Tuesday that outdoor rinks could stay open if protocols and limits on numbers were maintained. And Trottier said East Ferris was going to keep their Corbeil rink in the Bill Vrebosch Park open before hearing the health unit edict. Suszter said they actually had almost 90 percent of their membership totals from the previous year even though it was under modified playing rules. Hockey was giving the youth and the parents an opportunity for in-person interaction that’s important for mental health, he said. “It brought joy and happiness to the kids, it was a glimmer of normality” in unprecedented times, Suszter said. “People need to see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Mankind is not made to isolate from others.” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada.Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
Another country music star from Alberta has voiced protest against proposed coal mines on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. Paul Brandt, who leads a committee on human trafficking set up by the Alberta government, has posted his concerns on Instagram in support of fellow musician Corb Lund. Lund released a Facebook video earlier this week in which he calls the government's move to open vast swaths of the area to industry short-sighted and a threat. Brandt says in his post that Lund is right and the plan is a big — and bad — deal. He is asking the provincial government to reconsider putting economic benefit ahead of long-term consequences that would devastate the land for generations to come. Alberta's United Conservative government has revoked a 1976 policy that kept coal mines out of the mountains and eastern slopes of the Rockies. One mine is under review and vast areas of the mountains have been leased for exploration. Lund says coal mines would endanger the ranching lifestyles of his neighbours as well as drinking water for millions downstream. He's urging people to speak out and oppose open-pit coal mines in the Rockies. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
A mother whose son died while fighting with ISIS says confronting a loved one who's been radicalized or embraced extremist ideas can end up pushing them further away. Christianne Boudreau's son, Damian Clairmont of Calgary, died in Syria in 2014 after travelling there to fight for ISIS. She said she knew there was something wrong long before he left, but only understood in hindsight howradicalized he'd become. Boudreau, who used to live in Wedgeport, N.S., spoke with CBC Mainstreet in the wake of extremists storming the U.S. Capitol, and growing concern about right-wing groups and hate here in Canada. "We can have our different beliefs but to turn those conspiracy theories into an ideology, or where you are going to react violently or protest, whatever the case may be, there's a lot of distrust," she said. Boudreau has spent the last six years thinking about how people get radicalized, and how to reach out to them. She said attempting to debunk myths by using factual arguments can do more harm than good. "If you address it head on, you can end up pushing them even further into that direction if you don't understand everything else that goes with it," said Boudreau. She co-founded a group called Mothers for Life that works around the world to bring together parents who've lost children to extremism. Boudreau said people can become radicalized, often online, for all kinds of reasons. "Quite often it's a matter of understanding the full history, understanding the relationships, the connections, what's happened in their life, who they are as a person," she said. "And it's the closest loved ones who understand that you can maybe pose questions to help them open that door to research it more thoroughly, rather than taking information from one point of view." Tried to find mental health support Even then, Boudreau said hindsight is 20/20. She said it can be hard to know if someone close is engaged in extremist ideas or even prepared to act on them. She knew her son was struggling and said she fought hard to get him help — "banging on doors every which way" to try to get him into mental health programs. "I thought it was more on the mental health side rather than this type of situation because I had no education or understanding of what radicalization or extremism was," she said. Before her son left for Syria, he was spending more time alone, Boudreau said. "He found it really difficult to find connection with his peers, to find a social circle or community that embraced him that he had some sort of connection to, and I think that was the biggest downfall," she said. "When troubling emotional issues came up, he had nowhere to release it and had to latch on to some sort of connection with somebody." Boudreau thought her son was travelling in Egypt to study Arabic when she learned he had actually joined ISIS. Her story is the subject of a documentary that aired on CBC called A Jihadi in the Family. She said it's important for families to stay connected to loved ones who are engaged with extremist ideas, and she worries about the impact the pandemic is having on that connection. Somebody can speak to those emotions and rile them up, find those vulnerabilities within you ... - Christianne Boudreau, Mothers for Life "Having a pandemic where we're all locked away, it leaves us even more into that technology world where we're not getting that one-on-one contact," she said. When people believe they're not getting answers from their governments, they try and find the answers somewhere else. "When we do that, we can fall prey to anybody who's out there, and if you're in an emotional state to begin with, somebody can speak to those emotions and rile them up, find those vulnerabilities within you." Far-right groups growing David Hofmann, an associate professor of sociology at the University of New Brunswick, has been studying the rise of far-right groups in Atlantic Canada. He said his research has found there are now 25-30 of these groups in the Maritimes, and most of the activity is in Nova Scotia. While he believes it's an important symbolic move for Canada to designate these groups as terrorist organizations, Hofmann said it likely won't quash them. "They're not going to suddenly give up their beliefs overnight. What they're going to do is break off into smaller groups, rename themselves, join other groups," he told CBC's Information Morning this week. Boudreau said she sees parallels in the extremist views that captured her son, and what's happening today. "We're all entitled to a belief system," she said. "It's another [thing] when it starts crossing the line." She said when people's beliefs begin to interrupt their work and family life or cause violent outbursts "that's when we have to start considering there's a problem. It goes much deeper than that." MORE TOP STORIES
Karsen Roy has made her mark as a leader on the soccer pitch, on the ice, and within Country Day School. Last year, her work was recognized by the Town of Aurora with the 2020 Youth Volunteer Award, part of the Town’s Community Recognition Awards program. The Youth Volunteer Award is presented to a citizen up to the age of 19 who has made a significant contribution to the community through volunteerism and being a positive leader. “Karsen Roy is an exemplary youth who cares deeply about her community,” said Mayor Tom Mrakas, who presented the award virtually in June. “She has accumulated more than 220 community service hours by contributing to a variety of programs and projects. She is a high-level athlete who spends a lot of time volunteering with various groups like the Special Needs Soccer Program and the Younger Panthers Team. She has supported organizations like Me to We, Run for the Cure, and was one of the original members of the Country Day School Cares team. This group is [comprised] of students and faculty members who organize schoolwide food and non-food donation drives and deliver homemade lunches to the homeless.” She was also honoured for her work on Country Day School’s annual Terry Fox Run and efforts to underscore the immediacy of the annual event to her peers. “I wanted to express my gratitude in receiving this award as it truly means a lot to me,” said Karsen. “Thank you so much for the Town of Aurora for giving me a chance to volunteer in the community while bettering myself. Something else I would like to mention while I have the chance is that in my efforts to volunteer, it has always come from my sincere hope to make the community a more generous, genuine and inclusive environment. “Volunteering has taught me to trust the process, to reach out to those in need, to teach others, but not only to teach them but to learn from them as well. Just before I conclude my thank you, I want to explain that volunteering has never been about the award given to me in the end or reaching the 40 hours of volunteering community service required to graduate; it has always meant that the processes and lessons taught will carry a much greater value with me in the end.” Added Mayor Mrakas: “She spreads her sunshine and positivity wherever she goes. Not only is she a wonderful role model for young people, she reminds all generations that our hearts do not have a limit and giving is an action that never runs dry.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
GUELPH/WELLINGTON– Guelph/Wellington Paramedic Service is using remote patient monitoring to take the strain off the healthcare system at a critical time. Chief Stephen Dewar said remote patient monitoring involves community paramedics examining patients who have either been discharged from hospital or flagged by a family physician. Patients use various tools – such as weigh scales, blood pressure and oxygen saturation monitors – that are linked to a modem and results are reviewed by a community paramedic at least once a day. Any issues based on these results can lead to necessary intervention whether that be contacting their doctor or the patient. “Our goal is to try to prevent them from having emergencies in the first place,” Dewar said. This program has been ongoing for a few years, but Dewar said the program has been expanded during the pandemic. “The Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) offered us the opportunity to expand our program and to try to help people who are either mild or moderate symptoms of COVID but staying home,” Dewar said. “Just to make sure that they’re staying safe.” GW paramedics have been assisting at Caressant Care Arthur retirement home which has been in a major COVID outbreak since mid-December. Again, this is to keep people safe and to notify any nursing staff or others if someone begins to show worsening symptoms. Dewar said this is a collaborative effort with staff at Caressant Care and they’re not looking to duplicate any services. This reduces strain on hospitals and assures physicians their patients are resting at home but also allows people to know when they should seek medical help. “That has been our findings a couple of times where people have deteriorated but they weren’t really sure at what point they should be reaching out for more help and we’re able to help them define that,” Dewar said. This has made a large impact in Wellington County as Dewar said that’s where a majority of where remotely monitored patients are based. “Given the rural nature, it’s a lot harder for some of the other organizations to reach those people,” Dewar said. “So remote patient monitoring works really well in Wellington County.” A recent related pilot project has been completely based in the county. Dewar explained the Ministry of Long-Term Care asked GW Paramedic Service to get involved in monitoring people who are on waiting lists for long-term care. “That’s having one paramedic a day going out and visiting these people to make sure that they’re still okay and seeing what other resources they might need,” Dewar said, adding they can then follow-up with phone calls and other technology involved in remote monitoring. He explained this takes pressure off health care providers and family as well who can take some of the burden of care off themselves. “If you’re in there every day, if you’re a family member, you may not know if this deterioration is worthy of reporting or is this person just having a bad day,” Dewar said. “Our paramedics are able to be a little bit more objective about that.” This pilot has been funded through to March 31 but they have applied to fund this in the future and are looking for a more permanent place to operate as it is temporarily at the Harriston Fire Hall. Dewar is ultimately proud of how the team has stepped up during the pandemic beyond just responding to 911 calls. “We feel like the paramedics have said ‘There’s a major emergency and we need to do everything we can,’” Dewar said. “They could just say ‘No we have enough to do’ but they’re stepping up, so I’m very proud of the team that I’m leading and the work that they’re doing.”Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
Northern Health has released a second COVID-19 exposure notice for Uplands Elementary School in Terrace. The exposure occurred Jan. 4 to Jan. 6 according to the notice, which is posted on the Coast Mountains School District 82 website. Jan. 4 was the first day students were back in class after the winter break. There have been numerous COVID-19 exposure notices for Terrace schools issued by Northern Health since Nov. 2020, and nearly all Terrace schools have had at least one exposure notice. Uplands Elementary School’s first exposure took place on Nov. 30, and Dec. 1, 2020. The last COVID-19 school exposure notice in the Terrace area was issued by Northern Health on Jan. 11, regarding an Jan. 4 exposure at Skeena Middle School. It was the first exposure notice issued after the winter break.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says one person in B.C. has been diagnosed with the South African strain of COVID-19. She also says she's saddened and disturbed at reports of racism against First Nations communities that have experienced outbreaks.
WASHINGTON — Chuck Schumer is used to drinking from a firehose. But the incoming Senate majority leader has never taken on such a torrent of challenges, with the opening days of both the Biden administration and Democratic control of the Senate coming at the very moment an impeachment trial gets underway. A 38-year veteran of Congress who first came to the Senate during President Bill Clinton's impeachment, Schumer is a 70-year-old bundle of energy with one overriding mandate: Help Joe Biden become a successful president. To do so, he’ll have to leverage the narrowest possible majority — a 50-50 Senate with the incoming vice-president, Kamala Harris, delivering the tiebreaking vote. It's a tough assignment. It's far easier, though often unsatisfying, to be a minority leader equipped with the tools of obstruction than it is to be a majority leader armed mostly with persuasion. But the goodwill Schumer enjoys with key members, and his careful management of the party's constituencies, could help ease the way. “Chuck Schumer has done a remarkable job as our caucus leader the last four years holding our caucus together," said Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., as he entered the Senate chamber during last Wednesday's Electoral College count, speaking just before a mob of violent supporters of President Donald Trump assaulted the Capitol and the situation turned dire. Then Schumer appeared. “What did I just give a quote about? Our capable majority leader!" Coons said. “Again!" a jubilant Schumer exclaimed. “More adjectives! More adjectives!" Less than an hour later, Schumer was in peril, under the protection of a Capitol Police officer with a submachine gun standing between him and GOP leader Mitch McConnell as the mob breached the building. The ransacking of the Capitol has brought impeachment to the Senate's door again and set Republicans on their heels. And it's put a spotlight on whether the polarized, diminished chamber can process Biden's agenda. Take the installation of Biden's Cabinet. The Senate has traditionally tried to confirm a batch of the most important nominees on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, and the days thereafter. But to do so requires the co-operation of the entire Senate. Democrats slow-walked many of Trump's Cabinet picks four years ago after a crushing election loss, but there's a palpable sense that Republicans may be more co-operative now, at least when confirming national security nominees and picks like Janet Yellen to run the Treasury Department. Schumer seeks — and is used to operating in — the spotlight, whether he’s helping run the unwieldy, increasingly divided Senate, micromanaging his beloved Democratic caucus or crisscrossing New York. Any of these is a full-time job. And they don’t always point him in the same direction. For instance, Biden is preaching bipartisanship, and Schumer wants to help, but tensions are inevitable with ardent progressives such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an ambitious Bronx Democrat whom Schumer allies are watching closely as he runs for a fifth term in 2022. Schumer was a force in Biden's decision to “go big” on Thursday with a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief and economic stimulus bill that was bigger than earlier Biden drafts. Progressives hailed the measure. Meanwhile, the prospect of an impeachment trial in the opening days of Biden's term adds a huge degree of uncertainty. Senate rules are unforgiving, but Schumer and McConnell are hoping to establish a dual-track process to confirm nominations even as the trial unfolds. McConnell and Schumer have a tortured, tense relationship after years of bruising political battles and fights over Supreme Court nominees. They rarely talk spontaneously and have no hesitation in slinging barbs that earlier generations of leaders managed to avoid. But Biden and McConnell are long-standing friends, and the Kentucky Republican — pondering a “guilty" vote in Trump's second impeachment trial and still absorbing the disastrous Senate losses in Georgia — appears inclined to help Biden as best he can. The events of the past week, as damaging and unsettling as they were for the country, seem likely to assist Biden and Schumer. What is more, Democratic control of the chamber comes with filibuster-proof treatment of Biden's nominees, with only a simple majority needed, though Republicans could easily force delays. McConnell and his Republican caucus want to “reasonably co-operate on the national security nominations,” said Hazen Marshall, a former McConnell policy aide. “His view has traditionally been that presidents deserve their staff, unless their staff are crazy or criminals." But GOP senators are sure to drag their feet on less urgent Cabinet posts given the experience under Trump, when even former Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., had to endure delays. But with the economy slipping and the public appalled by the melee in Washington, GOP resistance to Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package or his slate of Cabinet picks may not be as resolute. “There's a lot to do, but Democrats are on the right side of all of it," said former Schumer strategist and confidant Matt House. “These are good problems to have." Amid the dizzying pace, Schumer also tends to New York. A Brooklyn native, Schumer makes a visit to each of the state's 62 counties every year. And his spur-of-the-moment visits to local events like high school graduations and, more recently, unannounced drop-ins on community Zoom calls are the stuff of legend. Last Thursday, little more than 24 hours after the Capitol riot, Schumer hopped on a call with a community board in Sunnyside, Queens. He spent the opening minutes thanking board members. “You guys and gals do a great job — I know what it’s like," Schumer said, according to the Sunnyside Post. “When things go bad you hear about it; when things are great you hear nothing.” And after Trump's impeachment Wednesday, Schumer heaped praise on local New York media members in a call with publishers and broadcasters thanking him for steering stimulus dollars to struggling news outlets, according to an account by the Syracuse Post Standard. But he had to jump. “Pelosi has called me and Biden, so I won’t be able to be on for too long," Schumer said. Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
David Leboeuf, directeur de Transit Sept-Îles affirme que la population Septîlienne a été très généreuse auprès de son organisme et sa clientèle durant la période des Fêtes, alors que la maison était à pleine capacité, avec des effectifs réduits. Il mentionne également offrir de l’aide aux itinérants qui n’ont pas de logis actuellement, en leur offrant du support et des articles de survie. Il souhaite développer un projet de dortoir pour itinérants, pour que ceux qui désirent passer la nuit à l’abri puissent venir y crécher. Il doit toutefois attendre la fin des mesures sanitaires pour aller de l’avant. David Leboeuf pense que les prochains mois ne seront pas plus faciles pour les gens vivant une détresse psychologique. Il invite toute personne dans le besoin à aller chercher de l’aide et appeler les lignes d’écoute dès qu’un malaise se fait ressentir.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A judge has declared a southern Alberta man with a history of sexually assaulting teen girls a dangerous offender, a designation that means he can be held in jail indefinitely. Trevor Pritchard of Coaldale, Alta., has been convicted of sexual assault five times between 2004 and 2019. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Johnna Kubic says despite attending sex offender programs while in jail, Pritchard made little or no progress and continued to reoffend. Kubic handed Pritchard an indefinite sentence in Lethbridge on Thursday. During the dangerous offender hearing process, his victims gave impact statements describing serious negative, long-term effects on their physical and emotional well-being. The victims said this included taking part in self-harm, struggling to maintain relationships, substance addiction, anxiety, and panic attacks. (LethbridgenewsNOW, The Canadian Press) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021 The Canadian Press
In the first wave of COVID-19, Aurora rarely had more than 20 active cases of COVID-19 at any one time. Now, there are more than 100 active cases of the virus, most of which have been acquired within the community. By Tuesday, January 12, Aurora was grappling with 104 active cases of COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been a total of 718 confirmed cases of the virus within the community, 23 of which have proved fatal. 591 cases are now marked as recovered. The twenty-third Aurora resident to lose the fight against COVID-19 was a 90-year-old female resident of Willows Estate, a long-term care home in Aurora’s south end, one of two active long-term care outbreaks in the community. She lost her fight at the residence on January 11 after receiving positive test results and the onset of symptoms on January 4. The twenty-second resident, this time a 91-year-old female resident of Kingsway Place Retirement Residence, lost her fight at Southlake on January 6 after receiving positive test results on December 16. Willows Estate was issued an order under the Province’s Health Protection & Promotion Act on Thursday. The order instructs Willows Estate, which has been in outbreak mode since Christmas Eve, “to take a series of actions to ensure the health and safety of their residents and staff,” said Patrick Casey, Director of Communications for the Regional Municipality of York. The order, issued by Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health, states that York Region Public Health “has received information and conducted inspections evidencing” that the residence has “inadequate staffing levels to meet the needs of residents; has inadequate senior leadership (supervisory staffing) presence on the institution’s units, at all times, to ensure appropriate adherence to IPAC (Infection Prevention and Control) measures; and has inadequate and/or insufficient IPAC knowledge and processes to protect resident needs and requires assistance from York Region Public Health, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Public Health Ontario, and the Local Health Integration Network to provide IPAC expertise to the institution to help contain the stop of COVID-19 outbreak at the institution.” According to Patrick McCarthy, President & CEO of OMNI Health Care, which operates Willows Estate, the residence will work closely with the Region, Southlake, and the Ministry of Long-Term Care to support staff and residents. “The situation evolved rapidly over several days, as test results were received by the home,” said Mr. McCarthy. “In addition to the increase in residents affected, several key staff from the leadership and nursing team were quarantined and unavailable. OMNI mobilized its response team with our Director of Operations on site to assume leadership. As well we have brought in management and nursing staff on site from other OMNI homes as support, and recruiting additional staff and agency contract staff to supplement our existing staffing during the outbreak. “We continue to work closely with York Region Public Health, Southlake Regional Health Centre, Ministry of Long-Term Care and Ontario Health and have arranged a site visit this week with federally sponsored Canadian Red Cross for IPAC and possible ongoing staffing supports.” At press time this week, 32 of Aurora’s 104 active cases of COVID-19 were related to institutional outbreak. 71 active cases are attributed to local transmission or close contact, with 94 new cases in this category reported to York Region Public Health in one week alone. 1 active case is attributed to workplace cluster and there are zero travel-related cases.Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
Stay-at-home orders will take effect at 12.01 a.m. on Thursday, January 14, to limit mobility in the fight against COVID-19. The Provincial Government announced the stay-at-home orders on Tuesday afternoon, along with an Ontario-wide state of emergency, which will be in place for a minimum of 28 days.” As the number of new cases of the virus continue to rise, there is a “looming threat” that Ontario’s hospital system could collapse, said the Province. The stay-at-home order will require everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise and for essential work. As such, employers must ensure that any employee who can work from home does so. Additional measures announced Tuesday include restricting organized outdoor public and social gatherings to no more than five people with limited exceptions, requiring individuals to wear masks or face coverings in the indoor areas of businesses and organizations that are open, and requiring all non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and businesses offering curbside pickup and delivery to open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. These restrictions do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery. “The Ontario spirit has lifted us through worse, the people of Ontario have battled through worse, and I know this time will be no different,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Now more than ever, we need you…to do your part, stay home, save lives [and] protect our health care system. The system is on the brink of collapse. It is on the brink of being overwhelmed. We’re at levels we have never seen before. Last week, I stood here and I told you that our province is in crisis and the facts are clear. Cases and deaths are at the highest level since the start of the pandemic and community spread continues to escalate. The…very dangerous UK strain of COVID is being found across the Province. Ontario had eight new cases confirmed today and if we don’t move fast, our hospital ICUs could be overwhelmed by the first week of February. “I know everyone is tired. I know everyone is sick of COVID, including myself. I know everyone wants to return to normal. New reports and data show one third of Ontarians are not following Public Health guidelines. Many are travelling and gathering. Now, let me be clear: I am not blaming anyone, only one thing is truly at fault and that is the virus. It just takes a moment. If you let your guard down, it can strike. Think of the teenager out with their friends not wearing their masks. They go home, pass it to their parents. Later that day at dinner, the virus passes from parents to grandparents. Within days, the grandparent is in the ICU and tragically passes. This is a story we’re hearing too many times. Stories like this are why we need to stay home and save lives.” Added Health Minister Christine Elliott: “The measures we are introducing today are absolutely necessary to save and protect the lives of Ontarians. This is not the first wave. Now, community transmission is widespread. It is in our hospitals, it is in our long-term care homes, and it is in our workplaces. The number of cases and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 are at the highest levels since the start of the pandemic a year ago. In a few short weeks, our hospital and ICU capacity could be overwhelmed. Yesterday, 41 Ontarians died from COVID-19. It has been an extremely tragic year. Over 5,000 Ontarians have lost their lives to COVID-19 since this pandemic began. These are not just numbers or statistics. These were brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and grandparents.” Ontarians, she said, must change mobility patterns. Too many people are having too many contacts, resulting in increased cases, and the cycle must be broken. The new orders also come with increased enforcement measures. The Province will provide authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the OPP, local police forces, bylaw officers and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply with the stay-at-home orders. Additional enforcement measures will also impact big box stores, noted the Premier, with “inspection blitzes” over the coming days. “We have been up front about the severity of the threats we face if the numbers begin moving in the manner we have seen during these past days and weeks,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “We have said we would not hesitate to explore and exhaust all options necessary to protect Ontarians if the situation worsens, and it has. We are declaring this Provincial Emergency to allow for stronger measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and these measures will be enforced. “If people are found not complying with these orders, they will be subject to fines and persecution. Penalties may include up to a year in jail. We are taking the current situation very seriously and we ask that all Ontarians do the same. It is critical now more than ever that people adhere to the orders and follow public health measures. Please stay home, stay safe. Orders can only take us so far. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 can only be done if we all band together and make an extraordinary effort to protect the communities our family and our friends call home.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
WASHINGTON — For a second time, Republican senators face the choice of whether to convict President Donald Trump in an impeachment trial. While only one GOP senator, Utah's Mitt Romney, voted to convict Trump last year, that number could increase as lawmakers consider whether to punish Trump for his role in inciting a deadly insurrection at the Capitol. Whatever they decide, Trump is likely to be gone from the White House when the verdict comes in. An impeachment trial is likely to start next week, as early as Inauguration Day, raising the spectre of the Senate trying the previous president even as it moves to confirm the incoming president's Cabinet. GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who says he's undecided, is one of several key senators to watch, along with Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, who is set to take the Senate reins as his party reclaims the Senate majority. Others to watch include GOP senators up for reelection in 2022 and several Republicans who have publicly backed impeachment. ALL EYES ON McCONNELL At least at the trial's start, all eyes will be on McConnell, who largely protected Trump during the last impeachment trial and refused Democrats' pleas to call witnesses. This time, Trump may not be so fortunate. McConnell has told associates he is done with Trump and has said publicly he is undecided on impeachment. How he votes could sway other Republicans whose votes Trump needs to avoid conviction. The Republican leader holds great sway in his party even though convening the trial could be among his last acts as majority leader. Even as minority leader, McConnell will be a crucial and perhaps decisive voice. If the veteran Kentucky Republican sticks with Trump, conviction is unlikely. If McConnell votes against Trump, all bets are off as Democrats seek the 17 GOP votes they will need for the first-ever Senate conviction in a presidential impeachment trial. McConnell's public neutrality on impeachment is widely seen as an effort to restrain Trump's behaviour, with an acquittal largely contingent on Trump's ability to persuade his supporters not to incite more violence. SCHUMER'S TRICKY PATH The impeachment trial coincides not just with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, but also a change in Senate leadership to Democratic control. Two new senators from Georgia, both Democrats, are to be sworn into office later this month, leaving the chamber divided 50-50. That tips the majority to the Democrats once Kamala Harris takes office as vice-president and breaks the tie. On Inauguration Day, the Senate typically confirms some of the new president’s Cabinet, particularly national security officials, a task that could prove challenging. Schumer said he is working with Republicans to find a path forward. “Make no mistake: There will be an impeachment trial in the United States Senate,'' Schumer said. “There will be a vote on convicting the president for high crimes and misdemeanours.'' And if Trump is convicted, ”there will be a vote on barring him from running again.'' MURKOWSKI, TOOMEY DENOUNCE TRUMP At least two GOP senators — Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania — have joined Romney in denouncing Trump. In a statement Thursday, Murkowski said the House was right to impeach Trump, who has "perpetrated false rhetoric that the election was stolen and rigged, even after dozens of courts ruled against these claims.'' When he was not able to persuade the courts or elected officials, Trump “launched a pressure campaign against his own vice-president, urging him to take actions that he had no authority to do,” said Murkowski, one of the few GOP senators to criticize Trump's behaviour during the impeachment trial a year ago. On the day of the riots, “President Trump’s words incited violence” that led to the deaths of five Americans, including a Capitol Police officer, as well as “the desecration of the Capitol,'' Murkowski said. The insurrection briefly interfered with the peaceful transfer of power, she said, adding: ”Such unlawful actions cannot go without consequence.'' Toomey, a conservative who has generally backed Trump, made news on Sunday by calling on Trump to resign for the good of the country. While resignation was the “best path forward,'' Toomey acknowledged that was unlikely. Trump’s role in encouraging the riot is an “impeachable offence,” Toomey said. PORTMAN SEEKS A MIDDLE PATH Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, tried to walk a narrow path on impeachment. Portman, a moderate who is up for reelection in 2022, said after the House impeachment vote on Wednesday that Trump "bears some responsibility for what occurred,'' but added he was reassured by Trump's comment the same day that violence of any kind is unacceptable. Portman pledged to do his duty as a juror in a Senate impeachment trial, but said he is “concerned about the polarization in our country'' and hopes to bring people together. A top consideration during impeachment "will be what is best to help heal our country rather than deepen our divisions,” Portman said. SASSE DECRIES TRUMP'S ELECTION ‘LIE’ Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, a conservative Republican, said he, too, is undecided on impeachment, but ripped Trump over his repeated false claims of a “stolen” election. "Everything that we’re dealing with here — the riot, the loss of life, the impeachment, and now the fact that the U.S. Capitol has been turned into a barracks for federal troops for the first time since the Civil War — is the result of a particular lie,'' Sasse said Thursday. When Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell' to disrupt Congress' Jan. 6 proceedings to certify the election results, “it was widely understood that his crowd included many people who were planning to fight physically, and who were prepared to die in response to his false claims of a ‘stolen election,’” Sasse said. He called Trump “derelict in his duty to defend the Constitution and uphold the rule of law'' and said Americans now have an obligation to "lower the temperature'' and maintain the peace. THUNE TAKES HEAT FROM TRUMP South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, had dismissed Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, famously — and accurately — predicting the effort would “go down like a shot dog'' in the Senate. Thune's comment drew a furious response from the president. Before his Twitter account was taken away, Trump called Thune a “RINO” whose “political career (is) over!!!” He also urged Gov. Kristi Noem to run against Thune in a GOP primary, an idea she immediately rejected. Thune, who has remained mum on impeachment, made light of Trump's threat last week, saying "it’s a free country.'' Then, in words that could apply to impeachment, he added: "You just got to play the hand you’re dealt.” Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
An avid fan of the great outdoors, Aidan Burbank was a regular fixture on the Town’s outdoor rinks and any local ponds frozen enough to allow he and his friends to have a casual game of three-on-three hockey. It was not only a passion, but a way for them to catch up after going their separate ways for school and work – and, for Aidan, an environmental science student, it may have been something of a release. After his death in October following a struggle with mental health that plagued him since childhood, his friends decided that the tradition would continue, laying the groundwork for the inaugural Aidan Burbank Pond Hockey Tournament which, in future years, will set out to raise money and awareness for mental health. Spearheaded by friends Cameron Palmer and Charles Peters, and a group which included Aidan’s brother Bryn, they hit the ice at Case Woodlot over the holidays to honour Aidan in a new tradition. “This was fitting because Aidan loved to spend his time outdoors and when I think of him I think about how much he liked to be outside,” says Charles. “We used to go out to the pond pretty well every year and meet him and Cameron and a couple of other buddies – we would always be going out to the ponds, so we figured that was perfect.” For mother Martha Burbank, her son’s peers’ idea to further Aidan’s legacy by carrying on and doing what he most loved to do, while making a tangible difference for those living what was Aidan’s everyday struggle, the inaugural tournament “means everything.” Martha had imagined the same idea – a holiday pond hockey tournament for Aidan – and was thrilled that his friends had independently thought of it. “Aidan was an amazing runner, a hockey lover and an avid outdoorsman,” says Martha. “He loved the forest, he studied hundreds of species of trees in field labs at university and thrive on that. Nature, quiet and being outside helped immensely with his happiness.” For the Burbanks, Aidan’s struggle was something they lived with every day since he was nine years old. When he lost his fight, the family began researching what they could do to have a positive impact on mental health charities. Among the organizations they earmarked were the Canadian Mental Health Association and Jack.org, an organization with a specialization on youth mental health. “When we publicized Aidan’s obituary, a lot of people donated to Jack.org, others decided the Canadian Mental Health Association. There have been tens of thousands of dollars to date in Aidan’s name from maybe 70 to 80 people. The response to mental health support from neighbours, friends and people whose life Aidan touched has been overwhelming,” says Martha. “We didn’t want charitable donations for this year’s tournament, but with this tournament, we wanted to establish a tradition of keeping mental illness at the forefront of discussion and be clear that it is important to be talked about.” The inaugural tournament, she says, was, despite the weather, a beam of sunlight that helped cut through the clouds. “We have had a bad feeling in the pit of our stomachs on a lot of these days since our son died, but this day was so wonderful,” she says. “I was chatting with these young men who are about 21 and I have known many of them since they were five, and maybe six other moms just independently arrived onto the ice. Everyone had a lot of compassion. A couple of the boys had a difficult time, one who plays baseball in the States was almost in tears and we were going through a lot of emotions.” In addition to a fundraiser in Aidan’s name, it was also a reunion in his honour. “I was just happy to be there with all these people,” says Cameron, who says he hopes the tourney will become an annual tradition. “Pond hockey is something we used to do every year and being there was really important. It was a good opportunity to just get everyone together and reflect on the positive stuff. We shared good stories and good memories.” Adds Charles: “It was nice that everyone could make it out for such a special cause and pay tribute. It was a little tough at first to just be out there thinking about it, but once we were all there and everyone was sharing stories, it became more of a fun event, almost like a celebration of life.” Aidan Burbank lost his fight on October 15 at the age of 21. Pursuing his degree in Environmental and Natural Resources at the University of New Brunswick right up until the time of his death in mid-October, he was previously a French Immersion student at Lester B. Pearson Public School and Aurora High School. “We had been struggling with Aidan’s mental health since he was nine,” says Martha. “This was a very long-term challenge for us. Parents really need to continue to follow through, call, email, whatever it is – if their child is in a situation and they are struggling and you’re waiting for counselling or therapy, you really have to pursue that with a lot of proactivity. Parents need to be as proactive and blunt as possible if their child is suffering and communicate with them about their suffering. They have to reach out and do everything they can to look for support systems.”Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran
There were more adjournments in La Ronge Provincial Court in a case against a North Battleford man accused of breaking into a home and assaulting the resident. At his Jan. 11 appearance, Brandon Holmes, 27, was expected to elect how he wants to be tried but the matter was adjourned to Jan. 18. Another warrant of committal was issued for him at his Jan. 11 court appearance. A warrant of committal was also issued at his Dec. 21, 2020, appearance. It’s common for warrants of committal to be issued again when the accused returns to provincial court after a show cause hearing where he was denied bail. After the accused appears again as required, another warrant is needed to hold him until the next scheduled appearance. Holmes is charged with discharging a firearm with intent, carrying a concealed weapon, assault, and two counts of break and enter. The charges against Holmes haven’t been proven in court. Stanley Mission RCMP arrested Holmes in October. Police say they got a call on Oct. 5, 2020, that an armed man was in a residence. He fled before police arrived. Police say they later found him hiding in a cabin a few kilometres from Stanley Mission after allegedly stealing a boat to flee the area. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
The latest COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 6:50 p.m. Alberta is reporting 967 new cases of COVID-19. There have also been 21 additional deaths linked to the virus. The province says there are 806 people in hospital, and 136 of those are in intensive care. --- 6:45 p.m. Alberta is easing some of its public-health restrictions imposed in December to limit the spread of COVID-19. Health Minister Tyler Shandro says personal and wellness services, including hair salons and tattoo parlours, can open by appointment only. Outdoor social gatherings, which were previously banned, will be allowed in groups of up to 10 people. And the limit of people attending funerals is increasing to 20, although receptions are still prohibited. The changes are to take effect Monday. --- 6:15 p.m. British Columbia health officials say they have detected their first case of the South African strain of COVID-19. The province also has four cases of the U.K. variant of the virus. Officials reported 536 new infections and seven new deaths. This brings the total number of cases in B.C. to 59,608 and deaths to 1,038. So far, 52,605 have recovered from the virus and 69,746 COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered. --- 5:05 p.m. Prince Edward Island has confirmed one new case of COVID-19. Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the case involves a man in his 50s who arrived in the province following travel outside Atlantic Canada. After an initial negative test, he tested positive in routine testing and is self-isolating with no symptoms. P.E.I. has eight active cases of COVID-19 and has had a total of 104 cases since the pandemic began. --- 3:15 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19 related to international travel. It says the case involves a man aged 20 to 39 in the eastern health region who is self-isolating at home. Health officials say there are currently four active cases in the province and one person is in hospital. --- 2:15 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting six new cases of COVID-19 today. Three cases were identified in the central zone -- one of which involved a student at Dalhousie University in Halifax who lives off campus. The other cases were identified in the northern zone and are connected to previously reported cases. Nova Scotia says there are 32 known active COVID-19 infections across the province. --- 2 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 261 new cases of COVID-19 and two additional deaths. That brings the death toll in the province due to the virus to 755. The province says there are 290 people in hospital and 37 of them are in intensive care. --- 2 p.m. New Brunswick is reporting 23 new cases of COVID-19 today. There are now 246 active reported cases in the province. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says more than 2,000 people in New Brunswick are in self-isolation. The province has reported three COVID-related deaths this week. --- 1:30 p.m. Quebec’s health minister says the province plans to wait up to 90 days before administering booster shots to patients who have received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Christian Dube says the strategy will allow Quebec to vaccinate more vulnerable seniors and reduce the pressure on the health system. Dube says health officials will be able to reduce the interval between first and second doses once more vaccines are available. Canada's vaccine advisory committee has recommended the second dose of approved COVID-19 vaccines be given a maximum of 42 days after the first, but Dube says the committee has acknowledged that the interval can be extended when necessary, based on the disease's progression. --- 12:50 p.m. Canada has seen 7,727 cases of COVID-19 on an average day in the last week and hospitalizations and deaths are still increasing. In her daily national update on the pandemic, chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the burden is worsening on hospitals and local health authorities. She says infection rates are highest among people older than 80, who are most at risk of serious illness. If there's good news, it's that no new cases of the so-called U.K. or South African variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 were detected in Canada yesterday. --- 12:30 p.m. Canada will have received a total of 929,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the week. Maj. Gen. Dany Fortin, the vice-president of logistics at the Public Health Agency of Canada, says that includes the delivery of 380,000 fresh doses this week alone. The shipment is set to include about 208,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine and 181,000 doses of the one developed by Moderna. Fortin says weekly deliveries will grow to one million total from both companies by April. --- 11:45 a.m. Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is calling on the Liberal government to ease access to paid sick leave for Canadian workers to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Singh is criticizing the lag between filing for the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit and receiving it, a delay he compared to applying for employment insurance. He is asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to recall Parliament and legislate 10 days of paid sick leave for federally regulated employees through the Canada Labour Code, and to further promote the one-week, $500 benefit that is already in place. The New Democrat leader says uptake of the benefit is low, which suggests a lack of awareness among sick workers as well as what he deemed an “impossible choice” between working and staying home. Singh is also calling for tighter restrictions on travel, but did not specify an “exact mechanism” to limit trips abroad. --- 11:15 a.m. Quebec is reporting 2,132 new cases of COVID-19 and 64 more deaths, including 15 that occurred in the past 24 hours. The province says hospitalizations rose by seven, to 1,523, and 230 people were in intensive care, a rise of one. Health Minister Christian Dube is scheduled to hold a news conference about Quebec’s vaccination campaign. The province had administered 107,365 doses as of Tuesday. Quebec has reported a total of 236,827 COVID-19 infections and 8,878 deaths linked to the virus. -- 11:10 a.m. Ontario labour inspectors will will blitz big-box stores this weekend to enforce public health rules. Labour Minister Monte McNaughton says inspectors will visit stores in Toronto, Hamilton, Peel Region, York Region and Durham Region. He says the inspectors will have the power to issue tickets of up to $750 to store supervisors, workers, or patrons if they're not following public health rules. Inspectors will focus on ensuring people are wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and following safety guidelines. -- 10:30 a.m. The province of Ontario says there are 3,326 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 62 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 968 of those new cases are in Toronto, 572 in Peel Region and 357 in York Region. Vaccinations continue across Ontario with 14,237 doses administered since Wednesday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said in the 12:30 p.m. entry that weekly deliveries will grow to one million each for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Modern vaccines. In fact, it will be one million total doses a week.