Johnson County to continue vaccination plan, despite weather delaying next round of vaccine doses
Johnson County to continue vaccination plan, despite weather delaying next round of vaccine doses
MONTREAL — Laurentian Bank Financial Group beat expectations as it reported a first-quarter profit rose compared with a year ago even as its provision for credit losses edged higher. The Montreal-based bank says it earned $44.8 million or 96 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Jan. 31, up from a profit of $32.2 million or 68 cents per diluted share a year ago. Revenue totalled $247.4 million, up from $238.7 million in the year earlier quarter. The provision for credit losses totalled $16.8 million for the quarter up from $14.9 million a year earlier, due to a rise in allowances on impaired commercial loans. On an adjusted basis, Laurentian says it earned $1.03 per diluted share for its most recent quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 79 cents per diluted share a year earlier. The average analyst estimate had been for an adjusted profit of 74 cents per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. "Our results were driven by a strong performance in capital market activities, the resumption of growth in commercial banking and our strong cost discipline," Laurentian chief executive Rania Llewellyn said in a statement. "We will take the experiences of the past year to propel us forward, as we renew our leadership team and create an organization that is agile, efficient and above all customer centric." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:LB) The Canadian Press
With the hope of alleviating one of the problems plaguing the long term care system during the pandemic, the provincial government announced on Feb. 24 that it is investing over $115 million to train up to 8,200 new personal support workers for high-demand jobs in Ontario's health and long-term care sectors. The initiative plans to have up to 8,200 new supporter workers ready for the long term care workforce by the fall of 2021. The province has collaborated with Colleges Ontario, and all 24 publicly assisted colleges will offer this fully-funded plan, set to begin next month. "We are taking monumental steps to protect our most vulnerable and provide the highest quality of care when and where residents need it," said Premier Ford. "We will achieve this by recruiting and training some of our best and brightest to be PSWs. This will improve the quality of life for our seniors and begin to correct the decades of neglect in this sector." The Accelerated PSW Training Program will offer free tuition for up to 6,000 new students enrolled in the personal support worker course. The course, which begins Apr. 5, will allow students to graduate with full credentials in six months, compared to the eight months it would usually take to complete. It will include three months of coursework, and experiential, or hands-on learning, in a clinical setting. Students will complete the final three months in paid onsite training in a long-term care home or in a home and community care environment. The province is also offering tuition assistance to students who are close to finishing an existing program at one of Ontario's publicly-assisted colleges. Nearly 2,200 students will be eligible to receive a $2,000 tuition grant to help them complete their studies, as well as a stipend to complete the clinical placement part of their training. According to Georgian College, the new accelerated training program for personal support workers will produce a huge increase in PSW training at Ontario’s colleges. “This is a major step to help fill the demand for personal support workers in our communities,” said Dr. MaryLynn West-Moyes, president and CEO, Georgian College. “PSWs are the backbone of care in Ontario – and there simply aren’t enough of them. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in a new career in this critical field.” “Our graduates provide essential care to many of our most vulnerable citizens,” Dr. West-Moynes said. “We were pleased to collaborate with the province and our community health-care partners to create this new opportunity for students who will graduate job ready with high-quality, essential skills.” Those interested in applying to the provincially funded PSW program with intakes starting in April or May at Georgian, should check https://www.ontariocolleges.ca on or after March 8 for details. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
Fingers crossed, residents and visitors to the area will be able to attend the Ripley Food, Art and Craft Show on Aug. 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at the Community Centre. The annual show is a showcase for local vendors, bringing them all together under one roof to connect with shoppers. Like so many other events scheduled last summer, the show had to be cancelled because of pandemic restrictions that prohibited large gatherings under one roof. “This past year has been tough on small businesses, local artisans and our residents,” said Maggie Young, who handles community services programming and administration for the Township of Huron Kinloss. “The Township of Huron-Kinloss and the Community Services Department are committed to providing a space and hosting an event to help showcase local artisans and food producers, as well as re-introducing events for the community to attend. Therefore, every effort is being made to host the 2021 Ripley Food Art Craft Festival, keeping in mind the safety and wellbeing of both the vendors and visitors.” Young said all protocols advised by public health will be followed, and may include masks if required, the number of people allowed in the building at one time and sanitizer will be available. If necessary, booths can be spaced two-metres apart and directional flow arrows will be placed on the floor. Young says community services will “go above and beyond” what restrictions are in place. Organizers also have a plan B ready, should it be decided that the event cannot be held on the arena floor. It can be moved outside, under tents, if necessary, and as a last option, held online with a marketplace and vendor focus. Registration is now open for vendors, which has in past years welcomed 40-50 small businesses. Information is available by calling 519-395-2909 or emailing email@example.com or follow the event on Facebook @RipleyArtisansFestival for status updates. All money raised from the event is directed back to the Town of Ripley and Huron Kinloss. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
More than 30 years after Prince Akeem Joffer and his sidekick Semmi first travelled to the United States to find a royal bride, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reprise their roles in comedy sequel "Coming 2 America". Murphy, creator and star of the 1988 film - which proved more popular with audiences than critics when it came out - returns to the fictional nation of Zamunda, this time as Akeem prepares to become king. A father to three daughters in a country where only a male heir can sit on the throne, Akeem finds out he has a son in America and returns to Queens, the New York borough he first visited decades ago, to meet him.
The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine and District Dancing with the Stars fundraiser has been rescheduled to Aug. 19 and this year, will be held as a virtual event. The event welcomes local dance teams, composed of a local celebrity and a seasoned dancer, to compete against each other on the dance floor and raise money for BBBS. It was originally scheduled for April of 2021. The 2020 event was cancelled because of COVID restrictions. “Although we were hoping to be able to bring our community together for another exciting evening of in-person entertainment this year, we have made the decision for the health and safety of our volunteers, supporters and dancers to move to a virtual event,” said Yolanda Ritsema, executive director of BBBSKD. The first Dancing with the Stars event debuted in 2019, and was a huge success. Bill Pike and Jennifer White topped the podium, and the event raised $12,600. BBBSKD, along with many other not-for-profit groups, have felt the fundraising pinch since the beginning of the pandemic, when many events were cancelled because of stay-at-home and gathering restrictions. The groups have had to pivot and develop new means to raise much-needed funds. “The funds from Dancing with the Stars go to support our programs and services,” said Ritsema. “We serve 50 young people in Kincardine and area. Our mission is to enable life-changing mentoring relationships that ignite the power and potential of young people. We serve young people who face adversity and are in need of an additional supportive developmental relationship.” “With monies raised from our main fundraising programs, like Dancing with the Stars, we are able ignite the power and potential of young people by intentionally recruiting volunteers based on the needs of our community's young people; by matching young people with a professionally screened volunteer mentor; by monitoring and supporting that match with a professional caseworker; by training and supporting the mentor, the mentee and the family; and by building a Developmental Relationship between the mentor and the mentee that Expresses Care, Challenges Growth, Provides Support, Shares Power and Expands Possibilities.” Ritsema says that having a big brother or sister has a long term effect on their littles. Mentored youth are two times more likely to give back to their community and 81 per cent of mentored youth report having stronger financial literacy. Forty three per cent are less likely to conduct problems at school and 98 per cent believe they make better life choices. For every $1 invested in Big Brothers Big Sisters, $23 is returned to society. Ritsema says the volunteer team responsible for organizing the event has been hard at work creating a virtual experience everyone will enjoy. Besides the dance competition, the event will feature an online auction and an “early bird” raffle for Mother’s Day, featuring a pair of Canadian diamond earrings, donated by Gemini Jewellers in Kincardine. The dancing pairs, Alana Rozon and Murray Needham, Braden Prasad and Patty Coulter, Gord Dunbar and Sally Ballard, Sarah and Keith Foster and John Binnendyk and Karen Maliseni, will each perform two routines, which will be judged by Michael Rencheck, Jessica Brown and Taylor Pollard. John Low will serve as the master of ceremonies. “We have five wonderful dance couples who have been working so hard for several months to bring you an incredible night of performances,” said Linda Johnson, Dancing with the Stars team captain. “This event will still sparkle and thrill our audience as they watch from the comfort of their homes.” Updates and tickets for the event will go on sale in the coming months. More information can be found by visiting www.kincardine.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca and checking the social media page. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
FORT FRANCES — A 25-year-old Emo, Ont., resident has been charged following an investigation into a possible impaired driver last month. Rainy River District OPP located a driver believed to be impaired on Highway 613 in the Warsaw Road area on Feb. 26 shortly after 5 p.m., according to a news release issued on Monday, March 1. The driver was arrested for impaired operation of a conveyance by a drug. During the investigation, officers also located and seized 20 grams of suspected fentanyl. Jesse Loveday, 25, was also charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking. His driver’s licence was also suspended for 90 days and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. Loveday is scheduled to appear in court on March 22. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
SoftBank aims to double user numbers at its PayPay QR code payment app in the next three to four years, an executive at its domestic internet subsidiary Z Holdings told Reuters on Wednesday, as it seeks to extend its lead in cashless payments. PayPay has used SoftBank's sales network and aggressive rebates to attract 36 million users in the three years since launch, driving a shift to push Japanese consumers to digital payments away from their traditional preference for cash. "We want to double the user base during the investment phase," Z Holdings co-CEO Kentaro Kawabe said in a joint interview with fellow co-CEO Takeshi Idezawa.
Music's ability to connect us, even if only virtually, is on display in the latest film project by Vicki Van Chau in collaboration with the Calgary Chinese Orchestra. Van Chau is co-director and editor for a new documentary and music video called Off to the Races. The film features interviews and a music collaboration of 72 musicians playing a classic Chinese erhu song, Horse Race. The erhu is a Chinese violin. The idea to produce the 12-minute doc came from Jiajia Li, the artistic director of the Calgary Chinese Orchestra and a flutist. Vicki Van Chau is the co-director and editor of the film.(Kai Sunderland) Li wanted to do something to honour the Lunar New Year despite restrictions on the ability to gather. Van Chau and Li connected in November and opened up the call for submissions from artists playing the song on their instruments. Li chose the song, which was composed in the 1960s, for its upbeat and hopeful theme. And because it's less than three minutes long, it would be easy for submitting musicians to learn and record in time. There were so many submissions that the music producer, Warren Tse, wrote an intro and interlude so that more musicians could be included in the final performance. Erhus, pipas, fiddles, pianos and other instruments are played alongside each other in the video featuring 72 submission from Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Singapore, the United States and China. The video was released via YouTube on Feb. 14. With files from Huyana Cyprien and the Calgary Eyeopener.
From models strutting inside an empty museum to designers absenting themselves from the catwalk calendar, this season's virtual fashion weeks have been re-styled with a new look many expect will endure when traditional runway shows resume. COVID-19 restrictions forced New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks to go virtual in the past year, with brands rethinking how to keep the buzz of catwalk shows online. While many are optimistic of a return to the events usually attended by buyers, editors and celebrities, digital presentations - which have opened up fashion week to a wider audience - are likely to stay on.
Orban announced the decision in a letter to the chairman of the EPP, Manfred Weber, on Wednesday, making good on his threat to leave the grouping over changes to its rules.View on euronews
A wild rally in shares of Rocket Companies that saw the stock rise 70% in an apparent short squeeze has attracted fresh bets that the stock price will decline. Shares of Rocket, the parent of mortgage lender Quicken Loans, were down 31.7% to $28.43 in afternoon trading on Wednesday. The heavily-shorted stock had surged more than 70% on Tuesday in a move that analysts said was likely sparked by bearish investors unwinding bets against the stock as its share price surged.
Britain is more than doubling to 100 pounds ($139.75) the limit on contactless payments made with debit or credit cards, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, as COVID-19 accelerates a shift to electronic payments from cash. The finance ministry said that while legally in force from Wednesday, the changes to limits from the current ceiling of 45 pounds will not happen in practice immediately, as firms will need to make the necessary systems changes. The banking industry is due to implement the new 100 pound limit later this year, it said.
THE LATEST: Health officials announced 542 new cases and seven more deaths on Wednesday. To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are now 246 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 64 in intensive care. There are currently 4,652 active cases of coronavirus in the province. 200 cases of variants of concern have been identified. So far, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 86,616 of those being second doses. Another 542 cases of COVID-19 and seven more deaths from the disease have been confirmed in B.C., health officials announced Wednesday. The latest numbers show a steady rise in the rolling seven-day average of new cases and the number of patients in hospital over the last two weeks. Right now, 246 people are in hospital with COVID-19 including 64 in intensive care. To date, 1,372 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19 out of 81,909 confirmed cases. There are now 4,652 active cases of the novel coronavirus in B.C. Since the province's vaccination program began late in 2020, 289,809 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 86,616 second doses. The numbers come as Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization has endorsed B.C.'s plan to space out first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines by 16 weeks in order to reach more people. In Wednesday's written statement, Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said they were pleased with the endorsement. "Our goal is to protect as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, through the available COVID-19 vaccines. With a single primer dose, these vaccines are helping to stop outbreaks and reduce serious illness and death," they said. B.C. now expects every eligible adult who wants a vaccine will receive their first dose by the end of July. The plan is to space out doses by four months. Wednesday's update also included another 18 confirmed cases of variants of concern, bringing B.C.'s total to date to 200. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 7:30 p.m. PT Tuesday, Canada had reported 872,747 cases of COVID-19, with 30,252 cases considered active. A total of 22,045 people have died. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Police in Moose Jaw have arrested two people and are searching for a third in connection with an attempted murder. Last Friday, police were told about an assault on Stadacona Street West, but could not find a victim or any suspects. Some time later, police located a man with serious head injuries who was taken to hospital. The man has since been released and sent home. Police returned to the scene on Stadacona Street with a search warrant and found some evidence. Now, two people have been charged with attempted murder in the crime, as well as robbery and possession of crystal meth. The accused made their first court appearance in Moose Jaw provincial court Tuesday morning. Police are searching for a third suspect, also wanted for attempted murder and robbery.
Britain's Prince Harry and American wife Meghan decided long ago they would not play the traditional royal media "game", and on Sunday they depart from the norms of engagement again with an in-depth interview with U.S. chat show host Oprah Winfrey. Smarting from sometimes critical tabloid headlines and press intrusion in Britain, they have already announced they will step down from official duties, move to California with young son Archie and cut off contact with Britain's biggest tabloids. Last month, Meghan successfully sued the Mail on Sunday for breaching her privacy by publishing parts of a letter she wrote to her father.
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s governing party pulled out of its conservative group in the European Union’s legislature on Wednesday following years of conflict over the rule of law and European values. The right-wing Fidesz party has held a two-thirds majority in Hungary’s parliament almost uninterrupted since 2010. It left the European People’s Party over the latter’s adoption on Wednesday of new procedures allowing for entire parties to be excluded from the group rather than just individual lawmakers. Fidesz officials, including Hungary’s prime minister and head of the party, Viktor Orban, had argued that the rule changes were “tailor-made” to sanction Fidesz, and threatened over the weekend to pull out of the EPP if the rules passed. The EPP backed the rule changes with an overwhelming majority: 148 in favour, 28 against and four abstentions. In a letter Wednesday to Manfred Weber, chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, Orban announced Fidesz’s decision to leave the group. “The amendments to the rules of the EPP Group are clearly a hostile move against Fidesz and our voters ... This is anti-democratic, unjust and unacceptable. Therefore, the governing body of Fidesz has decided to leave the EPP Group immediately,” Orban wrote. Orban said the rule changes deprived Hungarian voters of their democratic rights and that Fidesz lawmakers would continue to represent Hungary in the European Parliament. A spokesman for the EPP Group, Pedro Lopez de Pablo, told The Associated Press that Orban pulling his party out of the EPP was “his own personal decision,” and that the group would not comment. Fidesz’s decision to leave the group could be the final note in a series of longstanding clashes with the EPP, the largest political family in Europe. The group suspended Fidesz’s membership in 2019 over concerns that it was eroding the rule of law in Hungary, engaging in anti-Brussels rhetoric and attacking the EPP leadership. In a tweet, Hungary’s minister for family affairs and a Fidesz vice-president, Katalin Novak, confirmed Fidesz’s decision to leave the EPP Group. “We will not let our MEPs be silenced or limited in their capacity to represent our voters. Tackling the pandemic and saving lives remains our number one priority,” Novak wrote. Justin Spike, The Associated Press
As Amazon sets its sights on central and eastern Europe, the e-commerce giant will need to convince long-time Allegro shoppers like Elzbieta Modrakowska to click away from the region's leading online marketplace. While prioritising its expansion to other, bigger markets, Amazon has given companies such as Allegro the time to lay deep roots and prepare for its arrival - something the Polish firm has done with loyalty programmes, free delivery and other perks. "I don't think we will switch ... Allegro has set the bar very high," said Modrakowska, whose weekly shop spans everything from organic food to batteries.
One dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech's or AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine helps to prevent disease severe enough to require hospitalisation of people in their 80s with other illnesses, interim data from a UK study showed on Wednesday. The findings, from an ongoing surveillance project funded by Pfizer and known as AvonCAP, found that one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, which began to be used in Britain on Dec. 8, 2020, was 71.4% effective from 14 days at preventing symptomatic illness severe enough to result in hospitalisation among patients with a median age of 87 years. For the AstraZeneca vaccine, which began to be rolled out in Britain on Jan. 4, the results showed it was 80.4% effective by the same measures among patients with an average age of 88.
The combined testimony of the mental health clinicians who saw Lionel Desmond reveals the fluctuating nature of mental illness — how the veteran who killed his family and himself changed over the years from a patient reportedly willing to take medication and engage in processing the trauma he witnessed in Afghanistan. Dr. Isabelle Gagnon, a psychologist at Ste. Anne's Hospital in Quebec, first saw Desmond at an in-patient program for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in May 2016. She described him as a patient with borderline personality traits, including paranoia and a poor ability to trust others, who made only minor progress in his therapy. She agreed with Desmond's previous clinicians, however, in saying that she saw no warning signs of the violence to come. Gagnon testified that even after learning that Desmond had killed his wife, Shanna, his daughter, Aaliyah, his mother, Brenda, and then himself at a home in Guysborough County, N.S., on Jan. 3, 2017, it didn't change the way she does safety assessments. Instead, she testified Wednesday that Desmond seemed focused on the stress in his everyday life: having to sell his home, finding a job after leaving the military and becoming a "good husband and father." The CBC's Laura Fraser liveblogged the inquiry: She noted that while he kept repeating these goals, he would sometimes struggle to explain what they would look like in practical terms. He was rarely willing to discuss the traumatic events that had affected him, she said, nor was he willing to consider how they might be affecting his reaction to every day stress. "He would say that he had to focus on the future, not on the past," Gagnon said. Framed photos of Desmond's wife, Shanna, and daughter, Aaliyah, are displayed in the home of Shanna's parents. (Eric Woolliscroft/CBC) Resistance to medication Testimony on Tuesday from Dr. Robert Ouellette, a psychiatrist at Ste. Anne's Hospital, also revealed Desmond's resistance to taking or changing medication. Ouellette testified that he felt the veteran's progress might stagnate without the right doses. Gagnon and Ouellette's testimony sounded very different than that of Dr. Vinod Joshi and Dr. Wendy Rogers, both of whom worked with Desmond from 2011 to 2015 at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick. It was there that Desmond first sought treatment for symptoms that Joshi would diagnose as complex PTSD and major depression, roughly four years after he returned from Afghanistan in 2007. Both Joshi and Rogers testified that their patient was someone who complied with the goals of treatment; he successfully completely prolonged exposure therapy with Rogers, retelling the trauma he'd witnessed until he could manage the distress it provoked, she testified. Desmond is seen in this family photo with his mother, Brenda, and daughter, Aaliyah. (Submitted by Cassandra Desmond) Desmond struggled to trust It's unclear what changed in terms of compliance with medication or Desmond's willingness to retell that trauma, though Gagnon noted it can also take time to develop a therapeutic relationship. She said that Desmond struggled to trust people, often believing that if others were laughing, it was directed at him. Desmond chose to leave Ste. Anne's in-patient program early, on Aug. 15, 2016. He reportedly left because he wanted to spend time with his 10-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, before she began school in Nova Scotia. Desmond was deployed to Afghanistan for seven months in 2007. (Facebook/The Canadian Press) In his release report, the clinicians at Ste. Anne's noted Desmond had made only "minor progress" during his time there, and that he needed ongoing therapy within the community. They also recommended that he undergo neurological testing to see if he had a brain injury from the head injuries he'd reportedly sustained during his military service. Instead, he went months without seeing a therapist. It wasn't until he was in crisis and went to the emergency room in Antigonish, N.S., that he would meet with a psychiatrist in late October 2016. In late November, his Veterans Affairs case manager connected him with a community therapist, according to evidence already presented at the inquiry. The inquiry is charged with making recommendations to prevent future deaths. It is also charged with examining whether Desmond had access to the necessary mental health care, and whether his family had access to domestic violence intervention.
Devant la vague de contestation qui a repris contre le projet domiciliaire Centre-Ville du Groupe Guy Samson à Cowansville, la Chambre de commerce de Brome-Missisquoi a tenu à réitérer son appui pour le projet qui prévoit notamment la revitalisation du centre commercial Domaine du parc. La CCB-M remarque que le taux d’occupation diminue d’année en année au centre commercial et que l’attractivité du centre-ville est à la baisse. L’organisation y voit dans le projet de 300 logements une occasion en or pour dynamiser le centre-ville et attirer de nouveaux commerces. « Construire intelligemment au centre-ville, c’est maximiser les infrastructures déjà existantes. Ainsi, les coûts de développement pour la Ville de Cowansville s’en trouvent réduits, alors que les revenus sont multipliés, commentent le président de la CCB-M Philip Dion et le directeur général Marc-André Lacroix. Cela lui permet d’offrir de meilleurs services à tous les citoyens en générant des économies d’échelles. Nous croyons que ce projet générera un dynamisme dont la ville a grandement besoin. » La création du milieu de vie proposé par Groupe Guy Samson pourrait être la bougie d’allumage pour la revitalisation complète du centre-ville pour les 10 à 15 prochaines années, croit l’organisation. Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est