Linda O'Donoghue, an instructor in early childhood education and development for Bow Valley College joins Global News to share how to keep children busy with limited activities due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Linda O'Donoghue, an instructor in early childhood education and development for Bow Valley College joins Global News to share how to keep children busy with limited activities due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
HALIFAX — A new study says the number of seniors in Atlantic Canada will increase by 32 per cent over the next 20 years, putting added pressure on the region's health-care system and labour market. The study released Thursday by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says the most rapid growth will be among older seniors. Policy analyst Fred Bergman said the number of Atlantic Canadians aged 75 and older will double by 2040. The independent think-tank says these changes in demographic patterns will have significant implications for the region's economy. Atlantic Canada's population is already the oldest in Canada. By 2040, there will be three seniors for every two young people in the region, the council says. "We estimate Atlantic health care costs will rise by 27 per cent by 2040 simply due to the population aging." Bergman said in a statement, adding that the region will need an additional 25,000 beds in nursing or seniors homes. This so-called grey tsunami, which refers to the large wave of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age, is also having a profound impact on the labour market, the study says. In 1990, there were 20 young workers entering the job market for every ten retirees. Thirty years later, there are just seven, and APEC does not expect that number to change any time soon. The region's primary industries — agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and oil and gas — have the oldest workforce in the region. Meanwhile, the working-age population — those between 25 and 64 — has fallen by almost 50,000 in the past 10 years. During that time, the number of seniors has surpassed the number of people under the age of 19 for the first time. Buried in the latest statistics, however, is some uplifting news: retirees today have 44 per cent more disposable income than seniors just 20 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. As well, the region's charities and non-profit organizations are sure to benefit from the fact that seniors, on average, serve as community volunteers for over 200 hours every year, which is 50 per cent more than the rest of the population. And there will be opportunities for businesses that take advantage of the trends outlined in the report, APEC says. "Seniors will be a growth sector," the report says. "Senior homes, assisted living, and care workers will be in demand, as well as personal services to help those aging at home. Products and services that cater to or are adapted for an aging population will be in demand." The new numbers will not come as a shock to the region's politicians and business leaders, who have been receiving similar reports for years. In 2014, for example, the Nova Scotia government was handed a report from a panel of experts who warned the province was doomed to endure an extended period of decline unless population and economic trends were reversed. The report, written by a five-member panel led by then Acadia University president Ray Ivany, predicted that by 2036, the province could expect to have 100,000 fewer working-age people than it did in 2010. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
The Canadian Women’s Foundation has launched a new program, Safer + Stronger Grants, to provide financial support for organizations addressing and combating gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s a lot of research that shows that gender-based violence does increase in times of disaster and this is something that’s global and Canada of course is no exception to that rule,” said Andrea Gunraj, vice president of public engagement at Canadian Women’s Foundation. “We’ve been seeing that that increase in gender-based violence tends to be because folks might be more isolated, folks might have less access to services, maybe communities are struggling with the disaster response and therefore the response or the services available for gender-based violence are limited.” The Canadian Women’s Foundation launched the grant program back in December after receiving a $19.6 million investment from the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE). The grant will provide organizations with funding for a number of activities and expenses such as crisis intervention, digital resources, staffing, operating cost and COVID-19 prevention. “It’s very open in terms of what organizations could say they need uniquely in their community and the whole idea is we want to make sure that organizations get what they need in this emergency period, to be able to meet those needs of their communities.” With the new grant Canadian Women’s Foundation said through that they will be particularly committed in advancing initiatives in rural, remote and Northern areas which can see increased risk with less available support. “Statistics Canada has found that women in rural areas really do experience the highest rates of violence of intimate partner abuse, and of course some groups within those rural areas experience higher rates as well,” said Gunraj. “We also see that there might be greater barriers for folks who are in rural and remote northern areas, which could be that the shelter is not available for them, if they want to find emergency shelter programs they may not be available in their areas, there may be issues with trying to get to the services because of the distance between and lack of affordable housing options, affordable transportation options,” explained Gunraj. “Resources may be scarce for them, there’s the isolation and the difficulty in leaving a violent situation is going to be more difficult in those areas.” During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic police calls for domestic disturbance increased through March and June. Women’s Shelter Canada reported that 52 percent of 266 shelters surveyed reported seeing clients experiencing more severe forms of violence. In a survey from Statistics Canada, released in April 2020, it showed that 1 in 10 women were very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home. Family Transition Place (FTP) a local organization that provides services for women and children back in July said at the peak of the first wave they initially saw a decrease in calls for help, but as restrictions lifted they saw numbers begin to rise again. With the second wave of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, Canadian Women’s Foundation says there is higher risk of intimate partner violence and that the emergency grant will help support stretched organizations. Deadlines to apply for the Safer + Stronger Grant are Feb. 1 and 15. For more information on the grant go to www.canadianwomen.org. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
Vital, critical, indispensable, crucial and necessary … all words the Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is using to describe the province’s current stay-at-home order. “People ask the question, is it necessary? We're doing really well in Grey-Bruce. Yes, we're doing really well, but it is very necessary,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall event hosted by Bruce Power on Wednesday evening. “The Premier said it best, you can look at the regulations and all the complexity of it. But it is simple – just stay home,” Arra said. “When you do this, just remember it's painful but it is saving lives.” Arra is asking the public to look at the current order in a positive light, as it has alleviated the concern of individuals travelling into Grey County from other high-risk, red-zone areas. He said in December the health unit had placed a lot of focus on how individuals from neighbouring communities that were experiencing high COVID case numbers had been moving into the county. “All that planning and communication was not necessary anymore when the province issued the lockdown. It has definitely balanced that equation that would be increasing the risk in our area,” he said. According to Arra, case numbers in recent weeks have remained relatively favourable, despite the health unit seeing a surge in cases following the holidays. “I'm very proud of the community, proud to be part of this community, that the surge was not larger than what it was over the past few weeks,” Arra said, adding that the case numbers have now begun to taper down. “The past week has been averaging around three or four cases per day, which is a success,” he said. As of Jan. 20, there have been 657 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Grey and Bruce counties. Currently, there are 30 active cases and two individuals being hospitalized. According to Arra, early December is believed to have been the peak of the second wave of COVID in Grey-Bruce. However, Arra is asking the public to remain cognizant that the province has been seeing a large number of cases reported every day since the holiday. “We've seen 3,000 cases per day and they're going to translate into higher admission to the hospital, to the ICU, and unfortunately, in deaths,” he said. “People might say, well, in Grey-Bruce we have only two cases in the hospital. But, again, we're not on an island. And our [healthcare] system is built to support universality.” He explained that as the provincial healthcare system continues to be strained, the impacts will trickle down to other regions, adding that the province has already begun transferring patients between hospitals. “We need all of us to stay this course until the vaccine is in enough arms to make this pandemic nonexistent,” he said. “This is not going to end tomorrow. It's going to end in a few weeks and a few months and we need to stay the course.” Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Richmond city council will consider banning the use of rodenticides on city-owned property when it meets Monday. The item comes to council following discussion at a July 2020 general purposes committee meeting. According to provincial guidelines, anticoagulant rodenticides are permitted when all pesticide-free methods have been deemed unsuccessful at managing infestations. However, if used improperly, they can enter the food chain and poison non-target animals including insects, birds, squirrels and raccoons, as well as larger animals like coyotes, bobcats and raptors that might eat the contaminated rodents. Affected animals do not die right away, but become lethargic and/or erratic which allows for easier predation and may go on to contaminate other animals that eat the contaminated animals. As well, improper disposal of anticoagulants can contaminate local soil, surface and groundwater conditions. The proposed ban would last for one year, after which point there would be a staff report on its effectiveness. Staff are also recommending writing a letter to B.C.’s Ministry of Environment requesting a review on policies allowing for the retail sale of rodenticides. The plan is estimated to cost $97,000, but some of that funding can be taken from the funds previously allocated to Vancouver Coastal Health, which has overseen the city’s rodent control service but will cease to operate its contract after March 31. Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
Mason Galambos was born on August 12th, 2016, to Brighton residents and parents Jared and Alicia Galambos. A few months after his birth, it was noted that Mason was unable to hold his head up. After receiving exome genetic testing, Mason was diagnosed with Allan-Herndon-Dudley Syndrome in January of 2018. Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome is a rare disorder of brain development that causes intellectual and physical disability in affected children. As Mason grows, he experiences debilitating muscle spasms and seizures. The 4-year-old boy was recently fitted with a feeding tube due to difficulty swallowing and requires attention and support around the clock. As parents Jared and Alicia exhaust themselves to care for Mason, the prevalence of Allen-Herndon-Dudley syndrome is still unknown. Mason suffers from epilepsy and is non-verbal with low muscle tone, which prevents him from sitting or walking. After having Mason, Alicia was unable to return to work as he needs constant care and monitoring. Alicia provides 24-hour care for her son as he is unable to move well or feed himself. Mason has several seizures a day and requires monitoring at night as Mason does not sleep well due to struggling with swallowing secretions. “My heart breaks for these parents,” said Jared’s aunt Kathy Jackson. “We do whatever we can financially and physically for them, unfortunately, it’s not enough; we can’t take away their pain or exhaustion.”As Jared and Alicia continue to care for Mason, public and private medical coverages along with Jared’s employer benefits don’t cover all of the expenses needed to provide for Mason. The family is anticipating costs of $100,000 or more to give Mason what he needs to live a happy life. One of the largest upcoming expenses for the Galambos family will be incurred by renovating their home to be more accessible, or moving to a more accessible home, as well as purchasing a vehicle that is suitable for the specialized transport that Mason requires. Last year, Mason underwent surgery for G-tube feeding, dental and abdominal surgeries, as well as therapeutic Botox to help with increasing muscle spasticity. As Mason ages, his condition will continue to wear on his body and he will require additional procedures and medications. Mason required a custom wheelchair to support his body, a standing frame to facilitate weight-bearing, custom orthotics and specialized bath seating. As he continues to grow, each of these aids will need to be replaced, and he will always need supplies for his feeding pump. Despite his condition, Mason is an overall happy child who loves snuggles, tickles, twinkling lights and being in the water. After unexpectedly becoming a single-income family, the family has decided to launch a fundraiser to help support Mason’s future. “This beautiful boy is very loved and very well cared for, but we can’t keep up,” added Jackson. “We need to be able to ease some of the ways they live, by making sure they have accessible housing, equipment, and a suitable vehicle. That is the reason I am trying to raise funds and seek whatever help I can find.” For more information on Mason’s story and fundraiser, details can be found online at https://ca.gf.me/v/c/vhqm/masons-story-living-with-a-rare-disorder None Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
Kingston City Council unanimously passed a motion at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2021, moving that the City of Kingston write to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Minister of Environment, Conservation, Energy, and Parks to request that the Government of Ontario develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible to ensure that Kingston and other municipalities are enabled to achieve climate action goals. The City of Kingston was the first city in Ontario to declare a Climate Emergency, and has a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040. The province of Ontario is phasing out the Pickering Nuclear Power plant in 2024, and plans to increase the output of natural gas-powered plants as the demand for electricity increases. An increase in gas plant production will see greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise, which is counterproductive to the province’s goal of a 30 per cent reduction of GHG emissions by the year 2030. Two delegations spoke to council, describing Ontario’s current and forecasted power needs, and the pros and cons of available power generation options. Jack Gibbons, from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, spoke about Quebec’s surplus Hydroelectric power, and shared some ideas for future cross-provincial electrical agreements. He also asked the City to consider joining the other municipalities in Ontario in passing a resolution requesting Ontario start phasing out our gas fired power plants to help Ontario, and the City of Kingston, achieve their climate targets. “We all know that the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, and therefore wind and solar need a backup or a storage option,” Gibbons said. ”Ontario is very lucky to be located right next door to Quebec. There's a recent study from MIT, which shows that Quebec’s hydroelectric reservoirs are the best and lowest cost storage option, or backup option, for wind and solar.” “The reservoirs can act like a giant battery and help us convert wind and solar from an intermittent source of electricity into a firm baseload source of electricity supplied 24/7,” he continued. “By integrating our wind and solar with Quebec's hydroelectric reservoirs, wind and solar power can be a firm reliable source of supply.” Terry Young, interim president and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) spoke to council on the province’s electricity needs, how they are currently being met, and what they want to see happen in the future. The IESO is an agency whose primary job is to manage reliability of the power system, ensuring electricity is available when and where it is needed across the province. Young said that each year the IESO produces what they call a Planning Outlook that looks out over the next 20 years and projects what Ontario’s needs might be. Nuclear and hydro power are meeting 85 per cent of Ontario’s power needs, according to Young, with solar and wind providing less than 10 per cent due to their inconstant ability to create electricity. Gas power is used to make up the difference, and has greater flexibility for meeting increased needs, as well as reducing output when needs are low. “The key point I want to make is this that we need flexibility in the system,” Young explained to council. “One of the attractive things that we're starting to look at is pairing wind and solar with storage,” Young continued. “Then you get the opportunity to increase the value of wind and solar cells. If they’re producing, we can store it and then supply it back when and when the demands for electricity are on, then it gives us another option. So, in terms of the future of gas, one of the things that it depends on is how quickly some of these technologies can be developed.” Councellor Bridget Doherty put forth her thoughts on this proactive motion. “We've all been receiving frequently emails from people, or constituents, saying ‘You've declared a climate emergency. What are you doing about it?’ And tonight we have a couple of very positive examples about what we're doing about reducing greenhouse gases.” “I think that this [motion], and the other actions we've taken tonight, clearly address the fact that we unanimously passed a climate emergency motion a year and a bit ago. And so this is our opportunity to show that we mean what we say.” Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
In an effort to continue to send the message that people in Ontario need to stay home, premier Doug Ford posted a video message on Thursday morning to get the message out in 22 languages.
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Frontenac Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a complaint from a home owner on Yarker Road shortly after 9 p.m, on Wednesday, Jan 20, 2021. According to the OPP, an unfamiliar vehicle was parked in the homeowner's driveway. As a result of the investigation Shelly Wood, a 42 year old from Kingston Ontario, was charged with: The accused's driver's licence was suspended for 90 days and the motor vehicle was towed and impounded for seven days. The accused was released on an appearance notice to attend the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston at a later date to answer to the charges. Wood will be responsible for all related fees and fines. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
If you have been shopping for a new or used car over the past few months, you prob-ably noticed that local dealerships are starting to look a little bare as their lots don’t have the same amount of inventory they had a year ago. A check with one dealership noted that they usually have around 150 units on the lot but had been reduced to around 20 .It is a two-fold problem. During a visit to a prominent dealer in the Orangeville area, it was explained that dealerships are having trouble getting new vehicles delivered to their lots. Disruptions in trans-portation due to the current pandemic means dealerships can’t get the inventory they need. On top of that, the recent province-wide lockdown has seen a drop in sales as custom-ers aren’t as willing to make appointments to visit a dealership. One sales person said, “It happened almost overnight. People just stopped coming in.” The shortage of vehicles has also impacted the used car market. With fewer people trad-ing in their old cars, there isn’t a lot of inven-tory on the pre-owned side of the dealership lots. “Used cars are going fast,” one salesperson said. “There’s not a lot of vehicles coming in. When we get a nice one it won’t be here long.” The latest concern in the auto industry is a shortage of parts that is causing delays in pro-duction. The parts shortage has affected pretty much every auto manufacture, not only in North America but around the world. In Brampton, the Chrysler plant has already seen temporary layoffs and also suspended operations at its plant in Mexico. The Alliston Honda plant has announced it will stop production on one of its lines during the week for January 25. The problem is a shortage of semiconductor microchips.After a slow down in production earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor manufacturers allocated more capacity to meet the soaring demand from consumer-electronics makers. Microchip makers favour consumer-electronics customers because their orders are larger than those of automakers. The annual smartphone market alone is more than 1 billion devices compared to fewer than 100 million for cars. The pandemic has resulted in an increase in sales in phones, game consoles, smart TVs and laptops, as people are spending more time at home. New cars are using more and more micro-chips in their vehicles to handle everything from navigation systems to traction control.Industry experts say the situation will most likely turn around in the next three months. Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
A massage therapist convicted of sexually assaulting his client during a massage in The Blue Mountains should go to jail for nine months, the Crown attorney suggested during a virtual sentence hearing Wednesday. But the defence lawyer asked for house arrest of up to 18 months, instead. Nathaniel Porter-Gowan, 40, was earlier convicted in an Owen Sound court of sexually assaulting the woman during a massage on May 25, 2019, while the woman was on a girls’ weekend. Reading from her victim impact statement, Crown attorney Glenn Brotherston said she has had trouble coping with various facets of her life in the intervening 20 months. She also feared repercussions after he had taken her personal contact information. “Since the event, I have been unable to receive any type of care from male providers,” he read. “I have spent the last 606 days working on recovery.” She wrote that she’s afraid to be by herself in the house or walk the dog alone and that the massage therapist robbed her of her enjoyment of her first year of marriage. Brotherston said an aggravating factor is that Porter-Gowan was in a position of trust as a massage therapist during the event. “It occurred at the hands of someone who is a licensed health-care practitioner,” said the prosecutor, adding that incarceration should be followed by two years of probation. “A real jail sentence is called for.” But defence attorney Nadia Klein said Porter-Gowan has no record and instead suggested a conditional sentence with house arrest. “Everything suggests this was a one-off occurrence in the life of Mr. Porter-Gowan,” she said. She said the father of two has been very active in his children’s lives and the community, but has been ostracized as a result of the charge. He can no longer work as a massage therapist and had trouble finding work, at one point going to the Meaford food bank, where he previously volunteered, for help. He was later able to find a job as a waiter. Going to jail would impact his children, she told the court. And he feared he would lose contact with one of the children who he co-parents. Klein said there was also concern over any possible future COVID-19 outbreaks at the Central North Correctional Centre, although the latest word the court had was that there were no positive cases at the Penetanguishene jail. Justice Julia A. Morneau, of the Ontario Court of Justice, reserved her decision on sentencing and the case returns to court Jan. 28 to set a date. Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
The municipality has brought in a contractor to strengthen the weaker sections on Fort Chipewyan’s winter road. The contractor has started working at the east and west ice crossings over the Des Rochers River. Crews are working daily to reopen the winter road by early February. The winter road plays a critical role in bringing fuel and other supplies to Fort Chipewyan. When the road opened on Dec. 31, the ice crossings could only support light vehicles weighing no more than 5,000 kilograms. Cargo and fuel trucks weigh at least 45,000 kilograms. Warm weather has kept the winter road closed since Jan. 13. Reopening the road depends on weather as crews continue to strengthen the ice crossings. Fort Chipewyan’s community leaders have had emergency plans in place since November in case weather conditions closed the winter road. In a Dec. 31 interview, Chief Peter Powder of the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) said the First Nation has enough fuel to get the community through to the end of February. “These aren’t the first time we’ve had these issues so we’ll get together as leaders and find a path forward,” said Powder. firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
According to the government of Alberta COVID-19 website updates as of January 19, 2021, there are 22 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Cardston County- which brings the county to 109 active cases. To compare, during the same time span there have only been 11 new cases in all of Lethbridge, and only one new case in Lethbridge County. The government of Alberta website does not break down the locations of the cases further. The County of Cardston covers a large area of over 3,000 square kilometres of land, which includes 11 hamlets, 2 towns, 2 villages, many Hutterite colonies, and the Kainai Blood Tribe. According to the government of Alberta website there are 16, 459 people living within these boundaries. While no other detailed records could be found on other municipal websites about where each of these cases are across the county, the blood tribe website specifies that 78 cases are currently found on the kainai reserve, leaving 30 elsewhere in the area. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief medical officer of health, stated Tuesday night that the vaccine had begun to be administered. She says “we started with long-term care and designated supportive living facilities because residents in these locations are the most at risk.” Statistics show that two out of every three Albertans who have died from COVID-19 live in these settings, which is why Albertans over the age of 75 will be candidates to receive the vaccine during one the next batch arrives. According to the Alberta regional dashboard website, approximately 3% of residents in the county fall into this age category and 6% of town residents. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday lamented “wasted years” under the Trump administration to slow climate change and urged faster work to curb fossil fuel emissions. Kerry spoke remotely to an Italian business conference in his first international climate address under President Joe Biden. Biden, in his first hours in office Wednesday, signed an executive order returning the United States to the Paris climate accord. It reversed the withdrawal by President Donald Trump, who ridiculed the science of human-caused climate change. Biden's administration is getting back into the battle to cut climate-damaging coal, gas and oil emissions with “humility, because we know that the federal government of the United States, until yesterday, walked away from the table for four wasted years when we could’ve been helping to meet the challenge,” Kerry told the European forum in his prepared remarks. Biden's order starts a roughly 30-day process of getting the United States back into the nearly 200-country U.N. climate treaty. Countries in the accord commit to setting goals to cut climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions and to monitor and report their emissions. Biden has put Kerry, secretary of state under President Barack Obama, in charge of climate and national security issues. Kerry's words marked a 180-degree turn from the Trump administration on climate change. Trump withdrew from accords with U.S. allies and questioned scientific consensus that oil, gas and coal pollutants are too blame for the warming climate, and are contributing to worsening natural disasters. Biden on Wednesday signed other orders undoing dozens of Trump actions that had targeted earlier efforts to curb emissions from industry and transport and that had promoted new oil and gas drilling and production. Kerry said Biden had “with a few strokes of his pen began to restore domestic environmental leadership.” Preventing the worst of global warming would require $1 trillion in annual investment globally through 2030, Kerry told Thursday's gathering — moving five times faster than currently to phase out dirty-burning coal, 22 times faster to electric vehicles, and six times faster to ramp up solar, wind and other renewable power. Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19, an employee of a Marine Atlantic vessel flagged by officials this week as a possible risk for spreading the virus to crew members and passengers. The MV Blue Puttees, which operates between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., was temporarily pulled out of service for contact tracing Wednesday, after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19. The new case, the second Marine Atlantic employee this week to contract the virus, is a man in his 60s in the Central Health region. The Department of Health says the man is isolating and contract tracing is underway. The department also says it's sharing contact tracing information with authorities in Nova Scotia and advising Marine Atlantic. Health officials would not provide details on the new case, instead deferring to the ferry operator. A spokesperson for Marine Atlantic told CBC the man was part of the same shift as the previously infected employee. Marine Atlantic is adding a boat to the route, with the MV Atlantic Vision entering the schedule departing North Sydney early Thursday evening. The spokesperson said the Blue Puttees is still sidelined. "We will continue to monitor this situation and make any additional operational adjustments as required," the spokesperson said in a statement. Officials are asking passengers who travelled on the Blue Puttees to or from North Sydney or Port aux Basques between Dec. 29 and Jan. 16 to arrange COVID-19 testing. With no new recoveries since Wednesday's update, the province has six active cases, with one person in hospital. In all, 384 people have recovered from the virus, and 77,273 people have been tested. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The stuffed fawn is small and somewhat scruffy, but it means the world to Nico Lavallée, 4. The little deer, purchased at the Parc Omega gift boutique, even had white spots on its soft hindquarters. But instead of Bambi, Nico called it Rudolph, and the name stuck. But then, disaster struck. While out for a family stroll along the Rideau Canal last week, Nico's little brother Santiago chucked Rudolph over the railing and onto the snow-covered ice below. "The two-year-old, in toddler fashion, just saw the opportunity to grab it and … watch gravity to make sure it still works ... in the second that I wasn't looking," said mom Brenda Duke, 35. There were tears as Duke tried to explain to Nico that they couldn't just climb down and retrieve Rudolph. Notices advise people to stay off the canal or face a fine, and there had been public warnings about unsafe ice. Nor did Duke want to contradict her own exhortations. "With the two-year-old especially, I still worry that he is going to fall in, so we made a very strong point of constantly saying that is so dangerous, you can't go there, the ice isn't ready." I didn't want to bother anyone. I don't think anyone would care. - Brenda Duke Several times over the next few days, the family "visited" Rudolph, who gradually became covered with freshly fallen snow. Luckily, the incident happened near a distance marker sign, allowing the family to locate the telltale lump below. They even spotted animal tracks nearby, as if some other creature had checked in on Rudolph. "I didn't want to bother anyone. I don't think anyone would care," said Duke. But then her six-year-old son Sebastian encouraged her to share the story on neighbourhood Facebook sites, which have seen activity grow since COVID-19. Suggests began pouring in, including using a fishing pole to hook the stuffie, or scooping it up with a long-handled pool strainer. Still others looped in the National Capital Commission (NCC), pleading for a rescue mission. The NCC promised its skateway crews would keep an eye out, and that they did. An alert worker found the lost fawn, crusted over with ice and snow but otherwise no worse for wear. Duke showed Nico the picture the NCC posted rescued Rudolph thawing out. "Utter disbelief. He stared. It took a while to click. He's like, 'Wait, that's mine?' He was just in shock, and then he was really excited." On Thursday, one week after Rudolph's adventures began, the family went to pick the toy up from the skateway operations centre at Fifth Avenue. A joyful reunion ensued. Meanwhile, the story has given some reason for optimism in these difficult times. "This stuffed baby deer isn't the only thing melting ... so is my cold cold heart," tweeted Monica Ward, who spotted the rescue story on social media. For Duke, it's reaffirmed her faith in the power of community. "You just have to just have to ask. People do care. Assuming that they don't is something that adults do," she observed. "[My kids] are growing up knowing that other people have our backs and other people care, and that's really heartwarming."
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s (WDGPH) roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine will be seeing impacts with pause in production lines at Pfizer’s facility. WDGPH announced on Monday (Jan. 18) that they would be making changes to their vaccine program in response to the recent announcement from Pfizer that some production lines at their facility in Belgium are working to increase their overall capacity. Public Health, in a press release, said that the pausing in production will be felt in Ontario and affect deliveries to Guelph for a short period. WDG Public Health will be continuing to move forward with the vaccine supply that they have on hand, but will be making changes to the vaccination clinic; with rescheduling of appointments unavoidable. Those who will be affected by the pause will be contacted directly. Residents, staff, and essential caregivers in long term care and retirement homes will continue to be prioritized for vaccinations. Individuals who have already received the vaccine will be able to get their second does, although for some it will be delayed. Public Health said that the delay in the second dose will not affect individuals developing immunity to the second dose. “Everyone wants to see vaccines arrive as quickly as possible to the region,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin- Guelph Public Health. “This delay is only temporary and will allow the manufacturer the ability to provide increased vaccine to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in the coming weeks. As an agency, our commitment remains, vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible according to the provincial schedule.” For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca/vaccine. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press