US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry warned world leaders that the world is now in "the decisive decade" to limit the effects of climate change, and must "raise ambitions" to meet the challenge. (Feb 19)
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry warned world leaders that the world is now in "the decisive decade" to limit the effects of climate change, and must "raise ambitions" to meet the challenge. (Feb 19)
(Leah Mills/Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters - image credit) Donald Trump's actions will take centre stage in a Vancouver courtroom this week as Meng Wanzhou's lawyers try to prove the former U.S. president poisoned extradition proceedings against the Huawei executive. The case should be tossed out because of alleged political interference, Meng's lawyers are expected to argue at the first of three sets of B.C. Supreme Court hearings scheduled to stretch into mid-May. A decision on the extradition request isn't expected until much later this year. The 49-year-old, who is Huawei's chief financial officer, is charged with fraud and conspiracy in New York in relation to allegations she lied to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013 about Huawei's control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The arguments related to the former president concern a statement he made to a Reuters reporter in the weeks after Meng's arrest at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 1, 2018. At the time, Trump said he would "certainly intervene" if he thought it was necessary to help the U.S. reach a trade deal with China. Charter rights argument could be 'decider' The Crown — which represents the U.S. in the proceeding — contends there's no evidence Trump made good on his words and that any possible influence he could have had on the case ended along with his term in office. University of B.C. professor Michael Byers, an expert on international law, says he doubts the defence team will have much success convincing Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes the U.S. Department of Justice has been swayed by political considerations. Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of the telecommunications giant. She is accused of fraud and conspiracy. But he does think they'll have a better shot in the coming weeks with claims Meng's rights were breached on her arrival when Canada Border Services Agency officers questioned her for three hours before RCMP executed a warrant calling for her "immediate arrest." "That three-hour period could well have constituted a violation of her Section 7 rights to security of the person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "And so if the extradition judge is to rule that Ms. Meng should be set free, my expectation is that it's that particular element of the case that will be the decider." Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, the man who became a billionaire by turning his global communications giant into a flagship business prized by the Chinese state. Meng's legal team includes lawyers from firms across Canada. And her case is being spearheaded by Vancouver's Richard Peck, of Peck and Company. Strategy to have case thrown out Along with arguments about Trump's role, the allegations related to Meng's treatment by the CBSA are part of a multi-pronged defence strategy to have the proceedings stayed. Meng's lawyers also claim the U.S. misled Canada about the strength of its case and that American prosecutors are reaching far beyond their jurisdiction by trying a Chinese citizen for a conversation that took place in Hong Kong with an executive for an English bank. Meng Wanzhou's lawyers are expected to claim her charter rights were violated during her first few hours in CBSA custody. Holmes will hear submissions about the events surrounding Meng's arrest during the second stretch of hearings, scheduled to begin in mid-March. The defence claims the CBSA conspired with the RCMP and CBSA to have border agents question Meng without a lawyer. They also seized her cellphones and later gave the passcodes to police, in contravention of policy. The defence has accused the RCMP of sending technical information from Meng's electronic devices to the Americans. A senior officer who was in touch with a legal attache for the FBI has refused to testify — and last month, Meng's lawyers announced their intention to try to force the Crown to disclose their communication with him about that decision. 'An irritant' in U.S.-China relationship In court documents filed in advance of this week's hearing, Meng's lawyers cited comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a need to tie a trade deal between the U.S and China to the resolution of Meng's situation and the fate of two Canadians imprisoned in China. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been accused of spying by the Chinese government in what most observers believe is retaliation for Meng's arrest. Michael Kovrig, left, and Michael Spavor, right, were arrested by China in the wake of charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. U.S. President Joe Biden has called for their release. The Crown doesn't make any mention of the so-called "two Michaels" in its submissions, but the defence claims the constellation of factors riding on the case has made it extremely difficult for Meng to defend herself without worrying about the impact on others. U.S. President Joe Biden called on China to release Kovrig and Spavor last week following a bilateral meeting with Trudeau, saying "human beings are not bartering chips." Byers believes Biden may decide to bring an end to efforts to extradite Meng in the coming months as he looks to improve the U.S. relationship with China. "It is in the hands of the Biden administration to end this case. And the Biden administration will be in the process now of resetting the relationship between the United States and China. That is a hugely important relationship, for economic reasons, for security reasons. "Those two superpowers need to get along. They need to get things done. And Ms. Meng's presence in Vancouver is an irritant in that relationship." To that end, reports by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters last December claimed Meng was in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an end to the case through a deal that would see her admit to some wrongdoing in exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement. In an exclusive interview with CBC's chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any deal would have to be made free of geopolitical considerations. "We follow the law. We follow the facts. "And one of the things that we don't do is have politics or foreign policy interfere in the workings of the Justice Department."
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) THE LATEST: Every eligible adult in B.C. should receive a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by July, the province said. B.C. has extended the acceptable time between the first and second dose of a vaccine to four months. B.C. recorded 589 new cases and seven more deaths on Friday. A total of 1,478 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths were announced on Monday. There were 42 new variants of concern identified in B.C. over the weekend. There are now 236 people in hospital due to COVID-19 with 65 in intensive care. A total of 1,363 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are currently 4,464 active cases of coronavirus in the province, Public health is monitoring 8,210 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. So far, 275,681 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C. — around four per cent of the population — with 83,777 of those being second doses. Every eligible adult in British Columbia should be able to receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by late July after the approval of a new vaccine and a decision to delay second doses. Health officials announced the accelerated timeline Monday as the province moved into the second, seniors-focused phase. Seniors 80 and older, Indigenous seniors 65 and older, hospital staff and medical specialists, vulnerable populations living and working in congregated settings, and staff providing in-home support to seniors will begin getting their shots this month. The province's vaccination plan is focused on inoculating high-risk and most elderly populations by April, followed by younger age groups in the spring and summer. Also on Monday, the province announced it is immediately extending the time between first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccine to four months. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control — and countries around the world such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand — shows "miraculous" protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Variants in schools Fraser Health said on Sunday that additional testing is underway at two Surrey schools after one person at École Woodward Hill Elementary and two at Surrey Traditional Elementary tested positive for a variant of concern. One class at Woodward Hill is already isolating and will remain in isolation until March 4. Two classes at Surrey Traditional will self-isolate until March 4. Both schools remain open. Mass testing of classrooms at two other Surrey schools affected by a variant case, James Ardiel Elementary and Tamanawis Secondary, identified no new cases. On Friday, Fraser Health announced that positive variant cases have been confirmed at an additional three schools: Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Frank Hurt Secondary School and M.B. Sanford Elementary School. Police say they fined the Riverside Calvary Chapel in Langley, B.C., for not following provincial health orders. Churches in court Three Fraser Valley churches were in court Monday seeking to overturn provincial health orders barring in-person religious gatherings. The orders were put in place by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry last year as a way to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and were last extended on Feb. 10. In January, pastors with Langley's Riverside Calvary Chapel, Abbotsford's Immanuel Covenant Reformed Church and the Free Reformed Church of Chilliwack filed a petition claiming Henry had violated their guaranteed constitutional right to expression and religious worship by shutting down all in-person religious gatherings and worship services while allowing restaurants and businesses to remain open. Wastewater tool Metro Vancouver on Monday launched an online tool allowing residents to track the viral load of COVID-19 that researchers have found in untreated water at the region's wastewater treatment plants. The region said the data is meant to help health authorities better understand how present the virus might be in a given area and to evaluate the effectiveness of public health restrictions. Residents can click on a specific wastewater treatment plant on a map to see a snapshot of the COVID-19 virus trend for that area. Case breakdown Cases of COVID-19 variants continue to increase in B.C. with 42 more identified over the weekend for a total now of 158. A total of 1,478 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths were announced on Monday. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 236 people, 65 of whom are in intensive care. A total of 1,363 people in B.C. have lost their lives due to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. There are currently 4,464 active cases of coronavirus in the province, with public health monitoring 8,210 people across B.C. who are in self-isolation due to COVID-19 exposure. More than 74,776 people who tested positive have recovered. So far, 275,681 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C. — around four per cent of the population — with 83,777 of those being second doses. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 4 p.m. PT Sunday, Canada had reported 866,503 cases of COVID-19, with 30,731 cases considered active. A total of 21,994 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.
(Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit) Melanie Whitlow says she and her family had only recently started to get ahead financially when a complication with their immigration forms caused her husband to be fired from his job. "We're down at least half our income," said Whitlow, 39. "We've had to stop being able to save money for future endeavours and our future life plans." Whitlow and her husband, Steve Whitlow, 43, moved their family of four to Vancouver in August 2019 from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as part of British Columbia's provincial nominee program, which offers a path to permanent residency for skilled and semi-skilled workers in high-demand occupations. It was a plan eight years in the making. Whitlow is a registered nurse and had to complete the B.C. licensing process before finding an employer willing to nominate her. She eventually secured a position with Vancouver General Hospital, giving the family a path to permanent residency. Steve, 43, did not have a job waiting for him, but accompanied his wife and found a job in July of last year with a steel company in Richmond. The pair says things were going "pretty good," until a few weeks ago when, on Family Day, an oversight in their work permit renewal forms resulted in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada denying their extension. Melanie Whitlow has since had her work permit restored, allowing her to work until 2023. Her husband, Steve, is still waiting for a decision from IRCC. Whitlow says she completed the IRCC forms well in advance of the Feb. 4 deadline, but failed to include the necessary Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption number from her employer. She says it was an "oversight," given her employer had paid the corresponding fee and had the number, but that she was still able to submit the paperwork without this crucial bit of information. Documents shared with CBC show IRCC followed up with them on a separate issue, regarding a different $100 fee from her employer, but never mentioned the missing LMIA number. An email to IRCC about the outstanding $100 balance shows the couple requested a follow-up phone call with IRCC staff. Eleven days later their permits were denied, making it illegal for the couple to work. But while Melanie says VGH chose to "keep an eye" on the situation, Steve's employer opted to terminate him. Legal experts say that while IRCC had the right to reject the couple's application over the missing number, their case reflects the sometimes impersonal touch of a department tasked with approving complicated forms — ones capable of throwing lives into turmoil if completed incorrectly. "A human had to have read my note where I was clearly confused," said Melanie. "I don't know why they would deny a work permit instead of reaching out." In its response to CBC's inquiry about the Whitlow file, IRCC acknowledged that both permits had been refused due to the missing LMIA exemption number "as well as the employer compliance fee." "Mrs. Whitlow was advised by IRCC of her eligibility to apply for restoration and she reapplied," writes the department. "Her work permit has since been approved and is valid until February 18, 2023 ... Mr. Whitlow also applied for a restoration of his temporary status and this application is in progress." Immigration officers quick to 'move on' One immigration lawyer tells CBC that IRCC officers will reject applications that are missing information in order to "move on to their next task." "Normally folks would hope that an officer would pick up the phone and call them," said Joshua Slayen of Larlee Rosenberg, Barristers & Solicitors. "It's very disheartening to see someone so negatively impacted by it." Immigration lawyer Joshua Slayen says IRCC forms are not necessarily designed for easy use, and that applicants should review their details closely. Slayen says applicants have three options when their paperwork is refused or rejected, including restoration, reconsideration, or an appeal in Federal Court. "There has to be some smarter way to do this," said Melanie Whitlow, acknowledging that many of those who interact with the IRCC may not speak English and therefore require more assistance. While the couple is confident Steve's work permit will be restored, the couple says it's unlikely he will get his old job back. "The IRCC doesn't pick the dominos up," said Steve Whitlow. "They only let them fall."
Les truffes de culture et sauvages pourraient d’ici quelques années devenir une spécialité mauricienne. Des chercheuses, spécialistes, organismes, investisseurs et propriétaires forestiers et terriens flairent aujourd’hui la bonne et belle affaire. La filière s’organise. Un véritable réseau truffier est en train de se structurer en Mauricie, grâce aux efforts concertés de nombreux intervenants qui travaillent en synergie. Parmi eux, Truffes Québec, ArborInnov, la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie (bras de développement des comestibles forestiers du Syndicat des producteurs de bois de la Mauricie), des chercheurs et des propriétaires privés. Truffes Québec espère, dès à présent, implanter chaque année un peu moins d’une dizaine de truffières sur le territoire de la Mauricie. L’organisation veut que la région serve de modèle dans la culture de ce champignon convoité, goûteux, rarissime et coûteux. Pour y parvenir, Truffes Québec travaille de très près avec la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie qui sert de point d’entrée aux exploitants intéressés par la culture des truffes. Ces derniers sont ensuite référés à Truffes Québec qui analyse les projets et leur faisabilité. « On veut avoir des producteurs qui ont une vision et qui ne cherchent pas une rentabilité à court terme. Il y a tout un accompagnement pour faire en sorte que chaque installation soit un succès. En particulier pour la truffe des Appalaches. C’est l’aspect global qu’on travaille avec eux », explique Jean-Pierre Proulx, directeur de Truffes Québec. Intervient alors ArborInnov qui travaille depuis 2009 à valoriser la culture des truffes, à produire des arbres truffiers et à conseiller les producteurs. Des producteurs qui n’ont aucune intention de crier sur tous les toits leur affection pour la truffe et les projets qui se réalisent dans le plus grand secret et sous le couvert de l’anonymat. « On a eu des rencontres, fait des analyses de sols, de faisabilité » précise M. Proulx. Julia (nom d’emprunt) est l’une de celle qui veut avec son conjoint, planter 1 600 arbres truffiers sur sa terre de douze hectares. La truffière en occupera le dixième de sa superficie. « C’est un projet de préretraite. On cherchait une culture à faire sur une petite surface et je voulais avoir une forêt derrière la maison. On va planter des chênes rouges, du pin blanc et des épinettes de Norvège qui tiennent compte de notre type de sol. Les cultures émergentes nous intéressent. Je suis dans l’industrie alimentaire depuis toujours, je vois beaucoup de potentiel de développement. On essaie de limiter nos rêves de grandeurs. Si on compare à ce qui sort en nature, on devrait avoir un rendement qui nous permette d’en vivre comme retraités. Et il n’est pas impossible, si le résultat est bon, qu’on ajoute un autre champ. Il faut être capable de supporter l’investissement », souligne Julia qui se garde bien de nous dire combien elle a investi, et où! « On est en Mauricie », se limite-t-elle à préciser. Julia lance sa truffière en toute discrétion dès le printemps prochain, avant les possibles sécheresses de l’été. « Il va falloir arroser, on n’a pas le choix ». Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie planchent sur des projets porteurs qui pourraient être dévoilés au courant de l’hiver. « Ça fait déjà travailler plein de monde. Quand ça se met à décoller, dans dix ans, c’est une autre affaire », conclut M. Quirion. Combien vaut un kilo de truffes du Québec? On vient de vendre un kilo de truffes des Appalaches pour 3 000 $. Des centaines de milliers de dollars investis dans la truffe en Mauricie Les investissements se multiplient en Mauricie. « On regroupe la cueillette, la transformation, la restauration, le mycotourisme, la recherche et le développement. On bâtit ensemble un plan quinquennal », explique Patrick Lupien, coordonnateur de la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie. La Filière travaille main dans la main avec Truffes Québec et ArborInnov. « Mon rôle est de mobiliser les propriétaires en vue de développer des champs truffiers en Mauricie, de venir ajouter au positionnement de la Mauricie dans le secteur », affirme M. Lupien de la Filière. Ce dernier travaille aussi au développement d’une filière de mycotourisme de la truffe sauvage avec la chercheuse Véronique Cloutier. Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie vont travailler de concert avec le club-conseil en agroenvironnement Lavi-Eau-Champ à l’implantation de champs truffiers. Cet automne, près de 200 000 $ ont été investis par des producteurs truffiers truffiers indépendants qui vont lancer leur truffière au printemps 2021. « L’investissement va varier selon les producteurs. Les arbres sont déjà réservés », ajoute Jean-Pierre Proulx. « C’est une excellente nouvelle, qui vient une fois de plus confirmer le rôle central que peut jouer la Mauricie dans la croissance de la mycologique et de la gastronomie au Québec , ajoute Patrick Lupien. Pour des projets qui sont porteurs comme ça, je ne pense pas qu’on ait besoin des gouvernements.» Une foule d’autres variétés pourraient, à terme, être produites en régie agronomique, estime Patrick Lupien de la Filière mycologique, d’autant que les pays européens enregistrent actuellement des baisses de production. Le Québec pourrait se faufiler. « On parle de la truffe sauvage au Québec, comme quand je parlais de champignons il y a douze ans. La truffe suit cette même dynamique. Et elle est réfléchie. Il y a une clientèle nationale et internationale prête à la découvrir », estime M. Lupien. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
Tina Fey asked the tough question 10 minutes into the three-hour Golden Globes broadcast Sunday: Could this whole night have been an email? Well, maybe. We wouldn’t have gotten to see the awkwardness of Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech (almost) cut before it began, Don Cheadle giving a tie-dyed sweatshirt clad Jason Sudeikis the wrap-up signal, or Catherine O’Hara’s husband playing her off with his iPhone — a funny bit hampered by bad sound. But we also wouldn’t have gotten to tear up along with Chadwick Boseman’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward or see the sweetness of Mark Ruffalo’s kids standing proudly behind him when he won, or Ethan Hawke’s sitting with him when he didn’t. We also wouldn’t have gotten swept away by Norman Lear’s heartfelt remarks. It helped that Lear’s setup looked professionally produced. Many did not. Celebrities, we’ve all learned over the past year, have bad lighting and shoddy internet connections too, even on an awards show night. The 78th Annual Golden Globes came in limping Sunday, not just because of the strangeness of producing a live, bicoastal show a year into a pandemic, but because in the week leading up to the event, the 87-person organization behind the endeavour, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was given an unflattering spotlight in a series of exposes in The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. The most stinging revelation was that there are zero Black members in their ranks. Whether or not they would address it was perhaps the biggest question going into the night. Hosts Fey and Amy Poehler said they needed to change. And three members of the HFPA came out on stage to say they intended to. The remoteness of it all allowed them to control the controversy on their own terms, or at least manage it. For the show, it was a silver lining. For the audience, it felt like a punt. In a normal year, every nominee and guest would have been asked about it on the red carpet. All the celebrities who posted that Time’s Up message on their socials would have had to say something. Sunday, there was no one to ask. The HFPA may have just bought themselves another year to get their act together. Although their nominations are occasionally absurd, the ultimate winners often aren’t. “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao became the first woman to win best director since Barbra Streisand in 1984. Boseman won too. As did “Minari” and Lee Isaac Chung (who also shared an especially sweet moment with his young daughter), even if it was relegated to the foreign language category. Kate Hudson, who proved to be a trouper despite all the fun made of her nomination and film, did not. Unfortunately, as the night wore on, more and more winners found themselves played off by the show, including most of “The Crown.” Worse, the cut off music was bad. The evening had its inspired comedic moments too, most of which came from hosts Fey and Poehler who in their fourth time leading the show seamlessly played off of one another with almost 3,000 miles between them. Though it was easy to forget that they were on different coasts, they were always ready with a well-timed gag acknowledging that they weren’t. They also mocked the weirdness of it all, about halfway through exhaustedly recapping the meagre GIF and meme moments thus far — Cheadle, Tracy Morgan mispronouncing “Soul” as sal and Sudeikis’ hoodie. “Those are the messy things we love about the Globes,” Poehler said. The show has always been touted as a party, boozy, glamourous and unruly with hosts who are welcome to poke fun and occasionally even cross the line. The booziness perhaps has been overstated of late — most are far too savvy to get drunk on camera before their category. Besides, that’s what the after parties are for. But there was a lot lost here, even as the show tried to manufacture moments between the nominees with awkward semi-public five-way conversations before commercial breaks. “This is so weird,” said Lily Collins, to the heads on the five disconnected screens around her. She could have been speaking for all of us. Cutting away to the nominees after a joke or a related win was rarely successful and often stilted, although the later categories seemed to learn from the mistakes of the earlier ones. But it made it even more frustrating that the show failed to use their in-person talent more creatively. Yes, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo got a fun “Barb and Star” moment, as did Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson. But they also got Tiffany Haddish to show up and all she got was one quip about Eddie Murphy’s mansions. The NBC tie-ins, too, seemed more shameless than usual. The Golden Globes have in years past been a frivolity that's still a pretty watchable, star-studded show. It occasionally even captured the zeitgeist in surprisingly meaningful ways. Audiences expect the worst and sometimes find it. But there are also grace notes in all the silliness— remember the sea of black to support the newly formed Time’s Up a few years ago and that Oprah speech? And maybe it’s that tension that has kept the Globes audience relatively stable. Whether or not this year will hold up when the numbers come in remains to be seen, but it would be a surprise. And does it matter? It’s not as though anyone involved is planning to relive this experience. “We all know that awards shows are stupid,” Fey said early on. Yes, they are. But maybe it’s just the stupidity we all need after a very tough year. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
“Later,” by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime) Stephen King gets a lot of credit for creating the monsters under kids’ beds (here’s looking at you, Pennywise), but not enough for this simple fact: The guy gets kids. Their fears, certainly, but also their voices, the way they see the world differently than adults. To a long list that includes Danny Torrance from “The Shining” and Gordie Lachance from “The Body,” we can now add Jamie Conklin, the star of King’s most recent novel, “Later.” Published under the Hard Case Crime imprint, which also distributed “The Colorado Kid” (2005) and “Joyland” (2013) — “Later” is narrated by 22-year-old Jamie, looking back on his formative years. He begins his story at age 6, when he first figured out he could see and talk to the dead. It’s that gift which propels the plot of this slim novel. Encouraged by his mother’s NYPD girlfriend, Liz, Jamie gets tied up in the pursuit of a serial bomber in New York. It’s not giving too much away to say he helps crack the case, but to say what happens after that would spoil all the fun. There’s classic King here for fans. Imagine the carnage on any given day in the Big Apple and then imagine being a young man seeing the mangled dead walking around in the afterlife, with holes in their heads “as big as a dessert plate and surrounded by irregular fangs of bone.” But even amid the gore and escalating tension, King finds moments to make Jamie relatable. As Liz and his mom argue at the scene of a crime, we pop inside Jamie’s head before he screams at them. “One of the worst things about being a kid, maybe the very worst, is how grownups ignore you when they get going" on their own issues, writes King. In the end, the story Jamie narrates to readers climaxes in a thrilling whodunit, while uncovering truths about Jamie’s life that might have been better left buried. For as the novel’s cover declares: “Only the dead have no secrets.” Rob Merrill, The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska — Scientists in Alaska have discovered 10 cases of a new coronavirus strain that researchers have said is more contagious and potentially more effective at evading vaccines. The B.1.429 variant, first discovered in California, was identified in Alaska in early January and has since been detected nine more times, according to a report released on Wednesday by scientists assembled by the state to investigate new strains. At least six groups of B.1.429 cases have been detected statewide this year, the report said. Scientists and public health officials have expressed concerns about multiple new strains of the coronavirus, which they say could prolong the pandemic even as governments scale up their vaccination efforts, KTOO-FM reported. State public health officials also said they have identified two cases of the more contagious B.1.1.7 strain, first discovered in the United Kingdom, along with one case of the P.1 strain, which was first seen in Brazil. The P.1 strain is also more contagious, and vaccines may be less viable against it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates the P.1 and B.1.1.7 strains as “variants of concern.” The CDC has not yet designated the B.1.429 variant first found in California as a variant of concern. The Associated Press
Un projet qui allie leurs deux plus grandes passions, la production vidéo et la planche à neige : voilà ce que viennent de décrocher Jordan Hewitt et Marc-André Houde, les copropriétaires de MJ Production. Ils ont récemment débuté la production d’une première émission de télévision, appelée Au sommet, qui sera consacrée à leur sport favori et qui sera présentée sur les ondes de TVA Sports à compter de janvier 2022. Les deux jeunes hommes sont des amis de longue date, mais ont des parcours bien différents. Jordan, qui a 24 ans et qui vient de Jonquière, a étudié en cinéma et a participé à plusieurs tournages en Ontario. Son ami Marc-André, lui, a 30 ans et vient de Chicoutimi. Il a comptabilisé les projets, alors qu’il est aussi propriétaire du Gîte du haut des arbres et de la boutique de vêtements Landscape, en plus d’avoir travaillé dans le domaine de la construction. Toutefois, les deux amis se sont toujours retrouvés au milieu des mêmes passions : la vidéo et la planche à neige. Depuis des années, ils filment leurs péripéties et leurs aventures en montagne avec leur groupe d’amis. Ils ont aussi mis sur pied l’entreprise MJ Production, une boîte de production corporative, il y a environ un an. Ces productions occupent le plus de leur temps, mais le duo gardait toujours en tête de faire de la production télévisuelle, et même cinématographique. « Nous, on se filme en snow depuis 2010. On se filmait dans les rues, dans l’urbain ou encore dans les montagnes l’hiver, dans le but de faire des films », commence Jordan, lors d’un entretien par visioconférence avec Le Progrès. Le but : montrer ce dont ils sont capables et leur progression à travers les années dans des films. Ils ont poussé ce projet, cet hiver. Avec leurs amis de longue date, ils ont préparé le contenu d’une émission de télévision. « On filme nos histoires. On part en trip dans la montagne et on filme tout ce qui nous arrive. C’est vraiment nos péripéties », continue Jordan. Les téléspectateurs pourront les suivre dans leurs destinations, alors que certains épisodes ont été tournés dans l’Ouest canadien, mais d’autres seront aussi concentrés sur les joyaux du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Les deux producteurs avaient confiance en leur projet. Sans attendre d’être signés par une chaîne, ils ont filmé et ont monté des épisodes pour ensuite les proposer aux stations de télévision. Plusieurs chaînes s’y sont rapidement intéressées. « Chez TVA Sports, on était vraiment emballé par notre émission, ils n’avaient rien à dire. Ils la trouvaient vraiment wow », souligne Marc-André. La réponse claire d’une chaîne a bien évidemment été un soulagement pour le duo qui avait déjà consacré beaucoup d’argent et de temps dans ce projet. Jordan admet qu’à quelques reprises, il n’y croyait plus, mais Marc-André était convaincu que leur moment allait venir. Les deux hommes sont très fiers d’avoir réussi à percer. « Quand on se dit qu’on a commencé par aimer la production vidéo avec le snow, pis que là, on a réussi à créer un projet comme ça à la télé dans nos premières amours, c’est quelque chose », continue Marc-André. Il souligne également que ce projet les fait beaucoup voyager, ce qu’il trouve « trippant ». Pour les deux hommes, ce n’est que le début. Ils rêvent déjà à d’autres saisons et de filmer une finale dans un autre pays. Projet d’émission d’été, long métrage, les possibilités sont infinies. La première saison sera sur les ondes de TVA Sports à compter de janvier 2022. L’émission sera aussi disponible en ligne. Elle comptera 8 épisodes de 30 minutes chacun. Le duo a laissé entendre qu’une deuxième saison et même plus pourrait possiblement voir le jour dans un futur proche. Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Being innovative and doing things differently isn’t new for SmartICE — since the social enterprise began in a basement at Memorial University in 2013, it has to come up with new technologies and found ways to integrate into the northern communities it works in, while bringing traditional Indigenous knowledge into what it does. What SmartICE does is provide data on sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions to 23 Inuit communities in Labrador and the Arctic. The company has a production facility in Nain where it teaches Inuit youth how to build the technology it uses, which has been a great success so far. Now, thanks to a US$500,000 grant from the Climate Change Resilience Fund, SmartICE is developing a new holistic program to provide Inuit youth with the skills to create ice travel safety maps using satellite imagery and Inuit sea-ice terminology. Trevor Bell, the founding director of SmartICE, said the need for the maps had been identified by the communities and will address what is seen by residents as a gap in service and knowledge. Bell said there currently are sea-ice charts created by the federal government for shipping purposes in the Arctic, but they don’t meet the needs of people travelling on sea ice for a number of reasons, so that’s where these maps will come in. The Sikumik Qaujimajjuti (which roughly translates to "tool to know how the ice is") project will train the company’s community operators to make maps at the right temporal and spatial scale using Inuktitut terminology and traditional knowledge of the ice, combined with SmartICE observations and satellite imagery. The satellite imagery already exists, Bell said, and SmartICE will use the same source material as the government, but through a different lens. While it would be possible to train the federal ice analysts to make maps at the right scale for communities, he said, in reality many of those analysts have never been on community sea ice before. “They probably have no idea what it’s like to travel on the ice and therefore it’s not appropriate. The community wouldn’t trust those maps made by somebody else,” Bell said. “When it’s made by one of their own, using their own knowledge, using their own language, using their own observations, that’s something that’s really useful for communities.” Rex Holwell, the SmartICE Northern Production Centre and regional operations lead for Nunatsiavut, will run the program in Nain, and is learning how to make the maps. Holwell said people out on sea ice are using topographical maps on their GPS devices, and these new ice travel safety maps will be a significant improvement. Holwell said the technical skills the youths will learn in the community will be transferable to other work, similar to the program offered at the northern production centre in Nain, and will help them gain more traditional knowledge. “The ice knowledge my grandfather had isn’t necessarily as embedded as it should be in my son, for example,” he said. “I have freezers full of food, we have food storage here in Nain, so that ability, that need, of travelling on the sea ice is not there for the younger generation.” Bell said that gap in knowledge was highlighted by Inuit elders and was part of the impetus for this project. Using Inuit terminology on the maps will also help in that regard, he said, as well as add more nuanced descriptions. In western science there are about 15 words that describe different types of ice, he said, and the terms are designed with the idea of informing a ship captain the easiest route through the ice. In Inuktitut there are up over 75 different terms for ice, depending on the region. “There’s different terminology for different seasons, for freeze up, the dark season, break up, and those words may be a single Inuktitut word but to the people who hear or read it, it describes a feature, tells them what season it’s in, probably tells you what the weather was likely recently or tells you about safety,” he said. “Terminology is so rich and it’s so crucial to strengthen that traditional knowledge and terminology because as Inuit say, when you’re out on the ice that’s what keeps us safe.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Department of Health and Human Services has reported fewer than 100 influenza cases in the state during this flu season, down from close to 400 cases at this time last year. While 13 state residents died with the flu last season, so far this season, only two flu deaths have been recorded in Alaska, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Sunday. The 2018-19 flu season yielded almost 12 times more flu cases in the state compared to the ongoing 2020-21 season, said Carrie Edmonson, a state nurse epidemiologist who compiles the state’s weekly “flu snapshot” report. Flu death data for the entire U.S. population is hard to compile quickly, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials maintain a count on how many children die from influenza. One pediatric flu death has been reported so far this season compared to 195 deaths in the 2019-20 season. During the 2019-2020 influenza season, the CDC estimated that influenza was associated with 38 million illnesses, 18 million medical visits, 405,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths across the country. “This is the lowest flu season we’ve had on record,” according to a surveillance system that is about 25 years old, said Lynnette Brammer of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health officials such as Edmonson have said that public health orders aimed at limiting the spread of the coronavirus have also prevented the flu from spreading. Officials also attribute the flu's decline to less influenza testing and increased flu vaccinations, the newspaper reported. The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film. Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honoured for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors. “I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honour virtually on Sunday night. She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks. “This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.” The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theatres and streaming on Hulu. “Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.” She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honours at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category. “Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees. Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost. Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall. Beth Harris, The Associated Press
Thousands of rare photos and artifacts spanning decades of First Nations and Saskatchewan history will find a new home. Amateur Arcola historian Adrian Paton died last month at 86, leaving behind a treasure trove of historical photos of First Nations in Saskatchewan from around the turn of the century. The collection has passed to family members, who are considering how to share the historical photos with the public and, if possible, repatriate the artifacts to their home communities. "The picture is valuable, but the story behind the picture is what makes it incredible," said his daughter, Val Guillemin. She helped Paton compile his 2018 book, An Honest, Genial and Kindly People, which features photos and stories Paton gathered over three to four decades of research. That research grew to be a valuable source for Indigenous communities piecing together family histories, she said. One of those people was Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, a board member of Wanuskewin Heritage Park and a senior director of Indigenous Engagement at the University of Saskatchewan. She's helping Guillemin find a suitable place for her father's work, whether that's through an exhibit or by repatriating some of the artifacts. Wasacase-Lafferty has personal ties to Paton's work. Her father, who was in residential school, was about eight years old when his mother died. She grew up with few stories about her grandmother. When she found Paton's book, she pored over every turn of the century photo of her home community of Kahkewistahaw First Nation, thinking her grandmother could be there. "I'm like 50 years old and I finally feel I've seen really who I am," she said. Wasacase-Lafferty compared it to an "odd, cold and sad" Plains Cree exhibit at the British Royal Museum she saw 10 years ago, saying Paton's work is an example of how it could be done better. It acts a model of Indigenous and non-Indigenous relations, she said. University of the Fraser Valley history professor Keith Carlson, who worked with Paton at the U of S, said the rarity of the documents is also historically significant. Many of the records haven't been preserved elsewhere, he said. Carlson, a former president of the Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society, assisted Paton with his collection. He said Paton's work was notable for investigating archival sources, like old newspaper articles, to track down photos and build histories around the images. That can be a valuable resource for families learning about their histories, including by replicating highly specific details like the designs on regalia in the photos, he noted. That's valuable for people like Ocean Man First Nation Chief Connie Big Eagle. When she visited Paton's house, she lingered in front of an old photo that caught her eye. Paton told her the name of the man in the picture, leading Big Eagle to discover it was a photo of her great-grandfather that she had never seen before. "It was like there was a connection, an understanding or something, of who we come from." Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
Sundridge may be on the verge of eliminating an algae problem with its lagoons by using ultrasound. Council received a presentation about the cutting-edge technology from Paul Dyrda, the senior operations manager at the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA). Dyrda says the ultrasound technology, called LG Sonic, works, and he wants council to approve the purchase of the $31,000 equipment. That may happen this month when council debates the presentation. Dyrda says the density and heaviness of the algal blooms at Sundridge's lagoons has “overwhelmed” the wastewater treatment system in the past. “The facilities were not designed to treat water with that amount of algae,” he explains. As a result, Dyrda says, the village's facility failed to meet environmental compliance objectives during warm weather since that's when algae is most active. At one point, Dyrda says, OCWA considered using a floating ball system where enough balls are placed in the water system that they block the sun's ultraviolet rays which, in turn, stops the algae growth. The problem is the cost worked out to be $500,000. OCWA applied for government funding for the floating balls, but the request was rejected. However, around the same time, Dyrda says, OCWA staff learned about the ultrasonic technology, which breaks the algae down at a cellular level and then it dies. OCWA received permission from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to try the technology on one of the lagoons last summer. “So for two months we had the algae-control device in the middle of one lagoon and compared it to the other lagoon without the device,” Dyrda says. “The difference was dramatic. The difference between the two lagoons was unbelievable and it was very successful.” Dyrda says the ultrasonic technology is so cutting-edge he doesn't believe any other municipality has government approval to use it. Dyrda says the one “caveat” with the technology is it only works on breaking down blue-green algae and green algae, which now plague the village's lagoons. “So there's the potential that you get rid of one algae, but then another type takes its place,” he told council. But, he added, there is no other option, like spending half a million dollars on the floating balls “which may or may not have worked. “This (ultrasonic technology) is the better option of the two,” Dyrda said. He wants council to approve the purchase so the equipment can be installed once the snow is gone. In addition to the $31,000 cost, installation wouldn't exceed $5,000. Dyrda says last summer's pilot project made the village's lagoons compliant with government regulations and said once the LG Sonic system is in place “all the effluent water that's going to leave the lagoons is going to be compliant.” With Dyrda during the presentation was OCWA's business development manager, Ted Smider. “Sundridge is a pioneer in this and I know other parts of OCWA are looking at this particular technology to be used, so you're the first,” Smider said. In response Mayor Lyle Hall said he was sure the village would hear more about the technology in the future and added “hopefully, we'll be the model for other organizations and municipalities.” Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
Shawinigan – Tous les superhéros accomplissent des miracles, c'est bien connu. Nino Mancuso, le grand patron du Shawicon et son équipe en ont réalisé un également dans les dernières semaines, alors qu'ils ont réussi l'exploit de mettre sur pieds la sixième édition de l'événement, dans tout le contexte que l'on connaît, tout en s'assurant au passage la présence de grandes pointures du milieu du divertissement d'ici et d'ailleurs. Nino Mancuso ne s'en cache pas : l'édition 2021 n'avait rien à voir avec les précédentes. «Ça a été bien, bien, bien différent des autres années!» sourit-il, d'emblée. «Jusqu'en décembre, on n'était pas sûr de ce qu'on ferait. Avec les décisions du gouvernement, c'était difficile de se brancher», exprime-t-il. Non seulement fallait-il avoir le feu vert, mais tout était à faire pour l'organisation. «D'habitude, on se prépare dès le mois de mai ou juin, on avait donc un gros retard en partant dans la préparation et c'est quand même beaucoup de travail», concède le principal intéressé. Cette édition «bien, bien, bien» différente aura tout de même ouvert de belles possibilités à M. Mancuso et son équipe. «Avec la pandémie, on a eu la chance d'avoir des gros noms qu'on n'aurait pas pu avoir sinon. Qu'on pense à Bonnie Wright qui a joué dans Harry Potter ou à la gang de ''Dans une galaxie près de chez vous'' que j'essayais d'avoir depuis la première édition mais dont les acteurs ne pouvaient jamais tous en même temps parce qu'ils étaient sur un tournage, au théâtre. On a profité de cette situation. Ça a été bénéfique.» Nino Mancuso est par ailleurs convaincu d'avoir fait bonne impression auprès des vedettes de cette année et de leurs agents, ce qui, estime-t-il, ne nuira pas dans un futur proche. «C'est quand même compliqué d'atteindre certaines vedettes. J'ai été chanceux, j'ai contacté de grandes compagnies qui m'ont répondu. Tout le monde est super content, les invités ont eu beaucoup de plaisir et les artistes ont adoré la réaction des fans qui ont participé et nous ont suivi en grand nombre. C'était assez fou», se réjouit-il. L'événement se fait une fierté d'avoir été l'un des premiers en son genre à être offert totalement gratuitement aux passionnés du genre. «On a gravi un échelon de plus en tenant quelque chose de numérique. On est bien fiers d'avoir pu l'offrir gratuitement aux gens.» À peine l'édition 2021 terminée, l'organisation planchera logiquement sur la septième présentation de l'événement à pareille date l'an prochain. «On va commencer tranquillement. On est toujours un peu dans l'attente. Chose certaine, il y a des trucs qui vont changer, on va essayer quelque chose de nouveau», a laissé entendre M. Mancuso. En 2020, le Shawicon avait amené plus de 266 000$ en retombées économiques pour la ville de Shawinigan. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
CROTONE, Italy — Crotone fired coach Giovanni Stroppa on Monday, with the Serie A club bottom of the standings and eight points from safety. The 53-year-old Stroppa had been in charge since 2018 and led Crotone to promotion from Serie B last season. Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Cagliari was Crotone’s sixth straight loss and its 18th in 24 matches this campaign. “So ends a beautiful and intense journey, that lasted almost three years, and that wasn’t without difficult moments but that culminated in the extraordinary survival in Serie B and furthermore in the second, historic, promotion to Serie A,” Crotone said in a statement. Stroppa took charge of Crotone in June 2018, with the team in the second division, but was fired in October of that year after collecting just 11 points from nine matches. He was rehired two months later and steered the team to safety before guiding it to a second-place finish in Serie B the following season and promotion to the top flight. It is the sixth coaching change in Serie A this season. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
LONDON — Prince Philip was transferred Monday to a specialized London heart hospital to undergo testing and observation for a pre-existing heart condition as he continues treatment for an unspecified infection, Buckingham Palace said. The 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II was moved from King Edward VII's Hospital, where he has been treated since Feb. 17, to St. Bartholomew's Hospital, which specializes in cardiac care. As Philip was moved into a waiting ambulance for the transfer, people held up open umbrellas to shield him from photographers and the public. The palace says Philip “remains comfortable and is responding to treatment but is expected to remain in hospital until at least the end of the week.’’ Philip was admitted to the private King Edward VII’s Hospital in London after feeling ill. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to COVID-19. Both he and the queen, 94, received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in early January. The Bart’s Heart Centre is Europe’s biggest specialized cardiovascular centre, the National Health Service said. The centre seeks to perform more heart surgery, MRI and CT scans than any other service in the world. Philip, who retired from royal duties in 2017, rarely appears in public. During England’s current coronavirus lockdown, Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, has been staying at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947 and is the longest-serving royal consort in British history. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
La Bostonnais – Les élections partielles tenues à La Bostonnais dimanche ont permis de confirmer deux nouveaux conseillers, alors que François Descarreaux et Renée Ouellette ont obtenu une majorité de vote pour accéder aux sièges numéros deux et cinq, respectivement. Ces «nouveaux conseillers» sont déjà connus du public puisqu'ils ont démissionné des mêmes postes il y a un peu plus de trois mois, forçant la partielle de dimanche. Les deux élus avaient laissé leur place en novembre dernier en support au maire, lui aussi démissionnaire, Michel Sylvain, qui disait alors quitter en raison de tensions au sein du conseil municipal. Ces démissions n'avaient d'ailleurs pas été les seules puisque cinq des sept élus de la municipalité avaient choisi de tirer leur révérence avant la fin de leur mandat. Les deux seuls conseillers qui persistaient, François Baugée et Guy Laplante, étaient alors vivement pointés du doigts par tous ceux qui avaient décidé de passer à autre chose. «Les conseillers Baugée et Laplante agissent comme un parti d’opposition dont le rôle est de critiquer et démolir tout ce que le conseil met de l’avant. Ils n’ont pas compris, ou ne veulent pas comprendre que dans une petite municipalité il faut travailler tous ensemble pour réussir», pouvait-on lire jadis dans la lettre de démission des conseillers Descarreaux et Ouellette, réélus au terme du processus, dimanche avec 57% et 65% des voix. Le directeur général par intérim de La Bostonnais, Yves Tousignant, se disait fort satisfait du déroulement du scrutin puisque ce dernier a enregistré un taux de participation important considérant qu'il s'agissait d'une partielle. Ce sont 46,3% des électeurs habiles à voter qui ont exercé leur droit, soit 230 sur 497. Cet exercice démocratique permettra à la municipalité de gérer elle-même son avenir, maintenant que la Commission municipale du Québec, qui gérait l'intérim depuis novembre, pourra se dégager du dossier. Le conseil municipal étant maintenant complet, les élus pourront recommencer à siéger dès vendredi. Le mandat des nouveaux élus sera de huit mois, jusqu'aux prochaines élections municipales de novembre à venir. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
(Mike Heenan/CBC - image credit) Fredericton foresters have been warning about the infamous emerald ash borer for years. Now it's here. "Unfortunately, we knew it was just a matter of time and here it is," said Mike Glynn, a forester with the City of Fredericton. The invasive species that has destroyed millions of ash trees in North America was recently found in the Forest Hill area of Fredericton. Glynn said it's possible the insect has been in that area for years, and crews are just discovering it now. He assumes the insect has made its way to other areas of the city, possibly a while ago. "We haven't seen it yet but it doesn't mean it's not here." In New Brunswick, the emerald ash borer was first spotted in Edmundston in 2018. It was found in Oromocto the following year. What is it? The emerald ash borer is a bright, metallic green beetle native to East Asia, that probably arrived in packaging in the 1990s, according to Natural Resources Canada. No natural predators on this continent, including woodpeckers, have been able to stop its spread. The beetle lays eggs on the bark of the ash tree, and those eggs weave their way inside the tree, creating tunnels that vary in shape, including, zigzags and an "S" shape. The tunnels erode the ash tree's ability to feed. Despite efforts to limit its spread with quarantines and pesticides, the emerald ash borer has already made its way through Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and into the Atlantic provinces. The invasive beetle was found in Edmundston in 2018 and then in Oromocto the following year. On its own, an emerald ash borer only travels about 400 to 700 metres a year, but with people moving firewood from province to province, the ash borer can travel much farther. Ash trees have limited resistance to stave off the insects, which can kill trees within one to four years of infestation. How to get rid of it To prepare, the city has been inoculating ash trees, mostly in Odell and Wilmot parks and along city streets To apply the pesticide, several holes are drilled into the tree. Then a small white canister carrying the insecticide TreeAzin into the holes. The active ingredient in TreeAzin is azadirachtin, which is derived from a tree native to India called the neem tree. Treatments need to be performed every two years. Fredericton has about 10,000 ash trees in Odell Park and about 2,400 along city streets. The numbers don't include ash trees in other city-owned parks or on private property. "There's no guarantee with the treatment but if you don't treat the trees they will not survive," Glynn said. To fight off the invasive species, the city will cut down weaker ash trees and replace them with new ones and intensify detection. Almost 40 traps have been set up to find the tiny insect, but more are expected. Members of the public can also report any sightings to the City of Fredericton, Glynn said. "This is very bad news for the ash tree population of Fredericton."
Filming a polar bear just inches from its nose, close enough to see its breath fog up the lens, was a career highlight for Jeff Thrasher. The CBC producer is part of the team behind "Arctic Vets," a new show that follows the day-to-day operations at Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg."It was breathing warm air onto the lens. I was thinking, 'Wow, there's nothing between me and this polar bear,"' Thrasher said, who filmed the shot using a GoPro camera up in Churchill, Man. The show is also the first time cameras have been allowed in the Winnipeg facility, which houses Arctic animals like seals, polar bears and muskox."I've filmed many, many things in my career and that's right up there," Thrasher said. There are 10 half-hour episodes in the new series that features expeditions to Manitoba's subarctic, emergency animal rescues and daily life at the conservancy. The first episode follows veterinarian Chris Enright to Churchill just as polar bears are starting to migrate up the coast of Hudson Bay. When a bear wanders too close to town, Enright works with the local Polar Bear Alert Team to catch it and lift it by helicopter to a safe distance away. In the same episode, back in Winnipeg, the team trims the hooves of resident 800-pound muskox, Chloe.Although being around Arctic animals is part of Enright's daily life, he hopes the show will help bring southern Canadians a little closer to the North."This is our norm. But it's not the norm for a lot of people, so the show is a good opportunity to tell these stories," he said. "We have herds of caribou that rival migrating animals on the Serengeti, but people in the South don't necessarily know about that. And that's really unfortunate, because there's some incredible wildlife in the North."Enright also hopes the show will urge Canadians to think about protecting the country's Arctic ecosystems, which face the critical threat of climate change."There's a lot of concern with the effects of climate change and over the next 50, 100 years what's going to happen. As southerners, there are things we can do to protect and conserve those ecosystems," he said. The COVID-19 pandemic also hit in the middle of filming, which Enright said prevented the team from travelling into Nunavut.Jackie Enberg, an animal care supervisor and Heather Penner, an animal care professional, are also featured in the show for their work with polar bears."It's not just animal care or vet care, or conservation and research. It's all of it. We all have a great passion to educate and share and help inspire other people to make a difference, whether it's to make changes in your lives or just talk about," Penner said.Enberg said the bears featured in the show were rescued when they were a few years old. "They're here because they could not survive in the wild," Enberg said. "We just ultimately hope people will fall in love with polar bears as much as we have," Penner said. "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem. By Emma Tranter in Iqaluit, NunavutThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.---This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported that "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday at 8 p.m. In fact, it airs Friday at 8:30 p.m.