Laurentian University says they are facing unprecedented financial troubles and announced Monday that the institution has filed for court protection. Erica Vella reports.
Laurentian University says they are facing unprecedented financial troubles and announced Monday that the institution has filed for court protection. Erica Vella reports.
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
“I took some heat in my first term,” says Town of Minto Mayor George Bridge. “But I don’t any more.” The push-back was from some who questioned the town putting money into programs like CIP that offer grants to support private investors improving property. Southgate Township just approved its Community Improvement Plan, so there may be lessons in the experience from the Town of Minto. Minto now has three people in its economic development department. And yes, that’s for a municipality of 9,000 people, the Minto mayor said, reciting the numbers like someone who has heard some objections before. “What you really have to stress to your council and your communities is you can’t expect people to invest in these properties without an incentive,” he said in an interview with the Herald last fall. For every dollar the municipality has put in, the private sector investment now is more than four dollars. So how does he answer those who don’t see a role for municipalities in business? Well, actually, municipalities always have policies that affect business, he said. What’s new is the possibility under provincial rules that a township, city or county can provide legal incentives to businesses to invest. They do it through a CIP – a Community Improvement Plan. And that coincides with a new vision of economic development – “we’re not chasing smoke stacks any more,” Mayor Bridge told the Herald in an interview late last year. COMMUNITY GETS ON BOARD He listed a few other actions that helped forge the path to where they are today. Downtowns in Clifford, Harriston and Palmerston look better, more buildings are occupied, including some of the most deteriorated, and there is a team of residents in each town spearheading project such as projects like murals and benches. Each town has a community group (revitalization committee) with one council member assigned to it. The group is given a $5,000 budget each year by the municipality. A big factor in the success of the group is that those economic development staff members take care of the administration jobs like secretarial and financial duties. Those are the jobs no one can fill, and if you say yes, you’re in the job for 20 years, the mayor said. The municipality also brought in people from an Ontario organization called Small Town Rising, who helped with the committees, and with helping the communities identify their “brand.” “The Town’s not going to drive it,” he said, “the people are going to drive it.” There is a lot of social media posting of the downtown improvements and decorations. “That’s coming from the people, not me. It’s totally amazing what they’ve done.” There are now outside speakers in the downtown playing the local radio station, which will carry ads and promotions of local events. THE FIRST MINTO CIP A CIP is a toolbox of different approaches to use public money to encourage investment toward community goals – downtown improvement, re-use of industrial sites, attainable housing and ultimately growth that aligns with local priorities. The first Minto Community Improvement Plan started more than a decade ago, in 2008. At first, it provided incentive grants only for storefront (facade) and signage improvements. This created a catalyst that led to success in filling most buildings except those that had major issues. NEXT STEPS At that point, the Town recognized they needed a larger incentive to “really move the needle for our downtowns,” in the words of economic development manager Belinda Wick-Graham. Minto then started offering a structural grant of up to $40,000. Minto has budgeted $60,000 annually for the last several years. The grants are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. That resulted in at least five significant buildings being “massively transformed” - with a big investment by the owner. “These have created new apartments, allowed new businesses to open, created new jobs, and overall have added vibrancy to our downtowns again,” Belinda Wick-Graham wrote in response to an inquiry from the Herald. “I could go on all day about how this program has transformed our communities.” MEASURING THE CHANGE Across the province, a common way of assessing the program is by the ratio of municipal investment to private investment. The municipality uses tax dollars as in incentive to partner with the private sector to create more activity, first through construction, later in increased tax assessments and local business start-ups. The Town of Minto also looks at the number of new businesses, number of jobs, number of desperately-needed apartments and the assessment increase. Minto’s commercial assessment increased from 2008 by over 9 percent, and since 2010 more than $2.4 million in commercial construction value was added to the benefit of the community. PICTURING THE CHANGE Those involved on the municipal side, like the Mayor and staff talk about the impact on community pride, and the increased attraction to consumers and potential investors. A picture speaks a thousand words in telling the story of the transformation and the improvement so the department takes before and after photos to show the physical changes. DON’T JUST PASS THE PLAN, PROMOTE IT The Town of Minto makes sure local realtors know about it as it’s an incentive to someone looking to invest in property. Existing property owners and businesses are made aware of it Keeping the plan fresh is important, too. Minto has added grants to support outdoor patios or public art in downtowns, and grants to support projects to plant more trees as consistent with regulations, either to improve urban areas or reduce snow drift in rural areas. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
VANCOUVER — The federal government has provided nearly $3.5 million in funding for five vending machines that will dispense medical-grade opioids in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, in order to prevent overdoses. Darren Fisher, parliamentary secretary to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, says two machines are located in Vancouver, one is in Victoria and one each are in London, Ont., and Dartmouth, N.S. The machines, called MySafe, are similar to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned. Fisher says MySafe allows participants to access a safer drug without fear, shame and stigma, and without contact with anyone, which is all the more essential during the pandemic. Overdose deaths have spiked during pandemic with many people using alone and a more toxic illicit drug supply. Drug users are assessed by a doctor and a baseline urine sample is collected before they can access safer drugs through the MySafe machines, which are bolted to the floor. This is a corrected story. A previous version said $5.6 million in funding. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
The territorial government has extended its pandemic wage top-up program that sees eligible employees make $18 an hour opposed to the territory’s normal minimum wage of $13.46. The program was set to expire on February 28 but will now run until August 31. As of March 1, individuals over the age of 15 who had wanted to participate in the program in the past financial year, but whose employer declined, can apply directly for the wage top-up to be retroactively applied. That would cover the April 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 period. The application process for individuals in the same situation who want to access the top-up between March 1, 2021 until August 31, 2021 will be announced at a later date. According to the territory, 96 businesses have participated in the program with 2,337 individuals benefitting from the subsidy since it began in April 2020. It has cost over $2.6 million to run the program thus far. Talks about the minimum wage, and whether or not it will be raised, are still being held at the territorial level. In the Legislative Assembly on February 9, Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly said he believes rolling back the minimum wage once the program expires would be “completely unfair.” “The need for this program is a clear sign that our minimum wage is too low, far too low,” O’Reilly said. Employment minister R.J. Simpson said the long-term future of the minimum wage was still being decided. “The minister is currently reviewing the report from the Minimum Wage Committee,” the Department of Education, Culture and Employment said in an email to Cabin Radio. “He intends to make a decision on the minimum wage in the near future.” Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Bunny Wailer, the legendary Jamaican reggae singer who founded the Wailers with Bob Marley and Peter Tosh and was the last surviving founding member, has died at a hospital after suffering a stroke. "This is a great loss for Jamaica and for Reggae," said Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, calling him "a respected elder statesman of the Jamaican music scene." Wailer's given name was Neville O'Riley Livingston but he was known affectionately as Bunny Wailer, Bunny Livingston or Jah B. He came from Trench Town, a poor inner city community of Kingston that went on to inspire one of the Wailers' hits.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the decision to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccine by four months is based on scientific evidence combined with real-world data from the province’s immunization campaign that began in late December.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine would be like a “boulder has been taken off my back,” says Dundas senior Edward Northey. “When you think of our age and you take a whole year out of our lives,” he said. “I know there is nothing you can do about it, but it’s tough on older people.” Hamilton resident Natasha Charles and her sister-in-law tried the city’s overloaded phone line almost 500 times over three days to register their moms for vaccination. Ancaster’s Sheila Burman describes never letting her cellphone out of her sight so she doesn’t miss the call from St. Joseph’s Healthcare offering her one of the coveted 250 appointments a day at the West 5th campus that have been slotted for seniors age 85 and over. Mobile clinics rotating around the city are expecting to add another 200 appointments a day by Wednesday. “I’d love to hear from them,” said 87-year-old Burman. “I gave them my cellphone so now wherever I go this is tagging along with me around the house.” It is estimated Hamilton has 11,000 seniors aged 85 and older and their demand for the vaccine has overwhelmed the city’s registration line three days straight since it opened Saturday. “I do want to apologize for the widespread frustration and dissatisfaction with our COVID-19 hotline,” Dr. Elizabeth Richardson, Hamilton’s medical officer of health, said at a city briefing Monday. “We do appreciate just how much people want to ensure both they themselves and their loved ones are registered and I’m very sorry for the angst this has been causing.” Charles started calling Saturday to register her 88-year-old mom and 94-year-old mother-in-law, who both receive home care. She says it took until Monday afternoon — an estimated 480 calls between her and her sister-in-law. “I literally had my phone in my hand all day long,” said the 66-year-old, who called up to 30 times an hour in what she described as “a very frustrating experience.” Both moms are on the wait list for long-term care and have limited mobility. It’s important they get their vaccines as soon as possible because they have multiple personal support workers who provide in-home care, so it would protect both the workers and her moms, Charles said. Though Charles was relieved to have gotten through, she worried for seniors who didn’t have people to help them navigate the process. “There are many seniors who don’t have advocates for them,” she said. “That’s my frustration with the system.” The city would have had to completely overhaul its phone system to meet the kind of volume that has been coming in over the last three days, says Paul Johnson, director of the city’s Emergency Operations Centre. “We’re not a call centre,” he said. “I know the frustration is there and it’s not a great scenario. The other option was to simply wait until the province’s system comes online and we just weren’t prepared to do that either.” Ontario’s booking system won’t be ready until March 15 with vaccinations for those 80 and over expected to start the third week in March. “Even though it’s clunky and it’s a little frustrating for individuals, it’s still faster now doing this than waiting until March 15,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger. “If we had vaccine and we weren’t prepared to get it into the arms of individuals as soon as possible then we’d be in a very untenable position quite frankly.” The phone line can handle up to 150 calls at once with 11 operators. As of Monday, they’d registered 1,000 seniors. Northey just missed the cut off at age 83. Waiting those extra weeks to become eligible is hard for the Dundas resident who lives alone and only has close contact with one friend. He was with that friend in Florida when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians to come home almost one year ago, so they packed up and have barely gone out since. “My neighbours are great, they pick up stuff at the supermarket for me,” he says. “I don’t go out anywhere because of my age and the fact that I’m asthmatic puts me in fairly vulnerable situation. I’m pretty anxious.” He misses his two sons and two grandsons who only have occasional outdoor distanced visits. They are “out and about and I don’t see them because they don’t want to be the one that transfers COVID to me and I can understand that,” he says. The snowbird has found the Canadian winter “depressing” and dreams of travelling again. Burman thinks of the freedom getting the vaccine would bring. “I would love to just wander around the store again and feel comfortable doing that,” said Burman, who uses curbside pickup. “I have been on quite a few things on Zoom but I really miss personally seeing my friends,” she said. “We play bridge online. I would love to be able to sit inside with masks on and play together and just see them ... It is lonely.” She’s glad she’s had her dog for company but longs to spend time with her three children and six grandchildren. It’s why she called the registration line around 30 times over the weekend. She was already on the list because she’s visited a site connected to Hamilton Health Sciences or St. Joseph’s in the last six months — but she wanted to be sure they didn’t miss her. “I feel very relieved,” she said. “I was worried (about getting COVID) because I kept on thinking, ‘What would I do here by myself.’” To register for a vaccine, eligible age groups can call 905-974-9848, and select option 7. Joanna Frketich, The Hamilton Spectator / Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
An officer with the Queens District RCMP has been awarded with the prestigious Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Bravery. Cpl. Robert Frizzell was recognized for his courageous rescue of a woman from the Mersey River on the morning of May 10, 2020, after an accident landed her vehicle submerged in water. In a social media announcement of the award on February 25, the RCMP described how, when Frizzell arrived on scene, the vehicle was fully submerged in the Mersey. “An occupant of the vehicle was able to get out of the car but was floating downstream and unable to make it to shore. “Knowing that a water recovery unit would take time to arrive, Cpl. Frizzell chose to get in the water. He grabbed a PFD and a paddleboard, then tied a rope around himself harness style, with another member and volunteer firefighter remaining on shore to hold the other end of the rope. “He swam into the river, grabbed hold of the woman and continued to hold onto her while the on-shore member and firefighter pulled them to safety,” the post continued. It ended with, “Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Cpl. Frizzell.” RCMP Commanding Officer for Nova Scotia, Lee Bergerman, presented Frizzell with the award February 11. Frizzell declined to be interviewed by LighthouseNOW, preferring to deflect praise to all of the responders that were on the scene that day. In an email to the newspaper, he commented that he was “truly thankful” for being recognized for the award. Nonetheless, he added, although he was the one who went into the water, “there was a whole team of others that were instrumental in rescuing the woman. “From all the onlookers who provided support and the paddleboard, the other emergency personal both police and fire, who held the rope, and everyone who provided medical care after the woman was brought out of the water, it really was a team effort. It was really great to see a community come together and help someone in need,” said Frizzell. Staff Sergeant Daniel Archibald of the Queens District RCMP echoed the praise given to the officer. “We are all very proud of the actions of Cpl. Frizzell as well as actions of the other officers and firefighters that day. We are, of course, most happy with the fact that the victim in this incident was able to ‘walk away’ with no long-term injuries,” Archibald commented to LighthouseNOW in an email. “All too often, as first responders, we often see things go the other way, unfortunately. It’s great to see Cpl. Frizzell and others get recognized for single incidences like this one, as all too often these acts of bravery happen every day across this country and no one hears about it,” Archibald added. Hailing from Prince Edward Island, Frizzell has served in Airdrie, Alberta and in three communities in the Northwest Territories: Behchoko, Tuktoyaktuk and Aklavik. He arrived in Liverpool in September 2019. In an article that appeared in LighthouseNOW following the event, Captain John Long of the Liverpool Fire Department, who was on the scene, was quoted saying he hoped there’s recognition in the future for the officer who jumped into action that morning. “He deserves kudos for that because that took guts, I’ll tell you,” said Long. Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
Spin Master Corp. recorded meteoric growth in its digital games business in the latest quarter as users of its Toca Life World app filmed themselves playing the game and shared the videos on social media, the company’s co-CEO said Tuesday. “There was a crazy amount of people that were actually filming themselves playing in the game and then uploading it to TikTok, and that exposure of the game really started to increase the amount of users,” Ronnen Harary told investors during a conference call. “When you have that many people seeing the product, playing with the product and telling their friends, there's a multiplier effect.” The Canadian toymaker’s digital games revenue increased by more than 400 per cent to $31.8 million in its fourth quarter, driven by the Toca Life World platform. The app, developed by Spin Master's Swedish app studio Toca Boca, lets players imagine stories for characters in the virtual game, including kids, babies, elders and creatures, and drag the characters around the screen with their finger and make them do activities. While it's free to download the app, Spin Master makes money through the in-game purchases and upgrades. The stronger digital games revenue, also driven in part by its Sago Mini kids app subscription user base, was revealed as the company said its revenue grew 3.6 per cent compared with a year ago for the three months ended Dec. 31. The Toronto-based company said revenue for the quarter was US$490.6 million, up from US$473.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Spin Master's shares surged to a 52-week high and were up over 24 per cent, or $7.01, at $36.07 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Yet its quarterly results also showed a decline in net sales to $434.3 million, from $441.6 million a year earlier. Mark Segal, Spin Master's chief financial officer, explained that the sales slump was in part due to retailers pulling promotions forward earlier in the fall as well as the company's decision to limit domestic inventory. "This affected our ability to fulfil some late-season replenishment and e-commerce orders, especially on hot items," he told analysts. "While this meant we did not maximize our sales, the position we took allowed us to achieve our best sell-through and cleanest retail and Spin Master inventory levels in many years." Meanwhile, the company will be releasing its feature-length Paw Patrol movie in August, expanding the reach of the company's popular kids entertainment franchise and opening up a new revenue stream. "In terms of increasing our output, you will see more films coming from Spin Master in the future and I think that gives us a whole new way to actually entertain kids," Harary told analysts. "It's really important for everybody to understand that we're actually producing the film, we didn't license the film out ... and take a royalty on it," he said. "Our team internally in Toronto produced the film, we hired the writers, we hired the directors, we did the whole casting with all that amazing voice talent." It's unclear whether there will be a theatrical release for the movie or a combination of theatrical and video on demand, Harary said. Meanwhile, although classic toys and game were a safe choice in 2020, he said consumers will "shift to newness" post-pandemic, he said. The company is preparing for this shift with a robust pipeline of new product development and the goal of greenlighting one to two new properties a year, Harary said. Harary and Anton Rabie, co-founders of the children's entertainment company, will step down from their co-chief executive roles next year. Max Rangel was appointed global president in January and adds the chief executive role to his title in April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:TOY) Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
Last August, Christine Mickeloff’s mother left her retirement home in Jarvis with her walker. Before anyone knew it, she was wandering down the highway. Fortunately, an off-duty worker from the home was driving nearby when she recognized the Leisure Living resident who has dementia. She alerted the home and staff walked her back to safety. Mickeloff says the incident shows how people with dementia — especially those living in retirement homes that are not equipped to offer the same level of care as a long-term-care facility — are falling through the cracks. “There are people like my mom who are ... stuck in a facility that is not meant to look after (them),” says the Caledonia resident. Her mother, who Mickeloff didn’t want to name, was already showing signs of dementia when she moved into Leisure Living three years ago. A year later, she was diagnosed and the disease continued to progress. Though she was on the wait list for long-term care, delays from the pandemic meant she wasn’t getting a bed any time soon. “Mom was forgotten,” Mickeloff said of the wait. The home says staff tried their best to care for her mother, but were caught in the middle of the resident’s worsening dementia and an absence of supports. When Leisure Living restricted access during the pandemic, Mickeloff mother’s symptoms worsened. Mickeloff couldn’t visit and there were no group activities to keep her mother engaged. She began to wander more and woke up in the middle of the night to look for her husband. After the “dangerous” and “scary” highway incident, Kristina Kasza, the home’s director of care, said she immediately contacted Mickeloff and members of the resident’s care team. “Multiple times, we were told to admit her (to hospital),” said Kasza, but the hospital “kept sending her back.” “We were put in a rock and a hard place,” she said. Jane Meadus, staff lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, says the government has left more and more people relying on retirement homes to provide health care in the pandemic. “They are treating retirement homes almost as quasi-long-term-care homes and as a way for seniors to get care without the government having to pay anything,” she said. Unlike long-term care, a retirement home doesn’t fall under the health-care sector. Instead, residents pay rent to stay in a home and can purchase care options on top. Mickeloff looked into hiring private care, but says at $37 per hour for 12 hours a day, it was too costly. “You can’t say to somebody, ‘Well, yeah, you could go to long-term care but there’s no bed, so you’re going to have to pay privately,’ because we have a publicly funded health-care system,” Meadus added, noting that even before COVID-19, hospitals often pressured patients to go to a retirement home instead of waiting for long-term care in order to clear up beds. While home care can help supplement care in a retirement home, Meadus says it can be “spotty” because there aren’t enough workers. That means people who can’t afford private care, like Mickeloff’s mother, are left with inadequate care while waiting for a long-term-care bed. Kasza says the LHIN requested more care for Mickeloff’s mother, but didn’t have enough staff to provide it since COVID-19 prevented workers from going into multiple homes. “It was just a hot mess,” she said. Kasza noted the whole home rallied to care for Mickeloff’s mother by alerting staff when they spotted her wandering or helping redirect her. “Everybody took care of her to the best of their abilities,” she said. By September, Mickeloff’s mother was on the crisis list, which prioritizes patients for long-term care. But COVID-19 outbreaks and precautions continued to cause delays. On top of that, she was competing with hospital patients also waiting in line. By January, she was accepted for a bed. She got a COVID-19 test before her move, but days later, the long-term-care home declared an outbreak, postponing her entry for two weeks. Another COVID-19 case was later suspected in the home, again delaying her move. In February, Mickeloff’s mother finally moved into long-term care, and her daughter says she seems happier. She has access to 24-7 care and staff to keep her stimulated. Mickeloff says more needs to be done for others in her mother’s shoes, especially with dementia increasing. “The government’s just not moving fast enough,” she says. “(My mom) got left behind and wasted away while she was waiting.” Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
OTTAWA — The federal government is telling an appeal court it had to provide U.S. authorities with customer information from Canadian banks to avoid possibly "catastrophic effects" on Canada's economy. The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, known as FATCA, requires banks and other institutions in countries outside the United States to report information about accounts held by U.S. individuals, including Canadians with dual citizenship. Among the information from Canada being shared with the U.S. are the names and addresses of account holders, account numbers, account balances, and details such as interest, dividends and other income. In a newly filed submission to the Federal Court of Appeal, the Canadian government says failure to comply would have had serious effects on Canada's financial sector, its customers and the broader economy. Two U.S.-born women who now live in Canada, Gwendolyn Louise Deegan and Kazia Highton, challenged the constitutionality of Canadian provisions implementing the 2014 agreement between the countries that makes the information-sharing possible. The two unsuccessfully argued in Federal Court that the provisions breach the Charter of Rights guarantee preventing unreasonable seizure, and they now want the Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister says the province is considering whether to follow British Columbia in extending the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses. Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming. The B.C. government announced Monday that it will extend the wait between first and second doses to four months to get more people vaccinated overall in a shorter time period. B.C. based its decision on data coming from the United Kingdom, Israel and Quebec that showst the first dose of vaccines is 90 per cent effective. When Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech began distributing their vaccines late last year, it was recommended the first and second shots be completed within about six weeks maximum to be fully effective. The Oxford-AstraZeneca has also been approved for use in Canada, but a national panel of vaccine experts is recommending it only be given to people under 65 – a guideline Shandro says Alberta will follow. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021 The Canadian Press
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Health Tyler Shandro joined Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw during her regular COVID update on Monday, March 1 to announce the province is moving on to Step 2 of the phased relaunch. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions have declined since the first phase of restrictions eased in February; however, despite admissions below the threshold to enter Step 3 of the phased relaunch, the Alberta government is taking cautious steps towards a full reopen. “We are taking a cautious approach, recognizing active cases and hospitalizations have declined, but the threat of COVID-19 remains real,” Premier Kenney said during the press conference. “Thanks to the hard work of Albertans over the past few weeks, we’re taking this safe step forward.” Effective immediately, libraries will be permitted to reopen to the public at 15 per cent capacity--not including staff members. Adults will also be allowed to resume indoor low-intensity individual and group exercises, though masks and three metres physical distancing between each individual are mandatory. Fitness activity will be by appointment only, with no drop-ins permitted. Children’s sports and high-intensity activities, such as running, spin, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT), are still prohibited unless done with a paid, professional trainer. The next phase of reopening will be considered, at the earliest, in three weeks on Monday, March 22. As of Monday, March 1 there are five active and 210 recovered cases of COVID-19 within the Town of Drumheller. This includes four active and 64 recovered cases at the Drumheller Institution. Starland County currently has zero active cases; Wheatland and Kneehill Counties each have five active cases. Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Naval Academy is developing plans to begin vaccinating midshipmen this month so students can deploy to ships and with Navy teams as part of their training this summer, Vice Adm. Sean Buck told Congress Tuesday. If the vaccines are available, the midshipmen would be the first military academy students to receive the COVID-19 shots. The plans come as the Naval Academy wrestles with a new uptick in positive coronavirus cases, and has locked down the campus in Annapolis, Maryland, for 10 days. Students have been restricted to their rooms for classes and meals, and can go outside for a maximum of two hours a day, with only one roommate. The lockdown was announced on Sunday, and includes the suspension of sports events and practices, other than the men's varsity basketball team, which will participate in post-season play because the athletes have been isolated since last week. Speaking to the House Defence Appropriations subcommittee, Buck said that he's given Navy leaders a timeline for when he'd like to begin giving vaccines to midshipmen who will be deploying out to the fleet. “Our Navy has prioritized the operational forces first. They’re getting vaccinated. They have a very safe and healthy bubble,” Buck told lawmakers. “And for them to be willing to accept our midshipmen from the academy as well as midshipmen from NROTC universities around the country, we need to vaccinate them prior to the summer training.” The Navy has had several small outbreaks on ships, both deployed and at home ports, and leaders have been trying to get crews vaccinated in order to avoid upticks in the virus. The USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier, had a massive outbreak early last year while at sea, and was sidelined in Guam for weeks while the crew went through a methodical quarantine process. To meet the training timelines, Buck said a small initial group of students would have to start getting vaccines by the last week of March, in order to get out to their deployments in mid-May. That would give them time to get both shots, and have two weeks to ensure their immunity was in full effect. Buck and the superintendents for the Army and Air Force academies told lawmakers that they have all started providing vaccines to their faculty and staff, based on the priorities set by the CDC and the Defence Department. But the Air Force and Army academies haven't yet begun preparations to give shots to students. Army Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., said about 4,000 staff and faculty have gotten the vaccine so far, which is about half. He said first responders and vulnerable people are prioritized, as noted in the CDC and Pentagon guidelines. He added that he's confident students will want to get the vaccine once it's available. Air Force Lt. Gen. Richard Clark, superintendent of the Air Force Academy in Colorado, noted that the cadets are “the most healthy of our population and they fall into the lower level” of the priorities. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
GRANT APPLICATION Southgate will use the Grant Match service for a downtown revitalization project on Proton Street North through the Canada Health Community Initiative grant. It’s believed to be a better fit than the previously considered Rural Economic Development grant. This new grant opportunity is aimed at creating and adapting public spaces and programming to respond to needs from COVID-19. Project types include outdoor event and meeting spaces are one of the three areas, along with trails/transit and community digital projects. If successful, the company is paid 10 percent of the grant money. There are two intakes for the grant program and the plan would be to re-apply if rejected the first time, adapting the proposal based on what is successful in the first round. PUBLIC WORKS The furnace in the former Credit Union at the Holstein Depot stopped working and required replacement. Dromore Municipal Drain has been relocated in the area of the Dromore Park for lot creation, with work paid for by the property owner. Tree removal and brushing is starting on township right-of-ways. Residents will be given notice of work in their areas as road closures may be required. Council conveyed that they had received messages of appreciation about the increase to the amount of sidewalks being cleared in Dundalk this winter. Residents in those areas are reminded they can no longer leave collection bins for pickup on the sidewalk. PLANNING A zoning bylaw and site plan were updated because of a change in size of a planned shop since the original application was granted in 2019 to S. and V. Brubacher on Southgate Rd. 10. Construction is planned for this coming year. A site plan was approved for Port Welding on Southgate Side Road 73, who also owns land to the north and west of the property. The zoning for the powder coating and metal shop was approved in 2019. The site plan outlines measures to reduce effects on neighbouring parties such as tree planting for buffer. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
Voluntary asymptomatic testing at two Hamilton schools on Friday and Saturday found no positive cases of COVID-19 among more than 250 participants. Testing is being offered to asymptomatic students and staff on a voluntary basis as part of a provincial mandate that boards offer tests in five per cent of their schools — and at least two per cent of their students — each week. At the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, 142 people — 90 students and 52 staff — were tested on Friday at a clinic at Saltfleet District High School in Stoney Creek. About 3,600 in-person learners — plus educators and child-care workers — from Saltfleet and its eight elementary feeder schools were eligible. “The weather was better this time than the first one at (Orchard Park),” said spokesperson Shawn McKillop in an email to The Spectator. Fewer than 100 students and staff participated in Feb. 13 pilot clinics at Orchard Park Secondary School in Stoney Creek and Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School in Hannon on a snowy long weekend. Among the 86 participants — 65 students and 21 staff — no positive cases of the virus were detected. McKillop said the Saltfleet clinic was promoted to more HWDSB families and that there may be “more awareness in our community in general related to the testing.” Testing at Saltfleet exceeded the 130-test capacity indicated by the vendor last week. The board said on Monday the vendor likely had “additional supplies” to accommodate walk-ins. “There was no individual turned away,” he said. At the Catholic board, a total of 114 people — 62 students and 52 staff — were tested a St. John Henry Newman Catholic Secondary School in Stoney Creek on Friday and Saturday. Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board chair Pat Daly said the number of staff tested was “more aligned” with what they had anticipated. “With regard to students, I believe we had expected somewhat of a higher turnout,” he said. On Thursday, 29 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were conducted at St. Ann Catholic Elementary School in central Hamilton, which had been in outbreak until Sunday. The board said Monday the PCR test results have yet to be confirmed. Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
Heavily shorted mortgage provider Rocket Companies saw its stock surge on Tuesday, in an eye-popping move reminiscent of the rallies that powered GameStop and other so-called meme stocks earlier in the year. Shares of Rocket, the parent company of Quicken Loans, closed up 71.2% at $41.60 after being halted several times for volatility. The outsized move puts Rocket among the stocks that have experienced wild gyrations after becoming a focus of investors on sites such as Reddit’s WallStreetBets, where mentions of the company have multiplied in recent days.
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah girl whose football skills won her fame online has lost her court bid to have school districts create football teams for girls. A federal judge ruled against Sam Gordon on Monday, finding that Utah school districts aren't legally required to create a separate team because girls who want to play football can play with the teams traditionally filled with boys. U.S. District Court Judge Howard Nielson acknowledged that schools and coaches could do more to encourage girls to play. But he also acknowledged concerns that without Gordon's star power there might not be enough girls to keep a league running that would have to be built from the ground up since no other high school in the U.S. has a similar program. Gordon's playing videos have racked up millions of views on YouTube since she was 9, but she and other female players argued they were worried about playing with physically larger boys as teenagers. The case also included testimony about the harassment girls have endured while playing with all-boy teams. Gordon argued plenty of girls were interested in playing, pointing to an all-female league she started with her father six years ago that’s drawn hundreds of girls from the Salt Lake City area. Those numbers show girls want to play and could fill a roster, her lawyers argued. But U.S. District Court Judge Howard Nielson disagreed. He found that no district policy had discouraged girls from playing, and that any harassment would violate athletic association rules. While schools and coaches could do more to accommodate girls, “the court is not convinced that it is required by the Constitution," he wrote. He also found the districts raised significant questions about whether there would truly be enough girls within the district boundaries to build up a large enough team without Gordon, who is now 17 and has appeared at the ESPN awards and in Super Bowl commercials. A smaller team could increase the risk of injury, he found. The districts were represented by Assistant Utah Attorney General Rachel Terry, who said she was pleased by the ruling and the finding that they did not violate the Equal Protection clause or Title IX. “The districts will continue to strive to expand opportunities for all students and to ensure equal opportunities for male and female students in athletics and activities," she said in a statement. Brent Gordon, Sam Gordon’s father who is also an attorney, said he and his daughter will continue their own work to expand football opportunities for girls in Utah. “We appreciate the Judge’s efforts to have this trial during the pandemic so that the girls’ stories could be told and voices heard,” Gordon wrote in a statement. “Those voices will continue until equality in athletics is reached in Utah and across the country.” ___ Eppolito is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Lindsay Whitehurst And Sophia Eppolito, The Associated Press
The Village of Clive will hold its annual “Fun Fest” this summer even if it’s limited to COVID-friendly events. Councillors made the decision at their Feb. 22 regular meeting held via Zoom to meet pandemic rules. Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney presented councillors with a list of proposed events for a 2021 Fun Fest and stated that by June it may be possible to hold outdoor social events. Coun. Susan Russell stated fireworks would be great and something people would look forward to. Russell noted the village should try to keep the event as “normal” as possible and trust people to follow pandemic rules. Russell stated she also liked a scavenger hunt idea. Coun. Jeremy Whelan stated some measures, such as people watching the fireworks from their cars, could be done rather easily. Coun. Norma Penny agreed fireworks should be fine regardless of the pandemic situation, and both a parade and no-contact scavenger hunt should also work. Kenney noted if the event was to be held in June, the village normally begins planning at the end of February. Councillors passed a motion that the Village of Clive proceed with planning a 2021 Fun Fest. Fire rules Councillors provided more input on the proposed fire protection bylaw. Kenney noted the bylaw would allow fines to be moved onto a tax roll if left unpaid. The topic of mesh screens over fire pits returned. A staff report noted Lacombe County requires such screens for fire safety, while other municipalities, like Sylvan Lake, don’t. Coun. Hallman stated she wasn’t sure the majority of residents would agree with the mesh screen requirement, and Coun. Penny agreed. Penny stated she didn’t see a need for mesh screens. Coun. Susan Russell stated she understood the screens can help reduce fire risk. Coun. Whelan stated he also didn’t see the need for screens, as sparks can still get through mesh. Mayor Henry stated, if councillors include mesh screens in the bylaw, everyone should be expected to follow the rules. Councillors decided staff would remove the mesh screen requirement, and simply encourage people to use them. The draft bylaw will return at a future meeting. Addressing in Clive Councillors unanimously approved second and third reading of the Addressing Bylaw, brought forward a few weeks ago after an instance where emergency personnel apparently had trouble finding a residence. CAO Kenney stated first reading was already passed, it had been publicly advertised, the CAO has the authority to administer the bylaw and council has the authority to choose street names. Coun. Hallman asked if, in violation, a resident will get at least one warning first before getting tickets. Kenney stated the village staff usually go warning first for everything before tickets are considered. Mayor Henry noted penalties are listed in the bylaw. In-person meetings Mayor Henry asked her peers if they wanted to resume in-person meetings, or continue with Zoom over the internet. She noted the provincial government is still encouraging councils to meet with Zoom. Kenney stated in-person meetings could be done if all guidelines are followed; however, any delegations would have to be done virtually. Coun. Hallman was in favour of continuing with Zoom to avoid any more pandemic expenses. Coun. Penny agreed but stated councillors should look at this again in April as Clive’s internet isn’t that great. Mayor Henry noted some provincial grant money might be available for COVID barriers in the village office. Coun. Russell stated in-person meetings are always superior when it comes to understanding everything that’s going on. Councillors decided to continue with Zoom for now but have staff look into the costs of barriers in the village office to accommodate council meetings. Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review