The list of federal and provincial politicians who've travelled during the holidays continues to grow. One woman who followed guidelines and stayed home as her mother died abroad called it absurd.
The list of federal and provincial politicians who've travelled during the holidays continues to grow. One woman who followed guidelines and stayed home as her mother died abroad called it absurd.
WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers and conservative groups opposed President-elect Joe Biden's forthcoming immigration plan Tuesday as massive amnesty for people in the U.S. illegally, underscoring that the measure faces an uphill fight in a Congress that Democrats control just narrowly. In a further complication, several pro-immigration groups said they would press Biden to go even further and take steps such as immediate moratoriums on deportations, detentions and new arrests. Coupled with the discomfort an immigration push could cause for moderate Democrats, liberals' demands illustrated the pressures facing Biden as four years of President Donald Trump's restrictive and often harsh immigration policies come to an end. “It simply wouldn't have happened without us," Lorella Praeli, co-president of the liberal group Community Change, said of Biden's victory. “So we are now in a powerful position." Biden plans to introduce the legislation shortly after being inaugurated Wednesday, a move he hopes will spotlight his emphasis on an issue that's defied major congressional action since 1986. Its fate, as written, seemed in doubt. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who will become Senate majority leader this week, said Trump's impeachment trial, confirmation of Biden's Cabinet nominees and more COVID-19 relief will be the chamber's top initial priorities. “I look forward to working together with him" on the measure, Schumer said — a choice of words that might suggest changes could be needed for it to pass Congress. Biden's proposal would create an eight-year pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, set up a processing program abroad for refugees seeking admission to the U.S. and push toward using technology to monitor the border. The measure was described by an official from Biden's transition team who described the plan on condition of anonymity. With an eye toward discouraging a surge of immigrants toward the U.S.-Mexico boundary, the package's route to citizenship would only apply to people already in the U.S. by this past Jan. 1. But it omits the traditional trade-off of dramatically enhanced border security that's helped attract some GOP support in the past, which drew criticism on Tuesday. “A mass amnesty with no safeguards and no strings attached is a nonstarter,” said Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee. "There are many issues I think we can work co-operatively with President-elect Biden, but a blanket amnesty for people who are here unlawfully isn’t going to be one of them,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., often a central player in Senate immigration battles. “Total amnesty, no regard for the health or security of Americans, and zero enforcement," Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, who like Rubio is a potential 2024 GOP presidential contender, said in a Monday tweet. That view was shared by Mark Krikorian, executive director of the conservative Center for Immigration Studies, which favours curbing immigration. “Past proposals at least accepted the concept of turning off the faucet and mopping up the overflow. This is nothing but mopping up and letting the faucet continue to run," Krikorian said. Rosemary Jenks, top lobbyist for NumbersUSA, which also wants to limit immigration, said the measure seems likely to fail in the Senate. It would need at least 10 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats to overcome a filibuster that would kill the measure. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said, “Moving an immigration reform bill won’t be easy, but I think it’s possible." He cited a 2013 massive overhaul that narrowly passed the Senate, only to die in the GOP-run House. Menendez and Rubio were part of a bipartisan “Gang of 8" senators that helped win Senate approval. Under Biden's legislation, those living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021, without legal status would have a five-year path to temporary legal status, or a green card, if they pass background checks, pay taxes and fulfil other requirements. From there, it’s a three-year path to naturalization if they pursue citizenship. For some immigrants, the process would be quicker. So-called Dreamers, the young people who arrived in the U.S. illegally as children, as well as agricultural workers and people under temporary protective status could qualify more immediately for green cards if they are working, are in school or meet other requirements. Biden is also expected to take swift executive actions, which require no congressional action, to reverse other Trump immigration actions. These include ending to the prohibition on arrivals from predominantly Muslim countries. The legislation represents Biden's bid to deliver on a major campaign promise important to Latino voters and other immigrant communities after four years of Trump's restrictive policies and mass deportations. It provides one of the fastest pathways to citizenship for those living without legal status of any measure in recent years. Biden allies and even some Republicans have identified immigration as a major issue where the new administration could find common ground with the GOP to avoid the stalemate that has vexed administrations of both parties for decades. That kind of major win, even if it involves compromise, could be critical for Biden. He'll be seeking legislative victories in a Congress where Republicans are certain to oppose other Biden priorities, like rolling back some of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts and increasing federal spending. Democrats will control the 50-50 Senate with Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris' tiebreaking vote. Democrats currently control the House 222-211, with two vacancies. ___ Barrow reported from Wilmington, Delaware. AP writer Elliot Spagat in San Diego also contributed to this report. Alan Fram, Lisa Mascaro And Bill Barrow, The Associated Press
Tuesday's Games NHL Winnipeg 4 Ottawa 3 (OT) New Jersey 4 N.Y. Rangers 3 Philadelphia 3 Buffalo 0 Florida 5 Chicago 4 (OT) Pittsburgh 5 Washington 4 (OT) Detroit 3 Columbus 2 (OT) Colorado 3 Los Angeles 2 Dallas at Tampa Bay — postponed Carolina at Nashville — postponed --- NBA Denver 119 Oklahoma City 101 Utah 118 New Orleans 102 --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 19, 2021. The Canadian Press
Le chargé de projet Mathieu Trépanier tire sa révérence en confirmant son départ du Comité centre-ville de Matane le 22 janvier prochain, après trois années passées à la tête de l’organisme. Une offre d’emploi pour le remplacer sera publiée d’ici lundi soir. M. Trépanier quitte pour de nouveaux défis professionnels à l’extérieur de la région matanienne. « Ce n’est pas de gaieté et de cœur que je pars de Matane, mais simplement par opportunité professionnelle. J’étais rendu à un point où je cherchais des nouveaux défis, et ça tombe que c’est dans une région à l’extérieur du Bas-Saint-Laurent que je les ai trouvés », dit-il. Même s’il déménage, Mathieu Trépanier restera attaché à la ville de Matane. « C’était vraiment mon plaisir de participer au développement du centre-ville de Matane et, par le fait même, de Matane et de La Matanie », a-t-il renchéri. « Dans le futur, j’entend revenir autant comme touriste qu’en tant qu’employé en télétravail à l’espace collaboratif La Centrale. » Il espère que le Comité continuera à poursuivre sa mission et aider les commerces existants, tout en animant le centre-ville afin de le rendre plus attrayant pour les futurs commerces, et que les citoyens l’occupent et y passent du temps. « Le dossier qui me tenait le plus à cœur et qui me prenait beaucoup de temps est la transformation du centre-ville en un lieu non pas juste pour aller consommer quelque chose, entrer et sortir, mais pour l’habiter », ajoute-il. Avec les prochains travaux de la rue Saint-Jérôme, il considère que l’opportunité est très intéressante de rendre le centre-ville plus humain et plus vert, bref, de le transformer d’un bout à l’autre pour que les citoyens et les piétons puissent y vivre une belle expérience. « Je pense qu’il manque ça au centre-ville. Donc, que la direction de la ville et de la MRC s’alignent pour donner une plus grande place au piéton, c’est une très bonne chose selon moi. » Il se dit fier de laisser un Comité centre-ville en bonne santé financière et organisationnelle, prêt à affronter les défis de la prochaine année, qui sera certainement chargée par la relance économique et la reprise d’un quotidien et d’activités de l’ère « pré-covidienne ». « Mon successeur ou ma successeure aura une belle marge de manœuvre et un comité d’administration très impliqué et plein d’idées », a-t-il justifié. Si Mathieu Trépanier a amené plusieurs éléments au Comité, il se réjouit de l’arrivée d’une nouvelle personne en place, qui amènera sa propre vision pour faire évoluer l’organisme en continuant à se spécialiser. En plus du Comité centre-ville, M. Trépanier était impliqué dans plusieurs organismes locaux tels que les Saveurs de La Matanie à travers le Comité, auprès de l’espace collaboratif La Centrale Matanie en tant que président, et comme administrateur pour Kaméléart. M. Trépanier fait un appel aux personnes potentiellement intéressées par le poste à se référer à l’offre d’emploi, qui sera publiée lundi. Il est d’ailleurs ouvert à rencontrer et aider le futur candidat pour assurer une passation des savoirs et une transition efficace.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
Thirty-five homeowners in the small B.C. community of Old Fort — just south of Fort St. John — are suing the province and BC Hydro after two landslides they claim were caused by Site C dam construction rendered their properties worthless. On Monday, the group filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court saying the excavation activities carried out by BC Hydro on the $10-billion dam project have destabilized the soil that supports their properties. The first landslide, which happened in September 2018, damaged the only road that provides access in and out of Old Fort and put the entire community under evacuation for a month. Another landslide damaged the same road in June 2020. The homeowners also accuse Deasan Holdings of causing soil instability with mining activities near Old Fort. Malcom MacPherson, lawyer for the plaintiffs, says the families involved cannot sell, mortgage or insure their homes because there is no property value. He says they support industrial development but don't feel they should pay for it with their homes' worth. "They shouldn't be de facto subsidizing the broader wealth creation, which is good for the whole province," he said. "It's not fair that they have to unreasonably bear that burden." In October, the B.C. government posted a report saying despite geotechnical assessments, the root cause of the slide in 2018 remains "inconclusive." The report doesn't address the slide in 2020. In 2018, BC Hydro said there was no evidence the slide was related to the Site C project. Last week, Premier John Horgan said Site C dam construction would continue while his office awaits geotechnical reports written by experts from outside B.C. The lawsuit names the province and the Peace River Regional District for approving the construction work of BC Hydro and Deasan Holdings. They are also suing the City of Fort St. John for operating a sewage lagoon they claim has led to soil instability in the Peace River community. None of the five defendants has responded in court. CBC News has contacted the City of Fort St. John, the Peace River Regional District and BC Hydro. The municipality didn't respond, and the other two parties declined to comment.
Deng Pravatoudom played the Lotto Max numbers her husband dreamt of 20 years ago and won a $60M jackpot. Video by Shibani Gokhale
Le bilan du jour du Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux du Bas-Saint-Laurent rapporte 5 nouveaux cas de COVID-19, portant le total de la région à 1434 cas. La Santé publique dénombre 52 cas actifs au Bas-Saint-Laurent en date du 18 janvier. Il n’y a d’ailleurs aucun cas actif dans la MRC de La Matanie, mais 37 dans celle de Rimouski-Neigette selon le CISSS BSL. Cas par MRC : Kamouraska152Rivière-du-Loup257 (+1)Témiscouata81Les Basques28Rimouski-Neigette580 (+4)La Mitis76La Matanie206La Matapédia48Indéterminés6Bas-Saint-Laurent1434 (+5)Sur les 1434 cas comptabilisés depuis le début de la pandémie, on compte 1355 guérisons. Le bilan des décès demeure au nombre de 27. Actuellement, trois personnes sont hospitalisées en lien avec la COVID-19. Et dans les dernières 24 heures, 409 tests de dépistage ont été réalisés auprès de la population. L’éclosion de l’Unité transitoire de réadaptation fonctionnelle (UTRF) de Rimouski récolte 2 nouveaux cas, pour un total de 38 cas de COVID-19 auprès de 24 usagers et 14 employés. La situation est stable pour le moment au CHSLD de Chauffailles (8 cas) ainsi qu’à l’Unité de réadaptation fonctionnelle intensive (URFI) de Mont-Joli (7 cas).Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
WASHINGTON — Troops in riot gear lined the sidewalks, but there were no crowds. Armored vehicles and concrete barriers blocked empty streets. Miles of fencing cordoned off many of the nation's most familiar landmarks. Joe Biden was safely sworn in as president in a Washington on edge, two weeks after rioters loyal to former President Donald Trump besieged the Capitol. Law enforcement officials contended not only with the potential for outside threats but also with rising concerns about an insider attack. Officials monitored members of far-right extremist and militia groups, increasingly concerned about the risk they could stream into Washington and spark violent confrontations, a law enforcement official said. There were a few scattered arrests but no major protests or serious disruptions in the city during Biden's inauguration ceremony. As Biden put it in his address: “Here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen. It will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.” After the deadly attack that killed five on Jan. 6, the Secret Service stepped up security for the inauguration early, essentially locking down the nation's capital. More than 25,000 troops and police were called to duty. The National Mall was closed. Checkpoints were set up at intersections. In the hours before the event, federal agents monitored “concerning online chatter,” which included an array of threats against elected officials and discussions about ways to infiltrate the inauguration, the official said. In right-wing online chat groups, believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory expressed disappointment that top Democrats were not arrested for sex trafficking and that Trump did not seize a second term. Twelve National Guard members were removed from the security operation a day earlier after vetting by the FBI, including two who had made extremist statements in posts or texts about Wednesday's event. Pentagon officials would not give details on the statements. The FBI vetted all 25,000 members in an extraordinary security effort in part over the presence of some ex-military in the riot. Two other U.S. officials told The Associated Press that all 12 were found to have ties with right-wing militia groups or to have posted extremist views online. The officials, a senior intelligence official and an Army official briefed on the matter, did not say which fringe groups the Guard members belonged to or what unit they served in. The officials told the AP they had all been removed because of “security liabilities.” The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, confirmed that Guard members had been removed and sent home, but said only two cases were related to inappropriate comments or texts related to the inauguration. He said the other 10 cases were for issues that may involve previous criminal behaviour or activities but were not directly related to the inaugural event. The FBI also warned law enforcement officials about the possibility that members of right-wing fringe groups could pose as National Guard troops, according to two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter. Investigators in Washington were particularly worried that members of right-wing extremist groups and militias, like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, would descend on Washington to spark violence, the law enforcement officials said. Some of the groups are known to recruit former military personnel, to train extensively and to have frequented anti-government and political protests. In addition to the thousands of National Guard troops, hundreds of law enforcement officers from agencies around the country were also brought into Washington. The increased security is likely to remain in the nation's capital for at least a few more days. ___ Associated Press writers Lolita Baldor in Washington and James LaPorta in Delray Beach, Florida, contributed to this report. Ben Fox, Colleen Long And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
RCMP are investigating after a 25-year-old man died suddenly at a business in Brooks, Alta., on Tuesday. In a news release, police said officers responded to the business at around 11 a.m. The major crimes unit is investigating, and an autopsy is scheduled in Calgary later this week. While the investigation is ongoing, police said the incident is believed to be isolated and it's not believed there is any risk to the public. Brooks is located about 160 kilometres southeast of Calgary.
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern): 7:15 p.m. B.C. has again extended its ongoing state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 10 months after it was first declared on March 18, 2020. It allows provincial officials to continue using extraordinary powers to combat the pandemic, including enhanced enforcement of public health rules. The Ministry of Public Safety says in a news release that just under 700 tickets have been issued for violations related to public health measures since mid-August. That includes 119 fines of $2,300 issued to owners or organizers who violated restrictions on gatherings and events and 548 fines of $230 issued to individuals who refused to obey law enforcement. --- 5:55 p.m. Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe says he won't shut down all restaurants and bars because a few are flouting COVID-19 rules. Instead, he says he's asking public health officials to look at more enforcement measures, such as forcing rule breakers to close. Moe says "enough is enough" and is expressing frustration at a recent video that shows young people dancing without masks and mingling at a bar in Regina. --- 5:40 p.m. Alberta is reporting 456 new cases of COVID-19. The province says there have also been 17 additional deaths. There are 740 people in hospital, with 119 in intensive care. There are just over 11,000 active cases. --- 3 p.m. British Columbia isn't getting about 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it expected next week. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the province is adjusting its vaccination plans as a result. Dix says the province will use more of the Pfizer vaccine it has in stock to complete immunizations at long-term care homes and to administer second doses. He says second doses are crucial to the success of the program and the province remains committed to giving the second dose 35 days after the first. --- 3 p.m. Premier Doug Ford appealed to U.S. president-elect Joe Biden today for help securing more COVID-19 vaccines for Ontario. Ford expressed frustration about a delivery slowdown of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot that will see Ontario receive no doses next week and thousands fewer over the next month. Ford appealed to Biden to share a million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, which is manufactured in Michigan. He also expressed frustration with Pfizer executives about the delays and urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to ramp up pressure on the company to deliver more of the shots to Canada. --- 2:50 p.m. Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting 31 new cases of COVID-19 and one additional death from the disease. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says the death of a person in their 80s at the Parkland Saint John long-term care facility brings to 13 the number of COVID-related deaths in the province. There are currently 316 active cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick. As of midnight tonight, the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions will join the Edmundston region at the red level of the province's COVID recovery plan. --- 2:50 p.m. Saskatchewan is reporting 309 new cases of COVID-19. Health officials say there are 207 people in hospital and 31 people in intensive care. Six more residents have also died, almost all of whom were 80 or older. As of Tuesday, the province reports giving more than 24,000 vaccine shots. --- 2:35 p.m. The Northwest Territories is still investigating the source of new COVID-19 cases in the territory. Three cases of COVID-19 were reported in Fort Liard over the weekend. There are now more than 50 people in isolation in the community of about 500 in connection with the new cases. Over the weekend, chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola put Fort Liard on a 14-day lockdown to prevent further spread. There are four active cases of COVID-19 in the Northwest Territories and 24 recovered cases. The territory has also administered 1,893 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to date. --- 2 p.m. Nova Scotia is reporting four new cases of COVID-19, giving it a total of 22 active cases. One of the new cases is in the province's northern zone and is a close contact of a previously reported case. The other three cases are in the central zone and are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. One of the cases is a university student who lives off campus and attends classes online. --- 1:50 p.m. Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting zero new COVID-19 infections today. The province is dealing with five active reported cases. One person is recovering in hospital with the disease. The province has reported a total of 396 infections and four deaths linked to the novel coronavirus. --- 1:40 p.m. Manitoba is reporting 111 new COVID-19 cases and 11 deaths. With numbers decreasing in recent weeks, the government is proposing to ease several restrictions on business openings and public gatherings by the end of the week. The possible changes, subject to public consultation, include allowing non-essential stores, hair salons and barbershops to reopen with capacity limits. Another proposed change would ease the ban on social gatherings inside private homes to allow two visitors at a time. --- 1:30 p.m. Quebec Premier Francois Legault is calling on the federal government to ban all non-essential flights to Canada. Legault says he's worried that people travelling to vacation destinations will bring new variants of COVID-19 back to the province. While the premier says it may be difficult to determine which flights are essential, he says it's clear that flights to sun destinations are non-essential. --- 12:45 p.m. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says she has spoken to Pfizer and does not expect any more interruptions to its Canadian deliveries after mid-February. Anand says Pfizer is contractually obligated to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March. Canada expects its shipments from Pfizer to be larger than previously expected from the middle of February until the end of March to make up for smaller shipments over the next month. --- 12:25 p.m. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin says Canada will get no doses of vaccine from Pfizer at all next week. Fortin, the vice-president of operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, says this week's shipment is almost one-fifth smaller than expected. That means only 171,093 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive over the next two weeks, instead of the 417,300 doses previously expected. Fortin says the deliveries over the first two weeks of February have yet to be confirmed, but Pfizer is still expected to meet its contractual obligation to ship four million doses to Canada by the end of March. --- 11:20 a.m. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says any Canadians who still have international trips planned need to cancel them. The variants of the novel coronavirus identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil could change the situation rapidly and he warns that Canada could impose new restrictions on the border at any time, without warning. --- 11:15 a.m. Quebec is reporting a significant drop in new COVID-19 infections today with 1,386 new cases. The province also reported 55 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 16 that occurred in the prior 24 hours. Health officials say hospitalizations rose by nine, to 1,500 and 212 people were in intensive care, a drop of five. Quebec has reported a total of 245,734 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 9,142 deaths linked to the virus. --- 10:50 a.m. Prince Edward Island is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 today. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison says the new cases involve a woman in her 40s who is a contact of a previously reported case, and a woman in her 20s who recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada. There are now seven active reported cases in the province. P.E.I. has reported 110 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. --- 10:35 a.m. Ontario is reporting 1,913 new cases of COVID-19 today, likely under-reported due to a technical error in Toronto. Health Minister Christine Elliott says that Toronto is reporting 550 new cases of the novel coronavirus. Over the past three days, Toronto reported 815 new cases, 1,035 new cases and 903 new cases. There were 46 more deaths linked to the virus in Ontario. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2021. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said British Columbia expected to get 5,800 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week.
NEW YORK — Testimony by Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-girlfriend about her sexual experiences with consenting adults can remain secret when a transcript is released next week, a judge said Tuesday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska in Manhattan pertained to a July 2016 deposition of Ghislaine Maxwell in a civil lawsuit brought by one of Maxwell's accusers that has since been settled. “Although the prurient interest of some may be left un-satiated as a result, Ms. Maxwell’s interest in keeping private the details of her sexual relationships with consenting adults warrants the sealing of those portions of her testimony,” Preska said at a hearing conducted electronically because of the coronavirus. Lawyers for the 59-year-old British socialite had objected to the transcript being made public on the grounds that it could damage her chance at a fair trial on charges that she recruited three underage girls in the 1990s for Epstein. Preska said Maxwell's lawyers had failed to show how the unsealing of the deposition transcript will jeopardize a trial that isn't slated to begin until July or why publicity about the document cannot be overcome through a fair jury selection process. The judge also ordered the release in eight days of dozens of other documents sought by the Miami Herald. A message seeking comment was left with a lawyer for Maxwell. Epstein, a wealthy financier and convicted sex offender, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019 as he awaited a sex trafficking trial. Maxwell, who is held without bail at a Brooklyn federal lockup, has pleaded not guilty to charges that she recruited girls for Epstein and sometimes joined in the abuse of them. The hearing Tuesday was briefly interrupted when the judge was told that audio of the proceeding was being aired online. “Whoever is doing it, you are operating against the law. I suspect there is a way to find out. So I will ask you, most respectfully, to stop doing it. We have had enough of lack of the rule of law around here. Let’s try to observe it,” Preska said. The audio was online on a page that included comments by individuals who seemed to embrace QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory. Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press
The Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority (NITHA) announced on Jan. 17 that they were ending the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak declared in Sturgeon Lake First Nation on Dec. 30, 2020. Dr. Nnamdi Ndubuka, Medical Health Officer with NITHA, has declared the outbreak over after the standard 28-day period has passed after the onset of the last case that had the potential to contribute to transmission in Sturgeon Lake First Nation. “This does not mean there are no cases in the community. The public is reminded that during the COVID-19 pandemic it is important to continue to take precautions to protect yourself, your families and everyone who lives in the community. COVID-19 is present in Saskatchewan and we all have a responsibility to minimize the spread of the disease,” the release stated. They reminded people that masking in all indoor public spaces and physical distancing should be done at all times to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Another reminder was for everyone to follow the public health guidelines for hand washing, physical distancing, self-monitoring and self-isolating to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect our most vulnerable populations. “Together we can make a positive difference in our community by reducing the spread.” Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
WASHINGTON — For more than two centuries, the top ranks of American power have been dominated by men — almost all of them white. That ends on Wednesday. Kamala Harris will become the first female vice-president — and the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the role. Her rise is historic in any context, another moment when a stubborn boundary will fall away, expanding the idea of what's possible in American politics. But it's particularly meaningful because Harris will be taking office at a moment of deep consequence, with Americans grappling over the role of institutional racism and confronting a pandemic that has disproportionately devastated Black and brown communities. Those close to Harris say she'll bring an important — and often missing — perspective in the debates on how to overcome the many hurdles facing the incoming administration. “In many folks' lifetimes, we experienced a segregated United States," said Lateefah Simon, a civil rights advocate and longtime Harris friend and mentee. “You will now have a Black woman who will walk into the White House not as a guest but as a second in command of the free world." Harris — the child of immigrants, a stepmother of two and the wife of a Jewish man — “carries an intersectional story of so many Americans who are never seen and heard." Harris, 56, moves into the vice presidency just four years after she first went to Washington as a senator from California, where she'd previously served as attorney general and as San Francisco's district attorney. She had expected to work with a White House run by Hillary Clinton, but President Donald Trump's victory quickly scrambled the nation's capital and set the stage for the rise of a new class of Democratic stars. Her swearing-in comes almost two years to the day after Harris launched her own presidential bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019. Her campaign fizzled before primary voting began, but Harris' rise continued when Joe Biden chose her as his running mate last August. Harris had been a close friend of Beau Biden, the elder son of Joe Biden and a former Delaware attorney general who died in 2015 of cancer. The inauguration activities will include nods to her history-making role and her personal story. She'll be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of colour to serve on the high court. She'll use two Bibles, one that belonged to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the late civil rights icon whom Harris often cites as inspiration, and Regina Shelton, a longtime family friend who helped raise Harris during her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. The drumline from Harris' alma mater, Howard University, will join the presidential escort. She'll address the nation late Wednesday in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a symbolic choice as the nation endures one of its most divided stretches since the Civil War and two weeks after a largely white mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn the election results. “We’re turning the page off a really dark period in our history,” said Long Beach, California, Mayor Robert Garcia, a Harris ally. As Democrats celebrate the end to Trump's presidency, Garcia said he hopes the significance of swearing in the nation's first female vice-president isn't overlooked. “That is a huge historical moment that should also be uplifted,” he said. Harris has often reflected on her rise through politics by recalling the lessons of her mother, who taught her to take on a larger cause and push through adversity. “I was raised to not hear ‘no.’ Let me be clear about it. So it wasn’t like, “Oh, the possibilities are immense. Whatever you want to do, you can do,'" she recalled during a “CBS Sunday Morning” interview that aired Sunday. “No, I was raised to understand many people will tell you, ‘It is impossible,’ but don’t listen.'" While Biden is the main focus of Wednesday's inaugural events, Harris' swearing-in will hold more symbolic weight than that of any vice-president in modern times. She will expand the definition of who gets to hold power in American politics, said Martha S. Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All." People who want to understand Harris and connect with her will have to learn about what it means to graduate from a historically Black college and university rather than an Ivy League school. They will have to understand Harris' traditions, like the Hindu celebration of Diwali, Jones said. “Folks are going to have to adapt to her rather than her adapting to them,” Jones said. Her election to the vice presidency should be just the beginning of putting Black women in leadership positions, Jones said, particularly after the role Black women played in organizing and turning out voters in the November election. “We will all learn what happens to the kind of capacities and insights of Black women in politics when those capacities and insights are permitted to lead,” Jones said. Kathleen Ronayne And Alexandra Jaffe, The Associated Press
New South Algonquin Business Association chair Gabriela Hairabedian and outgoing chair Evelyn Lesage made a presentation to South Algonquin Township council on Jan. 13 about the township’s plans for a wayfinding map for visitors. They had some issues with the current draft map and wanted to suggest changes to make it more informative and visually attractive to tourists. They wanted to ensure they had more input on the map as it progresses to completion and also asked council to implement a policy to ensure there’s a feedback process into future economic development projects. The wayfinding map stems from South Algonquin Township’s rebranding initiative, which is being paid for by the Main Street Revitalization funding procured from the Association of Municipalities Ontario. Since the purpose of the revitalization grant was to invest in small businesses and the map itself was proposed by SABA as part of the grant proposal, Harabedian believes that SABA’s input is essential. The township has been working with Placemaking Design since December 2019 on their rebranding efforts, which includes the map. Unavoidably, COVID-19 has slowed this process over the course of 2020, but the initiative is slowly but surely coming to fruition. Hairabedian began the presentation by suggesting that the proposed wayfinding map should cater more toward long-term tourists versus day-trippers. She says that SABA has found that most tourists come from about three hours away and stay longer periods versus those who just come for the day, or day-trippers. While they don’t have any firm data on this, they estimate that less than five to 10 per cent of visitors are day-trippers. “If they have access to a visual map with attractive pictures and where to find those attractions, tourists will consider staying longer in our township and contribute to our economy, instead of going to the park, staying for only one night or having a quick lunch and going home,” she says. On that basis, SABA wanted to request some changes to the draft wayfinding map. These changes were; to remove all businesses and places where tourists would likely not want to go, like the township office and local daycare centres, to focus on natural features like trails, waterfalls and fishing spots, where tourists would more likely want to visit, to have QR Code links on the map to other helpful sources like the township website and trail maps, and to add a scale to the map so people can determine the distance between featured attractions. Hairebedian felt these changes would make the map less cluttered and it would not go out of date as quickly. Finally, she asked council if they could implement a policy that builds a feedback process into future economic development projects. “These decisions affect businesses most of all. We want to be involved and we’d really appreciate if you could do that. Thank you very much,” she says. Mayor Jane Dumas thanked Hairebedian, and said it was a fantastic presentation. “It was very visually pleasing. The work that you and your committee have done is excellent,” she says. She then asked council if they needed any clarification from Hairebedian on the presentation. Councillor Bongo Bongo thought everything had been pretty clear, but was a little surprised to see SABA’s request that all businesses be removed from the map. “But at the same time, I suppose that is one way to really level the playing field and have it very fair towards all businesses. At the end of the day, I really hope this map is well designed and a lot of thought goes into it,” he says. Holly Hayes, the clerk and treasurer of South Algonquin Township, also requested some clarification and asked Hairebedian if she meant that she wanted no private industry like hotels or gas stations on the map. Hairebedian replied that was exactly what she had meant, and that SABA was suggesting just a map to show attractions like beaches, fishing spots and features of that nature. “People can google things like hotels, gas stations, the LCBO easily enough if they need them. It’s nice to have a unique map, something that’s not anywhere to be found. We don’t want to bring confusion either, we don’t want people all over the place. It’s a way to guide them and take them where we want them to go,” she says. As a final suggestion, Hairebedian suggested that since Maynooth and Bancroft appear on the draft map, that they also include Barry’s Bay and Ottawa, so people get a clearer sense of where everything is. Dumas brought up the point that while they appreciated SABA’s suggestions, that council wants to ensure that the final wayfinding map caters to the needs of all South Algonquin businesses and not just to SABA members. She said that she intended to take the presentation back and have a discussion about it at the next economic development meeting on Jan. 20. Hairebedian expressed interest in SABA attending this meeting and Dumas said that she would confirm and let her know soon. “You’ve given us a great deal of food for thought through your committee and we appreciate it very much.” Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times
The City of Edmonton will look at ways to make sure infill developments are done with minimal damage to surrounding properties. Council's urban planning committee agreed to the motion Tuesday. Coun. Ben Henderson expressed frustration that some residents are still victims of bad builders, with projects damaging their fences, landscaping, sidewalks, and interior and exterior of the house. The obligation is on the builder to rectify damages but that doesn't always happen, he noted. "We've been at this for a decade," Henderson said about infill projects and the need to enforce good building practices. "We've always said we don't have those powers and I think it's pretty clear we do. And I think we have to start using them." Historically, the city has left property owners to deal with builders to resolve issues. "It's just not fair to expect the neighbour to take responsibility," Henderson said. "Then to say that they have to go to their insurance company or go to a lawyer in order to deal with a problem I think we have the tools to deal with." The committee passed a motion to address the challenges. It directs city staff to explore the option of adding inspectors to assess excavations. That could mean adjusting the budget in the spring if more positions are added. They'll also look at more tools with more teeth to ensure developers comply with building and safety codes. That could include more fines, stop-work orders and beefing up compliance certificates. A compliance certificate is a report confirming that all buildings and structures on the property meet zoning bylaw regulations and have the appropriate development permits. Bev Esslinger, chair of the committee, said new housing in mature neighbourhoods is a major component to prepare for the growing population. "If we're going to build a city for two million people, infill's going to happen in many places, we need to make sure we get it right." Stephanie McCabe, deputy manager of urban form and corporate strategic development, said the majority heed the proper channels. "We have a number of good builders out there who are following the process." McCabe noted that the city would need more resources to inspect all excavations and that could add to the process for builders that are already heeding the regulations. Properties damaged The committee passed the motion after hearing from several members of the Residential Infill Working Group, which did a survey in 2020. Results show 79 per cent of respondents — 175 people in 41 mature neighbourhoods — said infill projects damaged or impacted their properties. The majority of cases were related to demolition and excavation, the survey shows. Those included vibrations to their home, excavated soil or debris spilling onto their property, excavations not being entirely enclosed by secure fencing and excavations on or beyond the property line. Diane Dennis, a member of the working group, presented the survey results to the committee Tuesday. "Only 14 per cent of our survey respondents were satisfied with the resolution of the issues," Dennis said. "Neighbours spent time, money and emotional energy on attempts to fix damage and other problems created by the construction activity." Bev Zubot, also a member of the working group, urged councillors to reevaluate their enforcement methods. "The survey obviously shows that damage to neighbours' property is common, but it doesn't have to be that way," Zubot suggested. "The public needs enforcement to prevent and mitigate excavation failures. Complaints down The city also posted its annual infill compliance report for 2019. Overall complaints from residents were down 22 per cent. The number went from 1240 in 2018 to 963 in 2019. Total complaints were registered from residents via 311, transferred from other city departments and from councillors' inquiries. Total tickets given in relation to infill were up three per cent. The report shows that development compliance officers, development permit inspectors and peace officers gave out 455 tickets for violations on infill properties, up from 442 from 2018. Henderson and the committee asked for results from the motion by early next year. "We have to step up," Henderson said. "This has been the problem all the way along. We are going to lose the big picture game because we're unprepared to make the bad players play well." @natashariebe
MILLBROOK -- Millbrook’s 4th Line Theatre will launch its Digital Festival of Light and Dark next week. Micro-grants have been provided to 13 regional artists by the festival so they can create 12 five-minute digital showcases of their work, the theatre announced Tuesday. The digital festival is free-of-charge to watch online and will allow people to engage with the artists’ creations in the safety of their own homes during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown through the theatre’s digital video gallery. Managing artistic director Kim Blackwell said the theatre — which had to cancel last summer’s performances and then staged the Open Spaces Theatre Festival in downtown Peterborough in September followed by a limited run of “Bedtime Stories and Other Horrifying Tales” prior to Halloween at the theatre in October — wants to support local artists. “That was the genesis for the idea which ultimately became the Digital Festival of Light and Dark. I am excited to showcase the work of so many talented local artists from almost every conceivable discipline,” Blackwell said. “These short, digital works will be a chance for 4th Line audiences to see the depth and breadth of regional artists and their creative worlds.” A variety of artistic styles such as poetry, photography and puppetry are manifested in the artists’ projects. Topics and issues explored include the new silent nightlife in downtown Peterborough in lockdown, an exploration of physical vulnerability in the pandemic and the story of a girl trapped alone in a Welsh mine, to name only three, according to the theatre. The 12 artists include Madison Constello, Naomi Duvall, Jennifer Elchuk, Josh Fewings, Madison Sheward, Frank Flynn, Steafan Hannigan, Mike Moring, Tristan Peirce, Kelsey Powell, Benj Rowland, P.J. Thomas and Laura Thompson. In Hannigan’s multimedia project titled “the many shades between light and dark: art v COVID-19 in 2020,” artists, performers, musicians and directors reflect upon their life-changing experiences during the past year amid the global pandemic. Hannigan is a multidisciplinary artist working in a variety of mediums including photography, video and music. Born and raised in Ireland, he currently lives in Baltimore in Northumberland County. Peirce’s project, “Night Shift,” gives viewers a glimpse into Peterborough’s night life during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pierce is a photographer and videographer, based in Peterborough, who is also taking part in the Art Gallery of Peterborough’s group exhibition Presently. “It’s Political,” a project created by Thompson — a designer based in Peterborough whose video work draws on found footage to create moving collages that are surreal and dynamic — explores the women’s movement and its evolution, history and future. The 12 projects will be posted at www.4thlinetheatre.on.ca/festival-of-light-and-dark and at www.youtube.com/user/4thlinetheatreVIDEO starting at noon on Monday. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
The United States swore in its 46th President on Jan. 20, 2021. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris attended their inauguration in Washington, D.C. with a slew of distinguished guests, but few onlookers as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a need for social distancing.Several past presidents were in attendance, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr., however the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, did not attend. Trump flew to his golf club in Florida earlier in the day. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence did attend the ceremony with his wife.For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.
ATLANTA — Paul McDonough has returned to Atlanta United as vice-president of soccer operations. The MLS team announced the rehiring of McDonough on Tuesday after he spent two years as Inter Miami's sporting director. McDonough returns to the role he held in Atlanta from 2016-18, becoming a key player in the club's dynamic entry into MLS. United set numerous attendance records and captured the MLS Cup championship in just its second season in 2018. McDonough left after the championship to lead Inter Miami's entry into MLS as an expansion team this past year. The club went 7-13-3 and made the MLS playoffs in its pandemic-affected debut season. Atlanta United, meanwhile, fell on hard times in 2020. The club fired coach Frank de Boer and missed the playoffs for the first time. “Paul was a key part of our team as we built Atlanta United and we’re delighted to have him back in the organization,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a statement. “Paul brings a vast knowledge of the game, but more importantly he is a great cultural fit who complements our front office." McDonough will report to technical director Carlos Bocanegra and take a leading role in managing the salary cap. McDonough previously worked with Orlando City, helping the club transition to its inaugural season in MLS. He began his career in college coaching, serving as an assistant at Wake Forest, South Carolina and UConn. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/apf-Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has pardoned former chief strategist Steve Bannon as part of a late flurry of clemency action benefiting nearly 150 people, including rap stars and former members of Congress. The pardons and commutations for 143 people, including Bannon, were announced after midnight Wednesday in the final hours of Trump's White House term. THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below. President Donald Trump is expected to pardon his former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, as part of a flurry of clemency action that appeared to be still in flux in the final hours of his presidency, according to a person familiar with his thinking. The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations, stressed that Trump has flip-flopped repeatedly as he mulls his final actions, and warned the decision could be reversed until it's formally unveiled. The last-minute clemency would follow separate waves of pardons over the last month for Trump allies, including associates convicted in the FBI’s Russia investigation as well as the father of his son-in-law. It would underscores the president’s willingness, all the way through his four years in the White House, to flex his constitutional powers in ways that defy convention and explicitly aid his friends and supporters. Whereas pardon recipients are generally thought of as defendants who have faced justice, often by having served at least some prison time, a pardon for Bannon would nullify a prosecution that was still in its early stages and likely months away from trial in Manhattan, effectively eliminating any prospect for punishment. Though other presidents have issued controversial pardons at the ends of their administration, perhaps no commander in chief has so enjoyed using the clemency authority to benefit not only friends and acquaintances but also celebrity defendants and those championed by allies. Critics say such decisions result in far more deserving applicants being passed over. “Steve Bannon is getting a pardon from Trump after defrauding Trump’s own supporters into paying for a wall that Trump promised Mexico would pay for,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff said on Twitter. “And if that all sounds crazy, that’s because it is. Thank God we have only 12 more hours of this den of thieves.” Trump is expected to offer pardons and commutations to as many as 100 people in the hours before he leaves office at noon Wednesday, according to two people briefed on the plans. The list is expected to include names unfamiliar to the American public — regular people who have spent years languishing in prison — as well as politically connected friends and allies. Bannon has been charged with duping thousands of investors who believed their money would be used to fulfil Trump’s chief campaign promise to build a wall along the southern border. Instead, he allegedly diverted over a million dollars, paying a salary to one campaign official and personal expenses for himself. Bannon did not respond to questions Tuesday. Trump has already pardoned a slew of longtime associates and supporters, including his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort; Charles Kushner, the father of his son-in-law; his longtime friend and adviser Roger Stone; and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn. A voice of nationalist, outsider conservatism, Bannon — who served in the Navy and worked at Goldman Sachs and as a Hollywood producer before turning to politics — led the conservative Breitbart News before being tapped to serve as chief executive officer of Trump’s 2016 campaign in its critical final months. He later served as chief strategist to the president during the turbulent early days of Trump’s administration and was at the forefront of many of its most contentious policies, including its travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries. But Bannon, who clashed with other top advisers, was pushed out after less than a year. And his split with Trump deepened after he was quoted in a 2018 book making critical remarks about some of Trump’s adult children. Bannon apologized and soon stepped down as chairman of Breitbart. He and Trump have recently reconciled. In August, he was pulled from a luxury yacht off the coast of Connecticut and brought before a judge in Manhattan, where he pleaded not guilty. When he emerged from the courthouse, Bannon tore off his mask, smiled and waved to news cameras. As he went to a waiting vehicle, he shouted, “This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall.” The organizers of the “We Build The Wall” group portrayed themselves as eager to help the president build a “big beautiful” barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, as he promised during the 2016 campaign. They raised more than $25 million from thousands of donors and pledged that 100% of the money would be used for the project. But according to the criminal charges, much of the money never made it to the wall. Instead, it was used to line the pockets of group members, including Bannon. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jonathan Lemire, Eric Tucker And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday. He has pledged to "heal" the country as it grapples with an ongoing pandemic, economic uncertainty and deep political divisions. Extra security measures will be in place following the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, as rioters sought to stop Congress from certifying the president-elect's win over outgoing President Donald Trump. Attendance will be further limited because of the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed 400,000 Americans. CBC News will have comprehensive coverage before, during and after the official swearing-in of Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris at noon ET. Here's how to tune in. Online CBCNews.ca, the CBC News app and CBC Gem will carry the live special CBC News Special: The Inauguration of Joseph Biden, Jr., hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, starting at 10 a.m. ET. You can view the live stream right here on this page beginning at that time. CBCNews.ca and the CBC News app will also have news and analysis throughout the day. On television Coverage begins at 6 a.m. ET on CBC News Network (also streaming on CBC Gem) with Heather Hiscox on CBC Morning Live. Starting at 10 a.m. ET, viewers can watch the live special CBC News Special: The Inauguration of Joseph Biden, Jr., hosted by Adrienne Arsenault, on CBC News Network and CBC TV. From 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Andrew Nichols and Suhana Meharchand will co-host live coverage of the events in Washington following the official swearing-in of Biden and Harris, as well as reaction in Canada and around the world, on CBC News Network (also streaming on CBC Gem). On radio Listeners can tune into special live coverage of the swearing-in on CBC Radio and CBC Listen from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Susan Bonner and Piya Chattopadhyay.
LANSING, Mich. — Attorneys for former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder are striking back, telling prosecutors Tuesday that the Flint water case should be dismissed because he was charged in the wrong county. Snyder was charged last week with two misdemeanour counts of wilful neglect of duty. He was indicted by a Genesee County judge who sat as a grand juror and considered evidence presented by prosecutors. “Neither of these allegations of non-feasance, or failure to act, occurred while the former Governor was in the City of Flint. At all times set forth in the Indictment, our client was the presiding governor of the State of Michigan with the Executive Office of the Governor located at the Romney Building in downtown Lansing,” attorney Brian Lennon said in a letter to prosecutors. The letter was attached to a request for documents and other evidence possessed by prosecutors, a typical step by the defence in a criminal case. Lennon indicated in the letter that he soon would formally ask Judge William Crawford to dismiss the case against the Republican former governor. A hearing took place Tuesday in Snyder’s case. The next hearing was scheduled for Feb. 23. “The reason we didn't file a motion to dismiss is we're trying to give the government an opportunity to recognize this mistake and voluntarily dismiss the indictment against Gov. Snyder,” Lennon told the judge. Assistant Attorney General Bryant Osikowicz sought time to see and respond to the pending dismissal motion. A spokeswoman for the attorney general's office declined to comment on the venue issue. Snyder was one of nine people charged in a new investigation of the Flint water crisis, including former state health department director Nick Lyon. The catastrophe in the impoverished, majority-Black city has been described as an example of environmental injustice and racism. The city, under Snyder-appointed emergency managers, used the Flint River for drinking water in 2014-15 without properly treating it to reduce corrosion. Lead from old pipes contaminated the system. Separately, the water was blamed by some experts for an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, which killed at least 12 people in the area and sickened dozens more. Lyon and former state chief medical executive Eden Wells face nine counts of involuntary manslaughter. Snyder's lawyer said the defence will soon seek grand jury records. It also wants potentially millions of documents and hundreds of electronic devices that were seized, and to know if steps were taken to ensure investigators did not have access to attorney-client communications or other privileged materials. “If a taint team was not used, it challenges and could undermine the integrity of the entire investigation against Gov. Snyder and others,” Lennon said. As it did during the old criminal probe, the state will cover the legal expenses of former state officers and employees who face charges. But in a change, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's administration will cap costs. The maximum hourly rate for attorneys cannot exceed $225. Some lawyers were paid two to three times that previously. The state also will impose a “ceiling” of $175,000 for a defendant's legal services before and during a trial, which can only be raised if a contract administrator recommends it. The goals are to ensure consistent treatment across the defendants' former departments and to control costs to ensure accountability, the governor's office said. Jim Haveman, a former state health director who supports Lyon, criticized the new policy. Legal fees and expenses in the first case against Lyon totalled $1.6 million over 19 months, he said. In 2019, prosecutors working under a new attorney general, Dana Nessel, dismissed charges against Lyon and seven other people and began a new probe. In an email, Haveman called on Whitmer and lawmakers to “correct this capping injustice and to assure all defendants have the best defence possible.” ___ White reported from Detroit. Ed White And David Eggert, The Associated Press