The Marvel Cinematic Universe is heading into the sitcom world with WandaVision, which will release on Disney Plus on Jan. 15, the weirdest but most creative way we’ve seen fan-favourite couple Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany).
The territory heard an emotional message about vaccines today from one Arviat resident who lost her husband to COVID-19. An audio recording of Diane Sammurtok's urgent call for vaccination in Nunavut, originally shared on Arviat's local radio station, was replayed Thursday during a government COVID-19 press conference at the Legislative Assembly. "I will never have my husband back," Sammurtok said. "My husband Luki did not receive the vaccine so he had nothing to fight it. Please get the COVID shot, so you don't go through what I had to go through. Watching your loved ones pass away is not a joke." Luki Sammurtok is the only Nunavut resident reported to have died after contracting COVID-19 within Nunavut. "It pierces the heart," Premier Joe Savikataaq said of the woman's message. "I want people to know how real and how hurtful COVID-19 can be. She does not want anyone to go through what she went through. "Please make an appointment to be vaccinated." Missed the press conference? Watch it here: There are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. The territory has seen 266 cases in total. There are 328 people being followed by public health for symptoms of or potential contact with COVID-19, Savikataaq said. Over 600 people in the territory are currently estimated to have received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said. There have been no reports of negative or adverse experiences from people who have gotten the vaccine in Nunavut, Patterson said, adding that feeling a bit faint is a normal response to getting a needle. More vaccines coming today Deliveries of more Moderna vaccines are expected to arrive Thursday and Friday in Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet. Each community will see 3,000 doses. Another shipment is expected the week of Feb. 1. Vaccination clinics are now scheduled for Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake and Whale Cove, starting next week and the week after. Clinic dates for those communities are: Rankin Inlet, Jan. 18-Jan. 21. Whale Cove, Jan. 19-20. Chesterfield Inlet, Jan. 22-23. Baker Lake, Jan 25-27 for priority populations. In Baker Lake, priority will be given to elders aged 65 and older, and to health staff. This may be expanded if supply allows. Patterson says the territory will focus on the Kivalliq region for vaccinations. Medical travel to the South puts that central region most at risk of bringing the virus back into the territory, he said. Arviat clinic underway Vaccination clinics are underway in Arviat and Cambridge Bay, starting today. Clinics in Gjoa Haven and Igloolik are finished. Starting Monday, seniors in Iqaluit aged 65 and over will be able to get the vaccine, along with anyone who lives in or works at a shelter. Appointments should be made by calling Iqaluit Public Health at 867-975-4810. Clinic times are: Iqaluit Public Health: Jan. 18-22 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Qikiqtani General Hospital: Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Social distancing, hand hygiene and enhanced cleaning practices will be in place to help keep everyone healthy," the territory said in a news release Wednesday. "For the protection of yourself and the community, we encourage you to wear your own mask to your appointment." Patterson said the government won't be creating a vaccination program in isolation hotels, where residents are staying for two weeks before returning home from other provinces or territories. But testing is ongoing in the isolation hubs. While it is voluntary, more than 90 per cent of people in the isolation hubs are choosing to get tested for COVID-19, he said. This will be the last televised update for the coming weeks, as the Legislative Assembly will be in use for standing committee meetings. The government will continue to update the public about vaccination clinics using public service announcements and social media. The government is asking Nunavummiut who think they've been exposed to COVID-19 to call the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre right away. You can listen to the news conference in full later in the afternoon on the CBC Nunavut radio show Tusaajaksat.
The latest COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 10:30 a.m. The province of Ontario says there are 3,326 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 62 more deaths linked to the virus. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 968 of those new cases are in Toronto, 572 in Peel Region and 357 in York Region. Vaccinations continue across Ontario with 14,237 doses administered since Wednesday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
One Toronto boy got to make the long-distance call of a lifetime this week when he spoke to an astronaut aboard the International Space Station. Yaphe Yoseph, 8, was positively beaming Wednesday as he got to speak with astronaut Victor Glover, who is currently floating in orbit. The call was organized by and included members of Glover's alma mater, California Polytechnic State University, and the National Society of Black Engineers. When they found out about Yoseph's keen interest in space travel, they wanted him to be a part of it. "My dream is to go to outer space, and be the first African Canadian," Yoseph said. And he doesn't plan to go alone. "He always tells me, 'you're going to come with me to space,'" said his mom, Hezbawit Lijam. WATCH | Toronto boy asks astronaut for advice: She said his interest in space started when he was in senior kindergarten, and has only grown since then. His attention was really ignited when he learned about fellow Canadian Chris Hadfield. "I got one of his books, I started reading it, and it was so much fun, and that inspired me to be an astronaut," Yoseph said. His mom even got him his own NASA space suit. "Of course the space suit, they just come only with the American flag, like this one, but I added the Canadian flag for him, because he is representing Canada," she said. Hopes first space flight 'at least' goes to ISS And he was wearing that suit with a smile when he asked Glover a question Wednesday. "How does it feel to be on the first operational flight of the first spacecraft that uses a reusable liquid fuel abort system? And what advice would you give to children like me?" he asked. "Yaphe, thank you for that question, thank you for your voice. It is so inspiring to hear young people's voices up here," Glover responded. The astronaut then went on to tell Yoseph that the abort system is amazing and helps keep him safe, before passing on some wisdom to the young admirer — like never stopping in the face of challenges, and being a lifelong learner. "Be good to the people around you, and they'll pay that back to you," Glover said. It's clear that even though Yoseph is only a kid, he has big plans. "For my first space flight I'm hoping to at least go to the ISS," he said. "For my second I'm hoping to go to the moon, and for my third I'm hoping to go to Mars." For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
Canadian forward Tyler Pasher is back in Major League Soccer, signing with the Houston Dynamo from the USL Championship's Indy Eleven. The 26-year-old from Elmira, Ont., scored 23 goals and added six assists in 50 appearances for Indy Eleven -- the sixth-most in the USL Championship since 2019. Pasher, with 10 goals and two assists in 15 appearances, was named to the 2020 USL Championship All-League team following an abbreviated 16-game season. “Tyler is a player we’ve been tracking closely over the last year and we are pleased the timing was right to add him to our roster,” Matt Jordan, Houston's senior vice-president and GM, said in a statement. “His ability to take players on and put up numbers, along with being naturally left-footed, make him a good fit for our group and system.” A former Canadian youth international, Pasher has yet to earn a senior cap but was called into camp in both 2015 and 2017. "Tyler is a relentless worker on both sides of the ball and he fits really well into our game model,” Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos said. “We feel that we added a player who is going to be successful and going to contribute in the attacking third." Pasher spent seven years with Newcastle United as an academy and reserve player before returning to Canada in 2010 for two seasons with Toronto FC’s academy. He wore the captain's armband after coming off the bench in July 2012 as an 18-year-old in a TFC friendly against Liverpool. He went on to play for Finland's PS Kemi in 2013 and Michigan's Lansing United, in the National Premier Soccer League, in 2014. He signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2015) and Swope Park Rangers (2016). The five-foot-nine 150-pounder made his MLS debut with Sporting Kansas City, Swope’s parent club, in 2017. He signed with Indy Eleven following the 2017 season. Houston now has 24 players under contract for the 2021 MLS season. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Windsor-Essex region reported 216 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as a new provincial stay-at-home order took effect. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU), said there have been four additional deaths of seniors in the region. Within Windsor-Essex, about 2,800 people have active COVID-19 cases. There are 111 people in hospital — 18 of them are in ICU, and an additional 196 suspected cases are in hospital. Forty-six outbreaks are active in the region, an increase of one since Wednesday. They include 20 at long-term care and retirement homes. Ahmed said the health unit is on track to have all initial vaccinations complete at all homes by early next week. New stay-at-home order takes effect A second state of emergency over surging COVID-19 cases was declared by the Ontario government on Tuesday. An emergency alert was sent to cell phones after 10 a.m. on Thursday telling the public that the stay-at-home order is in effect. The order means that people are only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons such as buying groceries, picking up prescriptions or daily exercise. There are many other exceptions, including an exemption for people experiencing homelessness. Ahmed said message from the province is loud and clear that they want people to stay home and work from home as much as possible, though employers will bear some responsibility for deciding who is essential. "We'll have to wait and see how it eventually plays out in terms of the mobility, in terms of people's desire to work from home versus the businesses' need to have them at work," he said. COVID-19 outbreaks in Windsor-Essex Since the pandemic began, there have been 10,494 COVID-19 cases recorded in Windsor-Essex and 241 deaths, according to WECHU. Two outbreaks are active at Windsor Regional Hospital's Ouellette campus, and Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario is also in outbreak. A new school outbreak was declared at Sandwich Secondary School, which has been closed since prior to the holiday break along with all others in the region. Queen Victoria Public School also remains in outbreak. Outbreaks are active at 21 workplaces: Four in Leamington's agricultural sector. Four in Kingsville's agricultural sector. Four in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector. One in Leamington's health care and social assistance sector. One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. One in Windsor's food and beverage service sector. One in a personal service setting in LaSalle. Three in public administration settings in Windsor. One in a retail setting in Essex. There are 20 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Richmond Terrace in Amherstburg with two staff cases Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with five resident cases and one staff case Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 17 resident cases and five staff cases Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases. Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 30 resident cases and three staff cases Chateau Park in Windsor with four staff cases. Leamington Mennonite Home with six staff cases. Brouillette Manor in Tecumseh, with three staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 51 resident and 11 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 11 resident cases and eight staff cases. Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 43 resident cases and 25 staff cases. Sun Parlor Home in Leamington, with eight staff cases. Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 111 resident cases and 52 staff cases. The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 24 resident cases and 10 staff cases. Extendicare Tecumseh, with 82 resident cases and 55 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 94 resident and 60 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 150 resident cases and 118 staff cases. Country Village in Woodslee, with three resident and three staff cases. Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 53 resident cases and 25 staff cases.
WASHINGTON — His place in the history books rewritten, President Donald Trump endured his second impeachment largely alone and silent. For more than four years, Trump has dominated the national discourse like no one before him. Yet when his legacy was set in stone on Wednesday, he was stunningly left on the sidelines. Trump now stands with no equal, the only president to be charged twice with a high crime or misdemeanour, a new coda for a term defined by a deepening of the nation's divides, his failures during the worst pandemic in a century and his refusal to accept defeat at the ballot box. Trump kept out of sight in a nearly empty White House as impeachment proceedings played out at the heavily fortified U.S. Capitol. There, the damage from last week’s riots provided a visible reminder of the insurrection that the president was accused of inciting. Abandoned by some in his own party, Trump could do nothing but watch history unfold on television. The suspension of his Twitter account deprived Trump of his most potent means to keep Republicans in line, giving a sense that Trump had been defanged and, for the first time, his hold on his adopted party was in question. He was finally heard from hours after the vote, in a subdued video that condemned the insurrection at the Capitol and warned his supporters from engaging in any further violence. It was a message that was largely missing one week earlier, when rioters marching in Trump’s name descended on the Capitol to try to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. “I want to be very clear: I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week," said Trump. He added that “no true supporter” of his “could ever endorse political violence.” But that message, partially motivated to warn off legal exposure for sparking the riot, ran contrary to what Trump has said throughout his term, including when he urged his supporters to “fight” for him last week. Trump said not a word about his impeachment in the video, though he complained about the ban on his social media. And later Wednesday, he asked allies if he had gone too far with the video, wondering if it might upset some of his supporters. Four White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing discussed Trump’s private conversations on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to do so publicly. With only a week left in Trump's term, there were no bellicose messages from the White House fighting the proceedings on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and no organized legal response. Some congressional Republicans did defend the president during House debate in impeachment, their words carrying across the same space violated by rioters one week earlier during a siege of the citadel of democracy that left five dead. In the end, 10 Republicans voted to impeach. It was a marked change from Trump’s first impeachment. That December 2019 vote in the House, which made Trump only the third president ever impeached, played out along partisan lines. The charges then were that he had used the powers of the office to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political foe, Joe Biden, now the president-elect. At that time, the White House was criticized for failing to create the kind of robust “war room” that President Bill Clinton mobilized during his own impeachment fight. Nonetheless, Trump allies did mount their own pushback campaign. There were lawyers, White House messaging meetings, and a media blitz run by allies on conservative television, radio and websites. Trump was acquitted in 2020 by the GOP-controlled Senate and his approval ratings were undamaged. But this time, as some members of his own party recoiled and accused him of committing impeachable offences, Trump was isolated and quiet. A presidency centred on the bombastic declaration “I alone can fix it” seemed to be ending with a whimper. The third-ranking Republican in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said there had “never been a greater betrayal” by a president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told colleagues in a letter that he had not decided how he would vote in an impeachment trial. For the first time, Trump’s future seemed in doubt, and what was once unthinkable — that enough Republican senators would defy him and vote to remove him from office — seemed at least possible, if unlikely. But there was no effort from the White House to line up votes in the president’s defence. The team around Trump is hollowed out, with the White House counsel’s office not drawing up a legal defence plan and the legislative affairs team largely abandoned. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to push Republican senators to oppose removal. Graham’s spokesman said the senator was making the calls of his own volition. Trump and his allies believed that the president’s sturdy popularity with the lawmakers’ GOP constituents would deter them from voting against him. The president was livid with perceived disloyalty from McConnell and Cheney and has been deeply frustrated that he could not hit back with his Twitter account, which has kept Republicans in line for years. He also has turned on his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who touted election conspiracy theories and whom many in the president's orbit believe shoulders some of the blame for both impeachments. Trump had grown irritated at Giuliani's lavish spending, which included a request to be paid $20,000 a day, and told aides to stop paying him. Trump watched much of the day's proceedings on TV from the White House residence and his private dining area off the Oval Office. A short time before he was impeached, Trump was in the White House East Room presenting the National Medal of Arts to singers Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs as well as former Associated Press photographer Nick Ut. His paramount concern, beyond his legacy, was what a second impeachment could do to his immediate political and financial future. The loss of his Twitter account and fundraising lists could complicate Trump's efforts to remain a GOP kingmaker and potentially run again in 2024. Moreover, Trump seethed at the blows being dealt to his business, including the withdrawal of a PGA tournament from one of his golf courses and the decision by New York City to cease dealings with his company. There's the possibility that if the Senate were to convict him, he also could be barred from seeking election again, dashing any hopes of another presidential campaign. A White House spokesman did not respond to questions about whether anyone in the building was trying to defend Trump, who was now the subject of half of the presidential impeachments in the nation's history. One campaign adviser, Jason Miller, argued Democrats’ efforts will serve to galvanize the Republican base behind Trump and end up harming Biden. He blamed the Democrats’ swift pace for the silence, saying there wasn’t “time for mounting a traditional response operation.” But he pledged that “the real battle will be the Senate where there’ll be a more traditional pushback effort.” The reminders of the Capitol siege were everywhere as the House moved toward the impeachment roll call. Some of the Capitol’s doors were broken and windows were shattered. A barricade had gone up around outside the building and there were new checkpoints. Hundreds of members of the National Guard patrolled the hallways, even sleeping on the marble floors of the same rotunda that once housed Abraham Lincoln’s casket. And now the Capitol is the site of more history, adding to the chapter that features Clinton, impeached 21 years ago for lying under oath about sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and Andrew Johnson, impeached 151 years ago for defying Congress on Reconstruction. Another entry is for Richard Nixon, who avoided impeachment by resigning during the Watergate investigation. But Trump, the only one impeached twice, will once more be alone. ___ Lemire reported from New York. Jonathan Lemire, Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
The B.C. government is getting legal advice to determine whether an inter-provincial travel ban would be doable — or even constitutional — as a way to protect the province while the number of COVID-19 cases soars in other parts of Canada. Premier John Horgan on Thursday said he and other leaders will be speaking about the issue later in the day and on Friday during a virtual, two-day cabinet retreat. He said he's aiming to nail down by the end of the summit which options the government can take, if any. "People have been talking about [a ban] for months and months, as you know, and I think it's time we put it to bed finally and say either, 'We can do it, and this is how we can do it,' or 'We can't,'" the premier said. "We have been trying our best to find a way to meet that objective ... in a way that's consistent with the charter and other fundamental rights here in Canada. So, legal advice is what we've sought." B.C.'s case counts have fairly consistently been in a better place than those in provinces like Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan. In Ontario, a strict new stay-at-home order came into effect at 12:01 a.m. local time as case counts spiked and patients crowded hospitals. The epidemiological curves in Quebec and Saskatchewan are also trending upward, while B.C.'s is now heading down after a peak in November. An emergency room doctor from Whistler, B.C., joined the call for an inter-provincial restrictions this week after seeing a "worrying" number of patients from Ontario and Quebec who had travelled west over the holidays. Horgan also acknowledged that revelations about a half-dozen Canadian politicians who disobeyed restrictions and travelled during their time off this winter "led to a firestorm of frustration and anger" that helped reignite the ban debate. "To the ER doc and other British Columbians: I agree with you that, on the surface, [a ban] would seem an easy thing to do — to just tell people not to come here. That's not part and parcel of who we are as Canadians," the premier said, adding that he's asked provincial leaders to urge people to stay home and not travel to B.C. Constitutional questions There have been questions about the constitutionality of an inter-provincial travel ban since the idea first arose in the spring. Given the extreme situation in which governments find themselves — trying to manage a lethal global pandemic changing by the day — the idea of an inter-provincial travel ban isn't out of the question. "If you're asking me whether I think this is clearly unconstitutional as a concept, my answer is no," said Michael Feder, a Vancouver lawyer with expertise in constitutional law. "I do think the devil is in the detail ... But I don't think the government is going to have a lot of constitutional worries about a ban on travel to go skiing or travel to go golfing," he continued. Feder explained that charter rights are subject to reasonable limits if the government proves those limits are justified in order to achieve an objective. In this case, the province would presumably argue the ban is justified by the risk of increased COVID-19 transmission if tourists from hotspot provinces don't stop travelling to B.C. "You have to be living in a cave not to understand that the situation in Quebec and Ontario is different than the situation in B.C. If the government is seeking to justify a ban based on this problem, it's not going to need to contextualize it for anyone. A court is going to understand why the government is looking at this issue," the lawyer said. Newfoundland and Labrador is facing a constitutional challenge based on its travel restrictions for out-of-province visitors last spring. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed the challenge on behalf of a Nova Scotia woman who was denied entry to N.L. to attend her mother's funeral in May. Her lawyers are arguing "no province in Canada can shut its borders to Canadian citizens."
The Americanization of the Black experience had become so deeply rooted in me that I felt like I didn’t have a home within Blackness.
Doug Ford’s new stay-at-home order for Ontarians will come into effect Thursday at 12:01 a.m. As the details and confusion get sorted in the lead up, the Star spoke to experts about what guidelines members of the public should focus on to continue doing their part in reducing the spread of COVID-19, as well as steps leaders in government should take to improve its pandemic response. What you can do Don’t overcomplicate the guidelines — this one is most important As messaging from the government has changed and led to confusion over the past few months, Barry Pakes, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, says to strip away the noise and follow this guiding principle: “The key message is still do your very best not to interact with anyone outside of your household, full stop.” Pakes advises that members of the public try not to get lost in the “nitpickiness” of the changes and said, “(Do) everything you can not to leave, except for the most essential purposes.” Be mindful even when you’re outdoors Staying attentive while outdoors is something that is crucial right now, says Alex Abramovich, a scientist at CAMH and assistant professor at University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health. “I’ve noticed that people tend to think that if you are outdoors it is safer, or they forget to keep distance; however, we are at a critical point and it is so important that we do our best to keep our distance from one another during this time.” In addition, much of public health messaging throughout the pandemic has been that if you’re outside and well-distanced from other people, you could forgo a mask, but Pakes says it’s still better to mask up than not. “Masks at all times is really what we should be doing right now.” What leaders in government need to do Paid sick leave for workers Dr. Anna Banerji, Faculty Lead, Indigenous and Refugee Health at University of Toronto wants the public to stop blaming one another. “I think the vast majority of people are doing the right thing,” Banerji said. “Anyone who pays attention to [the news] is trying to do their best.” Banerji says that a lot of the onus is on the government to support essential workers with paid sick leave and that these workers shouldn’t be blamed for the high numbers of infections. “We need to have paid sick leave to encourage anyone who has any kind of symptom —whether it’s minor, or more significant — to stay at home,” Banerji said. “We need to try to stop people who feel that they have to go to work,” Banerji said, adding that there are various circumstances, like paying rent, that result in people feeling pressure to leave their homes for work. Paid sick leave would help alleviate some of that pressure. “Who are we to judge what kind of position someone’s in?” Accessible testing in more workplaces In addition to taking the necessary precautions to avoid the contraction of COVID-19, Banerji says rapid testing near outbreak sites will help bring the numbers down. She explained that similar to our U.S. neighbours, our front-line workers should have access to at-home COVID-19 testing. “Those kinds of tests, they can be implemented in factories where people are at risk. I think if they can have that kind of screening on a regular basis, you’d probably (detect) the COVID sooner.” A plan for the homeless population is needed “A one-size-fits-all approach does not work,” Abramovich said. He said while the advice to stay home and keep one’s distance should be followed, “it is also important to understand how difficult or impossible this can be for many who do not have a safe place to call home.” Improving supports for those without housing is an important step to take now, he said. “Marginalized populations, particularly individuals experiencing homelessness, are receiving the least amount of support during the pandemic.” A focus shift to upping hospital capacity Martha Fulford, associate professor in infectious disease at McMaster University, says the repeated focus on lockdown as the solution may be misguided and strategies from the province could be put to better use elsewhere. Fulford says the goal isn’t to eradicate the virus, but to avoid overwhelming the hospital system, and there are several routes that could achieve that goal. “Instead of wasting vast sums of money shutting down the province, why are we not putting all of our energy and creativity into expanding hospital capacity?” she said. For example, could hotels be used for medical space? How can we increase the number of health-care staff? The second tactic would be focusing on vaccinating the senior population quickly, since they account for the most severe cases of COVID-19 infection. “If we increase our capacity, and if we decrease the risk in the people who are vulnerable and require hospital care then we have effectively dealt with why we’re doing all this — preserving an overwhelmed health-care system,” she said. Finally, for everyone, don’t lose hope The key thing Banerji says to remember is to not lose hope, a sentiment that has been shared by many leaders, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “I think that this will end in the next little while,” Banerji said. “Life next year will not be like this.” Danica Samuel is a Toronto-based staff reporter for the Star. Reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter: @danicasamuel Angelyn Francis is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering equity and inequality. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.comAngelyn Francis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter and Danica Samuel, Toronto Star, Toronto Star
For many years the name Dave Holinaty was almost synonymous with the Horizon School Board, most recently and the Wakaw Division and Unit Board prior to that. The elections held in November 2020 saw the end of an era that spanned 20 years. Dave Holinaty believed that it was crucial that the Board representatives be visible in the communities that they represented and did his best to do just that. If there was a season opener football game in Wakaw, he was there. If there was a fundraiser breakfast in Bruno, he was there. If there was a play or program in Cudworth, he was there. As long as he could make it, the schools knew that Mr. Holinaty would be there. He didn’t just put in an appearance at schools either. Dave regularly attended the School Community Council meetings and events in his district as well. Dave’s dedication to the community of Wakaw, the schools in Sub-Division 1, and indeed to all the children of the division is worthy of recognition. Dave was born and raised in the Wakaw area. His great-grandparents homesteaded in the Wakaw/Cudworth area and his grandparents continued to live in the area as well. Dave’s father Charles himself a teacher, initially farmed at Wakaw but when a teaching job presented itself at Sunlight School near Bruno, he took it and the family moved away from Wakaw. Charles brought the family back to Wakaw in 1953 when he was hired to teach here. Charles Holinaty retired in the early 1980’s after a 35 year teaching career. Dave took grade one and two at Sunlight and the remainder in Wakaw starting grade three in the two story brick school, to which the current museum was later attached to accommodate the growing number of students. After graduating high school, Dave attended the University of Saskatchewan and obtained his Bachelor of Education. What followed was a 32 year career as a teacher in both the public and separate school systems as well as in First Nations communities, usually teaching K-6 physical education among other things. Dave married Patricia Latos, his high school sweetheart, who had also become a teacher, and they had three children. Continuing the family tradition, one of their daughters is also a teacher. Once retired, Dave began his tenure as a school board member in 2000, at first elected to the Wakaw School Unit Board. In 2003, he served on the Wakaw School Division Board until the amalgamation of school divisions in 2005. With the formation of the Horizon School Division in 2005, Dave was once again elected to the Division Board and served as the elected representative of Sub-Division 1 until the election in November 2020 when he was defeated by Jenna Hale from Bruno. Besides being instrumental in the move to install AED’s in every school and having staff trained to use them, when asked what he is most grateful to have been able to accomplish as part of the Board he said it was being able to provide a variety of educational opportunities for the students and keeping class sizes small. Children benefit greatly from having smaller class sizes, he said, because there is more chance for individual attention and assistance from the teacher. Children are the future he said in his campaign for the School Board and those are not just words to Dave. During his years as a teacher and as an elected representative on the School Board, Dave never let go of his belief that all children deserve to have their unique qualities recognized and to have their needs met in a safe nurturing environment. His goal was always to “help make learning special, safe and accountable.” Retirement brought Dave and Pat back to Wakaw, but it didn’t end their teaching experiences. Starting in the summer of 2004 and continuing until the fall of 2006, Dave and Pat taught English for six different sessions of six weeks each in Hong Kong. Then in the summers of 2007 and 2008 they were off again to teach English in Japan. When Dave wasn’t teaching in another country or busy with the school board he has also been heavily involved in the community. Dave served one term on Town Council and sat on the Board of Lakeview Pioneer Lodge as well as delivering Meals on Wheels. He continues to be a member of the Knights of Columbus in Prince Albert, St Theresa’s Parish here in Wakaw, the Wakaw Legion, and Club 99. In his spare time Dave still enjoys golfing and fishing as well as watching the Wakaw Warriors football and volleyball and of course spending time with family. Family is very important to Dave and Pat. Dave’s mother Barbara Holinaty, and Pat’s father Louis Latos, both in their mid-nineties, still live in Wakaw and two of Dave and Pat’s three children live in Saskatoon (the third is in Alberta). One granddaughter is a musician with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra and a grandson is a member of the Saskatoon Fireside Singers and Dave makes sure he and Pat take in as many performances as possible. COVID-19 may have brought activities to a screeching halt in 2020 and beyond, but it can’t curtail the appreciation Wakaw and community have for the years of service and dedication Dave has given. Enjoy this new retirement Dave and hopefully 2021 will once again see the Wakaw Warriors taking to the field and the courts and you’ll again be able to enjoy some fine high school sports.Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Wakaw Recorder
The updated Fire Response Billing Policy comes after a number of complaints were made to County Council about high bills received by residents after fires on their property. The policy is very similar to what was already being accomplished under the Fire Operations and cost recovery bylaw. The policy includes a section stating that landowners can request an adjustment to their balance by council, who can waive all or a portion of the bill if the fire was started due to a reason outside of the landowners control. This is basically what had happened previously, but is now written into the policy. The policy has been reviewed three times in this one term of council (four years). Reviewing policies is an important job of council, especially as concerns come up from citizens that the policy may not be working for the community. Council also discussed other topics at the January 11th county council meeting, including the provincial restrictions announced in December being extended longer than initially planned. There is a flavour around the council table for a more geographical approach to restrictions rather than province-wide mandates, and they asked administration to make sure this concern is voiced in the next meeting with Alberta Health Services. Administration presented a report to council that included good news that an Xplornet broadband project will be going forward after federal funding was approved recently. Councillors asked questions regarding the sequence of events that will now occur and the sites on which infrastructure will be built. Administration will bring forward answers to these questions as the process becomes more concrete over time. Also included in the report were further details on a development decision appeal that will be held on February 10th via zoom regarding the Payne Lake campground. Council voted in favour of a proposal to request Alberta Community Partnership grant funding to hire an individual by contract to investigate regional fire and emergency services. This is being done in cooperation with other municipalities in the area and is being spear-headed by the Town of Cardston and their administrative intern, JD Haitsma. Since December 14th Cardston County has been rotating Administrative staff Monday through Thursday, with the Administration Office being closed on Fridays. This will continue as the pandemic restrictions have been lengthened. Appointments can be scheduled for matters that cannot be resolved by phone or email. There was much discussion at the meeting about the definition of a fair weather road. Shawn Pitcher is laying a bridge across a fair weather road and county access road to better approach his property, and this has caused some concern to county residents. The County did not seem concerned about having any more liability on this road than on all other fair weather roads that are only used during a few months of the year and usually only by residents who own property around the area. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
What was once a dream has come true for staff at Caledon Meals on Wheels: Their very own kitchen has been developed and now open to all their clients in the community. Caledon Meals on Wheels’ (CMOW’s) mission in Caledon is to provide not only healthy and readily available meals, but education on nutrition and a variety of different initiatives including hot and frozen meals, and grocery and wellness programs. The organization has a long list of values, including client and community focus, accessibility, collaboration, innovation, quality, accountability and sustainability. CMOW has proved to be more than just meals for the community. As of January 11, a new chapter has begun with the opening of their very first kitchen, which has been secured in the newly renovated kitchen at the Albion Bolton Community Center. “It’s been a dream of ours for such a very long time to open our own kitchen, but never seemed to within our reach. It was much easier to work with our outside suppliers like the Vera Davis Centre and Caesars Banquet Hall to prepare our meals since they were already in the business and had the expertise and experience,” said Executive Director Christine Sevigny. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, CMOW, along with several other organizations, were forced to make necessary changes to adapt to safety measures for themselves and the community. Some of these included changes with their suppliers. “We were left with two options: look for another supplier under challenging circumstances or open our own. We explored all options, hoping to find a great supplier like we have in Lord Dufferin for our Orangeville clients, but when that didn’t work out, we kept coming back to our dream of opening our own kitchen,” said Sevigny. With the help and support from the Town of Caledon, Region of Peel and Brampton Caledon Community Foundation, the team at CMOW has been able to put in new necessary appliances. CMOW has also hired an experienced team to run the group, who all bring their own skills to provide nutritious and delicious meals. Staff at CMOW have been working to prepare for the opening of their very own kitchen this past year and are excited to get delicious meals out into the community. “Having our own kitchen gives us more control over the menu and the price of the meals. We want to make sure our clients are getting nutrition, taste and quality at an affordable price. Because we are a charitable organization, we have some wiggle room, we don’t need to make a profit on our meals, and we can also utilize volunteers.” says Kim Pridham, Client and Volunteer Services Supervisor. The kitchen is located in the Albion Bolton Community Centre at 150 Queen Street S, in Bolton. To learn more about Caledon Meals on Wheels programs please visit cmow.org or call (905) 857-7651. Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen
Police have charged the organizer of a Lethbridge protest against mandatory health measures tied to COVID-19. The Lethbridge Police Service said Thursday it had issued two tickets related to a protest outside City Hall on Tuesday. Police said they wouldn't be identifying the individual as the charges aren't criminal. The organizer has been charged with: Contravening an order of the medical officer of health (social gathering) under Section 73 (1) of the Public Health Act, with a penalty of $1,200. Assembly without a permit under City of Lethbridge Bylaw 5651, Section 6, with a penalty of $300.
Pembroke – There have been several small COVID-19 outbreaks declared in Renfrew County as the province enters its second week of lockdown with this part of Southern Ontario expected to remain in lockdown for a total of 28 days. A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at the Pembroke Regional Hospital after two staff members associated with the emergency department were confirmed as having the virus. Another outbreak was confirmed at an esthetician workplace in Petawawa where a staff member and two clients tested positive. As well, Miramichi Lodge confirmed an employee at the Lodge, who worked on December 27 but had no resident interactions and a small number of co-worker interactions tested positive. The Province of Ontario requires the declaration of an outbreak when two cases in the same workplace are connected. At present, the health unit is declaring one active community outbreak, one in hospital, one in a long-term care home and one in the workplace. While there are currently 26 people in Renfrew County in self-isolation following a COVID-19 diagnosis, and no hospitalizations or individuals in the intensive care unit, Ontario is continuing to see a dramatic increase in cases despite the lockdown. On Tuesday, another 3,128 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the province and 51 people died of the disease. There are 25,840 confirmed, active cases in the province. In Ontario there are there are 1,347 people with COVID-19 in hospitals. Of those, 352 are being treated in intensive care and 245 require the use of a ventilator. At PRH, staff confirmed the outbreak was contained to personnel in the Emergency Department. It was declared an outbreak when a second case was linked to a first positive staff case on December 27. “Once again we want to assure our community that our hospital, and in particular, our Emergency Department, remains a safe place to come to for medical care due to the safety measures we have in place to protect our patients, visitors, staff and physicians,” said PRH President and CEO, Pierre Noel, who added that no patients have been identified as high-risk contacts of the COVID positive staff members. Since receiving notification of the first case, the hospital has worked closely with its occupational health and safety team and the Renfrew County and District Health Unit (RCDHU) to ensure that anyone identified with a risk of exposure has been tested and is isolating and monitoring for symptoms. “We want the community to know that no staff members who were identified as being at risk of exposure have been at work since the first case was identified nor will they be allowed to return to work until we are confident that there is no ongoing risk,” Mr. Noel said. The hospital maintains strict safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include organization-wide use of personal protective equipment, diligent hand hygiene and physical distancing practices, as well as guidance and protocols when physical distancing in shared spaces is not possible. Dr. Robert Cushman, RCDHU acting medical officer of health, confirmed PRH has conducted a thorough assessment of all patient contacts in the ED during the identified time period and that there were no breaches in protocols. “I want to assure the public that the PRH Emergency Department is safe and that there is absolutely no reason to stay away in the event that you need medical care,” he said. In Petawawa at the esthetician workplace, the RCDHU is working closely with the workplace to ensure necessary measures continue to be in place to protect all staff and the public. All individuals who have been deemed to be close contacts of the positive cases, have been given direction by RCDHU staff to immediately self-isolate and arrange for testing. “Please do not let down your guard,” Dr. Cushman stated. “I want to remind you all that we are currently in a province-wide lockdown, so everyone should be staying home since no indoor social gatherings with members of other households are allowed.” The County of Renfrew issued a statement about the positive case at Miramichi Lodge, noting that while the employee who tested positive wore personal protective equipment including a surgical mask and protective eye wear, in consultation with Dr. Cushman and out of an abundance of caution, Miramichi Lodge will be testing all residents and employees. Consistent with the provincial directives when a long-term care home has a positive COVID result, Miramichi Lodge must suspend all general visits to the Home. Designated essential caregivers are still permitted; one per resident per visit. “We wish the employee a speedy recovery at home and are hopeful that no residents or additional staff test positive,” Renfrew County Warden Debbie Robinson said. Rigorous infection management practices and procedures remain in place at Miramichi Lodge, according to the county. “The health and safety of our residents and our employees remain our top priority,” Shelley Sheedy, Director of Long-Term Care, said. “We continue to follow the advice of our colleagues at Public Health to ensure our people are protected while providing care and delivering essential services to our residents.” A previous outbreak at a Pembroke dental office, which was reported in December, has been declared over. There were no additional positive tests among staff or close contacts at the office. The health unit staff noted prompt contact tracing and testing as well as strict compliance with public health directives have successfully contained the outbreak. The Health Unit also confirmed the outbreak at Algonquin College-Pembroke Campus is over with no additional positive tests among students, staff or close contacts at the college. According to the statistics released by the health unit on Tuesday, there were 26 confirmed cases in self-isolation in the county. To date there have been 254 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March in the district covered by the RCDHU and one death. The health unit has completed 47,749 tests since the pandemic began. Currently there are positive cases in Admaston/Bromley, Deep River, Greater Madawaska, Laurentian Valley, Madawaska Valley, Pembroke, Renfrew and Whitewater Region. Head, Clara, and Maria, as well as Pikwakanagan and Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards continue to hold the distinction of being the only areas within the county with no COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The RCDHU is reminded the public to adhere to the new public health measures set out in the provincial shutdown As well, area residents are reminded to: stay home if they are sick; avoid contact with people who are ill; practice physical distancing (2 metres); wear a mask/face covering when physical distancing cannot be maintained; wash their hands; use the COVID Alert App and complete the COVID-19 self-assessment tool or COVID-19 school screening tool daily before going to work, school or daycare, to monitor for symptoms and proper guidance. Testing continues this week on Thursday in Laurentian Valley, Cobden and Deep River. On Friday there is testing in Arnprior, Horton and Barry’s bay. Anyone needing a test much call RV VTAC to schedule a testing time at 1-844-727-6404.Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader
Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow provides an update on the Trump impeachment process as the U.S. awaits the Senate trial and Inauguration Day.
The outgoing Trump administration said on Thursday it was issuing new rules that would allow manufacturers of automated vehicles to bypass some crash standards required of conventional vehicles, which would cut production costs. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the rules would exempt from certain crash standards automated vehicles that are designed to carry only goods, not people. The new rules, issued after months of deliberation, would also give a freer hand to manufacturers of passenger-carrying autonomous vehicles to design vehicles without standard controls, including steering wheels.
NEW YORK — Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang officially entered the race for mayor of New York City on Thursday, joining a crowded Democratic primary field that includes longtime elected officials and veterans of the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is barred by the city charter from seeking a third term. “It is here in New York City that my passion for uplifting people, for wanting to move our country forward, got started,” Yang said at a campaign launch that was streamed on YouTube because of the coronavirus pandemic. “And now that we are facing this historic crisis I am aiming to unleash and channel that energy for a human-centred economy right here in New York, my home!" Yang’s proposal for a universal basic income won him a national following during the 2020 Democratic primary campaign before he dropped out of the race in February. He brings high name recognition to the mayoral race but has no record of involvement in local politics. More than two dozen people have filed with the city's Campaign Finance Board to run in the June 22 Democratic mayoral primary, which for the first time in city history will be determined by ranked choice voting, a system that lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. The contenders include City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, banker Ray McGuire, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former U.S. housing secretary Shaun Donovan. Yang has lived in New York City since attending law school at Columbia University in the 1990s but has spent much of the coronavirus pandemic at his family’s weekend home about 85 miles (136 kilometres) north of the city in New Paltz, New York. Critics pounced when Yang explained his absence from the city by asking a New York Times reporter, “Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” Fellow mayoral candidate Dianne Morales, a former non-profit executive, tweeted: “I spent all of 2020 in NYC, living with THREE generations under one roof, AND running a campaign from home.” Wherever the candidates are physically located, the mayoral campaign has so far been conducted largely via Zoom and other online platforms because of the pandemic. The winner of the Democratic primary will be the strong favourite in the November general election because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city by a wide margin. Republicans who have said they are considering running include Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Karen Matthews, The Associated Press
Maritime Bus will keep two northern routes going as it explores financial assistance options from municipalities. In early January, the company said it can no longer afford to keep service between Moncton and Campbellton and between Fredericton and Edmundston. Owner Mike Cassidy said the last run would be on Jan. 15. On Thursday, Cassidy confirmed the last run will now be Jan. 31 in hopes that the municipalities' Safe Restart federal COVID-19 relief fund can be used to subsidize the routes. "I felt comfortable today to say I think we need a little bit more time to discuss how important busing is," he said. "We've been talking now in the last week, it's essential, it's important, but let's take all that talk and let's come up with an agreement." Cassidy there has no been commitment or agreement for financial assistance, only "good bus talk." Michel Soucy, mayor of the village of Atholville and president of the Francophone Association of New Brunswick Municipalities, said multiple municipalities in rural New Brunswick affected by the possible end to bus service have started meeting and discussing how they can keep the service going. He said at this point, having municipalities spend their own money to subsidize the bus service is not on the table. But they are trying to find out if they can use relief funds meant for public transit to keep the inter-city service afloat. "We're looking at the federal government, the provincial government and all other municipalities that are involved in the province to find a solution," he said. "Because we feel that this service is really an essential service for the people of northern New Brunswick." The federal government has given New Brunswick $41.1 million in relief funding for municipalities. Premier Blaine Higgs previously turned his back on possible millions in transit-specific federal relief cash because of a misunderstanding. At a COVID-19 media briefing Thursday, Higgs said it's possible the province will send some funding to Maritime Bus before the end of the pandemic. "The restart money that the federal government had moved to municipalities, that is for COVID related expenses. And this is confirmed as a COVID related expense," he said. Higgs said he doesn't have details on exactly how funding will happen but he hopes to see things resolved in the next week. Soucy said the two weeks will be valuable time while rural municipalities try to figure out how to keep the buses going, especially considering how isolated rural areas have been during the pandemic. "There's people that needs that type of service, to get health services, for example," he said "And it's good for the economy also because we have companies that are using this bus system to transport goods from one municipality or one region to another." COVID-related losses Cassidy previously said company has been coping with plummeting ridership because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cassidy said Maritime Bus moved 111,000 passengers in 2019. In 2020, he said the company had 69,000 passengers. He said the parent company, Coach Atlantic, which also provides tours and caters to cruise ship passengers, lost about $4.9 million in net income in 2020, and revenue dropped by $33 million.
Medicine Hat was blasted with strong winds Wednesday, causing commotion and destruction around the city and its surrounding areas. Environment Canada issued a wind warning just after 10 a.m. that gave word of gusts up to 110 km/h, and as high as 140 km/h in wind-prone areas. A semi truck driving on the Trans-Canada Highway near Medicine Hat tipped over around 11 a.m., with emergency crews arriving shortly after. The driver of the semi was taken to Medicine Hat Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Medicine Hat Fire Department. The fire department responded to a number of calls on top of the flipped semi, including a number of downed power lines in the city. Acting platoon chief Ryan Pinter says it is important to stay safe during intense wind. “It’s important to be cautious of winds,” he said. “Wind is flipping vehicles over, so it’s important to be aware of your situation and your surroundings.” With the downed power lines, the city was dealing with a couple thousand homes without power. The city reported outages for 2,890 customers in the city. Outages were mostly in or near Crescent Heights. By 2 p.m., the city was reporting that power had been restored to Hatters, but the wind was making it difficult to repair damaged infrastructure.Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News