A herd of cows can be seen following a tractor home through snowy fields in Lumsden, Sask.
A herd of cows can be seen following a tractor home through snowy fields in Lumsden, Sask.
The debate about the U.S. Electoral College pits those who think the president should be chosen via popular vote versus those who believe the interests of small and large states must be balanced.
ISTANBUL — A cargo ship sank off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Sunday, leaving at least three people dead, Turkish authorities said. Six others were rescued. The transport ministry said the Palau-flagged ship named Arvin had anchored off the port of Bartin in northern Turkey due to bad weather, before breaking into two pieces and sinking. Emergency workers saved at least six crew members and reached the bodies of two others, the ministry's naval branch said on Twitter. Bartin's Gov. Sinan Guner said a third person had died, according to the official Anadolu news agency. The navy sent a frigate to assist rescue efforts. The transport ministry said the ship had 12 crew members, including two Russians and 10 Ukrainians. The cargo ship was en route to Bulgaria from Georgia but the Black Sea region has been buffeted by heavy rains, snow and strong winds. The Associated Press
A bundle of nerves atop an imposing giant slalom course ahead of Sunday's second run, 19-year-old Cassidy Gray went to work and earned points for a 26th-place performance at the women's World Cup event in Slovenia. Her combined time of two minutes 24.25 seconds is considered one of the best starts to a World Cup career for a Canadian in recent memory. "It's been a goal of mine for a long time to start a World Cup and to get to do it here, with this team was amazing," Cassidy, who hails from Panorama, B.C., tolf Alpine Canada after her second run in Kranjska Gora. "Today was a crazy first run and I was so nervous for the second run. "I'm overall really happy with how it went. Now that I see what I can do I have a lot more confidence going into the next races." Gray, who also skis with the University of Colorado Buffaloes, qualified for a second run in Saturday's race but didn't finish. Canadian teammate Val Grenier of St. Isidore, Ont., moved up one spot from Saturday to finish 15th in 2:22.05 in her fifth race back from injury. Marta Bassino won her second World Cup giant slalom in two days after first-run leader Mikaela Shiffrin dropped to sixth. The Italian skier has won four of the five races in the discipline this season, with Shiffrin winning the only other event, in Courchevel in December. WATCH | Bassino posts fastest final run time on way to victory: "It's so amazing, I am so emotional. It's like a dream, I can't believe it," Bassino said from Kranjska Gora, Slovenia while fighting back tears in a TV interview. The result saw Bassino closing in on a 13-year-old record: No Italian skier won more than four giant slaloms in a single season since Denise Karbon won a record five events in the 2007-08 campaign. Shiffrin loses speed, rhythm on 2nd run Bassino trailed Shiffrin by three-tenths of a second after the American's near-perfect opening run, but the Italian posted the fastest time in the final in one minute 7.34 seconds for a two-run time of 2:18.06. The last racer on course, Shiffrin was still in the lead at the first split time. However, the Olympic GS champion was late on a turn after the first steep part, lost speed and never regained her rhythm. Shiffrin finished 1.27 back in sixth in 2:19.33, matching her result in Saturday's race. Bassino won the race 0.66 ahead of Michelle Gisin (2:18.72), a day after the Swiss skier earned her first career podium in GS. Local favourite Meta Hrovat, daughter of the village's mayor, Janez Hrovat, finished third, 0.73 off the lead. Vlhova's overall lead shrinks The rest of the field trailed Bassino by more than a second. This weekend's races were moved from Maribor because of a lack of snow. Petra Vlhova was 2.41 seconds behind in 10th and the overall World Cup leader from Slovakia saw her advantage over runner-up Gisin reduced to just 60 points. Federica Brignone, the defending overall champion who led the GS standings coming into the weekend, was 12th after the opening leg before sliding off the track in her final run. The women's World Cup continues with two downhills and a super-G in Crans Montana, Switzerland, from Friday through Sunday.
Ahuntsic-Cartierville - Aux prises avec trois éclosions à l’hôpital Fleury, le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal demande à la population d’éviter cet établissement « pour quelques jours ». Emboitant le pas à certains hôpitaux de l’Est de l’île, le CIUSSS restreint par ailleurs les visites. Les seuls motifs qui permettent à une personne non hospitalisée d’accéder à l’établissement sont pour accompagner une personne en fin de vie, à raison d’une personne à la fois, des visites pour motifs humanitaires ou l’accompagnement du père, de la mère ou du tuteur légal d’une personne mineure. Le CIUSSS du Nord invite les personnes qui ont des problèmes de santé mineurs « à choisir une alternative pour obtenir une consultation médicale » et à privilégier une visite dans une clinique médicale ou à consulter son médecin de famille. Plus tôt cette semaine, le CIUSSS avait confirmé au Journaldesvoisins.com qu’une éclosion était en cours à l’unité de chirurgie de l’hôpital Fleury, mais avait assuré qu’aucune éclosion ne touchait l’urgence de cet hôpital. Le JDV suivra de près la situation.Simon Van Vliet, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal des voisins
KENOVA, W.Va. — Griffith & Feil Drug has been in business since 1892, a family-owned, small-town pharmacy. This isn't their first pandemic. More than a century after helping West Virginians confront the Spanish flu in 1918, the drugstore in Kenova, a community of about 3,000 people, is helping the state lead the nation in COVID-19 vaccine distribution. West Virginia has emerged as an unlikely success in the nation's otherwise chaotic vaccine rollout, largely because of the state's decision to reject a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens and instead enlist mom-and-pop pharmacies to vaccinate residents against the virus that has killed over 395,000 Americans. More shots have gone into people’s arms per capita across West Virginia than in any other state, with at least 7.5% of the population receiving the first of two shots, according to federal data. West Virginia was the first in the nation to finish offering first doses to all long-term care centres before the end of December, and the state expects to give second doses at those facilities by the end of January. “Boy, have we noticed that. I think the West Virginia model is really one that we would love for a lot more states to adopt,” said John Beckner, a pharmacist who works at the Alexandria, Virginia-based National Community Pharmacists Association, which advocates for pharmacies across the country. It's early in the process, but that has not stopped Republican Gov. Jim Justice from proclaiming that the vaccine effort runs counter to preconceived notions about the Mountaineer State. “Little old West Virginia, that was thought of for hundreds of years, you know, as a place where maybe we were backward or dark or dingy,” Justice said last week. Rather than relying on national chains, 250 local pharmacists set up clinics in rural communities. The fact that residents who may be wary of the vaccine seem to trust them makes a difference. “As my uncle always told me, these people aren’t your customers, they’re your friends and neighbours,” said Ric Griffith, the upbeat pharmacist at Griffith & Feil in Kenova, a town just west of Huntington near the Kentucky state line. A chatty raconteur and former mayor of Kenova, he can recall generations of patrons frequenting the shop, which is almost unchanged since the 1950s, with a soda fountain and jukebox in the front and prescriptions in the back. Griffith, 71, began taking over the pharmacy from his father in the early 1990s and was elected to the House of Delegates as a Democrat last year. His daughter, Heidi Griffith Romero, 45, followed into the family business and is also administering shots. Holding a vaccination clinic at the town high school, he recalled his uncle telling him he lost four classmates to the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed more than 50 million people worldwide. “And it was a tragedy that I thought I would never be involved with,” he said, taking a break from giving vaccines to teachers aged 50 and over. When Mark Hayes, a middle school guidance counsellor in Kenova, walked up to receive his first dose, he spotted Griffith, who holds local celebrity status for hosting an extravagant annual Halloween pumpkin-carving party that attracts thousands. “I recognized him right away,” Hayes said. “‘The Pumpkin King? Are you giving me the shot?’” Kevin Roberts, a 59-year-old school bus driver in Kenova, said “it makes a difference” for a pharmacist he knows to administer the shots. “I hope that a lot of these skeptics change their mind,” he said. Officials also credit a 50-person command centre at the state’s National Guard headquarters in the capital of Charleston. Inside a cavernous hall, leaders of the vaccine operation and state health officials sit between plexiglass dividers to oversee shipments of the precious doses to five hubs. From there, deliveries go to drugstores and local health departments. CVS has so far declined to work with state officials on vaccinating people at its stores, but Walgreens is participating and has joined in to hold clinics at some nursing homes, officials said. The federal partnership involving both companies would have allowed Washington officials to dictate the terms of nursing home vaccinations, said Marty Wright, the head of the West Virginia Health Care Association, which represents health care companies. “If the state would've activated the federal plan, the state would've had zero control over the situation,” Wright said. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised West Virginia's efforts to vaccinate the elderly. “Expanding eligibility to all of the vulnerable is the fastest way to protect the vulnerable,” Azar said Tuesday at an Operation Warp Speed meeting. He also highlighted Connecticut as a bright spot in the vaccine rollout. Given West Virginia's success so far, leaders are now seeking more doses so they can open vaccinations for more groups. The Griffith & Feil store has had to decline shots for out-of-state customers who caught word of West Virginia's success. The governor recently lowered the age of eligibility for members of the general public to 70. The efforts have not been without errors. The Boone County Health Department was barred from distributing the vaccine last month after it mistakenly gave 44 people an antibody treatment instead of vaccines. The state began vaccinating school workers aged 50 or older less than two weeks ago. The governor wants in-person learning to resume at as many schools as possible by Tuesday, long before teachers will have received their second vaccine doses. As of Saturday, over nearly 128,000 first doses have been administered, and 22,966 people have received both shots. Over 54,000 of the first doses have gone to residents aged 65 and older. Mitchel Rothholz, who leads immunization policy at the American Pharmacists Association, said other governors would be wise to enlist local pharmacies. “Especially at a time when you have vaccine hesitancy and concerns in vaccine confidence, having access to a health care provider like a community pharmacist provides a comfort level to the patients and communities,” Rothholz added. ___ Associated Press Writer John Raby contributed to this report. Cuneyt Dil, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President Donald Trump's impeachment, President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration and the fallout from the Jan. 6 attack of the Capitol by pro-Trump loyalists (all times local): 9:05 a.m. Actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and rockers Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen are among the stars who will highlight a prime-time virtual celebration televised Wednesday night after Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president. Biden’s inaugural committee announced the lineup Sunday for “Celebrating America,” a multinetwork broadcast that the committee bills as a mix of stars and everyday citizens. Miranda, who wrote and starred in Broadway’s “Hamilton,” will appear for a classical recitation. Musicians John Legend, Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake, among others, will join Springsteen and Bon Jovi. Actresses Kerry Washington and Eva Longoria will act as hostesses, with former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also scheduled to appear. The segments will include tributes to a UPS driver, a kindergarten teacher and Sandra Lindsey, the first American to receive the COVID-19 vaccine outside a clinical trial. The broadcast is in lieu of traditional inaugural balls. Biden plans still to be sworn in on the Capitol's West Front, but with a scaled-down ceremony because of the coronavirus and tight security after the Jan. 6 violent insurrection on the Capitol as Congress convened to certify his victory. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT IMPEACHMENT, THE INAUGURATION AND THE FALLOUT FROM THE JAN. 6 RIOTING AT THE CAPITOL: Across the country, some statehouses are closed, fences are up and extra police are in place as authorities brace for potentially violent demonstrations over the coming days. The safeguards will remain in place leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. Biden plans to roll back some of President Donald Trump’s most controversial policies and take steps to address the coronavirus pandemic hours after taking office. Read more: — Deceptions in the time of the ‘alternative facts’ president — Biden outlines ‘Day One’ agenda of executive actions — Gen. Milley key to military continuity as Biden takes office — Guard troops pour into Washington as states answer the call — Harris to be sworn in by Justice Sotomayor at inauguration — Biden to prioritize legal status for millions of immigrants — Will Trump’s mishandling of records leave a hole in history? — Biden says his advisers will lead with ‘science and truth’ — More backlash for GOP’s Hawley as Loews Hotel cancels event ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON: 8 a.m. Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and President-elect Joe Biden are inaugurated. Aides to the California Democrat confirm the timing and say Gov. Gavin Newsom is aware of her decision. That clears the way for Newsom to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term. Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California, where about 40% of residents are Hispanic. Harris will give no farewell Senate floor speech. The Senate isn’t scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day. ___ 3 a.m. The threat of extremist groups descending on state capitals in a series of demonstrations Sunday prompted governors to roll out a massive show of force and implement tight security measures at statehouses across the country. Fencing, boarded-up windows and lines of police and National Guard troops have transformed statehouse grounds ahead of expected demonstrations leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday. The stepped-up security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when a mob supporting President Donald Trump overran the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The FBI has warned of the potential for armed protests in the nation’s capital and all 50 state capitals. Some social media messages had targeted Sunday for demonstrations, though it remained unclear how many people might show up. The Associated Press
The founder of Fredericton's River Stone Recovery Centre would like to see the city set up a designated tent city for homeless people. Until there are more permanent housing options for the city's homeless population, Dr. Sara Davidson said it's the best "quick-fix" scenario. But it needs to happen fast, she said. "At this moment, right now — this year, this week — this is what I feel is the best solution." Davidson said it's important to view this as a temporary, emergency approach to Fredericton's homeless problem. "I would never want there to be a permanent tent city because that would mean that we have completely failed our population of the most vulnerable people." "With a nimble environment and big hearts on board, I'm hoping that this could get some legs and start to take off soon." - Dr. Sara Davidson She said it's certainly better than what currently exists. A designated tent city would allow officials to keep better track of homeless people. For example, if there was an outbreak of COVID-19 in the city's homeless population, contact tracing would be a lot easier if officials knew where to find people. "If we can't find people because they're scattered — they're interacting with each other [and] they don't have the luxury of being able to self isolate anywhere," Davidson told Information Morning Fredericton on Friday. Last year, with the use of Fredericton High School as a shelter, Davidson said officials at least knew where to look for people. The disadvantages of not having a more permanent location goes beyond contact tracing and living in constant fear of being forcibly moved along, she said. "People are missing medical appointments. They're missing CT scans I try to organize to track down how their cancer is doing. They're missing their mental health appointments. They're losing their wallets. They're losing access to their medications." Davidson said the idea for a designated tent city came to her out of "desperation." She said she would lie awake at night and wonder how to best help the city's homeless. While there are all kinds of ideas being discussed, she said "we're not going to get there fast enough." People are already sleeping outside in the cold. Her conversation on CBC radio was the "first robust" public conversation she's had and she was encouraged by the comments of fellow panelist and Fredericton city councillor, Kate Rogers. Rogers, who is part of a national working group, said other cities are contemplating setting up designated tent cities. "That is a very legitimate option," said Rogers, who also chairs the city's affordable housing committee. But she's not sure whether the idea will fly in Fredericton, where tents continue to be removed and people continue to lose their belongings. "I'm not certain of that. But the discussions have been happening," said Rogers. And she's encouraged to see other community leaders, "who maybe would not have thought that was the best option three years ago," consider tent cities as a potential solution. Davidson hopes the public discussion will spark some interest in the idea among community groups and leaders. "I imagine I'll be sending some emails this weekend and trying to continue the conversation to see what steps would need to be taken … With a nimble environment and big hearts on board, I'm hoping that this could get some legs and start to take off soon." She believes a designated tent city would ultimately save the city "a lot of time and energy" by avoiding the constant dismantling of the sites and moving people along. Joan Kingston, the chair of Fredericton's Community Action Group on Homelessness, has seen one of Canada's largest tent cities — one located in Vancouver's Strathcona Park, "and it's not ideal," she told Information Morning. Last month, the city of Vancouver released a strategy to move homeless people out of the park. Officials want to use local hotels as accommodation for the 300 people who were tenting in the city park. No timeline has been presented, but once the campers have been moved out, the camp space will be fenced off for remediation. The Strathcona location sprang up last June after the city of Vancouver dismantled two other locations.
First Nations, ranchers, municipal officials and environmentalists hope to persuade a judge this week to force Alberta to revisit its decision to open one of the province's most important and best-loved landscapes to open-pit coal mining. At least nine interveners will seek to join a southern Alberta rancher's request for a judicial review of the province's decision to rescind a coal-mining policy that had protected the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains — and the headwaters that flow from them — for almost 45 years. "You talk about the Alberta identity," said Ian Urquhart of the Alberta Wilderness Association, one of the parties looking for standing. "The eastern slopes, the Rocky Mountains and the foothills, are at the heart of what the Alberta identity is. This policy change threatens that." The eastern slopes are the source of three major rivers — the Red Deer, the Oldman and the South Saskatchewan. Everyone in southern Alberta and many in Saskatchewan depend on those rivers for drinking water, irrigation and industry. The water is heavily allocated. Endangered species, including cutthroat trout and grizzly bears, live there. The region's beauty is universally acknowledged. A 1976 policy brought in by Peter Lougheed's government laid out how and where coal development could go ahead, forbade open-pit mines over a large area and banned any mining at all in the most sensitive spots. It came after years of work and dozens of public consultations, said David Luff, a retired civil servant and consultant who worked on the policy. "Albertans overwhelmingly said the eastern slopes should be devoted to watershed protection, recreation and tourism. Lougheed had a very compelling vision based on input he received from extensive public consultation." Over the years, the policy informed the Alberta Land Stewardship Act and was written into legally binding land-use plans. Last spring, the policy was quietly revoked by Energy Minister Sonya Savage with no consultation. It was done on the Friday of the May long weekend, during the height of COVID-19's first wave, through an information letter on the department's website. "It's morally and ethically wrong," said Luff. But legally wrong? The province doesn't think so. The hearing in Calgary Court of Queen's Bench is to begin Tuesday with Alberta arguing that there was no duty to consult because the coal policy was just that — a policy. "The 1976 coal policy was not enacted using a legislative tool, so it can be rescinded unilaterally by Alberta Energy at any time," says a provincial briefing note entered in the court record. The province plans to ask the court to rule that the change is a political decision, not a legal matter, and the review request should be dismissed. Nigel Bankes, chair of natural resources law at the University of Calgary, notes land-use plans and the land stewardship act both promise consultation before major change. "This is effectively an amendment to the plan and therefore triggers the consultation obligations," he said. "There's certainly case law to suggest that high-level policy changes may trigger the duty to consult." As well, Bankes said, First Nations are owed a duty to consult. Three of them — the Bearspaw, Ermineskin and Whitefish — are asking to intervene. He suggests there's a good chance the court will turn down the provincial request for dismissal. Other hopeful interveners include the Municipal District of Ranchland, which is concerned about the impact that coal development could have on municipal services and infrastructure. Environmental groups seeking to intervene want to ensure water quality and ecological degradation are taken into account. One coal company — Cabin Ridge Coal — has asked for standing as well. It says it's already invested substantial money in exploration leases. "Restoration of the coal policy will create uncertainty in circumstances where the (Alberta Energy Regulator) presently has clear standards and processes for considering proposed exploration and development activities in Alberta," it says in a court filing. Alberta officials have said mining will create hundreds of jobs and generate millions of tax dollars at a time when the province really needs them. They say any proposed mines would still be reviewed by the provincial regulator. Prominent and popular Alberta country musicians Corb Lund and Paul Brandt have publicly opposed the mines. A petition to the federal government opposing one development already in the review stage had more than 25,000 signatures as of Friday morning. The government has sold leases on about 1.4 million hectares of land for coal exploration since the policy was revoked. At least one provincial recreation area is partly covered by a coal lease and four others are surrounded by them. The province has also reopened water allocation agreements. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. — Follow @row1960 on Twitter Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
New Brunswick officials announced 36 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, a single-day high since the start of the pandemic. The cases include 24 in the Edmundston and Grand Falls region, or Zone 4, which will roll back to the more restrictive red phase effective at midnight. There are now 292 active cases in the province and one person is in the hospital. Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer, said the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions could move to red within days if the situation doesn't improve. "We're at the maximum of what we can deal with in the short term," she said at a media briefing on Sunday. Russell said 11 cases in the Edmundston region are linked to an outbreak at Nadeau Poultry in Saint-François de Madawaska, where mass testing was conducted. The community is near the Maine border, about 42 kilometres west of Edmundston. Some businesses must close under red restrictions, including movie theatres, barbershops and hair salons. Restaurants can only operate with takeout and delivery. The new cases include: Moncton region, five cases: two individuals 19 and under. an individual 20-29. an individual 40-49. an individual 70-79. Saint John region, four cases: an individual 19 and under. an individual 20-29. two people 40-49. Fredericton region, two cases: two people 20-29. Edmundston region, 24 cases: three people 19 and under. three people 30-39. four people 40-49. 10 people 50-59. four people 60-69. Bathurst region, one case: an individual 20-29. Russell said 2,101 people are self-isolating across the province. Schools to remain open Education Minister Dominic Cardy said evidence has shown the safest place for students to be is school. "We're working to keep students in school as much as possible to help support our public health goals," he said. "When students are at school, they are in a supervised environment with strict health and safety protocols in place." Changes are being made to the red-phase rules to allow for schools to remain open. Students and staff will be actively screened each day and those with one symptom will be asked to stay home. Extracurricular activities will also be reduced. If a case is confirmed at a red-level school, it will close for three days. This will allow time for contact tracing and turning the building into a testing site. It has been almost two weeks since all regions of the province were moved back to the orange recovery phase. Premier Blaine Higgs said the Moncton, Saint John, and Fredericton regions are "on the cusp" of a return to red. "We need to take this seriously because the next step, after the red phase, is a total lockdown," he said. Russell urged New Brunswickers to stay home as much as possible. "If you have to go out to obtain food and other essentials, keep your outings brief and return home as soon as you can," she said. 4 schools report cases of COVID-19 Four more New Brunswick schools have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Belleisle Elementary School in Springfield and Millidgeville North School in Saint John each have one case, according to Anglophone South superintendent Zoë Watson. The schools will be open and operational Monday except for students and staff reached by contact tracers. Both communities were notified in an email on Saturday. In the Moncton region, Riverview East School also confirmed one case. Families will be contacted about any impacts to learning this week. Caledonia Regional High School in Hillsborough has notified the community about one case. All students and staff have been asked to staff home on Sunday while contact tracing is underway. New Brunswick has confirmed 947 total cases and 642 recoveries. The province has recorded 12 deaths. The death of a 13th person with COVID-19 was not related to the disease. Public Health has conducted a total of 172,708 tests since the start of the pandemic, including 1,723 since Saturday's update. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
The past week has been challenging for the Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within the community started off at 73 on Monday and continued to climb all week. Then, after a barrage of racist comments were posted online in reaction to the reported cases, the First Nation decided to stop publicly sharing its COVID-19 data. "It was a lot all at once," said Councillor Stephanie Atleo. "It left us tired and a bit overwhelmed." Cowichan leaders say new cases continue to emerge. But there was a glimmer of hope, in the form of 600 vaccine doses that were delivered to the community. Atleo was one of the people tasked with coordinating the response and said while getting vaccines was clearly positive, it led to its own challenges. "We were informed Monday and we had the clinic up Wednesday," said Atleo. Using the model the community developed for administering the flu shot last fall, the nation set up tents and checkpoints in parking lots. Atleo said they had originally planned to offer vaccinations over three days with the addition of a possible fourth day. But demand from community members forced them to change their plans yet again. "I was shocked that we ended up doing it in just two days. But I was so happy for all the people who got vaccinated," said Atleo. Being able to administer the vaccines so quickly was a result of hard work and dedication on the part of health-care staff and band workers, many of whom had to work overtime or in staggered shifts, Atleo said. It's not clear when the next round of vaccines will arrive, but Atleo is happy that a tough week had at least a little silver lining. "I feel pretty confident that everybody we wanted to vaccinate first came out," she said.
WASHINGTON — The lead prosecutor for President Donald Trump's historic second impeachment began building his case for conviction at trial, asserting on Sunday that Trump's incitement of the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol was “the most dangerous crime" ever committed by a president against the United States. A Senate trial could begin as soon as this week, just as Democrat Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., did not say when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will send the single article of impeachment against Trump — for “incitement of insurrection” — to the Senate, which will trigger the beginning of the trial. But Raskin said “it should be coming up soon” as Pelosi organizes the formal transfer. The House voted to impeach Trump last Wednesday, one week after the violent insurrection that interrupted the official count of electoral votes, ransacked the Capitol and left Congress deeply shaken. Before the mob overpowered police and entered the building, Trump told them to “fight like hell” against the certification of Biden's election win. “We're going to be able to tell the story of this attack on America and all of the events that led up to it,” Raskin said. “This president set out to dismantle and overturn the election results from the 2020 presidential election. He was perfectly clear about that.” Democrats and the incoming administration are facing the challenge of reckoning with the Capitol attack at the same time that Biden takes office and tries to move the country forward. They say the Congress can do both, balancing a trial with confirmations of the new president's Cabinet and consideration of his legislative priorities. Raskin said Congress cannot establish a precedent where “we just want to let bygones be bygones” just because Trump has left office. Yet it's clear that Democrats do not want the Senate trial to dominate Biden's opening days. Pelosi on Friday said that Democrats intend to move quickly on Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID aid and economic recovery package to speed up vaccinations and send Americans relief, calling it “matter of complete urgency.” Ron Klain, Biden's incoming White House chief of staff, said he hopes Senate leaders, on a bipartisan basis, “find a way to move forward on all of their responsibilities. This impeachment trial is one of them, but getting people into the government and getting action on coronavirus is another one of those responsibilities.” It is unclear how many Senate Republicans — if any — would vote to convict Trump. Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is telling his caucus that their decision on whether to convict the outgoing president will be a “vote of conscience.” His stance, first reported by Business Insider, means the GOP leadership team will not work to hold senators in line one way or the other. McConnell is open to considering impeachment, but said he is undecided on how he would vote. He continues to hold great sway in his party, even though convening the trial this week could be among his last acts as majority leader as Democrats prepare to take control of the Senate with the seating of two new Democratic senators from Georgia. For Republican senators, the trial will be perhaps a final test of their loyalty to the defeated president and his legions of supporters in their states back home. It will force a further reevaluation of their relationship with Trump, who lost not only the White House but majority control of the Senate, and a broader discussion about the future of the Republican Party as he leaves office. Some GOP senators are already standing by Trump, despite their criticism of his behaviour. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, one of the president's most loyal allies, said impeachment was a "bad, rushed, emotional move” that puts the presidency at risk and will cause further division. He said he hopes every Senate Republican rejects impeachment. “Please do not justify and legitimize what the House did,” Graham said. A handful of Republican senators have suggested they will consider conviction. Two of them, Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, have said he should resign. Murkowski said the House responded “appropriately” with impeachment and she will consider the trial arguments. No president has ever been convicted in the Senate, and it would take a two-thirds vote against Trump, a high hurdle. But conviction is not out of the realm of possibility, especially as corporations and wealthy political donors distance themselves from Trump's brand of politics and the Republicans who stood by his attempts to overturn the election. Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, was spotted at the White House Saturday and told ABC he was likely going to join Trump’s impeachment defence team. He suggested he would continue to spread baseless claims of election fraud on the Senate floor. Trump campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley moved to distance Trump from Giuliani’s comments, tweeting: “President Trump has not yet made a determination as to which lawyer or law firm will represent him for the disgraceful attack on our Constitution and democracy, known as the 'impeachment hoax.' We will keep you informed.” There was not widespread fraud in the election, as has been confirmed by a range of election officials and by William Barr, who stepped down as attorney general last month. Nearly all of the legal challenges put forth by Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges. Trump is the only president to be twice impeached, and the first to be prosecuted as he leaves the White House, an ever-more-extraordinary end to his tenure. A precedent set by the Senate in the 1800s established that a trial can proceed even after a federal official leaves office. Trump was first impeached by the House in 2019 over his dealings with Ukraine, but the Senate voted last year to acquit. Ten Republicans joined all Democrats in the 232-197 impeachment vote on Wednesday, the most bipartisan modern presidential impeachment. When his second trial does begin, House impeachment managers say they will be making the case that Trump’s incendiary rhetoric hours before the attack on the Capitol was not isolated, but directly intended to interrupt the electoral count as part of his escalating campaign to overturn the November election. A Capitol Police officer died from injuries suffered in the attack, and police shot and killed a woman. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies. Raskin and Klain were on CNN's “State of the Union,” and Graham appeared on Fox News Channel's “Sunday Morning Futures.” ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro And Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
Billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit reached space for the first time on Sunday with a successful test of its air-launched rocket, delivering ten NASA satellites to orbit and achieving a key milestone after aborting the rocket’s first test launch last year. "According to telemetry, LauncherOne has reached orbit!" the company announced on Twitter during the test mission, dubbed Launch Demo 2. Roughly two hours after its Cosmic Girl carrier craft took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in southern California, the rocket, a 70-foot launcher tailored for carrying small satellites to space, successfully placed 10 tiny satellites in orbit for NASA, the company said on Twitter.
CALGARY — Vacancies in Calgary's downtown office towers have risen to record levels and there's no landlord relief in sight with almost one in three offices sitting empty and sublets accounting for a quarter of available spaces on the market. The city's glut of empty office space has previously been linked to overbuilding but two commercial real estate reports released this past week show that downtown vacancy rates in Canada's oil and gas capital are the highest in the country and growing — despite no major new towers opening in the past two years. Vacancies are likely to go even higher, both reports note, driven by short-term factors including layoffs resulting from the takeover of Husky Energy Inc. by Cenovus Energy Inc. and longer-term job losses from cost-cutting and mergers in the oil and gas sector. In its report released Thursday, real estate firm CBRE says the equivalent of four CFL football fields in downtown office space was emptied in the last quarter of 2020. The net reduction of 355,000 square feet (32,000 square metres) took the vacancy rate to a record high of 29.5 per cent compared with 27.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2019. "The negative absorption is due to the oilpatch, not COVID-19," said Greg Kwong, Calgary-based regional managing director for CBRE. "People may not be going back to work because of the lockdowns but these companies still have leases in place and have to pay the rent. It's not considered vacated space." CBRE found that 23.7 per cent of the available downtown office space in Calgary is being sublet by the lease holder. In a separate report using different calculation methods, Avison Young pegged the downtown office vacancy rate at a record 26.9 per cent in the fourth quarter, up from 24.2 per cent in the year-earlier period. Under an optimistic scenario, Avison Young predicts the vacancy rate will rise to 28.6 per cent by the end of 2023; in its pessimistic forecast, it foresees a rate of 32.9 per cent. The merger of Cenovus and Husky offices in 2021 is projected to result in between 36,000 and 54,000 square metres of downtown space being vacated later this year, said Todd Throndson, managing director for Avison Young's Calgary office. That's around one per cent of the total inventory of 4.16 million square metres. "We have a very difficult marketplace and there's no quick solutions to solving that problem," he said. "The next 12 to 24 months are going to be a challenging time for there to be any growth in our marketplace." Cenovus and Husky have said their merger will result in a reduction of between 20 and 25 per cent of the 8,600 combined employees and contractors — potentially more than 2,000 workers. The two companies have about 300,000 square metres of lease commitments in Calgary, with some of it already being sublet to other tenants, said Cenovus spokesman Reg Curren. More space is expected to be sublet going forward, he said, declining to give specifics. "Once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and we determine our plan to return to the workplace, Brookfield Place will be the head office of the combined company," he said, referring to the 56-storey glass and steel tower opened in 2017 that Cenovus calls home. Husky's head office is a few blocks west in the much older Western Canadian Place. It's not hard to find other Calgary companies reducing staff and their need for office space. Suncor Energy Inc. announced in October it would reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent over 18 months, cutting as many as 1,930 jobs. Those cuts will be offset by the relocation of its Petro-Canada head office and most of its 700 jobs from Ontario to Calgary. Imperial Oil Ltd. announced in November it would lay off 200 staff. Meanwhile, office space held by Equinor Canada at Jamieson Place in downtown Calgary is on the sublet market after the Norwegian oil company decided to consolidate its Canadian operations in St. John's, N.L. Lower staff counts are also expected with the close of a handful of smaller oil and gas producer corporate mergers announced late last year. Calgary's office buildings have lost an overall 13 per cent of value, about $2.3 billion, over the past year due to higher vacancy rates and lower rents, the city said Thursday as it issued its 2021 property assessment notices. Declines in recent years have pushed more of the municipal tax burden to residential and other business ratepayers. Economic Development Calgary is using the city's abundance of discounted office space as a "huge selling feature" in attracting Calgary employers in new sectors like technology and renewable energy, said CEO Mary Moran, but she concedes those new tenants haven't replaced the oil and gas losses. "I think, long-term, we know that the energy industry is not going to be the job creator," she said. "It's a jobless recovery in oil and gas." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:CVE, TSX:SU) Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
The emergency department at the Kings County Memorial Hospital in Montague will be closed until further notice, Health PEI said in a news release Sunday. It said the closure was due to flooding from heavy rain and melting snow. Environment Canada had issued a wind warning for Kings County overnight Saturday, with up to 20 millimetres of rain. Health PEI said anyone with emergency medical needs should call 911 or seek emergency services when: Experiencing discomfort or tightness in the chest. Experiencing unusual shortness of breath. Experiencing abdominal pain. Experiencing prolonged and persistent headache or dizziness. An injury may require stitches or involve a broken bone. A child has prolonged diarrhea or vomiting. A baby under six months of age has a fever of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher. Islanders who have health concerns or need immediate health information can call 811. Health PEI said it will send a notice when the ER reopens. More from CBC P.E.I.
Health Canada should revise its cannabis regulations to let producers differentiate themselves from competitors and explain their products to consumers.
Small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — gathered outside heavily fortified statehouses around the country Sunday, outnumbered by National Guard troops and police brought in to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted at the U.S. Capitol. As darkness fell, there were no reports of any clashes. Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. Crowds of only a dozen or two demonstrated at some boarded-up, cordoned-off statehouses, while the streets in many other capital cities remained empty. Some protesters said they were there to back President Donald Trump. Others said they had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or decry government overreach. “I don’t trust the results of the election,” said Michigan protester Martin Szelag, a 67-year-old semi-retired window salesman from Dearborn Heights. He wore a sign around his neck that read, in part, “We will support Joe Biden as our President if you can convince us he won legally. Show us the proof! Then the healing can begin.” As the day wore on with no bloodshed around the U.S., a sense of relief spread among officials, though they were not ready to let their guard down. The heavy law enforcement presence may have kept turnout down. In the past few days, some extremists had warned others against falling into what they called a law enforcement trap. Washington State Patrol spokesman Chris Loftis said he hoped the apparently peaceful day reflected some soul-searching among Americans. “I would love to say that it’s because we’ve all taken a sober look in the mirror and have decided that we are a more unified people than certain moments in time would indicate,” he said. The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanized by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him overran the police and bashed their way into the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote. The attack left a Capitol police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested over the insurrection. Dozens of courts, election officials and Trump’s own attorney general have all said there was no evidence of widespread fraud in the presidential race. On Sunday, some statehouses were surrounded by new security fences, their windows were boarded up, and extra officers were on patrol. Legislatures generally were not in session over the weekend. Tall fences also surrounded the U.S. Capitol. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit. Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days. U.S. defence officials told The Associated Press those troops would be vetted by the FBI to ward off any threat of an insider attack on the inauguration. The roughly 20 protesters who showed up at Michigan’s Capitol, including some who were armed, were significantly outnumbered by law enforcement officers and members of the media. Tensions have been running high in the state since authorities foiled a plot to kidnap Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last year. At the Ohio Statehouse, about two dozen people, including several carrying long guns, protested outside under the watchful eyes of state troopers before dispersing as it began to snow. Kathy Sherman, who was wearing a visor with “Trump” printed on it, said she supports the president but distanced herself from the mob that breached the U.S. Capitol. "I’m here to support the right to voice a political view or opinion without fear of censorship, harassment or the threat of losing my job or being physically assaulted,” she said. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, said he was pleased with the outcome but stressed that authorities "continue to have concerns for potential violence in the coming days, which is why I intend to maintain security levels at the Statehouse as we approach the presidential inauguration.” Utah's new governor, Republican Spencer Cox, shared photos on his Twitter account showing him with what appeared to be hundreds of National Guard troops and law enforcement officers standing behind him, all wearing masks. Cox called the quiet protests a best-case scenario and said many ”agitating groups" had cancelled their plans for the day. At Oregon's Capitol, fewer than a dozen men wearing military-style outfits, black ski masks and helmets stood nearby with semiautomatic weapons slung across their bodies. Some had upside-down American flags and signs reading such things as “Disarm the government.” At the Texas Capitol, Ben Hawk walked with about a dozen demonstrators up to the locked gates carrying a bullhorn and an AR-15 rifle hanging at the side of his camouflage pants. He condemned the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and said he did not support Trump. “All we came down here to do today was to discuss, gather, network and hang out. And it got blown and twisted completely out of proportion,” Hawk said. At Nevada's Capitol, where demonstrators supporting Trump have flocked most weekends in recent months, all was quiet except for a lone protester with a sign. “Trump Lost. Be Adults. Go Home,” it read. More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration. Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week. Even before the violence at the Capitol, some statehouses had been the target of vandals and angry protesters during the past year. Last spring, armed protesters entered the Michigan Capitol to object to coronavirus lockdowns. People angry over the death of George Floyd under a Minneapolis police officer's knee vandalized capitols in several states, including Colorado, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Last last month, crowds in Oregon forced their way into the Capitol in Salem to protest its closure to the public during a special legislative session on coronavirus measures. Amid the potential for violence in the coming days, the building's first-floor windows were boarded up and the National Guard was brought in. "The state capitol has become a fortress,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. “I never thought I’d see that. It breaks my heart.” ___ Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri in Columbus, Ohio; Gillian Flaccus in Salem, Oregon; Mike Householder and David Eggert in Lansing, Michigan; Meg Kinnard in Columbia, South Carolina; Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Washington; Sam Metz in Carson City, Nevada; Marc Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Paul Weber in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report. David A. Lieb And Adam Geller, The Associated Press
The international community has called for the Kremin critic's immediate release after he was detained returning home to Russia on Sunday.View on euronews
Prince George RCMP saw a small dip in crime in 2020, as measured by files opened, thanks in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, Insp. Shawn Wright told city council. Files opened in 2020 added up to 46,668, down by 1,036 from 2019. With many businesses shut down and more people working from home, Wright said shoplifting dropped to "virtually nil" for a time while break and enters also declined noticeably. If the pandemic sparked an spike in domestic violence, Wright said it was not reflected in the count as the number of such files grew by only nine from 2019, to 487. Looking at the downtown, calls for service stood at 6,816, up by 118 from 2019. Wright said the "vast, vast majority" were non-criminal in nature. At nearly 1,200, calls related to mischief led the way and Wright said they typically related to someone sleeping in a doorway and causing a disturbance. Next highest were calls for causing a disturbance, which Wright said usually involves someone with a mental health issue. "I know there is a lot of apprehensions from a lot of the citizens that they don't feel safe downtown, that they think they're going to get robbed, that they're going to get assaulted but statistically speaking, we don't see those numbers being a large part of what we deal with down there," he said. Wright noted businesses in the vicinity of Canada Games Plaza, where public washrooms have been in place, reported a lot of nuisance activity during the summer. But he later also agreed with Coun. Murry Krause that the washrooms meet a need. "I don't dispute that at all," Wright said. Wright also suggested the storage facilities for street people in the downtown has enabled a "downtown camping lifestyle" but later added they also serve a need. "Sometimes there are unintended consequences and sometimes the intended consequences outweigh those, for sure," Wright said. He commended Carrier Sekani Family Services for opening the Sk'ai Zeh Yah Youth Centre at 1575 Second Ave. in late 2020. He said it has given people as old as 29 years a place to "hang out" and access services while also lessening the distress on area businesses. "I have been very pleasantly surprised," Wright said. Open use of illicit drugs downtown emerged as a theme when Wright fielded questions from city council members. He called the activity a "thorn in our side" but added pursuing prosecutions against individuals who insist on shooting up "not realistic" in today's legal climate. He said police have relied on patrols to move users along to areas where they can use while out of sight, such as a rooming house or, preferably, the safe injection site at the needle exchange. He said the 100 units of social housing planned for the corner of First Avenue and Ontario Street and the recently-announced conversion of the National Hotel at First and Dominion to social housing makes him optimistic. "Nothing is a magic bullet, nothing is going to change overnight, but I think they are very large steps in the right direction," Wright said. He said people who get their own place also get a sense of responsibility, accomplishment and dignity. "A lot of these people don't have a place to go, so it'll provide them that opportunity and I think the biggest key to those proposed developments is the fact that it's not just housing, it's supportive housing," Wright said. Looking ahead, Wright said RCMP are working to get a sobering centre established in Prince George. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
NL Alliance Leader Graydon Pelley has suspended his campaign after suffering a medical emergency, the party's executive says. In a release on its Twitter account Sunday morning, the party said Pelley was taken to hospital Saturday, where it was confirmed that he would need emergency surgery. In a media release the party said Pelley will be suspending his campaign pending the outcome of the procedure and required recovery time. "The work of [the] NL Alliance is so important to Graydon and I know missing out on that while facing this challenge is adding to his discomfort. However, his health is what's most important now and no one disagrees with that," the party's president, Rudy Norman, said in the release. Pelley is running in the district of Humber-Gros Morne. The NL Alliance said all other candidates will continue their campaigns and nominations in districts without candidates are still open until the deadline. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
FRANKFURT — Germany does not expect fans to be allowed back into Bundesliga matches until next season. Games in all major European football leagues have to be played in empty stadiums due to the second wave of coronavirus cases leading to a tightening of pandemic restrictions across the continent. Christian Seifert, CEO of the the top two men's leagues in Germany, said he presumes there will be no change to the policy before the end of the season. “In any case (of a fan return), not in a significant number. If we had ruled out games without fans from the start as some people demanded, the system would have collapsed,” Seifert said in comments published Sunday by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper. “And no one at (the league) or the clubs wants to have games without fans either. However, we still have them because they are the only permitted option for hosting games, and presumably we will have them until the end of the season.” Germany started the 2020-21 season with a six-week trial in September and October of limited numbers of fans allowed at games, up to 20% of the stadium capacity depending on the local coronavirus case numbers. The trial was part of a wide-ranging deal between German state and federal politicians and was not extended after the number of virus cases soared across the country. The last major soccer nation to bring back fans was England, which allowed small numbers of supporters at some games last month in a scheme that was shut down weeks later as the country entered a renewed lockdown. “The focus now is on completing the season,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told broadcaster Sky on Friday. “We don’t know when fans are going to be allowed back. It’s difficult to guess. “Obviously we’re hugely optimistic that by the start of next season the vaccination programme will have returned this country to some sense of normality and we can have fans back from the start of next season." Games in Italy, Spain and France are also being played without spectators. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press