Scientist and Bluemorph CEO Alex Farren talks about the side effects of chemical sanitization on health as sales of cleaning products increase along with accidental poisoning amid the pandemic.
Scientist and Bluemorph CEO Alex Farren talks about the side effects of chemical sanitization on health as sales of cleaning products increase along with accidental poisoning amid the pandemic.
The cousin of Antoinette Traboulsi, who was found dead on a beach in Cuba earlier this month, says Global Affairs Canada confirmed an arrest has been made in her death. Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital and had four children, often vacationed in Cuba, which her cousin, Sami Soussa, called her second home.Soussa says the only information he received from Global Affairs was that an arrest had been made and that a suspect is in custody. He says he was given no details about the person's identity. But he says he's received eight messages from people he doesn't know, all pointing to one person they believe is responsible for her death."We're getting hopeful with the situation but at the same time it's not a lot of info for us to cheer and claim victory. But it does give a little light in our days," Soussa said. "The family is pretty happy with this information, but at the same time we're trying to be reasonable until we get the full conviction of the suspect."
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
From learning Inuktitut to appreciating jingle dresses, these videos are a must-watch.
Two special announcements were made at Monday night’s town council meeting to recognize individuals who have made a difference in Fort Frances. As part of the town’s regular Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor June Caul announced the winner of the 2020 award, along with a special recognition for another deserving volunteer in the community. “This is one of the exciting parts of the job that I get to do, is to actually finally announce the Citizen of the Year,” Caul began. “It gives me great pleasure this evening to announce that our citizen of the year for 2020 is Gabby Hanzuk. This year the Citizen of the Year committee decided to give a second recognition as well. There was a young man who still goes to high school this year and is very involved in the community at a young age, and we felt that he needed to be recognized as well. This young fellow’s name is Ray Calder.” Hanzuk was nominated by Dale Gill, and Caul read a portion of the nomination letter that was submitted to the committee for consideration that highlighted just some of the efforts Hanzuk has given her time to in the past. “Without Gabby’s 30 years of service to Special Olympics, Fort Frances probably wouldn’t have a contingent of athletes,” Caul read from the nomination letter. “Our athletes think the world of her, and she is always their go-to person. As a valued leader of the Voyageur Lions Club, Gabby is always there for meetings and fundraisers. She has been president, treasurer and secretary of our club. Gabby has also been awarded the Melvin Jones award from Lions Club International for her dedicated humanitarian services, as well as a Medal of Hope from the Lions Foundation of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario for her work in the community that gives hope to the lives of the less fortunate.” In addition to her work with Special Olympics and the Voyageurs Lions Club, Hanzuk was also recognized for her time on the board at the Volunteer Bureau and participating in the tax clinics there, as well as her efforts volunteering at the Family Centre. Hanzuk is also the co-ordinator of the Meals on Wheels program, and though that is a paid position, Gill’s letter noted she performs her job well above what is required of her. “She makes sure that our seniors who can’t cook for themselves get a healthy meal every night, even if she has to deliver them by herself,” Caul relayed to council. “Not to mention every one of them get a Christmas goodie bag from her every Christmas. Along the Christmas line, Gabby has volunteered for the Community Christmas dinner for many years.” Caul then took a moment to speak from her own experiences of working alongside Hanzuk, agreeing that she has been a vital part of the Community Christmas Dinners for years. “I know that she is one of the members of her church choir, and that takes added work as well, and that’s all volunteer work,” Caul said. “She also sings on the Choraliers choir at Christmas time every year so, on top of all the things Dale mentioned about Gabby, those are a few extra ones that I know she’s also involved with. So Gabby, it gives me great, great pleasure to name you the Citizen of the Year for Fort Frances 2020.” Calder’s nomination was submitted by a group consisting of Kim McKinnon, Cathy Gagne, Julia McManaman and Erika Handberg, whose letter to the Citizen of the Year committee highlighted the work he did in the early days of the pandemic. “Due to COVID, Canadians were asked to isolate in our homes to protect ourselves and others in our community,” Caul read from the nomination letter. “Only one person per household was allowed in stores to shop for groceries. There were long lineups outside of stores and people were encouraged to wear a mask. Everyone was on edge about how COVID would affect our lives. Ray Calder saw an opportunity to support members of his community. On March 13, 2020, he realized there was going to be community members that due to age, illness or fear, would not be able to get their own groceries. He took initiative to reach out to potential volunteers and organized a Facebook group.” Calder was 16 at the time he created the Rainy River District COVIDelivery Facebook group that served to connect those who were in need of groceries but unable to go to the store themselves, with a volunteer who would pick up their food and drop it off, in one of the earlier examples of contactless delivery in the area. The group would eventually expand to more than 25 active volunteers and complete more than 100 orders in the district. “While working his job as lifeguard at the arena, Ray facilitated the Facebook group to help his local community,” the letter read. “Just a high school student, Ray balanced all the phone calls, messages and organized all the volunteers. Ray helped many community members during a fearful time.” Caul noted that she had a personal connection to Calder that stretched back to before her time as mayor. “When I was still teaching, Ray was in my junior kindergarten class,” she said. “I knew then what a wonderful young man he is and that he will do great things in his life. He is polite, he is kind, he is generous, and he’s just an all around wonderful young man. So congratulations to Ray.” Both Hanzuk and Calder will be officially recognized and presented with a plaque and certificate respectively at a later date. “Once again, congratulations to Gabby and to Ray, our two recipients for this year,” Caul said. “Thank you again to both for all that you do for our community.”Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
TORONTO — Ontario's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was slower and more reactive than that of other provinces, hampered by "delays and confusion in decision-making" as public health experts took a secondary role to government officials and politicians, the province's auditor general said Wednesday.Outdated provincial emergency plans played a role in slowing down the response in the winter and spring, as did systemic issues such as a lack of laboratory surge capacity and old IT systems, Bonnie Lysyk said in a report.Lysyk also pointed to a cumbersome command structure, and one that was not led by public health expertise despite the creation and expansion of a provincial health command table that she says now involves more than 500 people.As well, she found the province's chief medical officer of health did not fully exercise his powers in responding to the pandemic, or issue directives to local health officials to ensure a consistent approach across regions. A provincial message on masking for the general public didn't come until October, she noted as an example, and was then issued by the province, not Dr. David Williams."Despite COVID-19 being a public health pandemic, we noted that those with public health expertise did not play a leading role in the ministry's response," the report said. "Local medical officers of health informed us that they were confused by provincial politicians delivering critical public health advice in place of the chief medical officer of health."Asked whether Williams had lacked leadership, Lysyk said he "worked with the system that was there," one in which he had an advisory role.The auditor general also raised concerns that lab testing, case management and contact tracing were not being conducted in a timely enough manner to limit the spread of the virus, noting that between January and August, all but one public health unit failed to meet the target of reporting test results within a day 60 per cent of the time.The findings are part of a special report that examines Ontario's emergency management in the context of the pandemic, and its outbreak planning and decision-making, among other things.The governing Progressive Conservatives took issue with many parts of the report, with Premier Doug Ford dismissing it as "21 pages of inaccuracies" while accusing Lysyk of overstepping her authority."The auditor general's job is not to be the chief medical officer, not to be the ombudsman, not to sit there and give us health advice," Ford said."Stick with looking for value for money, stick with the job that we hired you for."The premier further suggested that co-operating with the audit process had siphoned government resources away from tackling the pandemic.Health Minister Christine Elliott, meanwhile, said that while the government welcomes some of the points raised by the auditor, the report is a "disappointment" and "in many respects, a mischaracterization of the province's pandemic response.""We have been decisive at every turn," she said, adding Ontario was the first province to designate COVID-19 as a publicly reportable infectious disease and the second to declare a health emergency due to the pandemic. Ontario also has the lowest active case rate of any province outside Atlantic Canada, at 89 per 100,000 people, she said.Elliott took issue with the auditor's finding that Williams did not lead the provincial pandemic response. The government has always followed Williams' recommendations, though it may have discussed "some potential small changes" at various points, she said.The government has faced repeated requests to publicly release Williams' advice to the minister and cabinet but has yet to do so, an issue the auditor's report noted. Ford said Wednesday he would consider taking that step but insisted his government has been transparent in its decision-making.The government announced earlier this week it planned to extend Williams' term - which was set to end with his retirement in February - until September.Lysyk said many of the issues her office identified would have been avoidable if the province had acted on lessons from the 2003 SARS outbreak.Among the recommendations from the SARS Commission were reforms to streamline operations and management of the province's 34 public health units, which continue to function independently, often without sharing best practices, she said. As a result, Ontario's COVID-19 response was often "disorganized and inconsistent," the report said.Another key lesson highlighted by the SARS Commission was the need for preventative measures, the document said. "Following this principle means taking decisive action early. This is not what the audit found; instead we found systemic issues and delays in decision-making," Lysyk said in a statement.Recommendations made in previous auditor general's reports to regularly update emergency response plans and address weaknesses in public health lab and information systems were also not acted on, the report said. Information systems currently in use have "limited functionality for case management and contact tracing," and the system used in labs is not integrated with the public health system, the audit said. Lab testing still follows a "substantially manual, paper-based process," it added. The auditor acknowledged several of the issues highlighted in the report began to emerge under the previous Liberal government.Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca admitted "there were things that could have been done differently" while his party steered the province, but said the Tories have nonetheless mismanaged the health crisis.The Opposition New Democrats, meanwhile, expressed outrage that health experts had been "sidelined" by the government.The auditor general's office said it will issue a second report on the provincial COVID-19 response that will examine health-related expenditures, personal protective equipment and long-term care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Paola Loriggio, The Canadian Press
If you live in a city, this moment from "Shawn Mendes: In Wonder" is very relatable.
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
1st Lt. Jacob Lutz, a systems engineer with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Navigation Technology Satellite-3 (NTS-3) program built a high-detail Lego model of the satellite that is set to launch in 2022. (Nov. 25)
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer great who scored the “Hand of God” goal in 1986 and led his country to that year's World Cup title before later struggling with cocaine use and obesity, has died. He was 60.Maradona's spokesman, Sebastián Sanchi, said he died Wednesday of a heart attack, two weeks after being released from a hospital in Buenos Aires following brain surgery.The office of Argentina's president said it will decree three days of national mourning, and the Argentine soccer association expressed its sorrow on Twitter.One of the most famous moments in the history of the sport, the “Hand of God” goal, came when the diminutive Maradona punched the ball into England’s net during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinals. England said the ball went in off of Maradona’s hand, not his head. Maradona himself gave conflicting accounts of what had happened over the years, at one point attributing the goal to divine intervention, to “the hand of God.”Ahead of his 60th birthday in October, Maradona told France Football magazine that it was his dream to “score another goal against the English, this time with the right hand.”Maradona also captivated fans around the world over a two-decade career with a bewitching style of play that was all his own.Although his reputation was tarnished by his addictions and an ill-fated spell in charge of the national team, he remained idolized in soccer-mad Argentina as the “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”“You took us to the top of the world,” Argentine President Alfredo Fernández said on social media. “You made us incredibly happy. You were the greatest of all.”The No. 10 he wore on his jersey became synonymous with him, as it also had with Pelé, the Brazilian great with whom Maradona was regularly paired as the best of all time.The Brazilian said in a statement he had lost “a dear friend.”“There is much more to say, but for now may God give his family strength,” Pelé said. "One day, I hope, we will play soccer together in the sky.”Bold, fast and utterly unpredictable, Maradona was a master of attack, juggling the ball easily from one foot to the other as he raced upfield. Dodging and weaving with his low centre of gravity, he shrugged off countless rivals and often scored with a devastating left foot, his most powerful weapon.“Everything he was thinking in his head, he made it happen with his feet,” said Salvatore Bagni, who played with Maradona at Italian club Napoli.A ballooning waistline slowed Maradona’s explosive speed later in his career and by 1991 he was snared in his first doping scandal when he admitted to a cocaine habit that haunted him until he retired in 1997, at 37.Hospitalized near death in 2000 and again in ’04 for heart problems blamed on cocaine, he later said he overcame the drug problem. Cocaine, he once said famously, had proven to be his “toughest rival.”But more health problems followed, despite a 2005 gastric bypass that greatly trimmed his weight. Maradona was hospitalized in early 2007 for acute hepatitis that his doctor blamed on excessive drinking and eating.He made an unlikely return to the national team in 2008 when he was appointed Argentina coach, but after a quarterfinal exit at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he was ousted — ultimately picking up another coaching job with the United Arab Emirates club Al Wasl.Maradona was the fifth of eight children who grew up in a poor, gritty barrio on the Buenos Aires outskirts where he played a kind of dirt-patch soccer that launched many Argentines to international stardom.None of them approached Maradona’s fame. In 2001, FIFA named Maradona one of the two greatest in the sport’s history, alongside Pelé.“Maradona inspires us,” said then-Argentina striker Carlos Tevez, explaining his country’s everyman fascination with Maradona at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. “He’s our idol, and an idol for the people.”Maradona reaped titles at home and abroad, playing in the early 1980s for Argentinos Juniors and Boca Juniors before moving on to Spanish and Italian clubs. His crowning achievement came at the 1986 World Cup, captaining Argentina in its 3-2 win over West Germany in the final and decisive in a 2-1 victory against England in a feisty quarterfinal match.Over the protests of England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, the referee let stand a goal by Maradona in which, as he admitted years later, he intentionally hit the ball with his hand in “a bit of mischief.”But Maradona’s impact wouldn’t be confined to cheating. Four minutes later, he spectacularly weaved past four opponents from midfield to beat Shilton for what FIFA later declared the greatest goal in World Cup history.Many Argentines saw the match as revenge for their country’s loss to Britain in the 1982 war over the Falkland Islands, which Argentines still claim as “Las Malvinas.”“It was our way of recovering ‘Las Malvinas,’” Maradona wrote in his 2000 autobiography “I am Diego.”“It was more than trying to win a game. We said the game had nothing to do with the war. But we knew that Argentines had died there, that they had killed them like birds. And this was our revenge. It was something bigger than us: We were defending our flag.”It also was vindication for Maradona, who in what he later called “the greatest tragedy” of his career was cut from the squad of the 1978 World Cup — which Argentina won at home — because he was only 17.Maradona said he was given a soccer ball soon after he could run.“I was 3 years old and I slept hugging that ball all night,” he said.At 10, Maradona gained fame by performing at halftime of professional matches, wowing crowds by keeping the ball airborne for minutes with his feet, chest and head. He also made his playing debut with the Argentinos Juniors youth team, leading a squad of mostly 14-year-olds through 136 unbeaten matches.“To see him play was pure bliss, true stardom,” teammate Carlos Beltran said.Maradona played from 1976-81 for first division club Argentinos Juniors, then went to Boca Juniors for a year before heading to Barcelona for a world-record $8 million.In 1984, Barcelona sold him to Napoli, in Italy. He remade its fortunes almost single-handedly, taking it to the 1987 Italian league championship for its first title in 60 years.A year after losing the 1990 World Cup final to West Germany, Maradona moved to Spanish club Sevilla, but his career was on the decline. He played five matches at Argentine club Newell’s Old Boys in 1994 before returning to Boca from 1995-97 — his final club and closest to his heart.Drug problems overshadowed his final playing years.Maradona failed a doping test in 1991 and was banned for 15 months, acknowledging his longtime cocaine addiction. He failed another doping test for stimulants and was thrown out of the 1994 World Cup in the United States.In retirement, Maradona frequented Boca matches as a raucous one-man cheering section and took part in worldwide charity, sporting and exhibition events. But the already stocky forward quickly gained weight and was clearly short of breath as he huffed through friendly matches.In 2000, in what doctors said was a brush with death, he was hospitalized in the Uruguayan resort of Punta del Este with a heart that doctors said was pumping at less than half its capacity. Blood and urine samples turned up traces of cocaine.After another emergency hospitalization in 2004, Maradona was counselled for drug abuse and in September of that year travelled to Cuba for treatment at Havana’s Center for Mental Health. There he was visited by his friend, Cuban President Fidel Castro.In Cuba, Maradona took to playing golf and smoking cigars. He frequently praised Castro and Argentine-born revolutionary “Che” Guevara, who fought with Castro in the Cuban revolution — even sporting a tattoo of Guevara on his right arm.Maradona said he got clean from drugs there and started a new chapter.In 2005, he underwent gastric bypass in Colombia, shedding nearly 50 kilograms (more than 100 pounds) before appearing as host of a wildly popular Argentine television talk show. On “10’s Night,” Maradona headed around a ball with Pelé, interviewed boxer Mike Tyson and Hollywood celebrities, and taped a lengthy conversation with Castro in Cuba.In retirement, Maradona also became more outspoken. He sniped frequently at former coaches, players — including Pelé — and the pope. He joined a left-wing protest train outside the Summit of the Americas in 2005, standing alongside Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to denounce the presence of then-President George W. Bush.His outsider status made it all the more surprising when he was chosen as Argentina coach following Alfio Basile’s resignation.He won his first three matches but his tactics, selection and attention to detail were all questioned after a 6-1 loss to Bolivia in World Cup qualifying equaled Argentina’s worst-ever margin of defeat.Victor Hugo Morales, Argentina’s most popular soccer broadcaster, said Maradona will ultimately be remembered for a thrilling style of play that has never been duplicated.“He has been one of the great artists of my time. Like great masters of music and painting, he has defied our intellect and enriched the human spirit,” Morales said. “Nobody has thrilled me more and left me in such awe as Diego."___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsDebora Rey, The Associated Press
OTTAWA, Ill. — Canada's watchdog for crime victims is calling on Parliament to overhaul their bill of rights, saying the five-year-old legislation has fallen "far short" of delivering on its promise. Rules meant to amplify victims' voices in the justice system have failed to make them heard following "sporadic" implementation of a regime that needs more teeth, clarity and public awareness, federal ombudsman Heidi Illingworth said in a report Wednesday. "The situation of victims of crime has not fundamentally changed since it was passed," she wrote. The previous Conservative government introduced what it called a victims' bill of rights in 2015 that allowed crime victims to get information about offenders in the corrections system and have their views considered when decisions are made about those perpetrators. Illingworth said the legislation should be amended to provide a legal remedy for violations, such as allowing victims to formally challenge authorities on whether their rights have been honoured. "There was no right to appeal, there was no right to seek damages," Illingworth said Wednesday in a phone interview. The 2015 statute was an important firs step but "really more of a statement of principles," she added. "It did not give people real rights, because in law you have to be able to have a remedy for rights to be real." The justice system demands heavy lifting from people subjected to a criminal act, including those involved in the 2.2 million crimes reported to police each year. "They are expected to report the crime, provide evidence, bear witness, be cross-examined on the stand and relive their traumas over and over again as they tell their truths — yet we provide them with little assistance to do so," Illingworth wrote. "Unsupported victims are less likely to come forward. When victims are not treated as full partners in the criminal justice system, the system is less effective." Victims should automatically receive information about their rights, rather than having to ask for it, she said. Up to two-thirds of crime victims do not go to the police, said Irvin Waller, professor emeritus in criminology at the University of Ottawa. Other reforms demanded in the report include a simplified complaint process filtered entirely through the ombudsman's office rather than a patchwork of agencies, more clearly defined obligations for criminal justice officials and more funding to train front-line workers in treating victims with "courtesy, compassion and respect." The ombudsman is also calling for better data collection by courts, prisons and law enforcement agencies to understand police interactions with targeted populations, including Indigenous women and LGBTQ individuals. "We know that there’s distrust, and this is especially concerning among communities of colour, racialized communities, Indigenous people. And how survivors of sexual violence are cheated by the justice system has been very, very problematic," Illingworth said. Waller pointed to England and France as models on training guidelines for officials and restitution for victims, respectively. He said up to half of French criminal cases result in restitution payments, access to which should be guaranteed, according to the ombudsman's report. In contrast to Canada, France also grants victims legal "standing" to appeal to courts for review when their rights are not upheld. "We are a long, long way behind these countries," Waller said. Illingworth's report further recommends amendments that commit to core funding for community-based restorative justice programs as well as a list of officials who have direct responsibilities to crime victims. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
Montreal's archdiocese did little to address complaints against a pedophile priest and seemed more interested in protecting his reputation than his victims, according to an independent review released Wednesday.Former Quebec Superior Court justice Pepita G. Capriolo's report highlighted numerous deficiencies in the church's response to complaints against Brian Boucher. The priest was sentenced in March 2019 to eight years in prison for abusing two boys.“Secrecy is everywhere in this file," Capriolo wrote in her report. "Secret archives, secret hiding places for sensitive documents and documents so secret they have been eliminated completely."Capriolo told a news conference Wednesday the church improperly handled complaints against Boucher from the 1980s to the end of 2015. "Yet Boucher's inexcusable behaviour had been the subject of a slew complaints from the very start of his career in the church."Her 276-page report described complaints against Boucher for behaviour that was bullying, authoritarian, homophobic, racist, misogynistic as well as verbally and physically aggressive. "What struck me most was the passing of the buck," Capriolo told reporters. "The need to protect the reputation of Boucher seemed to be paramount."No minors had come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Boucher until 2015. But that was no reason, she said, to exonerate church officials. She said in the report that church officials responsible for overseeing Bouchard's education, training and his work as a priest lacked accountability and didn't take complaints against him seriously.Two young men, 18 and 19 years old, had complained to the archdiocese in the late 1990s and early 2000s about situations involving Boucher that she said should have been more thoroughly investigated. Boucher was sent for psychological treatment in connection with one complaint, she said, adding that documents for the other disappeared altogether.Rumours had been circulating about Boucher's interest in young boys since the 1980s, she said, adding that concerns about the priest had been communicated to the Grand Seminary of Montreal and the archdiocese, but little was done.Boucher was sent for therapy instead of discipline, first in the 1990s and again in 2003, she said.His 2003 psychological assessment concluded Boucher had a desire to exercise emotional control and power over young people, but it suggested the “need has not been sexually based." Capriolo said nothing in the report backed up that conclusion. “This is important because (the report) was later used as further justification in dismissing Boucher’s potential as a sexual abuser," Capriolo noted. The 2003 assessment, along with Boucher's constant threats of legal action — including against fellow clergy — served to keep people quiet, she said. By 2003, the church had an advisory committee on sexual abuse of minors, but no one thought it was appropriate to refer Boucher to that group, Capriolo wrote in her report. “An overdue concern with Boucher’s reputation prevented any kind of investigation that might have given rise to better decisions regarding his ordination,” she wrote. Tracking down the documents related to Boucher also proved to be complicated, she said. Capriolo began her investigation a year ago, interviewing 60 witnesses and reviewing hundreds of documents.Her report noted that a culture of secrecy during this period meant important documents vanished and there was lack of a paper trail, sending Capriolo on her own fact-finding mission to outside sources or into the church's own secret archives.Archbishop Christian Lepine said the archdiocese will adopt each of the 31 recommendations put forth by Capriolo, who will help the church implement them by the fall of 2021."In the name of the Catholic Church of Montreal and speaking for myself, I wish to say how sorry we are that you have had to experience the effects of such terrible acts which should have never occurred," Lepine told a news conference.Capriolo's recommendations include better oversight, organizational changes, more transparency, strict protocols for dealing with abuse and sanctions for those who violate rules. She also recommended the installation of an external ombudsperson and the creation of an advisory committee to examine complaints.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Following a lengthy discussion and input from council, the decision to rename the pair of Colonization Roads in Fort Frances has been postponed, for now. A high-visibility item on Monday night’s town council agenda, mayor and council had the opportunity to discuss the movement to rename Colonization Road East and Colonization Road West, following a motion introduced by councillor Doug Judson last week. The impetus for the name change revolves around reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a letter to municipalities from the Ontario Human Rights Council (OHRC). Both call for language pertaining to practices that are considered derogatory or racist, such as the concept of colonization, to be removed from public spaces as an act of reconciliation to Indigenous populations in Canada. A similar motion was introduced and subsequently voted down in 2017. While mayor and council were not against the idea that the names could be changed, it was decided that the town would push the process back, something mayor June Caul recommended and said was partly in response to the exceptional year Fort Frances has seen. “At this time, I believe the diligent way for council to handle this issue at hand would be to table the discussion to a later date, which will give staff an opportunity to plan and full investigate the effects on all residents, businesses and the general public,” she said. “All matters that come to council are investigated by staff, discussed in an executive committee, and then a recommendation is given to council for a decision. This has been a very busy and difficult year as we deal with COVID-19 and a loss of revenue. Now we need to try to develop a balanced budget for 2021, all while trying to determine a tax rate that will not impact our residents any further as COVID-19 continues to affect our community and residents.” While the mayor expressed her concerns surrounding the amount of work that goes into deciding the budget that town staff is already tasked with, she acknowledged that the name change is something that everyone is town should be open to learning about, if not necessarily agreeing with the change itself. “The most important decisions and policies that council should make going forward is to ensure people of all race, colour, religion, gender identity and ancestry be respected,” Caul said. “I hope people would welcome any educational opportunities to learn about the history of unfair and degrading practices not only here in our own community but around world and how those practices bullied and marginalized people for generations and still have an effect on them today. Nothing we do will erase the history of disrespect and abuse inflicted on our Indigenous people, but going forward we should be willing to learn and be understanding and sympathetic. What happened in the past still affects their lives today and will continue to affect people for generations. Our decisions going forward must create a positive outcome for all the people so that our future history does not negatively impact any group.” Councillor Judson addressed council in order to clarify the origins of his motion, and what having a road named “colonization” means to people who are coming to and visiting Fort Frances. “Since 2015, Canadians have been on a swift journey to acknowledge what has been missing in how we understand the words that tell our story,” Judson said. “That year, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its landmark report, which exposed, with evidence, the devastating inter-generational impact that ‘colonization’ has had on Indigenous people.” “When I speak to people in the community, and particularly young people with young families, they tell me that Colonization Road is an obstacle to our progress,” he continued. “When I speak to Indigenous people, they tell me that by avoiding conversations about what colonization stands for it looks like Fort Frances is only interested in the upside of reconciliation, such as economic partnership and joint strategies, without internalizing the facts of our history... While many people who think of colonization envision homesteaders moving to the Rainy River District with grants of free land to start a new life, that depiction fails to account for the toll colonization has taken on those who were already here. The choice to frame historical accounts in this way has, itself, been part of the project of colonization.” Councillor Wendy Judson, who is the only member of council who was serving at the time of the previous name change motion, offered her take on the possible difficulties of continuing with the name change at this point in time, though she continues to be supportive of the initiative. “For those of you who are not aware, I was the one dissenting vote in the last term of council to keep the name unchanged,” she said. “My reasons at the time, which remain the same, are that if we want to be seen as a welcoming and inclusive community, we need to make this change... The one concern I do have about renaming the road is that there are many residents and businesses who will have to go to Service Ontario to have their documentation changed, and in the midst of winter and a pandemic, we could possibly see long lineups outside the Service Ontario building.” While Brunetta said there would be ways to deal with this in the event the name change began, such as bringing a Service Ontario representative to a location like the council chambers to keep people out of the cold and assist with process, she reiterated that she supported the name change, whenever it is finally decided. “Changing the name will not change our past, but can change the future,” she said. “We can change how our community is viewed by visitors and neighbours. This is one small step we can take towards reconciliation. It’s short term pain for long term gain. It’s the right thing to do in my mind. I do agree mayor Caul that this is an issue we all need to really put a lot of thought into. we all take our jobs as councillor very seriously, and I would agree to delaying it or deferring it as you say, so we can get more information going forward.” Councillors Andrew Hallikas, Mike Behan, Rick Wiedenhoeft and John McTaggart all voiced their support of the mayors suggestion of not shutting down the conversation, but instead moving it further down the line in order to give it as much time and consideration as possible. The topic will be sent to the Operations and Facilities Executive Committee and the Planning and Development Executive Committees for a decision on when to bring it back before council. In a statement released following the meeting, Judson called the decision to send the item to committee for consideration a “positive development” though he noted it “does not preclude me or any other council member from bringing a resolution forward to our next meeting, on December 14.” “Obviously, there are a number of opinions on this topic and many people have practical questions,” the statement read. “That’s why I decided to defer a vote on my proposed resolution in order to give councillors more time to confer with their constituents and conduct their own independent research... I am confident that the executive committees can develop a proper timeline and process related to the request to rename Colonization Road.” Judson will also be hosting an online panel titled “Colonization in Context” on his Facebook page beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The event will feature a handful of panelists who will discuss the local history of colonization and “enduring impacts of colonization in the Fort Frances area” according to the event page.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
LINCOLN, Neb. — The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is creating the nation's largest tribal national park on a forested bluff overlooking the Missouri River and a historic site of its people.The 444-acre park will allow the tribe to tell the story of the Ioway people and provide a rustic getaway where people can hike, camp and bird-watch, said Lance Foster, the vice chairman of the tribe.“We’ve been here for a thousand years now and, unlike other people who can buy and sell land and move away, we can never move away,” Foster said. “This is our land forever. And we’ll be here for another 1,000 years."The new Ioway Tribal National Park will overlook a historic trading village where the Ioway people bartered for buffalo hides and pipestones with other tribes during the 13th to 15th centuries. That site includes three burial mounds that date back 3,000 years, the Omaha World-Herald reported.The Nature Conservancy of Nebraska recently transferred 284 acres to the tribe, which plans to use the land and an adjacent 160 acres that the conservancy donated two years ago to establish the second such tribal national park in the country . It is located just southeast of Rulo, Nebraska, on the Nebraska-Kansas border.Mace Hack, executive director of the Nebraska chapter of the conservancy, said his group has worked with the Iowa Tribe for years and was aware of how well it managed property.“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Hack said. “We wanted to help the tribe connect even more deeply to their ancestral lands and heritage.”Acquiring the land also fits with the tribe’s goal of restoring tribally owned lands on its reservation, which once spanned 12,000 acres on both sides of the Nebraska-Kansas border. An 1887 federal “allotment” act that subdivided the reservation to individual families resulted in the selling off of 90% of the land to local farmers.The tribe, headquartered in White Cloud, Kansas, has now bought back about one-third of its original reservation, Foster said.The Associated Press
The Salvation Army and 93.1 The Border are joining forces again this year for an event that’s a little different than what they’ve done in the past. Following the decision to hold off on their annual “Burst a Bus” program, which generally sees toys collected for the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, the two organizations are going to try out a different way to ensure kids in the area get something new and exciting on Christmas morning. “Last year we had Burst A Bus, but due to the circumstances we’ve had to modify that a little bit,” said Salvation Army corps officer Arthur Heathcote. “The Border has been very inventive in coming up with 93.1 the Border Toy Drive this year. On November 28 they’ll be broadcasting all day asking children and families to come to the Salvation Army at 351 Scott Street and drop off new, unwrapped toys to us.” The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive ill run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, allowing people in town to stop by the Salvation Army and drop off their toys for the organization to distribute. While the season corresponds with the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, Heathcote stressed that the organization is encouraging people with food donations to drop them off sometime other than November 28. “Every family that applies for a hamper, we make sure that each child receives a toy for Christmas,” Heathcote explained. “On [Nov 28] it’s a toy drive: toys, toys, toys.” Heathcote said that throughout the day, the radio station will be holding a special broadcast with hosts David Hannah and Johnathan Price that will feature dignitaries from the Salvation Army, including Heathcote himself. However, the excitement of the day won’t just be limited to what;s on the radio. “On that day we have a very special guest coming to Fort Frances for the first time ever,” he said. “Sally Ann will be making an appearance all day at the Salvation Army. She’ll be waving at families and children from our front plate glass windows as well. She was so excited that the Border was on top of this that she cleared her schedule and is going to come down to Fort Frances and spend the day with us.” The COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes in almost every event that’s usually held in Fort Frances over the course of the year. If a function hasn’t been outright cancelled, like the Fort Frances Bass Tournament, then organizers have had to think outside and around the box to come up with a pandemic-friendly way to hold their events. The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive is functionally similar to the usual Burst a Bus in that it is collecting toys for those in need, and Heathcote said that both events are all about coming together for a good cause. “Every year this community comes through with toys,” Heathcote said. “It’s about letting people know that the community is here for them. It’s about support, and more than anything at this stage of the game, we need to know we’ve got each others back. That’s what the toys do. It’s one thing to be confronted with Christmas looming and wondering how you’re going to get toys for the kids, and just to know that the community cared enough that they came together and made sure that there were toys available for their children makes all the difference in the world.”Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
Une pétition circule actuellement à Sainte-Adèle pour dénoncer le nouvel aménagement des rues Labelle et Chapleau, près de l’école primaire alternative de Sainte-Adèle et de l’école Chante-Au-Vent. En juin dernier, la Ville a pris la décision de mettre une partie de la rue Chapleau à sens unique pour rendre le secteur plus sécuritaire, puisque cette rue se situe entre les deux écoles, où les enfants circulent. La rue Chapleau était préférée par les résidents du secteur pour se rendre au village, alors que la rue Labelle est en pente et périlleuse selon certains. Elle croise aussi la rue Rolland qui est très achalandée, ce qui peut être dangereux en cas de dérapage. Maintenant, c’est leur seule option. Mme France Marchand réside à Sainte-Adèle depuis quelques années et est l’instigatrice de la pétition qui a récolté plus d’une trentaine de signatures. Elle l’a déposée lors de la séance du conseil du mois d’octobre. « Tout le monde prenait la rue Chapleau pour joindre la rue Saint-Jean qui a un dénivelé beaucoup plus égal. Je disais même à mes filles : ‘’ Pas question que vous preniez la rue Labelle pour sortir, elle est trop dangereuse ! ‘’ Maintenant qu’elle est bloquée, je me sens prisonnière. Je ne peux plus sortir de chez moi l’hiver. Il y a même une dame qui a fait remiser son auto parce qu’elle ne voulait pas prendre le risque de sortir cet hiver, prendre la côte et déraper », ajoute-t-elle. La sécurité des élèves en priorité La mairesse, Nadine Brière, affirme avoir fait un suivi avec les résidents pour évaluer les solutions. Selon elle, il serait dangereux pour la sécurité des enfants d’enlever le sens unique puisque cela augmenterait l’achalandage des véhicules. « Nous avons reculé les affiches de sens unique pour que les résidents aient accès plus facilement à leur maison, mais nous n’allons pas remettre la rue à deux sens. Nous avons dans nos priorités la sécurité des élèves et nous ne voulons pas qu’il y ait des accidents. Nous avons évalué la possibilité de mettre un panneau d’arrêt sur la rue Rolland (à la hauteur de la rue Labelle), mais ce ne sera pas possible. Il y a plusieurs autres rues à Sainte-Adèle qui ont un dénivelé comme la rue Labelle », explique Mme Brière.Marie-Catherine Goudreau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
“It’s an area that every… property owner, social worker and police officer has an opinion on, yet, rarely do you hear the voices that come from within,” says the description for a new album featuring music performed by Downtown Eastside residents. With songs including a wry rock ballad about failed love, a hopeful welcome to new life and a soulful country song about losing a loved one, the album is as diverse as the community. The album has been a labour of love for Eris Nyx, who first applied for funding a year ago and produced the record, named 100 Block Rock in honour of the 100 block of East Hastings. The album is now available for pre-order in digital form or on vinyl. A concert featuring the musicians will be livestreamed Dec. 11, the same day the record is released. Link here. “I think creativity is not only a good method for people to deal with themselves and the world, but it’s also just aesthetically pleasing — it brings about euphoria, as corny as that sounds,” Nyx said. “But I guess my underpinning motivation for wanting to do the record was just: ‘Look at all these cool musicians. Wouldn’t it be cool if we did this?’” Nyx recently moved out of the Downtown Eastside, but she lived there for 10 years and is still involved in groups like the SRO Collaborative and the Coalition of Peers Dismantling the Drug War. The album comes after a particularly hard year for the Downtown Eastside. The inner-city neighbourhood is dealing with the threat of rising COVID-19 cases, a spike in overdose deaths and the reduction in drop-in spaces and other services as part of pandemic precautions. In the midst of that struggle and grief, Downtown Eastside musicians went into a studio this September to sing and play their hearts out. After getting $4,000 in funding from Creative BC, Nyx started to search for musicians, posting on notice boards in community hubs like neighbourhood bars and the Carnegie Community Centre. Around 30 Downtown Eastside residents sent in demos, and then Nyx and a group of community members winnowed that group down to the 11 recordings that made it on to the album. Fundraising covered the rest of the total $10,000 cost to make the album, including a studio recording session. Nyx and her collaborators also produced extra items that will be available to people who buy a special edition of the album, including a print of the cover art by Ken Foster and a poster designed by graffiti artist Smokey Devil. Any profits will go towards making another album. “It’s really, sincerely our hope [to] keep the project going as an ongoing thing, so long as the neighbourhood [is] still standing,” Nyx said. Erica Grant sang ‘Go Rest High On That Mountain’ with her partner, Grant Houle. The song was a favourite of Grant’s son Duncan, who died this spring. Grant played a drum Duncan had made for her. “It allows you go over the hurdle of all the negative stuff you’re feeling,” Grant said. “It’s a way of letting my emotions out.” It’s also a way to push back against the negative stereotypes people often have about the neighbourhood. “There actually is a lot of talent down here, and a lot of caring people down here,” Grant said. Some of the musicians who perform on the album are amateurs; others worked or work as professional musicians. “The record itself is a real genre hodgepodge of people at varying levels of skill and history and relationships with music,” Nyx said. “I would say each artist on the record has their own story and background for what they’re doing.”Jen St. Denis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
OTTAWA — The federal Liberals will take a small step toward a plan to create a national daycare system, with sources telling The Canadian Press next week's economic update will have money for a new federal child-care body.Sources with knowledge of the government's plans, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to detail private conversations about yet-to-be-announced measures, said the Liberals will unveil funding for the child-care secretariat next week.There are also expectations the Liberals will add emergency money through "safe restart" deals with provinces to help child-care centres struggling financially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.All of it will tease what the Liberals have privately described as major new spending being considered behind closed doors, one of the sources said.A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said her office won't comment on what will or won't be in the fiscal update.The Liberals have promised a long-term commitment to create a national child-care system, seeing it as a key way to help women whose working lives have suffered during the pandemic, in what has been dubbed a "she-cession."A report released Wednesday estimated that between 363,000 and 726,000 women in the "prime parenting age cohort" between 25 and 50 could join the labour force over a 10-year period as a national child-care program is developed. Among them would be up to 250,000 women moving into full-time jobs.Report author and economist Jim Stanford said the lack of accessible and affordable daycare is a key reason why fewer women in their 30s and 40s are in the workforce than men the same age.There is also the potential for tens of thousands of construction jobs as new centres and spaces are built, along with an employment boost in the child-care sector as it expands."Economists have agreed for years that child care has huge economic benefits, but we just can't seem to get the ball over the line in Canada," said Stanford, director of the Centre for Future Work. "I finally think the ducks are being lined up here and we can actually make this happen," he added."This really is the moment when we can finally move forward, and it is a moment when Canada's economy needs every job that it can get."A recent report by RBC economists Dawn Desjardins and Carrie Freestone calculated that 20,600 women fell out of the labour force between February and October even as 68,000 more men joined it. The situation was most acute for women ages 20 to 24, and 35 to 39; one of the reasons the duo cited for the sharper drop was the pandemic-caused closure of child-care centres. Child-care centres, which often run on tight margins and rely on steep parental fees, couldn't keep up with costs during spring shutdowns and shed about 35,000 jobs between February and July. Some centres have closed for good.The worry, Stanford said, is job losses become permanent and more centres close without financial assistance from governments. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said there is a need now for $2 billion to keep the country from losing any more daycare spaces. He called on the Liberals to prove they are serious about national child care."There is a desperate need for child care. Families need it, and women particularly need it," he said Wednesday."We need to see a willingness to do the hard work, but to put in the financial commitment as a starting point."When pressed for details by Singh during question period in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau responded by noting the Liberals committed to creating a "Canada-wide early learning and child-care system" in the throne speech.Scotiabank economists Jean-Francois Perrault and Rebekah Young suggested in September that creating nationally what Quebec has provincially would cost $11.5 billion a year. Their analysis also suggested federal coffers could reap billions in new tax revenue as women in particular would get into the workforce in greater numbers, offsetting some of the overall cost. Stanford's estimate is for a boost to government revenues of between $18 billion and $30 billion per year, split between federal and provincial governments. "This literally is a social program that pays for itself," Stanford said."The economic benefits of giving this first-class care to early-age children, and getting their mothers in the labour market working to their full potential, are enormous."Getting those outcomes will rest on how the Liberals design the system, which will need to be done with provinces who have responsibility for daycare delivery.Kate Bezanson, associate dean of social sciences at Brock University, said the pandemic has been an opening for greater federal-provincial collaboration. Child care may be next, she said, to ensure women aren't left behind in a recovery.“We have in the pandemic seen a kind of collaboration across jurisdictions in a way we haven’t seen outside of wartime," said Bezanson, who also has expertise in constitutional law. "We should be doing that. We have to be doing that."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
When Treyton Middleton found out who was suspected of shooting his stepfather in the street outside their home on Saint John's lower west side, he looked him up on Facebook. On Wednesday afternoon, the jury heard that Middleton, now 19, sent a message to the man that night, threatening to round up some friends and kill him. In fact, when Const. Connor Bodechon arrived at 321 Duke St. West to take photos about an hour after the shooting, Justin Breau's Facebook profile is on the computer screen photographed in Middleton's bedroom. Breau, 37, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old Mark Shatford. He is accused of shooting Shatford at about 4:25 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2019. Despite numerous surgeries at the Saint John Regional Hospital, Shatford died on Dec. 18. During testimony on Wednesday, Middleton said he awoke to banging and yelling in the early morning hours of Nov. 17, 2019. He peeked out of his bedroom and saw two masked men moving through the second-floor apartment where he lived with Shatford, his mother, three siblings, and his sister's boyfriend. Middleton said he followed the men down the stairs and managed to grab one of them at the front door. He said he threw the man to the ground outside and started punching him. As he continued to fight with the man, he saw his mother and Shatford pass by, heading to a vehicle parked on the street. Middleton said he continued to fight with the man until he heard a gunshot. As he turned, he said, he saw Shatford fall to the ground. He immediately went to Shatford's side. He testified that the man with the gun then pointed it at him and his mother and told them to shut up. Middleton said he tried to grab a large wrench that Shatford had dropped, but his mother wouldn't let him take it. As the vehicle pulled away, Middleton said, he threw the wrench at it but missed. What became of the wrench before police seized it in January remains unclear.Middleton and his mother, Melissa Daley, both testified they don't know how the wrench got back inside the apartment. But pictures taken by Bodechon, who arrived at the scene at 5:50 a.m., appear to show the item on top of the fridge. Bodechon took several pictures inside the home, including the one that show's the computer screen in Middleton's bedroom. "I did that on my own," Middleton said of the Facebook search. "I just wanted to see him."It was under cross-examination by defence lawyer Brian Munro that Middleton was asked about sending a Facebook message to Breau not long after the shooting. Middleton admitted sending a message that he was going to round up some people and kill Breau. He was also asked about his actions immediately after the shooting. Middleton said he went to a "buddy's" place but the person wasn't at home. He was repeatedly asked to name the "buddy" but he refused each time. "I'm not answering it," he insisted, before the jury was led out of the courtroom. After a short time — and some discussion in the absence of the jury and Middleton — the jury was brought back in and cross-examination resumed. Middleton was again asked to name the person and said it was his ex-girlfriend, Bella McCutcheon. He told the court that he called her "buddy" because they were not dating at the time. The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday morning.
Liberal MLA Robert Henderson said he wants to know why the health minister isn't doing more to reduce the wait-list for a family doctor on P.E.I. In the legislature Wednesday, Henderson said the number of doctors being licensed in Canada is on the rise. But on P.E.I., there are still thousands waiting for a family doctor."We're just watching the patient registry, it's like a ticker it just keeps going up and up and up," Henderson said."So why is the minister of health struggling to recruit doctors?"The province recently contracted the Medical Society of P.E.I. to begin recruiting more physicians.The plan is to pay P.E.I. doctors to recruit other doctors to come practise on the Island, and it was negotiated over the last several months.The Health Department and doctors will form a physician recruitment task force. Doctors will consult with the government's existing recruitment team to come up with a marketing strategy, and create a "more efficient and positive" experience for doctors considering moving to P.E.I.P.E.I., like many jurisdictions in Canada, has been experiencing a shortage of doctors and other health-care professionals, and there is currently a waiting list of 14,530 patients on the patient registry seeking a family doctor on P.E.I., according to the province's website. "Islanders without access to a family physician, per capita it's actually the worst record in Atlantic Canada. Even this doctors-recruiting-doctors initiative will need to recruit a doctor to recruit other doctors, which takes a doctor away from providing health-care services to Islanders," Henderson said."When will Islanders expect to see the patient registry begin to decline?"Minister hopes to announce more doctors soonHealth Minister James Aylward said the wait-list does fluctuate, and the province is trying to improve the situation."It is a challenge to recruit doctors here on P.E.I., but you know we made a great announcement the other day for Tignish, which was lacking a family doctor for far too long," Aylward said.Last week, the heath minister announced Dr. Peter Entwistle will begin his practice at the Tignish Health Centre in February. He said the province also has letters of offer out to four other doctors that it's waiting to be signed and sent back.Aylward said government has also introduced other initiatives to help provide care to Islanders."We've done the virtual program with Maple, it has capacity for 10,000 patients to be connected to that service and so far the individuals that have accessed that service have had glowing, glowing reports," Aylward said.Aylward said the province still wants Islanders to have access to a doctor in person. He hopes to be able to announce some new doctors coming to the Island in the near future. More P.E.I. news
COVID-19. En date du 23 novembre, 3492 cas actifs de COVID-19 (2847 élèves et 645 membres du personnel) étaient rapportés dans 1023 établissements préscolaires, primaires et secondaires du Québec. Par conséquent, un total de 1139 classes sont fermées. Les élèves concernés suivent donc leurs cours à distance. Le nombre total d’écoles comptant un ou des cas positifs rapportés avec diagnostic depuis le début de l’année scolaire est de 1999. Notons que l’on peut consulter la liste des écoles concernées sur cette page publiée par le gouvernement du Québec : https://cdn-contenu.quebec.ca/cdn-contenu/adm/min/education/publications-adm/covid-19/reseauScolaire_listeEcoles.pdf?1600113647 Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal