With the State of California surpassing one million confirmed coronavirus cases, thousands of people have been lining up for free COVID-19 testng at a sprawling parking lot outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Nov. 17)
With the State of California surpassing one million confirmed coronavirus cases, thousands of people have been lining up for free COVID-19 testng at a sprawling parking lot outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. (Nov. 17)
WASHINGTON — Outgoing Attorney General William Barr's decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate the handling of the Russia probe ensures his successor won't have an easy transition.The move, which Barr detailed to The Associated Press on Tuesday, could lead to heated confirmation hearings for President-elect Joe Biden's nominee, who hasn't been announced. Senate Republicans will likely use that forum to extract a pledge from the pick to commit to an independent investigation.The pressure on the new attorney general is unlikely to ease once they take office. With the special counsel continuing to work during the early days of the Biden administration, it may be tough for the Justice Department's new leadership to launch investigations of President Donald Trump and his associates without seeming to be swayed by political considerations.Barr elevated U.S. Attorney John Durham to special counsel as Trump continues to propel his claims that the Russia investigation that shadowed his presidency was a “witch hunt.” It's the latest example of efforts by Trump officials to use the final days of his administration to essentially box Biden in by enacting new rules, regulations and orders designed to cement the president's legacy.But the manoeuvring over the special counsel is especially significant because it saddles Democrats with an investigation that they've derided as tainted. Now there's little the new administration can do about it.“From a political perspective, the move is so elegantly lethal that it would make Machiavelli green with envy,” Jonathan Turley, a professor of public interest law at George Washington University, wrote in an op-ed for USA Today.A special counsel can only be dismissed for cause. And as was the case during Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, such probes can sometimes stray from their origins.The Biden transition did not respond to a request for comment on the special counsel appointment.But Barr's decision could influence whom the president-elect puts forth as a nominee for attorney general. One leading candidate, Sally Yates, was already viewed skeptically by some Trump-aligned Republicans for her role in the early days of the Russia investigation. Her nomination could face even greater challenges because she's connected to some of the work that Durham is examining.As deputy attorney general, Yates signed off on the first two applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor communications of ex-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, a process that has been among the focuses of the Durham investigation.A Justice Department inspector general report found significant flaws and omissions in the four applications to the court, though it also found no evidence that Yates or any other senior Justice Department officials were aware of the problems.Some Democrats have privately expressed concerns – likely to deepen with Durham’s appointment as a special counsel – that nominating Yates would lead to a messy confirmation process that focuses on the Russia investigation, instead of focusing on reforms and shifting priorities at the Justice Department, people familiar with the matter have said. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.Others potentially in the mix for the role include Lisa Monaco, a former homeland security adviser and senior Justice Department official in the Obama administration, and outgoing Alabama Sen. Doug Jones, who famously prosecuted Ku Klux Klan members who bombed a Birmingham church in the 1960s.The question for Biden, however, is how to balance top Cabinet picks as he attempts to fulfil his pledge for racial, ethnic and gender diversity. Many of Biden's leading nominees so far have been white, which could work against Yates, Monaco and Jones.Some Black Democrats are attempting to elevate former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who is Black and led the Justice Department's civil rights division under President Bill Clinton, in discussions about potential attorneys general.Whoever emerges as the nominee will be pressed to demonstrate independence from the new White House after Biden campaigned on a pledge to depoliticize the Justice Department.That could be tough, however, if the future attorney general faces calls for new probes into the Trump administration. Some investigations into Trump have been frozen because of the immunity he enjoys as president. Others swirling around members of his family and associates have been simmering for years.On Tuesday, an unsealed court filing revealed an investigation into a potential plot to solicit political donations in exchange for the president using his pardon power.Barr, for his part, insisted that he was trying to keep politics out of the Durham probe, explaining that is why he delayed announcing the special counsel appointment until a month after the election.“With the election approaching, I decided the best thing to do would be to appoint them under the same regulation that covered Bob Muller, to provide Durham and his team some assurance that they’d be able to complete their work regardless of the outcome of the election,” Barr said in an interview with the AP on Tuesday.“I wanted to have the team, both Durham and his team understand that they be able to finish their work,” Barr said.Durham has already been a huge disappointment for Trump and his allies, and prompted a dispute with Barr over why things weren’t moving faster and why the investigation did not yield major prosecutions in the weeks before the election. The investigation wasn’t expected to result in many more criminal charges, and there has only been one so far — a former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to a single charge.But the investigation is worth more politically than practically.A nearly 500-page inspector general report chronicled in great detail the errors and omissions FBI agents made in a series of applications to surveil Page. Declassified documents released by congressional Republicans have raised additional questions while not undercutting the overarching legitimacy of the Russia probe. And the facts of the one criminal case Durham has brought so far, against an FBI lawyer who admitted altering an email, were already mostly laid out in the watchdog report.There’s also been a degree of turmoil within Durham’s ranks as one of the team’s leaders, Nora Dannehy, resigned months ago, a significant departure given the active role she had played.___Miller reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Colleen Long in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
Editor's note: This story was first published on Oct. 2, 2020 There’s bound to be a lot of pouting because Santa Claus isn’t coming to town this year. COVID-19 restrictions have forced the Barrie Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Barrie to cancel the popular annual parade, which was slated for Nov. 21. The organizations have also cancelled the annual Tree Lighting Celebration. Meanwhile, the Chamber of Commerce hopes to maintain the history of the parade, which has been a focal point of the holiday season since the Second World War. “Our team has been working on an online format that will keep Santa in your hearts and minds this Christmas season,” said Paul Markle, the chamber’s interim executive director. There will still be lots to do this Christmas season in downtown Barrie. Visitors will be able to explore the new Dunlop streetscape while checking out all that’s planned for Noella in the City, including the Rotary Festival of Trees in Meridian Place and Heritage Park, festive window displays in downtown businesses, the Noella Tree & Wreath Lot, in support of Hospice Simcoe, and the well-known Holly Days. Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
BERLIN — The U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs voted Wednesday to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from a category of the world's most dangerous drugs, which could impact the global medical marijuana industry. The Vienna-based U.N. agency said in a statement that it had voted 27-25, with one abstention, to follow the World Health Organization's recommendation to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention on Narcotic Drugs, where it was listed with heroin and several other opioids. The drugs that are on Schedule IV are a subset of those on Schedule I of the convention, which already requires the highest levels of international control. The agency voted to leave cannabis and cannabis resin on the list of Schedule I drugs, which also include cocaine, Fentanyl, morphine, Methadone, opium and oxycodone, the opiate painkiller sold as OxyContin, Wednesday's vote therefore does not clear U.N. member nations to legalize marijuana under the international drug control system. Canada and Uruguay have legalized the sale and use of cannabis for recreational purposes, but many countries around the world have decriminalized marijuana possession. The schedules weigh a drug's medical utility versus the possible harm that it might cause, and experts say that taking cannabis off the strictest schedule could lead, however, to the loosening of international controls on medical marijuana. The Associated Press
Dysart et al Council last week agreed to provide around 2.7 acres of town-owned land to a local organization that is actively working to bring more affordable housing options to the community. At its most recent meeting on Nov. 24, Dysart’s elected officials voted unanimously to dedicate the land, located on Wallings Road, to local non-profit Places for People. The charitable organization has more than a decade’s worth of history in Haliburton County, working to create and manage “quality housing” for low and moderate-income renters across the community, according to its mission statement. Places for People currently owns and manages seven units across the county. Area resident Jody Curry, a long-time volunteer with Places for People, expressed her excitement over this new partnership when speaking with Dysart council last week. She said this new development, once complete, would go a long way to alleviating the issues many people in our community face when it comes to securing affordable housing. “We’ve been searching for a property like this for two years now. We have done a lot of homework, and for us, this is just the perfect fit,” Curry said. “We can’t say enough things about this piece of property.” The land in question is currently vacant, located directly beside the school bus terminal on Wallings Road. While there have yet been no details regarding the number of units Places for People hopes to construct on the site, the organization has confirmed it will be made up of one and two bedroom apartments. The project will be partially funded through a soon to be announced community bonds financing program, which the organization hopes to launch in the spring of 2021. This, in essence, will allow local residents to invest in the improvement of their own community, Curry says. “This is a new way of raising money, one that the community is directly involved with,” Curry said. “This will be a big boon, not only for us, but for the community in general to learn about this alternate source of funding.” Mayor Andrea Roberts, Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy and Ward 2 Coun. Larry Clarke have spent a considerable amount of time in recent months working with the leadership team at Places for People to come up with a proposal to bring to the rest of council. Kennedy says the municipality’s infrastructure committee identified housing as a “major issue” in 2019, and that council collectively were committed to moving forward on this project to help bridge gaps that currently exist in the community. While the team at Places for People will now get to work on a solid proposal for the site, Curry says all the key players for a potential build are already in place. Over the past six months the organization has assembled a design team that includes an architect, engineer, and multiple planning consultants. “We are aware of what it’s going to take to develop this property. For two years we have been looking at different places, had some disappointments, but we have never stopped [pushing forward],” Curry said. “We already have draft plans and ideas for this type of development, but we are also aware that studies [we carry out] during the planning process will inform us of the best way to develop the property.” She continued, “We have no desire to overbuild. We believe everybody needs a bit of green space in their lives. … As well, we are all about affordable housing. If [the community’s mid- to low-incomefamilies] can’t afford it, there’s no point in building it.” Curry recognized there are likely to be some stumbling blocks her organization will have to overcome in the weeks and months ahead, speaking directly to challenges relating to regulations around water supply, but noted she and her team will work alongside Dysart staff to ensure all the necessary prerequisites for development are met. Mayor Roberts expressed her belief that this development was “very exciting news” for Dysart, Places for People and Haliburton County. “We don’t have a lot of buildable properties, but right away [our infrastructure committee] identified this lot as an ideal place for some housing. This is really exciting news that we’re going to be partnering with Places for People and moving forward with this. We all have a desire to make sure there is affordable housing, and rental options for people to live, and live safely, comfortably and with dignity in our community,” Mayor Roberts said. Coun. Clarke believes this potential development could also provide a much-needed boost to the local business sector. “We’ve been very stressed up here [housing wise] with COVID-19, and the migration of people substantially reduced the rental [market] and available housing for people to come in and do jobs. Talk to any business in town – there’s no place for them to be able to house staff even if they wanted to hire someone,” Coun. Clarke said. “This is a critical ailment for this community, and I couldn’t be more pleased that [Places for People have] taken on this initiative to support our community.” After Council voted in favour of essentially donating the land towards this development, Mayor Roberts stated the next step would be to form a subcommittee that would see herself, Deputy Mayor Kennedy, Coun. Clarke and municipal staff work alongside representatives from Places for People to create an official memorandum of understanding between the two parties, and move forward on tackling issues such as land rezoning, water agreements and planning proposals togetherMike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
Council for the MD of Pincher Creek held a public hearing for the new utilities bylaw, Bylaw 1320-20, on Nov. 24. Some MD residents attended the hearing physically distanced in council chambers, while others tuned in online. With a water treatment plant set to be built at Beaver Mines and water lines out to Castle Mountain Resort constructed, the bylaw is a necessary step forward as development begins. The bylaw regulates the terms, conditions and rates for water, wastewater and solid-waste services provided by the MD. Currently, solid-waste removal is provided by the MD for residents in Lundbreck and Beaver Mines, and water distribution will be made available to anyone living along the line currently being completed from Cowley to Castle. Two types of utility rates will be implemented: base rates and consumption rates. The rates cover long-term and short-term needs. Base-rate receipts will be held in reserve for future capital replacement costs. Consumption rates will cover service costs associated with utility delivery, including operational maintenance and repair. “This is a legacy project for council and administration that will live long after us,” said chief administrative officer Troy MacCulloch. “It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it. We’re glad to be at this point and look forward to turning the taps on.” No opposition or issues were voiced by those attending the hearing. Second and third readings of the bylaw will occur during the Dec. 8 council meeting. A draft version of the bylaw can be viewed at https:// bit.ly/MDutility. Leaving it in the dust Revisions to the MD’s dust-suppression policy were approved. Policy C-PW-009 now gives public works the flexibility to choose between three dust suppressants: lignosulfonate, MG-30 (magnesium) and calcium chloride. Residents looking to have dust suppression done on roads near their property outside the MD schedule will be required to have an approved service provider complete a hold-harmless agreement before work is completed. MD council also rescinded Policy C-AES-006, an old project-funding policy that aimed to support local conservation efforts and sustainable development projects. Initially approved in 2007 and revised in 2014, the policy had since been underutilized and replaced by other funding options provided by the MD. Fisher Bridge repairs A recent engineer site investigation at Fisher Bridge (NW-26-7-2-W5) revealed the concrete segment supporting the pony truss bearing pad was unstable. The bridge was closed in October as monitoring showed the concrete segment had moved significantly and could fall. Director of operations Aaron Benson presented two options to council. The first was simply to close the bridge, as alternative routes to Crowsnest Trail exist, and the second was to repair the concrete at a cost of $120,000. Council decided to repair the bridge, and it is anticipated the work will extend the bridge’s lifespan another 20 years. Odds and ends Correspondence was received from the Village of Cowley requesting that its public works foreman spend time at the Cowley-Lundbreck regional water plant. Working in the plant will help fulfil required hours for his Level II certification. Council agreed to the arrangement. On a separate water topic, council approved $195,000 for an aeration system for the lagoon in Lundbreck. Unpleasant odours had become a regular feature of the lagoon, particularly with the spring thaw. The smell is caused by dead bacteria in the lagoon. Disturbing the water through the aeration system will replenish oxygen levels in the water, thus keeping more bacteria alive and reducing the smell. Reeve Brian Hammond was also assigned to attend a scheduled tour of the Pincher Creek hospital with Health Minister Tyler Shandro. The site visit is an opportunity to highlight the hospital’s unique setup that supports rural health care, which Reeve Hammond hopes the minister will consider and preserve when making provincial health policies. “Every community is not the same,” the reeve said. “Some of the unique features of individual communities are very beneficial to the system as a whole.” The tour will take place Jan. 7. Next meeting MD of Pincher Creek council will hold its next regular meeting online Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m. The virtual meeting link is available at www. mdpinchercreek.ab.ca and online agenda packages are available at https://bit.ly/MDcouncil. Since the MD office will be closed Dec. 24 to Jan. 4, the Dec. 22 council meeting is cancelled.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
La pandémie de COVID-19 n’a pas épargné les lieux de culte qui ont dû s’adapter aux directives gouvernementales après plusieurs mois de fermeture. Les célébrations du temps des Fêtes ne feront pas exception et les paroissiens devront réserver leur place à certains endroits. « Compte tenu de la pandémie qui nous oblige à pratiquer la distanciation physique, un système de réservation est mis en place afin d’optimiser l’espace pour la célébration de Noël du 24 décembre à 22 h », a dévoilé la paroisse Ste-Croix de Tadoussac sur sa page Facebook. Pour réserver un banc, les citoyens doivent téléphoner au presbytère à 418 235-4324 et des places leur seront octroyées selon le nombre de personnes requis. « Vous devrez cependant être arrivés 15 minutes avant le début de la célébration sinon les places pourront être assignées à d’autres personnes », est-il précisé. C’est le même processus pour la paroisse Sacré-Cœur-de-Jésus où le curé Léonard Kapia présidera la messe de Noël le 24 décembre à 20 h. Les intéressés doivent téléphoner au presbytère au 418-236-4323 pour placer une réservation afin de « maximiser l’espace disponible dans l’église ». En ce qui concerne l’église St-Marcellin des Escoumins, un maximum de 100 personnes sera accueilli le 24 décembre à 19 h. L’équipe pastorale s’occupera de faire le décompte des présences et du respect des mesures de la santé publique. Comme le nombre de paroissiens assistant aux célébrations a diminué depuis la pandémie, ce n’est pas inquiétant de devoir retourner des gens le soir de Noël, selon la paroisse. Secteur est À Longue-Rive, l’église Saint-Paul célébrera Noël le 24 décembre à 21 h 30. « Pour ce qui est de la COVID, nous sommes en zone jaune et l’église peut contenir 160 personnes », mentionne la responsable Marjolaine Tremblay, précisant qu’il ne sera pas nécessaire de réserver son banc à l’avance. De Portneuf-sur-Mer à Colombier, les messes du 24 décembre se dérouleront en rotation. Le curé Irénée Girard débutera la soirée à l’église Ste-Thérèse à 16 h et poursuivra à 19 h à Ste-Anne-de-Portneuf, à 20 h à l’église St-Luc de Forestville pour terminer à la paroisse Saint-Marc-de-Latour à 21 h. L’abbé Antonio Laflamme, quant à lui, célébrera pour la 53e année consécutive la messe du 25 décembre à 10 h 30 à Forestville. Les célébrations de la fête de Jésus se dérouleront comme à l’habitude pour ces quatre municipalités qui pourront accueillir 50 cellules familiales afin de respecter la distanciation sociale. « On prendra toutes les précautions nécessaires pour instaurer les directives sanitaires et offrir une messe de Noël mémorable aux gens présents », affirme M. Girard. Il n’y aura toutefois pas de chorale, ni de crèche vivante.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Councillor Goelbel Absent, Councillor Watson Participated by Phone Discussion on Recent COVID-19 Restrictions Lead by CAO Bill Lewis, Council discussed the recently announced COVID-19 health restrictions. Here are some highlights as to how these restrictions affect Swan Hills: · There had been some confusion about when the restrictions would be in place, with some people in town thinking that all of the restrictions were effective on Nov 27. CAO Lewis clarified that the restrictions on social gatherings were effective immediately across the province. · Local non-profit organization board meetings are classified as work or mutual support groups and can continue going forward, as long as health measures such as social distancing are followed. · The town pool and arena are already following the guidelines for our area and can continue to operate going forward, but this will change if Swan Hills becomes an enhanced status area. The pool and arena cannot be privately rented at this time. · The Community Club is going to close until the New Year due to the ban on social gatherings. · Swan Hills is not under any provincial masking requirements at this time. · In regards to Lite Up, the direction from AHS is that Lite Up can proceed as planned but it is very important for people to remain in their vehicles when visiting Santa. If people come out of their vehicles and begin to crowd around Santa, the event must end immediately. Budget Review and Discussion Cao Bill Lewis gave an extremely thorough review of the proposed budget for 2021. The proposed budget will be very lean due to attempting to balance significant losses in revenue with increased costs in some areas of expenditures. After discussing these issues, Council voted to table approving the budget until the next Town Council meeting. The Grizzly Gazette will be able to report on the 2021 budget in greater detail once it has been finalized for the next Council meeting. CAO Report · A pre-project meeting with the Fire Chief, Forestry, and Blue ridge Lumber was held on Nov 24th regarding the Fire Guard project. · Staff worked on preparations for the modified Christmas Lite Up event. · A Tax Auction was held on Nov 17th. · Had a conference call with the Premier, the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Minister of Finance, and the Chief Medical Officer of Health regarding COVID-19 on Nov 18th. · Met with Sea Hawk Consulting (the group doing the Emergency Management Regional Audit). · Working on 2021 Budget preparation. · Working on the 5-year Capital Plan and 3-year operating plan. · Working on the new website upgrade. · Preparing for the strategic planning session with Community Futures Yellowhead East. · Working on the Municipality Accountability Program (MAP) Audit preparation. Operations and Infrastructure · The Flash Mixer at the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is still awaiting parts. · Waiting for the Reservoir Fire Water Pump motor replacement. Hoping to get a start date for this project for early December. · The sewage lift station pump that is currently out for service should be back in the first week of December. When it returns, the second pump will be sent out to be serviced as well. · There was a heater failure in the sewage lift station. A heater that had been salvaged from the PRV was repurposed for this application. · The roofing contractor has indicated that all repairs will be complete the week of Nov 23rd. · The Arena will be open for business on Nov 20th. · All of the Public Works and WTP procedures are currently being re-written and re-formatted as the previous versions were antiquated. · Public Works has been focusing on snow removal. · Public Works and WTP staff are in the process of qualification for Basic Emergency Management as well as Incident Command System 100. Should be completed by Jan 30th, 2021. · All safety training for Public Works staff is now up to date. Reports · Councillor Carol Webster reported on the first meeting of the regional Chamber of Commerce on Nov 13th. Representatives from Mayerthorpe, Whitecourt, Swan Hills, Edson, Fox Creek, and Barrhead attended. The discussions included helping Barrhead with the closure of ADLC and Swan Hills with the closure of the SHTC. Ways of providing benefits to the regional Chamber members were also discussed. The next meeting will be on Dec 4th. · Councillor Carol Webster reported that GROWTH Alberta held two executive meetings, on Nov 18th and Nov 24th. The GROWTH chairman will be resigning, meaning that a new chairman will need to be appointed. The Village of Wabamun has voted to dissolve their municipality and will become a Hamlet on January 1st, so this alliance will be losing a member. The next GROWTH Meeting will be on Nov 27th. · Councillor Carol Webster detailed Community Futures Yellowhead East’s (CFYE) meeting on Nov 19th, which focused on succession planning. One of CFYE’s members is approaching their eight-year term limit and will need to step down within the next year. · Councillor Elizabeth Krawiec reported having a promising Zoom meeting with a member of Community Futures that is very interested in helping Swan Hills with our Economic development. They hope to meet again soon. · Councillor Terry Kuyek reported on the Nov 18th school council meeting. With the impending closure of the ADLC threatening a major reorganization of staff, 44 teachers have chosen retirement rather than “bumping” their coworkers. The school council will move from monthly meetings to meeting every two months due to a lack of participation from the community. Jenny Kilpatrick – Life &Health; Coach – has offered support services for staff and parents feeling excessive strain and stress during these times.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Dr. Alfonso Fasano of the Krembil Brain Institute at the Toronto Western Hospital explains how the Percept PC deep brain stimulation system works to help doctors keep an eye on patients' brains as they go about their lives.
SIOUX LOOK — Sioux Lookout Ontario Provincial Police have released the name of a woman who died in a house fire last month as they continue to determine the cause of the fire. Clara Ash, 37, of Sioux Lookout has been identified as the individual who died in a house fire on Nov. 19. In a news release issued Wednesday, Dec. 2, police say the cause of death was smoke inhalation. Police responded at approximately 6 a.m. on Nov. 19 along with fire and emergency crews to an apartment on First Avenue in the municipality of Sioux Lookout. Two individuals were extracted from the building and neighbouring units were safely evacuated, according to a news release. A third deceased individual was located by firefighters. OPP continue to investigate the cause of the fire under the direction of the criminal investigations branch, the chief coroner, and the Ontario Fire Marshal. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact OPP or their local police service.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden is calling on the Ford government to change the law to allow municipalities "to remove members of council who have been found guilty of serious acts of misconduct, including sexual misconduct." Harden, a member of the opposition NDP, tabled his private member's motion in Queen's Park on Wednesday in response to a report from Ottawa's integrity commissioner that found Coun. Rick Chiarelli committed "incomprehensible acts of harassment" against his staff over several years.Last week, council meted out the most severe sanctions available — suspending the College ward councillor's pay for 180 days — and called for him to resign immediately, which Chiarelli has refused to do.Council has also asked the provincial government to change the Municipal Act to allow a councillor who has behaved egregiously to be removed from office, a stance that appears to have support from the women involved in the inquiry, some women's organizations, community associations and members of the public.While Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Steve Clark also called on the veteran councillor to step down, Clark said he currently has no plans to revisit the law."The Rick Chiarelli saga calls for provincial action," Harden said in a statement. "City councils need the power to remove councillors who have committed serious acts of misconduct, including sexual harassment." Harden acknowledged the "incredible courage" of the women who came forward, adding that "what happened to them can never be allowed to happen in the future."Harden's is the latest voice calling for changes to legislation. Earlier this week, Liberal MPP Stephen Blais, who represents Orléans, stood in the provincial legislature to demand the government amend the law.
Downhill enthusiasts were out of the starting gate early as Castle Mountain Resort opened its doors this past weekend. The Huckleberry chair was operating Nov. 27 to 29 as part of the resort’s preview weekend. The opening marks the earliest that powder lovers have been able to visit the ski hill in over 10 years. With lockdowns and business closures an all-too-common aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the resort’s early opening is a welcomed positive achieved through co-operation between health officials and the Canada West Skiers Association. “It’s difficult to say there’s a bright spot in the middle of a terrible thing like a pandemic,” says Cole Fawcett, Castle Mountain Resort’s sales and marketing manager. “But in the ski industry, one of the bright spots of this whole thing is that the industry is closer than it’s ever been.” To ensure visitor safety at ski hills, individual resorts within the Association collaborated and received input from provincial health agencies to form a set of rules and guidelines for the 2020-2021 season. The result, continues Cole, is not only that safety measures will be consistent for ski resorts across Alberta and British Columbia but also the unity within the industry itself. “It’s been so heartwarming and wonderful that we’ve been working side by side with some resorts who we would consider to be some of our largest competitors,” he says. Safety measures at the hill essentially follow the public health recommendations for people to practise increased sanitization, physical distancing and wearing face coverings. Face coverings Face coverings are required at Castle Mountain when purchasing tickets, waiting in lift lines and riding the lift. Face coverings are also mandatory in outdoor areas where people may be gathering and while indoors. Visitors’ face coverings must be a solid piece of multi-layer fabric with a snug fit that fully covers the nose and mouth. Children five and under are the only exception to this requirement, though the ski hill also recommends they wear face coverings. Tickets and rentals For the 2020-21 season, no multi-day tickets are available. Only single-day tickets are offered, which can be purchased at www.skicastle.ca/tickets and on-site at the outdoor ticketing windows. The guest services area will be open only for people needing a season pass printed or replaced, as well as corporate ticket pickups, direct-to-lift upgrades and administration office inquiries. Currently, the ski hill does not anticipate needing to limit the number of daily ticket sales, though the number of guests will be monitored. Should public health restrictions increase in the future to limit visitors to the hill, season pass holders will have priority access.Rentals are still available through the Alpenland location at the resort. Visitors are encouraged to fill out their rental information before going to the hill online at https://bit.ly/RentAlpenland. Rentals can also be completed in person. Staff are available to help over the phone at 403-627-5389. Lodge Indoor spaces will be operating at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. A dedicated entrance and exit has been established in the lodge to help manage the flow of visitors. No foot traffic will be permitted into the lodge through the snow school entrance. A valid season pass or day ticket is required to access the upstairs portion of the lodge. Bags, boots and other personal items cannot be left in the day lodge. Visitors are asked to store their items and change into their ski or snowboard boots in their vehicles. The downstairs area of the lodge is reserved for Castle Mountain staff only. Additional weatherproof shelters have been set up outside for guests wishing to warm up and enjoy their own lunch. Simplified food and drink options will be offered at the cafeteria and T-Bar Pub in order to balance health guidelines with service speed and guest needs. For the safety of visitors and staff, it’s asked that all visits to the lodge be less than 30 minutes. Guests using the outdoor eating areas are also asked to be aware of time so others can use the space. Additional sanitizing measures are in place to clean high-touch areas both during operations and after hours. Hand-sanitizing stations will be added to several base area locations. Lifts, snow school and cat skiing Cohorts and families are asked to ride the lift together. Single or double riders will not be forced to ride with anyone outside their cohort. Lift queue configurations will also be slightly different to facilitate physical distancing. While most snow school programs will still be available, supervised lunches and childcare services will not be provided this season unless specifically offered through a program, such as Little Castle Club. Private family lessons have also been added as a program option. Castle’s Powder Stagecoach cat-skiing operation is also continuing this season with minor adjustments. Group sizes have been reduced to one group of up to 12 guests each day. As a result, cat skiing is now being offered five days per week. Staff will no longer sit in the passenger cabin to facilitate guest comfort. Face coverings are mandatory inside the stagecoach, with all guests receiving a complimentary two-layer neck tube. The stagecoach and avalanche equipment will be sanitized at the end of each day. Season goals The staff at Castle Mountain are excited about bringing skiers and snowboarders world-class runs in an enjoyable, safe experience. While business profitability is important, Cole says the season’s measure of success is going to be much different than years past. “The main measurement of success is going to be: did people enjoy themselves, did they do it safely, were our staff safe, [and] did they enjoy themselves as much as possible given the circumstances,” he says. Learning through the experience, he adds, is also an opportunity for the resort to improve operations. “We hope that we take some of the practices that we’ve implemented that maybe actually enhance the experience of our guests and continue them on an ongoing basis.” Additional information is available on the resort’s website, www.skicastle.ca. A special page dedicated to Covid-19 measures will be updated as needed at www.skicastle.ca/covid19. Visitors are also encouraged to call 403-627-5101.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
EDMONTON — More than half of women and men living in Canada's territories reported being victims of at least one sexual or physical assault after their mid-teens.Statistics Canada says there were fewer reports of assaults in the provinces, where 39 per cent of women and 35 per cent of men said they were assaulted at least once after age 15.The survey was conducted in 2018 to find out more about gender-based violence in Canada.Reports of sexual and physical assault were highest among women and men in Yukon, where 61 per cent of both genders said they were assaulted at least once since they were 15.The survey says that in Nunavut's largest communities, including Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet, the average number of assaults against men and women was about the same as in all the territories.The number of reported assaults went down in smaller communities, where 30 per cent of men and women said they had been assaulted.The report also highlights that women were three times more likely than men to be assaulted.LGBTQ women and women with physical or mental disabilities were also among the most vulnerable, as more than 60 per cent reported assaults.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
Sherbrooke — Les plus petits producteurs en serre auront bel et bien droit à un rabais substantiel sur leur facture d’électricité, comme l’a demandé le gouvernement Legault. Mardi, la Régie de l’énergie du Québec a donné son aval à l’entrée en vigueur immédiate d’un tarif préférentiel de 5,59 ¢/kWh pour les cultures ayant un appel de puissance de 50 kW et plus, qu’elles produisent des aliments, des végétaux ornementaux ou du cannabis. Ce tarif, qui représente un rabais de près de moitié sur l’électricité pour certains producteurs, n’était auparavant disponible que pour les serriculteurs ayant un appel de puissance d’au moins 300 kW. La Régie élargit ainsi l’accès au tarif aux plus petites installations pour l’éclairage de photosynthèse, mais aussi pour le chauffage d’espaces destinés à la culture de végétaux, y compris les bâtiments. On stipule toutefois que l’admissibilité des productions de cannabis et des espaces chauffés pour la culture de végétaux devra être revue en 2025, alors que la consommation d’électricité risque d’avoir largement augmenté. On souhaite ainsi éviter une trop grande hausse du tarif pour l’ensemble des clients et donc de ne pas nuire à la visée première du décret gouvernemental : l’autonomie alimentaire. « La Régie est d’avis qu’il n’y a pas lieu d’exclure les producteurs de cannabis du domaine d’application du tarif proposé, pour deux raisons, soit le contexte de surplus énergétiques et le fait que le présent dossier ne visait pas à remettre en question l’admissibilité des producteurs de cannabis au tarif existant de l’annexe I de la Loi sur Hydro-Québec, lequel est incorporé dans le nouveau tarif », peut-on lire dans la décision. Durant les audiences, l’Union des producteurs agricoles avait plaidé pour que tous les types de culture en serre bénéficient du tarif et que même si le cannabis ne contribue pas à améliorer l’autonomie alimentaire directement, certaines serres pourraient éventuellement se convertir en serres de fruits et de légumes. Du côté des serres de plantes et fleurs, la Régie a pris en compte la contribution à l’autonomie alimentaire de celles-ci, étant donné leur grande production de végétaux qui sont ensuite plantés dans les jardins du Québec. D’autant plus que 156 des 900 producteurs en serre du Québec produisent à la fois des légumes et des plantes, selon les données du gouvernement. Plusieurs intervenants, notamment l’Association Hôtellerie Québec et Association des restaurateurs du Québec, le Groupe de recommandations et d’actions pour un meilleur environnement et le Regroupement CREE pour l’autonomie alimentaire avaient réclamé lors des audiences que le tarif préférentiel ne soit réservé qu’aux producteurs de fruits et légumes. Le tarif plancher s’élèvera à 5,66 ¢/kWh pour la période 2021-2022 et aura grimpé à 6,13 en 2025-2026, selon la tarification soumise par le distributeur. Par cette décision, la régie autorise également l’accès à ce tarif pour les très grandes serres qui bénéficiaient du tarif LG (tarif de grande puissance non liée à des activités industrielles). Effacement De nombreux suivis sont également exigés par la régie, notamment en ce qui concerne les périodes de pointes hivernales, où on demandera aux producteurs de réduire complètement leur consommation. Ceux-ci doivent s’effacer dans un délai de deux heures suivant la demande du distributeur, sans quoi ils recevront une facture salée de 50 ¢/kWh pendant cette période. Des installations d’appoint, qui utilisent d’autres types d’énergie, sont donc à prévoir chez les producteurs pour compenser ces périodes. Le gouvernement avait annoncé ce nouveau tarif par décret le 8 juillet dernier, mais devait obtenir l’accord de la Régie de l’énergie à cet effet. Si la production en serre se voit doublée comme le souhaite le gouvernement, une augmentation des ventes de 300 GWh pour le chauffage et de 150 GWh est à prévoir d’ici 2030, selon Hydro-Québec.Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
Waterloo Region council will vote Dec. 2 on whether to get rid of the five child-care centres it operates. Parents and advocates say the move would harm quality of care and leave hundreds of children in the lurch. Tania Gonzalez said her son Marcus has been well cared for since going to Christopher Children's Centre in Cambridge in mid-2019, when he was an infant. Caretakers at the centre recognized when Marcus was behind on his speech and made her aware of it. Marcus started talking around March, said Gonzalez, just before the province declared a state of emergency and closed all child-care centres. When Marcus returned to Christopher in July, they “lost all the progress,” Gonzalez said. “Not for lack of trying at home, but again, we ... don't specialize in children's development,” she said, adding, since returning to Christopher, Marcus is using easily up to 50 words. “It's not just a daycare. It's not just a babysitter. It's a whole system looking out for my kids.” Tania Resendes said her kids Leo, three, and Matteo, one, really love seeing their teachers at Christopher. Matteo, who has hearing loss, could only speak around three words when he started out and saw a “significant difference” within a month of being at the centre, using over 12 words. Resendes said parents should have “options,” and believes it would be hard to find care of the same calibre in a private daycare system, especially for children with special needs. She said she has tried calling around to child-care centres, but it has been hard to find available spots during the pandemic, when child-care centres are operating at a around 70 per cent capacity. “The prospect of closing or off-loading child-care centres during a pandemic is absolutely shameful,” Carolyn Ferns, policy co-ordinator at the Ontario Coalition of Better Child Care (OCBCC) stated in a media release. “The regionally-operated child-care centres play an important role in the child-care system in the Region of Waterloo. “High-quality, public child-care centres are a benchmark for decent wages, pensions, and benefits for educators who are predominantly women.” With the closures, the region would lose around $2.2 million in fees from parents and would free up $4.3 million in provincial financing earmarked for child care, a consultation review found. Closure would also, it found, require the region to immediately shell out up to $6.4 million in severance pay as the region is projected to be $25 million in the red. CUPE Local 1883, which represents workers in each of the five child-care centres, said the move would leave parents, caretakers and the children in the cold. “Hundreds of working families in the region are already at their breaking point during this brutal pandemic,” says Noelle Fletcher, president of the local. “Losing public child-care spaces due to closures or off-loading them to the community will result in a destabilization of care. “Many parents and caregivers may have to quit their jobs and rely on unlicensed, private care with exorbitant fees or be placed on lengthy wait lists in community-based centres.” Staff recommend eliminating Cambridge Children’s Centre, Kitchener’s Edith MacIntosh Children’s Centre, Kinsmen Children’s Centre and Christopher Children’s Centre, both in Cambridge, by mid-2021. Elmira Children’s Centre is recommended to be closed at a future date. As a result, around 250 children would lose support and 62 full-time staff would be permanently laid off. In 2015, council voted against the closure of all five centres amid public pressure. This time, Resendes said, parents were given too little time to prepare. “From the moment that we found out to when it's going to vote, we've been given three weeks to try and advocate, do our research ... and figure out exactly what's going on.” The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and will be livestreamed. Call 519-575-4400 to leave feedback.Swikar Oli, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cambridge Times
Le Centre de services scolaire (CSS) de l’Estuaire a procédé, au cours des derniers mois, à une vaste opération de dépistage afin de mesurer la concentration de plomb dans près de 400 points d’eau de ses écoles primaires, destinés à la consommation. « À la demande du ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, ces analyses ont permis de démontrer que 88 %, soit 346 des 395 points d’eau analysés respectaient la nouvelle norme de Santé Canada, établie à 5 microgrammes par litre d’eau », mentionne l’agente aux communications du CSS de l’Estuaire, Patricia Lavoie. Des 21 écoles ayant fait l’objet d’une analyse, quatre présentaient des résultats 100 % conformes aux normes gouvernementales. Il s’agit des écoles Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur, Saint-Cœur-de-Marie de Colombier ainsi que Bois-du-Nord et Boisvert de Baie-Comeau. Quelque 11 établissements ne comptaient qu’un ou deux points d’eau potable dont la concentration de plomb excédait la limite acceptable. Pour les autres, le taux de non-conformité variait de 18 % à 44 %. Pour l’ensemble des points d’eau où les résultats ont démontré une concentration de plomb dans l’eau excédant les normes de Santé Canada, des correctifs ont immédiatement été apportés. « Pour ce faire, le service des ressources matérielles a procédé à l’installation d’un filtre spécialisé afin de traiter l’eau des buvettes problématiques, ce qui représente un correctif permanent aux points d’eau concernés », explique Mme Lavoie. Afin de garantir la qualité de l’eau potable mise à la disposition des élèves et du personnel, l’ensemble des établissements avaient également installé à titre préventif, il y a déjà plus d’un an, des affiches indiquant les consignes propres à chacun des points d’eau. « Cet affichage, qui permettait déjà de se conformer aux normes en vigueur, demeurera en place tout comme la décision de réserver les lavabos des toilettes et des vestiaires exclusivement pour le lavage des mains et le brossage des dents, conformément aux directives ministérielles », de préciser l’agente aux communications. Le CSS de l’Estuaire poursuivra par ailleurs son travail, au cours des prochaines semaines, afin d’installer des filtres accrédités à l’ensemble des points d’eau potable de ses établissements. Appel d’offres Ayant condamné toutes les buvettes ne permettant pas un remplissage sans contact en raison des risques de contamination liés à la COVID-19, le service des ressources matérielles procédera à un appel d’offres permettant de faire l’acquisition et l’installation de buvettes sans contact dotées d’un filtre accrédité afin de remplacer toutes celles actuellement fermées dans le but de limiter la propagation des différents virus qui circulent en milieu scolaire. Mentionnons finalement qu’à compter de 2021-2022, la réfection intérieure des écoles primaires sera amorcée de façon intensive. « Ces chantiers permettront notamment le remplacement de la tuyauterie domestique et, par le fait même, l’élimination de matériaux à base de plomb susceptibles d’influencer la contamination de l’eau potable », soutient Patricia Lavoie. D’ailleurs, la réfection de blocs sportifs, de vestiaires et de salles de bain a permis de pallier cette problématique dans plusieurs écoles au cours des dernières années. L’opération se poursuit Une opération de dépistage semblable sera réalisée dans les écoles secondaires et les centres de formation professionnelle et d’éducation des adultes à compter de la mi-décembre. En raison du surplus de travail engendré par la pandémie, le gouvernement a donné aux centres de services scolaires jusqu’au 1er mars pour compléter les analyses et les travaux correctifs dans l’ensemble de leurs établissements. « L’affichage indiquant l’importance de laisser couler l’eau une minute avant consommation ou encore de ne pas consommer l’eau à certains endroits est cependant en place partout sur le territoire depuis l’automne 2019 », conclut Mme Lavoie.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
The public hearing for the proposed Grassy Mountain mine continued hearing witnesses’ evidence and cross-examination during the week of Nov. 3. The scheduled topic items included geology, damming safety, accidents and malfunctions, industrial waste and waste management, and effects on the environment like climate change. Dam right Much of the discussion focused on the mine’s four surge and four sedimentation ponds. Surge ponds capture water from precipitation that passes under the waste rock deposits that may be tainted with selenium. Sedimentation ponds collect water for treatment and removal of suspended solids, aided by coagulating agents called flocculants and letting particles naturally settle. Explaining the nature of the ponds, said Benga’s vice-president of external relations, Gary Houston, was important because many opponents of the mine point to the danger posed by tailings ponds. Tailings ponds typically hold toxic materials left over from industrial processes involving water. Benga would not be using tailings ponds because the mine would mechanically dewater during its processes. Most of the ponds point toward Blairmore Creek, though two sediment ponds are near Gold Creek. The pond locations are needed to catch water flow from the mine, thus minimizing the risk of erosion and landslide. Proposed dam designs for each pond have followed guidelines set by the Canadian Dam Association as well as Alberta Dam and Canal Safety Directive. After construction, the Alberta Energy Regulator would provide regular monitoring. Opponents of the proposed mine project, however, were concerned Benga had not studied the consequences of a pond failing nor completed an emergency response plan. Though the mining company said creating these plans was subject to the project’s approval, critics responded that understanding Benga’s disaster processes was integral to fully analyzing risks associated with the project. “How can this panel make an informed decision about the risk of your project having impacts on the environment in the context of these sedimentation and surge ponds if, in fact, you haven’t done that study yet and you haven’t presented that evidence at this hearing?” asked Mike Sawyer, legal counsel for the Timberwolf Wilderness Society. “How can we make that decision? Are we just supposed to trust you?” Mr. Sawyer also said the proposal lacked any assessment of how dam failure would affect populations of the westslope cutthroat trout, which contravened expectations set out by the Species at Risk Act. Particularly important information missing was data on how the fish would react to the flocculants and sedimentation in the ponds next to Gold Creek should a leak occur. Issues with dam failure, responded Mr. Houston, were easy to exaggerate since even opening a floodgate would be classified as dam failure. Any effect on the trout from a pond bursting, he continued, would be reversible and only an issue in the short term and would be accounted for in Benga’s planning. “There is a process in place for dealing with these risks and we’re going to abide by that process,” Mr. Houston said. Even with Benga’s assurances that the dam design would mitigate flood risk, expert witnesses asked to participate by the Government of Canada said the dam designs were based on an inaccurate model of how much the average annual precipitation would increase over time. Dr. Ann-Lise Norman, an atmospheric physicist from the University of Calgary, said the issue was the scale used in collecting precipitation data. Benga’s calculations relied on too large an area as scale: a 90-kilometre area was used when industry standard is 10 kilometres. Data collection from Sparwood and Pincher Creek, Dr. Norman continued, was at locations too low in elevation to accurately predict what amount of precipitation should be expected at the Grassy Mountain site. “Higher spatial resolution is critical,” she said. “It produces more accurate results, and I think Benga’s maximum precipitation for Grassy Mountain was based on too low an elevation.” Nothing earth-shaking On top of concerns the mine would be susceptible to storms and flooding, local residents and environmental groups said approving the project would increase the risk of grass and forest fires. The main fear expressed was that distributed layers of coal dust on vegetation in the area would create a volatile situation should a wildfire start. Additionally, critics said Benga had not adequately addressed the risks associated with coal seam fires or coal dust explosions in its environmental assessment. Coal dust, however, was not viewed by Benga as a major issue as minimal amounts of coal would be stored at the site and coal transportation would all be done in covered chutes. “The biggest source of dust will be the road dust,” Mr. Houston said. The company would also have its own fire-protective equipment and trained staff on-site. Worries daily blasting at the mine would contribute to seismic activity in the area were viewed as negligible. Dr. John Cassidy, an expert on seismic hazards from the University of Victoria, noted only 11 earthquakes had been registered within 50 kilometres of the mine site in the last 40 years. The largest quake in that time was measured at a magnitude of 3.2 on the Richter scale. 719 mining blasts had been registered in that same time frame, supporting Dr. Cassidy’s experience that industrial blasting had never been seen to affect seismic activity in an area. The potential for blasting to cause landslides, however, was acknowledged as a risk inherent in the Grassy Mountain area. Benga had put forward in its assessment mitigation measures like annual ground condition inspections — increased after major precipitation — and a ground-monitoring program. Natural Resources Canada had reviewed the measures and found them satisfactory. Although the effect of blasting on Turtle Mountain was not considered significant, Mr. Houston said no specific discussion with the Alberta Geological Survey had occurred in regard to monitoring the mountain. Benga was also unsure if the AGS was monitoring Turtle Mountain for seismic activity. Given the lack of experience Benga as a company had in mining operations, the MD of Ranchland, said lawyer Michael Niven, did not have confidence in the company’s procedures and capacity to respond to emergencies. The gap was one Benga was willing to bridge, said Mr. Houston. “We could talk about the drilling and blasting procedures and the safety measures put in place, the scientific methods for monitoring the blasts,” he said. “Those are all things we’re prepared to discuss if that’s a topic that the MD would like us to come and talk to them about.” To this point, Benga has not had any discussions with the MD of Ranchland concerning the project.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump teased running again for president in 2024 as he hosted a holiday reception at the White House. “It’s been an amazing four years,” Trump told the crowd, which included many Republican National Committee members. “We’re trying to do another four years. Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.” The video of Trump's appearance Tuesday was streamed live on Facebook by one attendee, Pam Pollard, who is national committeewoman for the Oklahoma GOP. It showed dozens of people crammed into the broad Cross Hall of the White House state floor, standing closely together. Many seen in the video were not wearing masks. The Trumps began hosting holiday receptions this week, intent on celebrating a final season before Trump leaves office on Jan. 20. According to social media postings reviewed by The Associated Press, the events have featured large crowds of often maskless attendees gathered indoors — violating the very public health guidance the U.S. government has pressed the nation to follow this holiday season as cases of COVID-19 skyrocket across the country. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Wednesday defended the Trumps' decision to host the parties. She noted that the guest lists are smaller than past years, hand sanitizer is made available to guests and social distancing is encouraged. “So you know if you can loot businesses, burn down buildings, engage in protest, you can also go to a Christmas party,” said McEnany, who noted that Trumps also plan to host Hanukkah celebrations. In the video, Trump is heard continuing to air baseless allegations of election fraud to explain his defeat by President-elect Joe Biden despite his attorney general, William Barr, telling the AP earlier Tuesday that the Justice Department had not uncovered evidence of widespread voter fraud and had seen nothing that would change the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Coughing can be heard from the audience as Trump addressed the gathering. “It’s certainly an unusual year. We won an election. But they don’t like that," Trump told the group, adding: “I call it a rigged election, and I always will.” The White House has been the site of at least one suspected COVID-19 superspreader event, and dozens of the president's aides, campaign staffers and allies have tested positive in numerous outbreaks. Trump himself was hospitalized for the virus in October, and the first lady and two of his sons have tested positive. Numerous others have had to quarantine. Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s spokeswoman and chief of staff, had said last month that the White House would be moving forward with events, “while providing the safest environment possible." She said that would include smaller guest lists, that "masks will be required and available, social distancing encouraged while on the White House grounds, and hand sanitizer stations throughout the State Floor.” “Attending the parties will be a very personal choice,” she added. ___ Miller reported from Wilmington, Del. Zeke Miller And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
The Terrace RCMP have arrested Kenton David Fast Tuesday, Dec. 1, according to a media release. According to a Dec. 1 media release, police are were searching for Fast, who was unlawfully at large. Police said they could not share why Fast is at large. To report a crime, or have information regarding an ongoing investigation, call Terrace RCMP at (250) 638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is expanding its visitor ban to Regina hospitals on top of long-term care and personal care homes.The new restrictions come as Regina continues to see rising COVID-19 case numbers.The changes go into effect at 8 a.m. CST Thursday and will be reassessed in 14 days, SHA said.The SHA is limiting family presence and visitation to compassionate care only in all Regina SHA acute care facilities. Compassionate care reasons may include, but are not limited to, family or support persons during end-of-life care, major surgery, intensive care, pediatrics, and inpatients and outpatients with specific challenges."The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly. These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health-care workers safe," said the SHA in a press release. On Tuesday the province reported that Regina was the zone in the province with the most new cases, with 67. As of Tuesday, Regina had 26 people in hospital and another seven people in intensive care due to COVID-19.
THUNDER BAY — Thunder Bay police will begin publishing the names of all drivers charged with impaired driving offences in order to deter individuals from getting behind the wheel impaired as the annual Festive RIDE program officially launched on Wednesday. The number of individuals charged with impaired driving offences have been ‘staggering’ so far this year, according to Thunder Bay Police Const. Mark Cattani with the traffic unit. “We are at a point now where we are essentially running out of options,” Cattani said during a virtual news conference. At the end of last year’s festive RIDE season, police reported a record of 204 individuals charged with impaired driving for the total year. “This was by far the greatest number we had ever seen,” Cattani said. “I am discouraged and unfortunately have to report that we are at 251 impaired drivers at this point without even having started the RIDE program.” Starting Wednesday, Dec. 2, police will begin publishing the names of people who are charged with impaired driving offences in hopes of deterring individuals from driving impaired, a practice that has been in place in several other police forces in Ontario. “There is a very clear need for enforcement,” Cattani said. “We are already beyond so far where we have already been any other year.” The OPP have named alleged drunk divers for years in news releases. During Wednesday’s news conference, police reported in the last 24 hours four individuals had been charged with impaired driving. Two who were drug-impaired and two under the influence of alcohol. “We feel this is probably one of the most effective ways as a supplement to the RIDE program itself to get impaired drivers off the road potentially,” Cattani said. The festive RIDE program runs from Dec. 2 to Jan. 1, 2021.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source