These new art installations have arrived just in time for Valentine's Day. Mia Gordon explains how a simple selfie can help support the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
These new art installations have arrived just in time for Valentine's Day. Mia Gordon explains how a simple selfie can help support the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
Canada's health officials spoke about the recent change in guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) on the time between two COVID-19 vaccine doses, and how that may contribute to vaccine hesitancy in Canada.
LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool’s woeful home form is developing into a full-blown crisis after Chelsea’s 1-0 victory on Thursday inflicted a fifth straight league loss at Anfield on the Premier League champions — the worst run in the club’s 128-year history. With Liverpool's title defence already over, this was billed as a battle for a Champions League place and Mason Mount’s 42nd-minute goal lifted Chelsea back into the top four. Chelsea’s previous win at Anfield, in 2014, effectively ended the title hopes of Brendan Rodgers’ side. This one was a blow to Liverpool’s chances of a top-four finish under Jurgen Klopp. Klopp’s side is four points adrift of Chelsea and with Everton and West Ham also ahead. Liverpool has now gone more than 10 hours without a goal from open play at Anfield. The hosts failed to register an effort on target until the 85th minute and Georginio Wijnaldum’s weak header was never going to beat Edouard Mendy. They have taken one point from the last 21 on offer at home since Christmas and scored just two goals, one of which was a penalty. None of Liverpool's established front three — Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane or Roberto Firmino — impressed but the sight of Salah, the Premier League’s leading scorer, being substituted just past the hour mark was baffling. The Egypt international certainly thought so as he sat shaking his head, having been replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Chelsea, by contrast, looked full of threat with Timo Werner — a player Liverpool was interested in but decided it could not afford last summer — a constant problem. Despite one goal in his previous 17 league outings, he caused problems with his movement, drifting out to the left then popping into the middle to give Fabinho a real headache on his return to the side. The Brazil midfielder, replacing Nat Phillips after he became the latest centre back to pick up an injury, was partnering Ozan Kabak in Liverpool’s 15th different central-defensive starting partnership in 27 league matches. Faced with a statistic like that, it is perhaps understandable why there was a lack of cohesion at the back and Werner should really have profited. He fired one early shot over and then failed to lift his effort over Alisson Becker, back in goal after the death of his father in Brazil last week. Even when Werner did beat Alisson, VAR ruled the Germany international’s arm had been offside 20 yards earlier in the build-up. Liverpool’s one chance fell to Mane but Salah’s first-time ball over the top got caught under his feet and Mane missed his shot with only Mendy to beat. Chelsea was still controlling the game and caught Liverpool on the counterattack when N’Golo Kante quickly sent a loose ball out to the left wing, from where Mount cut inside to beat Alisson having been given far too much time to pick his spot. All five of Mount’s league goals have come away from home. Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel spent the first five minutes of the second half screaming at his players to press harder and play higher up the pitch but Liverpool’s players were equally vocal when Firmino’s cross hit the raised arm of Kante from close range. No penalty was awarded. Andy Robertson cleared off the line from Hakim Ziyech after Alisson parried Ben Chilwell’s shot as Chelsea continued to look more dangerous. Klopp’s attempt to change the direction of the game saw him send on Diogo Jota for his first appearance in three months, along with Oxlade-Chamberlain. Jota’s first touch was a half-chance from a deep cross but he was not sharp enough to take it. Werner, meanwhile, was doing everything but score as Alisson’s leg saved another shot as he bore down on goal. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
LONDON — Banksy appears to have thrown his support behind a campaign to turn a former prison in the English town of Reading into an arts venue, a town spokesman said on Thursday, after the street artist confirmed that artwork that appeared on a red brick wall of the prison was of his making. The elusive artist confirmed the picture was his when he posted a video of him creating it on his Instagram account. The monochrome picture shows a man escaping using a rope made of paper from a typewriter. It appeared Monday outside Reading Prison, famous as the location where writer Oscar Wilde served two years for “gross indecency” in the 1890s. The prison closed in 2013, and campaigners want it turned into an arts venue. Britain’s Ministry of Justice, which owns the building, is due to decide mid-March on its future. In his Instagram video, Banksy is shown stealthily stenciling and spraying paint to create the artwork, titled “Create Escape.” The footage is juxtaposed with an episode of a traditional art instruction video called “The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross.” The campaign to turn the former prison into an arts venue has won the backing of actors including Judi Dench, Stephen Fry and Kenneth Branagh. A spokesman for Reading Borough Council said it was “thrilled that Banksy appears to have thrown his support behind the council’s desire to transform the vacant Reading Gaol into a beacon of arts, heritage and culture with this piece of artwork he has aptly called ‘Create Escape’.” “The Council is pushing the Ministry of Justice, who own the site, to make suitable arrangements to protect the image,” the authority said. The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting five new cases of COVID-19 today. Three of the cases are in the Edmundston region, while the Moncton and Miramichi regions each have one new case. There are now 36 active cases in the province and three patients are hospitalized, including two in intensive care. A recently reported presumptive case of a variant in the Miramichi region has been confirmed by Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory to be the B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom. Mass testing clinics have been set up in the Miramichi area to determine if there has been any further spread of the virus. Since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 1,443 confirmed cases in New Brunswick and 28 COVID-19-related deaths, This report by The Canadian Press was first published Mar. 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
One of Canada's top public health officials sought to reassure Canadians today that a recommendation from a federal vaccine advisory committee to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses is a sound one. Yesterday, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended that the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months due to limited supplies. Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Howard Njoo said the advice is based on real-world data that shows doing so would lead to more people being protected from COVID-19 in a shorter time period. "This recommendation is based on clinical trial reports and emerging real-world evidence from around the world. Data shows that several weeks after being administered, first doses of vaccines provide highly effective protection against symptomatic disease, hospitalization and death," Njoo told a technical briefing today. Confusion over conflicting advice Njoo's comments appeared to be addressing the confusion created by the fact that NACI's recommendation conflicts with those issued by Health Canada when it granted regulatory approvals for the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines. Regulatory documents provided by Health Canada upon approval of each vaccine state that the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech should be taken three weeks after the first, the second Moderna shot should come four weeks after the first, and the second AstraZeneca dose should be delivered between four and 12 weeks after the first. All of those recommendations are in line with the product monograph provided by the manufacturers. Adding to the confusion, NACI recommended on Monday against giving the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to people 65 and older, although Health Canada has authorized it for use in adults of all ages. But Njoo said the discrepancies can be explained by the fact that Health Canada is a regulator and NACI is an advisory body made up of medical experts. "You have likely noticed that NACI's recommendations are sometimes different, possibly broader or narrower than the conditions of vaccine use that Health Canada has authorized. As the regulator, Health Canada authorizes each vaccine for use in Canada according to factors based on clinical trial evidence, whereas NACI bases its guidance on the available and evolving evidence in a real-world context, including the availability of other vaccines," Njoo said. "What we expect is that NACI recommendations will complement — not mirror — those of Health Canada." WATCH: Njoo comments on NACI recommendation to delay second COVID-19 vaccine doses The issue burst into the open on Monday when B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Some medical experts questioned that decision. Canada's chief science adviser, Mona Nemer, said doing so without proper clinical trials amounts to a "population level experiment." Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., told the Washington Post that the science doesn't support delaying a second dose for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. He said there isn't enough evidence to determine how much protection is provided by one dose of those vaccines, and how long it lasts. Despite those warnings, several provinces followed Henry's lead and even more have indicated they intend to stretch the dosage interval. While it appeared to some at the time that Henry was moving faster than the science, Njoo said that NACI's experts briefed provincial medical officers of health over the weekend on the results of their analysis before releasing their recommendations publicly. NACI concluded that stretching the dosing interval to four months would allow up to 80 per cent of Canadians over the age of 16 to receive a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of June, without compromising vaccine effectiveness. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. As for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, Njoo said it is safe and that evidence shows it provides protection against very serious disease and death in people of all ages. He said Health Canada has a rigorous scientific review process and only approves vaccines that meet high standards for safety, efficacy and quality. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said expert advice will continue to change as more data becomes available from ongoing mass vaccination campaigns, and she urged provinces and territories to consider recommendations and evidence from both bodies when making decisions about their vaccine strategies. "The messaging would be simpler if we had one set of data and we had one message and it never changed, but that's not what science does," said Sharma. Decision on Johnson and Johnson imminent At today's briefing, health officials also indicated that a regulatory decision on whether to approve Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine is expected soon. "The review of the Johnson & Johnson submission is going very well, it's progressing, and we're expecting to have that completed and a decision in the next few days. I would say in the next seven days or so," said Sharma. The company has said its vaccine is 66 per cent effective at preventing moderate to severe illness in a global clinical trial, and much more effective — 85 per cent — against the most serious symptoms. Canada has agreed to purchase up to 38 million doses if it is approved. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved it for use in that country last Saturday. The approval of a fourth vaccine would give a significant boost to Canada's vaccine rollout. Johnson and Johnson's vaccine is widely seen as one of the easiest to administer because it requires only one dose and can be stored for long periods of time at regular refrigerator temperatures. Njoo said additional vaccines, coupled with the NACI recommendation on dosage intervals, could allow Canada to meet the goal of inoculating all adults who want a vaccine "several weeks" before the current target date of the end of September. Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military commander leading Canada's COVID-19 vaccine logistics, said that while more vaccines would be good news, the current target remains the end of September.
OTTAWA — The federal Liberals are setting aside some of the billions of dollars planned in short-term transit spending to help municipalities further green their bus fleets. The hope is that the $2.75 billion in traditional grant money will dovetail with the $1.5 billion an infrastructure-financing agency is supposed to invest toward the same cause. Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna says the grant money is supposed to help cover the upfront cost of purchasing electric buses to replace the diesel-powered ones rumbling through Canadian streets. She says federal funding has helped cities buy 300 buses and the government hopes the funding will help them add 5,000 zero-emission buses over the next five years. But she acknowledged there are added costs that need to be addressed, including having charging stations on transit routes and in existing depots. The Liberals are hoping cities then turn to the Canada Infrastructure Bank to finance the cost of the remaining work. The bank's chief executive, Ehren Cory, says the energy savings expected from not having to buy diesel could, for instance, be used to pay off a low-interest loan from his agency. "It's quite a from-the-ground-up reinvestment and the savings will pay for a lot of that, but not for all of it," he said, via video link. "That's why the combination of a grant from the government, a subsidy, combined with a loan against savings together will allow us to get the most done, allow us to make wholesale change quickly and do so at minimal impact to taxpayers." Garth Frizzell, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, welcomed the funding as a way to speed up work in cities to replace diesel buses. "We are already putting more electric vehicles on our streets, and this major funding to electrify transit systems across the country will reduce GHG emissions, boost local economies, and help meet Canada’s climate goals," he said in a statement. McKenna made the same connections multiple times during an event Thursday in Ottawa, where she stood near the city's mayor, Jim Watson, with Cory and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne joining by videoconference. Joanna Kyriazis, senior policy adviser at Clean Energy Canada, noted that the investments could help the country's six electric-bus manufacturers scale up to compete internationally. “As Canada develops its battery supply chain — from raw metal and mineral resources to our North-America-leading battery recycling companies — we must build the market for electric vehicles and their batteries at home," she said in a statement. The Liberals are promising billions in permanent transit funding as part of a post-pandemic recovery, including $3 billion annually in a transit fund starting in five years. Cities have seen transit ridership plummet through the pandemic as chunks of the labour force work remotely. Demand for single-family homes well outside urban cores suggests some workers are expecting remote work to become a more regular fixture of their post-pandemic work lives. McKenna said her thinking about public transit hasn't been changed by that shift, saying her only thought is that Canada needs more and better systems. It's up to cities and transit agencies to set routes and priorities, she said. "The reality is many of our essential workers have no other option than to take public transit. And I think we've recognized how important it is for people to be able to get around in a safe way," McKenna said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
NASA's Perseverance Mars rover has continued to send stunning images of the red planet back to Earth. In this moment, an incredible shot of the Sun from the Martian surface was captured. Credit to "NASA/JPL-Caltech".
RCMP are asking witnesses to a violent incident to come forward, after a man was discovered seriously injured outside a Richmond, B.C., shopping mall Wednesday afternoon. Police were called around 2:40 p.m. PT to the parking area on the north side of the Lansdowne Centre, where the 40-year-old man was found lying injured on the ground, according to an RCMP statement Thursday. The Vancouver resident was taken to a local hospital where he remains in critical condition, police said. RCMP say the incident does not appear to have any criminal connections, and there doesn't appear to be any risk to the public. Anyone who might have witnessed Wednesday's incident is asked to contact the Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 if they want to remain anonymous.
Le professeur Thierry Karsenti, titulaire de la Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les technologies de l'information et de la communication en éducation, a été arrêté et devra faire face à des accusations de contacts sexuels sur une victime âgée de moins de 16 ans. D’après les informations obtenues auprès du Service de police de l’agglomération de Longueuil (SPAL), Thierry Karsenti, 52 ans, résidant de Brossard, a été arrêté le 23 février dernier. Un mandat d’arrêt visé avait été lancé contre lui. M. Karsenti a été libéré sous conditions en attendant sa comparution. Il lui est notamment interdit de communiquer avec la victime ou sa famille ou de se présenter à sa résidence. Il doit également informer les autorités de tout changement d'adresse. Sa comparution est prévue vendredi au palais de justice de Longueuil. Dans un message publié mercredi sur son fil Twitter, le SPAL demande l’aide de la population, car on soupçonne que le prévenu aurait pu faire d’autres victimes. «On demande aux gens qui auraient pu être victimes de Thierry Karsenti, 52 ans, résidant de Brossard, de nous appeler. Sinon, on invite aussi les gens à nous fournir des informations, s’ils en ont», a indiqué la porte-parole du SPAL Mélanie Mercille. La victime aurait porté plainte en octobre 2019. Les circonstances entourant les gestes reprochés n’auraient aucun lien avec les activités professionnelles du prévenu. Cependant, l’Université de Montréal a «suspendu pour une période indéterminée» le professeur de sa faculté d’éducation. L’université aurait appris l’arrestation de M. Karsenti, mercredi, au moment de la sortie publique du SPAL. Toute personne ayant des informations à transmettre aux enquêteurs concernant cette affaire peut communiquer avec le 911 ou le 450-463-7211. Ugo Giguère, Initiative de journalisme local, La Presse Canadienne
La visite du pape François en Irak vise à conforter les derniers chrétiens de ce pays et à contribuer au dialogue inter-religieux. Mais le pape ne rencontrera aucun représentant sunnite…
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting five new COVID-19 cases today, four of which are in the eastern health region that includes St. John's. Health officials say the four cases in the eastern region involve people between the ages of 40 and 69; three involve close contacts of prior cases while the fourth is related to domestic travel. Officials say the fifth case is located in the western health region, involves a person between the ages of 20 and 39 and is related to international travel. Eight people are in hospital with the disease, including two in intensive care. Officials say they are still investigating the source of an infection involving a health-care worker at a hospital in the rural town of St. Anthony, located on the Northern Peninsula. Newfoundland and Labrador has 121 active reported COVID-19 infections. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Alphabet Inc's YouTube will lift its suspension on former U.S. President Donald Trump's channel when it determines the risk of real-world violence has decreased, the company's CEO, Susan Wojcicki, said on Thursday. YouTube suspended Trump's channel for violating policies against inciting violence after the assault on the U.S. Capitol by the former president's supporters in January. "The channel remains suspended due to the risk of incitement to violence," said Wojcicki, speaking in an interview with the head of the Atlantic Council think tank.
1. “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” by Charlie Mackesy (HarperOne) 2. “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press) 3. “Believe IT” by Jamie Kem Lima (Gallery Books) 4. “Firefly Lane” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Griffin) 5. “I Love You to the Moon and Back” by Amelia Hepworth (Tiger Tales) 6. “A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah J. Maas (Bloomsbury) 7. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss (Random House) 8. “The Kaiser's Web” by Steve Berry (Minotaur) 9. “Guess How Much I Love You” by Sam McBratney (Candlewick) 10. “Kingdom of Shadow and Light” by Karen Marie Moning (Dell) 11. “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” by Dr. Seuss (Random House) 12. “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” by Bill Gates (Knopf) 13. “Bridgerton: The Duke and I” by Julia Quinn (Avon) 14. “Fox in Socks” by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers) 15. “Dr. Seuss's ABC” by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers) 16. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch (Firefly Books) 17. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss (Random House) 18. “Bridgerton: The Viscount Who Loved Me” by Julia Quinn (Avon) 19. “Are You My Mother?” by P.D. Eastman (Random House Books for Young Readers) 20. “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig (Viking) 21. “The Pegan Diet” by Mark Hyman (Little, Brown Spark) 22. “Atomic Habits” by James Clear (Avery) 23. “Keep Sharp” by Sanjay Gupta (Simon & Schuster) 24. “Think Again” by Adam Grant (Viking) 25. “Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder” by Joanne Fluke (Kensington) The Associated Press
YELLOWKNIFE — Residents of the Northwest Territories who are from Norman Wells and Fort Simpson can now self-isolate at home if they leave the territory. A previous public-health order required anyone who left N.W.T. to isolate for 14 days in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River or Inuvik. The territory's chief public health officer, Dr. Kami Kandola, says the order was changed because Norman Wells and Fort Simpson both have a wastewater surveillance program to test for COVID-19. The two communities also have adequate medical resources to support new infections. Kandola says only residents of Normal Wells and Fort Simpson will be allowed to self-isolate there. They must also submit a self-isolation plan to the territory's public-health office. There are currently two active cases of COVID-19 in the territory. The Canadian Press
The Toronto Raptors are once again severely short-handed heading into Thursday's game against the Celtics in Boston. For the second straight night, the Raptors will be without five players, head coach Nick Nurse and six other members of the coaching staff due to the NBA's health and safety protocols. Starters Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby will not be available, as well as Malachi Flynn and Patrick McCaw. Without the key players and members of the coaching staff, the Raptors were thumped 129-105 by visiting Detroit on Wednesday with assistant coach Sergio Scariolo in charge for the second straight game. Meanwhile, Jalen Harris has returned to Toronto's G League affiliate, Raptors 905. Harris and Donta Hall were added to the Raptors from the 905 squad Wednesday. Thursday's announcement was expected. General Manager Bobby Webster said in an availability Tuesday that it was unlikely that any player or member of staff who missed Wednesday's game would be available for the contest in Boston. The NBA goes into its all-star break after Thursday's action, which will offer a welcome respite for the Raptors. Toronto's next game is March 11 against Atlanta. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 4, 2021. The Canadian Press
Premier Blaine Higgs raised the possibility of a faster rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations and a quicker reopening of provincial borders on Thursday. The premier said with a new federal recommendation that second doses can be delayed by up to four months, New Brunswick could get everyone their first shot by the end of June. He also raised the possibility during a news conference with fellow premiers of re-establishing the Atlantic bubble and even getting borders to the rest of Canada "opened up" and "getting ourselves back to normal this spring." But speaking to New Brunswick journalists later, Higgs qualified that statement, saying it would depend on vaccination levels and other factors. He said talks with other Atlantic premiers on reopening borders within the bubble will probably happen in April. Factors that will determine reopening Higgs said it could be a reality "for this summer, but I'd like to get beyond that, and that'll depend on how many vaccines we have access to" as well as whether vulnerable groups and people who cross the borders regularly are vaccinated. "The move to the rest of Canada will be very dependent on the condition in the rest of Canada, in the big major centres, and what the vulnerability is for our province and the Atlantic region. That won't change unless we see a substantial change in those regions." The National Advisory Committee on Immunization told provinces this week that second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines can all be delayed by four months. Several provinces have said they'll take that advice. Higgs says the all-party COVID-19 committee will discuss soon whether to delay second vaccination doses by four months.(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press) Higgs said New Brunswick's all-party COVID-19 committee will make a decision on it next Tuesday, "but I would suggest we will be moving in that direction as well." That would allow the province to stretch its expected vaccine deliveries enough to provide more people their first dose sooner, possibly reaching everyone by the end of June, Higgs said. "That's what I'm focused on," he said. Given one dose reduces the risk of transmission significantly, Higgs said, that could see New Brunswick get "back to normal" by the end of June rather than the end of September, the target Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set for immunization of all willing Canadians. "The potential of moving that forward is real," Higgs said. Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island both said Thursday they believe everyone who wants to be vaccinated can get a first dose by the end of June. There are currently 36 active cases in New Brunswick.(CBC News) 5 new cases in three zones Public Health reported five new cases in three zones on Thursday and said a presumptive case of a variant has been confirmed as the B117 variant strain. That previously reported case, which had been sent to Winnipeg's National Microbiology Laboratory for sequencing, was in the Miramichi region, Zone 7. The new cases break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, one case: an individual 20 to 29 years old. The case is travel-related. Edmundston region, Zone 4, three cases: two people 20 to 29 an individual 70 to 79 Miramichi region, Zone 7, one case: an individual 20 to 29. The case is under investigation. All of these people are self-isolating. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,443, and there are now 36 active cases. Since Wednesday, six people have recovered for a total of 1,378 recoveries. There have been 28 deaths. Three patients are in hospital, and two are in intensive care. A total of 231,307 tests have been conducted, including 767 since Wednesday's report. Two days of mass testing are underway at Miramichi's Dr. Losier Middle School. The clinics, for asymptomatic residents, continue Friday.(Horizon Health Network/Twitter) Mass testing underway in Zone 7 Mass testing clinics have been set up to help determine if there has been any further spread in the Miramichi region following several new cases and the confirmation of the variant's presence this week. The tests are available on a walk-in basis — no appointment necessary — for people who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. Testing is being held Thursday until 7 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the gymnasium of the Dr. Losier Middle School, 124 Henderson St. No time to let up precautions, epidemiologist says More people are being vaccinated each day and the number of COVID-19 cases has been dwindling for the most part, but there is still a chance Canada could face a third wave of the disease, an epidemiologist says. "We have learned from the past just as quickly as they go in the right direction they can go in the wrong direction," Cynthia Carr, an epidemiologist in Winnipeg, told Information Morning Fredericton on Thursday. A third wave of COVID-19 in Canada is still hard to predict, she said. Germany and the Czech Republic are already experiencing third waves of the respiratory virus. Carr said a third wave of COVID-19 in Canada would mean something has changed, including the virus itself. It would also mean an increase in cases, although with vaccine rollouts underway, the virus could be milder. A combination of personal vigilance and Public Health measures is still needed. "The virus cannot spread and thrive if we don't give it a chance to pass from one person to another." Public exposure notifications Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious while on the following flight: Air Canada flight 8906 on Feb. 20, from Montreal to Moncton, departed at 7:10 p.m. Anyone who took this flight should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days after the flight. people who develop COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take the self-assessment online or call 811 to get tested. On Wednesday, Public Health issued a list of potential public exposures to the virus at the following locations in Zone 7. Individuals who tested positive were in these establishments. The department does not have the exact times these people were in the businesses on the list, "but it is believed it was for a short duration on these dates." Sobeys, 273 Pleasant St., Feb. 15, Feb. 19, Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 Atlantic Superstore, 408 King George Hwy, Feb. 15, Feb. 23 and Feb. 28 Shoppers Drug Mart, 397 King George Hwy, Feb. 15, Feb. 17 and Feb. 26 Dollarama, 100 Douglastown Blvd., Feb. 20 Winners, 2441 King George Hwy, Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 Giant Tiger, 2441 King George Hwy, Feb. 24 Walmart, 200 Douglastown Blvd., Feb. 24 Bulk Barn, 100-99 Douglastown Blvd. on Feb. 27 NB Liquor, 221 Pleasant St., Feb. 27. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
The United Conservative Party (UCP) government released their provincial budget on February 25th, and it’s looking different than what was projected this time last year. COVID-19 created the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression, and it seems that temporarily increased funding to municipalities could be part of a provincial strategy to reinvigorate the market in 2021. The province’s budget looks like it will effectively lean on municipalities to create jobs now, and yet significantly decrease funding to local governments over the following years. Most municipalities function with a combination of funding from property tax, applicable federal and provincial grants, and levies when necessary. One grant that municipalities have been relying on since 2007 is called the Municipal Sustainability Initiativeli (MSI), which is received from the province to help support local infrastructure funding. This includes both capital funding, which goes towards the actual building of projects, and operational funds, which support day-to-day functions. Each year, with the announcement of the provincial budget, municipalities across Alberta find out just how much they are allotted in MSI funding for the year, and what is projected for future years. A community does not have to use all of their funds that year, but the amount is set aside for them to apply for as projects come up, and they can earmark funding for future projects or projects on the go. In 2019 it was announced that the MSI would be phased out and replaced by the Local Government Fiscal Framework Act (LGGF) in the 2021 budget. According to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA), “municipalities are seeking long-term stable and predictable funding” which they hoped would be delivered by the LGFF. Some municipalities were disappointed to see the MSI extended and the LGFF decisions put off until the 2024-25 budget. According to AUMA’s preliminary findings regarding the budget, “While MSI will increase by $233 million this year, declines in the next two years mean that municipalities will lose out on approximately $414 million in funding over the next three years.” In a recent news conference, NDP Municipal Affairs critic Joe Ceci warned that last Thursday’s budget would mean “less money, less stability, less predictable long-term funding by this UCP government.” He shared “the front-loading of the MSI is certainly something to help municipalities with jobs in their communities, but it won’t provide them the predictable money over the long term”. It is likely that communities will have to cut services or raise taxes to address the reduction. The province has found other ways to support local government during these difficult times, including a recovery plan of $500 million in municipal stimulus funding, and maintaining a freeze on the education property tax. Education property tax is a provincial tax that municipal governments are mandated to collect on behalf of the provincial government, which had been expected to increase this year. The town of Cardston, along with every other municipality, is now tasked with creating their budget and five year capital plan based on the funding numbers coming down from the province. It will be interesting to see if communities attempt to spread the funding over the next few years, or if 2021 will see municipal budgets stimulating the economy through large capital projects like the proposed recreation facility. Elizabeth Thompson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
A Brampton man has been charged with the first-degree murder of his estranged girlfriend more than seven months after he allegedly shot and killed her, then shot himself. Peel Regional Police on Wednesday confirmed Darnell Reid, 27, has been formally charged in the killing of Darian Hailey Henderson-Bellman after spending several months in hospital in critical condition. Henderson-Bellman’s mother told the Star she learned of the charges this week. “I waited so long but it still hit me hard. It kicked me in the gut,” Michelle Jones said. “I just hope he doesn’t get to walk like all the other times that he walked.” Police notified Jones that Reid, who was hospitalized in critical condition following the July 28 shooting, had improved enough for police to inform him that he was being charged. Jones said police told her that Reid is now awake and able to talk. Family members told the Star that the two were in a rocky on-and-off-again relationship when Henderson-Bellman, 25, was fatally shot. Court records obtained by the Star show Reid had been charged three times for violating court orders not to be in contact with Henderson-Bellman in the year leading up to her death. At the time of the shooting, he was on bail following an unrelated arrest on charges of possessing an illegal firearm. “He had a no-contact order, so he was not supposed to be around her,” Henderson-Bellman’s mother told the Star shortly after her death. “She still wasn’t protected.” Reid’s lawyer, Gavin Holder, declined to comment on the case. On Wednesday, Reid was also charged with possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm, and two counts of failing to comply with release order. Peel police Const. Heather Cannon said Reid is being held under police guard in hospital remand. Police found Henderson-Bellman dead in a Brampton home at Fairglen Avenue and Deerpark Crescent at about 2:30 p.m. on July 28. Reid was also found in the home suffering from gunshot wounds. In the days following the shooting, Peel Region police chief Nishan Duraiappah lashed out at what he called a “complete failure of our justice system.” “This represents a tragic outcome for a young person who carried a bright future,” Duraiappah said in a statement. “In this incident, the sadness I feel for the victim and her family is mixed with frustration for a complete failure of our justice system to protect her . . . The family and police struggled to keep her safe.” Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
A first-of-its-kind grassroots networking event has a youth social agency in Kamloops confident it has the ear of government, with a summary report forthcoming. Staff from A Way Home Kamloops Society, who have experienced homelessness in their youth, pitched solutions for ending youth homelessness to provincial government representatives and service providers recently at a virtual conference they organized. Aging out of foster care, substance use, mental health, cultural supports, LGBTQ2S+ experiences, education and employment were up for discussion via Zoom meetings. “If even this only plants the seed for change, that’s incredible because there’s still more to come,” said Kira Cheeseborough said, peer navigator for A Way Home Kamloops. A two-day summit with provincial representatives — as originally planned prior to the pandemic — is still expected to take place sometime in the near future, when COVID-19 restrictions ease. At the virtual event, A Way Home Kamloops youth advisors stressed the need to ensure no youth ages out of foster care before safe, appropriate housing and after-care supports are available as a key solution to ending youth homelessness. Another recommendation was to create a provincial plan. “If we can prevent youth from experiencing homelessness, it doesn’t become a pathway to adult homelessness,” Cheeseborough said. The three-hour virtual event drew 57 attendees, with representatives from BC Housing, the Attorney General’s office, the Ministry of Children and Family Development, including Minister Mitzi Dean, and the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, including Minister Sheila Malcolmson. Cheeseborough said a report of key findings and feedback from attendees will be made public in mid-March. Minister Dean said the MCFD is working to improve services and supports for those who are transitioning from government care, noting input from youth and young adults will play a key role in shaping those services. “Hearing directly from young people is critical to better understanding how we can meet their unique needs and I am grateful to everyone who shared their story,” Dean said. Youth Advisor Mel Hedch told KTW she is happy they were able to have the ear of key decision-makers in the field as it means they have a greater chance of improving the situations of homeless youth in B.C. “It was so exciting to have them and I look forward to, in the future, the different summit and conference we’ll have, where we’ll be expanding so much than we already have,” Hedch said. Last year, A Way Home Kamloops organized what was to be a localized event, dubbed the Light The Way Youth Homelessness Conference, but it was expanded in scope to include provincial representatives — something Cheeseborough credits to the work of the organization’s late executive director, Katherine McParland. The event, however, was delayed last summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, which is why the virtual Youth Homelessness Preliminary Summit proceeded this year. “The preliminary summit was an opportunity for the youth advisors to be celebrated in their resiliency and strength, not only through COVID, but in the tragic passing of Katherine McParland. She was an incredible leader,” Cheeseborough said. McParland, 33, died suddenly in Kamloops on Dec. 5, 2020. Michael Potestio, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kamloops This Week
Health Canada's chief medical adviser Dr. Supriya Sharma says authorities around the world have steadily revised their advice on how to use vaccines against COVID-19 as data has piled up on how well they work and in what circumstances. She says changing guidance can be confusing but it means our understanding is getting better.