I unbox the Lurch Funko Pop from the 2019 Addams Family CG animated movie
I unbox the Lurch Funko Pop from the 2019 Addams Family CG animated movie
An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
Last week Daisy Ridley and Jennifer Hudson went to a movie premiere together. They posed for photos and made remarks from a stage while an audience watched quietly. Or, more accurately, their avatars did. The actors were actually on different continents, brought together for a few minutes through virtual reality headsets to walk a red carpet, pose for photos in front of a step and repeat and to speak to a crowd of other avatars on behalf of their short film “Baba Yaga.” It’s being called the first ever VR movie premiere. “I truly feel like I went to a premiere,” Hudson said later. “But I didn’t leave home! I think it’s a cool way to do it, especially right now.” She especially liked seeing her team and how much their avatars looked like themselves. Virtual movie premieres have become standard in Hollywood since the pandemic started. The “events” typically just involve a start time for the film to broadcast on your home screen and, sometimes, a zoom-style Q&A with talent afterward. But Baobab Studios, the 6-year-old interactive animation studio behind a handful of cinematic VR experiences, decided to push the envelope for “Baba Yaga.” “I really don’t think we would have ever thought of this if it wasn’t for COVID,” said Eric Darnell, the man behind the “Madagascar” films and co-founder of Baobab. “We usually have our films premiere at festivals.” “Baba Yaga” actually got a real festival premiere too as part of the Venice Film Festival last year. But as it became increasingly clear that there would not be an opportunity stateside, the company started working alongside the XR consultancy firm MESH to produce the ambitious event, which included designing a rainforest room inspired by the one in the film. The virtual reality movie premiere is not entirely dissimilar to an actual premiere. There are publicists, filmmakers and actors, things to look at and displays to take selfies with (really). At this particular event, there was also a roped off “restricted” area, although organizers said it was simply there to designate the end of space and not an exclusive side party. And not unlike at actual events, sometimes you find yourself without anyone to talk to and just awkwardly wander around eavesdropping. But at a virtual reality premiere you can’t even pretend to send text messages or respond to emails. This reporter also had to take off her headset for a few minutes after getting VR dizzy. Darnell co-wrote and directed the film/experience alongside Mathias Chelebourg. It also features the voices of Kate Winslet and Glen Close. The film and the rainforest room are currently available to experience through Oculus Quest. Events like this may have been born out of necessity, but they could be the way of the future. “Even if we did go back to premiering at festivals, I still think this is an amazing way to bring people together and to say let’s celebrate this medium by actually having a party inside of it,” Darnell said. —- Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
Two senior British parliamentarians called on Friday for an investigation into a British-registered company possibly linked to last year's devastating explosion in Beirut, after Reuters found that the firm had not disclosed its beneficial owners. The company, Savaro Ltd, is registered at a London address, and like all British firms is required to list who owns it with Britain's companies register, known as Companies House. In an e-mail to Reuters this week, the woman listed as Savaro's owner and sole director at Companies House, Marina Psyllou, told Reuters that she was acting as an agent on behalf of another beneficial owner, whose identity she could not disclose.
EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is making another demand of Justin Trudeau over the Keystone XL pipeline ahead of the prime minister's call today with new U.S. President Joe Biden. In a letter to Trudeau, Kenney reiterates that the prime minister must press for a meeting with Biden so that Canada can make its case for the pipeline, which Biden cancelled this week on his first day in office. Kenney also repeats that if that fails, Trudeau must take retaliatory measures such as trade sanctions. But he also asks that Trudeau press Biden for direct compensation. Kenney says his United Conservative government and pipeline builder TC Energy Corp. invested in the project believing it was going ahead under stable review and governance. The premier committed $1.5 billon to the project last year, with another $6 billion in loan guarantees. Biden made it clear last spring that he would cancel the Keystone line if he became president. He said that shipping more product from Alberta’s oilsands did not mesh with his broader objective of battling climate change. The Keystone line would have taken more Alberta oil to refineries and ports in the United States to relieve a North American bottleneck that has led to discounts and sometimes sharp reductions in the price of Alberta’s oil. In the letter dated Thursday, Kenney says the Keystone project that Biden once rejected is now a different, more environmentally friendly undertaking. “Keystone XL will be the first pipeline of its kind to operate at net-zero emissions on its first day of operations and will purchase 100 per cent of its power load from renewable energy sources,” Kenney writes. “I propose that we approach Washington together to begin a conversation about North American energy and climate policy.” If that doesn’t happen, he is pushing for “proportionate economic consequences." “At the very least, I call upon the government of Canada to press the U.S. administration to compensate TC Energy and the government of Alberta for billions of dollars of costs incurred in the construction of Keystone XL to date. “These costs were incurred on the assumption that the United States had a predictable regulatory framework and based on the presidential permit authorizing the Keystone XL border crossing, which was installed in the summer of 2019.” In Calgary, Opposition NDP energy critic Kathleen Ganley called again for Kenney to release details of the Keystone deal. She said Kenney knew when he spent the money that Keystone was risky, given it was facing further legal challenges and that the Democrat contender for president at the time, Biden, had opposed it in the past. “The path forward (for Keystone) depended on the re-election of Donald Trump,” said Ganley. “Premier Kenney made a $7.5-billion bet on Trump’s re-election. Unfortunately for Albertans, Jason Kenney lost that bet, and now he’s trying to blame everyone but himself for losing billions of Albertans’ money. “The responsibility rests squarely on his shoulders.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
Ottawa's police force has received nearly three dozen complaints from its members since launching a strategy last spring to tackle sexual violence and harassment, according to a report going before the city's police board next week. The 33 complaints reported to the Ottawa Police Service's (OPS) respect, ethics and values directorate since May 2020 cover a wide range of topics, from harassment — both sexual and otherwise — to abuses of authority, discrimination and ethical breaches. Just over half of the complainants were women, notes the report, which goes to the Ottawa Police Services Board on Monday. Roughly 70 per cent of the complaints came from sworn members of the force, while the remainder were made by civilian employees, the report said. Two of the complaints have been forwarded to the Rubin Thomlinson law firm, which the OPS hired in September to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and violence within its ranks.
Alcohol or drugs were a factor in more than half of all snowmobile fatalities from 2013-19, according to a Statistics Canada report. The report said an average of 73 died every year in Canada in that timeframe while riding on a snowmobile, and the numbers were likely higher due to incomplete data. The results were released on Friday from the Canadian Vital Statistics – Death Database (CVSD) and the Canadian Coroner and Medical Examiner Database (CCMED). From 2013 to 2019 the top factors in snowmobile fatalities were: Alcohol or drug use (55 per cent); Excessive speed (48 per cent). Riding in the evening or at night when visibility from dusk or darkness may have been an issue (46 per cent). "In half (52 per cent) of these types of events, more than one of these specific risk factors was present," the report said. Alcohol or drugs were also reported in half of submersion deaths and 44 per cent of multi-vehicle collisions. "Evening/night riding was more commonly reported in submersion fatalities, while multi-vehicle collision deaths more often occurred during the day," said the report. At the time the report was written, there were 510 snowmobiling fatalities documented in the CVSD and CCMED from 2013-19. About 80 per cent of snowmobile fatalities were single-vehicle events, while the other 20 per cent involved a collision with another snowmobile or vehicle. Of the single-vehicle incidents, most [70 per cent] involved the snowmobile colliding with a stationary object, an ejection or a rollover. Other causes included submersion (14 per cent) and avalanche-related (10 per cent) fatalities. The report said men accounted for nine in 10 of those fatalities. More than 1 in 10 people who died were not wearing a helmet. The CVSD and CCMED recommend to: Not ride while impaired. Travel at safe speed. Wear a helmet. Wear warm clothing. Carry safety equipment. Travel in a group. Avoid snowmobiling on ice or where there is a risk of avalanche. Not all provincial data was complete. For example data for Saskatchewan was only available from 2013 to 2014.
A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has denied bail to William Sandeson, who is awaiting his second trial on a charge of first-degree murder. The material that formed the basis of Justice James Chipman's decision is banned from publication. His decision Friday afternoon capped two days of evidence and arguments by the Crown and defence. Sandeson, 28, is charged in connection with the August 2015 death of Taylor Samson, whose body has never been found. According to the Crown, the two men met at Sandeson's Halifax apartment to do a drug deal. They allege Sandeson shot Samson in the back of the head, took the drugs and disposed of the body on the Sandeson family farm near Truro. Sandeson was convicted of first-degree murder following a jury trial in 2017. But, last year, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal overturned that conviction and ordered a new trial. The Crown is trying to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. That court has not determined if it will hear the matter. If it does, it would push back any second trial for months. 'I want to put him to rest,' Samson's mom says Samson's mother, Linda Boutilier, was in court for the bail hearing, just as she has been for every previous court appearance. "I really wish this could get over," Boutilier said Friday outside of court. "I just don't want to go through another five years of this again." Sandeson's parents were in the courtroom for Chipman's decision. They left without making any comment. "I wish his parents would make him accountable for what he did and stop being naive and realize that my son is still missing and he's out there [somewhere] and I want to put him to rest," Boutilier said. MORE TOP STORIES
Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod says the public health directive supporting in-class learning in northern Ontario schools is more political than scientific. The community’s high school opted to keep Nbissing students online until at least February 16 after the province extended its COVID-19 pandemic emergency order. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is one of the few in Ontario to support in-class learning, a decision panned by many in light of it closing down toboggan hills, outdoor skating rinks and snowmobile trails. “We're just trying to deal with the Covid and we just shut our rinks down and we're just kind of monitoring what provinces and municipalities are doing and making sure that we're consistent or more stringent in areas like our school being closed,” McLeod said about Nbisiing Secondary School Thursday. “It's all online right now, despite the provinces still allowing it, at least in northern Ontario, the high schools are still open,” he said, noting that seems to be out of step with what some provincial experts are saying. “I was listening to Dr. Kevin Brown. He's the co-chair of the Covid Science Table for Ontario,” said Chief McLeod. “He was giving an update to the Chiefs of Ontario and he honestly can't understand why the schools in northern Ontario are still open. And you know, that, to me was troublesome, right? ‘You have one of the top epidemiologists saying that he doesn't understand. I was expecting ‘Here, this is the data, shows this or that,” because I like listening to the data, not just listening to people rant on Facebook. But, yeah, he was lost for an answer as to why it's still open. “And so obviously it's a more political call than a science one,” McLeod said. The school posted the update on its website, as did the community. “In response to Ontario’s second declaration of emergency and to align Nbisiing with Nipissing First Nation’s response to the provincewide stay-at-home order and shutdown restrictions, Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Council has approved changes to Nbisiing’s return to in-person learning date,” it reads. “In order to keep people home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our community, protect vulnerable populations, and keep our school community safe, Nbisiing will continue to teach all classes virtually and will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 (Monday the 15th is Family Day).” Nipissing FN only closed its outdoor rink in Garden Village, which is enclosed with walls and roof, because they don’t want people from outside the community taking advantage of it while their rinks are ordered closed. “Our problem with the skating rinks, as soon as North Bay and Sturgeon closed, we have to close because they all come down hours and we don't want them there,” he said. Chief McLeod did what many others are doing in response by creating their own ice sheets, whether that’s in a yard or on the lake. They can control the numbers and make it safe by following the known protocols, he added. “Well, I made one in my backyard and I Facebooked all my family members saying, ‘You want to come skating with your family, book it … just message me so I know that there's no other family there and you can have it to yourself.’” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
The federal government is mulling a mandatory quarantine in hotels for returning travellers as the country's top doctor warns that easing COVID-19 restrictions too quickly could cause case numbers to shoot up again. The federal government is also looking at other options that would make it harder for people to return from foreign trips, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. He said it's time to "kill the second wave of the virus." Monday will mark a year since the first recorded appearance of the novel coronavirus in Canada. Trudeau said it is understandable that Canadians are tired and fed up, but they must remain cautious. “We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months,” he said. “We must get through to the spring and mass vaccinations in the best shape possible.” Trudeau said the next few weeks will be challenging for vaccine supply as Pfizer-BioNTech slows deliveries to Canada and other countries while the company retools its plant in Belgium. The prime minister said Pfizer-BioNTech has committed to ensuring Canada will receive four million vaccine doses by the end of March. Provinces have reported a total of 738,864 vaccine doses used so far. That's about 80 per cent of the available supply. COVID-19 cases began to spike across the country in December and January, which put a strain on hospitals. Quebec and Ontario were particularly hard hit and officials responded with restrictions. Quebec instituted a curfew, while Ontario brought in an order for people to stay at home except for essential purposes such as work, food shopping or health care. Daily case numbers have slightly decreased in Ontario in the last week. There were 2,662 new cases Friday and 87 more deaths. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 2,703, down from a high of 3,555 on Jan. 11. There were 1,512 people in hospital on Friday, a decrease of 21 from the previous day. COVID-19 continued to pressure some local hospitals, so Ottawa said it would send two federal mobile health units to the Greater Toronto Area, adding an additional 200 hospital beds. Quebec has been under its provincewide curfew for nearly two weeks. Health officials reported 1,631 new cases and 88 deaths Friday. Hospitalizations decreased by 27 people to 1,426. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said that bringing down the second wave of COVID-19 has been a "trickier path" than the first wave last spring. Daily case counts are higher than they were then and have put increased pressures on the health-care system. "If we ease up too soon or too quickly, resurgence will be swift," she said. She also expressed concern that 31 cases of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant, and three of the South African variant have been found in Canada. It's believed that both are more contagious. The cases were identified through screening smaller batches of tests. Tam said more needs to be done to understand the level at which new variants are circulating in communities. Nova Scotia reported four new COVID-19 infections on Friday, two of which were variant cases. Health officials said both cases were related to international travel. There were 731,450 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada and 18,622 deaths as of Thursday. Over the past seven days, there were a total of 42,555 new cases. The seven-day rolling average was 6,079. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's health minister says the province will release a report assessing its COVID-19 response in the province's long-term care homes. Adrian Dix says the Health Ministry commissioned the report by Ernst & Young to learn lessons from the first wave of the pandemic. Dix says the report will be released on Monday and it is "overwhelmingly favourable" of the government's actions. He says the goal was to determine how the province could do a better job of delivering services and all the recommendations in the report have been implemented. Dix says more than 40 groups representing care homes were consulted last summer and fall. Canada's first COVID-19 infection occurred a year ago at a long-term care home in North Vancouver, and Dix says more than 650 residents at facilities around the province have died since then. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Staff at a Vancouver Value Village store returned over $85,000 in cash donated by accident, to the rightful owner, a senior who now lives in a long-term care home.
OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has suspended the sale of decommissioned RCMP vehicles, two days after a man in Nova Scotia was arrested for allegedly impersonating an officer while driving a fake police car. The suspect's 2013 Ford Taurus was a decommissioned police car and was allegedly altered to look like an unmarked police vehicle. The car was similar to the replica RCMP cruiser used by a gunman who killed 22 people in Nova Scotia during a 13-hour rampage on April 18-19. Blair issued a statement today saying the RCMP's resale process for decommissioned vehicles ensures they cannot easily be misused for criminal purposes. The minister said, however, such sales will be suspended to ensure the process is not flawed. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said today he was pleased with Blair's decision. "It's a great first step," McNeil said, adding that the province's justice minister, Mark Furey, has been working with Blair on the police vehicle file. "We have a piece of legislation that will be introduced during the next session. It deals with (police) accessories and how to deal with municipal (police) vehicles in our province." On Wednesday, the Mounties said that in the most recent case, a 23-year-old suspect from Antigonish, N.S., may have used the car in question to pull over other vehicles in the Halifax region and Antigonish County. The vehicle was outfitted with LED lights in the rear window, a microphone on the dashboard, a public address system, citizens band radio and a push bar with LED lights mounted on the grill. Police also confirmed the suspect did not appear to have any police clothing or firearms of any kind. "It remains illegal to impersonate a police officer and we will take every step possible to prevent such crimes from taking place," Blair said in the statement. "We will continue to work so that all Canadians feel safe in their communities." The vehicle used in the April mass shooting was heavily modified with an emergency light bar on the roof and decals that looked exactly like those found on marked RCMP cruisers. Early in the RCMP's investigation of the mass killing, a senior officer said the killer's vehicle allowed him to "circulate around the province, steps ahead of our investigators." The replica vehicle was so convincing that questions were raised about the availability of former police vehicles for public purchase. The Mounties have confirmed that on the night of April 18, the killer set fire to several homes and killed 13 people in Portapique before evading police later that night while disguised as an RCMP officer. The next morning, he resumed killing people he knew and others at random before he was fatally shot by a Mountie at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., which is just north of Halifax. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
B.C. is aiming to vaccinate 4.3 million people by the end of September. Premier John Horgan cautioned the plan depends on a consistent supply but wouldn’t blame the federal government for delays in receiving vaccines.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada Post is telling customers to expect delivery delays due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a key mail facility in Mississauga, Ont., that has sickened dozens of workers. A spokesman says testing at the Dixie Road site has found 39 positive COVID-19 cases over the last three days. Canada Post says 182 workers at the site have tested positive since the start of the new year. Spokesman Phil Legault says the Mississauga facility is central to the crown corporation's entire national delivery and processing network. Legault says the plant continues to operate and process heavy incoming parcel volumes, but there will be delays. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Alberta's film and TV industry is gearing up for an unprecedented production season that promises jobs and a cash injection for the economy as major U.S. studios look north for locations due to COVID-19 slowdowns, says Damian Petti, local president of a union for film and stage technicians. "The season ahead is something I've not seen before," Petti told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday. "We've not seen this level of scouting and shows that are already greenlit in January — ever. I've been doing this 22 years and this is shaping up to be the most robust season ever." Petti, president of Local 212 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), says there are 19 projects in the works within Alberta, but even more are being scouted and greenlighted each day. These include a series called Guilty Party with Kate Beckinsale, a Fraggle Rock series reboot and another season of Jann with Alberta's own Jann Arden. He says it's also likely that Season 15 of CBC's Heartland will shoot this year in Alberta. Industry giants Disney, NBC Universal and HBO are scouting projects in Alberta too, Petti says. The draw Petti points to three reasons for the boom in interest: the exchange rate of the Canadian dollar, federal and provincial incentives and Canada's management of the pandemic. Investors are interested in getting more bang for their buck in Canada, says Petti. One American dollar is worth around $1.28 Canadian, according to recent data from the Bank of Canada. There are also several tax credits eligible to companies who shoot in Alberta. Within Alberta, there is a film and television tax credit of up to $10 million per production for eligible Alberta production and labour costs incurred by companies that make films and television series in the province. The federal film or video production services tax credit encourages foreign-based producers to hire Canadians by offering a tax credit for Canadian labour. In terms of COVID-19 safety, Petti says major studios and streaming platforms have negotiated protocols over the summer. "We're in a good position to actually work safely. And the studios acknowledge that," he said. In Los Angeles, the epicentre of the film industry, COVID-19 has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes, which Petti says has led to a slowdown in production. Job creation Despite common misunderstanding on hiring, most of the film production labour in Alberta is hired within the province, says Petti. "There's a common misconception among the public that these crews are actually coming in from outside of the province," he said. "On a big Netflix of Apple project, 97 per cent or more of the shooting crew is actually hired locally." He says small businesses that produce things needed on set, like costumes and props, "thrive on the industry." "We hope to do $400 million in production this year," he said. "That would make it our best year ever." With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
Le coiffeur natif de Chicoutimi-Nord, Marcus Villeneuve, se fait de plus en plus connaître dans le milieu artistique québécois. Alors qu’il est depuis trois ans le coiffeur officiel de Véronique Cloutier, il est aussi derrière les plus récents changements capillaires de Jay du Temple, qui ont beaucoup fait parler. L’année 2020 a été différente pour le coiffeur. En effet, alors que son milieu a été durement affecté par la COVID-19, Marcus voit tout de même du positif dans ce qui s’est passé, et surtout en ce qui s’en vient. Pour ce confinement-ci, l’artiste qui fêtait ses 32 ans mardi prend ce temps pour décrocher et recharger ses batteries. Il sait maintenant à quoi ressemblera la réouverture des salons. « Maintenant que nous l’avons vécu une fois, on sait que quand ça va recommencer, ça sera vraiment de plus belle. Je ne suis pas inquiet que la clientèle soit au rendez-vous », se console-t-il, lors d’un entretien par visioconférence avec Le Progrès. Des clients célèbres En plus de travailler à son salon Chez Marcus, à Québec, il a tout au long de l’année continué à s’occuper de Véronique Cloutier, ce qu’il fait depuis maintenant trois ans. C’est pour lui un rêve qui se réalise. Avec elle, il touche à tout, aux séances photo, aux galas, à la télévision, et plus. « Quand j’ai fait mon cours de coiffure à Alma, il y avait beaucoup de madames qui faisaient leur formation en même temps que moi. Elles voulaient, par exemple, ouvrir un salon dans leur sous-sol, pour coiffer les membres de leur famille et leurs voisins. Moi, mon but, c’était de coiffer une vedette, pas plusieurs, mais de vraiment me concentrer sur une, la suivre dans ses événements et que ce soit ma signature sur son cheveu. Dix ans plus tard, je suis vraiment content que ce soit arrivé. Avec Véro, je ne pourrais pas être plus comblé », note fièrement l’homme originaire de la région. Si l’animatrice radio est sa principale cliente, elle n’est tout de même pas la seule vedette québécoise qui est passée sous les ciseaux du coiffeur saguenéen. Il a déjà travaillé avec Marilou, Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse et c’est également lui qui est derrière les nombreuses récentes couleurs capillaires de Jay du Temple, qui ont particulièrement fait jaser. Ce n’est pas la première fois qu’une coiffure de l’artiste enflamme le Web. « J’ai déjà fait un “wetlook” à Véro, pour un gala Artis, qui n’avait vraiment pas passé. Ça m’avait plus atteint, parce que c’était mon travail qui avait été remis en cause. Mais là, c’est l’extravagance de Jay qui est remis en question et ses cheveux entrent là-dedans. Je suis quand même fier d’avoir fait partie de ce changement-là et de ce débat de société », révèle le coiffeur. Dix ans après avoir commencé à coiffer, Marcus repense souvent à son parcours. Ayant vécu de l’intimidation à l’école, n’ayant pas fini son secondaire, il ne l’a pas toujours eu facile. Mais aujourd’hui, il est vraiment fier de ne pas s’être laissé abattre, alors qu’il gagne maintenant très bien sa vie en vivant son plus grand rêve. Il pense d’ailleurs que sa grande force de caractère lui vient de la région, celle qui l’aime toujours autant après ces années et qu’il a toujours hâte de retrouver. Année à venir L’année qui commence s’annonce prometteuse. Déjà, l’homme a été approché par Redken pour être ambassadeur de la marque pour 2021. Il a été bien sûr flatté par cet honneur, alors qu’il travaille avec eux depuis maintenant 10 ans. Il prend ce rôle très au sérieux. « Nous en avons longtemps discuté. Je leur ai expliqué que je ne veux pas vraiment éduquer les autres coiffeurs avec ce rôle, mais plutôt les inspirer, pour qu’à leur tour ils inspirent eux aussi », souligne-t-il. Il compte utiliser les réseaux sociaux pour y arriver. Si le contexte le permet, il aurait aimé faire une tournée dans les régions, au cours de l’année, pour rencontrer et discuter avec les personnes intéressées. De plus, l’homme prépare un grand projet qu’il dévoilera dans les prochains mois. Il laisse comme indice qu’il a décidé de faire de la limonade avec des citrons et que cela touche son salon. Il ne peut en dire plus, mais a très hâte de le partager.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Nicola Mining, the company who owns the old Craigmont Mine site on Aberdeen Rd., has announced its 2021 Exploration Objectives at the New Craigmont Copper Project. Last year, the company applied for a multi-year area-based (MYAB) exploration permit that would facilitate a five-year exploration plan. The 2021 program includes five new trenches, the reactivation of six historic trenches and up to 21 drill holes. Trenching is aimed at developing three target areas where copper occurrences have been observed but have not been drill tested. The 2021 season has been divided into two phases, with the second phase contingent on results from phase one. A complete explanation of both phase one and phase two of the 2021 program is available in a report by Yahoo Finance found here. Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald
A military veteran in this province says there should be no compromise when it comes to providing mental health treatment and care for the families of service members. "People often think about the veteran themselves but they don't think about the families and how they're affected," said Mark Gauci, who spent two decades split between the army and air force. "If you've got a service member coming back with PTSD, that's not a singular condition. That affects everyone around them," he said. His comments follow a new report from the Office of the Veterans Ombudsman that is calling for better access to mental health treatment for veterans' families. A year ago, Veterans Affairs Canada brought in a new guideline that limited access to mental health treatment for some family members of veterans. The reason for the change was because of political embarrassment, the CBC's Murray Brewster reported earlier this week. There was an upswell in public criticism after news broke that convicted killer Christopher Garnier received taxpayer-funded PTSD treatment because his father was a veteran. Then-veterans minister Seamus O'Regan ordered a stricter interpretation of existing rules which directly impacted some veterans and their families right across the country — including in Newfoundland and Labrador. Revised but not reversed CBC News documented several cases where military veterans across the country started reporting family members had mental health services reduced or stopped. The ombudsman's office says it urgently requested the new guideline be reversed in January of last year. The guideline was revised in May, but not reversed. In the meantime, the office started an investigation into the need for access to mental health treatment benefits for families. Retired colonel Nishika Jardine issued her findings in a report released earlier this week. The report confirmed that, in some cases, the stricter interpretation resulted in limiting mental health services previously provided to family members. It said there was "a lack of transparency with respect to how these significant changes in interpretation were implemented." It also said "the lack of clear communication caused confusion and frustration among some Veterans and their families, especially since some family members only found out about the changes during their mental health appointments." Recommendations include family members In its recommendations, the report calls on the federal government to provide government-funded mental health treatment to family members of Veterans when their mental health condition is related to military service, regardless of the Veteran's own treatment needs. It also calls for a full gender-based analysis on treatment benefits to see whether anyone is being left out and for Veterans Affairs to be flexible when it comes to the urgent mental health needs of family members of veterans. As CBC reported earlier this week, Veterans Affairs Canada has said it will review the issue but no timeline has been given. Immediately it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. That support was there and it was needed. And that family member is doing much better because of that. - Mark Gauci In a written response to the ombudsman's report, Veterans Affairs said existing regulations "do not provide the department the regulatory authority to offer funding for treatment benefits for a veteran's family member in their own right," although the department will aim to "be as flexible as possible where it can." Meanwhile, Gauci says his own experience with mental health support from Veterans Affairs was a huge help for his whole family. While payments for treatment were briefly stalled last year, they ended up resuming. "Immediately it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. That support was there and it was needed. And that family member is doing much better because of that," said Gauci. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's admission Friday that he might have to improve the vetting for high-level appointments sparked criticism over why he didn't figure that out before he chose Julie Payette as governor general. Trudeau named the former astronaut as Canada's 29th governor general in 2017 after disbanding a non-partisan, arm's-length committee created by the previous Conservative government to recommend worthy nominees for viceregal posts. Thursday, she resigned over allegations she created a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall, an unprecedented move for a monarch's representative in Canada. Trudeau faced questions Friday about his judgment and his government's failure to check with Payette's former employers at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she faced similar allegations of harassing and bullying subordinates. "We will continue to look at the best way to select people for viceregal appointments," Trudeau told a news conference Friday outside his residence at Rideau Cottage. "It's an important role for Canadians and we will look at how we can improve it." But Trudeau would not commit to reinstating the non-partisan, arm's-length committee to choose her successor. Payette announced her resignation about a week after the government received the damning findings of an independent investigation into allegations of harassment and other workplace issues at Rideau Hall. Trudeau said he spoke with the Queen by telephone Friday to inform her that Chief Justice Richard Wagner is stepping in until a new governor general is named. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said earlier that the Queen was being kept informed and will leave the matter in the hands of the Canadian government. Trudeau said everyone deserves a safe and healthy workplace, including employees at Rideau Hall. He also said the work they have done has been "exceptional." But he deflected a question over whether he owed those employees and all Canadians an apology. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the choice of Payette was one of style over substance. "Really it comes down to Justin Trudeau, who was more interested in a flashy announcement of a governor general rather than doing the work of making sure it was the right selection," Singh said Friday. "And it seems to be an ongoing trend, this pursuit of a flashy headline instead of working to get the job done." Patricia Faison Hewlin, of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said leaders with authentic leadership skills have never been more important than now. "During these uncertain and devastating times, we are in critical need of leaders who are skilled at connecting to people in meaningful ways — building unity, allaying concerns, and showing empathy," she said. "The days are over when leaders could skimp on emotional intelligence and building relationships. Employees are demanding more from their leaders." Trudeau's minority Liberal government could be defeated at any time and, were that to happen, it would fall to the governor general to decide whether to call an election or give Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole a chance to see if he can command the confidence of the House of Commons. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday the government has begun discussions with those responsible for vetting, but the prime minister hasn't had time yet to reflect on the best way to choose Payette's successor. The government will have more to say on that likely next week, he said. He agreed the debacle of Payette's tenure shows a need to strengthen the process for vetting viceregal appointments. LeBlanc said the government report came to "compelling" and "stark" conclusions and that Payette's tenure shows that the vetting system for such appointments needs to be strengthened. "There always has been a process of vetting, of checks that are made when somebody is appointed to any government job. But clearly, the process can be strengthened, can be improved," LeBlanc said in an interview shortly after Payette's resignation. The government does not intend to release the report due to privacy issues and the promises of confidentiality made to all complainants, LeBlanc said. It will instead release a redacted version of the report in response to requests made under the Access to Information Act. LeBlanc would not discuss the contents of the report, but said it found Rideau Hall "was obviously an unacceptable workplace." LeBlanc said federal public servants "have the right to a secure, safe and healthy workplace and we are adamant … that standard be upheld at every institution of the government of Canada." He said the report "painted a picture that was not consistent" with that standard. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called on Trudeau to stop paying the expenses of former governors general after they have left office. Former governors general also qualify for a pension of more than $140,000, the federation said. "Two years ago, the prime minister said he would review this program," said federation director Aaron Wudrick. "Nothing has happened since. It's time to save taxpayers money by scrapping this outrageously wasteful program." The Senate recently agreed to pay $498,000 in compensation to nine former employees of ex-senator Don Meredith, who was accused of sexually harassing, belittling and humiliating his staff. LeBlanc said there's been no consideration thus far — and no mention in the report — of paying compensation to Rideau Hall employees, some dozen of whom complained anonymously to the CBC about Payette yelling at, belittling and publicly humiliating staff, reducing some to tears and prompting some to quit. He said such questions will be handled by senior federal officials, who are planning to talk with all employees at Rideau Hall to plan next steps. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Mike Blanchfield and Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press