Applying for a mortgage and getting approved is only one step on the road to buying a home. A rapid mortgage closing can help you get into your new home faster. If that happens you could wind up with a higher mortgage rate than you'd like.
Applying for a mortgage and getting approved is only one step on the road to buying a home. A rapid mortgage closing can help you get into your new home faster. If that happens you could wind up with a higher mortgage rate than you'd like.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
Farmers who employ migrant workers are urging the federal government to waive the negative COVID-19 test result required before the employees can fly to Canada, saying the cost of the tests in certain countries are proving to be a barrier for some. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which represents thousands of farmers across the province, said it has been working with Ottawa to find ways to accommodate migrant workers travelling to Canada for jobs in the agriculture sector. Keith Currie, director of the group and a farmer in Collingwood, Ont., said farmers have recently been discussing the pre-departure tests, which can cost hundreds of dollars in some countries and may also be hard to access. "(The travel requirements) put in place, we understand this is for the right reasons, for health reasons, but how can we alleviate some of these issues, are there different measures we can take," said Currie.The past year has seen a shortage of workers on farms because of the pandemic, Currie said, noting that employers are eager to help their workers get on the job.Employers of migrant workers have suggested to Ottawa that the workers simply be tested in Canada, where they have to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon landing, said Currie. "We're continuing to work with various government officials to see how we can alleviate this situation so that it's not too disruptive to the flow of the workforce that we desperately need to come into the country," he said.In addition to looking to the federal government for support, Currie said farmers are also considering shouldering the costs of the tests for their migrant workers. "Not having the labour to run your operation certainly is a lot worse than having to bear the extra costs of testing," he said.The pre-departure testing requirement kicked in earlier this month. All air travellers coming in to Canada must now get a negative COVID-19 PCR test result 72 hours prior to their scheduled departure. Those tests, however, can be expensive. In Mexico, they can cost up to $350, said migrant rights advocate Chris Ramsaroop."We're indebting (migrant workers) further, prior to them even arriving in Canada," said Ramsaroop, president of Justice for Migrant Workers.He said employers and the Canadian government should be responsible for ensuring that migrant workers have access to testing, instead of the onus being on the individual worker.Anton, a migrant worker from Trinidad who asked that his full name not be used for fear of losing his job, said the extra cost of a COVID-19 test could be used to pay for his family's groceries back home instead."You have to pay for your COVID test back home, which is unfair," said Anton, who has been working in southwestern Ontario for the last eight years. He plans to go home to Trinidad in a few weeks and then return to work in Ontario in the summer."We come over here to make our living and make money for our family," he said. "The amount of money you have to come up with (for a test), if you don't have it, you cannot come."The federal ministry of employment did not immediately respond to request for comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press
PARIS — If Paris Saint-Germain struggles to break down Montpellier in Friday night's French league game, expect assistant coach Jesus Perez to start talking on the phone. Perez will again deputize for Mauricio Pochettino, who is recovering from the coronavirus and missed last Saturday's gritty 1-0 win at Angers. With PSG finding it hard to break Angers down, Pochettino gave Perez some instructions by phone and a winning goal came with 20 minutes left. “In terms of his impact during games, it’s important to have him because he’s the leader of the team. It’s difficult to make the right changes, but luckily we could speak with him during the game," Perez said Thursday during an online news conference, his comments translated from Spanish to French by another assistant coach. Those discussions led to a key tactical switch against Angers, Perez explained, in moving Mbappe from a wider position into a more effective central role. “That’s precisely the discussion Mauricio had with us, to play (Mbappe) more centrally,” said Perez, who has worked with Pochettino for 10 years. “It’s a very strange feeling not to have Mauricio, to keep the standards high during training and all the rest," added Perez. "Not having his aura around is a big absence for us." Still, they have found a way to adapt. For even though Pochettino is not allowed at the training ground while he recovers from COVID-19, he is keeping an eye on his players from home. “He was able to see all of the training sessions online, thanks to the system of cameras in place at the training ground," Perez said. “He could supervise all of it." ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Windsor-Essex's COVID-19 vaccination rollout is set to hit a milestone Thursday, when vaccines will be administered at the last retirement home in the region awaiting the shot. The health unit's top doctor also expressed optimism about a "slight improvement" in the region's recent COVID-19 case counts. But Windsor-Essex is still seeing the consequences of high community spread, according to Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with Windsor-Essex County Health Unit. Three new deaths were reported Thursday, and 110 people are currently in hospital with COVID-19. "All these consequences that we're observing right now is a lagging indicator of what happened a few weeks ago or about a month ago," said Ahmed. The region reported 101 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. The three people who died were women who lived in seniors' homes. There are currently 2,216 active cases of COVID-19 in the region, a number that has fallen by about 600 cases in one week. "We are making process little by little. I am hopeful. I am optimistic," Ahmed said, adding that the progress is a result of collective efforts to control the spread of the virus. Vaccinations nearly complete at seniors' homes Meanwhile, the health unit expects to complete the first wave of shots at seniors' homes Thursday, pending vaccinations at one last facility. Residents, staff and essential caregivers in more than 40 homes throughout the region were eligible, though many people still need to be vaccinated because COVID-19 meant they couldn't get the shot. There are 19 homes currently in outbreak, with hundreds of residents and staff infected. On Wednesday, the health unit announced that second visits to follow up with those still needing a first dose are being delayed due to the tight supply of the Moderna vaccine. Supply of a second vaccine from Pfizer-BioNtech, which is being distributed through Windsor Regional Hospital, is expected to be drastically reduced as well. Ahmed said the delay represents a hiccup but that the region is likely ahead of many others in the province when it comes to vaccine rollout. 49 active outbreaks, 11 on farms Theresa Marentette, CEO and chief nursing officer, said there are 49 active outbreaks in the region. They include 11 outbreaks in the agrifarm sector with 57 active cases, 255 people recovered and 104 isolating in hotels. Death toll hits 280 Overall in the pandemic, 280 people in Windsor-Essex have lost their lives to COVID-19. Of the 101 new COVID-19 cases announced Thursday, 18 are connected to outbreaks, 11 are close contacts of confirmed cases while 72 remain under investigation. Out of the 49 outbreaks, five were at hospitals. There were four outbreaks active at Windsor Regional Hospital and one at Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. A second outbreak at Hotel Dieu's Crisis and Mental Wellness Centre, which was declared on Jan. 9, is now over. The outbreak saw two staff test positive. Two community settings, both Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario locations, were in outbreak on Thursday. Outbreaks were active at 23 workplaces: Seven in Leamington's agricultural sector. Four in Kingsville's agricultural sector. Four in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector. One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. One in Kingsville's health care and social assistance sector. One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. One in a personal service setting in LaSalle. One in a public administration setting in Windsor. One in a retail setting in Essex. One in a retail setting in Lakeshore One in a transportation and warehousing setting in Windsor There are 19 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with one staff case. Regency Park in Windsor with seven resident cases and five staff cases. Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case. Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with six resident cases and two staff cases. Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases. Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 31 resident cases and six staff cases. Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with two staff cases. Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 36 resident cases and six staff cases. Leamington Mennonite Home with seven staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 60 resident and 16 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 13 resident cases and eight staff cases. Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 46 resident cases and 26 staff cases. Sun Parlor Home in Leamington with two resident cases and 12 staff cases. Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 62 staff cases. The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 29 resident cases and 14 staff cases. Extendicare Tecumseh, with 90 resident cases and 57 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 98 resident and 61 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 163 resident cases and 132 staff cases. Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 60 resident cases and 30 staff cases. Chatham-Kent, Sarnia Sarnia-Lambton saw an increase of 45 new cases of the virus Thursday, for a cumulative total of 1,730. Chatham-Kent, where cases are trending downward, saw seven new cases, bringing its total to 1,046.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that Russia can be held to account for what judges said were acts of torture and ill treatment carried out in the days after the August 2008 war between Russia and ex-Soviet Georgia. During five days of fighting, Russia pushed troops into Georgia in support of its allies in the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia. The Strasbourg-based court ruled that Russia could be held responsible for three episodes that took place after the fighting was largely over.
Paved Arts, a non-profit arts organization in Saskatoon, has its Facebook page back up and running after it was disabled for two weeks. The group was shut down earlier this month after a post was put up promoting an upcoming exhibit that critiques social media and QAnon. "Our team reviewed the Page and determined that it was disabled incorrectly by our systems and it's since been restored," David Troya-Alvarez of Facebook's corporate communications in Canada told CBC News in an email. "We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused PAVED Arts and we appreciate you bringing this to our attention." Paved Arts' page was taken down the same day that rioters descended on the Capitol in Washington, D.C. The organization's news release that day was about an exhibit by Montreal artist Clint Enns called Conspiracies in Isolation. The exhibit is about "thinking through this idea of misinformation, which I think is like the new form of propaganda," Enns said. The exhibit includes a book made up of images Enns found online. Facebook did not give an explanation as to why the page was taken down. David LaRiviere, the artistic director at Paved Arts, said they believe the ban happened because the release had words such as QAnon and conspiracy theory and a photo from the exhibit that may have been linked back to other pages. LaRiviere said the ban happened so quickly that it was likely a bot had flagged the Paved Arts page. In a Facebook post from the now reactivated page, Paved Arts said the experience has provoked a number of discussions. "First and foremost on our minds is the importance of critical dialogue in the arts," the post said. "Censorship, freedom of expression, conspiracy, misinformation and 'Who controls our history/archival information?', and 'Why is this important?' have also been hot topics on Zoom and in chats."
Le bilan lavallois de la COVID-19 est désormais de 1560 cas actifs selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Cela représente une baisse de 23 cas actifs par rapport à la veille. Il s’agit toutefois d’une augmentation de 145 cas confirmés, ce qui porte le total à 20 959 citoyens lavallois touchés depuis le mois de mars 2020. Au total, 805 personnes (+2) sont décédées du virus sur l’île Jésus. Parmi les Lavallois actuellement touchés, 94 sont hospitalisés, dont 28 aux soins intensifs. 91 employés du CISSS de Laval sont quant à eux absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Vimont/Auteuil est le secteur qui connait la plus faible augmentation du jour avec 15 nouveaux cas confirmés. Il est suivi par Fabreville-Est/Sainte-Rose qui en ajoute 18 à son total. Ce dernier présente le plus bas taux d'infection de l'île Jésus dans les 14 derniers jours avec 489 cas pour 100 000 habitants. À l'inverse, Chomedey (+50) est encore le secteur le plus affecté du territoire lavallois dans les sur cette même période, que ce soit en chiffres absolus (772) ou en taux d'infection (810 cas par 100 000 habitants). Sainte-Dorothée/Laval-Ouest/Laval-Les Îles/Fabreville-Ouest/Laval-sur-le-Lac (+23) demeure quant à lui le moins affecté en chiffres absolus avec 340 nouvelles personnes touchées dans les deux dernières semaines. De leur côté, Duvernay/Saint-François/Saint-Vincent-de-Paul et Pont-Viau/Renaud-Coursol/Laval-des-Rapides constatent 20 nouvelles personnes touchées sur leur territoire respectif en ce jeudi 21 janvier. *** Prendre note que tel qu’indiqué sur le site Web du CISSS de Laval, ces données par secteur incluent l’ensemble des cas des citoyens testés positifs à la COVID-19, qu’ils résident dans des milieux fermés ou ailleurs dans la communauté. Les milieux fermés incluent des milieux de vie comme les centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), les résidences privées pour aînés (RPA), les ressources intermédiaires (RI), ainsi que les centres correctionnels. Les données présentées sont calculées en fonction du lieu de résidence. Le CISSS tarde à déterminer le foyer de 27 cas jusqu’ici.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
When Tao Hipwell drove through Delta’s main thoroughfare, she felt the village’s strong energy, and yet, she knew it was one of those villages “that got lost to big-box stores.” She is seeking to change that by opening a wellness studio, purchasing and renovating the historic Jubilee Block building, with its 14-foot ceilings, large bay windows and hardwood floors. “It was becoming more derelict, so we decided to go ahead and purchase it in March 2019. We have an old farmhouse, so we know some things about renovations and restorations. My husband is a stonemason, but we’ve never tackled a big project. It was a steep learning curve, but it was fun, too,” Hipwell said. Hipwell is a doula, practices yoga and has taken wellness courses. Her mother is a massage therapist, with acupressure and reflexology training. “I come from a background of exposure to the benefits of those practices,” she said. When her family moved from Ottawa to Delta five years ago, Hipwell found it hard to find wellness studios in the area. She decided to open the studio “hoping to bring a more alternative, holistic understanding of health — physical, mental and spiritual to our small town. “Having a storefront and a place to actualize our vision of wellness is what we’re trying to do and embody here,” Hipwell said. As for the village’s reaction to a yoga studio, Hipwell said the response has been great. “It’s all been very positive. I was teaching yoga at the town hall, and I was getting 10 to 12 people per class three times a week. People are eager to get in touch with their health, (and) need to connect with their bodies,” she said. Fern and Fox Wellness studio was slated to open in December 2020, but had to postpone due to the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. “We’ve completed the commercial aspect. We are hoping to open (once restrictions are lifted),” she said. The studio will carry local, ethically sourced, handcrafted natural products for the home and body, according to the website. Yoga classes will be offered for seniors, kids, teens and men at $15 per adult, as well as reiki, hot stone, reflexology and readings (tea, tarot, palm and chakra). The Jubilee Block has five storefronts, and Hipwell owns the first two units, as well as the three residential apartment units on the second floor. The apartments have been gutted to its “bare bones,” according to Hipwell, and the second commercial unit, with a bakery, will open soon. On the practice of yoga, Hipwell has this to say: “Generating peace in itself gives you a broader understanding that we’re part of a much wider web. Yoga helps you understand that.” For more information, call 613-292-1564 or visit www.fernandfoxwellness.com. Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
A natural day-use recreation area near Evergreen Park will be enhanced to better accommodate pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists and equestrians. County of Grande Prairie council approved a management plan for the 99-acre area, christened Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area, during its regular meeting last week. “Over the past year, people have been outdoors, recreating more,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. “This (provides) another opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our natural backyards.” Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area is located northeast of Evergreen Park and north of the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS). It is also near approximately a half-dozen residences in Pine Valley South subdivision to the south, she said. Local people sometimes refer to the area as the “dog park” before the county named it Evergreen Ridge due to its proximity to Evergreen Park, according to administration. The area is Crown land and is leased to the county under a 2018 agreement with Alberta Environment. The natural trail network and sandy dunes are already used by pedestrians and dog-owners and PARDS members use trails as well, Beaupre said. The county means to maintain Evergreen Ridge as a “low-impact” recreational resource. It is not, said Beaupre, part of Evergreen Park. Alberta Environment and Parks requested a management plan be developed. Beaupre added a plan can prevent conflicts between responsible users and others using the area for unpermitted fires or illegal dumping. According to county communications, the plan as approved by council proposes infrastructure improvements to begin this spring. The improvements include new signage and the addition of an information kiosk, as well as fencing around the area’s eastern boundary. The kiosk will be unstaffed and will include more signage, and the information may include trail directions, Beaupre said. The signage may also provide information about local animal species, as well as communicate pets must be kept on leashes, according to the plan. Local wildlife includes mule deer, elk, moose, black bears, coyotes and smaller mammals, but due to heavy human use large animals aren’t common in the area, according to administration. The parking lot is mainly sand, and the county may grade it and perhaps add a culvert as part of the improvements, according to the plan. Funds of under $5,000 for Evergreen Ridge in the 2021 budget are expected, according to county parks and recreation. Evergreen Ridge does not allow overnight stays, off-highway vehicles or unleashed pets, according to the county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday lamented “wasted years” under the Trump administration to slow climate change and urged faster work to curb fossil fuel emissions. Kerry spoke remotely to an Italian business conference in his first international climate address under President Joe Biden. Biden, in his first hours in office Wednesday, signed an executive order returning the United States to the Paris climate accord. It reversed the withdrawal by President Donald Trump, who ridiculed the science of human-caused climate change. Biden's administration is getting back into the battle to cut climate-damaging coal, gas and oil emissions with “humility, because we know that the federal government of the United States, until yesterday, walked away from the table for four wasted years when we could’ve been helping to meet the challenge,” Kerry told the European forum in his prepared remarks. Biden's order starts a roughly 30-day process of getting the United States back into the nearly 200-country U.N. climate treaty. Countries in the accord commit to setting goals to cut climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions and to monitor and report their emissions. Biden has put Kerry, secretary of state under President Barack Obama, in charge of climate and national security issues. Kerry's words marked a 180-degree turn from the Trump administration on climate change. Trump withdrew from accords with U.S. allies and questioned scientific consensus that oil, gas and coal pollutants are too blame for the warming climate, and are contributing to worsening natural disasters. Biden on Wednesday signed other orders undoing dozens of Trump actions that had targeted earlier efforts to curb emissions from industry and transport and that had promoted new oil and gas drilling and production. Kerry said Biden had “with a few strokes of his pen began to restore domestic environmental leadership.” Preventing the worst of global warming would require $1 trillion in annual investment globally through 2030, Kerry told Thursday's gathering — moving five times faster than currently to phase out dirty-burning coal, 22 times faster to electric vehicles, and six times faster to ramp up solar, wind and other renewable power. Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
The Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) says the region is ready for kids to return to the classroom. “We, in Grey-Bruce, are in good standing to proceed with what we started in the first term of school,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall meeting held last night. Yesterday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the government will let students in seven public health units return to the physical classroom on Jan. 25. Students in the Bluewater District School Board and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board will be allowed back in the classroom starting Monday. “I realize that there may be some questions related to health and safety as students and staff return to in-person learning while the provincial stay-at-home order remains in place,” stated Lori Wilder, director of education for the Bluewater District School Board in a letter to parents. “With this regional approach, and through consultation with public health, it has been determined that our relatively low local COVID-19 case numbers place us in a favourable position for students to physically attend school as many were doing before the holidays,” Wilder continued. According to Arra, current data trends in the region have indicated that it is time for kids to go back to school. “We are ready to go back. Does this mean that school is a safe place? It’s a pandemic and we need to remember this,” he said. GBHU's most recent situation report states there are currently 30 active cases the region and Grey-Bruce has seen a total of 657 cases since the onset of the pandemic. Arra noted that during the initial semester of classes, there were COVID-19 cases reported in school-aged children, however, no transmission was detected within the schools. “The screening handled most of these cases and prevented them from going into school. None of these measures are perfect. But, the more we implement them, the more committed we are to them, the better the results,” Arra said. According to Arra, the GBHU witnessed a surge of cases in October and November as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the province. During that time period, there were no outbreaks declared in any schools in Grey-Bruce. “That says that if it's circulating in the community, it does not mean it's going to be circulating in schools in that controlled environment. You can infer from it also, if the physical distancing, hand washing and other measures are implemented, it will be a safe environment, wherever that environment is,” he stated. As the students return to the classroom next week, Arra is quick to remind parents that the provincial stay-at-home order is still in effect and he would discourage any activities outside of the home and classroom. “The fact that the kids are going back to school, does not mean that the stay-at-home order does not stand,” he said. “Going outside of our homes for whatever the activity is different from our children getting the social and educational experience they need.” Arra said, at this point, kids should not be engaging in after-school activities or social engagements. “I would ask everybody to remember this is not mutually exclusive – staying at home and returning to the classroom – we need to do one and the other to actually make both work,” he said. “The school staff, teachers, workers are doing an amazing job at controlling the environment. If kids get together after school, that's not a controlled environment. A birthday party, or whatever it is, that's definitely the opposite of controlled environments.” Students returning to the classroom on Monday will continue to be required to complete the province's daily COVID-19 self screening questionnaire before coming to school. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Brent Secondiak is no stranger to jumping into freezing cold water for a good cause. For as many years as it has been running in Medicine Hat, Secondiak and his Medicine Hat Police colleagues have taken part in the Polar Plunge. The event is simple: jump into cold water and raise money for Special Olympics Alberta. The plunge has once again been altered this year due to COVID-19, and it has gone virtual. Those wishing to participate can raise funds digitally through the Special Olympics Alberta website. Then they can participate in a solo plunge, whether it is pouring cold water on their head, safely wading into the river or rolling around in snow. The Plunge will take place on March 13, when Secondiak will take a quick dip in the South Saskatchewan River. “It’s going to be cold, but it will be worth it,” he said. “I’ll have a few people out with me just to make sure everything is safe. “This is a really great cause that I really believe in.” Those raising money can choose to help out local athletes. “There’s a number of fantastic athletes in our city,” said Secondiak. “I do this every year and this is a cause that’s near and dear to me.” Those wishing to contribute can go to http://www.specialolympics.ca/albertapolarplunge Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
A North Battleford man pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and elected to be tried by provincial court judge. Trent Fox, 19, has been in custody since his arrest in October 2020. Fox is accused of stabbing a 21-year-old man at a business in Prince Albert. Police say they were called to a business in the 3200 block of 2nd Avenue West at about 10 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2020. STARS took the victim to a Saskatoon hospital with life-threatening injuries. Prince Albert Police say that Fox hitchhiked to Prince Albert from North Battleford earlier on the evening of Oct. 14. The charges against Fox haven’t been proven in court. Fox’s trial is scheduled to start in Prince Albert Provincial Court on May 20. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow breaks down highlights from inauguration day and U.S. President Joe Biden’s first steps as commander-in-chief.
There are 32 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and an outbreak has been declared at another Edmundston care home, Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a live-streamed COVID-19 update Thursday. The update was the first since the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions — Zones 1, 2 and 3 — were rolled back to the red phase of recovery on Tuesday. They joined the Edmundston region, which was already in the red phase. The three remaining zones are in orange. The situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, remains "gravely concerning," Russell said. There are now 113 cases in that area, "the largest number of any zone in the province." Russell said outbreaks have spread to workplaces and to special care homes in the region, including a new outbreak at the Le Pavillon Le Royer. Russell also noted that the outbreak at Parkland Riverview's Canterbury Hall care home has been declared over, with no new cases in 14 days. All residents at the facility were being vaccinated Thursday. 32 new cases reported, 19 of them in Zone 4 The cases announced Thursday break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, five cases: an individual 30 to 39 an individual 40 to 49 an individual 50 to 59 an individual 60 to 69 an individual 80 to 89 Saint John region, Zone 2, three cases: two people 20 to 29 an individual 40 to 49 Fredericton region, Zone 3, three cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 40 to 49 an individual 60 to 69 Edmundston region, Zone 4, 19 cases: an individual 19 or under two people 20 to 29 two people 30 to 39 two people 40 to 49 five people 50 to 59 three people 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 three people 80 to 89 Campbellton region, Zone 5, two cases: two people 19 or under All of the individuals are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,057, with 719 recovered and 324 currently active cases. There have been 13 deaths, and three patients are now hospitalized, two of them in intensive care. As of Thursday, 179,582 tests have been conducted, including 1,902 since Wednesday's report. There have been 10,436 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in New Brunswick, with 2,567 people fully vaccinated with two doses and 7,339 doses held back for second doses and planned clinics. Mount Allison confirms off-campus case Mount Allison University has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in its campus community. In an email to students and staff Thursday, the university said it is the first positive case this term and the second since the start of the pandemic. "At this point there are no other confirmed cases related to Mount Allison," Anne Comfort, acting vice-president of international and student affairs, said in the email. The individual is an "off-campus member" of the Mount Allison community, Comfort said. "They are asymptomatic, have been self-isolating by themselves, and will continue to self-isolate." Contact tracing is underway, and Public Health will contact anyone who needs to take further precautions, she said. Not aware of student-to-student transmission: Russell Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, again faced questions Thursday about the decision to keep schools open during the red phase, and about the risk to students and staff. Asked at the COVID-19 update if she was aware of any "student-to-student transmission" in schools, Russell said no such cases have been brought to her attention. "The only cases I've been made aware of are adult-to-adult transmission among staff in schools or adult-to-child," Russell said, adding that doesn't mean student-to-student transmission has not happened. Under the revised red phase rules, if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed at a school, the school will be closed for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing. On Wednesday, when Zones 1, 2 and 3 entered the red phase, attendance records showed more than 14,000 students stayed home. 'There may be delays': Higgs on vaccines Premier Blaine Higgs provided an update on the province's vaccine rollout at Thursday's briefing, noting that the province continues to roll out vaccines "as they become available." But that availability has been hampered recently, with no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and reduced shipments expected next week. Because of that, "some facilities have had to reduce the number of vaccines that will be administered," Higgs said Thursday. "There may be delays … this is why very early on in the process we set aside a number of vaccines, so that everyone who received their first dose could receive second dose and be fully vaccinated." Currently, 2,567 New Brunswickers have been fully vaccinated. More than 1,300 people were to receive their first dose of the vaccine at clinics in 10 long-term care homes that began Tuesday and concluded Thursday, Higgs said. Clinics are also being planned on Saturday for health-care workers in the Edmundston, Bathurst, Fredericton and Saint John areas. Why 3 zones are staying orange, for now Three zones in the province are seeing stabilizing, low or even non-existent case numbers, the province's chief medical officer of health said Thursday. Zones 5, 6 and 7 — the Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi regions — are in the orange phase of recovery. There are 26 active cases in Campbellton, nine in Bathurst, and Miramichi hasn't had a confirmed case since Boxing Day. So why are they not being eased into the least-restrictive yellow phase? Russell said it's a case of caution mixed with proximity, noting the zones will remain in orange "until we see further progress in the surrounding red zones." She has previously cautioned against assuming a zero case count means a region is COVID-free. "You have to remember that case numbers are a snapshot" of what was happening seven days prior, "so even if there were no cases a week ago, it doesn't mean COVID isn't in the community today." Russell has also previously noted that testing rates are very low in the Miramichi region, something she again pointed to at Thursday's update. "When we see case numbers not very high in a certain area, I can't imagine they're not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever," Russell said. "So again, my message is 'Please get tested. Even if you have only one symptom. Even if it's mild.' " Russell noted there are plans to open "four or five" more testing locations, including some in rural areas. A new assessment centre opened Thursday in Clair, in Zone 4, Russell said. Full lockdown likely for Edmundston region Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, and Premier Blaine Higgs both addressed the "deeply worrying" situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, at Thursday's update. The fact that outbreaks are creeping into adult residential facilities and workplaces is a concern, Russell said. She noted that 24 of the cases in Zone 4 are directly linked to the Nadeau poultry plant, including six of the 19 cases announced Thursday in Zone 4. An outbreak was declared earlier this week at the plant, which remains closed. Edmundston is also the site of outbreaks at two special care homes, the Manoir Belle Vue and Le Pavillon Le Royer. Premier Blaine Higgs, who also spoke at Thursday's update, said that a complete lockdown of the Edmundston region has been discussed and looks "likely" to happen in the days ahead. It would be similar to what New Brunswickers saw in March when the entire province was in shutdown, he said. Higgs shares details of stepped-up enforcement efforts Rising case numbers throughout much of the province have made it "more important than ever to follow ... and enforce" Public Health rules, Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday. He noted that, since Saturday, 179 house visits have been conducted to ensure people are self-isolating. There were just four cases of non-compliance. Enforcement officers conducted 327 site visits between Sunday and Thursday, with the following results: 20 non-compliance orders issued. 20 tickets issued under Emergency Measures Act. 23 stop-work orders under WorkSafeNB. 12 orders under WorkSafeNB. One administrator penalty. Public exposure warnings Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flight: Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Edmundston region: Sparta Progression Gym, 113 44th Ave. D., on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 between 7 and 9 a.m. Moncton region: Goodlife Fitness Centre, 175 Ivan Rand Dr. E., on Jan. 13 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 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.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, as an inspiration for her career. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first Black major-party candidate to run for U.S. president. Pearls had a strong fashion showing, in line with a social media campaign that had inauguration watchers donning strands in support and celebration of Harris. Nobody in attendance did them quite like Jennifer Lopez — from earrings to bracelets — as she sang “This Land is Your Land" in head-to-toe white Chanel. Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, wore a pearl necklace owned by Chisholm herself. It was a gift from Chisholm's goddaughter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am,” Lee, who is Black, posted on Twitter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice-President Harris is.” The pearls Harris wore, by Wilfredo Rosado, were also a symbol of unity with her sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American Greek-letter sorority, said Rachel Torgerson, fashion features director for Cosmopolitan. The sorority's founders are referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.” Every new member receives a badge adorned with 20 pearls. Harris attended Howard University, one of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities. “There’s no doubt that every part of her look today celebrates who she is, where she came from and where she hopes to lead the country. Every piece was carefully considered and packed with meaning,” Torgerson said. Like Harris, Rosado is the child of immigrants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew fashion praise on social media for his cozy, comfortable inauguration wear: His signature beige parka and a pair of knit patterned mittens. The look earned him his own inauguration Bobblehead to mark his viral fashion moment. It's now on pre-sale for $25 at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store. Jill Biden wore an ocean blue wool tweed coat over a dress by American designer Alexandra O’Neill of the Markarian label. The new first lady's matching coat and dress included a velvet collar and cuffs on the coat, and a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt on the dress. The neckline of the dress is embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals. The same crystals adorn the coat. The outfit was handcrafted in New York City. Aides said Harris was dressed in Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Both are Black designers, Rogers from Louisiana and Hudson from South Carolina. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, wore a Ralph Lauren suit. Michelle Obama, a fashion icon, drew praise from fans on social media for her belted pantsuit in plum, also by Hudson. Joe Biden wore a navy blue suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren. It was a change from Brooks Brothers, the oldest U.S. clothier at 202. The brand has outfitted 41 of the 46 American presidents, including Barack Obama during his inauguration in 2009. Brooks Brothers fell on hard financial times last year, when it filed for bankruptcy reorganization and announced a planned sale. Ralph Lauren has a history of nonpartisan dressing, including moments with Michelle Obama and outgoing first lady Melania Trump. Joe Biden wore Polo shirts, emblazoned with the label’s pony and polo player logo, to take both of his COVID-19 vaccinations on television. Véronique Hyland, fashion features director for Elle magazine, noted the wins for young American designers. “They chose a diverse group of talents — Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill and Jonathan Cohen — to be a part of this historic moment," she said. “It made for a meaningful statement at this particular time, when all small businesses, including fashion businesses, are in need of support and spotlighting.” Harris’ choice to wear pieces by Black designers “felt particularly significant in light of her triply historic title as the first female, Black and Asian American vice-president of our country,” Hyland added. As for the colour purple, it was a symbol of unity and bipartisanship. Republican Red and Democratic blue make purple. “If there’s a message to be taken from today’s inauguration fashion, it’s that those who attended are signalling faith in unity and bipartisanship, as well as restoring truth and trust,” Torgerson said. Hillary Clinton confirmed she wore “purple with a purpose,” telling The Associated Press: “I want to just send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together.” Lady Gaga went for red and let her pin do the talking. She sang the national anthem in a lavish custom Schiaparelli gown designed by Daniel Roseberry with a full red skirt and a navy coat adorned with a humongous gold dove holding an olive branch. Garth Brooks went another way: country. He performed “Amazing Grace” holding his black cowboy hat and dressed in blue denim jeans paired with a black suit jacket and shirt. Another inauguration fashion star on Twitter was Nikolas Ajagu, the husband of Harris' niece, Meena Harris. Sharp-eyed sneakerheads noted his ultra-rare and pricey Air Dior Jordan 1 shoes. The Dior 1s, a collaboration between Dior and Jordan, debuted last year and retail for $2,000. They're reportedly going for up to $7,000 on some sneaker resell sites. Harris' stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, schooled some of the older folks in her embellished Shetland Miu Miu coat in a pied de poule pattern with a large brown button at the neck and a pointed collar. “To put it quite plainly, over the last four years we’ve been starved for fashion choices from the White House that are thoughtful and intentional for the sake of the greater good," said Nikki Ogunnaike, digital director for Harper’s Bazaar. ____ This story was first published on January 20, 2021. It was updated on January 21, 2021, to correct the fact that Meena Harris is Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, not her sister. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
La crise de la mortalité liée à la pandémie a eu un impact particulier sur les lieux d’inhumation notamment pour les populations musulmanes, révélant les pratiques multiculturelles du deuil.
The spread of COVID-19 in Toronto is starting to slow down slightly, city officials said Thursday — but they added it's far too soon to celebrate any sort of victory. Toronto's R number (or reproduction number), which represents the number ofothers a single infected person infects, now stands below one for the first time in months, said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa at a Thursday afternoon press conference. Experts say the R number needs to be below one to slow the spread of the virus. "Practically speaking, it means that we have a slight advantage over the virus," de Villa said. Toronto has also seen a decline in its seven-day average in cases, which now stands at 730 — down from 772 in the city's last report. That said, health officials need to see a consistent pattern of these sorts of indicators before they can call it a trend "with any kind of confidence," de Villa said. "It is very early going and a very delicate balance. The tide has not turned," she said, adding that the city would want to see some "sustained trends" before any thought is made to easing health restrictions. De Villa said the city is reporting 986 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, with 474 people in hospital and 474 people in intensive care. Another 10 people have also died, de Villa said. A stay-at-home order remains in place. Health officials at the city's news briefing also again drew attention to the fact that the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting racialized groups and people with lower incomes. De Villa noted that as of Nov. 30, South Asian and Indo-Caribbean had the highest case rate of all ethno-racial groups in Toronto, making up 79 per cent of cases while comprising only 13 per cent of the population. Overall, 79 per cent of reported COVID-19 cases were found in people who identified as belonging to a racialized group, while 49 per cent were found in people who live in lower-income households. Racialized groups and people with lower incomes are similarly over-represented in hospitalization figures, de Villa said. "So while COVID-19 is a threat to everyone, it is plainly imposing real and disproportionate burdens on racialized communities and lower income groups," she said.