Another buzz-generating animated feature is turning heads. It's disrupting the multiplex and premium streaming-distribution models at the same time.
WASHINGTON — Monday seemed like the end of President Donald Trump's relentless challenges to the election, after the federal government acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden was the “apparent winner” and Trump cleared the way for co-operation on a transition of power.But his baseless claims have a way of coming back. And back. And back.On Thursday, after a Thanksgiving evening conversation from the White House with troops stationed overseas, Trump abruptly pivoted to angrily alleging — still without any evidence — that “massive fraud” was behind his defeat.Speaking to news crews gathered to watch the traditional holiday conversation with the military, Trump denounced officials in battleground states he'd lost as “communists” and “enemies of the state.” Trump also announced he'd be travelling to Georgia to meet with what he said would be tens of thousands of supporters on Dec. 5, ahead of two runoffs there that will likely determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.The 2020 presidential race is turning into the zombie election that Trump just won’t let die. Despite dozens of legal and procedural setbacks, his campaign keeps filing new challenges that have little hope of succeeding and making fresh, unfounded claims of fraud.But that’s the point. Trump’s strategy, his allies concede in private, wasn’t to change the outcome, but to create a host of phantom claims about the 2020 presidential race that would infect the nation with doubt and keep his base loyal, even though the winner — Biden — was clear and there has been no evidence of mass voter fraud.“Zombies are dead people walking among the living — this litigation is the same thing,” said Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. “In terms of litigation that could change the election, all these cases are basically dead men walking.”It's a strategy tolerated by many Republicans, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who are clinging to Trump as they face a test of retaining their own power in the form of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.“This really is our version of a polite coup d’etat,” said Thomas Mann, senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. “It could end quickly if the Republican Party acknowledged what was going on. But they cower in the face of Trump’s connection with the base.”A day after Trump said his administration should begin working with Biden's team, three more lawsuits were filed by allies attempting to stop the certification in two more battleground states. In Minnesota, a judge did not rule on the suit and the state certified the results for Biden. Another was filed in Wisconsin, which doesn't certify until Tuesday. Arizona Republicans filed a complaint over ballot inspection; the state certification is due Monday.And the campaign legal team said state lawmakers in Arizona and Michigan would hold meetings on the election “to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.”In Pennsylvania, where state Republican lawmakers met at Gettysburg on Wednesday to air grievances about the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani attended in person and Trump dialed in from the Oval Office.“We have all the evidence," Trump asserted. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion.”But the strongest legal rebuke yet came from a conservative Republican judge in federal court in Pennsylvania, who on Saturday dismissed the Trump team's lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the election. The judge admonished the Trump campaign in a scathing ruling about its lack of evidence. The campaign has appealed.Trump's allies have privately acknowledged their plan would never actually overturn the results, but rather might provide Trump an off-ramp for a loss he wasn't owning up to and an avenue to keep his base loyal for whatever he does next.“And then our governing and politics will be hellish, because he will continue doing what he’s doing from his private own perch,” Mann predicted.Emily Murphy, the top official at the General Services Administration, declared Biden the “apparent winner” Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. She made the determination after Trump's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states. She cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”Michigan certified Biden’s 154,000-count victory Monday, despite calls by Trump to the GOP members to block the vote to allow for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump claimed he was the victim of fraud. Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes there.“The board’s duty today is very clear,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns.”Still, the Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on.Trump and his allies have brought at least four cases in Michigan that sought — unsuccessfully — to block certification of election results in part or all of the state.In Pennsylvania, after Gov. Tom Wolf certified Biden as the winner, an appeals court judge ordered state officials to halt any further steps toward certifying election results. The state has appealed to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.In Arizona, just as lawyers for a woman in the Phoenix area dropped a case alleging that equipment was unable to record her ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen, Trump’s campaign filed its own lawsuit echoing some of the same complaints. As that suit was about to be dismissed, lawyers for the woman filed a new case reviving the claims and demanding that she be allowed to recast her ballot. All three of the cases have now been dismissed.“The legal process seems to be unfolding the way it’s supposed to, but the Trump campaign has made clear its desire to throw wrenches in the system wherever it can,” said Lisa Marshall Manheim, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.___Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.Colleen Long, Alanna Durkin Richer And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
PARIS — France is resuming collection of a special tax on Big Tech companies like Amazon and Facebook despite the threat of U.S. retaliatory tariffs on French Champagne, cheese, handbags and other goods.The tax brought about 400 million euros to the French budget last year, but the government agreed to suspend it in 2020, in exchange for an American promise to drop the tariff threat pending talks on an international deal on taxing online companies.France was hoping that such an accord could be reached by the end of this year, rendering the French tax moot. But the Trump administration pulled out of the negotiations, led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and no such deal is ready yet.So French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Thursday that France will again levy the tax. Speaking on a visit to Italy, he said: "We naturally hope that the Italian presidency of the G20 will provide the impetus to reach an agreement within the OECD, which could be supported by all European countries, concerning a fair tax on tech giants.”A Finance Ministry official said the French Treasury sent the 2020 tax bills to Amazon, Google and other companies affected by the measure last week, and they have to pay by the end of the year. The ministry expects the tax revenue to total a bit more than last year because big tech companies have had a good year amid the pandemic.France's trade minister told The Associated Press earlier this month that he hopes President-elect Joe Biden's administration rejoins discussions at the OECD for a global deal.Other European countries have imposed similar measures, which are aimed at forcing online giants to pay full taxes in the countries where they do business instead of in tax havens. U.S. officials have argued that the taxes unfairly target successful American companies, though France says its tax is aimed at all big tech companies that make money online.The Associated Press
One classroom at a Shelburne elementary school has been closed, with students being asked to self-isolate following a confirmed case of COVID-19. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, a notice was sent out by Centennial Hylands Elementary School principal, Tammy Fleming, providing information on the situation. “We will continue to work closely with Public Health and take their direction as they complete their investigation,” said Fleming. “All students and staff determined to be at high risk of exposure will be directed to isolate and recommended to be tested within their isolation period.” As of Thursday (Nov. 26), the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has listed Centennial Hylands as being “open,” with one closed class confirmed. Measures have been taken to ensure the safety of all staff and students, and Public Health will perform a risk assessment if any other transmission is determined as a result of their investigation. “Custodial staff did a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the impacted areas of the school last … as part of our enhanced cleaning protocol,” explained Fleming. It is unknown as to whether or not the positive case was with a student or teacher, as the identity of the individual is protected by privacy legislation. According to the UGDSB’s reporting page, Centennial Hylands is the only school in Dufferin County identified as having an active case of COVID-19. A letter was also sent out by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) outlining what the health unit and school are doing to prevent further spread of the virus at Centennial Hylands and within the community. “Our building is safe and remains open to staff and students,” said Fleming. Currently, Dufferin County is in orange-level restrictions, with WDGPH confirming an additional 27 cases since their last update Nov. 24, bringing the number of cases within its boundaries to 1,290. The total active number of cases within the health unit’s area is at 155, with 18 active in Dufferin. Three people were hospitalized in WDGPH due to COVID-19. Any individuals with questions about the situation are directed to contact Public Health at 519-822-2715 ext. 7006.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Cardston County has been working on a new Land Use Bylaw for over a year now in conjunction with Old Man River Regional Services Commission and planner Mike Burla. The current bylaw dates back to 1998 and is in need of updates to accommodate changes to the Municipal Governance Act and other unexpected modernizations that have occurred in the last 20-plus years. Top concerns that have come up include the need to address windmills, solar power, add more zoning options, definitions, uses, and reduce red tape. Red tape reduction will hopefully make it easier for the development officer to pass developments and get relevant information required to make proper rezoning and development decisions. County CAO Murray Millward says “we may need environmental study plans or slope studies and we don’t want developers to get frustrated when we add requirements on at the end. Instead everything is up front”. Council began by taking their initial draft to six different open houses across their jurisdiction where they heard citizens’ concerns. They have since implemented much of the feedback into the bylaw, such as increasing height restrictions that could have preceded solar development in some locations. Council needs to review the latest revision of the bylaw one more time and then will hold public hearings in early 2021 after which the bylaw requires three readings before it comes into effect.Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
The Northern Village of Air Ronge has elected its second leader in history since the municipality was founded. Having won the election by just five votes, mayor-elect Julie Baschuk is the first to succeed in dethroning Gordon Stomp, who was instrumental in incorporating the municipality in 1977 and was the only mayor the village had ever known. She said that brings a special kind of pressure. “I don’t take that win lightly. I absolutely recognize it’s big. I’m not the first person that’s gone against Gord,” Baschuk told the Prince Albert Daily Herald in an interview. “With the vote being as close as it was, it absolutely does bring a little bit of pressure, because it shows that people really paid attention to both of our campaigns and how we see the community going forward. But I also feel comfortable. I like that people are going to hold me accountable and hold me to task on what I delivered throughout that campaign.” Baschuk has served on the Air Ronge village council for the past two terms. Her campaign focused on engaging directly with residents on community projects and she promised to work on a long-term strategic plan to stimulate growth, upgrade infrastructure and increase community safety. “I think a big one is always maintaining that affordability. Crime definitely was, I would say, the most consistent message that I had heard on the doorsteps, and I visited hundreds of doorsteps throughout that campaign. The community wants to be consulted and engaged in where we’re moving,” Baschuk said. “I think the need for healthy change was something that resonated amongst many people.” Baschuk’s new village council has gender parity, which is a change from the previous term. Tabitha Burr, Terry DesRoches, Corey Hardcastle, and Kristy McDougall were elected as councillors with McDougall replacing Baschuk in her role as deputy mayor. “Last election, I was the only woman amongst the town (of La Ronge) and the village that was elected. I think people this time realized that there wasn’t that inclusion, and there wasn’t that diversity, and saw the value of having women at that table that we are as a society, we’re moving forward,” Baschuk said. “I absolutely think it’s a big thing that I’m a mom, I’m a community member and now I am the mayor. I think it’s encouraging to younger generations of little girls and of teenagers that we are breaking down those barriers. It’s for the better of our society. I don’t like it to primarily be just because I am a woman but I do recognize that we are underrepresented within government and in society as a whole. I think it is very important.” Stomp acknowledged Baschuk’s win and said that while the results surprised him, he didn’t put as much energy into campaigning as he should have. “We’ve always had a good turnout for our voting process here. I’ve been challenged many times and I’ve survived up until now. There have been a lot of promises made and there will be a lot of challenges that’s for sure,” Stomp told the Daily Herald. “I don’t understand some of the things she’s saying. I guess the younger generation have ideas that they’re going to change things in a different direction. But I think we’ve been doing that. So let’s hope that things work out the very best.” Stomp, now 73 years of age, moved to northern Saskatchewan as a young man and started his own business in commercial fishing. “Our community began with a co-op Housing Authority, which built about 12 homes over here because people didn’t have a lot of money, and so that’s how they got housing at that time,” Stomp said. “It was sort of a hands-off approach. The community and the people weren’t that involved in the development and the running of the community. “We started out as just a northern authority and then we moved into more of an organized municipal governance structure. My vision of Air Ronge has always been to develop the community and to work with the people here to have a community that people are proud to live in and raise a family.” Stomp said money has been a consistent issue when it comes to getting projects off the ground and improving quality of life for residents of Air Ronge. He also sees difficulties that residents face in the context of inequalities between the north and the rest of province. “We never have enough revenue to have the things that we really need and to get parity with some of the necessities of the North. We take the backseat in northern Saskatchewan when it comes to those kinds of services. Things like health issues; like drugs and alcohol, addictions and treatment facilities. We just have a continuous battle to try and get some kind of parity here. And systems that work for the people of the North,” Stomp said. “I don’t know how many years and how many ministers we’ve talked to, and I have personally talked to… Sending people away even to Prince Albert and further south for treatment. It just doesn’t work for the people of northern Saskatchewan. It’s a huge burden. Let’s hope it will improve.” Stomp is very concerned about the spread of coronavirus in the region. He said he has wanted to implement mandatory masking in Air Ronge since “three months ago at least” but wasn’t taken seriously by his council at the time. “I went to my council and we were having meetings with the health authorities. And I talked about mandatory masks… I’m glad that the province finally woke up enough to make it mandatory across the province. I think there needs to be some more work done yet,” Stomp said. The village is part of a tri-community that shares municipal services and infrastructure like waterworks and waste disposal with the town of La Ronge and the Lac La Ronge Indian Band. Relationships between the three communities are at times complex and the idea of amalgamating with the Town of La Ronge has been a thorn in Stomp’s side. “A very important thing for me all the time in all my years of service here in the community was that we retain our own identity. If you talk about amalgamation, if you talk about becoming a city, there’s so many ramifications. And I think people should keep that in mind,” Stomp said. “We do have a very good record of administration and I think our village is sort of looked up to as a good community in northern Saskatchewan, and I hope that will remain.” Stomp said now that he’s no longer mayor he will be spending more time outdoors with his great-grandchildren and focusing on his fishing business. “It’s a full-time job and the demand out there right now for fish, it’s just unbelievable,” Stomp said. One of Baschuk’s first actions as mayor was to get onboard with the Town of La Ronge and Lac La Ronge Indian Band to request the province mandate wearing a mask in public spaces. She called the move, “just another way of us trying to be supportive of our residents.” “I think there’s a very big difference between what regional cooperation and amalgamation look like. And while I’m committed to strengthening those regional relations with our tri-community leadership, I am willing to still work respectively with them. But I am looking at maintaining the identity of Air Ronge,” Baschuk said. “I respected my time with Gord. he has a heart for the community and I think that’s what kept him in that role for as long as we have seen. But with that, I think that people were ready to see some change, not in a bold way, but in a healthy direction.” Michael Bramadat-Willcock, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Northern Advocate
Le Comité de la commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel invite les personnes intéressées à une activité qui a pour but de rendre hommage aux femmes ayant lutté pour que les terres expropriées soient rétrocédées, alors que l’on inaugurera, par le fait même, une plaque commémorative installée à la Maison Jean-Paul-Raymond, dans le secteur de Sainte-Scholastique. Le tout se déroulera le vendredi 11 décembre prochain de manière virtuelle. L’événement, qui prendra la forme de conférence, mettra en lumière le rôle joué par toutes ces femmes auprès de leurs familles et de leur communauté pendant une période difficile. Des personnes impliquées dans le dossier de l’expropriation de Mirabel livreront des témoignages et permettront de faire le point sur le vécu et la contribution des femmes lors des événements qui se sont déroulés des décennies auparavant, mais qui laissent toujours ses traces. Rappelons qu’à la fin des années 1960, le gouvernement fédéral s’était approprié 97 000 acres, parmi les terres agricoles les plus riches du Québec, afin de construire le nouvel aéroport de Montréal, à Mirabel. La nouvelle touche alors plus de 3 000 familles, ainsi que 14 villages et municipalités des Basses-Laurentides. Des citoyens impliqués Rita Léonard-Lafond sera l’une des personnes qui témoigneront, elle qui a été elle-même délogée de sa maison. Ceux qui suivent le dossier de près se rappellent que Mme Léonard-Lafond a été impliquée activement à titre de porte-parole pour les gens expropriés, au sein du Comité d’information et d’animation communautaire (CIAC). Elle est aussi membre du Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire. D’autres acteurs prendront la parole au cours de l’événement. Ils seront disponibles afin d’échanger après la conférence. Considérants les mesures liées à la pandémie, l’activité se tiendra virtuellement, sur la plateforme Zoom, le 11 décembre, dès 14 h. À noter que l’on doit absolument confirmer sa présence d’ici le 30 novembre prochain. Seules les personnes ayant confirmé leur présence recevront le lien Web qui permettra de se connecter sur la plateforme. D’ailleurs, une assemblée générale suivra, sur le coup de 15 h, à nouveau sur la plateforme Zoom. Pour confirmer sa présence aux deux événements, vous devez écrire au Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel, via le email@example.com. Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
Members of a Six Nations land reclamation camp have appealed two court injunctions ordering them to vacate a housing development in Caledonia, Ont.Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the group and defendant in the case, said Thursday that he filed an appeal in Ontario Superior Court to fight the injunctions."We chose to engage in a process, a process that is not our own, to try and move it forward," said Williams during a media update Thursday. "For us the issue of the land here is still before the courts and certainly needs to come to a nation-to-nation discussion."The occupation of the McKenzie Meadows development, dubbed 1492 Land Back Lane by demonstrators, has stretched on for months, and has included blockades across area roads, court orders to remove people staying there, and dozens of arrests.Last month, Justice John Harper ruled that the activists had to vacate the land where Foxgate Developments planned a housing complex. The Six Nations group says the property is unceded Indigenous land and has been occupying it for 131 days. Harper ordered the Six Nations members to vacate on Oct. 22.Williams said Thursday that he's retained lawyers Barry Yellin and Wade Poziomka from the Hamilton firm Ross & McBride LLP. If the appeal is successful, he said, Foxgate Developments and Haldimand County will have to restart the permanent injunction proceedings."The filing by Ross & McBride LLP focuses on the failure of the court to distinguish between contempt and abuse of process, a procedural issue," the 1492 Land Back Lane group said in a media release. "The issue is that Williams's pleadings and evidence were thrown out by Justice Harper in error contrary to the law, procedural fairness, and the rules of civil procedure. If successful in the appeal, the matter would be returned to superior court before a different judge, and all of Williams's pleadings would be reinstated in his defence."The appeal, Williams said, is "an honest effort to engage in the legal system at a time that I was unrepresented in the court process."Harper said last month that Williams has shown "contempt" for the court by refusing to obey previous, temporary injunctions, and by insisting the Cayuga, Ont., courtroom was part of the "colonial" court system.Harper said the court must acknowledge the "abuses that have been put upon the Aboriginal community," but "claims and grievances in our society … must be done respectfully, must be done in compliance with the orders."The Six Nations Elected Council signed a deal in 2019 with the developers for $352,000 and 17 hectares of land in exchange for support of the two housing projects. Williams said Thursday that the elected council has expressed "tentative" support for 1492 Land Back Lane. Six Nations' traditional government, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council of Chiefs, supports the reclamation camp.The group has been calling on the federal and provincial governments to step in and work with their representatives toward a peaceful resolution.Despite a pledge from the office of Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, that government officials "look forward to meeting with the community at the earliest opportunity" and are "committed" to addressing longstanding land claim issues, Williams said negotiations have yet to begin."They've said over and over again that they want to be at the table, that they're working on it … and here we are. This is three-and-a-half months later," said Williams. "Apparently it takes a long time to get here from Ottawa."
HALIFAX — One of the biggest shopping days of the year is here, just as public health officials impose tighter restrictions in an effort to slow the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.The confluence of Black Friday and rising COVID-19 cases has added what experts are calling an “existential moral dimension” to a retail event that has gradually become part of the holiday shopping season in Canada and a crucial sales vehicle for businesses. Black Friday, famous for its pre-dawn lineups and hordes of bargain hunters, has increasingly eclipsed Boxing Day as the country’s biggest Christmas shopping event. Yet those wall-to-wall crowds are exactly what makes the shopping spree a potential health hazard in the time of a global pandemic."We're seeing Black Friday fall at a particularly inopportune time in the pattern of infections," says Tandy Thomas, an associate professor in the Smith School of Business at Queen's University.“There's a lot more moral complexity to Black Friday this year than we've ever seen before."Critics have long denounced the rampant consumerism of Black Friday, an event that traces its origins to post-Thanksgiving sales in the United States.However, retailers rely on holiday sales in general — and Black Friday in particular — to survive the slower winter months. “It's the No. 1 day for a lot of retailers in Canada,” says retail analyst Bruce Winder. “It’s literally make-it-or-break-it time for many.”This year, the Black Friday debate has devolved into "virtuous versus sinful," says Markus Giesler, associate professor of marketing at York University’s Schulich School of Business.“Black Friday has been reimagined through the lens of the pandemic along moralistic lines,” he says. “There's an existential moral dimension to Black Friday this year that has amplified the usual debate." Whereas previous concerns over Black Friday sales hinged on the ethics of an event in which consumers are pitted against one another in a scramble to get a discounted big-ticket item, sometimes resulting in chaos and violence, the issue now is whether in-store shopping will become a potential super-spreader retail event. Retailers have acknowledged the risk and encouraged customers to shop early this year. Big box stores, which often attract throngs of people on Black Friday, started promotions as early as October.They've also moved most promotions online to ward off large crowds in store. Walmart, for example, released two new gaming consoles — traditionally among the biggest draws on Black Friday — exclusively online, while Best Buy says its Black Friday deals are simultaneously online and in-store.Yet despite the online deals, analysts expect some people will still show up in-person on Friday in the hopes of snagging a doorbuster deal. And they'll likely be rewarded. Because it's such a critical time of year for retailers, Winder says there will still be some “aggressive deals” on Black Friday proper.“Retailers can’t afford to not have some zingers," says the author of the book Retail Before, During and After COVID-19. “You're still going to see some diehards going into stores."Even though most deals are just a click away, Giesler with York University says some consumers remain drawn to the immediate gratification of pulling a steeply discounted product off a shelf. It’s the thrill of a good find in-store, versus the more transactional and utilitarian nature of online shopping, he says.“There’s probably still going to be an awkward pandemonium in some stores with lineups and crowds,” Giesler adds. “Overall, it should be a little more subdued, but there will still be some deal-prone consumption. I expect we’ll still see some door crashing.”Most retailers fortunate enough to remain open are working hard to avoid becoming the site of an outbreak. Many have bulked up safety measures, like additional hand sanitizing stations and more workers to limit crowds. “They don't want to be the store that starts a super-spreader event,” Thomas says. “There’s a moral imperative to not wanting people to get sick in your stores. But there would also be a big PR cost."Meanwhile, in-store shoppers may also be motivated by concerns over inventory levels and shipping capacity. Indeed, managing online sales for home delivery, in-store and curbside pickup could be “a logistical nightmare,” Winder says.“I can guarantee you there's going to be capacity issues with the number of pickers and drivers needed to get those packages delivered on time.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
The RCMP's major-crimes unit is now leading the investigation into the sudden death last week of a man in Hopedale.On Nov. 20, the RCMP said its detachment in Hopedale, on Labrador's north coast, was investigating the death of a 37-year-old man the day before.Police have not released any information about the circumstances of the man's death. On Thursday evening, the RCMP released a short statement saying its major-crimes unit had taken over the investigation, which includes the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, and the RCMP's forensics identification division.The press release warns Hopedale residents to expect "an increased police presence over the next number of days as the investigation continues."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
WELLINGTON COUNTY – As COVID cases continue to climb in Wellington County, the county warden said they are ramping up efforts to keep the region out of red zone restrictions. During opening remarks at Thursday’s remote county council meeting, warden Kelly Linton recalled that in the early months of the pandemic the county had relatively few cases of COVID. “That all changed pretty drastically a couple of weeks ago,” Linton said to council. He noted that the county has more than 60 confirmed active cases which is more than the other two regions in the WDG Public Health region—Dufferin County and the City of Guelph. “Unfortunately, Wellington County is pulling our whole region into red.” He said the mayors and CAOs in the county as well as WDG Public Health and OPP Inspector Paul Richardson met on Monday. Linton said a few key actions they are taking include ramping up the urgency in the messaging to the community on both traditional and social media channels. The mayors have also volunteered to do radio ads to get the message across. He also pointed out that public health will soon be providing COVID case data by municipality rather than just an overall Wellington County case count. He said this can make their efforts more targeted to harder hit communities. “Public health is also going to be working with the OPP to coordinate targeted enforcement in some of these hot spots we’re seeing,” Linton said. “That’s with support of member municipalities.” He encouraged all members of county council to get involved in spreading county messages and communications about stopping this upward trend. “We need to get a real direct and consistent message out there that we need to follow a few simple rules to work together to stop the spread to stay out of red,” Linton said. “Dr. Mercer does believe that’s possible, but only if we act decisively and act really fast.”Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
November 17 - Editor’s Note: Since our last report, Town Council has held two meetings during which the subject of the proposed Recreation Facility has been a significant point of discussion. This article will serve to inform the reader relative to previous discussions and, more particularly, report on Council’s current deliberations. For several weeks Town Council has been discussing the feasibility of constructing a multi-purpose recreation facility which is proposed to be located at the E. J. Wood property adjacent to the High School. It has previously been reported that the latest cost estimate for the building is $1.3 million, an amount which would be financed by both public and private funds in a unique arrangement called a “Public Private Partnership” (P3) with Public funds being sourced from a $1.0 million line-item commitment which Council has made to its 2021 CY Capital Budget. The balance is projected to come from private donors as the result of a direct fundraising initiative under the leadership of the Pickleball Association It must be noted that the $1.0 million committed by Council does not increase the 2021 CY Budget in total; rather, those funds must be found in creative and strategic manners such as by redirecting funds from other line items. It has also been previously reported that the proposed footprint for the building is 15,200 square feet; although, as other potential stakeholders have expressed interest in taking advantage of the opportunities which the facility presents, the footprint could grow to 16,800 square feet. Seeking the direction of Council to identify how funds should most efficiently be redirected within the 2021 Budget, Administration has presented Council with a number of budget-revising suggestions such as deferring, revising or even cancelling previously planned projects. Confronted by these various scenarios, and in the continuing absence of specific line-item construction and operating cost estimates, Council has decided to exercise some caution and pause to consider and review their previous discussions and intentions. In so doing, several decisions were taken: -$10K will be allocated to engage the services of a professional engineer who will be tasked with providing conceptual drawings and preliminary cost estimates -a fact finding initiative will determine all salient details relative to the project -once completed, a survey will be conducted, hopefully in December, to determine public opinion regarding the project -finally, before proceeding any further, a Town Hall meeting will be held to discuss the issue with all interested parties. A special meeting was called on Tuesday, November 17 to consider a draft 2021 CY budget. A major part of the discussion at that meeting centred on how the Recreation Facility could be financed. Administration presented various scenarios by which the required $1 million could be re-allocated from the 2021 CY Budget and considerable discussion ensued. It is apparent that Council is of two minds; one group of Councillors is anxious to proceed with the project, the other is more cautious and wishes to conduct additional due diligence. It is also apparent that the sentiment to do further due diligence is carrying the day at the moment. As the meeting concluded it was understood that engineering drawings with their attendant accurately estimated costs would be obtained. In addition, “indications of intent” would be requested of potential donors and public opinion would be gauged in a poll conducted in December. The special meeting concluded with Administration being directed by Council to bring a detailed financing proposal to their next meeting on November 24 for further discussion.William Hill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
On Thursday afternoon (Nov. 26), the Province of Ontario announced that drivers from lockdown regions will be unable to seek road tests in other regions. This comes as part of the move to cancel all in-vehicle road tests in regions that enter the grey zones, a decision which came into effect on Nov. 23. The announcement specifically identifies Toronto and Peel Region residents, explaining that any cancelled tests will be without penalty. DriveTest service advisors in other areas have been given direction to restrict residents from those regions at lower COVID-19 levels from booking tests, effective Nov. 30. "We know that these measures will result in some people experiencing longer wait times for road tests," said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. "However, these are unprecedented times, and our number one priority is the health and safety of individuals, families and workers." Although drivers from Peel and other GTA regions have been using the Orangeville services for years, their position as COVID-19 hotspots raises concerns beyond crowding and delay issues. Fears of grey-zone drivers utilizing services have been a recent hot topic locally, after a driving examiner raised health and safety concerns about the number of drivers from red and grey lockdown zones accessing services at the Orangeville location. “In these COVID-19 lockdown areas, DriveTest centres are actually closed because conducting the drive tests is considered not to be safe under these public health guidelines,” Coun. Lisa Post said during a meeting of council on Nov. 23. “It seems a little strange that we're allowing drive tests in our safe area when it is being deemed it is not safe to happen in other areas and they are closing down those facilities.” Council unanimously supported Post’s request to send a letter to provincial decision makers demanding “cross region access” to the Orangeville DriveTest location be restricted. Following Thursday’s announcement, Post said she was happy to hear that action was being taken by the government. “I’m grateful that the province took quick action to ensure that drive tests are being conducted in a safe manner with the safety and protection of our examiners in mind,” she said. DriveTest centres affected by total road test closures from the lockdown include those in the City of Toronto and Peel Region, including Brampton, Downsview, Etobicoke, Metro East, Mississauga and Port Union. Those drivers from grey lockdown zones who currently have road tests booked in different regions will need to cancel the appointment.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Team Halo is hoping to answer questions from those sceptical or hesitant about COVID vaccines. View on euronews
November 5, 2020 - Westwind alternate school principal, Mike Devuyst, has seen a significant increase in Cardston and area student registration this fall. Student registrants cover a wide geographical area across the division and include students in the Parent directed Home Education Program, the Personalized education programs on campuses, and the outreach students. The risk of increased COVID-19 exposure to vulnerable family members has encouraged many to consider one of these as at least a temporary option. Enough new students registered in the different home based options during August that the division increased teaching staff by one and a half. But by the end of September, administration soon realized this would not be enough for the extreme increase in numbers and have since approved a total of 4.5 new positions. Devuyst, says “these temporary positions are for the first semester only as we are aware some families may choose to go back to public school as the year plays out, however all teachers are currently teaching at capacity or above”. So far, families do not seem to be changing their minds about the move to home learning- Westwind has seen a 127% increase in new student registration this year. A typical year may see 10 new student registrations at the alternate school, but this year 275 new students have registered in the various alternate learning environments. New student intake began to seriously increase in the first couple weeks of August and Principal Devuyst found himself busy every workday at the office in a month he would usually have been at home. The registrations kept coming in September and there have even been new students registered as recently as this week. Westwind runs various home based learning campuses and satellite schools across the area to meet the needs of families interested in alternatives to public school. Westwind boasts two main campuses, one building in Cardston and another in Raymond, as well as smaller classrooms in Magrath and Stirling for high school students interested in unique schooling options. Westwind Alternate offers two options for families looking for a substitute from traditional public school- one is Home education, where there is more parent led learning and less teacher contact, and the other being Personalized Education Programs, where there is regular contact with teachers with parents contributing to learning also. The Personalized Education Programs at the school building follow the directions of the education minister, the school division, and chief medical officer of health in the province and have changed their health protocols along with mainstream public schools. Students need to have masks when they come, and may need to wear them, depending on student numbers and types of activity. There are also hand sanitizer stations and signs reminding everyone to wash up. Physical distancing is attempted as much as possible, the best that can be done in the classroom setting. Devusyt believes that, masks or not, “kids are happy to enjoy some of the normalcy in ‘going back to school’ after the huge changes in March”. In March, homeschoolers who usually got together with other families daily for a combined science class or other focus group had to stay home just like the kids in public school. Homeschool parent Lindy Mckay’s kids had been attending community classes for robotics, hip hop, dance, gymnastics and more that were all closed down when the pandemic hit Alberta. She says “We weren’t ever able to get together with each other or go to community classes, and the library was shut down which made it difficult to find information for projects”. Families are happy to see these groups reopen this fall and have been able to keep attending many field trips as they don’t have to rely on division bus transportation. Devuyst says “our days are looking pretty normal, besides kids with masks.” Mckay noticed an increased interest in homeschooling on social media and in her close friend groups. She says “its interesting because even women who work full time are considering homeschooling now”. She recognizes that homeschooling is not just luxurious for stay at home moms, but many parents are afraid of the unknown and want an education that is stable and unchangeable when the pandemic is changing everything. Mckay has advised over a hundred people internationally who are interested in making the change this year, and locally 4 or 5 of her friends have also asked for advice on switching over. When asked for home education advice Mckay tells families interested in changing over that homeschool does not have to look like public school at home. Many homeschoolers in the area use natural opportunities to learn in a more simplified and flexible way. She says “Honestly I’ve felt like my kids were always getting an excellent social life even though they don’t go to a brick and mortar school. With homeschool in Cardston, entire families are friends regardless of gender or age and parents are able to take direct action when teaching their kids how to resolve conflict”. COVID 19 has given families and individuals a lot to think about as each group recreates what normal and best looks like for themselves. Education change is one of the many ways the novel pandemic is changing lives. Whether your family have chosen to send kids to public school, private school, traditional homeschool, or a home based learning program, it is clear that many people are making sacrifices in order to make the best choice for their kids during uncertain times. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
Hamilton police have charged three men in the stabbing death of 20-year-old Brock Beck, the same week the young man's family offered a $20,000 reward in the case. Police say Beck was found suffering from stab wounds following an attack at about 2 a.m. on July 26 in which a 16-year-old was also injured. They've said his death was the result of a "road rage incident gone wrong." Police say they don't believe Beck's killers knew him, making the investigation tricky. They say three suspects, ranging in age from 18 to 22, have been charged with second-degree murder in Beck's death. Two of the suspects are also charged with assault causing bodily harm in relation to the teen's injuries. Det. Sgt. Steve Bereziuk says a fourth suspect has also been arrested, but did not specify what charges he faces. He said police had already gathered significant evidence in the case when the family announced it was offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of his son's killers. "It was of limited impact in this case," he said of the reward. Bereziuk said the family had raised the money for the express purpose of offering as a reward, so the police service wanted to help them publicize it, even as investigators were closing in on their suspects. He said the family will have "some options" in terms of who gets the reward if the suspects are convicted. Beck is the son of former NHL player Barry Beck, who is currently the head coach of the Hong Kong national hockey team. "We pray every night that our son receives justice," Barry Beck said in a recorded video message when the reward money was announced. Police said 18-year-old Cam-Thai Khath, 19-year-old Petar Kunic and 22-year-old Thomas Vasquez, who are all from the Hamilton area, were due to appear in court to face the murder charge on Thursday. The two younger accused are also charged with assault. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020. Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
Maradona était un champion hors-norme, génie tragique et extraordinaire, profondément humain.
VANCOUVER — Councillors in Vancouver have voted unanimously to ask the federal government to decriminalize possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. Mayor Kennedy Stewart put forward the motion earlier this month saying it is time to develop a "health-focused" approach to substance use and end the stigma against drug users. In a statement issued late Wednesday after the vote, Stewart thanked groups such as the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, which he says have pursued decriminalization for years. In the same process used to create its first supervised injection clinic almost two decades ago, city staff will now write to federal officials, including the ministers of health and justice, seeking an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. If approved, Stewart said the city will work with the police department, Vancouver Coastal Health, community groups and people who have lived experience with drug use to determine how decriminalization should be approved. The city's support for decriminalization came on the same day the BC Coroners Service issued a report documenting 162 illicit drug deaths across the province in October, amounting to five every day, including one daily in Vancouver. Stewart said Vancouver is ready to again lead the way on drug policy in order to save lives. “With more than 1,500 deaths in Vancouver since a provincial overdose emergency was declared in April 2016, and an estimated 329 overdose deaths in the city of Vancouver so far this year, 2020 is on track to be the worst year yet for overdoses and this new approach is urgently needed," he said in the statement. Dr. Patricia Daly, chief medical health officer for Vancouver Coastal Health, has said decriminalization alone won't solve the drug crisis, but will complement expanded harm reduction and treatment services, including the province's safe supply program. The elimination of criminal consequences for possessing drugs for personal use also has the support of Premier John Horgan, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Vancouver Police Department. There's no indication how long the federal government might take to review Vancouver's plan once it is submitted, but Stewart has said federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu is a champion of harm reduction and has the authority to move quickly. Hajdu said in a statement the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the opioid crisis and Ottawa must redouble its efforts to save lives. She said federal officials have been working with Stewart and the B.C. government on options that respond to local and regional needs, guided in part by the recommendations of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, which also endorsed decriminalization of personal possession earlier this year. "We will review this request to address criminal penalties for simple possession of small amounts of controlled substances and will continue our work to get Canadians who use substances the support they need," Hajdu said in the statement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020. The Canadian Press
Prince George, B.C., resident Judy Howard recently shelled out $50 for a six-pack of soy sauce after a family Facebook bidding war, and she feels like she got a pretty sweet deal — or salty, to be more accurate.A single bottle of Canadian-made China Lily Soya Sauce usually runs about $3 and is a staple in many kitchens in northern B.C., primarily in Indigenous households where it is often used liberally in traditional dishes and everyday dinner prep.Currently, it is incredibly hard to come by, and that's causing a bit of a panic among regular purchasers.The sauce is crafted by Lee Foods in Toronto. False rumours the factory is closing could be behind why grocery stores in B.C.'s north have been cleaned out, Amazon has nothing to offer, and prices on eBay keep climbing.Prince Rupert, B.C., resident Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North, caught the concerned chatter of locals on social media and contacted Lee Foods to find out why people were fearful their favourite brand was on the brink. A woman at Lee Foods who took de Ryk's call said there are no plans to shut down the family-run business.Her explanation for the shortage was simple: "China Lily Soya Sauce is the next toilet paper in the COVID-19 pandemic."While hearing the company is still open may be a relief for some, the current situation remains dire for die-hard fans. So much so that Tahltan President Chad Day released a tongue-in cheek-warning on Facebook that soy sauce bootlegging would not be tolerated. Annita Macphee, who is Tahltan and lives in Vancouver, said she remembers rice with China Lily being a component of many childhood meals. She told de Ryk its popularity in many Indigenous kitchens could be because so many Indigenous and Chinese people worked together at one time in coastal canneries."I've heard of people buying 16 bottles," she said, adding she currently has a line on some bottles that surfaced in Powell River, B.C., so she should be supplied for the time being.Howard, meanwhile, is likely being hailed as a hero by her immediate family for the six-pack she scored after her nephew, Sheldon Howard, Jr., a Prince George resident originally from the Gitxsan community of Gitsegukla in northwestern B.C., auctioned it off."I don't think it was extortion," said Howard, who uses the sauce to flavour much of her cooking, especially salmon and herring roe dishes.This year, said Howard, a bottle or two from Santa would be a coveted Christmas gift for many in Gitsegukla.To really dive down into the cultural significance of China Lily, De Ryk also spoke with Jeremy Pahl, also known as Saltwater Hank, a Tsimshian First Nation member and Prince Rupert resident.He was plum out at the start of the week but, while it was weighing heavy, he said he was staying strong."We are going to get through it, and future generations are going to look back and say my ancestors survived the great China Lily shortage of 2020," Pahl said with a chuckle.Pahl later got lucky when some employees at Coast Mountain College called up de Ryk to let her know they had a bottle and it was Pahl's if he wanted it. You can bet he did.But if you're not one of the lucky Howards, don't know about a stash out of town, and no kindly neighbour has tracked you down via the national broadcaster to offer you a spare bottle, don't despair — Lee Foods is still in full swing.In a statement, company president Christopher Wong said while there have been some supply, shipping and staffing hiccups due to the pandemic, customers can expect to see China Lily Soya Sauce back on the shelves within the coming weeks.To hear Judy Howard talk about her Facebook auction score on CBC's Daybreak North, tap the link below:
Ever wonder what farmers get up to during the winter months between growing seasons? For flower growers like Fred Meyers of Meyers Farms in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it’s a busy time of year in the greenhouses, where business continues on unimpeded by the weather. Soon enough, they’ll be thinking about Easter. It’s the same story for most in the poultry sector, where chickens are housed in barns. Not much changes either for Dave Comfort, who raises sheep and cattle in Smithville, though he says mornings come much earlier in the winter. Cows are milked twice per day, and the roadway for milk trucks needs to be cleared of snow. Comfort ensures that the water for the animals isn’t freezing over and that newborns are kept warm. “It’s challenging all the time with livestock – throw winter into the equation and it becomes more challenging,” he said. “There are no snow days in livestock farming.” For cash croppers like Jeff Barlow of Barlow Farms, much of the year is dictated by weather. With December in view, Barlow still has corn to harvest from some of Niagara’s fields. A good freeze is the perfect time to combine corn – stalks are brittle, the field doesn’t get torn up and equipment doesn’t get mucked. After corn is harvested by late December, it’s put into grain bins for drying and storage. “We do three things in the winter; the most important is maintenance,” Barlow said. Most of the farm’s employees are full-time, so during winter they’re servicing every single piece of equipment. The next item on the to-do list is shipping out grain. After that, it’s hitting the fields to check on tile drainage, collect topographic map data for planning out planting and spread some clover as a cover crop. “I do a lot of planning in the winter time,” Barlow said. He needs to start thinking now about next year’s inputs, seeding, labour, training, logistics, upgrades, maintenance and marketing. “Right down to ordering T-shirts,” he said. Come spring, it’s full tilt ahead once again. At Hughes Vineyards in Vineland, Ed Hughes grows 25 acres of wine grapes. “Once harvest is done, which is usually no later than into the beginning of November, I start winterizing things,” he said. He services his equipment, winterizes irrigation and sprayers and repairs any damaged vineyard trellising. This year, he’ll also remove four rows of vines that are over-stressed from too many hard winters. Come the beginning of January, Hughes said he’ll be full steam ahead, pruning out in the field six days a week for the coming growing season. At Fenwick Berry Farm in the town of Pelham, they’ll be cleaning up around the farm until everything is buried in snow. “Planning is already well underway for next year around here,” said Dave Klyn-Hesselink, who owns the operation with his wife Christine. There's a long list to work through: ordering trees and containers, putting marketing plans into place and cleaning up migrant worker bunk housing for public health inspections over the winter. Right now they’re still packing up strawberry plants and doing some tillage. But what makes this year especially unique, said Klyn-Hesselink, is the mountain of COVID-19 paperwork. “The nature of the work changes, there’s less pressure and there’s definitely more family time,” he said, meaning work weeks go down to 35 hours from 60. By Christmas, the Klyn-Hesselinks aim to be done on the farm and fit in a week off before getting started again for the coming season. “Farming is a lifestyle … you gotta be a particular person to farm; you don't just turn it off, you’re always busy doing something on the farm,” he said.Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
Canada’s deputy chief public health officer Dr. Howard Njoo said on Thursday they are doing “everything we can” to give Canadians access to “the safest, most effective” COVID-19 vaccines, adding that there have been preparations to provide vaccine access “to every Canadian who wants one in 2021.”