Don't be discouraged by the country's overall sour mood. Plenty of companies are still able to keep their customers excited.
In announcing a planned phone call on Friday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the White House's intended message was clear: Traditional allies are back in favour while despots, dictators and the killers of dissenters are on the outs. The way press secretary Jen Psaki announced the scheduled call with Trudeau was revealing, as it came in response to a question that had nothing at all to do with Canada's prime minister. She was asked about Vladimir Putin. Specifically, she was asked when Biden would speak with the Russian leader. Psaki replied that it wasn't an immediate priority. "[Biden's] first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau," she said. "I would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it's important to rebuild those relationships." U.S. plans to investigate Russia Psaki elaborated on Putin in a separate news conference where she described Russia as "reckless" and "adversarial." She said Biden has tasked the intelligence community with reporting on a variety of alleged Russian transgressions: cyberattacks on U.S. companies, interference in U.S. politics, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Russian-paid bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Yet the goal of rebalancing relationships away from rivals toward like-minded countries has been tested already. Some Canadians, notably Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, want trade retaliation against the U.S. following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day 1 of the new administration. The decision undermines Canada's No. 1 export to the United States: oil. WATCH | The National's report on Keystone XL: Biden's foreign policy ambitions will keep being tested as international relationships undergo unwieldy twists on any given issue due to practical and political considerations. Here is what we already know about the Biden administration's approach to other countries after its first couple of days in office. The moves so far The administration will release a report on suspected Saudi government involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an issue the last administration showed little interest in pursuing. It is also threatening to cancel support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is willing to consider new NATO expansion on Russia's doorstep, into Georgia, and in fact is staunchly supportive of the international military alliance. And Biden has rejoined previous alliances the U.S. was either scheduled to exit (the World Health Organization) or had already left (the Paris climate accord). These activities are intended to signal a dramatic change in foreign policy from Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, who frequently bashed the leaders of democracies and international institutions while simultaneously cultivating friendly relationships with non-democratic leaders in the Middle East, Russia and North Korea. There will be contradictions in Biden's approach — as there were in Trump's. For example, while Trump often had kind words for dictators, he also sanctioned their countries on occasion, including Russia and China. Also, don't count on an ambitious foreign policy from Biden. Early on, the new administration will be busy juggling domestic crises, said Edward Alden, an expert on Canada-U.S. relations. "I think we are going to see an approach to alliances that looks a lot like [Barack] Obama's — engaged, respectful, but not overly ambitious," said Alden, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. "The United States has enormous problems at home, and those are going to take priority for some time." Alden said he does expect some new international initiatives, such as more active co-operation on global vaccine distribution. Biden wants changes on Canada-U.S. pandemic travel On COVID-19, Biden also wants to immediately connect with Canada and Mexico to establish new rules within 14 days for pandemic-related travel safety measures. Alden also expects an attempt to rework and revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, and establish greater co-ordination with other countries in confronting China. For example, Biden has proposed a summit of democracies where countries can share ideas for countering autocracies. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his confirmation hearing this week that the last administration had a point in reorienting policy toward Beijing. "President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Blinken said. "The basic principle was the right one, and I think that's actually helpful to our foreign policy." He got into a testy exchange at that hearing with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Republican who favours a hands-off approach on foreign affairs. When Blinken said he was open to expanding NATO membership to Russia's neighbour Georgia, Paul called that a recipe for war with Russia. Blinken argued the opposite is true. After years of Russian incursions in non-NATO Georgia and Ukraine, recent evidence suggests Russia is most belligerent with countries outside NATO's shield, he said. Keystone XL: The early irritant Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss new travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion that would run south from Alberta to Nebraska. So far, Trudeau has shown little desire to escalate the pipeline issue. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, on the other hand, has demanded retaliatory action, and some trade experts say potential legal avenues do exist. WATCH | Kenny on the fate of Keystone XL: But they're skeptical they will achieve much. Eric Miller of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consulting firm specializing in trade and government affairs, said the best that pipeline-backers can hope for is to sue the U.S. government for financial compensation for the cancelled project. He said the Alberta government and the project's developer, TC Energy, can try suing under the investor-state dispute chapter in the old NAFTA, which will remain in effect for two more years for existing investments. "[But] nothing is going to force the Biden administration to deliver the permit," Miller said. "One has to be clear that there is no world in which Joe Biden [retreats on this]." Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he doubts complaints from Canada will make a difference. He said the most politically effective argument for the pipeline would come from Americans — from the companies and unions that would have serviced the project. The Ohio-based lawyer said challenges under U.S. laws, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, could potentially work, but he cautioned: "They're high hurdles."
NASHVILLE — Country star Dolly Parton said her brother Randy Parton, who sang and performed with her, as well as at her Dollywood theme park, has died. He was 67. Parton, who turned 75 this week, said in a statement released on Thursday that her brother died of cancer. They were among 12 children in the Parton family, raised in Sevierville, Tennessee. “We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms,” Parton said in a statement. Randy Parton sang, played guitar and bass in his sister's band, and had hosted his own show at the Tennessee theme park since the opening in 1986. He also released music on his own. Parton said her duet with him on “Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle To You" would “always be a highlight of my own career.” His last recording was a song with Dolly and his daughter Heidi called “You Are My Christmas” that was on Parton's most recent Christmas album. “He shined on it just like he’s shining in heaven now,” Parton said. 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
La troisième Semaine de sensibilisation musulmane se déroulera du 25 au 31 janvier sous le thème Québécois.es, parlons-nous! et offrira une programmation culturelle variée. Dans ce contexte social particulier, les organisateurs souhaitent plus que jamais intégrer des valeurs d'ouverture, d'empathie et de résilience dans les différentes activités qui accueilleront des panélistes et invités de marque de différents milieux. «En ces temps de pandémie, les Québécois de confession musulmane sont amenés, comme tous les membres de la société, à faire des sacrifices et à apporter leur contribution pour protéger la société des dangers de la pandémie», déclare Hassan Guillet, cofondateur et membre du conseil d'administration de la Semaine de sensibilisation musulmane. Rappelons que l'objectif de celle-ci est de prévenir contre les stéréotypes et les mythes, ainsi que cesser la désinformation et la marginalisation vécue par des membres de la communauté musulmane. Comme les années précédentes, la programmation sera composée de commémorations, panels et documentaires. Le lancement officiel se fera le 25 janvier, dès 11h, en mode virtuel. Il sera ensuite possible, le lendemain à la même heure, d'assister à un panel intitulé Une société plurielle et harmonieuse, un idéal réalisable? qui mettra en relation deux agents conseillers à la section de la prévention et de la sécurité urbaine — Incidents et crimes haineux — à la SPVM. Le panel du 27 janvier abordera quant à lui les différents aspects du mariage interculturel. Plusieurs commémorations sont prévues le 29 janvier. Le panel La prévention, c'est l'affaire de nous tous, prévu à 19h, invitera à la réflexion sur les moyens d'assurer une société sans radicalisation menant à la violence. De son côté, le documentaire PluriElles, qui sera diffusé le 30 janvier à 14h, mettra en vedette cinq femmes québécoises et musulmanes. L'écoute sera suivie d'une discussion sur les identités multiples. Samira Laouni, présidente et fondatrice de l'organisme Communication pour l'ouverture et le rapprochement interculturel, sera la modératrice. Il est possible de visiter le site officiel de la Semaine de sensibilisation musulmane pour obtenir davantage de détails sur les activités offertes.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
Nova Scotia reported two new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, including one at a Truro school that will close for several days for cleaning and contact tracing. With three new recoveries since Wednesday, the province now has 22 known active cases. One of the newly reported cases is tied to travel outside of Atlantic Canada and the person is self-isolating. Both of the new cases were in the province's northern health zone. No one in Nova Scotia is in hospital for treatment of the virus. The province's microbiology labs completed 1,589 tests on Wednesday. Truro school to close until next week The school-based case is from École acadienne de Truro, a pre-primary to Grade 12 school. In a news release, the province said the infected person did not attend Thursday and is self-isolating. A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Wellness said the school closed at noon to begin deep cleaning, contact tracing and any necessary testing. Close contacts of the case will be notified. École acadienne de Truro will move classes online until at least the start of the next week, with an update to be provided to families on Tuesday, Jan. 26, about a possible reopening on Wednesday, Jan. 27. The province advised that the case was reported too late for the daily update on the provincial dashboard and so it won't appear there until Friday. A full list of active exposure notices in Nova Scotia can be found here. As of Wednesday, Nova Scotia has administered 9,827 doses of COVID-19 vaccines including 2,696 second doses. Updates on vaccine administration across the country can be found here. New case at Acadia University Late Thursday, Acadia University in Wolfville, N.S. announced that a student living on campus tested positive for COVID-19 after completing a required 14-day self-isolation. In a statement posted to the school's website, Acadia said the student attended class Jan. 18-20 and Nova Scotia Health has begun contact tracing. It said anyone who was in immediate proximity with the student will be advised and given instructions. "At this point, there are approximately 10 individuals who are considered close contacts. Everyone who is a close contact is being notified, tested, and provided self-isolation instructions," it said. "Fortunately, Acadia has extensive safety measures in place, including frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and applying electrostatic mist to disinfect classrooms between every class. The risk to others is considered minimal because of our campus COVID-19 protocols." The case at Acadia was not included in Thursday's new case numbers. Atlantic Canada case numbers MORE TOP STORIES
In another bid to separate his team from the governing Liberals, PC Party Leader Ches Crosbie promised Thursday to elevate honesty and integrity in government to the highest standard in the country if his party is elected in the Feb. 13 provincial election. Crosbie made the pledge Thursday during a glitchy virtual news conference from Marystown, in which his speech about government corruption was corrupted by technical problems. But a clean video recording posted later to the party's Facebook page showed Crosbie on the attack against the governing Liberals and its leader, Andrew Furey. Crosbie said Liberal "corruption, scandal, and cronyism" are barriers to job growth in the province and he would ensure government hiring is based on merit. In a telephone interview, Crosbie said there's a perception that individuals and companies are hired based on their political connections, and not their qualifications or experience. "That must stop," he said. Asked for proof, Crosbie said, "Everybody has stories about it." He said a PC government would "root out corruption and bring ethics and accountability to government" by implementing the "strongest anti-corruption legislation in Canada." Crosbie said a PC government would order a review of the code of conduct for members of the House of Assembly and adopt what he called "honesty in politics" legislation. "That will provide penalties and sanctions if I don't do what I said I was going to do. That will serve to restore confidence in truth-telling by politicians when they make promises," he said. To make his point, Crosbie criticized the Liberals for their handling of the PET scanner controversy in Corner Brook. With accusations mounting that the Liberals had broken a promise to install the advanced imaging technology at the new Corner Brook hospital, Furey and the Liberals announced they would put $2 million into a trust account to be used for a scanner at some point in the future. "Imagine that politicians, cabinet ministers would feel the need to put money in trust because they know the public doesn't trust them," Crosbie said. Any member of a cabinet that he leads will be forced to step away from their duties if they become the subject of an investigation, he added. The PCs have been hounding the Liberals about such a situation involving Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons. The RCMP in Nova Scotia are investigating whether former justice minister Parsons, the province's attorney general, played a role in the decision to charge former RNC officer Joe Smyth with obstruction of justice over his handling of a traffic stop in 2017. Parsons has denied any involvement, and his position is supported by RNC Chief Joe Boland and the director of public prosecutions. As such, Furey refused to remove Parsons from his inner circle. Crosbie said it was the wrong decision. "The fact he remains in cabinet while under investigation by the police and the premier is content to keep him there is on a level with what happens in banana republics," he said. The PC leader said erasing any perception of corruption is essential to encouraging investment in the province, and helping revive the economy. CBC News has requested comment from the Liberal Party. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A weekly entertainment series was recently launched by Gonez Media Inc. to feature national news coverage focused on serving Canadians from diverse backgrounds. The Brandon Gonez Show began airing 20-minute episodes at 8 p.m. eastern standard time featuring national issues on YouTube every Sunday, which began on Jan. 17. “This has never been done in this country before, and I’m so excited to have such a strong team who’ve put their blood, sweat, and tears into building The Brandon Gonez Show,” said Gonez, host of the show in a recent press release. “But most importantly, I am excited for people to finally have a show where they see themselves reflected, laugh, and get the news and entertainment they need. I am so humbled to see the support from my fellow Canadians.” Gonez, along with his partners Moët Hennessy, Uber and Seneca College, remain optimistic the nation may benefit from feel-good news coverage about ongoing discourse that reflects what’s happening in Canada in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing discourse about race and racism. Gonez hails from Toronto and has experience working for CP24 and CTV as a reporter. “We have had tremendous interest from national and global brands; the excitement around this groundbreaking show has been rewarding to witness,” said Dakota Rae, vice president of sales, partnerships and operations at Gonez Media Inc., in a recent press release. “Partners who have signed on for season one of The Brandon Gonez Show will get a pulse of the people and exclusive insight into what topics Canadians find important. The show will be a massive success and become a staple in Canadian culture.” His first season features 10 episodes, and Gonez welcomes all ages and backgrounds. The host’s goal is to provide news coverage that you can consume with open and honest dialogue. To learn more about the show, please visit: brandongonezshow.com or follow #TheBGShow on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer
THUNDER BAY — For more than five years, the Thunder Bay police force and its partner agencies have been dealing with a high-volume of individuals travelling from southern Ontario to traffic drugs in the northwest. Through a virtual news conference on Thursday, Jan. 21, Thunder Bay police announced the results of a major joint-forces police investigation involving several agencies in southern Ontario which resulted in the seizure of $2.7 million worth of street drugs. Despite the massive seizure of drugs and arrest of 12 individuals, police said they continue to be “plagued” with more individuals ready to take over for those who have been arrested. “Any given day, our highways have couriers bringing more drugs to our communities,” Det.-Insp. John Fennell of the Thunder Bay Police Service said Thursday. “It has been made very clear from our investigations and the people being charged that much of this illicit drug trade is coming from southern Ontario,” he said. Several police forces were involved in the operation called Project Valiant including Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police and Canada Border Services Agency. The operation was led by the Thunder Bay Police Service. “Our gang and gun problem is real and it needs to be taken very seriously by our legal system and our government,” Fennell said. "As much effort as we put into these initiatives we continue to be plagued with a steady stream of new persons taking over for those we have been able to charge.” The investigation took place from August 2020 to December 2020. Approximately six search warrants were conducted in Thunder Bay and one major search warrant was executed in Markham, Ont. As a result, police seized 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 1.55 kilograms of cocaine, more than 4,000 pills of fentanyl, 846 packages of cannabis edibles for the black market and eight capsules of hydromorphone. Furthermore, police seized several weapons including 10 rifles, four shotguns, one crossbow, two high-capacity magazines, two tasers and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Police also located and seized four cars, one motorcycle, more than $120,000 in Canadian cash, fake government identification and drug trafficking paraphernalia. The project’s lead, Det.-Sgt. Dan Irwin, said during Thursday’s news conference, the long-term impact of initiatives such as Project Valiant aimed to address the high volume of illicit drugs coming into the community from southern Ontario is minimal. “It makes an impact at the beginning but like Det.-Insp. Fennell said as soon as we make arrests unfortunately the highways and the planes are full of individuals coming from the south to continue to sell fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and various other drugs,” he said. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
When drug companies like Pfizer and Moderna learned to successfully incorporate messenger RNA technology into a COVID-19 vaccine, experts say they likely opened the door to a significant shift in the future of immunization.The milestone in vaccine development was met with enthusiasm from most, but the seemingly swift pace and novel approach is causing hesitancy in others. Experts say the new technique shouldn't dissuade people from getting the vaccine. While the mRNA method is new to inoculations, the actual technology has been around for decades. The difference now, they say, is scientists have ironed out the kinks to make a useful product."It sounds fancy, mRNA, but there's nothing outlandish about it," said Dr. Earl Brown, a virology and microbiology specialist with the University of Ottawa. "This is the way our cells operate — we live by mRNA."Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were the first inoculations approved for humans to use mRNA, which provides our cells with instructions to make proteins. In the case of COVID vaccines, the injected material shows cells how to make a harmless piece of the coronavirus spike protein, which then teaches our immune system to recognize the virus and fight off a future infection.Scientists made the vaccine by programming genetic material from the spike protein into mRNA, a process that theoretically could work for other viruses."As long as you know how to create those instructions — that genetic code you need to convince your body to create that target — you can design an mRNA vaccine against any antigen," said Nicole Basta, an associate professor of epidemiology at McGill."But the question is whether it will be effective, and whether it will be safe."The development of future mRNA vaccines might be quick, Basta says, but they would need to go through the usual evaluation process and clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. So vaccines for other viruses won't be popping up overnight.Still, Basta adds, there's potential for using mRNA to either improve upon existing vaccines or to develop new ones against other pathogens.Dr. Scott Halperin, a professor at Dalhousie University and the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, sees mRNA vaccines as "evolutionary rather than revolutionary."Part of the reason COVID vaccines came together so quickly was the technology had been developing for years, Halperin said. The global pandemic offered scientists a pressing opportunity — and unprecedented funding and collaboration — to try again for a viable injection.Previous research had been done on creating mRNA vaccines against Zika and other viruses, Halperin added, and there were earlier efforts focused on cancer treatments. Coronavirus-specific research was further sped up by spike protein analysis from SARS and MERS.While the mRNA technology itself is impressive, Halperin says improvements need to be made to create a more temperature-stable product before these types of vaccines and treatments "truly take over.""The logistics of delivering mRNA vaccines right now, we wouldn't want to have to do that for every vaccine we produce," he said, referencing the ultra-cold storage temperature that's currently needed. "But I do think it's an important milestone."Scientists are expected to continue advancing the technology, just as they did recently in solving two confounding problems with mRNA — its fragility and instability.Brown says fragility was resolved by packaging the mRNA in a fat coating, giving it something to help bind onto cells so it wouldn't disintegrate upon injection. The instability was conquered by modifying the uracil component of RNA, one of the four units of its genetic code."The technology application is new, but the science is mature," Brown said. "We've just reached the point at which we can apply it." Traditional vaccines typically contain a killed or weakened virus, Brown said. Those methods are still being used in COVID vaccine development, including by AstraZeneca-Oxford, whose product has not yet been approved in Canada.A benefit to using mRNA is the speed at which a vaccine can be developed or updated once scientists know what to target, Brown says. While experts believe current vaccines will work against recent variants of the COVID virus — including one originating in the U.K. that's more transmissible — Brown says mRNA's adaptability could theoretically come in handy if new strains emerged that necessitated an update. "In six weeks they could produce something," he said. "It would still have to go through Phase 3 trials, but it does give you more flexibility and a big leg up."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
The municipality has brought in a contractor to strengthen the weaker sections on Fort Chipewyan’s winter road. The contractor has started working at the east and west ice crossings over the Des Rochers River. Crews are working daily to reopen the winter road by early February. The winter road plays a critical role in bringing fuel and other supplies to Fort Chipewyan. When the road opened on Dec. 31, the ice crossings could only support light vehicles weighing no more than 5,000 kilograms. Cargo and fuel trucks weigh at least 45,000 kilograms. Warm weather has kept the winter road closed since Jan. 13. Reopening the road depends on weather as crews continue to strengthen the ice crossings. Fort Chipewyan’s community leaders have had emergency plans in place since November in case weather conditions closed the winter road. In a Dec. 31 interview, Chief Peter Powder of the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN) said the First Nation has enough fuel to get the community through to the end of February. “These aren’t the first time we’ve had these issues so we’ll get together as leaders and find a path forward,” said Powder. firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
Avec les confinements, nous pouvons nous attendre à une augmentation de notre facture énergétique d’environ 30 %.
Une bouchervilloise bénéficiera du tout premier appel de projets du Programme de partenariat territorial de l’agglomération de Longueuil qui permettra de réaliser 14 projets artistiques et littéraires sur le territoire, grâce à un soutien financier de 231 000 $. De cette enveloppe de 231 000 $, 187 675 $ sont destinés à la réalisation des projets de douze artistes et écrivains professionnels de l'agglomération de Longueuil. C’est ainsi que la Bouchervilloise Elisabeth Desbiens obtient 17 500 $ pour créer et diffuser sa série de fiction Haut & Fort. Emmanuel Hyppolite de Longueuil touche le même montant pour produire et promouvoir un EP de poésie slam qui s’intitule Le fils de Marie-Rose. Un autre 17 500 $ est attribué à la Longueuilloise Hélène Lemay pour composer de nouvelles œuvres musicales hybrides, alliant l’acoustique et le numérique. Dominique Paul de Longueuil également, reçoit 17 500 $ pour la création et l’exposition d’une installation abordant le déclin d’espèces aviaires en Montérégie. Pierre-Etienne Masse, de la même ville, empoche 17 325 $ pour réaliser des œuvres d’arts visuels qui remettent en question notre rapport aux espèces en péril intitulé Les ombres dans l’ombre. L’artiste Dena Davida de Saint-Lambert reçoit 17 000 $ pour produire une création collective en danse contemporaine nommée Constellation. Céline Goudreau, artiste polyvalente de Longueuil, obtient, elle aussi, 17 000 $ pour réaliser Le Souffle du fleuve, un corpus d’œuvres jumelant poésie, gravure et photographie. Ma grand-maman est un livre d’histoires, un court-métrage d’animation de l’auteure Camille Loiselle-D’Aragon de Longueuil, verra le jour avec une subvention de 16 000 $. Le Longueuillois Sébastien Cossette-Masse reçoit 15 000 $ pour mettre en place le spectacle de danse contemporaine HLM. L’artiste Myriam Tousignant de Longueuil, qui souhaite préparer une série d’œuvres sur papier conçues à partir d’archives, touche 13 475 $. Le projet théâtral nommé Gibran, la terre la mer de Nathalie Baroud est créé à partir d’une sélection de textes du poète libanais Khalil Gibran. Une subvention 11 375 $ permettra sa mise en œuvre. Finalement, le comédien et producteur Sylvain Massé reçoit 10 500 $ pour créer et présenter un événement intime de lectures publiques intitulé Grâce à ce plexi qui nous unit. Pour ce qui est du soutien aux organismes artistiques professionnels, le Programme réserve 43 325 $ pour l’élaboration de deux projets. L’organisme Le Zocalo est en mesure de lancer Perspectives excentrées, un projet de création, de production et de diffusion en estampe numérique, grâce à une subvention de 26 000 $. Finalement, Agrégat Centre d’artistes reçoit 17 325 $ pour offrir une résidence d’artiste et une commande d’œuvre performative impliquant la participation citoyenne. L’enveloppe de 231 000 $ vient d’une collaboration entre le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, le ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) l’agglomération de Longueuil, et la Table de concertation régionale de la Montérégie et Culture Montérégie. François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
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
VANCOUVER — The B.C. Lions have signed Canadian wide receiver Shaq Johnson to a contract extension. The six-foot, 185-pound native of Brampton, Ont., recorded career highs in receptions (39) and yards (597) in 2019 while also scoring a pair of touchdowns. Johnson has appeared in 54 games for the Lions over the past four seasons, making 97 catches for 1,454 yards and seven touchdowns. In his first full season as a pro in 2017, Johnson was the Lions' nominee for the CFL's most outstanding Canadian. Johnson was selected in the fourth round, 32nd overall, of the 2017 CFL draft. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Though the position of school settlement worker — someone who guides and supports students and their families who are new to Canada as they familiarize themselves with their new home — is not a new one in Southern Ontario, it is new to the North. In July, 2020, Tibila Sandiwidi took on the role of “Travailleur d’établissement dans les écoles” (school settlement worker) for the two Francophone school boards (Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon and Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario ) in Sudbury through his position with Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury. In addition to degrees in early childhood education, political science, applied research and social work, Sandiwidi is a newcomer to Sudbury himself, arriving in Sudbury in 2003 from Burkina Faso, West Africa. In his role as settlement worker, Sandiwidi aids parents and children new to Sudbury from beyond Canada’s borders, as well as the educators that have called Sudbury home for years – perhaps their whole lives. The role itself is financed through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) and co-ordinated through the Centre de santé, where Francophone newcomers to Sudbury can find most of the guidance and resources they need to succeed in their new home. It is about ensuring that parents and students can become a part of their school community by helping them understand how the education system works, the curriculum they will be learning, the interactions between parent and educator, and how to make the most of them, as well as helping with the cultural aspects of Canada that those who have lived here their whole lives may take for granted. “Everything is new,” said Sandiwidi. “To the parents, to the children, everything is new. So, you have parents who are learning new things, but they are supposed to teach their children, who are also learning new things.” It is a challenge, to say the least. For as much as it is of the utmost importance to make sure a child is succeeding in school in their new home country, it is also important they understand cultural traditions here – for instance, Halloween. The event features the simple and oft-repeated question: ‘What are you going out as?’ If you have not heard that line all your life, that’s a pretty vague question. “When you celebrate Halloween, if you ask them about Halloween activities when they have never been in them, have never done them before, it’s hard for them. Even for a newcomer parent to understand how to dress the kids with a Halloween costume or do activities like trick-or-treating, or even activities at the school.” Sandiwidi not only ensures that educators understand the need to offer more information or background on these events for any students in their class, but he also ensures that parents can understand the requirements as well, so that students can enjoy the fun and never have to feel as though they are on the outside. They can participate as if they had been ‘trick-or-treating’ all their lives. It also helps with cultural differences in behaviour; for example, looking someone in the eyes. There are many cultures that consider looking anyone older than you in the eyes while they are speaking, rather than casting them down at the ground, is considered a sign of disrespect – challenging your elders in a way that is disrespectful and rude. Eurocentric traditions would have you meet an elder’s gaze. The phrase ‘look me in the eyes when I am speaking to you,’ may be a familiar one here among parents and teachers, but not so in other countries. This results in a child that doesn’t know whether to choose up or down. And it’s something that Sandiwidi can help with as well. He also works to offer intercultural training workshops, supports schools with their registration efforts and acts as an ambassador for Francophone schools in Greater Sudbury. Of course, like everything in the world, the pandemic has changed how Sandiwidi is working. It is much more virtual and Sandiwidi says that though “it is hard to build trust when someone has never met you in person,” he continues to work within the limitations to assist parents, students and educators in their learning and development. He says that while online learning has presented even more challenges, not to mention a focus on achieving what’s possible under the circumstances rather than moving ahead with goals, the program is going strong and his interactions with newcomers are proving everyday that he can make a difference in their lives. If you would like more information on the program, visit SanteSudbury.ca. Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Les élus de la MRC de Lac-Saint-Jean-Est ont donné leur appui à un important projet de requalification de l’église de Saint-Gédéon évalué à 1,8 M$. Une étape essentielle pour que la municipalité puisse aller chercher l’aide financière dont elle a besoin. « C’est une demande que nous avons reçue de la part du maire Émile Hudon. La ville se dirige dans une phase de projets importants concernant l’église et une aide financière a été demandée au ministère de la Culture et des Communications, que la ville devrait recevoir », indique le directeur général de la MRC, Sabin Larouche. La localité souhaiterait notamment faire de l’église une salle multifonctionnelle tout en conservant son lien de culte. La ministre responsable de la région, Andrée Laforest, avait fait savoir à la municipalité de Saint-Gédéon qu’il serait plus intéressant que le projet puisse compter sur un appui de la MRC. « C’est un beau projet, donc on l’a évidemment appuyé », ajoute Sabin Larouche, qui précise toutefois qu’aucune somme n’avait à être versée dans l’immédiat par la MRC. Le maire de Saint-Gédéon, Émile Hudon, n’a pu se rendre disponible pour offrir plus de détails sur le dossier. Il fera le point sur ce projet dans notre prochaine édition. Chemin du Golf Par ailleurs, les élus ont également adopté une résolution pour l’asphaltage du chemin du Golf à Saint-Gédéon. « Il s’agit de la dernière phase concernant les travaux d’envergure pour permettre l’accès à l’agrandissement de la Pointe-Taillon dans le secteur de Saint-Gédéon. Le camping est pas mal prêt, et tout ce qui concerne la SÉPAQ également. » Sabin Larouche indique que les travaux d’infrastructure du chemin sont pratiquement tous terminés, mais comme l’entrepreneur qui était responsable a fait faillite, la MRC a récupéré le projet pour le compléter. « Principalement, ce n’est que l’asphaltage qui reste à compléter, ce qui sera fait ce printemps. On ira en appel d’offres bientôt. »Janick Emond, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) Chief Willie Sellars asked for continued co-operation while also being optimistic the community’s COVID-19 numbers among on-reserve members will begin to drop. From his home, with a picture of his late grandfather wearing goalie pads in the background, Chief Willie Sellars began his Jan. 20 community Facebook address on a sad note. “We have heavy hearts in the community today with the passing of another loved one,” Sellars said, confirming the passing of community member Michelle Wycotte. Wycotte’s death follows the recent passing of another WLFN member, Byron Louie. Her cause of death, as well as Louie’s, have not been released. As of 4 p.m. Jan 20, Sellars said 34 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed within the WLFN community of Sugar Cane. “Of those 34, the good news is 11 have now fully recovered and are completing their 14-day isolation,” he said. “That leaves 23 active cases in the community.” Sellars also provided an update on COVID-19 cases within the Cariboo Chilcotin region which does not include 100 Mile House and Quesnel. He said there are 156 active COVID-19 cases and that it was WLFN’s understanding Interior Health would be declaring a COVID-19 cluster within the Cariboo Chilcotin region later today (Jan. 20). “We encourage our membership, the community at large, not to panic or become anxious in light of the declaration,” Sellars said. “This declaration is being done with transparency in mind and will allow Interior Health to provide area-specific COVID-19 numbers and updates to the Williams Lake community.” A limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated to be distributed at the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium by the end of the week. While encouraged and optimistic the number of cases will drop by the end of the week at Sugar Cane, Sellars said it will be individuals’ actions that will prevent any spread. Three of six beds at two fully-furnished duplex units complete with groceries and supplies are available for self-isolation. “The greatest challenge our EOC team has faced to date is being a matter of self-isolation practices and ensuring individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 have the opportunity to isolate away from their family members who have tested negative,” Sellars said. Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled Congress is moving quickly to install retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defence, brushing aside concerns about his retirement inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian leadership of the military. The House is voting Thursday on a waiver that would exempt Austin from the seven-year rule. All signs point to quick action in the Senate after that, putting Austin on track to be confirmed as secretary by week's end. Austin, a 41-year veteran of the Army, has promised to surround himself with qualified civilians and include them in policy decisions. He said he has spent nearly his entire life committed to the principle of civilian control over the military. While the waiver is expected to be approved, the vote puts Democrats in an awkward position. Many of them opposed a similar waiver in 2017 for Jim Mattis, former President Donald Trump's first secretary of defence. Austin, who would be the first Black secretary of defence, said he understands why some have questioned the wisdom of putting a recently retired general in charge of the Defence Department. Much of his focus this week, including in his remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, has been on persuading members of Congress that although he has been out of uniform for less than five years, he sees himself as a civilian, not a general. Some aspects of his policy priorities are less clear. He emphasized on Tuesday that he will follow Biden’s lead in giving renewed attention to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. “I will quickly review the department’s contributions to coronavirus relief efforts, ensuring we are doing everything we can — and then some — to help distribute vaccines across the country and to vaccinate our troops and preserve readiness,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Under questioning by senators, Austin pledged to address white supremacy and violent extremism in the ranks of the military — problems that received relatively little public attention from his immediate predecessor, Mark Esper. Austin promised to “rid our ranks of racists,” and said he takes the problem personally. “The Defence Department’s job is to keep America safe from our enemies,” he said. “But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.” Austin said he will insist that the leaders of every military service know that extremist behaviour in their ranks is unacceptable. “This is not something we can be passive on,” he said. “This is something I think we have to be active on, and we have to lean into it and make sure that we’re doing the right things to create the right climate.” He offered glimpses of other policy priorities, indicating that he embraces the view among many in Congress that China is the “pacing challenge,” or the leading national security problem for the U.S. The Middle East was the main focus for Austin during much of his 41-year Army career, particularly when he reached senior officer ranks. He served several tours of duty as a commander in Iraq, including as the top commander in 2010-11. An aspect of the defence secretary’s job that is unfamiliar to most who take the job is the far-flung and complex network of nuclear forces that are central to U.S. defence strategy. As a career Army officer, Austin had little reason to learn the intricacies of nuclear policy, since the Army has no nuclear weapons. He told his confirmation hearing that he would bone up on this topic before committing to any change in the nuclear policies set by the Trump administration, including its pursuit of nuclear modernization. Austin, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served in 2012 as the first Black vice chief of staff of the Army. A year later he assumed command of Central Command, where he fashioned and began implementing a strategy for rolling back the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He describes himself as the son of a postal worker and a homemaker from Thomasville, Georgia, who will speak his mind to Congress and to Biden. Robert Burns And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Canadian forward Cyle Larin added to his goals total in the Turkish Super Lig on Thursday scoring in league-leading Besiktas' 4-1 win at Fatih Karagumruk. The 25-year-old from Brampton, Ont., made it 3-0 for the Black Eagles in the 66th minute, sliding to knock a cross from left back Ridvan Yilmaz into the corner of the goal. Larin kissed the club crest on his jersey and pounded his chest in celebration after the goal Larin who came into the game having scored six times in his previous four outings, is second in the Turkish Super Lig scoring race with 12 goals. He also has three goals in other competitions. Veteran Canadian midfielder Atiba Hutchinson also started for Besiktas, which tops the Turkish table at 13-4-2. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press