Here's what each company is expected to have spent at the FCC auction, and what those outlays will mean for investors.
President Joe Biden on Saturday said his administration would make an announcement on Saudi Arabia on Monday, following a U.S. intelligence report that found Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had approved the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Biden administration has faced some criticism, notably an editorial in the Washington Post, that the president should have been tougher on the crown prince, who was not sanctioned despite being blamed for approving Khashoggi's murder.
(Submitted by Gerald McKenzie - image credit) First Nations in Saskatchewan have continued to be hit hard by COVID-19 in the first two months of 2021. According to Indigenous Services Canada, during the first seven weeks of 2021, there were 2,779 new cases in reserves in Saskatchewan — more than in any other province. By comparison, in that same time period, there were 2,290 cases on reserves in Manitoba and 2,389 in Alberta. In a Wednesday news release, Indigenous Services said it is "closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases reported in First Nations communities across the country." However, there is some good news — active case counts are declining, and there has not yet been a confirmed case of any of the new coronavirus variants of concern on reserve. Vaccine deliveries are also ramping up, and as of Feb. 23, Indigenous Services reported that more than 103,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in Indigenous communities throughout Canada. In Saskatchewan, as of Feb. 14, the federal department estimates that vaccine uptake in First Nations communities was at or above 75 per cent. Indigenous Services also said it is working to support the vaccine rollout for Indigenous adults living in urban areas. "ISC is working closely with [the] National Association of Friendship Centres, as well as provinces and territories, First Nation, Inuit and Métis partners, and other urban community service organizations to support planning efforts," the department said in its news release this week. "This includes working to identify barriers, challenges and opportunities for increasing vaccine uptake and ensuring the vaccine is available in culturally safe and accessible locations." According to the department, vaccine clinics for Indigenous adults are currently being planned for Saskatoon and Regina.
(Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/The Associated Press - image credit) Health Canada's approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India's version to prevent COVID-19 in adults follows similar green lights from regulators in the United Kingdom, Europe Union, Mexico and India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, called ChAdOx1, was approved for use in Canada on Friday following clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil that showed a 62.1 per cent efficacy in reducing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 cases among those given the vaccine. Experts have said any vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50 per cent could help stop outbreaks. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said the key number across all of the clinical trials for those who received AstraZeneca's product was zero — no deaths, no hospitalizations for serious COVID-19 and no deaths because of an adverse effect of the vaccine. "I think Canada is hungry for vaccines," Sharma said in a briefing. "We're putting more on the buffet table to be used." Specifically, 64 of 5,258 in the vaccination group got COVID-19 with symptoms compared with people in the control group given injections (154 of 5,210 got COVID-19 with symptoms). Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, called it a positive move to have AstraZeneca's vaccines added to Canada's options. "Even though the final efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine appears lower than what we have with the mRNA vaccines, it's still reasonably good," Hota said. "What we need to be focusing on is trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated so we can prevent the harms from this." Canada has an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 20 million doses as well as between 1.9 million and 3.2 million doses through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX. WATCH | AstraZeneca vaccine overview: Canada will also receive 2 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the government announced Friday. Here's a look at some common questions about the vaccine, how it works, in whom and how it could be rolled out. What's different about this shot? The Oxford-AstraZeneca is cheaper and easier to handle than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at ultracold temperatures to protect the fragile genetic material. AstraZeneca says its vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C) for at least six months. (Moderna's product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures for 30 days after thawing.) The ease of handling could make it easier to administer AstraZeneca's vaccine in rural and remote areas of Canada and the world. "There are definitely some advantages to having multiple vaccine candidates available to get to as many Canadians as possible," Hota said. Sharma said while the product monograph notes that evidence for people over age 65 is limited, real-world data from countries already using AstraZeneca's vaccine suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups. "We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that would have been over 80 and that has shown significant drop in hospitalizations," Sharma said, based on a preprint. Data from clinical trials is more limited compared with in real-world settings that reflect people from different age groups, medical conditions and other factors. How does it work? Vaccines work by training our immune system to recognize an invader. The first two vaccines to protect against COVID-19 that were approved for use in Canada deliver RNA that encodes the spike protein on the surface of the pandemic coronavirus. Health-care workers Diego Feitosa Ferreira, right, and Clemilton Lopes de Oliveira travel on a boat in the state of Amazonas in Brazil, on Feb. 12, to vaccinate residents with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures, which facilitates its use in remote areas. In contrast, the AstraZeneca vaccine packs the genetic information for the spike protein in the shell of a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. Vaccine makers altered the adenovirus so it can't grow in humans. Viral vector vaccines mimic viral infection more closely than some other kinds of vaccines. One disadvantage of viral vectors is that if a person has immunity toward a particular vector, the vaccine won't work as well. But people are unlikely to have been exposed to a chimpanzee adenovirus. AstraZeneca is working on reformulating its vaccine to address more transmissible variants of coronavirus. How and where could it be used? Virologist Eric Arts at Western University in London, Ont., said vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, which is also under review by Health Canada, and Russian Sputnik-V vaccines all have some similarities. "I do like the fact that AstraZeneca has decided to continue trials, to work with the Russians on the Sputnik-V vaccine combination," said Arts, who holds the Canada Research Chair in HIV pathogenesis and viral control. Boxes with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at St. Mary's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Health Canada says the vaccine is given by two separate injections of 0.5 millilitres each into the muscle of the arm. "The reason why I'm encouraged by it is I think there might be greater opportunity to administer those vaccines in low- to middle-income countries. We need that. I think our high-income countries have somewhat ignored the situation that is more significant globally." Researchers reported on Feb. 2 in the journal Lancet that in a Phase 3 clinical trial involving about 20,000 people in Russia, the two-dose Sputnik-V vaccine was about 91 per cent effective and appears to prevent inoculated individuals from becoming severely ill with COVID-19. WATCH | Performance of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far: There were 16 COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group (0.1 per cent or 16/14,964) and 62 cases (1.3 per cent or [62/4,902) in the control group. No serious adverse events were associated with vaccination. Most adverse events were mild, such as flu-like symptoms, pain at injection site and weakness or low energy. Arts and other scientists acknowledged the speed and lack of transparency of the Russian vaccination program. But British scientists Ian Jones and Polly Roy wrote in an accompanying commentary that the results are clear and add another vaccine option to reduce the incidence of COVID-19.
OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced scoring attack in a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday afternoon at Canadian Tire CentreJuuso Valimaki, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames, who ended Ottawa's three-game win streak.Drake Batherson, Colin White and Brady Tkachuk replied for the last-place Senators. Ottawa (7-15-1) remain in the NHL basement with 15 points.Calgary (10-10-2) moved into a fourth-place tie with Montreal in the North Division with 22 points. The Canadiens were scheduled to play the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night.The Flames opened the scoring four minutes into the game. The speedy Johnny Gaudreau zipped around a couple of Ottawa players before sending a backhand saucer pass to Valimaki for the one-timer.The Flames scored again 37 seconds later as Backlund flipped a rolling puck past a handcuffed Matt Murray.The Sens goalie stopped 27-of-33 shots on Saturday.Perhaps in an effort to spark his teammates, Austin Watson fought bruising Flames forward Milan Lucic on the ensuing faceoff. Lucic, who had a 35-pound weight advantage, won the decision.Calgary took advantage of some sloppy defensive play ahead of its third goal. Josh Norris turned the puck over deep in the zone and Lindholm snapped it in at 11:05.Batherson extended his goal-scoring streak to five games with a power-play effort at 13:05. He beat David Rittich with a wrist shot from the faceoff circle.Another Senators' defensive lapse proved costly early in the second period as Chris Tierney coughed up the puck down low. Gaudreau fed it to Monahan for the power-play goal at 4:02.A Calgary shorthanded goal followed at 9:36. Mangiapane hit the post with a redirect attempt before tapping in the rebound. White responded 40 seconds later by scooping a loose puck off the faceoff and snapping it past a screened Rittich. The netminder posted 31 saves in Calgary's win.The lone goal in the third period came when Brady Tkachuk scored on the Ottawa power play at 10:00.The Senators dumped the Flames 6-1 on Thursday night. The teams will face off again Monday in the finale of Ottawa's five-game homestand. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
MILAN — The fedora Humphrey Bogart wore in “Casablanca” may have secured Borsalino’s place in fashion and cinematic history, but it will be something like the cow-print bucket hat that will help ensure its future. The storied Italian hatmaker still makes its felt hats by hand in a Piedmont region factory, using the same artisanal techniques from when the company was founded in 1857 and some of founder Giuseppe Borsalino’s original machinery. It is updating its offerings for next fall and winter, with a focus on customization and youth-trends. The new collection displayed during Milan Fashion Week takes inspiration from the Arts & Crafts design movement in mid-19th century Britain. Hat pins with leaf and floral motifs allow women to uniquely shape the hats, to take up an oversized brim, say, or to create an elegant fold in the crown. A leopard fedora can be paired with a long chain, to wear over the shoulder when going in and out of shops, while a clochard has an optional leather corset. “You cannot change a hat so much,’’ Giacomo Santucci, Borsalino’s creative curator, said. “You can change the attitude of the hat.” Unisex styles, including baseball caps, berets and bucket hats, come in updated new materials - including a spotted cow print, black patent leather and rainproof nylon. Such genderless looks are becoming an increasingly important part of the collection, Santucci said. “The hat is no longer a tool to cover yourself, but to discover yourself,’’ he told The Associated Press. The company, which relaunched three years ago, was in the process of scaling up production from 150,000 hats a year to a goal of half a million when the pandemic hit. “To be honest, it is such a small company, in a way it is very simple to react,’’ said Santucci, who is also the current president of the Italian Chamber of Buyers. “The smaller you are, the more reactive and prompt." Beyond new styles, that means getting people talking. Santucci, who was Gucci CEO during the Tom Ford era, created a new film for this season, featuring Milanese women who chose hats to match their styles, striding through the centre of the city. Last season’s film featured dancers from Alessandria, site of the original Borsalino factory, dancing through the factory floor. "My strong belief is that fashion is becoming more and more a discussion,'' Santucci said. New social media platforms like Clubhouse are giving people the chance to create a limited and select group to discuss relevant topics, which Santucci said has been key during the isolation imposed by the pandemic. He also has pursued collaborations with ready-to-wear brands, including Borsalino X Valentino. “Brands are changing. It is getting closer to entertainment, to give people the chance to engage with the brand, to understand it better. Not only to understand what was done in the past, but to really interact and to have the chance to be part of the same community,’’ Santucci said. Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
YEREVAN, Armenia — About 15,000 protesters calling for the resignation of Armenia’s prime minister marched through the capital Saturday as pressure on the leader intensified after the country's president rejected his order to dismiss the chief of the military general staff. Protests against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan arose in November after he signed a cease-fire ending a six-week war with Azerbaijan over the separatist territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. The agreement saw Armenia lose control of territories in Azerbaijan it had held for more than 25 years. Top military officers this week joined in demanding Pashinyan’s resignation, a move that he called an attempted coup. He ordered the dismissal of the chief of the general staff, but the order was subject to approval by Armenia's largely ceremonial president. President Armen Sarkissian sent the order back to Pashinyan on Saturday, saying he could not give approval because he considered parts of the decree to be in violation of the constitution. It was not immediately clear if Pashinyan would try to revise the order. At the protest rally, opposition politician Naira Zograbyan, who once was a journalist at a newspaper owned by Pashinyan, denounced the prime minister. “This is not a military coup. This is a revolution of thought, reason, love, which will win,” she said. The political crisis is being watched closely, particularly in Russia and Turkey, which compete for influence in the South Caucasus region. The South Caucasus has strategic importance as a bridge between Europe and Asia and major pipelines transporting Azerbaijani oil to the West pass through the region. The Associated Press
(Furrukh Ikram via YouTube - image credit) Peel Regional Police say a man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a tow truck and fleeing from officers on Friday. A video of the arrest surfaced online and shows the moments leading up to it. A spokesperson for Peel police told CBC Toronto that they received a call around 11:15 a.m. on Friday about several men fighting. At some point, a tow truck was stolen, they said. Police located the tow truck in a nearby residential neighbourhood. A video of the incident posted on YouTube by the user Furrukh Ikram shows the tow truck reversing out of a residential driveway in what appears to be a Brampton neighbourhood before a police cruiser catches up and rams into the side of the truck. Several other cruisers then arrive to box in the vehicle on each side. Police officers exit their cruisers and begin pounding on the driver's side of the truck yelling, "Get out!" while the the vehicle appears to continue attempting to flee. WARNING | The following video contains graphic images and audio It is unclear whether police used Tasers in their efforts to stop the driver, but crackling can be heard in the video. After a couple of minutes, police can be seen forcibly removing the man from the truck and placing him under arrest. Police say the man was taken into custody and transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has invoked their mandate following the incident, police said. The SIU is an independent agency that investigates incidents involving police that result in serious injury or death as well as allegations of sexual assault. Police say a 35-year-old man has been charged with theft under $5000, theft of a motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Pembroke – The Barry’s Bay area was identified by the local health unit as the hotspot for COVID-19 in Renfrew County last week, making not only local news, but national news for the small village of about 1,300 people in the southwestern part of the county. “It put us in a very bad light as a community,” Madawaska Valley (MV) Mayor Kim Love told the Leader. “The concern from the business owners was the very negative impression this was giving of our community. We have been working very hard. The vast majority of the population has been working very hard to comply.” In an open letter to the community, she alsocalled out those who are not complying with directives from the Renfrew County District Health Unit (RCDHU). “To anyone simply unwilling to follow the guidelines of public health, if you can’t join the rest of society in wearing a mask, washing your hands and staying six feet apart, then please stay home,” she said. In a release last Friday from the RCDHU, Barry’s Bay was highlighted not only as an area of concern because of merchants who complain about customers not complying with mask wearing, but also “anti-mask demonstrations and concerns about post-secondary students not complying” with health unit directives. Since January 1st, the Bay area has had 27 cases of COVID-19 whereas the remainder of Renfrew County and the district covered by the RCDHU has totaled only 47. This is 36 per cent of all the cases in an area with only 12 per cent of the total population in RCD. However, a clarification on Monday given by the health unit to MV, where Barry’s Bay is located, stated the issue is not just seen as isolated to the village by the health unit, but the entire township, as well as neighbouring townships. These are: Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards (KHR); Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (BL&R) and South Algonquin. Mayor Love passed this on in a letter to the community, pointing out Barry’s Bay is the main service and employment centre for the area. “It has a combined population of approximately 12,600 people,” she wrote. “Of the 27 cases of COVID-19 referenced and attributed to the Barry’s Bay area by the RCDHU press release, 22 cases have been in Madawaska Valley, four in Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan and one in South Algonquin.” KHR has the distinction of being one of two municipalities in the county with no cases of COVID since the pandemic began, the other being Head, Clara and Maria. Pikwakanagan First Nation has also had no cases. Blindsided By Release It’s been a couple of challenging days for Mayor Love since Barry’s Bay was named a hotspot. The municipality and business owners were basically blindsided by the press release, she pointed out. “We had no notice, so that puts you in reactive mode,” she said. “We would prefer to be a partner in assisting in getting the message out.” Since then, the emails, calls and messages began to go back and forth between the township, the mayor and the health unit, as well as members of the local board of health. The township was also dealing with inquiries by business owners and community members who were concerned and upset. Impact on Business A Barry’s Bay business owner who spoke to the Leader on the condition of anonymity called the press release from the health unit “damaging, reckless and very careless” to frame the community as a hotspot. “It has affected business in Barry’s Bay and people’s perception of Barry’s Bay and coming into town,” he said. “And things like this last a long time.” Their business saw a “noticeable” decline in business since Saturday. Speaking to other business owners, they reported the same impact with declines in foot traffic or cancellations of reservations for services or appointments. “The damage they did to Barry’s Bay is unbelievable,” they said. “To get the title of hotspot thrown at us is unbelievable.” The fall out in social media has been tremendous as well, they noted. “People are criticizing businesses if they see snowmobiles parked at their locations,” they noted. “It is inciting back and forth comments that are not fair. “Everyone in the business community is feeling the fallout. There is no other way to describe it,” they noted. “It has been felt since the weekend.” Of added concern they said the health unit had never singled out another community like this and they questioned if it had a co-relation to the anti-mask protest on a Sunday earlier in the month in the community. They also said singling out post-secondary students was not fair since the post-secondary institution in the community, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College, has worked hard to ask students and staff to comply with local health directives. Ironically, as their business saw less foot traffic, the question was where people were going for their shopping. If they are choosing to travel to other communities to shop, it just increases the impact of travel. “They have scared people and put people in a worried state,” the business owner said. Timing of Release Mayor Love said while the spike in cases occurred in the first two weeks in January, the press release and notification of concern did not occur until the third week in February. “We wanted the health unit to know if they communicate with us as soon as they see a spike in numbers, we are there for them, to assist them with messages directly to our public,” she said. “We are there to help and also keep our communities healthy and safe.” Mayor Love said she understands MV had one case of COVID-19 early on in 2020 and no cases at the time of the December 26 provincial lockdown. By January 11, the township had 15 cumulative cases and seven active ones. “It could be someone travelling into Madawaska Valley from an infected area or someone travelling to an infected area and coming back to Madawaska Valley,” she said. “The travel that brought COVID-19 here might have involved cities like Ottawa or Toronto, but it could just as easily have been local travel within Renfrew County.” The mayor also described it as “unfortunate” a reporter travelled to the community from an Orange Zone to Barry’s Bay on Saturday to report on the situation. “I’m not sure that would be essential travel,” she said. The mayor said moving forward she is glad to have an open line of communication with the health unit and is anticipating a good working relationship as a partner in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Health Unit Warning Renfrew County and district has been classified as a Green Zone throughout the time the province had applied the COVID-19 Response Framework and was among the first regions to re-open following the provincial lockdown in December. With a total of 321 cases since the pandemic began and 11 active cases reported on Tuesday and two deaths since the pandemic began, the district is one of those with the lowest infection numbers in Ontario and well below the provincial average. Although early on the COVID numbers were isolated to the larger centres in the county like Arnprior or Renfrew and those closest to Ottawa, it is rare for one community to be highlighted as an area of concern within the county as has occurred with Barry’s Bay and region. One exception was when an outbreak occurred among a Mennonite Community in Whitewater Region, but that situation was always identified as being confined to the self-contained community. Dr. Robert Cushman, the acting chief medical officer of health for the health unit, stressed the county and district has had low numbers overall. “The exception is the Barry’s Bay area which, surprisingly, has seen more COVID-19 cases in 2021 than all of last year,” he said in a release. “While there is no obvious direct cause and effect link, and the spread has mostly been within families, we have to ask, why is this area not following the downward trend we see across the rest of RCD?” he asked. He did not rule out implementing more stringent rules in the Barry’s Bay area if the number of cases continues to rise. “Businesses are finally getting the chance to open again, to employ their workers, and to serve their customers delayed needs,” he added. “The last thing we want to do is to jeopardize our status and clamp down yet again on the economy, or possibly implement more stringent rules in the neighbourhood of Barry’s Bay compared to elsewhere in Renfrew County and district. “This is concerning as it will be a challenge with forecasts of a third wave driven by COVID-19 variants that are more infectious and spread quicker than the original strains of the virus.” Dr. Cushman said constant attention needs to be paid to masking, distancing and proper hygiene. Moreover, what stands out amongst the latest cases is the number of contacts and the additional spread. “COVID-19 is a very social virus, especially the new strains and it goes without saying that we need strict adherence to our household and workplace contacts to limit the spread,” he said. “We are all in this together and I would urge everyone of us, and especially the folks living in the Barry’s Bay area to be vigilant to protect themselves, others and the economy. As the old saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” Mayor Love Reaches Out Since the community was identified as a hotspot, Mayor Love sent two open letters to the community. “The municipality has repeatedly asked everyone to comply with provincial orders and follow the guidelines of public health,” she said in an open letter. “Not doing so jeopardizes the health of our essential workers, healthcare providers, families, seniors and the economic viability to the local businesses we all depend on. “To the vast majority of Madawaska Valley residents and visitors who are staying within their household bubbles, wearing masks, washing their hands, staying six feet apart and limiting their exposure to others, you are putting the well-being of our entire society first and we sincerely thank you,” she said. “To anyone who, for medical reasons can’t wear a mask, please contact a friend or a volunteer group that is willing to pick up food and essentials for you while you stay safe at home.” The mayor also addressed some of the concerns raised by Dr. Cushman. “To anti-mask protesters, please note that protests will not end this pandemic,” the mayor stated. “COVID-19 doesn’t care if you protest. Everyone who is following the guidelines of public health does care. If you can’t join us, then please stay home.” Mayor Love concluded by asking everyone in the community to follow the established protocols. “Let’s make sure the Barry’s Bay area doesn’t require stricter enforcement measures,” she said. “We are all in this together. We all need to stay vigilant right now to protect the local economy and our community.” As the focus shifted to Barry’s Bay late last week, the entire county and district saw a slow increase in COVID-19 numbers. Earlier last week an outbreak was reported at Valley Manor, the long-term care home in Barry’s Bay. An outbreak is declared at a long-term care home when one individual tested positive. Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader
EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs will be without star centre Auston Matthews when they take on the Edmonton Oilers Saturday. Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe says Matthews won't play due to a wrist injury that he's been dealing with for much of the year. Matthews has 31 points (18 goals, 13 assists) in 20 games for the Leafs this season. Toronto (15-4-2) will get some other key pieces back in the lineup — forward Joe Thornton returns from a lower-body injury, defenceman Jake Muzzin slots back in after missing two games with a facial fracture and goalie Jack Campbell is available after dealing with a leg injury. The Leafs currently sit atop the all-Canadian North Division, but the Oilers (14-8-0) are just four points back. Saturday's game kicks off a three-game series between Edmonton and Toronto. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch discusses Health Canada's approval of AstraZeneca and how it will impact vaccination efforts in this country.
(Langham Cultural Society - image credit) As B.C. marks 150 years since it joined Canada, a new book detailing the racist history of the province has been released as a public resource to help teach young British Columbians about an often unacknowledged part of our history. The 80-page illustrated book, titled Challenging Racist "British Columbia": 150 Years and Counting, delves into discriminatory policies that have impacted Indigenous, Black and Asian communities, and ties those histories to present day anti-racist movements. "This resource honours the activists and communities that have been fighting racism for 150 years and, as the current anti-racist uprising demonstrates, are still having to stand up to system racism on a daily basis," co-author John Price said. "Hopefully it serves as a wake-up call to governments that no longer should they engage in divide-and-rule policies." Founded in 1906 in Vancouver, the Khalsa Diwan Society brought together Sikh newcomers to build the first gurdwara in Canada, which became an important safe space for Sikhs, Hindus, Muslims and activists. "This is meant to be a hard hitting publication that reveals a real, harsher history of British Columbia," said Nicholas Claxton, co-author and elected chief of the Tsawout First Nation on southern Vancouver Island. "Teachers can begin to utilize it and also be used in teacher education programs to help start to teach the real history, not an ethnically cleansed history." Long term, Claxton hopes it will lead to justice for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of colour) communities. The book isn't just about the history of the province, Claxton said, but about ongoing systemic racism and how we can rethink where we've come from, and where we want to go in terms of racial equality. Indigenous activists, from left, Andrew Paull, Chief William Scow and Rev. Peter Kelly with the First Indian Advisory Committee. In 1945, Vivian Jung was denied entry to Crystal Pool when trying to fulfill her teachers’ training qualifications there. With her instructor and classmates behind her, they protested the discrimination until the colour bar was removed, and Jung became the first Chinese Canadian teacher with the Vancouver School Board. The project is a joint initiative between the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and a University of Victoria research project called Asian Canadians on Vancouver Island: Race, Indigeneity, and the Transpacific. It's available for download to the public at challengeracistbc.ca. To hear the interview with Nicholas Claxton, click here:
Thousands of flag-waving marchers demonstrated Saturday in Tunisia's capital in a show of support for the majority party in parliament. The demonstration follows political tensions between Tunisia's president and its prime minister, Hichem Mechichi. Mechichi has sought to reshuffle his Cabinet but has seen some of his proposed ministerial appointments blocked by President Kais Saied. Marchers in Tunis chanted “The people want national unity.” The demonstration was called by the Islamist Ennahdha party that holds the largest block of seats in Tunisia's parliament. Tunis,Tunisia, The Associated Press
COVID-19. Les plus récentes données sur l'évolution de la COVID-19, au Québec, font état de 858 nouveaux cas pour la journée d'hier, pour un nombre total de 287 003 personnes infectées. Parmi celles-ci, 268 645 sont rétablies. Elles font également état de 13 nouveaux décès, le nombre total de décès s'élève à 10 385. Le nombre total d'hospitalisations a diminué de 21 par rapport à la veille, avec un cumul de 599. Parmi celles-ci, le nombre de personnes se trouvant aux soins intensifs a diminué de 7, pour un total actuel de 112. Les prélèvements réalisés le 25 février s'élèvent à 28 226. Finalement, 15 902 doses de vaccin ont été administrées dans la journée d'hier, pour un total de 418 399. Jusqu'à maintenant, 537 825 doses ont été reçues. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
(Government of P.E.I. - image credit) Prince Edward Island is reintroducing some public health restrictions — including no indoor dining at restaurants —after six new cases of COVID-19 were reported Saturday. The restrictions will begin Sunday and be in effect until at least March 14, Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, said in a COVID-19 briefing Saturday. P.E.I. has had 12 cases in the past four days, and a handful of potential exposure sites have been identified. "This outbreak is likely to get worse before it gets better," Morrison said. Other "circuit-breaker" measures announced Saturday include: Takeout only at restaurants. Personal gatherings limited to household members plus 10 "consistent" people. Organized gathering limit of 50 for activities including concerts, worship services, and movie theatres Weddings and funerals limited to 50 individuals plus officiants. Not eligible for multiple gatherings. No funeral or wedding receptions. No sports games or tournaments, though practices are permitted. Gyms, museums, libraries and retail stores can operate at 50 per cent capacity. No changes to current measures for long-term care facilities. Unlicensed and licensed child-care centres can operate at 100 per cent capacity, with physical distancing. The Chief Public Health Office has asked all people aged 14-29 in the Summerside area to get tested this weekend even if they are not experiencing symptoms. People with symptoms are asked to get tested at clinics in Slemon Park or on Park Street in Charlottetown. By 3 p.m. Saturday, Morrison said close to 1,000 tests were done at the temporary clinic at Three Oaks High School. The clinic is open until 8 p.m., and will be open Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for anyone in the Summerside area aged 14-29. Callbecks Home Hardware in Summerside was identified Saturday as a possible exposure site. The new cases, five men and one woman, are all in their 20s. Five are close contacts of previous cases. Four new exposure sites were also identified on Saturday — Callbecks Home Hardware in Summerside, Pita Pit locations in Summerside and Charlottetown, and Burger King in the Summerside Walmart. Premier Dennis King said the province does not know if the new cases are variants, but the assumption is they are. He said it's not the news he wanted to deliver, but said circuit breakers have proven effective in the past. "I think it's discouraging from the perspective for all Islanders simply because we've done very, very well to date and we can see the finish line, but we do seem to be stuck in this tangled spider's web of COVID that it won't really let us firmly out of its grip." P.E.I. has had 126 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began almost a year ago. Thirteen remain active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations. The Atlantic bubble remains suspended, as well. Here is a list of possible public exposure sites on PEI. Public health officials are urging anyone who was at these locations on these dates and at these times to immediately self-isolate and get tested. Pita Pit, Summerside: Feb 19, 11 a.m.-9 pm.; Feb 21, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Feb 22, 12 noon-9 p.m.; Feb 23, 12 noon-9 p.m.; Feb 24, 2-4 p.m.; Feb 26, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Callbeck's Home Hardware, Summerside: Feb. 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (all dates) Burger King, Granville Street, Summerside: Feb 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Feb 17, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; Feb 18, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; Feb. 20, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.; Feb 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Feb 22, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; Feb 23, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Feb 24, 8 a.m.-2 p.m.; Feb 25, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Dominos Pizza, Summerside: Feb 17, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Feb. 18, 4-11 p.m.; Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Feb 20: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Feb. 21, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Feb 22, 4-11 p.m.; Feb 23, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.; Feb 24, 4 p.m.-1 a.m. Shoppers Drug Mart, Summerside: Feb 21, 10-11 a.m. Dollarama, Summerside: Feb 20, 3-4 p.m. Superstore, Montague: Feb 24, 4:30-5:30 p.m.; Feb 25, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Tailgate Bar & Grill, Montague: Feb 25, 9:30-11:30 p.m. Iron Haven Gym, Summerside: Feb. 20, 6-8 p.m.; Feb 23, 6-8 p.m. Toys R Us, Charlottetown: Feb 23, 10 a.m.-12 noon Taste of India, Charlottetown: Feb 20, 4-10 p.m.; Feb. 21, 3-9 p.m.; Feb 22, 3-9 p.m.; Feb 23, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The Breakfast Spot, Summerside: Feb 20, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. New Brunswick reported two new cases on Saturday as the active total, 41, continues to drop. New Brunswickers can now travel and visit people in different regions after a series of changes to the orange phase took effect. Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday as tighter restrictions came into force to stem a recent increase in case numbers. The province has 39 active cases. Newfoundland and Labrador reported four new cases, as well as another death. It has 217 active cases. More from CBC News
A Vancouver-area health authority says people at three schools in the region have tested positive for a COVID-19 variant of concern.A news release from Fraser Health says it is working with the Surrey school district to manage COVID-19 exposures at Queen Elizabeth Secondary School, Frank Hurt Secondary School and M.B. Sanford Elementary School. It says the cases involving an unspecified COVID-19 variant appear to be linked to community transmissions, but the schools will remain open. The health authority also declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Royal Columbian Hospital on Friday.It says five patients at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19 after evidence of transmission in a medicine unit.It says the emergency department remains open and no other areas have been impacted.Meanwhile, an outbreak at the CareLife Fleetwood long-term care home in Surrey was declared over.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press - image credit) Some Halifax restaurants are questioning the latest COVID-19 restrictions, with at least one taking dining rules a step further. On Friday, the province announced new restrictions in the Halifax area to act as a circuit-breaker as case numbers moved higher. Four new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing the total of active cases to 39. As of Saturday, restaurants and bars must stop serving food and drink by 9 p.m. and must close by 10 p.m. The rules will be in place for at least one month. But Brendan Doherty, co-owner of the Old Triangle pub in downtown Halifax, said it seems like an "empty restriction" that won't accomplish much beyond hurting businesses during an already slow season. "We do feel like something extra does need to be done at the moment, we do need to be more cautious," Doherty said. "And … there are many tools in the tool chest that could have been used. "We decided to be proactive and put our heads together and say, 'You know, what can we do given the circumstances that actually gives a chance to help the situation we're currently in?'" To go that extra step, the pub will limit the number of people allowed at a table to six, which is below the 10-person cap mandated by the province. The business will be closed on St. Patrick's Day after Doherty said the government rejected a proposal for a pandemic-era plan on how to navigate the day. The pub is also working to bring in a sick-day program, Doherty said, so staff that feel unwell and go to get a COVID-19 test will still be paid for their scheduled shift. He said the move is important because this time of the year is always rough in the service industry, even without a global pandemic. Doherty said he doesn't want staff to feel financially obligated to come to work if they're not feeling well. Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang give a COVID-19 briefing earlier this week. Dr. Robert Strang, the chief medical officer of health, has consistently asked Nova Scotians to stay home if they have any symptoms of the virus. On Friday, Premier Iain Rankin said it's important to keep having discussions about paid sick days for people who need time off for testing. He said the point was raised when he reached out to speak with an opposition leader, but did not specify which one. "I met with him to discuss options so that we can support our workforce," Rankin said during the COVID-19 briefing. "It is something that we'll continue to discuss moving forward." The Nova Scotia NDP proposed a bill last year that would have allowed all workers, unionized or not, to be able to accrue up to six paid sick days per year, an idea the Liberals rejected during the spring sitting at Province House. Resources available now There is a federal program, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit, which provides $450 after taxes per week for up to two weeks. But some critics, workers' advocates and public health professionals say the program is flawed, and is an insufficient replacement for having employers guarantee paid sick leave. Doherty said he's not a health professional and doesn't know what the ideal plan would be to address the spread of COVID-19. But he suggested that zeroing in on travellers coming into the province, and big-box stores or businesses with far more customers in close proximity, might be more effective. He added that he's heard from many other restaurant and bar owners about their disappointment with the lack of communication and collaboration with the province, which Doherty said is different from earlier in the pandemic. Obladee, a wine bar in downtown Halifax, echoed that sentiment with a social media post on Saturday. It called on the government to show its evidence to support the 9 p.m. restrictions, and pointed out that their industry was given less than 24-hours notice before the changes went into effect. "Meaningful consultation with public stakeholders improves decision making and is a matter of transparency and fairness," the post said. "These decisions have major impacts on the livelihoods of thousands of Nova Scotians. We can do better." During Friday's briefing, Strang said cutting an hour of service is an attempt to balance public health risks while ensuring bars and restaurants can stay open. Any setting where people are in close proximity for a long period of time, without masks, carries a "significant risk" of virus transmission, Strang said. He said that the restriction sends a "very strong signal" that patrons need to limit their dining and drinking habits. "The restaurants themselves are not problematic, they're doing a very good job," Strang said. "But how the public are using the restaurants, the frequency, the going to restaurants [at] different times with different groups of people — the choices people are making when they go out to dine, is problematic." MORE TOP STORIES
Mexican authorities hope most of the asylum seekers living in a major encampment on the border will be allowed to enter the United States by the end of next week, according to a Mexican government source. The migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico, just across the river from Brownsville, Texas, is currently home to just under 700 migrants, according to the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR). The majority are asylum seekers who have been waiting in Mexico as their cases wind through U.S. courts under a program implemented by former President Donald Trump.
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is reporting four new cases of COVID-19 as stricter rules take effect to stop the spread of the virus. Provincial health officials say three of the most recent cases are in the Halifax region and are close contacts of previously identified patients, while the fourth case in eastern Nova Scotia is related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. The latest infections bring the total number of active cases to 39 as new measures to control the virus take effect in Halifax and some neighbouring municipalities. Nova Scotia's chief medical officer Dr. Robert Strang says while the number of new cases is low, he remains concerned that some recent cases do not have an obvious source of infection. He says the new restrictions will act like a "circuit breaker" to stop the potential spread of a new coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom. The new measures include closing restaurants and bars by 10 p.m. as well as restrictions on visitors to long-term care homes. All sporting games, competitions, tournaments and in-person performances have been banned, though sports practices and training or arts and culture rehearsals can continue with a cap of up to 25 people without spectators. Nova Scotians are also being asked to avoid all non-essential travel within the province, especially to and from the Halifax area. Premier Iain Rankin reiterated the need for stricter restrictions despite the low number of new cases on Saturday. "While today's case count is lower than the last two days, I am still greatly concerned about the trend we have been seeing in recent case numbers in Halifax," he said in a statement. "We must follow the public health restrictions to reverse the recent trend. No matter whether you live in Halifax or elsewhere in the province, I encourage you, even if you don't have symptoms, to book an appointment at one of the primary assessment centres or drop into a pop-up testing site." The new measures cover areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality up to and including Porters Lake, as well as the communities of Enfield, Elmsdale, Lantz, Mount Uniacke and Hubbards. The new rules took effect at 8 a.m. Saturday and will be in place until March 26, with an extension possible. Meanwhile, the province has also changed rules for rotational workers. They will now be required to undergo three COVID-19 tests during their modified 14-day quarantine. Irving Shipbuilding, one of the largest employer's in the province, temporarily suspended production at the Halifax shipyard for the day Friday after a member of its workforce tested positive for COVID-19. The company is holding a pop-up testing site to test its employees this weekend. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2021. Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting its sixth death from COVID-19 as the province continues to battle an outbreak of a virus variant first detected in the United Kingdom. Health authorities say the latest death was a man over the age of 70 in the Eastern Health region. The province also recorded four new confirmed cases in the same region, including two females and two males with one between the ages of 20 and 39 and three between the ages of 40 and 49. Officials say contact tracing is underway and anyone considered a close contact has been advised to quarantine. Newfoundland has been in lockdown since Feb. 12, when officials first announced an outbreak in the St. John’s area was fuelled by the mutation of the novel coronavirus. The province has 271 active cases of COVID-19 and there are currently 10 people in hospital with six in intensive care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2022. The Canadian Press
A 17-year-old classical pianist and martial arts expert’s eyesight hangs in the balance as his mother begs for access to treatment for his rare disease retinitis pigmentosa. The teenager has a small window of opportunity: the treatment will stop or reverse a form of blindness, but only works if he has a certain amount of vision. They are fighting “like crazy” before he becomes ineligible for treatment and hoping for the government to step in soon. This is but one of the many stories shared by Durhane Wong-Rieger, president and CEO of the Canadian Organization for Rare Disorders (CORD). Feb. 28 is Rare Disease Day, and with one in 12 Canadians affected by a rare disease — two-thirds are children — Wong-Rieger talked about the burden felt by patients and families. “Rare diseases do affect a lot of people. There are between 6,000 and 7,000 rare diseases. Some will affect one in 2,000, some will affect one in a million, some are so rare that we only know maybe two people (affected) in all of Canada,” Wong-Rieger said. Some well-known rare diseases include cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell disease and Tay-Sachs disease. Many rare diseases are genetic due to a misprogramming of a person’s DNA, according to Wong-Rieger. Fifty per cent of rare diseases are non-spontaneous mutation: like cancer. “There are more people that have a rare disease than all cancer combined,” Wong-Rieger added. During newborn screenings in Ontario, where babies’ heels get pricked for a blood sample, only 36 rare diseases are tested. “Most children may seem normal, and will reach certain milestones, up until a certain age. Then they don’t progress or lose function,” Wong-Rieger said. On average, Wong-Rieger said it takes up to four to seven years to get a correct diagnosis for a rare disease, with parents getting from one to 14 misdiagnosis. Sometimes, treatments will make the child worse, or the misdiagnosis delays the treatment and the disease progresses. Wong-Rieger advises parents to keep a diary of symptoms to show physicians. “The federal government has promised $1 billion in 2019 to set up a rare disease program. We’re hoping before the end of this year, we will see this program in place and get the therapies available to patients who need them,” she said. “We want to make sure government is accountable. Canada is far behind than most of the European countries when it comes to (supporting those suffering from) rare diseases,” Wong-Rieger said. For more information, visit www.raredisorders.ca. Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News