The 3D printing specialist closes another direct offering, raising cash to beef up the balance sheet.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
There is an isolated cluster of COVID-19 cases among staff at the New Aiyansh Health Centre in Gitlaxt’aamiks, according to a Jan. 20 Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) communique. The positive COVID-19 cases have affected non-direct care staff, and NVHA is making changes to reduce foot traffic to and from the health centre. “Administration had anticipated this occurrence due to the increased transmission rate associated with the high volume of positive cases in the Nass,” the communique states. ALSO READ: Nisga’a state of local emergency extended, vaccines delayed Clinics in Gitlaxt’aamiks are closed except for emergencies for the rest of the week and medications will be dropped off at patients’ doors today (Jan. 21) and Friday. Internally, the health centre is reducing the number of staff in department offices, closing the staff room and reinforcing physical distancing and mask-wearing policies. According to the communique, the NVHA is considering a reduction in patient travel to slow the spread of COVID-19. The health authority is encouraging community members to cancel and reschedule non-emergency appointments outside the Nass Valley until the virus is contained. On Jan. 20, the The Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG) extended the local state of emergency for the Nass Valley. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
Shelburne Police Services (SPS) has revealed how they plan to enforce the Province’s new emergency declaration and stay-at-home order – ensuring officers won’t be conducting random vehicle or individual stops to check compliance. In a press release given last Thursday (Jan. 14), media relations officer Sgt. Paul Neumann said the local force’s initiatives for enforcing the order will be both “complaint-driven and proactive, with the goal of gaining compliance.” “Those that refuse to comply will receive the appropriate penalty,” wrote Neumann in the press release. “Enforcement will be aimed at those individuals who overtly put others in danger in our community.” The new stay-at-home order, which went into effect on Jan. 14, requires individuals to remain in their place of residence at all times unless leaving for an essential purpose such as the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, exercising or essential work. Shelburne Police say that over the past few months the vast majority of cases, where they’ve received a complaint or responded to a call where individuals are in violation, have willingly complied after being educated. “We expect this to remain the same moving forward and we thank those citizens who are doing their part,” said Neumann. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), while requesting Ontarians to “voluntarily comply” with the new order, also announced through a press release on Jan. 15 how they plan to enforce compliancy. The OPP said officers will be enforcing the order by focusing on non-compliance in businesses and restaurants, complaints from the public and outdoor gatherings of more than five people. “In the absence of a complaint or other ground, officers will not arbitrarily stop an individual or a vehicle or enter a dwelling for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the order. Individuals are not expected to provide proof of essential work. Officers can ask an individual to identify themselves if they have reasonable grounds to believe the individual is violating an Act,” noted Neumann. SPS and OPP officers will be enforcing the stay-at-home order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), and the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA); dispersing tickets to individuals found non-compliant. Fines for failing to comply with the order include $750 and/or $1000 for preventing others (including individuals, employees or other workers) from following the order. Maximum fines for individuals are up to $100,000 and $10 million for corporation. Failure to follow the order can result in prosecution or jail time. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
A Bedford, N.S., man is facing three sexual assault charges in relation to incidents that occurred in student housing at Dalhousie University in 2019. Halifax police say they have charged Michael James Allain, 20, with two counts of sexual assault involving one woman and a third count involving a different woman. The alleged assaults occurred in September and October 2019 and were reported to police in February and March 2020. Police say Allain was acquainted with both women, but did not provide further information in order to protect the identity of the women. MORE TOP STORIES
You might say Springwater Township’s zero-per-cent tax increase falls into the zero-net-sum game. If you continue to pay your taxes, they won’t raise them in 2021. “We generated a zero-per-cent increase because any increase is impacted by COVID-19. To generate a tax increase in this environment is just not fair,” said Coun. Jack Hanna. The 2021 budget has set aside $21.3 million in operating costs, $18.6 million for capital expenditures, $2.8 million for water operations and $1.7 million for wastewater management, for a grand total of $44.4 million. Originally, the budget was expected to show a 1.8-per-cent increase, but council convinced staff to keep the status quo for another year. “This year has brought unprecedented challenges for residents and businesses, as many struggle to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. By approving a zero-per-cent tax increase, council is providing relief to property owners and allowing them to better weather these uncertain times,” said Nicole Audette, Springwater’s communications officer. However, the budget does include a $2.6-million price tag for a new Springwater Fire Station 2 to be located at the corner of Bayfield Street and Snow Valley Road. It will eventually help service the Geranium subdivision development, which will see 342 homes built on Carson Road in the coming year. The County of Simcoe also approved its annual budget with a zero-per-cent increase. Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
The North Vancouver Island health region had just two new cases of COVID-19 in the second week of January. The first week of January showed three new cases, and the last week of 2020 had just one. The Local Health Area known as Vancouver Island North includes Woss, Zeballos and everything north. Confusingly, the larger Health Service Delivery Area, called North Vancouver Island, includes Campbell River, the Comox valley, Tahsis and Gold River. Vancouver Island West, encompassing Tahsis and Gold River, has not had a new case since it recorded two at the beginning of Dec. 2020. The Greater Campbell River area had three cases in the third week of January, four cases during Jan. 3-9, and four cases in the last week of 2020. Comox Valley, the most populous Local Health Area in the North Island, had nine new cases between Jan. 10-16, down from 18 in Jan. 3-9, and 21 cases in the last week of 2020. Updated Local Health Area data is published weekly. RELATED: B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
German researchers have enabled mice paralyzed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain. Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralyzed because not all of the nerve fibers that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back. But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralyzed mice's nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein.
A natural day-use recreation area near Evergreen Park will be enhanced to better accommodate pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists and equestrians. County of Grande Prairie council approved a management plan for the 99-acre area, christened Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area, during its regular meeting last week. “Over the past year, people have been outdoors, recreating more,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. “This (provides) another opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our natural backyards.” Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area is located northeast of Evergreen Park and north of the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS). It is also near approximately a half-dozen residences in Pine Valley South subdivision to the south, she said. Local people sometimes refer to the area as the “dog park” before the county named it Evergreen Ridge due to its proximity to Evergreen Park, according to administration. The area is Crown land and is leased to the county under a 2018 agreement with Alberta Environment. The natural trail network and sandy dunes are already used by pedestrians and dog-owners and PARDS members use trails as well, Beaupre said. The county means to maintain Evergreen Ridge as a “low-impact” recreational resource. It is not, said Beaupre, part of Evergreen Park. Alberta Environment and Parks requested a management plan be developed. Beaupre added a plan can prevent conflicts between responsible users and others using the area for unpermitted fires or illegal dumping. According to county communications, the plan as approved by council proposes infrastructure improvements to begin this spring. The improvements include new signage and the addition of an information kiosk, as well as fencing around the area’s eastern boundary. The kiosk will be unstaffed and will include more signage, and the information may include trail directions, Beaupre said. The signage may also provide information about local animal species, as well as communicate pets must be kept on leashes, according to the plan. Local wildlife includes mule deer, elk, moose, black bears, coyotes and smaller mammals, but due to heavy human use large animals aren’t common in the area, according to administration. The parking lot is mainly sand, and the county may grade it and perhaps add a culvert as part of the improvements, according to the plan. Funds of under $5,000 for Evergreen Ridge in the 2021 budget are expected, according to county parks and recreation. Evergreen Ridge does not allow overnight stays, off-highway vehicles or unleashed pets, according to the county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
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
Vital, critical, indispensable, crucial and necessary … all words the Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) is using to describe the province’s current stay-at-home order. “People ask the question, is it necessary? We're doing really well in Grey-Bruce. Yes, we're doing really well, but it is very necessary,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall event hosted by Bruce Power on Wednesday evening. “The Premier said it best, you can look at the regulations and all the complexity of it. But it is simple – just stay home,” Arra said. “When you do this, just remember it's painful but it is saving lives.” Arra is asking the public to look at the current order in a positive light, as it has alleviated the concern of individuals travelling into Grey County from other high-risk, red-zone areas. He said in December the health unit had placed a lot of focus on how individuals from neighbouring communities that were experiencing high COVID case numbers had been moving into the county. “All that planning and communication was not necessary anymore when the province issued the lockdown. It has definitely balanced that equation that would be increasing the risk in our area,” he said. According to Arra, case numbers in recent weeks have remained relatively favourable, despite the health unit seeing a surge in cases following the holidays. “I'm very proud of the community, proud to be part of this community, that the surge was not larger than what it was over the past few weeks,” Arra said, adding that the case numbers have now begun to taper down. “The past week has been averaging around three or four cases per day, which is a success,” he said. As of Jan. 20, there have been 657 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Grey and Bruce counties. Currently, there are 30 active cases and two individuals being hospitalized. According to Arra, early December is believed to have been the peak of the second wave of COVID in Grey-Bruce. However, Arra is asking the public to remain cognizant that the province has been seeing a large number of cases reported every day since the holiday. “We've seen 3,000 cases per day and they're going to translate into higher admission to the hospital, to the ICU, and unfortunately, in deaths,” he said. “People might say, well, in Grey-Bruce we have only two cases in the hospital. But, again, we're not on an island. And our [healthcare] system is built to support universality.” He explained that as the provincial healthcare system continues to be strained, the impacts will trickle down to other regions, adding that the province has already begun transferring patients between hospitals. “We need all of us to stay this course until the vaccine is in enough arms to make this pandemic nonexistent,” he said. “This is not going to end tomorrow. It's going to end in a few weeks and a few months and we need to stay the course.” Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's deputy premier and finance minister says she will leave politics when the next provincial election is called. Karen Casey made the announcement following a cabinet meeting today, saying that after 15 years representing the riding of Colchester North, she is ready to retire and wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. Casey says while she had been pondering her future for some time she only made a final decision over the last week. She had served under Premier Stephen McNeil in the education and health portfolios and was named deputy premier in 2017. McNeil, who is leaving politics next month, says he counts Casey as a personal friend and believes she played an "integral role" in helping return the province to fiscal health. Casey was a former interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives and defected to the Liberals in 2011. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday its COVID-19 antibody drug can prevent illness in residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations. It's the first major study to show such a treatment may prevent disease. Residents and staff who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19 compared to others at the same facility who got a placebo, the drugmaker said. Among nursing home residents only, the risk was reduced by up to 80%. The drug was approved by Health Canada in November, when the federal government and Eli Lilly also Canada signed an agreement for the company to supply 26,000 doses of the antibody drug, called bamlanivimab, to Canada between December and February. The U.S. study involved more than 1,000 residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care locations. The research was conducted with the National Institutes of Health. Results were released in a press release and the company said it would publish results in a journal soon. The Food and Drug Administration in November allowed emergency use of Lilly antibody drug as a treatment for mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 that do not require hospitalization. It’s a one-time treatment given through an IV. Lilly said it will seek expansion of that authorization to include using the drug to prevent and treat COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. Nursing homes and other long-term care locations have been hard hit by the pandemic. In the United States, they account for less than 1% of the population, but nearly 40% of deaths from COVID-19. These long-term care locations have been given priority to vaccinate residents and staff with recently authorized COVID-19 vaccines. The Associated Press
Commentators across the political spectrum spread anti-Islamic rhetoric, insisting that Islam is intrinsically violent and that Muslims are terrorists. But studies show these claims are unfounded.
When Tao Hipwell drove through Delta’s main thoroughfare, she felt the village’s strong energy, and yet, she knew it was one of those villages “that got lost to big-box stores.” She is seeking to change that by opening a wellness studio, purchasing and renovating the historic Jubilee Block building, with its 14-foot ceilings, large bay windows and hardwood floors. “It was becoming more derelict, so we decided to go ahead and purchase it in March 2019. We have an old farmhouse, so we know some things about renovations and restorations. My husband is a stonemason, but we’ve never tackled a big project. It was a steep learning curve, but it was fun, too,” Hipwell said. Hipwell is a doula, practices yoga and has taken wellness courses. Her mother is a massage therapist, with acupressure and reflexology training. “I come from a background of exposure to the benefits of those practices,” she said. When her family moved from Ottawa to Delta five years ago, Hipwell found it hard to find wellness studios in the area. She decided to open the studio “hoping to bring a more alternative, holistic understanding of health — physical, mental and spiritual to our small town. “Having a storefront and a place to actualize our vision of wellness is what we’re trying to do and embody here,” Hipwell said. As for the village’s reaction to a yoga studio, Hipwell said the response has been great. “It’s all been very positive. I was teaching yoga at the town hall, and I was getting 10 to 12 people per class three times a week. People are eager to get in touch with their health, (and) need to connect with their bodies,” she said. Fern and Fox Wellness studio was slated to open in December 2020, but had to postpone due to the current COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. “We’ve completed the commercial aspect. We are hoping to open (once restrictions are lifted),” she said. The studio will carry local, ethically sourced, handcrafted natural products for the home and body, according to the website. Yoga classes will be offered for seniors, kids, teens and men at $15 per adult, as well as reiki, hot stone, reflexology and readings (tea, tarot, palm and chakra). The Jubilee Block has five storefronts, and Hipwell owns the first two units, as well as the three residential apartment units on the second floor. The apartments have been gutted to its “bare bones,” according to Hipwell, and the second commercial unit, with a bakery, will open soon. On the practice of yoga, Hipwell has this to say: “Generating peace in itself gives you a broader understanding that we’re part of a much wider web. Yoga helps you understand that.” For more information, call 613-292-1564 or visit www.fernandfoxwellness.com. Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
The Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) says the region is ready for kids to return to the classroom. “We, in Grey-Bruce, are in good standing to proceed with what we started in the first term of school,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall meeting held last night. Yesterday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the government will let students in seven public health units return to the physical classroom on Jan. 25. Students in the Bluewater District School Board and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board will be allowed back in the classroom starting Monday. “I realize that there may be some questions related to health and safety as students and staff return to in-person learning while the provincial stay-at-home order remains in place,” stated Lori Wilder, director of education for the Bluewater District School Board in a letter to parents. “With this regional approach, and through consultation with public health, it has been determined that our relatively low local COVID-19 case numbers place us in a favourable position for students to physically attend school as many were doing before the holidays,” Wilder continued. According to Arra, current data trends in the region have indicated that it is time for kids to go back to school. “We are ready to go back. Does this mean that school is a safe place? It’s a pandemic and we need to remember this,” he said. GBHU's most recent situation report states there are currently 30 active cases the region and Grey-Bruce has seen a total of 657 cases since the onset of the pandemic. Arra noted that during the initial semester of classes, there were COVID-19 cases reported in school-aged children, however, no transmission was detected within the schools. “The screening handled most of these cases and prevented them from going into school. None of these measures are perfect. But, the more we implement them, the more committed we are to them, the better the results,” Arra said. According to Arra, the GBHU witnessed a surge of cases in October and November as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the province. During that time period, there were no outbreaks declared in any schools in Grey-Bruce. “That says that if it's circulating in the community, it does not mean it's going to be circulating in schools in that controlled environment. You can infer from it also, if the physical distancing, hand washing and other measures are implemented, it will be a safe environment, wherever that environment is,” he stated. As the students return to the classroom next week, Arra is quick to remind parents that the provincial stay-at-home order is still in effect and he would discourage any activities outside of the home and classroom. “The fact that the kids are going back to school, does not mean that the stay-at-home order does not stand,” he said. “Going outside of our homes for whatever the activity is different from our children getting the social and educational experience they need.” Arra said, at this point, kids should not be engaging in after-school activities or social engagements. “I would ask everybody to remember this is not mutually exclusive – staying at home and returning to the classroom – we need to do one and the other to actually make both work,” he said. “The school staff, teachers, workers are doing an amazing job at controlling the environment. If kids get together after school, that's not a controlled environment. A birthday party, or whatever it is, that's definitely the opposite of controlled environments.” Students returning to the classroom on Monday will continue to be required to complete the province's daily COVID-19 self screening questionnaire before coming to school. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
The spread of COVID-19 in Toronto is starting to slow down slightly, city officials said Thursday — but they added it's far too soon to celebrate any sort of victory. Toronto's R number (or reproduction number), which represents the number ofothers a single infected person infects, now stands below one for the first time in months, said Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa at a Thursday afternoon press conference. Experts say the R number needs to be below one to slow the spread of the virus. "Practically speaking, it means that we have a slight advantage over the virus," de Villa said. Toronto has also seen a decline in its seven-day average in cases, which now stands at 730 — down from 772 in the city's last report. That said, health officials need to see a consistent pattern of these sorts of indicators before they can call it a trend "with any kind of confidence," de Villa said. "It is very early going and a very delicate balance. The tide has not turned," she said, adding that the city would want to see some "sustained trends" before any thought is made to easing health restrictions. De Villa said the city is reporting 986 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, with 474 people in hospital and 474 people in intensive care. Another 10 people have also died, de Villa said. A stay-at-home order remains in place. Health officials at the city's news briefing also again drew attention to the fact that the coronavirus is disproportionately affecting racialized groups and people with lower incomes. De Villa noted that as of Nov. 30, South Asian and Indo-Caribbean had the highest case rate of all ethno-racial groups in Toronto, making up 79 per cent of cases while comprising only 13 per cent of the population. Overall, 79 per cent of reported COVID-19 cases were found in people who identified as belonging to a racialized group, while 49 per cent were found in people who live in lower-income households. Racialized groups and people with lower incomes are similarly over-represented in hospitalization figures, de Villa said. "So while COVID-19 is a threat to everyone, it is plainly imposing real and disproportionate burdens on racialized communities and lower income groups," she said.
The new U.S. president has signed a string of executive orders to combat the worsening COVID-19 situation in the United States. Canadian infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch says the approach signals 'good news' for the U.S. and Canada.
Alleged street gang associates accused of shooting at police who were pursuing them during a high-speed chase on Onion Lake Cree Nation had appearances in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 20. Crown Prosecutor Oryn Holm from North Battleford, told the court he was opposed to the release of Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, all from Onion Lake Cree Nation. Buffalo and Wolfe have show cause hearings on Feb. 3, and Chief has a hearing on Jan. 28. Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., appeared by CCTV from Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women and the appearances for the rest of the defendants were waived. The Crown agreed to McAlpine’s release. Defence Cameron Schmunk from Legal Aid in North Battleford told the court he was only representing McAlpine that day as duty counsel. She is scheduled to appear again on March 3. The case against Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, was adjourned to Feb. 3. Buffalo, Chief, Weeseekase, Wolfe and McAlpine were all arrested on Jan. 1, 2021. The incident started at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Onion Lake RCMP received a call from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV came into their private yard, drove off and smashed through their fence. RCMP patrolled the area in search of the SUV and found it driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. They followed the SUV down Highway 17 and then onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police saw a long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police. Police continued to pursue the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion Lake Cree Nation high school. Two men, including the driver and a front passenger, jumped out of the SUV and fled on foot into an open field. Police chased the fleeing suspects on foot and additional RCMP officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women. RCMP found the driver, Tyler Wolfe, hiding inside a garbage bin and the passenger in a nearby baseball field. From the SUV, police seized two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions. RCMP say the occupants of the SUV were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial RCMP General Investigation Section took over the investigation. Wolfe, Weeseekase, Chief and Buffalo were charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving. Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon. McAlpine was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. The charges against Wolfe, Weeseekase, McAlpine, Chief and Buffalo haven’t been proven in court. Onion Lake state of emergency Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in January 2020 after a string of drug and gang-related violence threatened the safety of the community, including three murders in as many months. If anyone has any information that could assist investigators, please contact Onion Lake RCMP at 306-344-5550. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Tara Cooper is a fourth year undergraduate honours student studying psychology at Vancouver Island University in British Columbia. Cooper is currently conducting research under professor Marla Morden with the aim of better understanding the mental health impacts of pandemic related school changes on children across Canada. Morden’s team is performing a longitudinal study over five years that is “trying to shed light on how to support families should a pandemic happen again.” Cooper mentioned that Mental health outcomes have been found to be one of the main factors weighing on caregivers as they decide how to pursue their children’s education this year. The study is being funded by the ministry of health and attempts to get a large sampling of participants from different regions across our country. Cooper says that the research team understands that children’s education and mental health will be impacted in different ways across the country as provinces and territories have differing public health measures and also vary in other contributing factors like weather. Her recruitment strategy began with contacting dayhome’s and family support groups looking for participants, but she got very limited feedback. This could perhaps be due to the fact that the pandemic has shut a lot of these places down and many people are working from home. Eventually, Cooper turned online to further recruit participants and has had success joining parenting groups on Facebook and other social media sites. While she has been recruiting Canada-wide, the questions do not ask participants what region a person is from. The survey does ask if the feedback is provided by a caregiver or a child, as both are welcome to respond to questions about how pandemic school experiences are affecting mental health and behavioural outcomes. Cooper notes that they have mainly received feedback from female caregivers. Survey questions for children include discussion surrounding how it’s going with the new rules at school, and how it’s going with peer and teacher relationships. Morden shares that there are 200+ questions forcaregivers to answer depending on if they are answering for more than one child. These include questions regarding how satisfied you are with the school year so far, how satisfied you are with extracurricular options, and with your child’s academic performance. There is a rating scale provided and further space to elaborate in one’s own words. There are also sections about standardized psychology in the survey asking a caregiver to rate their perception of stress as a parent, to report on a child’s behaviour, and to rate interaction and relationship with the given child. Cooper hopes to keep participants interested in the study for next five years. For the first year the team will contact participants to respond to the exact same questions three times, fall winter and summer. In the following four years participants will be contacted. While it is not mandatory to stay involved in the study once joining, there is a draw for a $50 amazon gift card to incentivize and encourage participants to continue at each time point. Cooper says “my interest in this comes from being interested in research and developing my skills and experience in research. It’s a super relevant subject for me because COVID has disrupted me and my schooling like everyone else”. Cooper and Morden hope their work will benefit decision makers to follow research based solutions if something like this should happen again, and could therefore result in better outcomes for kids in the future. If you would like to participate in the research you can email the team at email@example.com for a link to the survey. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star