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WASHINGTON — Monday seemed like the end of President Donald Trump's relentless challenges to the election, after the federal government acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden was the “apparent winner” and Trump cleared the way for co-operation on a transition of power.But his baseless claims have a way of coming back. And back. And back.On Thursday, after a Thanksgiving evening conversation from the White House with troops stationed overseas, Trump abruptly pivoted to angrily alleging — still without any evidence — that “massive fraud” was behind his defeat.Speaking to news crews gathered to watch the traditional holiday conversation with the military, Trump denounced officials in battleground states he'd lost as “communists” and “enemies of the state.” Trump also announced he'd be travelling to Georgia to meet with what he said would be tens of thousands of supporters on Dec. 5, ahead of two runoffs there that will likely determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.The 2020 presidential race is turning into the zombie election that Trump just won’t let die. Despite dozens of legal and procedural setbacks, his campaign keeps filing new challenges that have little hope of succeeding and making fresh, unfounded claims of fraud.But that’s the point. Trump’s strategy, his allies concede in private, wasn’t to change the outcome, but to create a host of phantom claims about the 2020 presidential race that would infect the nation with doubt and keep his base loyal, even though the winner — Biden — was clear and there has been no evidence of mass voter fraud.“Zombies are dead people walking among the living — this litigation is the same thing,” said Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. “In terms of litigation that could change the election, all these cases are basically dead men walking.”It's a strategy tolerated by many Republicans, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who are clinging to Trump as they face a test of retaining their own power in the form of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.“This really is our version of a polite coup d’etat,” said Thomas Mann, senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. “It could end quickly if the Republican Party acknowledged what was going on. But they cower in the face of Trump’s connection with the base.”A day after Trump said his administration should begin working with Biden's team, three more lawsuits were filed by allies attempting to stop the certification in two more battleground states. In Minnesota, a judge did not rule on the suit and the state certified the results for Biden. Another was filed in Wisconsin, which doesn't certify until Tuesday. Arizona Republicans filed a complaint over ballot inspection; the state certification is due Monday.And the campaign legal team said state lawmakers in Arizona and Michigan would hold meetings on the election “to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.”In Pennsylvania, where state Republican lawmakers met at Gettysburg on Wednesday to air grievances about the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani attended in person and Trump dialed in from the Oval Office.“We have all the evidence," Trump asserted. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion.”But the strongest legal rebuke yet came from a conservative Republican judge in federal court in Pennsylvania, who on Saturday dismissed the Trump team's lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the election. The judge admonished the Trump campaign in a scathing ruling about its lack of evidence. The campaign has appealed.Trump's allies have privately acknowledged their plan would never actually overturn the results, but rather might provide Trump an off-ramp for a loss he wasn't owning up to and an avenue to keep his base loyal for whatever he does next.“And then our governing and politics will be hellish, because he will continue doing what he’s doing from his private own perch,” Mann predicted.Emily Murphy, the top official at the General Services Administration, declared Biden the “apparent winner” Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. She made the determination after Trump's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states. She cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”Michigan certified Biden’s 154,000-count victory Monday, despite calls by Trump to the GOP members to block the vote to allow for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump claimed he was the victim of fraud. Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes there.“The board’s duty today is very clear,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns.”Still, the Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on.Trump and his allies have brought at least four cases in Michigan that sought — unsuccessfully — to block certification of election results in part or all of the state.In Pennsylvania, after Gov. Tom Wolf certified Biden as the winner, an appeals court judge ordered state officials to halt any further steps toward certifying election results. The state has appealed to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.In Arizona, just as lawyers for a woman in the Phoenix area dropped a case alleging that equipment was unable to record her ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen, Trump’s campaign filed its own lawsuit echoing some of the same complaints. As that suit was about to be dismissed, lawyers for the woman filed a new case reviving the claims and demanding that she be allowed to recast her ballot. All three of the cases have now been dismissed.“The legal process seems to be unfolding the way it’s supposed to, but the Trump campaign has made clear its desire to throw wrenches in the system wherever it can,” said Lisa Marshall Manheim, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.___Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.Colleen Long, Alanna Durkin Richer And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
A 24-year-old woman from Eskasoni, N.S., is dead and three others suffered serious injuries after an early morning single-vehicle crash on Thursday. In a news release, RCMP say they were called about an impaired driver in the community just after 1 a.m.While en route, they got another call about a pickup truck going into a ditch along Highway 216, where it struck a utility pole and knocked down power lines.Police say the truck matched the vehicle description in the initial report.The man who was driving and another man and a woman, who were passengers, were all sent to hospital with serious injuries.RCMP say the second woman was found dead at the scene near the rear of the truck. Police are investigating the crash.MORE TOP STORIES
BURNABY, B.C. — Four men are facing charges after police say they broke up a gambling ring in Metro Vancouver.The illegal gambling team linked to B.C.'s specialized anti-gang unit says it investigated a suspected gaming house earlier this year and served a search warrant in July at Big Shots Cafe in Burnaby.A statement from the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit says several people were taking part in what appeared to be illegal gaming.Items such as poker tables, slot machines, cash, poker chips and playing cards were seized during the raid on July 4.Two Burnaby residents, a Delta man and one from New Westminster, all aged between 36 and 58, are now charged with being in a common gaming or betting house.Court records show all four are scheduled to return to provincial court in Vancouver on Friday and again on Jan. 6, 2021.Sgt. Brenda Winpenny says in the statement that it is a criminal offence to take part in unauthorized gambling in B.C.“Illegal gaming, and the locations that allow them, have been the root of other criminal offences that impact the safety of the public," Winpenny says.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.The Canadian Press
Halifax-area businesses ordered closed in an effort to curb the city's rising number of COVID-19 cases are getting another round of financial support from the province.Business Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday that the province would offer a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to small, independently owned bars, dine-in restaurants and fitness and leisure centres.The businesses are among those that are now closed for at least the next two weeks under health measures that took effect Thursday.MacLellan said it's the third round for a grant which is part of a larger $50-million relief fund for business."Those who received this in the past will be fast-tracked," he told reporters following a cabinet meeting. "If there are any that didn't apply . . . they still will be eligible."Businesses can use the grant money for any operational expenses, such as wages and supplies. To be eligible, businesses must have been operating since March 15. There is no cap on annual revenues."It's not going to solve everyone's problem. We always wish we could do more," MacLellan said.Under the new restrictions, retail stores can remain open, but they have to limit the number of shoppers and staff to 25 per cent or less of their legal capacity.MacLellan said while retailers aren't part of the targeted relief package, his department will monitor the impact on their business over what is hoped will be only a two-week period before the measures can be lifted.The province reported 14 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, including 12 in the Halifax area, one in the northern health zone and one in the western zone.It said 856 tests were administered at the rapid-testing site in downtown Halifax on Wednesday, and there were five positive results. The individuals were directed to self-isolate and have been referred for a standard test."We've seen a great uptake for asymptomatic testing among Halifax bar staff and patrons," Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health said in a news release."People are showing us how much they care about their communities by going to these pop-up rapid-testing locations. This has allowed us to detect a few cases among asymptomatic people early on and helps to stop the spread of the virus."Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has reported 167 COVID-19 cases, and it has had 1,257 cases and 65 deaths since the pandemic began.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2020.Keith Doucette, The Canadian PressNote to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said companies had to have between $25,000 and $300,000 in annual sales to be eligible.
A proposed cannabis-production facility got a prescription from Dr. No as the RM of Edenwold rejected a request for a discretionary use permit by a 4-3 margin on Nov. 17. The proposal from Cameron Family Farms had been tabled over several council meetings while the Camerons sought to address council’s concerns over the project as well as earn local support from area residents for their proposal. While council had approved other cannabis production proposals previously, RM councillors balked at this one when a letter signed by more than 15 residents indicated many of the Cameron’s neighbours opposed the proposed greenhouse be used for growing cannabis. In response to that opposition, the Camerons say they sent a letter to their opponents, offering answers to their concerns. “We heard nothing back,” Ian Cameron said. “We refrained from going to visit them because of COVID. Nobody has gotten back to us with any of their concerns, but we did go to them with factual information rather than opinion. I did want people to know it’s a greenhouse, not a retail operation. It’s a greenhouse, and what we plant in there is a controlled product for which we are subject to licensing, regulation and security, for which of course we would abide by all of the laws.” Reeve Mitchell Huber noted there was opposition to the project and said he had advocated that the Camerons go to their neighbours to address their concerns. “With the backlash as it was, council gets hesitant to give the discretionary permit because we try not to play God,” Huber said. “That’s a bit of a strong statement, but we’d rather see more harmony over the long term. You are right in that it would have been more invasive to start a cattle operation out there.” Councillor Craig Strudwick said while he personally did not have an issue with the Camerons’ cannabis plan, he had to take into account the area residents who came out in force to oppose it. For that reason, his was one of the four votes defeating the discretionary use application. After addressing council but prior to the vote denying his application, Cameron indicated there may still be some use for the facility. “Obviously we have built the greenhouse and have been at this for a while,” Cameron said. “If we don’t put (cannabis) in there, we’ll put something else in there that’s not so regulated because we have (already) built the facility.”Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
More than two-thirds of the world’s fields, ranches and orchards are owned by one per cent of its farmers, according to a report released Tuesday. Land inequality — the concentrated ownership of land — is skyrocketing globally, including in Canada and the U.S. It’s a trend driven by large-scale industrial farming and export-oriented agricultural policies with wide-ranging impacts on everything from food security to climate change. Those investments aren’t always obvious. Historically, land ownership analyses have excluded key pieces of information, such as the value of land and the degree of control a person or organization has over it, according to the report’s authors. For instance, many farms operate under contract to agri-food corporations, giving them control over production methods and market access without explicitly owning the farm. Investors are also purchasing farmland at increasingly high rates, pushing land prices beyond the value of the crops they can produce and exacerbating farmland consolidation. An analysis of these control mechanisms was included by the coalition of organizations behind the report — a novel technique, said Ward Anseeuw, co-author of the report and co-ordinator of the initiative. The additional data revealed that worldwide, land inequality is 41 per cent higher than previously reported through national agricultural censuses. “These findings radically alter our understanding of the extent and far-reaching consequences land inequality has, proving that not only is it a bigger problem than we thought, but it’s undermining the stability and development of sustainable societies,” he said in a statement. Concentrated land ownership is associated with a suite of problems, including deforestation, political and economic inequality and the degradation of rural food security, the report notes. And while land inequality is an old problem — it was a key part of many colonial governments’ policies — the authors note that since the 1980s, the problem has gotten worse. That’s when national and international trade policies were implemented that made it easier for financial institutions and global agri-businesses to purchase vast tracts of farmland for conversion into industrialized crop production. This land was generally purchased from small- to mid-sized family farms growing a diversity of crops for local or regional consumption. Replacing them were larger industrialized farms owned by vertically integrated companies invested from seed to sale in international commodity markets. It’s a trend that accelerated after the 2008 financial crash, said Devlin Kuyek, senior researcher at GRAIN, an international non-profit supporting small farmers and social movements. Those investors, including several Canadian pension funds, started purchasing farmland worldwide. And with deeper pockets than most farmers, they didn’t struggle to find the land, despite policies in certain jurisdictions — including some Canadian provinces — that limit foreign farmland ownership. It’s a practice that drives land consolidation, he explained. Meanwhile, smaller-scale farmers producing food for regional and local consumption often struggle to make ends meet because of high farmland prices and competition from global commodity markets. It’s a pattern that is seen worldwide — including in B.C., explained Mullinix. The province has a proliferation of small, diversified farms serving local markets, many of which struggle to afford farmland (farmland prices in the province are also driven by real estate speculation, not only agri-businesses and investments from financial institutions). There are also several large ranches and orchards producing food for Canada-wide and international markets — and not much in between. Still, Kuyek said that Canadians have more leverage than they might think. Canadian pension funds are some of the world’s largest farmland investors and sustained pressure from the people whose money they are managing can help change their practices. “We have an interest in understanding what’s going on with our money. If the money is being used to expand industrial agriculture, kick communities off their lands, destroying the future of the planet, it’s not really a good investment that way,” he said. “But this is a new area for the pension funds, so putting pressure on them now, making them aware of the risks … it can sort of push them to hold back from stepping into that area of investment.” Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
HALIFAX — The Indigenous leader at the centre of a simmering dispute over Nova Scotia lobster said Thursday the recent seizure of lobster traps in St. Marys Bay by federal officials could lead to big trouble on the water.Chief Mike Sack of the Sipekne’katik First Nation says Indigenous fishers whose traps were taken last weekend and on Wednesday will replace them by taking the traps of commercial fishers when the fall season opens Monday in southwestern Nova Scotia — a huge event known as Dumping Day."Dumping Day is going to be about 400,000 traps that our people get to pick from to replenish our traps," Sack said in an interview, referring to the start of Canada's largest and most lucrative lobster fishery.The seizures by Fisheries Department officers have undermined negotiations with federal officials aimed at establishing a moderate livelihood fishery that will operate outside the federally regulated season, Sack said."I have zero respect for them," Sack said, adding that he had spoken by phone with federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan earlier in the day. "I told her what I thought and hung up. They need to leave our gear alone; they're infringing on our rights and it isn't going to end here. I called them out for their blatant lies … The minister doesn't even know what (her) officers are doing and visa-versa."About 500 traps were seized on the weekend and another 100 on Wednesday, a federal official said.Sack said band members had about 300 moderate livelihood traps in the bay on the weekend, in addition to traps used for the Indigenous food, social and ceremonial fishery, which can take place at any time. He said two other Indigenous bands, Bear River and Acadia, have also placed traps in the bay.The Sipekne’katik First Nation attracted national attention on Sept. 17 when it started a self-regulated lobster fishery on St. Marys Bay, three months before the federally regulated season was scheduled to open. Sack has said First Nations in the Maritimes and Quebec have never given up the right to fish, gather and hunt when and where they want, as spelled out in treaties signed with the Crown in the 1700s.The Supreme Court of Canada affirmed those treaty rights in a landmark decision in 1999, but the court also said Ottawa retained the right to regulate the fisheries for conservation purposes. In the last three months, several other Indigenous bands in Nova Scotia have started their own self-regulated lobster fishing enterprises.The non-Indigenous lobster industry has argued that the federal Fisheries Department should shut down those businesses because they are operating outside the federally regulated season and are threatening the conservation of lobster stocks.A spokesman for federal fisheries officers confirmed Thursday that some of the traps that were recently seized were clearly identified moderate livelihood traps that complied with conservation rules.Todd Somerville, director of conservation and protection, said the status of the moderate livelihood fishery is still subject to talks with Ottawa, but said that officers consider the fishery to be an unlicensed, unregulated and illegal enterprise under the Fisheries Act."It's not our job to authorize or recognize the fishery," he said in an interview. "At the same time, we don't want to be deliberately disruptive to the negotiation process. We're trying to exercise a bit of due discretion." Somerville could not say how many moderate livelihood traps were removed from the bay, saying the focus was on removing untagged traps and gear that did not meet conservation rules. He confirmed that the number of recent removals was much larger than the other seizures made since the self-regulated fishery opened in September.Fisheries officers will be reaching out to the Indigenous communities to confirm the ownership of the moderate livelihood traps, he said. "We're very mindful and respectful of their rights and hope that a solution that is consistent with the legislation can be decided upon," he said. "We're trying to exercise our best judgment in some challenging situations."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26. 2020.Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Wellington County OPP say that thanks to witnesses, they were able to apprehend a suspected impaired driver in Erin this week. On Nov. 25, OPP received reports of someone demonstrating signs of impairment entering a red passenger vehicle and driving out of a parking lot on Main Street. The vehicle was located by police, who placed the driver under arrest after it was determined their ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol. The driver was transported to a local OPP Operation Centre for further testing. A 57-year-old driver from Erin was charged with impaired operation, impaired operation - 80 Plus (mg of alcohol per 100mL of blood), and driving while suspended, a Highway Safety Act offence. The vehicle has been impounded for seven days, and the driver had their licence suspended for 90 days. Police are reminding people that if they suspect someone’s ability to drive is impaired by either drugs or alcohol they report it by calling 911.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Team Halo is hoping to answer questions from those sceptical or hesitant about COVID vaccines. View on euronews
A one-year-old boy is dead and two people, including an Ontario Provincial Police officer, were seriously injured after a confrontation near Lindsay, Ont., on Thursday morning. The incident occurred in the City of Kawartha Lakes in the area of Pigeon Lake Road, also known as Kawartha Lakes Road 17. The area is about 130 kilometres northeast of Toronto.At a news conference Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson with Ontario's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) said OPP officers were made aware that a father had abducted his son from the municipality of Trent Lakes. Monica Hudon said officers located the vehicle of interest — a pickup truck — on Sturgeon Road and attempted to stop it. That's when the truck became involved in a collision with an OPP cruiser and another vehicle on Pigeon Lake Road. An OPP officer who was reportedly standing outside his vehicle at the time was seriously injured in this collision. In a confrontation with the 33-year-old driver, three officers shot at the man, who was hit and airlifted to hospital in serious condition. Hudon said the man's one-year-old son was in the backseat of the vehicle. He died of a gunshot wound, but the SIU says it is unclear if that gunshot came from the three officers. "It's too early for us to know why officers fired at the vehicle, and it's too early for us to know exactly what transpired," Hudon said. In a news release, OPP said the driver of the vehicle was apprehended and taken to a Toronto area trauma centre. Earlier on Thursday, OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique tweeted that a suspect was in custody after an OPP officer was "seriously injured.""An [OPP] officer has been seriously injured in an incident near Lindsay. A suspect has been apprehended and there are no concerns for public safety. Our thoughts and best wishes are with our officer, further information will follow," read a tweet by Carrique on Thursday morning.Later, Carrique tweeted that the officer was in stable condition.There is currently no threat to public safety, but drivers are being asked to avoid the area, OPP Sgt. Jason Folz said in a video tweet.Kawartha Lakes Mayor Andy Letham said he's not able to comment on an ongoing investigation but that the incident has shaken his central Ontario municipality."The community is in disbelief that this is happening," he wrote in an email.Kawartha Lakes police and York Regional Police will be assisting the OPP in their investigation. The SIU investigates incidents involving police in which death, serious injury or sexual assault occurs.
A B.C. First Nation community north of Fort St. James is on high alert after confirming one positive case of COVID-19. To date, Takla Nation Chief John French said the novel coronavirus has directly impacted at least 18 on-reserve and off-reserve members. The latest on-reserve member having tested positive in Takla Landing has been transported to Prince George, where they are self-isolating. “What we don’t know is how much interaction has gone on and how much this has gone out into our community,” French said in a Nov. 25 online community update. “This was always our fear.” By going into high alert, non-Takla members must now receive permission to access the community from the nation’s emergency operations centre. In-class instruction has been suspended for the next two weeks, and most admin and health centre staff are working from home A road checkpoint will be active near the Takla Trading Post. “It does kill,” French said, noting he is aware of individuals not taking the virus seriously. “We’re very concerned about our elders and those that are vulnerable; however, that’s not to say just because we’re younger and healthy that there’s any level of protection there. We could be affected as well.”Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
Balgonie’s fire department will have to wait a little bit longer before a decision is made on how soon its oldest truck will be replaced, but town council has sent a clear message the matter will be addressed sooner than later. Mayor Frank Thauberger said at Monday’s council meeting that once the new truck is purchased it will take 10 months to be built to the specifications requested and delivered. An estimated cost for the truck is $400,000. While the RM of Edenwold has been contributing to the annual operations of the Balgonie Volunteer Fire Department, plans for a new fire hall in Emerald Park will put an end to that arrangement, Thauberger said. “That will have to come out of our tax dollars,” Thauberger said. “We’ve had a program where we put money away for this every year.” Depending on when the new truck is purchased and payments required, the funds could be taken from existing reserve funds the town has saved up for this purchase, as well as funds from the 2021 budget year. Following the meeting, town administrator Karen Craigie clarified that the town and the RM have a five-year agreement around regional fire protection that runs through Dec. 31, 2022, and will be renegotiated as needed following the development of the RM’s proposed fire hall in Emerald Park. She added that the town may also yet receive a contribution toward the capital costs once a decision to purchase has been made, as she said town council would consider requesting a contribution from the RM at that time. For firefighter and councillor Dwayne Meier, the new truck couldn’t come fast enough as the old truck, also known as “25”, has limited capabilities. “It’s been leaking a lot of oil and there have been pump issues,” Meier said. “We went out to a fire recently and the pump didn’t activate. Just recently, we went out to Edenwold for a residential structure fire and we didn’t take it initially.” When the truck was eventually called out to the scene, it was because of equipment stored on the truck, and wasn’t used as a pumper. Meier said the town still has the ability to call in the White City and Pilot Butte fire departments for help when needed, but getting a fully-functional pumper truck is a priority. “For me, it’s definitely not a pumper that’s benefiting anyone right now,” Meier said. As there will be a delay from the time a new truck is purchased and delivery, several options were debated. If the costs aren’t prohibitive, the old truck could be repaired for one last run of service before a new one is purchased in upcoming months. Or another pumper could be leased as a stop-gap measure while a new truck is built. Council agreed that further information on the feasibility of either option was needed, and a decision was deferred to the next council meeting. Deputy Mayor chosen Lain Lovelace was selected deputy mayor of Balgonie for a one-year term, retaining the post he held prior to the municipal elections held Nov. 9.Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
Art has been part of Lucy Kerr's life as far back as she can remember. One of nine students (along with a 10th collaborative piece by a Grade 6/7 class) whose piece has been tagged for a set of greeting cards produced by the district, the Grade 11 student at McMath says art is a way for her to unwind. “Art is really relaxing for me, and just a creative outlet that is really a big part of my life,” she says. “My family has always been really appreciative of art—I’ve been going to art galleries and and talking about that for my whole life as well.” Kerr’s piece “Sunny Day” was inspired by the work of acclaimed Canadian artist Ted Harrison, whose style Kerr says she has “always loved.” She adds that the process of looking at different artists’ styles has helped her to create her own: she prefers to paint portraits, which recently she has been doing by commission. “I want to make something that moves people, and I like getting the emotional reaction when someone sees the art I created for them,” she says. “It’s different than a photograph—there’s so much more meaning that you can draw from (a painting), and it gives a lot more dimension.” Emi Fairchild, a Grade 4 student at Homma elementary, echoes Kerr’s love of art. “Art is a great way to express yourself, and it takes your mind off things that you don’t want,” she says. Her piece “Trumpet of the Swan” was part of a school project inspired by the book of the same name. The artwork mostly uses oil pastels, but Fairchild also chose to add Sharpie to her piece at the end “to make it stand out from all the details.” She also creates art in her spare time, mostly using pencil and paper. Recently, she’s started weaving, which she says is “easy and fun.” Kerr and Fairchild are two of the student artists chosen for the Richmond School District’s art card project. Spearheaded by district fine arts administrator (and Blair elementary principal) Catherine Ludwig, the project aims to highlight the work done by students and art teachers across the city, as well as circulating student art broadly. Ten selections—which reflect a balance of different schools, ages, and genres of art—were printed on greeting cards. Packages of cards were initially given to district administrators for their correspondence, but they will also be available in the near future to members of the school community who want to place an order. Ludwig says the arts educators in the district started making plans for the project in February, along with trustees and other stakeholder groups. “One of the goals that came forward, as we imagined a vibrant place for arts education in the district, was creating opportunities for our learners beyond the four walls of our school,” she explains. “(Art) speaks loudly and it amplifies who you are, and ultimately it helps with that uncharted territory of who you are as the self.” With a desire to make Richmond learners feel supported and part of a larger community, Ludwig and her team asked teachers to submit students’ works for the project. The selections were professionally scanned and a graphic designer in the district ensured they were uniform with things like backdrops, while staying true to the original works. And each student submitted an artist statement, reflecting on their piece, that appears on the back of the card. By chance, two of the selected works were self-portraits: one by a Kindergarten student from Blair and one from a Grade 12 student at MacNeill. Ludwig has copies of those two pieces displayed in her office. “It gave the direction of why we’re doing this—look at what happens when we dedicate arts education with passionate arts educators teaching our young ones,” she says. Ludwig adds that she hopes to repeat the project every two years to represent the changing students within the Richmond school system. And next time, she wants to make a call out for other mediums, too—including sculpture, photography and textiles. “Connecting with others, having your masterpiece or your image experienced by another is so powerful,” says Ludwig. “It propels you and inspires you to grow and learn and it also encourages you. You get that feedback from others and get a sense of your legacy as an artist.” She says the kids have recently been picking up their sets of cards from Blair, and their excitement is visible. “This project had a hand in helping them feel something beyond themselves—that their art had a bigger impact beyond the page,” says Ludwig. “You can just sense how powerful this is for them. I’m so proud of them.” The students whose art is featured on the cards are equally as enthused. When she found out her piece would be featured on one of the school district’s art cards, Fairchild was “really excited.” And while Kerr doesn’t see art as a future career, she expects to never give it up completely regardless of where she ends up in the future. “I know that art will always be a part of my life, and it will always be a very strong hobby of mine,” she says.Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
After cases of COVID-19 swept through the Kivalliq region, Canada says it's sending "immediate assistance" to Nunavut communities.On Wednesday, the federal government committed $19.36 million to the COVID-19 response in Nunavut. "The cases in the Kivalliq these past weeks have been of real concern. We are working closely with the premier and with the territory to make sure everyone has the supports they need," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview with CBC News on Thursday.As of Thursday, there are 150 confirmed, active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut. The majority of cases are in Arviat, a central Nunavut community of around 2,650 people, where community transmission is happening. There are also cases in nearby communities of Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove. Saniqiluaq is being monitored because of two previous cases.So far, five Nunavummiut have recovered, and no new cases are being reported on Thursday. The money is being rapidly transferred to get support where it is needed on the ground. Trudeau said Ottawa won't be telling Nunavut how to use the funds. "Our job is to be there to support, while you fight this terrible virus," he said, calling this "a difficult and scary time for people."Nunavut led spending of rapid fundsOf the new federal money, $11.36 million will go to the Government of Nunavut — $6.5 million of which will help municipalities with testing, medical supplies and personnel, cleaning and security, and transportation for food, water and sewage.There is also $1.8 million earmarked for food support for families in isolation; $1.3 million to expand internet bandwidth for remote health care and education; and $1 million will go toward non-medical masks, household cleaner and hand sanitizer. The remainder will be used for distance learning in the Kivalliq region, as well as daycares and early learning programs.The territorial Inuit association Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated and the regional Kivalliq Inuit Association will received $8 million together. Of that, there is $6 million for food security and household support, including breakfast and lunch programs in communities experiencing outbreaks and in communities where schools are closed. The other $2 million is for land programing and food harvesting. In a news conference Wednesday, Nunavut's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson said he expects cases will keep rising in the coming weeks. Nunavut is currently in a territory-wide lockdown.On-the-land social distancing helps mental health Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller acknowledged that Nunavut has "unique needs" right now. "Additional assistance is urgently needed for food and social supports, municipal services such as water truck delivery, security, and non-medical personal protective equipment to keep people safe," a Wednesday news release from Indigenous Services Canada said. Kivalliq Inuit Association president Kono Tattuinee said the money will help families in overcrowded homes to social distance, by spending more time on the land. This also supports mental health for young people, he said in the news release. "COVID-19 has hit the Kivalliq region quickly and is testing our limited resources and capacity," Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq said in a statement. "[The federal government's] immediate financial assistance in response to the outbreak, and their swift action to provide support where we need it is truly appreciated."PM says Indigenous voices included in vaccine planningTrudeau said it was clear to his government from the beginning of the pandemic that the North would be vulnerable.With no cases confirmed until this month, he called Nunavut's efforts "well managed."When vaccines do become available, he said, vulnerable groups will be first in line. A panel of experts is making decisions about who should get vaccines first and there are Indigenous voices on that panel, he added. "Because of the challenges faced by northern communities, I can't imagine that they won't be amongst the top priority groups," Trudeau said. This new money considered, the federal government says it has allocated $105 million to support Nunavut since the beginning of the pandemic. "We are working across departments as well as with the Territorial government and Inuit partners to ensure we have a coordinated and targeted response to the rising number of cases in Nunavut," Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal said in a statement Thursday.In an update Thursday from the Nunavut Health Department, Patterson said people confirmed as recovered are safe to come out of isolation and "resume activities while following current public health restrictions."
A proposal for construction of Betteridge Road between White City Drive and Emerald Park Road was advanced a step at White City council’s Nov. 16 meeting, with two lanes now being planned for construction. This project can later be scaled up to four lanes, to incorporate council’s proposed Town Centre development project, with the ability to expand the four-lane road project in the future all the way to the Pilot Butte bypass road, White City planner Mauricio Jimenez noted. At present, the prerequisite land for that expansion sits within the RM of Edenwold. Phase 2 of the pre-construction work was already completed by Stantec, as approved by council on Aug. 10. Jimenez said more land will be required from the land developer for a municipal right-of-way. “In order to achieve this, we need to acquire some land,” Jimenez told council. “Initially how we do this is when a subdivision comes forward, and we have a plan for that right-of-way to be expanded, we require that specific right-of-way from the developer ... However, as we don’t have a subdivision plan in place at this time, we have to work with developers who have subdivision plans in place that will allow us to move into the next phase of development without going through all the hassle of presenting a subdivision to acquire the right-of-way we need.” To date, White City council has allocated $211,914 in Saskatchewan Municipal Economic Enhancement Program funds to this phase of the Betteridge Road project, with the goal of building the road in the 2021 construction season. Where the Town of White City has a 20-metre right-of-way on that road now, it will require a 26-metre right-of-way, expanding further to a 30-metre then 34-metre right-of-way to accommodate the newly-approved plans. “Then we are going to match what the RM (of Edenwold) has west of the town boundaries, where they have a 34-35-metre right-of-way,” Jimenez said. White City’s planning department’s recommendation to build only two of the four lanes comes as the town does not yet have agreement of all of the area land owners. Great Plains Leaseholds, the landowners on the north side of the proposed road construction, has opposed it. “We had a conversation with them where we offered a specific amount of money for the amount of land where essentially they will be losing for the town, and their answer was no,” said Jimenez. “We’ll follow up with a proper communication, a proper offer and then we’d receive a reply.” Jimenez told council there are other options to acquire that land from Great Plains Leaseholds. One is to expropriate the required land, which he noted would likely delay the project for a year due to the expropriation process, and would drive up the overall costs due legal and process costs. The other option is to wait, proceed with only two lanes of Betteridge Road instead of the planned four lanes, from White City Road to Emerald Park Road, building the south side of the road where there is co-operation with landowners. This would not prevent four lanes from eventually being built, Jimenez said, as they would simply wait for a subdivision plan for that land to go through the approval process and get the land at that time through regular processes. Immediately following Jimenez’s report, and without further debate, council voted to approve the recommendation to proceed with the two south-side lanes. Otitoju named Deputy Mayor As the Nov. 16 meeting was the first since the municipal election, Council had to select a new deputy mayor. Previous deputy mayor Howard Slack was defeated in that election, though a deputy mayor would have had to be officially chosen at this meeting anyway. As part of a lengthy debate on whether the deputy mayor’s term should be two years or four, council discussed options for who should serve in the deputy mayor’s role and eventually elected Rebecca Otitoju unanimously for the position.Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
4915 tests de dépistage à la COVID-19 ont été effectués sur le territoire lavallois au cours de la semaine du 16 au 22 novembre selon les données émises par le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux (CISSS) de Laval. Bien que cela représente une chute de 1165 tests par rapport à la semaine précédente, il s'agit du deuxième plus haut total hebdomadaire du mois de novembre. Un sommet de 966 personnes dépistées a été atteint le lundi 16 novembre. À l'inverse, seulement 449 et 459 tests ont été effectués les 21 et 22 novembre. Ces deux totaux sont les pires de la dernière semaine. Lors d'un point de presse tenu jeudi, le gouvernement du Québec a annoncé la nomination de Jérôme Gagnon et du Dr Richard Massé pour coordonner l'opération québécoise de vaccination contre la COVID-19 lorsque l'arrivée des vaccins sera confirmée. Les listes de priorité sont d'ailleurs déjà établies. Les résidents en CHSLD, travailleurs de la santé et personnes plus âgées seront les premières personnes visées par la vaccination. François Legault a aussi profité de l'occasion pour apporter davantage de précisions sur les quatre jours de rassemblements familiaux autorisés du 24 au 27 décembre. Un maximum de deux soupers entre membres de foyers différents seront autorisés. «La période de quatre jours que nous avions annoncé servait à donner de la flexibilité, a précisé le Dr Horacio Arruda, directeur national de santé publique. [...] Les gens ont pu interpréter qu'il était possible de faire un nombre illimité de rassemblements lors des quatre jours. Avec deux rassemblements, on diminue le risque de contact.» Avec un bilan de 11 083 personnes testées positives à la COVID-19, Laval a connu une hausse de 103 cas en 24 heures. Le total de décès depuis le début de la pandémie est en augmentation à 725. Le CISSS de Laval cumule également 9818 guérisons, ce qui signifie qu’il y a désormais 540 cas actifs confirmés (-27) sur le territoire lavallois. Parmi les personnes touchées, 28 sont hospitalisées, dont 5 aux soins intensifs. 22 employés de l’organisation de santé sont toujours absents du travail en raison de la COVID-19. Six résidences privées pour aînés (RPA) de Laval sont présentement touchées par la COVID-19. Voici la liste complète de celles-ci : Par ailleurs, le Jardin des Saules a été placé dans la catégorie des RPA en situation critique en raison du taux d'infection. Au Québec, le bilan est maintenant de 136 894 cas et 6947 décès. Au total, 675 personnes sont toujours hospitalisées, dont 90 aux soins intensifs.Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
While Adamson Barbecue has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons, restaurateur Sameer Vahidy is trending in the opposite direction by trying to collaborate with other kitchens and shops as they’ve been forced to shutter their doors for another lockdown.
Organizers of the white cross memorial installed to raise awareness of the opioid problem in Sudbury are hoping the province will provide some emergency funding for addiction treatment and services. Denise Sandul said the situation in Sudbury is at a crisis level, and funding for more mental health and addiction services is needed now. Sandul, the mother of 22-year-old Myles Keaney, began the local memorial movement as a private gesture after her son's body was found downtown on September 8. It is suspected the young man died of an opioid overdose. Sandul said she doesn't want Keaney's death to be forgotten, or his passing to become just another grim statistic. She placed a cross in the ground back in September. It didn't go unnoticed. Soon, family members of other opioid victims came forward asking if they too could have a cross there, on a small patch of grass near the fire hall parking lot by the intersection of Shaughnessy and Van Horne streets. Sandul said the families that came forward do not include the 14 other Sudbury families who have lost loved ones to opioid related causes since September 8. "The response was much more than I expected," said Sandaul. "And these are all people from Sudbury." Sandul said it was bittersweet to see so many crosses surrounding the one she set up for her son. "I am so grateful to those of you who have agreed to mark your loved one's life and their passing in this way, but heartbroken at the fact that such a monument event exists," Sandul wrote in a message on Facebook. After consultation with city officials, the ad hoc memorial was moved from Van Horne and Shaughnessy over to a larger piece of city land at the corner of Paris and Brady streets in front of the Sudbury Theatre Centre. Sandul said she was grateful for the city's co-operation and is hoping it can become a permanent memorial. Sandul was out there Tuesday, joined by friends and supporters to install more crosses. There are nearly 80 crosses now. Soon, said Sandul, she expects there will be 100 crosses. "Certainly the numbers are scary. We have a huge problem. People need to get on board and help fight for change," she said. Sandul said she knew her son was in trouble before he died. He had tried to get help. "There was no place for my son to get services he needed,” she said. “He was declined because his situation was seen as too complex in that he was schizophrenic and had an addiction.” But since his death Sandul said she has become far more vocal. "I will talk to anyone who will listen." she said. "This issue is all across Canada. I can only focus on our community. We can't always rely on the government to initiate something.” Sandul said she raised her concerns with Sudbury MPP Jamie West, who rose in the Ontario Legislature last week to express his alarm. "The opioid death rate in northern Ontario is almost twice that of southern Ontario. Sudburians are suffering, family members are in mourning and local resources are overwhelmed. My question is, will the Premier commit to immediately increasing funding to help Sudburians like Denise Sandul and her family?" said West. Health Minister Christine Elliott responded to the question, first to offer condolences to the family of Myles Keaney and anyone else who has lost a loved one to the opioid crisis. Elliott said Ontario was working on a province-wide solution, and that it would take significant time and money. She said the effort was moving forward through Ontario's Roadmap to Wellness program. Sandul said she is hoping to generate more support to not only to raise awareness but also to raise the sense of urgency needed. She said it would help to have the support of the city, not only for the memorial, but also in calling on higher levels of government for better treatment and access to addiction services. "Nobody is untouched by this,” said Sandul. “Pretty much anyone you talk to, anywhere, they know of someone, a friend or a family member. People have addictions and it is not easy on any family." Sandul said not enough people are comfortable in revealing there are problems in their families. "There is a stigma. Not everyone wants to talk about it. If they stop talking, more people will die."Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Prince George, B.C., resident Judy Howard recently shelled out $50 for a six-pack of soy sauce after a family Facebook bidding war, and she feels like she got a pretty sweet deal — or salty, to be more accurate.A single bottle of Canadian-made China Lily Soya Sauce usually runs about $3 and is a staple in many kitchens in northern B.C., primarily in Indigenous households where it is often used liberally in traditional dishes and everyday dinner prep.Currently, it is incredibly hard to come by, and that's causing a bit of a panic among regular purchasers.The sauce is crafted by Lee Foods in Toronto. False rumours the factory is closing could be behind why grocery stores in B.C.'s north have been cleaned out, Amazon has nothing to offer, and prices on eBay keep climbing.Prince Rupert, B.C., resident Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North, caught the concerned chatter of locals on social media and contacted Lee Foods to find out why people were fearful their favourite brand was on the brink. A woman at Lee Foods who took de Ryk's call said there are no plans to shut down the family-run business.Her explanation for the shortage was simple: "China Lily Soya Sauce is the next toilet paper in the COVID-19 pandemic."While hearing the company is still open may be a relief for some, the current situation remains dire for die-hard fans. So much so that Tahltan President Chad Day released a tongue-in cheek-warning on Facebook that soy sauce bootlegging would not be tolerated. Annita Macphee, who is Tahltan and lives in Vancouver, said she remembers rice with China Lily being a component of many childhood meals. She told de Ryk its popularity in many Indigenous kitchens could be because so many Indigenous and Chinese people worked together at one time in coastal canneries."I've heard of people buying 16 bottles," she said, adding she currently has a line on some bottles that surfaced in Powell River, B.C., so she should be supplied for the time being.Howard, meanwhile, is likely being hailed as a hero by her immediate family for the six-pack she scored after her nephew, Sheldon Howard, Jr., a Prince George resident originally from the Gitxsan community of Gitsegukla in northwestern B.C., auctioned it off."I don't think it was extortion," said Howard, who uses the sauce to flavour much of her cooking, especially salmon and herring roe dishes.This year, said Howard, a bottle or two from Santa would be a coveted Christmas gift for many in Gitsegukla.To really dive down into the cultural significance of China Lily, De Ryk also spoke with Jeremy Pahl, also known as Saltwater Hank, a Tsimshian First Nation member and Prince Rupert resident.He was plum out at the start of the week but, while it was weighing heavy, he said he was staying strong."We are going to get through it, and future generations are going to look back and say my ancestors survived the great China Lily shortage of 2020," Pahl said with a chuckle.Pahl later got lucky when some employees at Coast Mountain College called up de Ryk to let her know they had a bottle and it was Pahl's if he wanted it. You can bet he did.But if you're not one of the lucky Howards, don't know about a stash out of town, and no kindly neighbour has tracked you down via the national broadcaster to offer you a spare bottle, don't despair — Lee Foods is still in full swing.In a statement, company president Christopher Wong said while there have been some supply, shipping and staffing hiccups due to the pandemic, customers can expect to see China Lily Soya Sauce back on the shelves within the coming weeks.To hear Judy Howard talk about her Facebook auction score on CBC's Daybreak North, tap the link below:
Active cases of COVID-19 in Alberta topped 14,000 on Thursday, setting another new record, with 10 more deaths reported. Across the province, 383 people were being treated in hospital for the illness, with 84 of them in ICU beds. Both numbers, which shattered yesterday's records, are considered key measures in the battle against the disease. In the coming weeks, Alberta Health Services plans to roll out more than 100,000 rapid COVID-19 testing kits, which will be sent to targeted sites. Over the last two months, AHS has been evaluating the effectiveness of the Abbott IDNow and PanBio COVID-19 testing kits, the province said in a news release. The rapid tests will be rolled out in clinical pilot projects at an assessment centre in Calgary and one in Edmonton, at assessment centres in Slave Lake and St. Paul, and at the hospital lab in Bonnyville. "Rapid tests are only valid for symptomatic folks who have shown symptoms in the last seven days," Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday at a news conference. "So these tests are not for close contacts, nor are they for those who may have been exposed but are asymptomatic." The tests, he said, will be used on patients who are within the first seven days of showing symptoms. "This will allow us to quickly identify and notify positive cases within hours, reducing the need for patient samples to be transported to centralized public laboratories for processing." Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, updated on the pandemic at that same news conference. During her update, Hinshaw commended the nearly 1.3 million Albertans who have now gotten their immunization for influenza this year. That's 228,000 more people than had done so at the same time last year. So far, she said, the province has not seen a single lab-confirmed case of seasonal influenza. "We know that influenza hits at different times of the year depending on the season, so it's not scientifically useful to compare numbers until the very end of the year," she said. "But at this time last year, we had already 464 cases. This does not mean that influenza is no longer a threat, but it is a reminder that there is hope and that our actions can help protect each other from a wide range of illnesses. "Unfortunately, COVID-19 is more contagious than influenza and for some people far more deadly." A comparison of statistics shows how much has changed in the past four weeks. Since hospitalization numbers are key, let's start with those. On Oct. 28, 130 people were in hospital due to COVID-19, including 18 in intensive care beds. On Thursday, 383 people were in hospital due to COVID-19, including 84 in ICU. Next we can look at case numbers. On Oct. 28, the province reported 477 new cases and a total of 4,921 active cases. On Thursday, 1,077 new cases were identified and we had a total of 14,052 active cases. A regional breakdown of active case numbers looked like this: Oct. 28, Calgary zone: 1,879 active cases. Thursday, Calgary zone: 5,126 active cases. Oct. 28, Edmonton zone: 2,277 active cases. Thursday, 6,444 active cases. Oct. 28, South zone: 256 active cases. Thursday, South zone: 664 active cases. Oct. 28, North zone: 325 active cases. Thursday, North zone: 789 active cases. Oct. 28, Central zone: 162 active cases. Thursday, Central zone: 947 active cases. Oct. 28, Unknown zone, 22 active cases. Thursday, Unknown zone, 82 active cases Then we can look at testing. On Oct. 28, provincial labs completed 12,153 tests, and the positivity rate was about four per cent. On Thursday, provincial labs completed 15,932 tests, and the positivity rate was 6.87 per cent. In the end, it adds up to this grim total. On Oct. 28, the provincial death toll stood at 323. By Thursday, the provincial death toll had reached 510. Another 10 deaths were reported on Thursday: A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at Mayerthorpe Extendicare in the North zone. A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Covenant Care Chateau Vitaline in the Edmonton zone. A woman in her 80s linked to the outbreak at Mount Royal Revera in the Calgary zone. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at Laurel Heights Retirement Residence in the Edmonton zone. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Luxstone Manor in the Calgary zone. A woman in her 90s linked to the outbreak at the Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Capital Care Strathcona. A man in his 70s from the Edmonton zone. A man in his 90s linked to the outbreak at South Country Village in the South zone. A man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Covenant Care Chateau Vitaline in the Edmonton zone.