Dr. Angela Rasmussen explains why news from Pfizer and Moderna's mRNA vaccine trials is so promising.
An Ottawa city councillor has apologized for "inadvertently" texting while driving Tuesday, a lapse in judgment that was livestreamed via YouTube during a virtual meeting of the city's audit committee.Osgoode councillor and deputy mayor George Darouze initially joined the 9:30 a.m. meeting from what looked like his kitchen, and even asked a detailed question about the accounting procedures surrounding the city's public-private partnership at Lansdowne Park, one of the audits tabled Tuesday.Around 11:30 a.m., the livestream showed Darouze getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. He put on his seatbelt, as well as headphones, presumably to keep listening to the meeting. His device appears to be sitting in the passenger seat, the camera facing him.He began to drive — the passing scenery clearly visible through the driver side window — and pulled out a cell phone. He then began to text with his thumbs, taking his eyes off the road several times. At one point, Darouze fumbled around with his right hand to find his glasses, then put them on.Eventually, Darouze looked toward the second wireless device in the passenger seat and turned off the camera. The councillor didn't respond to a request for comment, but posted the following brief apology on Facebook:"This morning, I inadvertently texted while I was driving. I apologize for this and commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again."Later Tuesday afternoon, Darouze replaced that post with another statement, this time admitting his behaviour was a "stupid thing to do." "I should not have done this. I commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again," reads the public post.Ottawa police aware of videoA number of people on social media are calling for police to charge the councillor for distracted driving, and for Mayor Jim Watson to weigh in. A statement from the mayor's office said he "trusts that this will not happen again."Ottawa police said in an emailed statement that they're aware of a video of "a driver with a handheld device," without naming Darouze. Police said the driver appears to be violating the Highway Traffic Act, and said they will investigate if they receive a public complaint.
The Venables Theatre is postponing and cancelling some scheduled shows following new public health measures laid out by the province last week. All events at the theatre scheduled prior to Dec. 7 have been cancelled or postponed following provincial health orders banning social gatherings, even in theatres with appropriate safety measures and events with less than 50 people attending. Mike Delamont’s Socially Distanced Stand-Up Comedy show scheduled for Nov. 28 has been cancelled. Two shows included in the Venables Alive series featuring local artists have been postponed including Great White North and Kristi Neumann. The shows will likely be moved to February at the earliest, according to theatre manager Leah Foreman, though it is still unclear when shows will be permitted to resume. The theatre is one of the few in the region to continue to operate successfully during the pandemic, however the new public health measures are throwing a wrench into the works. “We were having really good success with our shows. Lots of people were coming out to see them. We were keeping people safe and people and people felt comfortable here so I think we were doing great,” Foreman said. “But I mean, we’re all in this together and now we just have to hunker down.” The successful operation at the Venables since it reopened this fall is in part due to the support the theatre receives from the community. “We used all our tools we had. We talked to health officials, I’ve been on calls with venues across the province just talking about best practices and how do we all do this. Then I felt confident that I had the information on it that I needed and the logistics and stuff in order to reopen. I think it was just a matter of being really knowledgable about what was going on,” Foreman said. “I think one of the reasons we were able to do it was just the fact that we have such great support from our community and we were able to focus on figuring this out.” Following last week’s public health orders, movie theatres remained open over the weekend in B.C. — which was considered a bit of a thorn in the side of the Venables Theatre management — however, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry clarified Monday that the public health order cancelling events applied to movie theatres as well. However, Foreman still questions why bars and pubs can operate safely while the theatre is ordered to shut down for at least two weeks. “We aren’t a social gathering. You come in, you watch a show, you leave. You’re not congregating in the lobby, you’re enjoying a show in a socially-distanced way. So we did feel that we were being penalized for no reason,” Foreman said. The Venables box office is now open by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call 250-498-1626. Most refunds can be done over the phone or will be processed automatically.Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
Originaire de Portneuf-sur-Mer, Alyson Desbiens est de retour au Québec, après quatre années passées en France, pour travailler dans un domaine qui la passionne : l’immigration. Technicienne juridique pour le moment, elle veut devenir consultante pour accompagner les immigrants. La firme Nadia Barrou Immigration de Montréal l’a repérée en mars dernier, alors qu’elle conseillait des immigrants sur des forums spécialisés. « Mme Barrou trouvait que mes commentaires étaient pertinents et que je connaissais bien les lois de l’immigration », affirme la jeune femme de 27 ans. Après plusieurs discussions, Alyson a finalement été embauchée, ce qui a devancé son retour au pays. « Mon mari et moi étions censés revenir au Québec en mars 2021, mais je ne voulais pas rater cette opportunité formidable pour moi. Je suis donc revenue seule pour le moment, mais il viendra me trouver quand il en aura fini avec la paperasse administrative », indique-t-elle. Ayant complété un baccalauréat en sociologie et développement social en France, la Portneuvoise exerce en tant que technicienne juridique puisqu’elle ne peut faire du conseil en immigration pour le moment. « Je dois terminer mon cours de consultante en immigration avant. Je le suis présentement en ligne et je dois passer l’examen de l’ordre en février prochain. Je suis assez confiante puisque jusqu’à maintenant, j’obtiens de très bonnes notes et j’adore ça », explique Alyson Desbiens. Hobby Pour la jeune femme, aider les gens qui immigrent était un « hobby » depuis longtemps. Elle participait à des forums de discussion et apportait son soutien régulièrement. « J’utilisais mon expérience et mes connaissances législatives. Ensuite, j’ai découvert que je pouvais être payée pour faire ça. C’est à ce moment que j’ai débuté mon cours », raconte-t-elle. Effectivement, en tant qu’immigrante en France avec son conjoint qu’elle a rencontré alors qu’il était en vacances à Québec, elle a vécu plusieurs problématiques pour obtenir et conserver son VISA. « C’est de cette façon que j’ai développé de l’expérience dans le domaine, dévoile Alyson Desbiens, nouvellement mariée cet été. Lire les petites lignes dans le bas des contrats, ça me connaît. » De plus, avec la pandémie qui sévit dans le monde en ce moment, l’immigration est rendue encore plus difficile, selon Mme Desbiens. « Il y a beaucoup de choses qui ont changé, ce n’est pas évident de s’y retrouver quand on n’a pas les connaissances pour le faire. Les démarches sont plus longues et coûteuses et seulement les membres de la famille immédiate peuvent venir au Québec depuis la pandémie. » Coup de foudre Alyson Desbiens fait partie de celles qui ont vécu deux coups de foudre dans leur vie, soit amoureux et professionnel. Ses trois premières semaines de travail pour Nadia Barrou Immigration l’ont enchantée. « Il y a vraiment un climat de confiance et d’entraide dans l’équipe, confirme-t-elle. C’est super comme ambiance ». Aider sa région natale La future consultante en immigration aura peut-être même l’opportunité d’aider les entreprises de la Côte-Nord qui souhaitent faire appel à la main-d’œuvre immigrante. « C’est un défi qu’est prête à m’offrir Nadia Barrou. J’en serais très heureuse puisque j’ai une bonne connaissance de la région », conclut Alyson qui peut être jointe à firstname.lastname@example.org ou au 514-286-1613.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
When COVID-19 first appeared, people and governments across the globe reacted with alarm. Action was swift.In Alberta, businesses shuttered as the government imposed restrictions. People mostly stayed inside. Premier Jason Kenney said it was a generational challenge his government would rise to meet. But restrictions were loosened as the weather warmed. The most dire predictions didn't come to pass, and barbecues or drinks with friends seemed less risky. People held parties and their neighbours thought: why not me? Disinformation spread and, with it, doubt about the dangers of the virus and the actions of the government. But warnings were everywhere: Second wave. The fight isn't over. Be prepared.Many listened, but too many did not. Alberta's government said the economy couldn't take another hit and it was up to individuals to stem the tide. It delayed and equivocated. When the weather cooled, the virus was soon spreading more than ever. Now the talk was exponential growth and warnings of overwhelmed hospitals.As Kenney prepares to make an announcement on COVID this afternoon, he has so far stuck with personal responsibility as the key to fighting the outbreak.He and his government have pointed fingers at individuals for not obeying official recommendations, but now people are pointing back, laying blame at the feet of the government. Laying blame, however, is no easy thing.Personal responsibility and the role of the government aren't easily disentangled. Why individuals and the government have behaved as they have goes to the heart of who Albertans are — or at least who they perceive themselves to be. It begins with the ways that people, in general, deal with crises. The psychology of a pandemicThere's a common view of the world that assumes people panic when confronted with danger — causing more harm than the threat itself — but that's not often the case. Social psychologists have shown the greater risk is underestimating danger and not reacting in time. We also tend to believe the worst will happen to others, not us. Add misinformation to the mix and none of this should come as a surprise. "I've done an awful lot of reading about the Great Mortality, black plague, and about the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta. "And I would just say that every single thing that has happened could have been predicted by reading a history book."People in the past, like today, reacted to an invisible, existential threat by embracing conspiracy theories or unlikely cures while ignoring medical advice. Many denied the problem. Add social media, and the spread of misinformation is even more damaging and difficult to control. It creates deep divisions when cohesion is key to beating back the virus. Collective action problemThere are times when 51 per cent is enough. If enough people do the right thing, everyone will be swept along by their good deeds. A virus — especially an airborne one — doesn't work that way. We are in a classic collective action problem where almost universal buy-in is required. We all have to keep distance, wear masks, wash our hands, limit social interactions or just stay home. If we don't all do it, the virus spreads. Saxinger thinks the province has reached the ceiling on what independent co-operation can do.Compounding the problem is the perception of risk. Research shows that individuals are more likely to make moral decisions when ambiguity about risks is reduced.Prof. Leslie Francis, who works in the faculties of law, medicine and philosophy at the University of Utah, says the vast majority of people understand not to put other people at risk by, say, speeding down a residential road at 100 km/h. But people might not see COVID-19 the same way."What we see going on right now is that many people deny that COVID exists, or they think it's not going to make people very sick, or they think that it won't make them very sick, maybe they'll even be asymptomatic," she said."But they don't realize that, for example, in my own state right now, the estimate is that one in 73 people right now is actively contagious."Alberta's political cultureWe judge our behaviour and the behaviours of others based on what we observe, but also on how we perceive our own political culture and what it will allow. In Alberta, a lot of it might be built on myth.Political science Prof. Jared Wesley of the University of Alberta asks participants about the province in his ongoing study of politics and culture. He gets them to sketch out their typical Albertan and then asks what that Albertan would do in certain situations. The Albertan — here nicknamed "Joe" — is always male, often a farmer, a libertarian conservative. Wesley's point is to narrow in on what people believe the political culture to be — what is acceptable and what is possible.In the pandemic, Joe reacts in a specific way."They will tell you, like you see in the media everywhere, they'll tell you all Albertans will never stand for mask mandates because it's an infringement on their freedoms," said Wesley.That sort of statement comes from people across the political spectrum, not just those who agree with their typical Albertan. That shapes the way we think about the world and can shape our own behaviour. We make moral decisions based on how we think others might perceive us. If people think broader society doesn't want to have its freedoms restricted — even in minor ways like donning a mask — they are less likely to be strict about virus-beating behaviours and less likely to feel judged for their laxity. This despite a majority not agreeing with their "typical" Albertan. "Do a survey like we just did three or four weeks ago: Albertans are massively in favour of heavier restrictions," said Wesley. "You ask them on an individual basis, would you like to see a provincewide mask mandate, doesn't matter if they're rural areas. Absolutely, it's the right thing to do. They going to push for it? No, because they don't think that the rest of the province would accept it."At some point that tide could turn. There are more voices calling for government to impose more severe restrictions, including a complete lockdown, in order to fight surging case counts.The ethics of action are clear, even if the ultimate answers are not. The ethicsFrancis says there's a clear difference between someone who puts themselves in harm's way versus someone who creates "a real risk of harm to other people." Individuals are expected to go about in the world obeying the rules so that a free society can operate in a mostly free way. Social norms keep most of us from hurting one another, but there is never a full participation rate. Murders, assaults and more happen on a regular basis. So there are laws. Even the most stringent libertarians agree there is a role for the state to some protections. Francis argues that we should view restrictions around COVID-19 in the same light."I think a lot of people are treating this as some kind of unusual interference with liberty," Francis said about pandemic responses. "And my point is, it's actually much more like when people are thinking through some of the most standard kinds of interferences with liberty."Yet despite the ethical obligations to protect citizens, the decision to impose restrictions across a society is no small thing.Some see the delay in implementing more restrictions as cruel — akin to saying the economy is as important as human life.Certainly the belief that Alberta's political culture would not allow a lockdown plays a role in politicians' decisions. But governments also have to consider how their decisions might affect broader society. Lives and livelihoods can be lost due to a cratered economy. Not every individual can simply choose to stay home. Many calling for a sharp lockdown have salaries, home offices or the security to stay isolated. And race, class and gender mix to create a set of ethical and moral traps many can't escape."There has to also be an economic solution for those whose lives are going to be torn apart by this," Melissa Caouette, a political strategist with the Canadian Strategy Group, said on the CBC's West of Centre podcast. As cases and hospitalizations rise, there comes a point when political calculation isn't relevant, and protecting the health of Albertans and its health-care system becomes a priority.Every decision can have a profound impact on Albertans. The hesitance of the government to shut things down as the pandemic spreads out of control, however, should come as no surprise. The Alberta government"This government is refreshingly transparent and completely doctrinaire when it comes to all elements of public policy," Wesley says of the United Conservative Party's approach. "So if you want to know where this government was heading, you need to look no further than the 2018 UCP statement of principles."Wesley calls it Neoliberalism 101 — a political philosophy that makes no room for collective action problems. "From a political science standpoint, that's almost like the ideal of what we expect of responsible party actors, is that they have a set of principles, we know what they stand for, they're being transparent about it," he said. "And we know when they're confronted with things that are out of the ordinary, are not part of their policy platform, we know how they're going to react."In short, they'll react like Joe Alberta would want them to.That policy consistency is tied directly to the founding leader of the UCP, Kenney. A principled conservative to some, an ideologue to others, he tends to stake his position and stick to it. It doesn't help that he was elected on a commitment to get the economy back on track and the budget balanced — a near impossibility given COVID spending and the languishing price of oil. The focus is, and has been, on trying to preserve and repair a battered economy. Kenney wants to avoid more business closures and loss of jobs. He does not want to spend more money.There's also a documented combativeness to Kenney and his government that hasn't abated during the pandemic, including battles with doctors, nurses and public servants. The ensuing division inhibits any chance that collective action could be effective against the pandemic. It seems the government won't abandon its ideological mores until, as Wesley calls them, a substantial "accumulation of anomalies" attacks the tenets of that foundation.It seems plenty of individuals feel the same. With more cases, more deaths, fewer ICU beds and more calls for action as the government resists, the situation is ripe for blaming the government no matter the culprit in our collective failures. Laying blameEvery catastrophe eventually leads to the need for answers: Who is responsible? Who or what could have prevented this? Things are getting out of control in Alberta, with contact tracers overwhelmed and community spread in full bloom. Recent restrictions on fitness classes and earlier last calls have had no impact to date as 1,000-plus new cases a day becomes the norm. For a while, it appeared things were under control. As cases rose, most people were not vocally critical.Then doctors started writing letters with hundreds of their colleagues' signatures calling for circuit-breaker lockdowns. The chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency called for the same. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi wished for more, but told citizens not to wait for the province to do what was needed. Social media was flooded with calls for restrictions.Cases soared, as did hospitalizations. There are more deaths and likely many more to come.The government continued to resist, but looks prepared to act — in some way — on Tuesday afternoon.Critics have said the government has failed to provide clarity across the province on what is expected and even failed to model the baselines of good behaviour. Research has shown that people tend to lay more blame when an intentional harm has occurred, but that those in power can be judged harshly even if causality is ambiguous or indirect. Polls have shown that Albertans are dissatisfied with the performance of their government, including a recent poll by ThinkHQ that suggested the majority of Albertans don't think recent government restrictions went far enough. But it can't all be put at the feet of the government. No one told Albertans to celebrate birthdays with friends and family. There was no public health recommendation to drink until closing time on Saturday night.Frustration, however, is mounting. So too is evidence that something more drastic needs to take place."I say that it's never too late to do something that's useful," said Saxinger, the infectious disease specialist from the U of A. "But earlier action is very clearly, and in a very data-driven way, the best way to handle something that has exponential growth — acting before it becomes a problem, because you act after it becomes a problem and you're already on your way to a much, much bigger problem."What is happeningOn Nov. 20, Alberta announced 1,155 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. That number has grown every day since, giving Alberta the highest number of active cases of all the provinces. Hinshaw has said ICU beds set aside for the pandemic are nearing capacity, but that more resources could be freed up. Those resources would come at a cost to those seeking treatment for other reasons. Decisions will soon have to be made within hospitals about who has the best chance of survival and therefore gets a bed and treatment. Some of the dire predictions that were elaborately presented in Alberta's first wave are coming into focus.On Monday, Hinshaw admitted defeat in terms of the government's already limited contact tracing and, in an attempt to catch up, was giving up on contacting thousands of those linked to high-priority settings such as hospitals, schools and continuing care homes. She also said she'd be making recommendations to a cabinet huddle after her announcement. The government response is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon. Francis, speaking from Utah without any knowledge of Alberta's situation, said the way to minimize the impact on businesses while protecting the health of the public is to act swiftly and comprehensively if restrictions are imposed. "One wishes that business closures were very short-lived," she said. "Unfortunately, we've made some mistakes, we've done it halfway, and so we've let community spread really get out of control.... You don't treat a rapidly growing tumour by cutting out 20 per cent of it. And unfortunately, a sort of tepid approach to infection control has done exactly that."So, with the surgery delayed, that incision will only have to go deeper.
Le Centre de dépannage des Nord-Côtiers, organisme desservant le secteur ouest de la Haute-Côte-Nord, ne peut organiser son traditionnel souper- spaghetti cette année pour amasser des fonds pour la campagne de financement des paniers de Noël. Il doit alors se tourner vers d’autres moyens de financement, dont une campagne de dons virtuelle. « Nous invitons la population à convertir le montant traditionnellement destiné à l’achat d’un ou plusieurs billets pour le souper-spaghetti en don de charité via la plateforme Facebook créée pour l’occasion », explique Nathalie Beaudoin, directrice générale. Un objectif de 5 000 $ a été fixé pour cette campagne en ligne, alors que le souper-bénéfice amassait 12 000 $. « Le manque à gagner devrait être comblé par les dons d’organismes comme les Lions et Desjardins », dévoile la directrice. Au moment d'écrire ces lignes, une somme de 1 790 $ avait été récoltée sur la plateforme web. De plus, la journée du 5 décembre, de 11 h à 14 h, sera consacrée à ramasser des denrées et dons en argent dans les rues des villages du secteur ouest. « Nos bénévoles seront sur place et les automobilistes n’auront qu’à tendre la main pour donner soit des denrées non périssables ou de l’argent », confirme Mme Beaudoin, qui est toujours à la recherche de bénévoles pour cette journée cruciale. Pour obtenir un panier de Noël, les familles doivent obligatoirement en faire la demande. Le formulaire d’inscription est disponible à la friperie, par courriel et messenger. Une preuve de revenus, une preuve de résidence et au besoin, une lettre explicative doivent être jointes au formulaire. Selon Nathalie Beaudoin, la demande devrait être plus forte qu’à l’habitude avec la précarité qu’a engendrée la pandémie de la COVID-19. « Nous espérons pouvoir faire 50 paniers comme l’an dernier, selon les dons que nous aurons reçus », conclut-elle.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
Restrictions to border crossings at the southern border between Labrador and Quebec are returning, after a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 was detected in Blanc-Sablon over the weekend.No non-essential travel at the border between Blanc-Sablon and L'Anse au Clair will be allowed, the premier's office confirmed Monday.Checkpoints that were put in place in the early days of the pandemic, but removed on June 25, will be reinstated as of Thursday with 24-hour coverage.Residents of the Labrador Straits area will be able to cross the border to go to the ferry terminal and airport in Blanc-Sablon without needing to present an exemption from the Newfoundland and Labrador government.The province will also strengthen border controls to "effectively eliminate the free flow of traffic between residents of L'Anse-au-Clair and Blanc-Sablon," the premier's office said in a statement, but added those details haven't yet been decided.Cartwight–L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster said she thinks the decision will offer some assurance to people in her district."If somebody lives in Blanc-Sablon … and they go out, let's say, to Montreal or Quebec City — one of the hot spots — they come back because it's the same province, they are not required to self-isolate," said Dempster."So out of an abundance of caution, public health officials worked closely with Dr. Fitzgerald and the premier's office and this was implemented, and I'm quite pleased about it. I believe I think Minister [John] Haggie used to say in the earliest days of this … we'll never know if we were too cautious, but we'll certainly see the impacts if we weren't."Meanwhile, in Labrador West, people can expect the restrictions to remain unchanged between Fermont, Que., and the Lab West region.The 24-hour enforcement presence at the border will remain in place, with two fishery and forestry officers in place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and overnight presence of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.Rules that allow residents of Fermont to cross the border, but not stay overnight, without having to isolate will remain in place.Labrador West MHA Jordan Brown said there was "a lot of havoc and chaos" in his district following Monday's COVID-19 briefing, when he said Premier Andrew Furey misspoke about the need for self-isolation between Fermont and Labrador West.But things were clarified later in the day, when it was confirmed things would remain as they are."We're going back between Fermont and Lab West as normal, apparently, so that won't make any changes there," Brown said.Ferry rulesResidents of Quebec travelling by ferry across the Strait of Bell Isle to Newfoundland can only do so if they have an exemption letter allowing for travel.Labrador residents who travel to Newfoundland on that ferry are not required to isolate, since they are travelling within their province. However, when they cross the border into Quebec on their way to the ferry terminal, they must remain in their vehicles until they board the ferry.The same rule is in place for people travelling across the Strait of Belle Isle from Newfoundland: Travellers are required to stay in their vehicles from departure, until they cross the border into Labrador.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
“We always hear about the trauma that is passed on through generations ... but we also have the bravery that is passed on."
Did you know that November 28th is National French Toast Day? While this is entirely new information to me, I have to say that I absolutely approve. In fact, I find myself wondering how in the heck have I made it for 45 years on this earth without a day entirely dedicated to French toast? Well, maybe that’s pushing things a little bit… One of the things that I love about French toast is that it is easy to make and extremely versatile. You can change it up with the simple addition of a pinch of nutmeg or brighten it up with the zest of your favorite flavor of citrus. It can be sweet or even downright savory. Using different types of bread can completely redefine your recipe. One of my favorite renditions of French toast was served at a hotel in Victoria, made with a light and delicate banana bread. National French Toast Day is, unsurprisingly, celebrated by making French toast. I mean, who saw that one coming? Well, that works out great because this year, November 28th is on a Saturday. French toast for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee on a quiet Saturday morning sounds pretty darn good to me! Apparently, another way to celebrate is to share your favorite recipes for French toast, so I am going to share my recipe for Stuffed French Toast. Oddly enough, I came up with my Stuffed French Toast recipe because of an IHOP commercial. They were advertising… well, Stuffed French Toast, but the catch was that this was before IHOP had made their way into Canada. So, there I was with this American TV commercial taunting me with descriptions of French toast Nirvana, but with no way to sample it for myself short of taking quite the road trip. I love breakfast as much as the next guy, but I’m not about to hop the border to go searching for the next new flavor. What to do? Luckily, I happen to know my way around the kitchen. After contemplating what this commercial had described, I played around with my favorite French toast recipe until I had come up with something that tasted the way that I imagined that this mythical Stuffed French Toast would, or should, taste. As an aside, my wife and I were able to sample IHOP’s Stuffed French Toast several years later, after they had opened their Calgary location. Theirs was good… but let’s just say that we’ll be more than happy to stick with my recipe. Stuffed French Toast 1 Loaf of Bread (Sandwich Bread, Raisin Bread, French Bread, etc.) French Toast Batter: 2 Cups milk 2 Eggs 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar 1 tsp Cinnamon ½ tsp Nutmeg 1 tsp Vanilla Filling: 8 oz Cream Cheese (250 g pkg) 1 Cup Icing Sugar ½ tsp Salt Directions: Beat together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until smooth to make your French toast batter. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, and salt until smooth to make the filling. Spray a frying pan with a light coat of nonstick cooking spray, and then heat the frying pan on medium. Take two pieces of bread and make a sandwich with a layer of the filling in the middle. Dip the sandwich into the French toast batter mixture and then fry it in the heated frying pan until it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat these steps until you have used up all the bread, French toast batter, and filling. Serve hot with maple syrup.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Twenty-three B.C. mayors are calling on Premier John Horgan to establish policies that give resource-based communities a key role in the province’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan. In an open letter to Horgan Nov. 19, the mayors of both rural and urban municipalities praised previous foundation investments in natural resource development, as well as associated construction and transportation needs, and asked for inclusion in future policy discussions. “As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, BC has undergone a tremendous economic shock,” the letter reads. “Fortunately, BC’s resource industries have been able to persevere during this period. Our mines have continued to operate, the forest sector was able to take advantage of soaring lumber prices during 2020, aquaculture continues to invest and innovate, and four major energy projects have kept British Columbia workers busy building the resource infrastructure of the future.” In September the province announced a $1.5 billion pandemic economic recovery plan, in addition to previous commitments, targeting primarily tourism, food security, climate action, technology and innovation. Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said the group of mayors found no disagreements with the strategy, and issued the letter primarily as a show of support. “This was just to let the premier know that we are ready and willing to engage,” Ackerman said. “Our resource industries need to be front of mind when we’re looking at creating the future of British Columbia. We’ve got businesses that need to get working. With a new cabinet coming into place we needed to send the premier our congratulations and hope that we can work on this together.” The mayors asked Horgan to enshrine five core pillars for economic recovery into the Mandate Letters of incoming cabinet ministers. Those pillars are: quickly enable shovel-ready projects to proceed; ensure international investors know B.C.’s industries can succeed in uncertain global investment conditions; recognize the unique advantage of globally carbon-competitive exports; put workers and communities first when delivering on campaign commitments; and ensure any new regulations affecting delivery on the first four pillars are considered carefully. Going forward, the mayors also offered their support on all aspects of pandemic recovery and ongoing efforts with climate change and First Nations reconciliation. The letter was written by Ackerman and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, and supported by: Mayor Andy Adams, Campbell River Mayor Bruno Tassone, Castlegar Mayor Allen Courtoreille, Chetwynd Mayor Lee Pratt, Cranbrook Mayor Dale Bumstead, Dawson Creek Mayor Michelle Staples, Duncan Mayor Sarrah Storey, Fraser Lake Mayor Brad Unger, Gold River Mayor Linda McGuire, Granisle Mayor Phil Germuth, Kitimat Mayor Dennis Dugas, Port Hardy Mayor Joan Atkinson, Mackenzie Mayor Linda Brown, Merritt Mayor Gary Foster, Northern Rockies Mayor Brad West, Port Coquitlam Mayor Gaby Wickstrom, Port McNeill Mayor Lorraine Michetti, Pouce Coupe Mayor Doug McCallum, Surrey Mayor Rob Fraser, Taylor Mayor Carol Leclerc, Terrace Mayor Keith Bertrand, Tumbler Ridge Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View
The region's second drive-thru Santa Claus parade is happening Saturday in Amherstburg and organizers are hoping for a smoother event this time around.The so-called "reverse" parade — attendees drive by floats and performers that stay in place — is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the grounds of the Libro Centre Arena in Amherstburg.Maggie Durocher of the Windsor Parade Corporation is urging patience as she's expecting a very large turnout — similar to the event in Kingsville last weekend."I would encourage families to enjoy the time that they have together, celebrate what they do have, not what they don't have," she said. "Use the time waiting to access the parade route to enjoy the holiday season together."The event will feature multiple entertainers including fire jugglers and horse units as well as giant inflatables."It'll be a great outing for families," she said. "They can turn to 90.7 on the radio, listen to Santa talk to them as they go along … the parade route."They are also looking to broadcast the event on Facebook Live.The Windsor Parade Corporation, a non-profit, is behind Saturday's event as well as the one last weekend in Kingsville and the upcoming Windsor parade on Dec. 5.Kingsville apologizes for parade issuesThe Town of Kingsville issued an apology after its parade, which saw spectators face long waits to see the performers and "traffic rerouting concerns" due to the overwhelming attendance. The town said some of the concerns stemmed from "miscommunication" on its part. "We apologize to anyone who had a poor experience, and we thank them for their feedback and patience," the Town of Amherstburg said in a statement Sunday.The reverse parade format was implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns around social distancing."Although we expected a crowd, the ultimate response was incredible yet staggering," the town said.Work is being done around the clock to mitigate the challenges experienced in Kingsville, Durocher said. Parade organizers were set to meet with Amherstburg officials Tuesday.But Durocher also acknowledged that, given the high volume of traffic expected, there's only so much they can do.Part of the strategy this time around is to narrow down the routes people are taking to the site, she said. And unlike the Kingsville event, the Amherstburg parade is on a closed circuit. While this year's parades are taking a different form due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Durocher said the intention is to make the events as safe as possible. "We were working hard to make sure that this … was not a year without a Santa Claus," she said.
Two not-for-profit organizations in Labrador West got a big boost recently from the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). IOC donated $36,000 to Indoor Play Labrador and the Labrador West Association for Community Living to help them keep helping others. Cindy Humphries, director of the Labrador West Association for Community Living, said the donation couldn’t have come at a better time. The group, which supports people with intellectual challenges, had to cancel the annual Ken Gage Memorial Bowling Tournament this year due to the pandemic. The tournament normally raises $12,000 to $15,000 range for the group and is the only big fundraiser they do. They received $15,000 from IOC, which Humphries said will be used for things like tablets, wheelchairs, ceiling lifts and other equipment for families. “It was a huge help,” she said. “They approached us and asked what we needed, and after some paperwork we had to fill out and whatever they had to do on their end, it came through." Humphries said they can have up to 100 teams in the tourney some years and it can last for weeks. That simply wasn’t viable with the pandemic health protocols in place, Humphries said, and if things don’t change, they may not have one next year. “It’s just too much to try and control or monitor that many people,” she said. “You never know, come the new year things could be a lot different but if things are the same, I can’t see it going ahead.” The other not-for-profit that received funding was Indoor Play Labrador, the organization that manages the Kids Club in town, the only indoor playground in the region. The building was only opened in March and had to shut its doors 16 days later and suspend membership fees due to COVID-19 restrictions. Jenny Sullivan, president of Indoor Play Labrador, said the $21,000 from IOC came at a great time. “We were only open for 16 days and had to close, but still had rent and bills coming in, and those bills didn’t stop even though we weren’t bringing in any money as we expected. There was a period of uncertainty, so having that money come in to help with a lot of those expenses now that we’re back up and running has been amazing.” Sullivan said they had only been able to open initially because of community donations — having raised over $200,000 — and she is always impressed by the support in the community. IOC president and chief executive officer Clayton Walker said in a statement that not-for-profit organizations are an important part of Labrador City’s social fabric, particularly in a time of crisis. “Without the unique contributions of Indoor Play Labrador and the Labrador West Association for Community Living, our community would not be as safe, inclusive and fun,” he said. “We are happy to help them promote the health, safety and wellness of our families.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
The year was 1974. North Americans were huddled around their television sets on a warm summer night bidding farewell to a disgraced Richard Nixon while crooks of another kind were on the move in downtown Sudbury. Two rival schools, Sheridan Tech and Sudbury High, had just been amalgamated to become what is now known as Sudbury Secondary School. Perchance, two original A.Y. Jackson paintings called Spring on the Onaping River (1955) and A Windy Day, Lake Superior (1959) were united in the school’s main office. In the dead of night, the paintings mysteriously disappeared, never to be seen again – and more than four decades later, a local playwright is bringing the story to light. The Case of the Missing A.Y. Jackson, written and directed by Judi Straughan, is a radio play staged for broadcast that explores a true local crime that occurred on Aug. 9, 1974. The crime is considered an open case to this day and is still under investigation by the Greater Sudbury Police. Viewers will be able to stream a performance of the play online from Dec. 4 to 7, where they will get the chance to immerse themselves in Sudbury’s history and become amateur detectives as they try to piece together what happened. For more, go to email@example.com. “With the hundredth anniversary of the first exhibit of the Group of Seven, this is the year to get inquiring minds across the nation to come and search for the missing Jacksons,” said playwright and director Judi Straughan. “Because this play is streaming online, anybody anywhere will have the chance to watch it. Wouldn’t it be interesting if, after 47 years, someone came forward? Someone out there must know something. Maybe they are ready to talk after all these years.” Straughan’s retelling of the events that occurred in 1974 is not fictional. Both of the stolen paintings had been purchased from A.Y. Jackson, a member of the famous Group of Seven, in the 1950s. Spring on the Onaping River (1955) belonged to Sheridan Technical School. In fact, it had been created after Sheridan art teacher Jack Smith invited Jackson to paint with his students, resulting in several Jackson sketches of Onaping Falls. A Windy Day, Lake Superior (1959) was purchased by the students at Sudbury High School to commemorate a beloved teacher who had been murdered during a school lunch hour. The reason the paintings were united was because the schools had been amalgamated. They were in the main office to be cleaned and it was intended that they would be hung at Sudbury Secondary School together. Before that could happen – and before the school even opened its doors – the paintings were stolen. Police have not yet been able to uncover who did it. In The Case of the Missing A.Y. Jackson, Straughan brought together 15 Sudbury actors to play real Sudburians from 1974 and dramatize the events leading up to and following the theft. “It’s a mystery that sounds like it was ripped from the pages of a True Detective magazine. Surprisingly, there’s even a murder on the periphery of the story,” she said. “The two-act play presents the facts in Act 1 and the whodunit theories in Act 2. It even provides a fictional solution to the crime. As a bonus, former Sudbury High and Tech students will get to hear their school songs performed once more.” Full of what Straughan calls “Sudbury chuckles” and real-life intrigue, The Case of the Missing A.Y. Jackson will entertain, raise money for a local radio station, and maybe inspire someone to come forward with a piece of information that could help solve the case. Crime Stoppers, a not-for-profit charitable organization that helps law enforcement agencies solve crime, has actually come on board to encourage viewers to come forward with tips. The play was supposed to be performed on stage in the spring, but was delayed due to COVID-19. On Nov. 8, the Sudbury Theatre Centre allowed ticketholders into the theatre to watch the play while it was filmed in advance of the virtual show. “Len Yauk, who was the principal of the school at the time and who is actually a character in the play, drove to Sudbury from Parry Sound to see the performance on Nov. 8,” said Straughan. “He told me that he had received a phone call about three years ago from the RCMP asking questions about the case. He said that every once in a while, something comes up, and he’s glad that people are still paying attention.” Tickets for the online performance are now on sale on CKLU radio’s website at www.cklu.ca. All proceeds will go towards CKLU 96.7, a local not-for-profit radio station that operates on campus of the McEwan School of Architecture. If you have information about the theft of these paintings or any other crime, you can provide an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at 705-222-8477 (TIPS) or 1-800-222-8477 or by going online at www.sudburycrimestoppers.com. Tips that result in the successful resolution of a criminal offence may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000. All tips are completely anonymous, and you will not be asked to testify in court. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that one-third of children who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms, but in those that did, loss of taste/smell, headache, fever and nausea/vomiting were most strongly associated with positive cases. Other flu-like symptoms — including cough, runny nose and sore throat — were the most prominent symptoms in positive cases, but the study suggests they couldn't be used to accurately predict which cases were positive because they were also most prominent in COVID negative cases. The study, published Monday, was done by researchers at the University of Alberta who analyzed 2,463 COVID-19 test results from children in the province between April 13 to Sept. 30. They compared symptoms of those who tested positive (1,987) with those who were negative (476) for infection. Eight per cent of kids with positive COVID tests had loss of taste/smell, versus one per cent of kids who tested negative for the coronavirus, and four per cent had nausea or vomiting (vs. less than one per cent of those testing negative). Headache was a symptom in 16 per cent of positive cases, compared to six per cent in negative cases, and 26 per cent of positive cases had fever, compared to 15 per cent. Dr. Finlay McAlister, one of the authors of the study, says those symptoms were associated more with having COVID rather than some other virus. He says cough, runny nose, and sore throat were equally common in kids who didn't have COVID but may have had another virus. Symptoms of fever or chills, cough and runny nose in this study (19 to 26 per cent) were less frequent than in studies conducted in hospital settings. The authors of the study suggest that was because this was a community-based cohort and cases of disease were likely more mild than those seen in hospitals. Children aged four and younger were more likely to test negative, and teenagers (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to test positive. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020. The Canadian Press
Deborah Robinson has retained her long-standing position as chief of the Acadia First Nation in the election held November 21. Contender Todd Labrador, a member of the Wildcat First Nation Reserve in Queens County, fell short in his bid for the role, garnering 283 votes, 48 votes shy of incumbent Robinson’s 331 votes. Robinson, who resides on the Yarmouth Reserve, has been chief since June 1987. Acadia First Nation is a multi-generational Mi’kmaw Nation encompassing the southwestern regions of Nova Scotia and spanning counties from Yarmouth to Halifax. Included are six reserves – Yarmouth, Ponhook, Medway, Wildcat, Gold River, and Hammonds Plains. Additionally, Acadia First Nation has separate land holdings in Gardner’s Mill and Shelburne. Nineteen candidates vied for the eight seats on the council during the election. Wildcat representative Melissa Labrador, Labrador’s daughter, garnered 194 total votes, just short of earning a spot. Seven of eight incumbent councilors were re-elected: Avis Johnson (352 votes); Rachael Falls (290 votes); Jeff Purdy (259 votes); Michael Paul (251 votes); Charmaine Stevens (245 votes); Andrew Francis (244 votes) and Tom Pictou (225 votes). One new councilor joined the ranks - Natteal Battiste, who had 252 votes. Polling stations were held in Yarmouth, Shelburne, Wildcat, Liverpool, Gold River and Halifax.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
Community outings and visitations between Queens Manor residents and their families have been suspended, according to Andrew MacVicar, executive director for the Liverpool facility. “As we see the beginnings of a resurgence of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia with Dr. Strang acknowledging that there is ‘community spread’ in the province, we have made the difficult decision to cease all community outings/visitation between residents and their families and loved one,” MacVicar announced on social media November 17. He said indoor visitation would be allowed and that residents who already have medical appointments scheduled with family members transporting them would be permitted. “Dr. Strang has sent a clear message that we are at the edge of a fall into a second wave of COVID-19 here in Nova Scotia. He also has stressed that this is not inevitable and that it is up to each of us to do our part to prevent this from happening,” said MacVicar. “We each hold that responsibility and have the power to prevent what we are seeing in other parts of the county. This difficult decision is part of that responsibility,” he added. Residents had been permitted to have off-site visits with family members since September 24.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
WINDSOR, Ont. — Public health officials say 29 students and nine staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak at a Windsor, Ont., elementary school. Frank W. Begley Elementary has been closed since Nov. 17 and students and staff were asked to isolate for 14 days.The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says the entire school population is at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19.Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed had said that the first three cases in the outbreak were staff members, and transmission is suspected to have happened at the school.A letter to parents from the health unit says students are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.The health unit says it is working closely with the school and the Greater Essex County District School Board to manage the outbreak and limit the spread of infection.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro called the display outside his constituency office "offensive".
A fire at Freeman Lumber in Greenfield, Queens County, November 20 destroyed a piece of equipment, but further damage was prevented thanks to a quick response by the Greenfield, Liverpool, and North Queens fire departments. Firefighters were called out at 10:30 a.m. and remained on the scene for about two hours. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time. There were no injuries at the scene and neither EHS nor RCMP responded. In total, 28 firefighters were at the scene. Meanwhile, the Tri-District Fire Department was on stand-by in Greenfield, Port Medway Fire Department stood by in Liverpool, and the Mill Village Fire Department traveled to Port Medway in case it was needed.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s government is considering an electoral law amendment that would make it harder for opposition parties to pursue their unity strategy against the powerful ruling party in future elections.After a 2012 overhaul by the ruling Fidesz party and its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary’s two-ballot election system has allowed parties to field individual candidates in the country’s 106 single-member voting districts and to present voters with a national party list.Currently, election law requires that parties must run candidates in a minimum of 27 voting districts in at least nine counties and the capital Budapest in order to present a national list. The new proposal, approved 8-4 on Tuesday by parliamentary committee, would significantly increase this minimum requirement.The government argues the changes are necessary to prevent fake parties from abusing state funding they receive for election campaigns.If approved by the ruling party’s parliamentary supermajority, the amendment would force opposition parties to join in running a single national list against Fidesz. This could widen ideological fault lines within the tenuous coalition and make it more difficult to unseat Orban’s government.For months, the opposition has negotiated the details of a unity strategy against Orban in forthcoming 2022 elections, vowing to co-ordinate candidates in individual districts in an effort to prevent splitting opposition votes, and to adopt a common political platform and single candidate for prime minister.This strategy brought substantial gains to the opposition in municipal elections last year, where opposition candidates took the majority of Hungary’s cities including Budapest.The Associated Press
New restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 are being introduced in the Halifax region — the current epicentre of Nova Scotia's outbreak.The restrictions apply to western and central parts of the Halifax Regional Municipality, from Hubbards to Porters Lake. It also includes the communities of Enfield and Mount Uniacke to the north of Halifax, which are part of Hants County (see full map here).They come into effect midnight Wednesday and will continue for at least two weeks until midnight Dec. 9.Here's a guide to what can remain open and what has to close under the new restrictions:What's open * Public schools, with the exception of those where cases have been identified. * After-school programs. * Child care. * Hairstylists, estheticians and nail salons, except for procedures that cannot be done while a patron is masked. * Grocery stores, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Retail stores, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Liquor stores, including distilleries, wineries and breweries, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Pharmacies, but they must restrict shoppers and staff to 25 per cent of capacity. * Restaurants and coffee shops for takeout or delivery only. * Hotel restaurants for hotel guests only.What's closed * Restaurant dining rooms, bars and nightclubs. * Gyms, recreational facilities. * Libraries. * Museums and art galleries. * Casinos. * Distilleries, wineries and breweries for in-house tastings — retail sales are allowed. * Sporting facilities for both practices and games, recreational and professional. * Faith activities, events and gatheringsOther guidelines and limitations * The gathering limit in public is five, or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household. * Mandatory masking now applies to common areas in multi-unit residential buildings, such as apartments and condos. * No visitors in long-term care facilities, except volunteers and designated caregivers — this applies provincewide. * Non-essential travel into and out of the restricted region of HRM is discouraged. * Non-essential travel to other Atlantic provinces is also discouraged.MORE TOP STORIES