America's wars wouldn’t be possible without contractors, but presidents usually ignore the thousands who have died.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
New Brunswick Public Health reported 21 new cases on Wednesday, with new cases in five of the province's seven zones, and declared an outbreak at a special care home in Edmundston. The department will not hold a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, but in a news release it noted a positive case has been confirmed at the Manoir Belle Vue special care home in Zone 4. Residents were tested on Tuesday, and members of the provincial rapid outbreak management team, known as PROMPT, were at the home to help the residents and staff. The 21 cases announced Wednesday break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, six cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 20 to 29 two people 30 to 39 an individual 40 to 49 an individual 50 to 59 Saint John region), Zone 2, two cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 30 to 39 Fredericton region, Zone 3, one case: an individual 20 to 29 Edmundston region, Zone 4, 11 cases: three people 20 to 29 two people 40 to 49 three people 50 to 59 an individual 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 an individual 80 to 89 Campbellton region, Zone 5, one case: an individual 19 or under All of these people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick since the pandemic began is now 1,025, and 694 people have recovered. There have been 13 deaths, and the number of active cases is now 317. Two patients are hospitalized with one in intensive care. As of Wednesday, 177,680 tests have been conducted, including 1,646 tests since Tuesday's report. Four of the province's seven zones are now in the red phase of recovery — including Moncton, Fredericton, Saint John and Edmundston — with the remaining three in orange. Elsipogtog First Nation to follow modified recovery plan Elsipogtog leaders have unveiled a modified red-phase recovery program specific to the First Nation, which is in the Moncton region, Zone 1. In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the Elsipogtog First Nation Band said that "with lessons learned from past measures," the Chief, council and COVID response team want to ensure a "safe pandemic response, while minimizing the mental health strain on vulnerable community members, much due to our unique challenges/situation." Under the modified recovery plan, the Elsipogtog School will remain open four days a week, from Monday to Thursday. Retail businesses may remain open if they implement health and safety guidelines. They will be subject to "random inspections." Close-contact services such as salons and barbers will close. Gaming centres will be permitted to operate at reduced hours, with reduced capacity and under strict health and safety guidelines. Essential workers will be allowed to enter the community, but cannot visit and must leave the community immediately after work. Visitors are not permitted to enter the community. The modified plan took effect on Wednesday, the statement said. Riverview school confirms case, school to close Riverview High School will close for three days as of Thursday following a confirmed case at the school. In a letter sent to parents Wednesday evening, the Anglophone East School District said that classes will be conducted via distance learning, and that it would contact families on Sunday to share plans for the following week. In the meantime, the district said, it is working with Public Health to identify any students or staff who might have been in contact with the virus. Under the new red-phase rules, schools must close for three days to allow for contact tracing following a confirmed case. Shannex Parkland reports new case at Tucker Hall Testing results at Shannex Parkland Saint John have confirmed one new positive case at its Tucker Hall nursing home. In a statement posted Tuesday night on its website, Shannex noted that not all results for resident and employee testing conducted Tuesday at Tucker Hall had been returned by Public Health, but that one new positive employee case had been identified. The number of active cases at Tucker Hall is 14 residents and 10 employees, the statement said, noting that retesting will take place again later this week for all residents and employees. Positive case closes Edmundston region school, daycare A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at École Saint-Jacques in Saint-Jacques, Public Health has confirmed. The school community has been notified and all students and staff are required to self-isolate until further notice to allow for contact tracing and testing of school staff, the department said in a news release Wednesday. As the school is located in Zone 4, which is in the red phase, it will be closed to students for three days. The child-care centre, Halte Scolaire École Saint-Jacques, located within the school, will also be closed for three days. Comedy festival goes virtual and expands The HubCap Comedy Festival will move to a virtual format in light of new red phase restrictions that took effect Wednesday. Going virtual will also allow the festival to expand its roster of comedians, "which would have been impossible given current Covid-19 travel limitations," festival president Marshall Button said in a news release. The revised lineup includes comedians from Atlantic Canada and across the country, with a new schedule of five shows set for Feb. 4, 5 and 6 (English-language shows) and Feb. 5 and 6 (French-language shows). Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled live shows will be refunded, with an option to convert purchases into virtual show tickets. Virtual show tickets are $25, with various package options also available at hubcapcomedyfestival.ca. Province marks pandemic milestones Zones 1, 2 and 3 moved back to the red phase on Wednesday, the day after total case number for the pandemic in the province surpassed the 1,000 mark, and a 13th death was recorded. "We have never been in a situation like this since the pandemic began," Premier Blaine Higgs said Tuesday. "I cannot stress enough that this is a critical moment. ... Stay home as much as you possibly can and avoid interacting with people outside your household bubble." The Edmundston region, Zone 4, went back to red earlier in the week, and the remaining three zones stayed orange, Landfill reduced hours because of COVID-19 In an effort to reduce contact between staff and clients, the Fundy Regional Service commission said it's Crane Mountain Landfill will be closed on Saturdays as long as the region remains in red. "Saturday operations bring high volumes of single vehicles into the Public Drop Off area, with an average of 300 vehicles over four hours," said spokesperson Brenda MacCallum. "This results in close contact between members of the public and staff." The landfill will remain open Monday to Friday for public dropoffs. Edith Cavell School students to remain home Edith Cavell School students will continue to learn from home for the rest of the week after more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the school last week. "The situation will be reassessed on the weekend to determine what next week will look like," said an email sent to parents. "You will be informed as soon as a decision is made on whether we will continue with Distance Learning, or if we will be returning to the building next week." In the past week nine schools have reported cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, École Régionale Saint-Basile in Saint-Basile and Élémentaire Sacré-Coeur in Grand Falls both announced positive cases and that they would close because of them. In the Anglophone South School District, Princess Elizabeth School in Saint John school announced a positive case on Tuesday. The same district already had cases at four other schools: Quispamsis Middle School and Kennebecasis Valley High School, also in Quispamsis, Belleisle Elementary School in Springfield and Millidgeville North School in Saint John. Two schools in the Anglophone East School District, Riverview East School and Caledonia Regional High School in Hillsborough, also have cases. Hair stylists close in red zones Many New Brunswick hair stylists have been forced to close down again after half the province moved back into the red phase Wednesday. Zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 — the Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Edmundston regions, respectively — are all in red, and under the red rules, personal service businesses must close. Adam Donnelly, a hair stylist in Saint John, says he expected the news, but it was still difficult to hear. "I mean, orange hasn't been the best for business anyway, so unfortunately, you know, we kind of expected this," said Donnelly. Still, Donnelly said he believes moving into red was the right thing to do. Donnelly said he felt safe going to work, even during the orange phase, because of the stringent public health practices at his salon, many of which were in place before the pandemic anyway. "Our sanitation protocols within this industry have always been high because it is a high touch industry," said Donnelly. While many people may consider a hair cut or colour a fairly frivolous undertaking, Donnelly said this isn't the case for everyone. "For a lot of people, it is their resource to feel better," said Donnelly. "I mean, we all know when you look your best, you feel your best." Sitting in the chair is also a way for people to connect and talk about their joys and sorrows. Donnelly said he's used to such chats after 14 years in the business, but the subjects have changed recently. "You know, people are almost struggling to find something to talk about because everybody's just been home," he said. "But people are also offloading a lot of their, you know, their personal woes and the issues that they're going through. And, you know, I do have a personal connection with a lot of my clients. Some of them have been with me for well over a decade." Donnelly said he tries to steer the conversation away from COVID. "I try to change that conversation when they're sitting in my chair as much as I possibly can, try to focus on other things, try to, you know, turn the conversation around, because I want them to sit in my chair and have a positive experience and, you know, leave feeling uplifted." Other businesses also have to close or make changes to their operating procedures, including restaurants, which may not offer in-house dining in the red phase. But unlike restaurants, which can still offer takeout, the red phase doesn't leave Donnelly with options. So no outdoor haircuts. "I will not be doing a haircut. I will not even offer so much as advice to people on what they should be doing to do their own haircut, their own hair colours at home. We don't advise that at all." Donnelly said clients were anxious about coming back into the salon after the closure last spring, but the stylists learned from the pandemic experience and plan to hit the ground running when the zone goes orange again. Public exposure warnings Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flights: Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Moncton region: Goodlife Fitness Centre, 175 Ivan Rand Dr. E., on Jan. 13 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
OTTAWA — The head of the Ontario Medical Association says dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is spreading on social media among all age groups. The association's analysis of more than 65,000 recent online posts in Ontario shows that conspiracy theories about the origin of the novel coronavirus and fears that vaccines are dangerous and untested run particularly rampant among people under the age of 35. Dr. Samantha Hill says any delay to vaccinating Canadians will cost lives, whether it stems from untruths that dissuade people from getting a shot in the arm or current issues slowing down delivery of doses to Canada. Canada's small supply of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech will shrink even more over the next four weeks as the company slows production while upgrading its facility in Belgium. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't doing enough to pressure Pfizer to limit the effect on Canada and is urging him to get company CEO Albert Bourla on the phone right away. A Trudeau spokesman says they will not confirm who Trudeau has spoken to about the matter, and will not negotiate in public. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
The Detroit Lions have landed the coach they coveted from the start of their search, agreeing to terms with Dan Campbell. The Lions announced the agreement with the New Orleans Saints tight ends coach on Wednesday, one day after formally introducing Brad Holmes as their general manager. Campbell will sign a six-year contract, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms of the deal were not released. “With more than 20 years of experience as both a coach and player in the National Football League, Dan knows the rigours of professional football and what it takes to be successful,” team owner Sheila Ford Hamp said in a statement. “He will help promote the culture we want to establish across our organization, while also bringing with him high energy, a respect for the game and an identity with which everyone can align themselves.” While Detroit did make Holmes one of four Black general managers in the NFL and team president Rod Wood thanked Rod Graves of the Fritz Pollard Alliance on Tuesday, the franchise followed a league-wide trend of hiring white head coaches. The Lions were one of seven teams looking for a head coach during this hiring cycle and so far only the New York Jets did not pick a white man. The Jets hired Robert Saleh, the son of Lebanese parents. Philadelphia and Houston, meanwhile, still have an opening for a head coach. The NFL has just four minority coaches: Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin, Washington's Ron Rivera, Miami's Brian Flores and Saleh, who is the first Muslim American coach in the league. “The issue is not in the sufficiency of numbers; the problem is in the limited number of leadership opportunities given," said Graves, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which champions diversity in the NFL. “The disparity in opportunities is mind-boggling. It is unfortunate that the performances of co-ordinators like Eric Bieniemy, Todd Bowles, Byron Leftwich, Leslie Frasier and Joe Woods may not meet what appears as ‘ever-evolving standards’ for becoming a Black head coach in the NFL." The 44-year-old Campbell, who also had the title of assistant head coach with the Saints, has 11 years of experience in the NFL as a coach and 11 as a player. He was 5-7 as interim coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015. Campbell, who is from Clifton, Texas, was a standout tight end at Texas A&M and was drafted in the third round by the New York Giants in 1999. He had 91 career receptions for 934 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Giants, Dallas, Detroit and New Orleans. Campbell, who played for the Lions from 2006 to 2008, is the first former player to lead the franchise since Hall of Famer and two-time NFL champion Joe Schmidt was Detroit's coach from 1967-72. “Dan’s passion for this opportunity was evident throughout our interview process," Lions president Rod Wood said. “When we began the search for a head coach, it was imperative that we find the right leader who values our commitment to building a winning culture based on organizational alignment and collaboration. The leadership Dan has exemplified throughout his football career has prepared him for this next step, and we are excited to support him as our new head coach.” Hamp fired general manager Bob Quinn and coach Matt Patricia in November. Patricia, a former New England defensive co-ordinator, was 13-29-1 in two-plus seasons as a first-time NFL head coach. The Lions finished 5-11 last season — their 13th season with double-digit losses this century — and have only one playoff victory since winning the 1957 NFL title. ___ Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/larrylage ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL Larry Lage, The Associated Press
QUEBEC — The Quebec government is inviting high schools to collect the disposable medical masks being distributed to students so they don’t end up in landfills. About 500,000 blue masks are being used daily by students across the province. Quebec announced that high school students and teachers would be given two procedural masks a day when classes resumed Jan. 18, but the province didn't say what would happen to the 85 million masks expected to be used before the end of the school year. Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said Tuesday that expenses for the recovery and recycling of the masks will be covered by the provincial government. Genevieve Cote, a spokeswoman for Roberge, said young people are very sensitive to environmental issues, and the government is confident the masks won't end up polluting the environment. "Companies, many of which are from Quebec ... offer the recovery and treatment of disposable masks," Cote said. The federation representing Quebec school administrations says the recovery effort could have been organized before students returned to class. Only some schools have boxes available to collect soiled masks, Nicolas Prevost, the federation’s president, said. And many students are not comfortable discarding them in the trash. “We would have liked that we could set up the distribution (of the masks) and the recovery at the same time,” Prevost said. “It would have been simpler and, above all, more beneficial for the planet.” A Liberal member of the legislature, Frantz Benjamin, estimated the mask recovery operation would cost between $30 million and $35 million, and school commissions would need financial help to recoup the costs. In May, environmental groups sounded the alarm about disposable masks becoming a source of pollution. One group focused on waste management said Tuesday that aid announced by the province must be contingent on demonstrating the masks are being recycled. Denis Blaquiere, the president of the organization, said the majority of companies involved in recovering disposable masks send them out of province to be incinerated, although it is possible to recycle the main components of the mask in the province. Disposable masks are typically made from a mixture of synthetic fibres and cellulose, a rubber band and a piece of metal. Environmentalists say they can endanger wildlife and, like wipes, clog pipes in city wastewater treatment systems. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Caroline Plante, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
A 46-year-old Pictou County, N.S., man has been charged with multiple firearms offences after police say his attempt to euthanize his dog with a handgun ended up injuring another man. According to an RCMP news release, police responded to a complaint of a firearms discharge resulting in injury at 8:19 p.m. on Jan. 16. The release said the man was outside his Bigney, N.S., home when he tried to shoot his dog, which had bitten several people, but missed. The bullet struck a 21-year-old man inside the house. A subsequent search of the home resulted in the seizure of 29 long guns and nine handguns, according to police. The man was arrested and later released on conditions. The victim was taken to hospital and released with minor injuries. The dog is alive and was seized by animal control. The man is scheduled to appear virtually in Pictou provincial court on March 29 to answer to multiple firearms charges. MORE TOP STORIES
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Wednesday that the government is “exceedingly worried” about a surge in COVID-19 cases among Indigenous communities, stating that the total number of cases at the peak of the first wave was 400 while it is now closing in on 14,000. “Now is not the time to let down your guard,” he said, encouraging people to continue to follow public health guidelines.
OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Ottawa is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19.Miller says that there is a need to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to Indigenous people living both on reserves and in urban centres. He says the government is focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care facilities and essential workers but other vulnerable Indigenous groups will get the COVID-19 vaccine next.In a news release Wednesday, Indigenous Services Canada said there have been 89 COVID-19 cases and nine deaths in long-term care homes in Indigenous communities on reserves.The number of COVID-19 active cases in First Nations communities reached a new all-time high this week with 5,571 reported cases as of Tuesday.The department said COVID-19 vaccine rollouts have already started in 169 Indigenous communities in all provinces and territories except Nova Scotia and P.E.I.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.———This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan reported 234 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday along with four more deaths. Of the deaths reported, one person was in their 60s and lived in the Regina zone. Another person was in their 70s and lived in the North Central zone, and the two others were people in their 80s, one of whom lived in the Saskatoon zone, with the other death occurring in the South East zone. To date, 226 people in Saskatchewan who tested positive for the virus have died. The Saskatchewan government says three deaths were removed from the province's total because they did not die from COVID-19 related causes. On Wednesday, the province's total caseload rose to 21,112. Here's where the new cases are: Far North West (27). Far North Central (one). Far North East (18). North West (39). North Central (nine). North East (17). Saskatoon (66). Central West (six). Central East (15). Regina (23). South West (one). South Central (two). South East (eight). There are two cases that have pending locations. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 298, or 24.6 new cases per 100,000 people. This is a slight decrease from the previous seven-day average of 300 reported on Tuesday. A total of 17,187 people have recovered from the virus, with 694 new recoveries reported Wednesday. Of the province's total cases, 3,702 are considered active, which is a decrease from Tuesday. The number of hospitalizations were not reported on Wednesday due to a technical issue, says the government. The province has processed 2,559 COVID-19 tests on Tuesday. Vaccine update The province administered 2,658 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in Saskatchewan to 27,233. The doses were administered in the following areas: Regina (774). Saskatoon (444). North Central (460). North West (348). Far North East (80). Far North West (11). Far North Central (nine). Central East (485). South East (47). On Tuesday, it was reported that Pfizer-BioNTech would not be delivering doses to Canada for the week of Jan. 15. The Saskatchewan government says despite this, the province's most recent shipment will be administered next week. CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Residents of a P.E.I. community care home struck by fire Monday night are still coping with the aftereffects of the disruption, but the president of the home's co-op thinks they might be able to start settling into a temporary home next week. Marcel Richard, president of Le Chez-Nous co-op, said he has been told the Mill River Resort is putting a rush on renovations to a wing that is vacant right now, with a view to possibly having it ready early next week. "They're just trying their best to make it less hard for us," Richard said of the resort. "They even went as far as saying they could talk to some of their bookings, clients, maybe they could change [reservations]. We hope they won't have to do that because they are running a business." Fire broke out at Le Chez-Nous in Wellington, at the centre of the Acadian region of the province, about 9:40 p.m. Monday, with heavy smoke reported throughout the building. All 47 residents and the staff were able to escape without serious injury, but the fire has left the residents homeless. The residents first sheltered at the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, and then were sent to Mill River, about a half-hour drive to the north. There was ample room for them at the resort mid-week, but the weekend is complicated by a number of guest bookings. Richard said Le Chez-Nous staff are canvassing families to see if some can accommodate their relatives for a few nights. If they can get through the weekend that might be enough, he said. "The management at the resort is totally awesome," said Richard, noting that work is underway for a separate dining room for Chez-Nous guests as well. "Because of COVID we're trying to keep it as separate as we can." Family of residents delivering necessities Family members of Chez-Nous residents were at the hotel on Tuesday, dropping off necessities to the residents. Anne Compton was there to see her parents, Eva and Leo Richard, and came bearing a large bag. "Batteries for [my mother's] hearing aids cause she can't hear right now, and a few munchies, and clothing, and necessities, 'cause they left with only what was on their back," said Compton. "It's great that I can go in and get to see them, reassure myself and my family that they're fine." Compton's sister, Louise Arsenault, lives in Wellington, right next to Le Chez-Nous. On Monday night, she saw an ambulance pull up at the home, then three fire trucks and the RCMP. "Lots of things went through my mind," said Arsenault. Soon after, Arsenault's husband went over to the facility find out what was going on, and they learned the home was being evacuated. "It was quite a relief to know that they were all basically in the bus and being transported off-site at that time," she said. She was able to speak to her parents briefly before they left. "I talked to them through the school bus window, just said, 'Are you guys OK?' And they both said, 'Yes, we're OK.'" 'Used to seeing the same faces every day' Arsenault is happy her parents are together with the other residents at the Mill River Resort and hopes they can stay there until they can return to Le Chez-Nous. "They're used to seeing the same faces every day and to talking to the other residents and playing cards, different things just to kind of keep it more like a regular setting," she said. "The community around here and in P.E.I. are just so giving and caring that I think that everything is going to work out. It's just a matter of the not knowing right now of what's going to happen." For Claudette McNeill, whose mother Denise Arsenault lives at Le Chez-Nous, she'd rather take her home to her own house while they wait for the facility to reopen. "That would be the best thing for her. Because then she'd be closer to my brothers and sisters and ... this is quite far for us." Her mother, who's 99, can't wait to get back to Le Chez-Nous, said McNeill. "She knits and she says all her wool is there," she said. Staying together thought to be important The mayor of Wellington told CBC News he hopes the residents can continue to live as a group while the smoke-damaged home is repaired and cleaned. "It's very important that they be kept together. I wouldn't want to see them spread out all over the Island," said Alcide Bernard, who has "a couple of cousins" living at Le Chez-Nous. "Everyone's from the community, pretty well, a few from outside. They live together as a family." Bernard said he has been told the fire appears to have started in the basement around the furnace. The floor suffered in the fire, and there is smoke damage throughout the building. A new wing, not yet opened, was separated by a firewall and not damaged, he said. He is hoping the building can be quickly repaired so the residents can move back in. For many of them, Wellington is where they have lived their whole lives. "Le Chez-Nous has played that important role of keeping people in this community, serving them in their language and culture," Bernard said. "It is a place that everybody that is there calls home." Shock and stress a factor Richard is also thinking about how to keep the residents comfortable and calm. Shock and stress started to settle in on many of the residents later in the day Tuesday, he said. With more sleep it would be a lot better, but it can't be helped, the way it all happened. — Marcel Richard "They were extremely tired, because I don't think too many of them had any sleep that night, Monday night," Richard said. It was almost 4 a.m. when they got into the Mill River Resort the morning after the fire. "With more sleep it would be a lot better, but it can't be helped, the way it all happened." The home is bringing in some counselling professionals to help residents overcome any lingering fears they have from the incident. More from CBC P.E.I.
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s hand-picked chief of U.S. international broadcasting has quit amid a burgeoning staff revolt and growing calls for his resignation. Michael Pack resigned as the chief executive office of the U.S. Agency for Global Media just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday. The agency runs the Voice of America and sister networks. Pack had created a furor when he took over the agency last year and fired the boards of all the outlets under his control along with the leadership of the individual broadcast networks. The actions were criticized as threatening the broadcasters' prized editorial independence. Biden had been expected to make major changes to the agency's structure and management but Pack’s early departure signalled those may be coming sooner rather than later. Though many presidential appointees resign when a new administration comes in, Pack was not required to so. His position was created by Congress is not limited by the length of a particular administration. In resigning, Pack cited the incoming administration’s desire for new leadership at the agency. “I serve at the pleasure of not one particular president, but the office of the president itself,” Pack said in a resignation letter sent to staffers. “The new administration has requested my resignation, and that is why I have tendered it as of 2PM today.” The letter said that "a great amount of much-needed reform was achieved in the past eight months, some of this work is outlined in a series of recently-released agency statements.” Yet those statements were seen by many, including Republican and Democratic lawmakers and a significant number of employees, as being antithetical to the agency's mandate to provide international audiences with unbiased, uncensored and nonpolitical information. VOA was founded during World War II and its congressional charter requires it to present independent news and information to international audiences. Pack is a conservative filmmaker and former associate of Trump’s onetime political strategist Steve Bannon. Pack’s moves raised fears that he intended to turn venerable U.S. media outlets into pro-Trump propaganda machines. His actions had done little to dissuade those concerns and had attracted a large amount of criticism from supporters of the agency's mission. Indeed, just on Tuesday he appointed new conservative members to the boards of Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. Only last week, Pack attracted new criticism when one his top aides demoted a VOA White House reporter after she asked a question of then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. That reassignment prompted a new round of criticism and demands for VOA chief Robert Reilly to resign. In addition to Republican criticism, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez. D-N.J., demanded changes in leadership. Biden’s team had made clear it was not pleased with Pack's record on the job and had sent numerous signals that he should go. Pack’s appointments to specific networks and boards of directors may be more difficult for the Biden administration to rescind without congressional action. Some appointees now enjoy federal employment protections. Transition officials said last week they were looking into ways that legislation could be amended or replaced to make dismissals of certain personnel easier. Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Students at Montreal's Westmount High School spent Wednesday morning watching a former graduate ascend to one of the highest political offices in the world, with Kamala Harris's new post as U.S. vice-president sending a message that nothing is beyond reach."When we stay in the same high school for five years, it can make the world seem quite small," Ava Oxilia, a Grade 10 student at the school, said in a video call organized by the board."To know that she was in a very similar place to a lot of our students here, and then she reached one of the highest positions in the U.S. government, it's just incredible to believe anyone of us could obtain such a high position."Harris, 56, moved briefly to Montreal at age 12, attending Face and later Westmount High School before graduating in 1981.It was in those halls that Wanda Kagan, a good friend to Harris during her time in Montreal, met the new U.S. vice-president and even ended up living with her for a time. How many people can say they bunked with a vice-president, Kagan asked with a laugh on Wednesday as she said she was elated for her friend.“Anyone can make history, but only a great woman can write history, and that’s what she’s going to do,” Kagan said in an interview.Kagan said the pair became close friends, two children from biracial families navigating a bigger high school. “We were just trying to find our way, fitting in, and we just fit in together,” she said.Kagan would confide in Harris during those school years that she was being abused at home, and Harris’s late mother, Shyamala Gopalan Harris, insisted she come live with them. “They just treated me like family. I just hung out with Kamala in her room listening to music, doing homework,” Kagan said. “They instilled a lot of my values that I carried on later in life.”After reconnecting in the mid-2000s, Kagan said Harris told her that helping her friend during their high school years inspired her legal career defending women and children from abuse.Kagan said she had no doubt Harris and her family helped shape her life. “But to know that I impacted hers was huge,” Kagan said. “She was a trailblazer back then, fighting for my rights, my dignity, my humanity.”The school has been paying close attention as Harris's political career took off, and on social media Wednesday it congratulated its illustrious alumna on her swearing-in as the 49th U.S. vice-president.Students streamed the inauguration during second period, with Grade 10 student A.J. Itovitch later describing the pride felt in seeing someone who walked the same halls rise to such heights."The energy has been absolutely palpable over the past few weeks at the school, and it's just so difficult to wrap our head around the fact that the 49th vice-president came ... right out of Montreal," the 15-year-old said. "We have been doing all we can just to take in all of this."Principal Demetra Droutsas said Harris's rise has been inspirational. "I want our students to really retain they should dream big, they should never limit themselves and they can do anything they set their minds to," she said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press
Forest areas in Jasper and close to it are being thinned to reduce the risk of wildfire. Crews from Landmark Solutions Ltd. started work in November. This is part of the FireSmart Forest Fuel Reduction Project, a partnership between the Municipality of Jasper and Parks Canada. “It has to be done in the winter because of the impact on the ground and safety in burning piles,” said Greg Van Tighem, director of protective services for the Municipality of Jasper, and a project manager alongside Landon Shepherd with Parks Canada. Van Tighem emphasized it’s important not to disturb the understory, the layer of vegetation beneath the main canopy, as the ground has to be frozen. “(The crews) deal with the understory and the bigger trees,” he said. “They’re targeting the mountain pine beetle-killed trees.” Alan Westhaver, a former Park warden, runs ForestWise Environmental Consulting Ltd. and develops the prescription for each Fire Management Unit (FMU). “Parks Canada provides a surveillance officer, Christine Brown, to monitor the work (including) the criteria of FireSmart prescription on a daily basis and adhering to environmental requirements,” Van Tighem said. “Each unit is different in the prescription.” There are seven units and nine subunits in the project that cover a total of 27.5 hectares. This includes the industrial area, places around the municipality and Parks Canada compounds and the Lake Annette/Lake Edith day-use areas. “Our objective is to provide a higher level of safety to the community in the event of a wildfire, so we reduce the fuel located around the community and the infrastructure that surrounds the community,” Van Tighem said. Portions of some units have been completed. Van Tighem said work will continue until the ground begins to thaw and snow starts to melt in March. The trees cut down in some of the units are used for firewood. With a $10 fire permit, folks can pick up the wood onsite. “It’s a way to reduce waste,” Van Tighem added. Since the early ‘90s, FireSmart Canada has worked to reduce the risk that wildfires present to populated areas by facilitating interagency co-operation to promote education and awareness. Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
A fire at a Wellington seniors’ home Monday night displaced around 50 residents who are now lodged temporarily at the Mill River Resort. Wellington Fire Department got the call to the Cooperative Chez Nous at 9:40 p.m. “When we arrived on the scene our members were quick to realize there was some heavy smoke, and there was an urgent need to evacuate all the residents,” said firefighter Desmond Arsenault, who handles communications for the department. In total, four departments battled the blaze for around three hours. “We’re lucky it happened when it did. A lot of the residents were still up,” said Wellington Fire Department deputy chief Leon Perry. Tyne Valley, New London and Miscouche fire departments also answered the call. Arsenault said it didn’t take long to evacuate the residents. Perry said that was the home’s evacuation plan “paying off”. “Residents knew which doors to go out of. The staff were great, they did an excellent job to get everyone out,” said Perry. Initially, residents were loaded into personal vehicles and RCMP cruisers for transport to the Wellington Legion. Then school buses started to arrive to help take the residents to safety. Perry was moved by the number of bus drivers who came out in the middle of the night to help. “We loaded up two, and just as we were looking for a third, I looked up and could see seven more waiting – the community support has been great,” said Perry. Island EMS sent around six ambulances to the legion and every resident and all the staff were assessed for injury and smoke inhalation. Only one person was taken to hospital with minor injuries. Once everyone was safe from immediate danger it became clear they needed a place to stay the night. The seniors were then transported by school bus to nearby Mill River Resort. “They were all, of course, cold, afraid and nervous,” said Arsenault. “It’s pretty traumatic for these people … They literally came out with the clothes on their back, some didn’t even have slippers on." Tuesday morning, firefighters were able to retrieve some personal belongings like hearing aids, glasses, dentures and medications. “I’m sure they won’t feel very comfortable without those items,” said Perry. At Chez Nous, the central areas, including the kitchen and lobby, sustained the most damage as the fire broke out in the basement underneath these rooms, said Perry. The rest of the home is affected by smoke damage. Tuesday morning, the Fire Marshal’s Office was on the scene with security officers to secure the building. “We’re at the ‘making sure the fire is still out’ stage,” said deputy fire marshal John Chisholm as he cleared the site. “I just want to assure all families that the residents are really well taken care of,” said Marcel Richard. “They’re in really nice accommodations, they’ve been fed nice hot meals.” Many of the residents have mobility issues, so wherever they landed it needed to be accessible. Mill River Resort is meeting those needs. Staff members are working to keep the routines similar to those of the home. He can’t say how long they’ll get to stay at the Mill River Resort, though, as the hotel is fully booked for the weekend. Geoffrey Irving, president of the resort, said he and his staff were happy to welcome the residents from Chez Nous. “Happy to help. Something like this has to be quite scary and from what we understood, there wasn’t a lot of options. We’re just happy we were here to help,” said Irving. As for whether it’s a boon for business – he said he hasn’t even discussed payment yet, he’s just working to provide accommodations for as long as he can with bookings looming. To help out, a construction crew renovating 12 of the resort’s rooms will work extra hours to get them done by Thursday evening, said Irving, which will accommodate half of the residents. Going forward, he said it’s “not off the table” to reschedule some reservations to keep the Chez Nous residents together and in the same place while they wait out the disruption to their lives. Until the fire marshal completes the investigation, Richard said he won’t know how long the residents will be away from home. Chez Nous staff will be contacting families to update them about their loved one’s needs. In the meantime, he asks everyone to respect the privacy of the seniors. Alison Jenkins, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Journal-Pioneer
FREDERICTON — The People's Alliance party says the New Brunswick government's recent decisions to curb the spread of COVID-19 are confusing for the public. Leader Kris Austin has been a member of the all-party COVID-19 cabinet committee for the last 10 months but says he's confused and frustrated by some of the government's actions. "We have to have rules that make sense," Austin said in an interview Wednesday. "They have to be concise and they have to be clear and they have to be consistent. If we're changing rules on the fly it just creates confusion." New Brunswick has been reporting more than 20 new infections every day since Jan. 13. Austin said the decision this week to move more than half the province into the "red" pandemic-alert level has closed churches and hair salons without evidence they are hot spots. "My understanding was when you went to red, that was the lockdown," he said. "That was the final step. But now we're hearing red is the new version of orange and there's a lockdown that could be coming. People are just scratching their heads unsure of what it all means." Premier Blaine Higgs said this week that the government would consider imposing a lockdown if current measures to control the spread of the virus aren't effective. The COVID cabinet committee meets Thursday morning to discuss whether more restrictions are needed and if so, what they would look like. "A lockdown is an extreme measure," Austin said. "I supported it last spring because this whole thing was new. We were trying to grapple with the health-care system to ensure it was ready should COVID cases spike. I think it was justified back then. I'm not so sure it's justified at this time." Health officials reported 21 new infections Wednesday and said the province had 317 active reported cases. Two patients were hospitalized with the disease, including one in intensive care. There have been 13 COVID-related deaths and 1,025 reported infections since the start of the pandemic. Officials said Wednesday a case had been identified at Edith Cavell School in Moncton and one at Ecole Saint-Jacques in Saint-Jacques, N.B. They declared an outbreak at Manoir Belle Vue, a special care home in Edmundston, following a recent confirmed case of COVID-19 there. Meanwhile, the Opposition Liberals are calling on the Higgs government to provide financial support for businesses impacted by the pandemic. Gilles LePage, critic for economic development and small business, says people are following advice to stay home and only go out for essentials, and that's affecting businesses. "The province has the duty to step up and provide the financial aid necessary to keep these businesses afloat," LePage said in a statement. He said it's more critical than ever for the government to identify what businesses need help and to provide temporary financial aid. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. — As they witnessed President Joe Biden take the oath of office on Wednesday, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said former Republican President George W. Bush lauded him as a “saviour” for helping get Biden elected. The South Carolina Democrat is largely credited with giving Biden the endorsement he needed to shoot to the top of 2020's large Democratic field and win his party's nomination. Clyburn, on a call with reporters, said Bush told him, “you know, you’re the saviour, because if you had not nominated Joe Biden, we would not be having this transfer of power today.” He said Bush added that Biden was the only Democratic candidate he felt could have defeated President Donald Trump. Bush, who has largely stayed out of politics since leaving the White House, chose “none of the above” in the 2016 presidential election but has not revealed how he voted in 2020. In a statement issued following Biden's victory, he wrote, “Though we have political differences, I know Joe Biden to be a good man" and added, "I offered him the same thing I offered Presidents Trump and Obama: my prayers for his success, and my pledge to help in any way I can.” Bush spokesman Freddy Ford downplayed Clyburn's remarks. “Let’s not make this into more than it is,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the former president was “saying Clyburn helped saved Biden’s nomination ... nothing Biblical here." Clyburn’s pivotal endorsement before South Carolina’s Democratic primary seemed to have brought Biden’s candidacy back from the brink following lacklustre performances in other early states. It was an awaited signal for many Black voters that Biden would be the candidate to stand up for their interests. Biden won South Carolina by nearly 30 points, subsequently bested chief rival Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday and bumped rivals Tom Steyer, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren in one of the more muscular comebacks in presidential campaign history. Clyburn, South Carolina’s only Democratic representative in Congress, is the dean of the state’s Democrats and the third-ranking member of the U.S. House. Clyburn said that his backing of Biden also came up Wednesday during conversations with former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the party's 2016 nominee. ___ Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP. Meg Kinnard, The Associated Press
Delta police are investigating a stabbing as a result of a conflict between two students at Burnsview Secondary School Tuesday. Police say the accused youth is not known to them. "This appears to be a conflict between two students that unfortunately escalated to violence," said Delta Police spokesperson Cris Leykauf, adding that "police are taking this incident extremely seriously." Police say they are protecting the identities of the victim and the suspect because they are both under 18 years of age. The accused youth was arrested Tuesday and has since been released into the family's custody on the condition they not return to Burnsview Secondary, while the victim who was injured in the altercation has now been released from hospital. Police say they have recovered the knife that was believed to have been used. They say the youth is not known to them.
VANCOUVER — Residents of a tiny community in northeastern British Columbia are suing the local and provincial governments over two slow-moving landslides they claim caused their property values to plummet. In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court this week, 35 residents in Old Fort., B.C., allege negligence and breach of their charter right to security of the person. Evacuation orders and alerts were issued in September 2018 and June 2020 after a slope above the community of about 50 homes slumped, damaging the only road in and out. The claim alleges that the first slide was caused by activity at the Blair Pit gravel mine and also that it was foreseeable that construction at the Site C dam project a kilometre away would cause or contribute to a slide. The Peace River Regional District and gravel pit owner Deasan Holdings declined to comment as the matter is before the courts. The B.C. government and City of Fort St. John said they had yet to be served, while BC Hydro, the utility building Site C, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
Seniors living at a Regina care home say their hopes were raised about getting their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — only to see their prospects for inoculation quickly dashed after names were randomly drawn out of a basket. The incident at Qu'Appelle House in Regina has the Saskatchewan NDP accusing the provincial government of badly planning and executing the vaccine rollout, while the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says health workers thought quickly on their feet to avoid wasting any doses. "There are several families and residents quite upset [regarding] the vaccine administration that happened here," said Bev Desautels, the home's director of care. Independent residents left out Qu'Appelle House is a care home affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle and inspected and monitored by the SHA. It is not listed among the Saskatchewan long-term care homes dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19. Desautels said she requested enough vaccine doses to inoculate all residents and staff at the facility, as well as the 15 seniors who live in an attached independent living wing. "They are not under our care," Desautels said of the "independent suite residents," who are all above the age of 85. "However, they share meals, activities, mingling with the care residents. They are expected to follow the same guidelines as the folks whose care we are responsible for." Late Monday morning — the date of vaccination — public health nurses told Desautels they were instructed to not administer the vaccine to the independent living residents, Desautels said. She passed on the news. Harold Olson, who lives in an independent suite, said residents had been notified earlier in the day that everybody would be vaccinated. "And then we were notified again at 11:30 that the nurses were not going to do the suite residents. Everybody got pretty deflated," Olson said. 'I waited and waited and waited all afternoon ... and nobody came.' - Jeanne Tweten, 98 Wendell Lindstron, another suite resident, said he has congested lungs and worries about his health should he contract COVID-19. "It was so disappointing for me because we were supposed to get the vaccine," he said. Jeanne Tweten, 98, said a visiting home care nurse informed her Monday morning about the vaccination plans. "So I waited and waited and waited all afternoon. Not that I can go anywhere because I'm in isolation, but still I waited," she said. "And nobody came." Director of care didn't want to choose between residents Desautels, the home's director of care, said nurses from the SHA did have the Pfizer vaccines on hand "but their hands were tied." Scott Livingstone, the health authority's CEO, said during a COVID-19 news conference on Tuesday that while the independent living residents are considered priority vaccine recipients under the first phase of Saskatchewan's vaccine rollout, they were not scheduled to be inoculated on Monday. The patients and staff at Qu'Appelle House were, he added. When there proved to be extra doses available, staff "thinking on the ground" inoculated six of the 15 suite residents. "We can't take it back, with the Pfizer product, and we didn't want to waste it," Livingstone said, referring to the strict refrigeration requirements of the Pfizer vaccine. Desautels said nurses "milked every last drop of vaccine." "They asked me to choose six of the 15 independent residents to receive the vaccine. I was not about to choose six of my folks. I decided to put their names in a basket and had the visiting nurses draw out the names. Those were the folks who received the vaccine." Janet Craig, resident Jeanne Tweten's daughter, said staff did all they could to have vaccinations in place. "It really broke their heart to have to put names in a hat. My mother didn't get [the vaccine]." Neither did Wendell Lindstron. But Harold Olson did. "I am one of the fortunate ones," Olson said. "Now, to me, when we have to have a lottery to do stuff like this, I don't think that's right." SHA to review incident Olson, Lindstrom, Tweten and Craig all spoke about their experiences during a news conference hosted Tuesday by the Saskatchewan NDP. The party's leader, Ryan Meili, acknowledged some factors, including vaccine supply, are outside the control of the provincial government. "Organizing the delivery on the ground isn't one of them," Meili said, adding that the Qu'Appelle House episode shows "a lack of foresight and lack of communication from this government." Livingstone said the SHA will review the incident in detail. Premier Scott Moe, speaking during the same news conference Tuesday, said he was not familiar with what happened at Qu'Appelle House but stressed that "we do not have enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone at this point in time." Olson said he wishes the health department would come back to the home and give shots to the other nine suite residents. Desautels said early Wednesday morning she had not heard from the province about whether that will happen CBC News reached out to the SHA for an update. "Based on available supplies, we anticipate administering to the rest of the residents at Qu'Appelle House in February," an SHA spokesperson said.