As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the province, the Alberta government is expected to introduce further measures to slow the spread of the disease.A meeting of the priorities implementation cabinet committee was scheduled for Monday afternoon to discuss options, according to the premier's office. The committee normally includes Premier Jason Kenney and the ministers of environment, finance, energy, innovation, health, justice, and children's services.Monday's meeting also included the ministers of municipal affairs, labour, and education.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, cut her COVID-19 update short on Monday to attend the meeting but said little about what could be in store for Albertans."My role, again, is simply to provide recommendations," she told reporters.Speaking outside the legislative assembly, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the cabinet would look to Hinshaw's advice for direction."I can say this, that we are taking these rising numbers very seriously," he said.COVID-19 cases have continued to rise rapidly, with new daily cases passing the 1,500 threshold for the past two days. As of Monday, Alberta had 13,166 active cases. more than any other province in Canada.The Official Opposition has hounded the government in recent weeks to introduce further measures.On Nov. 12, the government introduced measures in major population centres that require bars and licensed restaurants to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and to close an hour later. It also prohibited group fitness programs.Businesses would struggle through shutdownBusinesses are bracing for new restrictions. When Pigs Fly has sold gifts and trinkets from its storefront on Edmonton's Whyte Avenue for more than 25 years.Decorations are already up at the store in preparation for the Christmas season. Manager Tara Chekowski said the next few weeks are crucial for revenue to carry through the slower months of January through March."This is our time of the year that we need to be open and we need to be selling items," she said.With the possibility of new restrictions, Chekowski said the business is at least better prepared than it was at the beginning of the pandemic last spring. She intends to enter more items into the online store and hopes curbside pickup and delivery will be allowed."Unfortunately, if there is a shutdown we're going to have to take that in stride," she said.Kyle Murray, vice dean of the University of Alberta's Alberta School of Business, said many retailers are already struggling to find a way forward through the pandemic."If we can shut down for a short period of time, and as a result of that save lives … that's a good outcome," he said. "And I think most businesses are OK with that."But long-term shutdowns spurred by an increasingly dire pandemic could make things much worse, Murray warned."Any kind of shutdown is difficult. There's no easy decision here."Alberta announced on Monday it would open applications for a second round of its Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant. The payment will be available to businesses in areas on the provincial watch list that have health restrictions.Community spread in schoolsA report from the Edmonton Public School Board on the impact of COVID-19 on the first quarter showed 10,500 students and 1,075 staff were recommended or required to self-isolate. Cases were found in 111 of the division's 215 schools."It's clear the same COVID numbers that are happening in the community are happening in our schools," said trustee Michael Janz, who requested the report in October. He said staff are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus within schools.Janz was critical of the government's communication about its future plans."We need as much notice as possible for whatever they are deciding," he said. "And it's not fair to 100,000 students, staff and families in Edmonton public schools to make them wait. "Tell us now. Get us the information as soon as possible."Colin Aitchison, press secretary for Education Minister Adrianna LaGrange, said in an emailed statement that the ministry was following Hinshaw's advice and was ready to make changes based on that advice."We are in regular contact with education partners, including school boards across Alberta, to deal with the challenges that arise during learning in a COVID-19 environment," he said.Hinshaw said Monday there were active alerts or outbreaks in 304 Alberta schools — about 13 per cent of the total."I am confident that because of the diligence of our schools, parents, guardians and students, the number of cases in schools will remain stable," she said.
There’s cheer and laughter as community members trim the trio of Christmas trees on the stage in Brighton’s Memorial Park one recent chilly November evening. With the frosty branches, sparkling lights and shiny ornaments, the setting will provide a picturesque backdrop when Santa Claus comes to town next month. It’s also giving downtown Brighton a festive feel. From hosting Old St. Nick, to launching a new shop local incentive to introducing a holiday decorating contest, the Municipality of Brighton, the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) and others are kicking off the holiday season. Uniting each of these initiatives is the theme of supporting the Brighton business community as much as possible – whether it’s warming up with a hot chocolate, stopping by to wave to Santa or finding the perfect gifts. Ben Hagerman, Brighton’s economic development and communications manager, is hopeful a new initiative, made possible through a Bay of Quinte Tourism sponsorship, will kick-start local holiday shopping. “It’s a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking,” Hagerman said. Shoppers spend $200 on holiday gifts at Brighton businesses and submit a photo of their receipts that total $200 or more to the municipality and the first 11 people to do so will each receive five free garbage bag tags, which are valued at $4 each. “Basically, you get back 10 per cent (of the $200 spent), which is kind of nice.” The incentive kicks off this week. “We’d really like it to be gift-oriented,” Hagerman noted. Instead of leaving Brighton or shopping from big retailers online, he’s optimistic that this will entice people to spend their holiday dollars here. “It’s about using the businesses and services we have locally to complete your Christmas shopping list as best as you can. I’d like to see people go into local restaurants and buy gift cards for people. I’d like to see people utilizing our wonderful boutiques in our downtown core whether it’s ladies’ wear, shoes or books. We’ve also got a great selection of retail up in the industrial park. There’s so much to offer…by shopping right where you live,” Hagerman said. As the owner of a Brighton-based business, Sheryl Delorme said the experience of shopping local can’t be matched. “The personalized approach, better customer service, the one-on-one connection that is created is worth its weight in gold,” said Delorme, Special Effects Lifestyle Boutique’s artist, designer and redesign specialist. “When you get to know the person behind the business, you appreciate their passion, their motivation and desire to create something truly exclusive. The investment far outreaches the product or service that you may have purchased. These solitary businesses also invest back into their community by sponsoring many local initiatives and events -- in the neighbourhood of about 48 per cent is returned back to the very place you call home,” she said. “This movement of supporting small business creates a certain flavour, a kinship that can only be created by offering your heart and soul to the cause. This is not a get-rich quick scheme or a one-shot deal, it's a commitment to create something real, something lasting for the neighbourhood that you reside in.” To get residents into the festive spirit, Brighton also launched a holiday decorating contest Nov. 20, which runs through to Dec. 14. Business owners and homeowners are encouraged to decorate their storefronts and homes and share photos of their displays for a chance to win pre-paid VISA gift cards to use at local businesses. There will be a total of 30 winners – 15 from the urban area and 15 from rural parts of the municipality. The DBIA and the municipality have each donated 15 $100 gift cards intended for use in the downtown core. Upload a photo to the municipality’s website Winners will be chosen through a random draw. Finally, to engage Brighton’s children in holiday fun, Santa Claus is slated to stop by Memorial Park on Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I think this year, more than ever, Santa in Brighton will bring a sense of normalcy to our younger citizens,” said Sarah Hilwerda, chair of the DBIA. “Even a wave and wink from the fella in the red suit will do just fine for the time-being. Physical distancing protocols will of course be in place but it’s the best we can do. A lot of folks aren’t in a position to take their kids shopping to the big box stores or the mall this year, so our downtown will provide a safe place to see Santa,” Hilwerda said. She reminded youngsters to be sure to bring their letters for St. Nick. Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News
Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C. who this week will become the first African-American cardinal, said on Tuesday he wanted to find common ground with the incoming U.S. administration despite disagreements on some issues. Gregory, who clashed with President Donald Trump earlier this year, is one of the 13 Roman Catholic Church prelates whom Pope Francis will raise to the rank of cardinal on Saturday. The American Church is divided over many issues, including abortion.
P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison is urging Islanders not to travel during the upcoming Christmas holidays. During her weekly COVID-19 update Tuesday, Morrison also asked Islanders to limit their number of close contacts as new cases of COVID-19 climb across Canada. She said while there are no new cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. to report at the moment and the number of active cases has fallen to just one, it is likely the Island will have cases related to public exposure in Atlantic Canada as the days go on.For now, Morrison is advising people to travel off the Island only for essential purposes. Those reasons include: * Medical and dental appointments off the Island * Court dates * Specialized animal care * Delivery of goods * Child custody arrangements * Compassionate visitationThose who must travel to P.E.I. for work do not need to apply for pre-travel approval, said Morrison, adding that they will be automatically eligible to work-isolate. Picking up off-Island studentsFamilies of students attending university elsewhere in Atlantic Canada can still go pick them up without having to isolate on return as long as it's a short trip, Morrison said.She said everyone in the car must be masked and the driver should not stop for meals or gas while away from the Island. Upon returning home, the students will still need to isolate for 14 days. Parents and other family members should follow all health measures carefully. She said more information will be provided online about how to do this safely.Testing advised for patrons of N.S. barsMorrison is also recommending testing for anyone who has been to a licensed bar or restaurant in Halifax after 10 p.m. in the last two weeks — even if they don't have symptoms.Health PEI Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling was also at the briefing. She said a list has been compiled of staff who have travelled outside of the province within the past 14 days. Dowling said they have been given instructions to closely follow, including using PPE, observing physical distancing standards and monitoring themselves for symptoms.Those scheduled for non-urgent procedures but have travelled outside P.E.I. within the last seven days will also be called to discuss and possibly postpone the procedures for now, she said. Sign language interpreter presentOf special note for Islanders who are deaf or hard of hearing, a sign language interpreter was at this week's briefing for the first time. She was visible for those monitoring the government's stream of the event. During an unscheduled COVID-19 briefing Monday, Premier Dennis King announced that P.E.I. is leaving the Atlantic bubble for at least two weeks because of an upsurge in cases diagnosed in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. There is one active COVID-19 cases on P.E.I. The province has seen a total of 69 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.More from CBC P.E.I.
NEW YORK — “The Daily Show” host and comedian Trevor Noah has been tapped to host the 2021 Grammy Awards.The Recording Academy made the announcement hours before the nominees for the upcoming show are revealed. It would mark Noah's first time hosting the Grammys, which will be held Jan. 31.Earlier this year, Noah competed for his first Grammy Award: The 36-year-old Emmy winner was nominated for best comedy album with “Son of Patricia," but lost to Dave Chappelle.“Despite the fact that I am extremely disappointed that the GRAMMYs have refused to have me sing or be nominated for best pop album, I am thrilled to be hosting this auspicious event,” Noah said in a statement. “I think as a one-time GRAMMY nominee, I am the best person to provide a shoulder to all the amazing artists who do not win on the night because I too know the pain of not winning the award! (This is a metaphorical shoulder, I’m not trying to catch Corona). See you at the 63rd GRAMMYs!”Alicia Keys was the most recent Grammys host. Past hosts include James Corden and LL Cool J.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Netflix plans to establish one of the largest production hubs in North America with an expansion of its existing studio complex in New Mexico and a commitment to an additional $1 billion in production spending, government and corporate leaders announced Monday.Ten new stages, post-production services, offices, mills, backlots and other infrastructure would be added to Netflix's growing campus on the southern edge of Albuquerque. Aside from construction jobs, the project is expected to result in 1,000 production jobs over the next decade.Netflix first marked its presence in New Mexico in 2018, when it announced it was buying Albuquerque Studios and pledged $1 billion in spending over a decade. At the time, government officials saw the move as a transformative victory for a state that has struggled to lessen its reliance on federal funding and oil and gas development."I am glad Netflix has chosen to double-down on its commitment to our state, and our partnership will continue to grow for the benefit of New Mexicans across the board,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement.Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos pointed to the proximity to Los Angeles, the crew base and local talent as reasons for the continued investment.“It allows us to be more nimble in executing our production plans while cementing the status of the region as one of the leading production centres in North America,” he said.A total of $24 million in state and local economic development funding will be funneled toward the expansion, and industrial revenue bonds will be issued by the city of Albuquerque to help reduce some taxes for Netflix.The footprint of the production hub will grow with a private land purchase and a lease involving state trust land.The Albuquerque Development Commission signed off on the proposal Monday. The City Council still must give its approval.Over the last 20 years, the film and television industry has become an economic force in New Mexico, with direct spending topping $525 million in the last fiscal year.“This is all outside money coming into the state, which would not be here otherwise,” state Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes told the commission during a meeting.She said the partnership with Netflix should send a signal that New Mexico is the place to be for film and television production. Businesses have cropped up around the state to support the industry, she said, and data from the state film office suggests 40% of production budgets go to small, local vendors.“So it really is trickling through our economy,” she said.As part of the proposed investment, Netflix has committed to providing training programs in partnership with the New Mexico Film Office, local universities and industry organizations. Netflix also has committed to supporting Native American, Latino, Black and other underrepresented content creators and filmmakers.Since coming to New Mexico in 2018, Netflix said it has spent more than $200 million, used more than 2,000 production vendors and hired more than 1,600 cast and crew members.Netflix is in production in New Mexico on the original films “The Harder They Fall" and “Intrusion" and is expected to soon begin filming “Stranger Things 4" in Albuquerque.Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
A new study has shed light on the extreme toll COVID-19 has had on Ontario's health-care workers.Last spring, researchers interviewed 10 workers throughout the province about their experiences on the frontline of the pandemic.They spoke of high levels of fear, anxiety and emotional distress, said Jim Brophy, an adjunct professor with the University of Windsor sociology department, who worked on the study. They also reported very high workloads, and felt they weren't supported in their roles."And then, of course, the tremendous fear that they would become infected or that they would infect other patients, that they would infect their families," said Brophy, one of four researchers behind the study."They would go home at night and cry all the way home, couldn't sleep."The study participants included nurses, cleaners, clerical workers and personal support workers (PSWs) — some at hospitals, others at long-term care facilities. They were quoted at length about the difficulties they faced on the job and how they grappled with the strain of the surging pandemic."My husband and I are in separate bedrooms. We even have separate bathrooms because I don't want to take the chance of bringing something home to him ... I haven't seen my grandchildren," one PSW was quoted as saying.Frustrations were also expressed about inadequate protection from infection, as well as the pandemic response from government.The research was conducted in partnership with the health-care workers' union, the Council of Hospital Unions-Canadian Union of Public Employees (OCHU-CUPE), which helped the researchers locate participants.It follows a March survey of 3,000 Ontario health-care workers conducted by OCHU-CUPE that found that 87 per cent didn't have enough personal protective equipment to stay safe and 91 per cent felt "abandoned" by the provincial government.The researchers argue the pandemic has illuminated longstanding shortcomings in Ontario's health-care system, including under-funding and under-staffing.According to the most recent provincial statistics, out of more than 105,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ontario as of Monday, nearly 8,900 were health care workers.Statistics also show eight workers from long-term care homes have lost their lives to the illness.Hope for better supportsBrophy is hopeful the study will spark stronger efforts to protect and support those on the frontlines."I'm hoping that all of this will contribute to a greater awareness that the public is not safe if our health care workers are not safe," he said.The Ontario government has established mental health resources specifically for health-care workers, including peer support groups and services at five hospitals.The province has earmarked an additional $3.3 billion to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and improve health care in 2020-2021.
There were more adjournments in the case against an Onion Lake woman accused of killing an Onion Lake man. Shari Heathen, 27, was scheduled to elect how she wants to be tried on Nov. 23 but the matter was adjourned to Dec. 21 in Lloydminster Provincial Court. Heathen is charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of Braden Alfred James Sparvier, 26, whose body was found Jan. 1, 2020, along a road in the R.M. of Frenchman Butte, which borders Onion Lake Cree Nation. According to Sparvier’s obituary, he was born and raised in Regina and moved to Onion Lake Cree Nation with family in his late teens. His obituary described him as “selfless and (he) put everyone first.” It went on to say that he was “so loving, kind, gentle and happy. He had a smile that would light up any room and he had the most contagious laugh.” The RCMP Major Crimes North unit arrested Heathen in July after a seven-month investigation. RCMP say the investigation into Sparvier’s death is ongoing and they encourage anyone with information to call Turtleford RCMP at 306-845-4520. Information may also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
JUNEAU, Alaska — A judge has ruled that the federal government was correct in allowing a southeast Alaska tribe to organize an out-of-season hunt because of the coronavirus pandemic.Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy's administration sued to block future hunts, arguing that permitting a special moose and deer hunt this summer was overreach by federal authorities, CoastAlaska reported Monday.District Court Judge Sharon Gleason denied a preliminary injunction that would have prevented special hunts in the future.The Organized Village of Kake petitioned the Federal Subsistence Board for permission to hunt five deer and two moose out of season and distribute the meat within the community.The federally recognized tribe on Kupreanof Island, south of Juneau, said it was alarmed by the low supply and high price of fresh meat that followed the outbreak of COVID-19.The hunt was approved in June, but Alaska filed a lawsuit alleging federal officials illegally preempted the state’s rights to manage wildlife.Alaska Assistant Attorney General Cheryl Brooking said there are narrow reasons for federal jurisdiction to supersede state management.“When Alaska became a state, one of the main drivers of statehood was to get control over fish and game management because the feds were making a mess of it,” Brooking said. “But since statehood, the state has been the manager of fish and game.”Brooking argued in court filings that the food security issue was never proven and that the federal government exceeded its authority.Gleason's ruling last week said federal officials took conservation and public safety concerns into account when they reached the decision to allow the hunt.State wildlife managers also did not respond when federal officials reached out to them, Gleason wrote.The lawsuit will proceed as both sides file arguments ahead of a final ruling.Kake Tribal President Joel Jackson said Alaska Natives never voluntarily ceded hunting and fishing rights on their traditional homelands and that he considers the matter an issue of tribal sovereignty.“Of course, if we’re in a real bad situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to get a hunting party together, go out and get what we need,” Jackson said. “But I want to stay within the law.”For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.The Associated Press
The parents of a 19-year-old Briton killed in a road accident in 2019 lost their court battle with the British government on Tuesday over whether the wife of U.S. official involved in the crash had diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution. Harry Dunn's family have said Anne Sacoolas was driving on the wrong side of the road when she crashed with the teenager, who was riding a motor-bike, near an air force base in central England which is used by the U.S. military. Dunn's parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn challenged British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police in London's High Court over the determination that Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity at the time of his death.
After a two-week controversy that sparked a petition, protest and several arrests in connection with threats against local elected officials, the city of Longueuil is ditching its plan to capture and put down 15 deer.Mayor Sylvie Parent says the city will work with the province's forestry, fauna and parks ministry to find a safe location for the animals.In a written statement issued Monday night, Parent said the city had no choice but to scrap the plan, despite having gotten the approval from the province's experts and "a large consensus within the scientific community", "The threat posed today by certain people in order to harm, or even thwart the implementation of the deer population's cull in Michel-Chartrand park forces us to consider another option."The city had originally said euthanizing the 15 deer — about half of the park's population — was necessary to preserve vegetation in the area.In the last week, Longueuil police have arrested three men in connection with threats allegedly issued against the city's mayor. According to police, none of the men live in the Longueuil area.Parent hopes to have the deer moved within weeks, pending instructions from the ministry on where and how to undertake the relocation.Earlier this month, Anaïs Gasse, a biologist with the province's forestry, fauna and parks ministry claimed many of the deer would die within days if relocated, due to how difficult it would be to adapt to new surroundings.
A group of medical students from Memorial University are in the midst of running one of St. John's most challenging routes every day for an entire month, sweating it out up Signal Hill in support of Newfoundland and Labrador's Arthritis Society.The idea for November's event, called Hills for Humanity, sprang from second-year students Brett Holloway and Joey Landine, both of whom are part of the newly-created MunMed Adventure Sports Club. The group organized a previous fundraiser running a 50-kilometre race on the East Coast Trail earlier this year, and were looking for a new challenge when the calorie-burning idea came to mind."Me and Joey were chatting one evening and we thought it would be neat to get something started that would kind of engage the community a little bit and [bring] a bit more public awareness," Holloway said Sunday."It gives us an opportunity to kind of showcase what we've been doing in the community."The group settled on the idea of tackling the three-kilometre run on the Signal Hill trail in St. John's, and chose a cause close to one of their members, Claire Neilson. Neilson, a first-year student from Charlottetown, P.E.I. lives with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and pitched the idea of helping the local arthritis society."It's been something that I really struggled with for a long time. But I found that through exercise it really helps mitigate the bad effects of the disease," Neilson said."I kind of put forward the idea of the arthritis society because they took really good care of me when I was in the pediatric centre back in Halifax. They agreed and here we are."Windy, cold, and slipperyThe team has split up the running schedule over the course of the month, with most members completing the run around five times each. Landine said the area's weather conditions can present a challenge, particularly in November, but that's part of the fun."Everyone knows Signal Hill is windy and cold sometimes, so every day provides a new challenge for sure." he said."We've definitely had a couple of days that were a little bit slippery, so we have to make sure we watch ourselves during those," Emily Collis, a first-year student from St. John's added. "But it's been a really great challenge."Neilson has completed the run five times throughout November, and said the idea of running for a cause so close to her has been rewarding since the arthritis and medical community has given her so much help and support."I think this is a really good way to kind of dive both feet in, especially with COVID and the fact that we're not actually allowed to be in the clinics interacting with the community," she said. "It's kind of nice to be able to give back in this little more of an interactive way.""To be able to give back is just an awesome feeling," Collis said.The running crew enters the home stretch this week, and had raised $950 as of Sunday.They're inviting others to join them in the final push, including Premier Andrew Furey, who they said they would love to run with if the opportunity came.Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A public meeting about the Ottawa police budget Monday was overtaken by criticism of the weekend arrest of protesters calling for justice for Black, Indigenous and racialized communities in Ottawa.Almost 100 people signed up to speak to the Ottawa Police Services Board about the 2021 police budget.Nearly all of the registered speakers called for the police budget to be frozen and for the proposed $13.2 million increase for the upcoming year to be reallocated to social services.Several people, some who were at this weekend's protest encampment at Laurier Avenue and Nicholas Street, condemned the early morning arrests of demonstrators — even accusing police Chief Peter Sloly of deception when he described the early morning arrests as having involved ample warning and no injuries.Twelve people were charged with mischief.Ifrah Yusuf, co-chair of the Justice for Abdirahman coalition, said the space created by protesters calling for an end to systemic racism was "destroyed" by police after protesters were told they would not be arrested."They have caused deep harm, trauma and have set the relationship back many years in the space of one night by way of a reckless and violent decision," she said. WATCH | Early-morning police raid timed with safety in mind, chief says:Robin Browne, co-founder of 613-819 Black Hub, said the disruption of the protest after an agreement to meet with city officials was one factor that led the group to reconsider its conditional endorsement of the 2021 budget."That the police went ahead and removed the protesters just hours before the meeting is an act of bad faith," Browne said."Charging 12 protesters with mischief contradicts the [police service's] frequent claim that they want to 'improve community relations' as it seems more like an intimidation tactic."Browne said the group is also concerned with the slow pace of other priorities such as improving the police's mental health response and hiring of racialized officers.Handling of ceremonial objectsThere was particular anger over the treatment of sacred medicines and ceremonial objects belonging to Indigenous participants in the protest.Victoria Marchand, an Anishinaabe from Kitigan Zibi who participated in the protest, said protesters were given just 10 minutes of warning before arrests began."Not only did we just wake up but we had tents, drums, medicines, and what happened to those? There were no warnings. The care the board talks about for our confiscated ceremonial objects is a complete and utter lie," Marchand said.She said the ceremonial objects and medicines had to be recovered from a municipal yard on Hurdman Road, some left under a tarp.Sloly acknowledged Monday that "mistakes were made" in the handling of those objects, though in his opening remarks he said efforts were made to reach Indigenous organizations for advice on the proper handling of ceremonial objects.He said the police need to improve how they handle similar situations.Vote planned TuesdayThe meeting lasted about eight hours, with several tense exchanges.Coun. Diane Deans, the board's chair, cut some public delegations short when she said they were veering away from the budget or included possible criminal allegations that police could not answer during a city meeting.This led to pushback from several speakers who accused Deans of censorship and denying the experience of people who experienced alleged wrongdoing at the hands of police. The meeting concluded with a recess and will reconvene for a vote Tuesday. Some board members, including Deans, have said they will support the proposed budget.
The public is waiting to see what Premier Scott Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab will do to control the spread of the virus.The answer could come at a Wednesday afternoon news conference, where a COVID-19 update is expected. The news conference was originally scheduled for Tuesday afternoon, but was postponed until 3 p.m. CST the next day.For the past two weeks, Moe has heard concerns about the implications of locking down versus continuing with smaller interventions.On Saturday, Moe said in a radio interview he was against the NDP proposal of a three-week "circuit breaker" which would close non-essential businesses and move restaurants to take out or delivery only.Moe called the approach "disastrous.""That's why we are looking at every other lever that we have…available to us to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and try to minimize, in every way that we can, the impact on our small businesses," said Moe. Two weeks ago, Moe said business restrictions were not under consideration.Days later, 442 doctors called for several interventions, which included targeted closure of businesses or areas in the community that have played a role in COVID-19 transmissions and regional shutdowns where outbreaks are ongoing.Moe said he preferred a slowdown to a lockdown."We're going to do everything we can to ensure that they're going to be able to make it through this without a circuit breaker, without a shutdown or without a lockdown," Moe said Saturday after the province recorded an all-time high of 439 new cases.On Monday, the government announced Moe was self-isolating after a potential exposure at Prince Albert restaurant Original Joe's on November 15. 'Little by little measures, not enough' says economistAcross Canada, several provinces are grappling with the decision to shutdown certain areas in response to spiking cases and hospitalizations.On Monday, Saskatchewan's seven-day average was an all-time high of 219 new cases. The province recorded a daily high for deaths with 4, hospitalizations, 106 and active cases 2,864.University of Calgary economics professor Aidan Hollis said Alberta, like Saskatchewan has introduced so-called "targeted measures" to slow down the spread of the virus rather than lockdown or shut down certain parts of the economy.For example, both provinces recently announced a restaurant and bar curfew of 11 p.m."I think we've reached the point certainly here in Alberta, and it's my understanding also in Saskatchewan where if you just let it continue, then we're going to be forced to have that shut down anyway. And it could be worse and longer, plus we will have increased mortality, plus increased hospital expenses," he said. "The little by little measures are clearly not enough.""If the spread of infections continues unabated, then it's clear what's going to happen and the hospitals would be overwhelmed. There would be so many COVID cases they could not be treated properly. And other people who need medical care would also be at risk."Hollis said at that point either provincial government would be forced to impose "Draconian" measures of closing retail, restaurants, gyms and even high schools.He said a "circuit breaker" which is a short-term lockdown is "beneficial" for both COVID-19 prevention and the economy. He said that option potentially prevents a more serious widespread lockdown when the health system is "overwhelmed.""It's not a case of can we protect the economy by compromising people's health a little bit? It doesn't work like that.""It doesn't make sense to be able to think you can run an economy successfully if people know that they are at great risk of getting sick," Hollis said.Hollis said the government needs to target places where people are in close contact for an extended period of time.He said if the restaurants and bars are closed, retail stores may follow as has been the case in Toronto and Manitoba with some exceptions."Then all the business goes to Amazon, every retail store is wondering what happened to their most profitable month of the year."Hollis said in that case people have to be prepared to pay more in taxes to support those affected by their business closing temporarily."I do want to say that I recognize that as a person who has a steady job that is going to be paid whether or not things are shut down, I'm in a privileged position and I feel that, the solution to this is that all of us have to be prepared to pay our taxes to support the people who are put out of work because of a shutdown." Hollis said people face a "terrible dilemma" of choosing to make money or protect themselves from the virus."Many people are now being put in the terrible dilemma of having to choose to keep their business open so they can make money or else voluntarily closing it in order to protect themselves and their staff."Hollis said governments will be judged on how they handled their pandemic response. He pointed to jurisdictions like New Zealand, Melbourne, Australia and Taiwan which have been able to keep COVID-19 low or flatten a spiking curve."Everyone's looking at South Dakota and saying they have just done a terrible job. And I don't think that we want to be like South Dakota. It's not about keeping the economy open because that's not what's happened anyway."As of Monday, South Dakota had recorded 819 COVID-19-related deaths, with a population of 884,000.Saskatchewan has recorded 37 deaths with a population of 1.17 million.'There is no right answer'Jason Childs an associate professor of economics at the University of Regina said the issue facing governments is not versus health or someone's business or someone's life.He said it comes down to "taking one set of risks and weighing them against another set of risks.""If we don't lockdown there are going to be more people exposed and at risk of dying from COVID. If we do lockdown we are going to see increased deaths due to addiction backsliding, family breakdown, suicides likely to rise and some of that impact is going to come via the reduction in economic activity."Childs said a decrease in economic activity equals a decrease in well-being."There is no right answer here no matter what we do people are going to die," Childs said.Childs called the decision a "worst-case scenario" of cost-benefit analysis because of the stakes."What is the threshhold of lives lost where you go yes that is worth it. I have no idea what the answer is obviously at some point you say yes it's worth it. I don't know where that line is and I'm really glad I don't have to draw it."Last week, Premier Moe said the province lost 70,000 jobs earlier in the pandemic and gained 55,000 back. He said the net loss of 15,000 would balloon to "tens of thousands" if there was another lockdown.Childs said that estimate is "plausible.""I don't know how many (businesses) would survive another two to three-month lockdown."Childs said lockdowns should be done exceedingly reluctantly and exceedingly carefully, or else you risk an uncooperative public."If you get active resistance to public health measures, it's over."Childs said there is a "finite" capacity for compliance."It's a resource that can't be exhausted."As for the need for a lockdown Childs said, "I think we're getting close."What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Penetanguishene council could approve an interim 2021 property tax levy this week. Staff is bringing forward the request at Wednesday's meeting and recommending that council approve a temporary tax levy, which can be paid in two installments, one at the end of February and the other at the end of April. The report does not specify the levy amount but it does state that the sum cannot exceed 50% of the total amount of taxes for municipal and school purposes levied on the property in the previous year. The move, says the report, will help with cash management and provide tax revenues in February and April, whereas the final tax levy will provide revenues in July and September. Also on the committee of the whole agenda is a staff report on the extension of the sidewalk on the west side of Peel Street, between Main Street and Simcoe Street, to enable a sidewalk snowplow to remove the snow from that area. The costs associated with the extension of the sidewalk would be approximately $15,000. The extension would also mean existing parking signs within this area will be removed and relocated with pavement markings will be added to define the new sidewalk and parking area. There is sufficient width within this one-way section of Peel Street to accommodate the expansion. Council will also be looking at amendments to the bylaw that governs its contract with the Penetanguishene Curling Club, which has requested some changes to the agreement. The current terms require that the club to provide the town with audited financial statements on an annual basis. As a cost savings measure, the club has requested that the town reconsider that requirement and change it to a review engagement. Staff are supporting the amendment and want to include wording that reflects expanded town use of the facility during the summer. Currently the clause details town use of the facility with reference to day-camp operations. The language will be changed to reflect use of the facility for town programming in general, as opposed to being specific to day-camp use. The committee of the whole meeting begins immediately after the regular council meeting at 7 p.m. and can be viewed online via the town's YouTube channel.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
LONDON — The parents of a British teen who was killed in a crash lost a court battle with the U.K. government Tuesday over whether an American woman involved in the collision had diplomatic immunity.The family has been seeking justice for 19-year-old Harry Dunn, who died after his motorbike crashed into a car driven on the wrong side of the road outside a U.S. airbase in central England last August.The car’s driver, Anne Sacoolas, left for the U.S. several weeks after the collision. Officials said she was entitled to diplomatic immunity because her husband worked at the airbase.Sacoolas, 43, was charged in December with causing death by dangerous driving, but the U.S. State Department rejected a request to extradite her to Britain to face trial.Dunn’s parents, Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, launched the court case to argue that Britain’s Foreign Office wrongly decided Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity and unlawfully obstructed the police investigation into their son’s death. Their lawyer said Sacoolas had “no duties at all” at the base.But two judges rejected that Tuesday, ruling that the American had diplomatic immunity “on arrival in the U.K.” under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, and that she “enjoyed immunity from U.K. criminal jurisdiction at the time of Harry’s death.”The teen’s mother said she was determined to continue finding justice for her son. A family spokesman said they would appeal the ruling.“I promised my boy I would get him justice and that is just what we are going to do. No one is going to stand in our way," she said after the ruling.She was backed by British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who said he stands with the family.“We’re clear that Anne Sacoolas needs to face justice in the U.K, and we will support the family with their legal claim in the U.S.,” Raab said.Sylvia Hui, The Associated Press
Thousands of Albertans caught in a COVID-19 contact tracing backlog will no longer have their cases investigated.The province's contact tracing system has grown increasingly overwhelmed as Alberta's case counts spike.Starting Tuesday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is temporarily giving up on investigating contacts for people who received their positive test result more than 10 days ago.There are currently 11,500 people on the waitlist and about 3,000 of them will not be investigated."This is not good, this is not optimal, but this is, I think, choosing the lesser of two evils," said University of Calgary infectious disease expert Dr. Craig Jenne.He says focusing on the most recent cases is the best thing to do given the circumstances."We will have a significant absence of data from those cases, but instead of having that problem continue to move forward into the future I think this is a matter of accepting some loss of data, some loss of understanding of transmission," he said.The temporary measure comes less than three weeks after AHS was forced to limit contact tracing to Albertans connected to high priority settings such as hospitals or schools.Currently, roughly 85 per cent of active cases in the province have no identified source.With such a large gap in data, Jenne says broader restrictions will likely be necessary to rein in surging numbers since health officials don't really know where transmission is occurring.Commenting Tuesday on the situation in Alberta, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said the inability to complete contact tracing is like fighting blind."When you don't have the data, you have no clue what direction you are headed and how to pivot or point, and where to point your public health measures," he said."It's very, very challenging. You need good surveillance data, good contact tracing, good diagnostic tests to really help inform and steer the public health response."
In 2008, missing Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards was legally presumed dead. (Nov. 24)
Despite a drop in the number of farms across Canada, female representation among farmers has actually increased, according to data collected in the 2016 Census of Agriculture by Statistics Canada. In fact, female representation in agriculture has been on the rise since the First World War. When facing an agricultural labour shortage, the Ontario government initiated the Farm Service Corps and recruited women to replace the ranks of men who were shipped off to war. In 1918, 2,400 "Farmerettes" (as the women were known) harvested fruit in Niagara. In 1996, women represented 25.3 per cent of Canadian farmers. Two decades later, in 2016, that percentage rose to sit at 28.7, accounting for 77,830 farmers. However, numbers tell of a more dismal story once you zoom into Niagara Region where the representation of female farmers has actually been falling dramatically since 2006. Back then, there were 1,035 female farm operators to just 795 a decade later — a decrease of 23.19 per cent. In the face of increasing female representation across Canada yet decreasing female representation on a local scale, Niagara This Week is profiling three Niagara women in agriculture in its three-part WomenInAg series that launches Nov. 23 and runs over three consecutive days. The WomenInAg series addresses both the challenges and successes of women getting their hands dirty with cultivation, raising livestock and turning grapes into wine — all from the female perspective. On Monday, you'll get to read about Britney Condotta of Cultivate Niagara, who found her way into agriculture by wanting to grow the food for a restaurant she originally started at Honsberger Estate Winery in Jordan Station. Then, on Tuesday, Juliet Orazietti of Linc Farm takes you into the pasture in Niagara-on-the-Lake while she navigates the challenges of breaking into farming as a young woman without land of her own — yet. Finally, on Wednesday, Sue-Ann Staff of Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery in Jordan talks about being a businesswomen and the hard work it requires to be successful in the wine industry. At the beginning of this year, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) surveyed its members and found that 67 per cent of female farmers reported having been disrespected because of their gender, whereas only two per cent of male farmers indicated the same. Peggy Brekveld, an OFA vice-president and an advocate for women in agriculture, says even in modern times, there are still gender barriers such as those facing women with dual roles of family caretaker and farmer. “I think the fact that we are talking about it means that people are noticing, and that makes a difference,” she said. Getting women into agriculture, she says, is a case of presenting role models and encouraging agriculture as a way of life with plenty of opportunities. “I think a lot of it though comes down to having examples of women who are farming,” she said.Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says a preliminary estimate shows manufacturing sales rose 0.6 per cent in October.The agency says the growth came due to higher sales in the petroleum and coal products, paper, primary metals and wood products industries.The flash estimate for October follows a rise of 1.5 per cent to $53.8 billion in September.Statistics Canada cautioned that it is continuing to collect October data and that the early indicator is subject to a higher revision rate than its regular monthly release.The early estimate was calculated based on a weighted response rate of 57.8 per cent.It says the average final response rate for the survey over the previous 12 months has been 89.8 per cent.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press