White House press secretary and Trump 2020 senior adviser highlights voting irregularities on 'Hannity'
White House press secretary and Trump 2020 senior adviser highlights voting irregularities on 'Hannity'
A young, breastfeeding mother of seven is now one week deep into a hunger strike in the northern Quebec Cree community of Chisasibi, over a multi-billion dollar development agreement and what she says was a lack of consultation by Cree leaders. The $4.7 billion Grande Alliance agreement was signed in February by Quebec Premier François Legault and current Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum. At the time, the memorandum of understanding was called the Cree vision of development and includes a deep sea port, 700 kilometres of new railway, hundreds of kilometres of new road, new power lines and the creation of a network of protected areas, among other projects to be built in three stages over the next 30 years.Last Wednesday, Heather House posted an open letter to social media addressed to Cree leadership, the premier of Quebec and several provincial ministers. In the letter, the 32-year old said Cree leadership should have done more consultation before signing. > I say 'no' to the agreement. \- Heather House, Chisasibi resident"I say 'no' to the agreement already signed. Have it terminated and revoked on the grounds of no consultation, on the grounds that there was no informed consent from the people of Eeyou Istchee," wrote House in a Facebook message. That same day, House escalated her protest and began a hunger strike, taking in only fish, fowl or caribou broth. House said she launched the hunger strike to show she is serious in her opposition to the Grande Alliance agreement, which she wants changed. She also said she wants no more mining projects in Eeyou Istchee. "The money will run out. The lithium will run out … cobalt … graphite … it will run out," said House, adding many Cree people, like her, don't understand what is in the agreement and are concerned about the impacts of more development.Community chiefs consultedAccording to the Cree Nation Government website, the Grande Alliance agreement was the result of a "patient consultative process" with the Cree communities. The majority of the Cree community chiefs were on hand for the signing of the agreement with premier Legault in February. In an email response to CBC, a Cree Nation government representative said COVID-19 has severely impacted their ability to meet with community members to explain the agreement and establish regular channels of communication. Cree leaders are planning a community meeting in Chisasibi this Friday.The email also said that the Grande Alliance is a chance for Cree people to be in the drivers seat of development, rather than the old model of reacting to projects and being "offered only leftovers".All of the infrastructure projects proposed in the Grande Alliance are tied to the creation of a network of community-selected protected areas, the email said. "The exploration of this idea will take many meetings and many discussions from the kitchen table to the boardroom before any actual project is identified," said the email.Cree leaders have also said the communities will be consulted on the individual projects and each project will be subject to a full environmental review, something that doesn't reassure House. > We have every right to... to protect our land because this is all we have left. - Heather House, Chisasibi resident"History has shown us … that even with the environmental assessments, they always find loopholes that deceive us," said House. Since House shared her open letter on Facebook, it has been shared more than 500 times. She said she has received a lot of the support from Cree people, but understands there are many Cree who support the agreement. "That's your thought … and you have every right to it. But we have every right to feel the need to protect our land because this is all we have left," said House. Until she's been heardHouse said one supporter of the agreement told her "not to bite the hands that feed her".Her four-month old baby is not yet on solids and will not take formula.House said she is not worried for the moment about the health of her baby because she is drinking a very nutritious caribou marrow broth. "Our ancestors survived on this kind of nourishment, and sometimes way less," said House, adding she may start to worry if her hunger strike drags on. House also said she will continue until she feels she has been heard by Cree leaders. She said she is hoping to speak directly to Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum. "He's had my phone number since day two of my hunger strike," said House.
Saskatchewan health officials announced 175 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, nearly half of which were from the Regina region.Tuesday's new cases push the total known active COVID-19 cases in the province to 2,927.Seventy of the new cases were from the Regina area and 28 were found in the Saskatoon area, while 14 were from the north west and 13 were from the far north east zones.The central west and south central areas had nine cases each. Five cases were found in each of the north central, far north west and far north central zones.North east and south east had four cases each, south west had three and central east has two.Four new cases have pending residence information.Another 13 health-care workers have tested positive for COVID-19, pushing the total since March to 207.Fifty-five more people in their 20s or 30s have tested positive for the illness, while 42 more people from 40 to 59 years old received positive test results and another 37 people 19 years old or younger tested positive.Twenty-nine more people aged 60 to 79 have tested positive.There is one fewer person in hospital due to COVID-19 on Tuesday, but one more patient has been admitted to the intensive care unit. The total number of hospitalizations is now 105, including 20 in the ICU.Another 112 people are listed as recovered from COVID-19, pushing the total since March to 3,919.There were 3,174 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan on Monday.The number of COVID-19 tests processed in the province since March is now 324,060, which equates to about 27.6 per cent of Saskatchewan's population.The seven-day test-positivity rate is 17.3 new cases per 100,000 population.Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab were scheduled to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. CST Tuesday, but that has been postponed until the same time Wednesday.Further public health measures were expected to be announced Tuesday, but the province said in a news release that the postponement was so Dr. Shahab could review further measures.What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
SALT LAKE CITY — Deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah's red-rock desert lies a mystery: A gleaming metal monolith in one of the most remote parts of the state. The smooth, tall structure was found during a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, officials said Monday. A crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Division of Wildlife Resources spotted the gleaming object from the air Nov. 18 and landed to check it out during a break from their work. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together. But they discovered no clues about who might have driven it into the ground among the undulating red rocks or why. “This thing is not from another world,” said Lt. Nick Street of the Utah Highway Patrol, part of the Department of Public Safety. Still, it's clear that it took some planning and work to construct the 10- to 12-foot (3- to 4-meter) monolith and embed it in the rock. The exact location is so remote that officials are not revealing it publicly, worried that people might get lost or stranded trying to find it and need to be rescued. The monolith evokes the one that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey." Because it’s on federal public land, it’s illegal to place art objects without authorization. Bureau of Land Management officials are investigating how long it's been there, who might have created it and whether to remove it. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press
When COVID-19 first appeared, people and governments across the globe reacted with alarm. Action was swift.In Alberta, businesses shuttered as the government imposed restrictions. People mostly stayed inside. Premier Jason Kenney said it was a generational challenge his government would rise to meet. But restrictions were loosened as the weather warmed. The most dire predictions didn't come to pass, and barbecues or drinks with friends seemed less risky. People held parties and their neighbours thought: why not me? Disinformation spread and, with it, doubt about the dangers of the virus and the actions of the government. But warnings were everywhere: Second wave. The fight isn't over. Be prepared.Many listened, but too many did not. Alberta's government said the economy couldn't take another hit and it was up to individuals to stem the tide. It delayed and equivocated. When the weather cooled, the virus was soon spreading more than ever. Now the talk was exponential growth and warnings of overwhelmed hospitals.As Kenney prepares to make an announcement on COVID this afternoon, he has so far stuck with personal responsibility as the key to fighting the outbreak.He and his government have pointed fingers at individuals for not obeying official recommendations, but now people are pointing back, laying blame at the feet of the government. Laying blame, however, is no easy thing.Personal responsibility and the role of the government aren't easily disentangled. Why individuals and the government have behaved as they have goes to the heart of who Albertans are — or at least who they perceive themselves to be. It begins with the ways that people, in general, deal with crises. The psychology of a pandemicThere's a common view of the world that assumes people panic when confronted with danger — causing more harm than the threat itself — but that's not often the case. Social psychologists have shown the greater risk is underestimating danger and not reacting in time. We also tend to believe the worst will happen to others, not us. Add misinformation to the mix and none of this should come as a surprise. "I've done an awful lot of reading about the Great Mortality, black plague, and about the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta. "And I would just say that every single thing that has happened could have been predicted by reading a history book."People in the past, like today, reacted to an invisible, existential threat by embracing conspiracy theories or unlikely cures while ignoring medical advice. Many denied the problem. Add social media, and the spread of misinformation is even more damaging and difficult to control. It creates deep divisions when cohesion is key to beating back the virus. Collective action problemThere are times when 51 per cent is enough. If enough people do the right thing, everyone will be swept along by their good deeds. A virus — especially an airborne one — doesn't work that way. We are in a classic collective action problem where almost universal buy-in is required. We all have to keep distance, wear masks, wash our hands, limit social interactions or just stay home. If we don't all do it, the virus spreads. Saxinger thinks the province has reached the ceiling on what independent co-operation can do.Compounding the problem is the perception of risk. Research shows that individuals are more likely to make moral decisions when ambiguity about risks is reduced.Prof. Leslie Francis, who works in the faculties of law, medicine and philosophy at the University of Utah, says the vast majority of people understand not to put other people at risk by, say, speeding down a residential road at 100 km/h. But people might not see COVID-19 the same way."What we see going on right now is that many people deny that COVID exists, or they think it's not going to make people very sick, or they think that it won't make them very sick, maybe they'll even be asymptomatic," she said."But they don't realize that, for example, in my own state right now, the estimate is that one in 73 people right now is actively contagious."Alberta's political cultureWe judge our behaviour and the behaviours of others based on what we observe, but also on how we perceive our own political culture and what it will allow. In Alberta, a lot of it might be built on myth.Political science Prof. Jared Wesley of the University of Alberta asks participants about the province in his ongoing study of politics and culture. He gets them to sketch out their typical Albertan and then asks what that Albertan would do in certain situations. The Albertan — here nicknamed "Joe" — is always male, often a farmer, a libertarian conservative. Wesley's point is to narrow in on what people believe the political culture to be — what is acceptable and what is possible.In the pandemic, Joe reacts in a specific way."They will tell you, like you see in the media everywhere, they'll tell you all Albertans will never stand for mask mandates because it's an infringement on their freedoms," said Wesley.That sort of statement comes from people across the political spectrum, not just those who agree with their typical Albertan. That shapes the way we think about the world and can shape our own behaviour. We make moral decisions based on how we think others might perceive us. If people think broader society doesn't want to have its freedoms restricted — even in minor ways like donning a mask — they are less likely to be strict about virus-beating behaviours and less likely to feel judged for their laxity. This despite a majority not agreeing with their "typical" Albertan. "Do a survey like we just did three or four weeks ago: Albertans are massively in favour of heavier restrictions," said Wesley. "You ask them on an individual basis, would you like to see a provincewide mask mandate, doesn't matter if they're rural areas. Absolutely, it's the right thing to do. They going to push for it? No, because they don't think that the rest of the province would accept it."At some point that tide could turn. There are more voices calling for government to impose more severe restrictions, including a complete lockdown, in order to fight surging case counts.The ethics of action are clear, even if the ultimate answers are not. The ethicsFrancis says there's a clear difference between someone who puts themselves in harm's way versus someone who creates "a real risk of harm to other people." Individuals are expected to go about in the world obeying the rules so that a free society can operate in a mostly free way. Social norms keep most of us from hurting one another, but there is never a full participation rate. Murders, assaults and more happen on a regular basis. So there are laws. Even the most stringent libertarians agree there is a role for the state to some protections. Francis argues that we should view restrictions around COVID-19 in the same light."I think a lot of people are treating this as some kind of unusual interference with liberty," Francis said about pandemic responses. "And my point is, it's actually much more like when people are thinking through some of the most standard kinds of interferences with liberty."Yet despite the ethical obligations to protect citizens, the decision to impose restrictions across a society is no small thing.Some see the delay in implementing more restrictions as cruel — akin to saying the economy is as important as human life.Certainly the belief that Alberta's political culture would not allow a lockdown plays a role in politicians' decisions. But governments also have to consider how their decisions might affect broader society. Lives and livelihoods can be lost due to a cratered economy. Not every individual can simply choose to stay home. Many calling for a sharp lockdown have salaries, home offices or the security to stay isolated. And race, class and gender mix to create a set of ethical and moral traps many can't escape."There has to also be an economic solution for those whose lives are going to be torn apart by this," Melissa Caouette, a political strategist with the Canadian Strategy Group, said on the CBC's West of Centre podcast. As cases and hospitalizations rise, there comes a point when political calculation isn't relevant, and protecting the health of Albertans and its health-care system becomes a priority.Every decision can have a profound impact on Albertans. The hesitance of the government to shut things down as the pandemic spreads out of control, however, should come as no surprise. The Alberta government"This government is refreshingly transparent and completely doctrinaire when it comes to all elements of public policy," Wesley says of the United Conservative Party's approach. "So if you want to know where this government was heading, you need to look no further than the 2018 UCP statement of principles."Wesley calls it Neoliberalism 101 — a political philosophy that makes no room for collective action problems. "From a political science standpoint, that's almost like the ideal of what we expect of responsible party actors, is that they have a set of principles, we know what they stand for, they're being transparent about it," he said. "And we know when they're confronted with things that are out of the ordinary, are not part of their policy platform, we know how they're going to react."In short, they'll react like Joe Alberta would want them to.That policy consistency is tied directly to the founding leader of the UCP, Kenney. A principled conservative to some, an ideologue to others, he tends to stake his position and stick to it. It doesn't help that he was elected on a commitment to get the economy back on track and the budget balanced — a near impossibility given COVID spending and the languishing price of oil. The focus is, and has been, on trying to preserve and repair a battered economy. Kenney wants to avoid more business closures and loss of jobs. He does not want to spend more money.There's also a documented combativeness to Kenney and his government that hasn't abated during the pandemic, including battles with doctors, nurses and public servants. The ensuing division inhibits any chance that collective action could be effective against the pandemic. It seems the government won't abandon its ideological mores until, as Wesley calls them, a substantial "accumulation of anomalies" attacks the tenets of that foundation.It seems plenty of individuals feel the same. With more cases, more deaths, fewer ICU beds and more calls for action as the government resists, the situation is ripe for blaming the government no matter the culprit in our collective failures. Laying blameEvery catastrophe eventually leads to the need for answers: Who is responsible? Who or what could have prevented this? Things are getting out of control in Alberta, with contact tracers overwhelmed and community spread in full bloom. Recent restrictions on fitness classes and earlier last calls have had no impact to date as 1,000-plus new cases a day becomes the norm. For a while, it appeared things were under control. As cases rose, most people were not vocally critical.Then doctors started writing letters with hundreds of their colleagues' signatures calling for circuit-breaker lockdowns. The chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency called for the same. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi wished for more, but told citizens not to wait for the province to do what was needed. Social media was flooded with calls for restrictions.Cases soared, as did hospitalizations. There are more deaths and likely many more to come.The government continued to resist, but looks prepared to act — in some way — on Tuesday afternoon.Critics have said the government has failed to provide clarity across the province on what is expected and even failed to model the baselines of good behaviour. Research has shown that people tend to lay more blame when an intentional harm has occurred, but that those in power can be judged harshly even if causality is ambiguous or indirect. Polls have shown that Albertans are dissatisfied with the performance of their government, including a recent poll by ThinkHQ that suggested the majority of Albertans don't think recent government restrictions went far enough. But it can't all be put at the feet of the government. No one told Albertans to celebrate birthdays with friends and family. There was no public health recommendation to drink until closing time on Saturday night.Frustration, however, is mounting. So too is evidence that something more drastic needs to take place."I say that it's never too late to do something that's useful," said Saxinger, the infectious disease specialist from the U of A. "But earlier action is very clearly, and in a very data-driven way, the best way to handle something that has exponential growth — acting before it becomes a problem, because you act after it becomes a problem and you're already on your way to a much, much bigger problem."What is happeningOn Nov. 20, Alberta announced 1,155 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. That number has grown every day since, giving Alberta the highest number of active cases of all the provinces. Hinshaw has said ICU beds set aside for the pandemic are nearing capacity, but that more resources could be freed up. Those resources would come at a cost to those seeking treatment for other reasons. Decisions will soon have to be made within hospitals about who has the best chance of survival and therefore gets a bed and treatment. Some of the dire predictions that were elaborately presented in Alberta's first wave are coming into focus.On Monday, Hinshaw admitted defeat in terms of the government's already limited contact tracing and, in an attempt to catch up, was giving up on contacting thousands of those linked to high-priority settings such as hospitals, schools and continuing care homes. She also said she'd be making recommendations to a cabinet huddle after her announcement. The government response is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon. Francis, speaking from Utah without any knowledge of Alberta's situation, said the way to minimize the impact on businesses while protecting the health of the public is to act swiftly and comprehensively if restrictions are imposed. "One wishes that business closures were very short-lived," she said. "Unfortunately, we've made some mistakes, we've done it halfway, and so we've let community spread really get out of control.... You don't treat a rapidly growing tumour by cutting out 20 per cent of it. And unfortunately, a sort of tepid approach to infection control has done exactly that."So, with the surgery delayed, that incision will only have to go deeper.
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s government is considering an electoral law amendment that would make it harder for opposition parties to pursue their unity strategy against the powerful ruling party in future elections.After a 2012 overhaul by the ruling Fidesz party and its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary’s two-ballot election system has allowed parties to field individual candidates in the country’s 106 single-member voting districts and to present voters with a national party list.Currently, election law requires that parties must run candidates in a minimum of 27 voting districts in at least nine counties and the capital Budapest in order to present a national list. The new proposal, approved 8-4 on Tuesday by parliamentary committee, would significantly increase this minimum requirement.The government argues the changes are necessary to prevent fake parties from abusing state funding they receive for election campaigns.If approved by the ruling party’s parliamentary supermajority, the amendment would force opposition parties to join in running a single national list against Fidesz. This could widen ideological fault lines within the tenuous coalition and make it more difficult to unseat Orban’s government.For months, the opposition has negotiated the details of a unity strategy against Orban in forthcoming 2022 elections, vowing to co-ordinate candidates in individual districts in an effort to prevent splitting opposition votes, and to adopt a common political platform and single candidate for prime minister.This strategy brought substantial gains to the opposition in municipal elections last year, where opposition candidates took the majority of Hungary’s cities including Budapest.The Associated Press
Unlimited internet packages will be available to residents in seven northern communities starting Dec. 1, after the CRTC gave the North's telecommunications giant the green light on Tuesday.Northwestel applied for unlimited internet packages for a handful of communities across the North in October with hopes of offering them to residents by early November. However, the CRTC delayed approval, saying it needed more time to consider the company's application.On Tuesday, a post on the CRTC's website showed the commission had approved Northwestel's proposal on an interim basis."The Commission considers it appropriate to approve the application on an interim basis prior to reviewing the whole record, in order to address customers' increased Internet data needs and alleviate their increased Internet usage costs in the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic," the website says."The Commission will address its final determination regarding the unlimited Internet data packages and rates that are under consideration in the application, and any related issues if necessary, in a subsequent order that will be based on the complete record."The seven northern communities are: * Whitehorse. * Carcross, Yukon. * Yellowknife. * Hay River, N.W.T. * Fort Smith, N.W.T. * Norman Wells, N.W.T. * Fort Nelson, B.C.Northwestel said in a news release it will start taking orders from customers wanting to upgrade their internet packages on Dec. 1, when they become available."It's great to be able to bring new unlimited options to many customers in time for a holiday season, especially with so many of us sticking close to home," said Tammy April, Northwestel's vice-president of consumer markets, in a statement.
An Ottawa city councillor has apologized for "inadvertently" texting while driving Tuesday, a lapse in judgment that was livestreamed via YouTube during a virtual meeting of the city's audit committee.Osgoode councillor and deputy mayor George Darouze initially joined the 9:30 a.m. meeting from what looked like his kitchen, and even asked a detailed question about the accounting procedures surrounding the city's public-private partnership at Lansdowne Park, one of the audits tabled Tuesday.Around 11:30 a.m., the livestream showed Darouze getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. He put on his seatbelt, as well as headphones, presumably to keep listening to the meeting. His device appears to be sitting in the passenger seat, the camera facing him.He began to drive — the passing scenery clearly visible through the driver side window — and pulled out a cell phone. He then began to text with his thumbs, taking his eyes off the road several times. At one point, Darouze fumbled around with his right hand to find his glasses, then put them on.Eventually, Darouze looked toward the second wireless device in the passenger seat and turned off the camera. The councillor didn't respond to a request for comment, but posted the following brief apology on Facebook:"This morning, I inadvertently texted while I was driving. I apologize for this and commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again."Later Tuesday afternoon, Darouze replaced that post with another statement, this time admitting his behaviour was a "stupid thing to do." "I should not have done this. I commit to my family and residents that this won't happen again," reads the public post.Ottawa police aware of videoA number of people on social media are calling for police to charge the councillor for distracted driving, and for Mayor Jim Watson to weigh in. A statement from the mayor's office said he "trusts that this will not happen again."Ottawa police said in an emailed statement that they're aware of a video of "a driver with a handheld device," without naming Darouze. Police said the driver appears to be violating the Highway Traffic Act, and said they will investigate if they receive a public complaint.
NEW YORK — John Boyega is only 28, but being a professional actor of 10 years and a veteran of three “Star Wars” films has given him insight into what it’s like for a young performer breaking into Hollywood."I always tell young actors who are getting into it, they’ve got their first franchise or first big role: You’re gonna have to navigate people assuming that you’re a piece of (expletive),” says Boyega. “Normally the assumption is you keep quiet, you keep cashing checks and you keep it moving. That’s the hardest thing to navigate, when you don’t feel that way.”This year, Boyega has made it clear he doesn't feel that way, that he isn’t going to bite his tongue. In July, he gave a fiery speech at a London protest in the wake of George Floyd’s death, shouting through a megaphone and fighting back tears. He wondered aloud whether he’d have a career afterward.“Black lives have always mattered,” Boyega told demonstrators. “We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting.”In September, Boyega severed ties with the London cosmetics brand Jo Malone after the company reshot, with a different brand ambassador, a video he had made that touched on his childhood neighbourhood and Nigerian heritage. He said on Twitter, “dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.”And in a GQ interview in September, Boyega criticized the makers of “Star Wars” for their uncertain handling of his character, Finn, and for giving “all the nuance” to characters played by Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley: “What I would say to Disney is do not bring out a Black character, market them to be much more important in the franchise than they are and then have them pushed to the side. It’s not good. I’ll say it straight up.”In a year riven with resistance, Boyega has seemed suited to the moment -- an unapologetically candid actor breaking free of PR-controlled Hollywood constraints. He won't, he says, "fashion my career to be like a politician” or “take the money and shush.”“People need to go up there and reflect what’s real," says Boyega, speaking by video conference in an interview from London. "Sometimes you get angry, sometimes I’m wrong, sometimes I’m right. Be human, rather than having to get into a space where you’re successful but then you have to lose your identity. That’s whack. No one’s doing that, especially not my generation.”Boyega stars in Steve McQueen’s “Red White and Blue,” the third film in the director’s extraordinary anthology of Black life in London from the ’60s through the ’80s. The five-film series is playing on the BBC in the U.K. and on Amazon Prime in the U.S.; “Red, White and Blue” will debut Dec. 4 on Amazon. In the true story, Boyega plays Leroy Logan, an aspiring research scientist who gives up the lab to join the overwhelmingly white London police force in the 1980s.It’s almost certainly Boyega’s best performance yet -- a reintroduction, in a way, to a young actor who has shown flashes of his potential but who to most remains identifiable as a central “Star Wars” character who seemed to drift to the sidelines of the space saga. “Red, White and Blue” puts Boyega front and centre and wrestles with many of the social issues -- race, change, belonging -- that he is grappling with, too.“There’s something about him right now that’s vital,” says McQueen. “You want to hear that voice. It reminds me of Jack Nicholson in the ’70s where you wanted to hear that voice. There’s something dangerous and uncensored and untethered and sexy about him. That’s what you want in a leading man.”Logan’s decision to join the police is confounding to his father (Steve Toussaint), who was beaten by racist police officers. But Logan believes he can, as one of very few officers of colour, remake the system from the inside, despite regular abuse.For an actor recoiling from his experience within the belly of blockbuster-making Hollywood, “Red White and Blue” has both powerful parallels and telling distinctions about navigating a system that can be inhospitable to people of colour.“Everybody’s different and the fight requires all different types of people, all different types of strategies,” says Boyega. “Being an actor, living within that privilege and having the opportunity to go onto other projects and greenlight things, you can use a lot of that for the impactful stuff. I see the lines between the experiences.... But you understand that these obstacles are all too familiar.”Born John Adedayo Bamidele Adegboyega to parents of Nigerian descent in the Peckham district of London, Boyega drew partly on his own upbringing for “Red, White and Blue” -- a drama of institutional racism but also a father-son tale. An early scene recalls a memory of Boyega’s when his father, a Pentecostal minister, was searched by police on the way home from church.McQueen said he, Boyega and co-writer Courttia Newland talked a lot “about what Black fathers said to their sons, because they wanted to protect them and they knew the dangers of the world out there. Obviously the movie is dealing with masculinity in a way. But it’s also one generation dealing with the same situation as the younger generation and how they deal with it differently. It’s a difficult conversation. When you want to integrate and be a part of something and you find out you’re not welcome, it’s difficult."Since Boyega’s comments about “Star Wars,” he’s received a supportive phone call from producer Kathleen Kennedy that Boyega has described as frank and transparent. Following his protest speech, many filmmakers and actors responded that they would be honoured to work with him. “We got you, John,” wrote Jordan Peele.But if anyone thought that moment reflected a new John Boyega, it didn't. He's just being heard more clearly.“I don’t think it’s me necessarily finding my voice. I think it’s the audience noticing me in that sense,” says Boyega. “This is kind of an eye-opener to you guys more than it is to me. I've kind of been about it.”___Follow AP Film Writer Jake Coyle on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/jakecoyleAPJake Coyle, The Associated Press
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro called the display outside his constituency office "offensive".
The region's second drive-thru Santa Claus parade is happening Saturday in Amherstburg and organizers are hoping for a smoother event this time around.The so-called "reverse" parade — attendees drive by floats and performers that stay in place — is scheduled for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the grounds of the Libro Centre Arena in Amherstburg.Maggie Durocher of the Windsor Parade Corporation is urging patience as she's expecting a very large turnout — similar to the event in Kingsville last weekend."I would encourage families to enjoy the time that they have together, celebrate what they do have, not what they don't have," she said. "Use the time waiting to access the parade route to enjoy the holiday season together."The event will feature multiple entertainers including fire jugglers and horse units as well as giant inflatables."It'll be a great outing for families," she said. "They can turn to 90.7 on the radio, listen to Santa talk to them as they go along … the parade route."They are also looking to broadcast the event on Facebook Live.The Windsor Parade Corporation, a non-profit, is behind Saturday's event as well as the one last weekend in Kingsville and the upcoming Windsor parade on Dec. 5.Kingsville apologizes for parade issuesThe Town of Kingsville issued an apology after its parade, which saw spectators face long waits to see the performers and "traffic rerouting concerns" due to the overwhelming attendance. The town said some of the concerns stemmed from "miscommunication" on its part. "We apologize to anyone who had a poor experience, and we thank them for their feedback and patience," the Town of Amherstburg said in a statement Sunday.The reverse parade format was implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns around social distancing."Although we expected a crowd, the ultimate response was incredible yet staggering," the town said.Work is being done around the clock to mitigate the challenges experienced in Kingsville, Durocher said. Parade organizers were set to meet with Amherstburg officials Tuesday.But Durocher also acknowledged that, given the high volume of traffic expected, there's only so much they can do.Part of the strategy this time around is to narrow down the routes people are taking to the site, she said. And unlike the Kingsville event, the Amherstburg parade is on a closed circuit. While this year's parades are taking a different form due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Durocher said the intention is to make the events as safe as possible. "We were working hard to make sure that this … was not a year without a Santa Claus," she said.
First Nations chiefs in Alberta will remind the federal government in a symposium next year that First Nations-led education is a treaty right. “The recognition of education as a treaty right, that has been something the federal government has never agreed to,” said James Knibb-Lamouche, director of Innovation and Research with the Indigenous Knowledge and Wisdom Centre (IKWC). “The fact that we’re talking about it as a right without having to prove it as a right is a major step forward, and a very big difference in the way we believe the product is going to be at the end,” he said. IKWC is in the process of working through requests for proposals that will see $265,000 awarded to each of three projects that will examine treaty-based education agreements and systems for First Nations control of First Nations education. Proposals were opened to First Nations institutions, organizations, tribal councils and individual nations within the Treaty 6, 7, and 8 territories in Alberta. One recipient from each of the three treaty areas will be selected. “There are some universal truths, universal agreements on topics, but there are very specific, historical contexts, cultural and language contexts for each of the treaties. This was our attempt to try and break this down to a level that will be useful for each of the treaty areas,” said Knibb-Lamouche. This is the first time IKWC has administered the grants, which are provided by Indigenous Services Canada and directed by the Assembly of First Nations’ National Indian Education Council. The decision to look at agreements and systems for First Nations control of First Nations education was made under the guidance of the Assembly of Treaty Chiefs in Alberta and the Chiefs’ Roundtable on Education in the province. According to the Request for Proposals, applicants were “encouraged to examine education systems, including: capacity building; funding analyses; language, culture, and land as a foundation of curricula….” Doing this kind of work has been important for decades, said Knibb-Lamouche. “It’s just that the capacity hasn’t matched the desire within the nations to put this information all together in a way that leadership is requesting. A lot of research in the past has been directed and guided directly by the federal government and, obviously, they have their own perspective and own area of interest, but this is something that has come directly from the nations and leadership as well,” he said. The recipients of the dollars will have until June to complete their work. It’s an adequate amount of time, said Knibb-Lamouche, because there is strong research out there already undertaken by numerous organizations. This is the opportunity to draw that research together. When that work is completed, depending on coronavirus pandemic restrictions, a symposium will take place mid-next year where chiefs, First Nations leaders, educators, educational authorities, and policy researchers will discuss the findings. An anthology of research articles and research policy papers will be created and presented to the federal government. Recommendations to the federal, provincial and First Nations governments on how to develop educational systems for First Nations students that are based on the nation-to-nation relationships expressed in treaty will also be part of that symposium. Knibb-Lamouche is optimistic that the time is now for those recommendations to be heard at the federal level. “A lot of the speaking points that have been coming out from the government have been talking about things like nation-to-nation relationships. They have been talking about Indian control or Indigenous control of education… For that to truly happen we need these mechanisms and structures and policies in order for the capacity that is already in our nations to take control and to be able to move our education systems forward,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche says the three research teams will put forward funding requirements as part of their work. “(Funding) is much larger than just education agreements or tuition agreements. This is talking about, structurally, how do we implement a system of education that best serves First Nations children. And in some ways that’s going to be quite radically different from what we’ve done in the past … (because) what has happened in the past has resulted in decades and decades of underperformance in the education system,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche expects that what comes from the symposium will be used by leadership at the negotiating table with the federal government. “To say this is how we see our education system going forward, and if you truly want to have a nation-to-nation relationship, you need to figure out a way that these goals are attained and in partnership. “And that’s always been the belief with treaty, that treaty is a relationship. It’s not a signed document that sits on a wall. It’s something that is continuously and constantly agreed to and reviewed and moved forward… It’s a living document,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche adds that the province also plays an important role in moving First Nations-led education forward. Although First Nations negotiate with Ottawa, it is the provincial government that often provides the programing. “These research projects are going to be so wide-ranging and large that there will need to be some examination of how those tripartite arrangements are set up,” he said. Knibb-Lamouche says he is hopeful the work undertaken in Alberta will be useful for treaty nations country-wide. He acknowledges there are differences between numbered treaty areas and other treaties, like the Huron-Robinson Treaty, for example. “There may be overlap, but you can’t have one solution to all these various contexts,” he said. CFWEBy Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CFWE, CFWE
“We always hear about the trauma that is passed on through generations ... but we also have the bravery that is passed on."
There is still a chance the Powassan Voodoos could see some NOJHL playoff action this season, confirms NOJHL commissioner Robert Mazzuca. As was reported last week, the Voodoos were left off the regular season schedule because of COVID-19 restrictions at the Powassan Sportsplex. At the time, Powassan Mayor Peter McIsaac indicated the arena restrictions could be re-visited in January. But, he admitted, given that Ontario is seeing a rise in COVID cases, it is difficult to say what January may bring. “In the event the arena restrictions are removed, absolutely there is a pathway for the Powassan Voodoos to be part of the season,” Mazzuca stated via email. The restrictions would need to come down within a reasonable time, according to the commissioner, but “there are various definitions for a reasonable time. “We will evaluate and be as flexible as possible” to accommodate the Voodoos. Mazzuca said it also could be possible for the Voodoos to make the playoffs even after playing fewer fames than the eight teams which started the regular season. This could be done, he explained, by ranking the teams based on “winning percentage or some other formula. “What everyone needs to keep in mind is this is not a traditional hockey season and flexibility is critical going forward.” Mazzuca said the rules currently in place at the Powassan Sportsplex “are more stringent than at other facilities,” but the league is working with all public health units and municipalities to “ensure all protocols are followed.” Meanwhile, he said, the players themselves continue to belong to the Voodoos unless they are released by the club. The Nugget contacted Voodoos general manager Chris Dawson for comment but did not receive a response. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
Homeowners in Swan Hills began to receive telephone calls from the town last week regarding their water meters. The electronic water meter heads installed on the water meters in many of our homes have reached the end of their "shelf life" and need to be replaced. The electronic heads are able to read the water meters through a pre-programmed algorithm that detects the magnetic signatures of the mechanical water meter. The electronic heads can then connect to a receiver to transmit the data from the water meter. This setup allows a meter reader to take water meter readings without having to enter the home. The person taking the readings drives up and down the streets of Swan Hills with a receiver in their vehicle, picking up the readings as they go. According to the town office, many of the electronic water meter heads were installed roughly 8 – 10 years ago and are now starting to have performance issues. The town will be contacting the affected homeowners on an individual basis to arrange the replacement of the water meter heads. This whole process may take some time as these service calls will depend on coordinating with the homeowners' schedules, and the town has a limited number of technicians to perform these replacements. Please do not be alarmed if you receive a call from the town regarding your water meter in the near future. This is merely routine maintenance to keep our present system running smoothly.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Did you know that November 28th is National French Toast Day? While this is entirely new information to me, I have to say that I absolutely approve. In fact, I find myself wondering how in the heck have I made it for 45 years on this earth without a day entirely dedicated to French toast? Well, maybe that’s pushing things a little bit… One of the things that I love about French toast is that it is easy to make and extremely versatile. You can change it up with the simple addition of a pinch of nutmeg or brighten it up with the zest of your favorite flavor of citrus. It can be sweet or even downright savory. Using different types of bread can completely redefine your recipe. One of my favorite renditions of French toast was served at a hotel in Victoria, made with a light and delicate banana bread. National French Toast Day is, unsurprisingly, celebrated by making French toast. I mean, who saw that one coming? Well, that works out great because this year, November 28th is on a Saturday. French toast for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee on a quiet Saturday morning sounds pretty darn good to me! Apparently, another way to celebrate is to share your favorite recipes for French toast, so I am going to share my recipe for Stuffed French Toast. Oddly enough, I came up with my Stuffed French Toast recipe because of an IHOP commercial. They were advertising… well, Stuffed French Toast, but the catch was that this was before IHOP had made their way into Canada. So, there I was with this American TV commercial taunting me with descriptions of French toast Nirvana, but with no way to sample it for myself short of taking quite the road trip. I love breakfast as much as the next guy, but I’m not about to hop the border to go searching for the next new flavor. What to do? Luckily, I happen to know my way around the kitchen. After contemplating what this commercial had described, I played around with my favorite French toast recipe until I had come up with something that tasted the way that I imagined that this mythical Stuffed French Toast would, or should, taste. As an aside, my wife and I were able to sample IHOP’s Stuffed French Toast several years later, after they had opened their Calgary location. Theirs was good… but let’s just say that we’ll be more than happy to stick with my recipe. Stuffed French Toast 1 Loaf of Bread (Sandwich Bread, Raisin Bread, French Bread, etc.) French Toast Batter: 2 Cups milk 2 Eggs 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar 1 tsp Cinnamon ½ tsp Nutmeg 1 tsp Vanilla Filling: 8 oz Cream Cheese (250 g pkg) 1 Cup Icing Sugar ½ tsp Salt Directions: Beat together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until smooth to make your French toast batter. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, and salt until smooth to make the filling. Spray a frying pan with a light coat of nonstick cooking spray, and then heat the frying pan on medium. Take two pieces of bread and make a sandwich with a layer of the filling in the middle. Dip the sandwich into the French toast batter mixture and then fry it in the heated frying pan until it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat these steps until you have used up all the bread, French toast batter, and filling. Serve hot with maple syrup.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
A big-box pet store has plans to jump into Liverpool, eyeing opportunity in a county that has been without a pet shop for the past eight years. Pet Valu has confirmed it’s going to open a retail outlet in the town. “Pet Valu is really excited to be opening a store in Liverpool in mid-2021,” Katherine Clark, a spokesperson for the pet store chain, said in an email. Liverpool’s last pet store, Kameko’s Cove & Aquatics, closed in February, 2012 after five years in business. The store sold tropical fish, reptiles and other small pets, along with pet supplies. Pet Valu’s Liverpool plans include the construction of a new 4,000 square-foot building, which will be located beside the Dollarama Store on Queens Place Drive. One of Canada’s largest pet specialty retail chains with 1,200 stores in North America, Pet Valu Canada Inc. started in Toronto in 1976. It currently has 11 stores in Nova Scotia.Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
India's ruling Hindu nationalist party approved a decree in the country's most populous state on Tuesday laying out prison terms for anyone compelling others to convert their faith or luring them into these conversions through marriage, officials said. The move follows a campaign by hardline Hindu groups against some interfaith marriages that they describe as "love jihad", Muslim men engaging in a conspiracy to turn Hindu women away from their religion by seducing them. Critics said the unlawful conversion order approved by the cabinet of Uttar Pradesh state, run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP, was aimed at further alienating India's 170 million Muslims by painting them as aggressors plotting to weaken Hindus.
Canada welcomes the choice of John Kerry as new U.S. climate envoy but will press Washington not to cancel permits for an oil pipeline he opposes, Ottawa's ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday. President-elect Joe Biden this week announced Kerry would be his climate czar, a cabinet-level position. Kerry played an important role in crafting the Paris Agreement on climate but President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the treaty.
TORONTO — Anxiety-ridden and overworked health-care workers say they feel abandoned in their increasingly desperate struggle to cope with COVID-19, a new small-scale study suggests.Interviews with nurses, personal support workers and others in hospitals and long-term care homes suggest chronic stress and burnout are common, but fear of reprisals is stopping them from speaking out."The knowledge that they are at increased risk of infection due to lack of protection has resulted in anger, frustration, fear, and a sense of violation that may have long-lasting implications," the paper states.The study, in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, was done by James Brophy and Margaret Keith, academic researchers affiliated with the University of Windsor and noted occupational hygienists.Health-care workers in Canada have contracted the novel coronavirus in far higher numbers relative to the general public, comprising almost one-in-five confirmed cases, according to a previous study. To date, COVID-19 has sickened close to 9,000 front-line health-care workers and killed 16.Only 10 workers — nurses, personal support workers and other staff — agreed to be interviewed for the qualitative study. Others refused to take part for fear of being disciplined or fired, they said.Despite the handful of interview subjects, the authors said their peer-reviewed findings reflect other larger-scale research and surveys, and its findings are valid.Those interviewed said they still lack personal protective equipment despite the very real risks of contracting COVID or spreading it — risks apparent from the early days of the pandemic. Some said they were warned by supervisors not to wear N95 protection, even if they had their own, Keith said.Others spoke of the constant grief and trauma they endure when patients or residents die, a situation only getting worse as new cases soar."Words on the page cannot convey the level of emotion we heard in the voices of the health-care workers we interviewed," Brophy said. "We did not expect to hear the degree of anger and desperation that came out."The vast majority of the front-line health-care workers are women, many racialized, Keith said. Many are part-time and vulnerable to job loss."Health-care workers are desperately in need of protection from COVID and from their often back-breaking and soul-crushing working conditions," Keith said. "But the authoritarian and hierarchical nature of health-care work contributes to (their) risks and adverse mental-health impacts."Despite the issues, the workers said the provincial government had let them down by failing to take action to deal with their health or labour concerns. Chronic understaffing and failing to keep them safe, the authors said, means the workers can't do their jobs effectively, putting everyone at risk."Health-care workers health and well-being are being sacrificed," Keith said. "We all need to pay attention to their pleas."There was no immediate response to the qualitative study from the provincial government, but Health Minister Christine Elliott praised the "tireless efforts" of front-line health-care workers during an announcement on Tuesday about the roll-out of rapid tests.Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said front-line staff in close contact with COVID-infected people still have no ready access to proper respirators. The Ministry of Labour has also rejected all 253 work refusals as valid. "This explains why people feel sacrificed and why they feel exploited and violated," Hurley said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
Twenty-three B.C. mayors are calling on Premier John Horgan to establish policies that give resource-based communities a key role in the province’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan. In an open letter to Horgan Nov. 19, the mayors of both rural and urban municipalities praised previous foundation investments in natural resource development, as well as associated construction and transportation needs, and asked for inclusion in future policy discussions. “As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, BC has undergone a tremendous economic shock,” the letter reads. “Fortunately, BC’s resource industries have been able to persevere during this period. Our mines have continued to operate, the forest sector was able to take advantage of soaring lumber prices during 2020, aquaculture continues to invest and innovate, and four major energy projects have kept British Columbia workers busy building the resource infrastructure of the future.” In September the province announced a $1.5 billion pandemic economic recovery plan, in addition to previous commitments, targeting primarily tourism, food security, climate action, technology and innovation. Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said the group of mayors found no disagreements with the strategy, and issued the letter primarily as a show of support. “This was just to let the premier know that we are ready and willing to engage,” Ackerman said. “Our resource industries need to be front of mind when we’re looking at creating the future of British Columbia. We’ve got businesses that need to get working. With a new cabinet coming into place we needed to send the premier our congratulations and hope that we can work on this together.” The mayors asked Horgan to enshrine five core pillars for economic recovery into the Mandate Letters of incoming cabinet ministers. Those pillars are: quickly enable shovel-ready projects to proceed; ensure international investors know B.C.’s industries can succeed in uncertain global investment conditions; recognize the unique advantage of globally carbon-competitive exports; put workers and communities first when delivering on campaign commitments; and ensure any new regulations affecting delivery on the first four pillars are considered carefully. Going forward, the mayors also offered their support on all aspects of pandemic recovery and ongoing efforts with climate change and First Nations reconciliation. The letter was written by Ackerman and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, and supported by: Mayor Andy Adams, Campbell River Mayor Bruno Tassone, Castlegar Mayor Allen Courtoreille, Chetwynd Mayor Lee Pratt, Cranbrook Mayor Dale Bumstead, Dawson Creek Mayor Michelle Staples, Duncan Mayor Sarrah Storey, Fraser Lake Mayor Brad Unger, Gold River Mayor Linda McGuire, Granisle Mayor Phil Germuth, Kitimat Mayor Dennis Dugas, Port Hardy Mayor Joan Atkinson, Mackenzie Mayor Linda Brown, Merritt Mayor Gary Foster, Northern Rockies Mayor Brad West, Port Coquitlam Mayor Gaby Wickstrom, Port McNeill Mayor Lorraine Michetti, Pouce Coupe Mayor Doug McCallum, Surrey Mayor Rob Fraser, Taylor Mayor Carol Leclerc, Terrace Mayor Keith Bertrand, Tumbler Ridge Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View