An area of low pressure developing over the Ionian Sea has developed tropical characteristics know as a Medicane, a Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone Thursday. Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal with the forecast.
An area of low pressure developing over the Ionian Sea has developed tropical characteristics know as a Medicane, a Mediterranean tropical-like cyclone Thursday. Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal with the forecast.
WASHINGTON — Monday seemed like the end of President Donald Trump's relentless challenges to the election, after the federal government acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden was the “apparent winner” and Trump cleared the way for co-operation on a transition of power.But his baseless claims have a way of coming back. And back. And back.On Thursday, after a Thanksgiving evening conversation from the White House with troops stationed overseas, Trump abruptly pivoted to angrily alleging — still without any evidence — that “massive fraud” was behind his defeat.Speaking to news crews gathered to watch the traditional holiday conversation with the military, Trump denounced officials in battleground states he'd lost as “communists” and “enemies of the state.” Trump also announced he'd be travelling to Georgia to meet with what he said would be tens of thousands of supporters on Dec. 5, ahead of two runoffs there that will likely determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the Senate.The 2020 presidential race is turning into the zombie election that Trump just won’t let die. Despite dozens of legal and procedural setbacks, his campaign keeps filing new challenges that have little hope of succeeding and making fresh, unfounded claims of fraud.But that’s the point. Trump’s strategy, his allies concede in private, wasn’t to change the outcome, but to create a host of phantom claims about the 2020 presidential race that would infect the nation with doubt and keep his base loyal, even though the winner — Biden — was clear and there has been no evidence of mass voter fraud.“Zombies are dead people walking among the living — this litigation is the same thing,” said Franita Tolson, a professor at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. “In terms of litigation that could change the election, all these cases are basically dead men walking.”It's a strategy tolerated by many Republicans, most notably Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who are clinging to Trump as they face a test of retaining their own power in the form of two runoff elections in Georgia in January.“This really is our version of a polite coup d’etat,” said Thomas Mann, senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. “It could end quickly if the Republican Party acknowledged what was going on. But they cower in the face of Trump’s connection with the base.”A day after Trump said his administration should begin working with Biden's team, three more lawsuits were filed by allies attempting to stop the certification in two more battleground states. In Minnesota, a judge did not rule on the suit and the state certified the results for Biden. Another was filed in Wisconsin, which doesn't certify until Tuesday. Arizona Republicans filed a complaint over ballot inspection; the state certification is due Monday.And the campaign legal team said state lawmakers in Arizona and Michigan would hold meetings on the election “to provide confidence that all of the legal votes have been counted and the illegal votes have not been counted in the November 3rd election.”In Pennsylvania, where state Republican lawmakers met at Gettysburg on Wednesday to air grievances about the election, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani attended in person and Trump dialed in from the Oval Office.“We have all the evidence," Trump asserted. “All we need is to have some judge listen to it properly without having a political opinion.”But the strongest legal rebuke yet came from a conservative Republican judge in federal court in Pennsylvania, who on Saturday dismissed the Trump team's lawsuit seeking to throw out the results of the election. The judge admonished the Trump campaign in a scathing ruling about its lack of evidence. The campaign has appealed.Trump's allies have privately acknowledged their plan would never actually overturn the results, but rather might provide Trump an off-ramp for a loss he wasn't owning up to and an avenue to keep his base loyal for whatever he does next.“And then our governing and politics will be hellish, because he will continue doing what he’s doing from his private own perch,” Mann predicted.Emily Murphy, the top official at the General Services Administration, declared Biden the “apparent winner” Monday, a procedural yet critical step that allowed for the transition to begin in earnest. She made the determination after Trump's efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states. She cited “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.”Michigan certified Biden’s 154,000-count victory Monday, despite calls by Trump to the GOP members to block the vote to allow for an audit of ballots in Wayne County, where Trump claimed he was the victim of fraud. Biden crushed the president by more than 330,000 votes there.“The board’s duty today is very clear,” said Aaron Van Langevelde, the Republican vice chair. “We have a duty to certify this election based on these returns.”Still, the Trump legal team dismissed the certification as “simply a procedural step” and insisted it would fight on.Trump and his allies have brought at least four cases in Michigan that sought — unsuccessfully — to block certification of election results in part or all of the state.In Pennsylvania, after Gov. Tom Wolf certified Biden as the winner, an appeals court judge ordered state officials to halt any further steps toward certifying election results. The state has appealed to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.In Arizona, just as lawyers for a woman in the Phoenix area dropped a case alleging that equipment was unable to record her ballot because she completed it with a county-issued Sharpie pen, Trump’s campaign filed its own lawsuit echoing some of the same complaints. As that suit was about to be dismissed, lawyers for the woman filed a new case reviving the claims and demanding that she be allowed to recast her ballot. All three of the cases have now been dismissed.“The legal process seems to be unfolding the way it’s supposed to, but the Trump campaign has made clear its desire to throw wrenches in the system wherever it can,” said Lisa Marshall Manheim, a professor at the University of Washington School of Law.___Richer reported from Boston. Associated Press writers Maryclaire Dale in Philadelphia, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix and Steve Karnowski in St. Paul, Minnesota, contributed to this report.Colleen Long, Alanna Durkin Richer And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
BRUSSELS — Thanksgiving just got a little bit better for the Maine lobster industry.The European Union parliament on Thursday approved a mini trade deal with the United States, which includes the elimination of customs duties on U.S. lobster imports. The passage with 638 votes for, 45 against and 11 abstentions was the last major political step for the deal to come into effect.As a result, the 27-nation EU will drop its 8% tariff on U.S. lobsters for the next five years and work to make the move permanent.U.S. lobster imports to the EU came to about $111 million in 2017 before falling off in the face of rising tensions between the trading partners, and an EU trade agreement with Canada that allowed its lobsters to enter the bloc tariff-free.Because of it, said EU legislator Bernd Lange, “we have seen a drop in demand by 50% in Maine, which is obviously quite serious. So now we are making an offer to allow American lobster to come tariff-free into the EU."For its part, the U.S. agreed to cut in half tariffs on EU imports worth about $160 million a year, including some prepared meals, crystal glassware and cigarette lighters. The tariff cuts will be retroactive to Aug. 1.The deal approved on Thursday covers only a tiny portion of trans-Atlantic trade with the U.S., but the EU hopes it will have some symbolic value. And for the lobster industry, already hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, every piece of good news is welcome.For the EU, which has had acrimonious relations with the Trump administration, a sign of goodwill will never hurt.“We have more in common than divides us," said Lange. “This piece of legislation is an offer: it’s not about lobster for all. It’s about co-operation instead of confrontation.”Raf Casert, The Associated Press
Scarborough Southwest NDP MPP Doly Begum is demanding more provincial support for Scarborough’s battle with COVID-19 after it was revealed the community had a 14 per cent positivity rate. A report in the Toronto Star on Nov. 17 revealed that Scarborough Health Network has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the GTA. It included outbreaks in schools and long-term care homes. In response, Begum has demanded the province immediately commit to more testing, more contact tracing, paid sick days, and personal protective equipment. “Kids are getting sick in crowded classrooms. Seniors are dying in long-term care homes again. What else does Premier Ford need to see before he sends help to Scarborough?” Begum said. As Scarborough, along with Toronto and Peel is in lockdown, Begum said help is needed more than ever. With businesses closing down, long lines at food banks, evictions, and more, she added that the province needs to spend its $9 billion of allocated funds for COVID-19 on communities like Scarborough. Almost a week later on Nov. 25, the Auditor General of Ontario Bonnie Lysyk released a report that indicated “the province’s response was lacking” and was responsible for a relatively slower pandemic response. The report pointed to “outdated provincial emergency plans, insufficient staff, and significant changeover in leadership at Ontario’s Provincial Management Office, as well as systemic issues such as the lack of lab surge capacity and outdated IT systems” as causes for a slow and flawed response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The report also revealed the Ford government paid $1.6 million to develop a command structure for its pandemic response that did little to help, and that testing, managing cases, and contact tracing weren’t being done quickly enough to limit the spread. “It’s mind-boggling how they’ve mismanaged this whole situation and now we know why,” Begum said of the provincial government. As of Nov. 26, Scarborough continues to have among the highest rates of positive cases in the City of Toronto. In the last 21 days, Begum’s riding alone has had almost 500 cases.Ali Raza, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Beach Metro News
Restaurant owner Jean Avarello is struggling to understand why in the next few weeks the shops and theatres near him in the French city of Marseille will be allowed to reopen after a COVID-19 lockdown, but he has to stay shut. "That's not okay," Avarello said on Thursday as he took part in a protest in Marseille involving several thousand people from the restaurant, bar and nightclub sector against the government order to keep them shut.
One classroom at a Shelburne elementary school has been closed, with students being asked to self-isolate following a confirmed case of COVID-19. On Wednesday, Nov. 25, a notice was sent out by Centennial Hylands Elementary School principal, Tammy Fleming, providing information on the situation. “We will continue to work closely with Public Health and take their direction as they complete their investigation,” said Fleming. “All students and staff determined to be at high risk of exposure will be directed to isolate and recommended to be tested within their isolation period.” As of Thursday (Nov. 26), the Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB) has listed Centennial Hylands as being “open,” with one closed class confirmed. Measures have been taken to ensure the safety of all staff and students, and Public Health will perform a risk assessment if any other transmission is determined as a result of their investigation. “Custodial staff did a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the impacted areas of the school last … as part of our enhanced cleaning protocol,” explained Fleming. It is unknown as to whether or not the positive case was with a student or teacher, as the identity of the individual is protected by privacy legislation. According to the UGDSB’s reporting page, Centennial Hylands is the only school in Dufferin County identified as having an active case of COVID-19. A letter was also sent out by Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) outlining what the health unit and school are doing to prevent further spread of the virus at Centennial Hylands and within the community. “Our building is safe and remains open to staff and students,” said Fleming. Currently, Dufferin County is in orange-level restrictions, with WDGPH confirming an additional 27 cases since their last update Nov. 24, bringing the number of cases within its boundaries to 1,290. The total active number of cases within the health unit’s area is at 155, with 18 active in Dufferin. Three people were hospitalized in WDGPH due to COVID-19. Any individuals with questions about the situation are directed to contact Public Health at 519-822-2715 ext. 7006.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Team Halo is hoping to answer questions from those sceptical or hesitant about COVID vaccines. View on euronews
Back in March, Joan Alexis was signed up to attend an entrepreneurial business course. As COVID numbers began to rise, the evening before her first class was set to start, the course was cancelled. With unexpected time on her hands, Alexis wanted to do something to help. “I was wondering, now what do I do? They said, ‘make masks,’ so I did,” says Alexis, who’s a member of the Okanagan Indian Band (OKIB), near Vernon, B.C. “I gave away a good 500 across Canada, and I was doing that out of my own pocket. I said ‘whoever wants it [I’ll make them],’ so then I got messages and started sending them out.” Since March, Alexis says she’s made more than 3,000 masks, selling about half and giving away the other half. The masks come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, created to have a good fit and follow the standards set out by Health Canada. Her biggest challenge has been accessing the supplies needed to keep up with the demand. “I kept running out of material. I ran out of black and white thread, I went through about 30 spools of thread,” Alexis says. Her ‘kookum’ masks, a floral designed mask, are particularly popular and orders have gone through the roof since she first advertised them on social media. Though with increased demand she has recently put new orders on hold so she can focus on her school work and her other passions, such as beading. On Nov. 19, regional COVID-19 restrictions went province-wide, making it mandatory to wear a mask in any public building or retail space throughout the province. As the demand continues to rise, Alexis focuses on ensuring the quality of her product. “If some grandmother is wearing my stuff, it better be quality,” she says. “My name is on that so it has to be quality. Like, homie don’t play.” Alexis offered her masks to those who might need them across social media, and the call was answered. “I posted it online and whoever wanted them got them. It got a little overwhelming and I ran out of material,” says Alexis. She then started taking orders after the initial wave flattened, and has been fulfilling orders since. While interest in her masks stretches far beyond the Okanagan region, she says her main priority is taking care of her community. “It’s just to keep our people safe, I worry so much for everybody,” she says. “Taking care of our people is my priority.” On June 1, 2020, research funded by the World Health Organization from16 countries, and six continents, showed that the use of masks in correlation with social distancing resulted in much lower COVID-19 transmission rates. While masks have been, and continue to be a focus for Alexis, she also is working to support women more generally. She started a campaign to support female students whose funding for schooling was cut, leaving them in a dire situation. “Some women weren’t getting funding, they were getting their funding cut from school and they didn’t get their letters until a week or two before school started so they had to pay with credit cards,” she says. “You know how tough that is?” Supporting other women is a cause close to her heart. Alexis has lost multiple women in her family to murder, including her mother, and she says her outreach was a way to give back and make a difference. “Kwulenchuten (Creator) said, ‘do this,’ and I said okay so I’ll do this and if I can help out even a little bit,” says Alexis. Alexis has since raised $300 for women who need the extra support this holiday season. Her future plans? Alexis wants to open an all-Indigenous boutique in Vernon, B.C. that will support all Indigenous creators and suppliers. “I want to sell all Indigenous products, I want makeup lines and to support other Indigenous businesses,” says Alexis while sitting in her crafting room, full of bright ribbons, beads, fabrics, and beautiful beading. She says she wants to see more unity and openness in her community, saying that now is the time to come together. “I would like to see our youth come together, we all have to open up our hearts and our arms to these young people,” she says. “What it comes down to is we are all here for a short time and if we’re not trying to make it better than what are we doing here?” Kelsie Kilawna, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
The Penticton Indian Band (PIB) and broader syilx Nation is joining the regional district and a Kaleden community group in opposing development at Sickle Point, a lakefront property in Kaleden, as the deadline looms on sale conditions which could allow local taxpayers to put in an offer and create a community park. The 4.8-acre parcel of undeveloped land in between the KVR on the west and Skaha Lake on the east and is one of few remaining wetland and semi-natural habitats along the western shores of Skaha Lake, according to the PIB which has designated Sickle Point as a protected area. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) voted at their Nov. 19 meeting to authorize the long-term borrowing of no more than $3.5 million to assist in purchasing the land as a nature park, pending approval from area taxpayers. The Kaleden Community Association says it is in the public’s interest to acquire the property as a nature park and have initiated a fundraising program to assist the RDOS in the purchase. The property is currently under a court-ordered sale, and private developers have made a conditional offer with conditions to be removed by Nov. 26. “The Regional District has conversed with Lanyard (the owners) about submitting an offer based on the appraised value, but conditional on approval by the electors, with a proposed February 2021 closing date. Lanyard has indicated that the offer currently received (by private developers) is acceptable to them, but if conditions are not removed (on Nov. 26) they would be willing to consider the offer from the Regional District,” states an RDOS staff report. Newly elected MLA for Boundary-Similkameen Roly Russell has shown support for the public purchasing the property, as has South Okanagan-West Kootenay MP Richard Cannings who visited the site multiple times, most recently in September. The PIB are the latest to join the chorus of opposition against the sale to developers. “Our position at PIB, as members of the syilx nation, is that we are the original title holders to this area and we are absolutely against any type of development,” said PIB Coun. Suzanne Johnson in a written statement released Nov. 26. “We support conservation. We support syilx practices and management,” Johnson said. “It’s a place where our people have had a presence for thousands of years. It’s an important cultural site; it’s an important environmental site.”Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
November 19 -- This past Monday during the Cardston County council meeting, two local farmers attended the question-and-answer period with concerns about hefty bills from the county’s fire department’s. Randy Shaw had a fire in September due to a fallen power line, and Shawn Pitcher had a recent combine fire on his farm. Both individuals brought bills from their respective department which reflected large totals that the farmers felt were unfair. Both farmers say they had the fires under control by the time the department showed up and do not understand why the fire department took over and subsequently sent them such a hefty bill. The situation brings up the question of whether or not a landowner is allowed to refuse help from the fire department. Stewart said “45 minutes later the fire department shows up but there was nothing for them to do. According to the invoice they were there for 4 hours. We didn’t phone them, we didn’t ask for them, we didn’t need them”. Pitcher echoed this sentiment saying it was the neighbouring farmers that put out his fire, not the department, “all the farmers in the area have group text and during harvest time we are all in the field. The minute we see smoke we all text the group and go help each other. My fire was out before the firemen showed up”. The two farmers wondered why the county’s fire department needs to get involved when they arrive on scene of a fire that is under control. Many in their community have invested money into their own fire protection, and know which buildings, machinery, and goods are worth saving. Pitcher said that farmers in the area are not insuring items under $50,000 because the insurance premiums and deductibles are so high it isn’t worth it. They know which of their equipment and goods are worth saving and which to let burn. They aren’t able to send this bill on to an insurance company for reimbursement and don’t need the added cost of a fire bill after suffering the loss of accessory buildings or farm machinery. One of the local fire chief’s later explained to the Star that fire departments must ensure due diligence in extinguishing a fire in order to protect the third party, or neighbours, who could be affected if there are flare ups. Since 2009 the Fire Operations and Cost Recovery Bylaw has delineated the billing of fire operations. The County uses the amount on each tax bill to cover the fixed costs of each fire department, whereas the additional billing to the property owner covers the cost of the individual fire responses. There have been very few complaints since this time, and any landowner struggling to pay the bills have been able to approach council for extensions or reductions in cost instead of having the bill added to their property tax amount. The council did decide to waive the bills for Pitcher and Shaw while administration looks into the matter further to see if there is a new billing system that can be implemented that doesn’t put undue hardship on property owners. The current system was implemented to keep overall taxes down, but there have been some high bills, one close to $40,000, which feel unattainable for some residents. Citizens like Pitcher and Shaw would like to see this burden born by property taxes or would like to be allowed to refuse the fire department’s help when they feel the situation is under control. The province has delegated a lot of authority to fire departments and it is unlikely that refusing their help is an option.Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Tens of thousands of fans, many weeping but eager to honour Diego Maradona, filed past the coffin of Argentina's most iconic soccer star on Thursday.Fans blew kisses as they passed Maradona's wooden casket in the main lobby of the presidential Casa Rosada, some strike their chests with closed fists and shouting, “Let’s go Diego.”It was the sort of honour usually given heads of state, but few heads of state have ever aroused such loyalty or passion.On the street, the line to see Maradona's casket was more than 20 blocks long, and disturbances broke out at least twice as fans eager to view the casket clashed with security forces in front of presidential palace, interrupting the flow of visitors.The casket was covered in an Argentine flag and the No. 10 shirt he famously wore the national team. Dozens of other shirts of different soccer teams tossed in by weeping visitors were scattered on and around the casket.Maradona died on Wednesday of a heart attack in a house outside Buenos Aires where he had been recovering from a a brain operation on Nov. 3.Open visitation, started at 6:15 a.m. after a few hours of privacy for family and close friends. The first to bid farewell were his daughters and close family members. His ex-wife Claudia Villafañe came with Maradona's daughters Dalma and Gianinna. Later came Verónica Ojeda, also his ex-wife, with their son Dieguito Fernando.Jana, who Maradona recognized as his daughter only a few years ago, also attended the funeral.Then came former teammates of the 1986 World Cup-winning squad including Oscar Ruggeri. Other Argentine footballers, such as Boca Juniors’ Carlos Tévez, showed up, too.Early in the morning some fans grew impatient as police tried to maintain order, throwing bottles and pieces of metal fencing at police outside the presidential offices in the heart of Buenos Aires. Officers at one point used tear gas to try to control them.Clashes again broke out in the early afternoon as police fired rubber bullets at fans trying to force their way ahead.Argentina President Alberto Fernández had appeared at midday and placed on the casket a shirt of Argentinos Juniors, Maradona's first club as a professional.In tears, Fernández also laid two handkerchiefs of the human rights organization Madres de Plaza de Mayo, who wore them for years to protest the disappearance of their children under the Argentina's military dictatorship between 1976 and 1983.Maradona, an outspoken leftist who had an image of Argentine Revolutionary Che Guevara tattooed on one bicep, was a friend of the Madres and of other human rights organizations.The lines started forming outside the Casa Rosada only hours after Maradona’s death was confirmed and grew to several blocks. Among those present were the renowned barrabravas fans of Boca Juniors, one of his former clubs.The first fan to visit was Nahuel de Lima, 30, using crutches to move because of a disability.“He made Argentina be recognized all over the world, who speaks of Maradona also speaks of Argentina," de Lima told The Associated Press. “Diego is the people.... Today the shirts, the political flags don't matter. We came to say goodbye to a great that gave us a lot of joy.”Maradona’s soccer genius, personal struggles and plain-spoken personality resonated deeply with Argentines.He led an underdog team to glory in the 1986 World Cup, winning the title after scoring two astonishing goals in a semifinal match against England, thrilling a country that felt humiliated by its loss against the British in the recent Falklands war and that was still recovering from the brutal military dictatorship.Many deeply sympathized with the struggles of a man who rose from poverty to fame and wealth and fell into abuse of drug, drink and food. He remained idolized in the soccer-mad nation as the “Pibe de Oro” or “Golden Boy.”Lidia and Estela Villalba cried near the exit of the lobby. Both had a Boca Juniors shirt and an Argentinian flag on their shoulders.“We told him we love him, that he was the greatest," they said at the same time.Those waiting for enter the Casa Rosada were mostly wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but they struggled to keep social distancing.Social worker Rosa Noemí Monje, 63, said she and others overseeing health protocols understood the emotion of the moment.“It is impossible to ask them to distance. We behave respectfully and offer them sanitizer and face masks,” she said. Monje also paid her last tribute to Maradona.“I told him: to victory always, Diego," Monje said as she wept.A huge mural of Maradona'a face was painted on the tiles that cover the Plaza de Mayo, near the Casa Rosada, which was decorated with a giant black ribbon at the entrance.____ AP writer Mauricio Savarese contributed to this report from Sao Paulo, Brazil.Almudena Calatrava And Debora Rey, The Associated Press
More than two-thirds of the world’s fields, ranches and orchards are owned by one per cent of its farmers, according to a report released Tuesday. Land inequality — the concentrated ownership of land — is skyrocketing globally, including in Canada and the U.S. It’s a trend driven by large-scale industrial farming and export-oriented agricultural policies with wide-ranging impacts on everything from food security to climate change. Those investments aren’t always obvious. Historically, land ownership analyses have excluded key pieces of information, such as the value of land and the degree of control a person or organization has over it, according to the report’s authors. For instance, many farms operate under contract to agri-food corporations, giving them control over production methods and market access without explicitly owning the farm. Investors are also purchasing farmland at increasingly high rates, pushing land prices beyond the value of the crops they can produce and exacerbating farmland consolidation. An analysis of these control mechanisms was included by the coalition of organizations behind the report — a novel technique, said Ward Anseeuw, co-author of the report and co-ordinator of the initiative. The additional data revealed that worldwide, land inequality is 41 per cent higher than previously reported through national agricultural censuses. “These findings radically alter our understanding of the extent and far-reaching consequences land inequality has, proving that not only is it a bigger problem than we thought, but it’s undermining the stability and development of sustainable societies,” he said in a statement. Concentrated land ownership is associated with a suite of problems, including deforestation, political and economic inequality and the degradation of rural food security, the report notes. And while land inequality is an old problem — it was a key part of many colonial governments’ policies — the authors note that since the 1980s, the problem has gotten worse. That’s when national and international trade policies were implemented that made it easier for financial institutions and global agri-businesses to purchase vast tracts of farmland for conversion into industrialized crop production. This land was generally purchased from small- to mid-sized family farms growing a diversity of crops for local or regional consumption. Replacing them were larger industrialized farms owned by vertically integrated companies invested from seed to sale in international commodity markets. It’s a trend that accelerated after the 2008 financial crash, said Devlin Kuyek, senior researcher at GRAIN, an international non-profit supporting small farmers and social movements. Those investors, including several Canadian pension funds, started purchasing farmland worldwide. And with deeper pockets than most farmers, they didn’t struggle to find the land, despite policies in certain jurisdictions — including some Canadian provinces — that limit foreign farmland ownership. It’s a practice that drives land consolidation, he explained. Meanwhile, smaller-scale farmers producing food for regional and local consumption often struggle to make ends meet because of high farmland prices and competition from global commodity markets. It’s a pattern that is seen worldwide — including in B.C., explained Mullinix. The province has a proliferation of small, diversified farms serving local markets, many of which struggle to afford farmland (farmland prices in the province are also driven by real estate speculation, not only agri-businesses and investments from financial institutions). There are also several large ranches and orchards producing food for Canada-wide and international markets — and not much in between. Still, Kuyek said that Canadians have more leverage than they might think. Canadian pension funds are some of the world’s largest farmland investors and sustained pressure from the people whose money they are managing can help change their practices. “We have an interest in understanding what’s going on with our money. If the money is being used to expand industrial agriculture, kick communities off their lands, destroying the future of the planet, it’s not really a good investment that way,” he said. “But this is a new area for the pension funds, so putting pressure on them now, making them aware of the risks … it can sort of push them to hold back from stepping into that area of investment.” Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday, ending a yearslong prosecution in the Russia investigation that saw Flynn twice plead guilty to lying to the FBI and then reverse himself before the Justice Department stepped in to dismiss his case. “It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon," Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!” The pardon, in the waning weeks of Trump's single term, is part of a broader effort by Trump to undo the results of a Russia investigation that shadowed his administration and yielded criminal charges against a half-dozen associates. It comes just months after the president commuted the sentence of another associate, Roger Stone, days before he was to report to prison. A Justice Department official said the department was not consulted on the pardon and learned Wednesday of the plan. But the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, noted that the president has the legal power to pardon Flynn. The move is likely to energize supporters who have taken up Flynn as a cause celebre and rallied around the retired Army lieutenant general as the victim of what they assert is an unfair prosecution, even though Flynn twice admitted guilt. Trump has repeatedly spoken warmly about Flynn and, in an indication of his personal interest in his fate, asked then-FBI Director James Comey in February 2017 to end a criminal investigation into the national security adviser. In a statement, Flynn’s family thanked Trump “for answering our prayers and the prayers of a nation” by issuing the pardon. Democrats lambasted the pardon as undeserved and unprincipled. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power," while Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said a “pardon by Trump does not erase” the truth of Flynn's guilty plea, “no matter how Trump and his allies try to suggest otherwise.” “The President’s enablers have constructed an elaborate narrative in which Trump and Flynn are victims and the Constitution is subject to the whims of the president," House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said in a statement. “Americans soundly rejected this nonsense when they voted out President Trump. ” The pardon is the final step in a case defined by twists and turns. The most dramatic came in May when the Justice Department abruptly moved to dismiss the case, insisting that Flynn should not have been interviewed by the FBI in the first place, only to have U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan resist the request and appoint a former judge to argue against the federal government's position and to evaluate whether Flynn should be held in criminal contempt for perjury. That former judge, John Gleeson, called the Justice Department's dismissal request an abuse of power and said its grounds for dropping the case were ever-evolving and “patently pretextual.” As Sullivan declined to immediately dismiss the prosecution, Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell sought to bypass the judge by asking a federal appeals court to direct him to drop the matter. A three-judge panel did exactly that, but the full court overturned that decision and sent the case back to Sullivan. At a hearing in September, Powell told Sullivan that she had discussed Flynn's case with Trump but also said she did not want a pardon — presumably because she wanted him to be vindicated in the courts. Powell emerged separately in recent weeks as a public face of Trump's efforts to overturn the results of his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, but the Trump legal team distanced itself from her after she advanced a series of uncorroborated conspiracy claims. The pardon spares Flynn the possibility of any prison sentence, which Sullivan could potentially have imposed had he ultimately rejected the Justice Department's dismissal request. That request was made after a review of the case by a federal prosecutor from St. Louis who had been specially appointed by Attorney General William Barr. At issue in the prosecution was an FBI interview of Flynn, days after Trump's inauguration, about a conversation he had during the presidential transition period with the then-Russian ambassador. Flynn acknowledged lying during that interview by saying he had not discussed with the diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, sanctions that the outgoing Obama administration had just been imposed on Russia for election interference. During that conversation, Flynn advised that Russia be “even-keeled” in response to the punitive measures, and assured him “we can have a better conversation” about relations between the countries after Trump became president. The conversation alarmed the FBI, which at the time was investigating whether the Trump campaign and Russia had co-ordinated to sway the election. In addition, White House officials were stating publicly that Flynn and Kislyak had not discussed sanctions, which the FBI knew was untrue. Flynn was ousted from his position in February 2017 after news broke that Obama administration officials had warned the White House that Flynn had indeed discussed sanctions with Kislyak and was vulnerable to blackmail. He pleaded guilty months later to a false statement charge. But last May, after years of defending the prosecution, the Justice Department abruptly reversed its position. It asserted the FBI had no basis to interview Flynn about Kislyak and that any statements he made during the interview were not material to the FBI's broader counterintelligence probe. The department also pointed to internal FBI notes showing agents had planned to close out the investigation weeks before interviewing Flynn about Kislyak. Flynn, of Middletown, Rhode Island, was among the first people charged in Mueller's investigation and provided such extensive co-operation that prosecutors did not recommend any prison time, leaving open the possibility of probation. But the morning he was to have been sentenced, after a stern rebuke about his behaviour from Sullivan, Flynn asked for the hearing to be cut short so that he could continue co-operating and earn credit toward a more lenient sentence. After that, he hired new attorneys — including Powell, a conservative commentator and outspoken critic of Mueller's investigation — who took a far more confrontational stance to the government and tried to withdraw his guilty plea. Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
Members of a Six Nations land reclamation camp have appealed two court injunctions ordering them to vacate a housing development in Caledonia, Ont.Skyler Williams, a spokesperson for the group and defendant in the case, said Thursday that he filed an appeal in Ontario Superior Court to fight the injunctions."We chose to engage in a process, a process that is not our own, to try and move it forward," said Williams during a media update Thursday. "For us the issue of the land here is still before the courts and certainly needs to come to a nation-to-nation discussion."The occupation of the McKenzie Meadows development, dubbed 1492 Land Back Lane by demonstrators, has stretched on for months, and has included blockades across area roads, court orders to remove people staying there, and dozens of arrests.Last month, Justice John Harper ruled that the activists had to vacate the land where Foxgate Developments planned a housing complex. The Six Nations group says the property is unceded Indigenous land and has been occupying it for 131 days. Harper ordered the Six Nations members to vacate on Oct. 22.Williams said Thursday that he's retained lawyers Barry Yellin and Wade Poziomka from the Hamilton firm Ross & McBride LLP. If the appeal is successful, he said, Foxgate Developments and Haldimand County will have to restart the permanent injunction proceedings."The filing by Ross & McBride LLP focuses on the failure of the court to distinguish between contempt and abuse of process, a procedural issue," the 1492 Land Back Lane group said in a media release. "The issue is that Williams's pleadings and evidence were thrown out by Justice Harper in error contrary to the law, procedural fairness, and the rules of civil procedure. If successful in the appeal, the matter would be returned to superior court before a different judge, and all of Williams's pleadings would be reinstated in his defence."The appeal, Williams said, is "an honest effort to engage in the legal system at a time that I was unrepresented in the court process."Harper said last month that Williams has shown "contempt" for the court by refusing to obey previous, temporary injunctions, and by insisting the Cayuga, Ont., courtroom was part of the "colonial" court system.Harper said the court must acknowledge the "abuses that have been put upon the Aboriginal community," but "claims and grievances in our society … must be done respectfully, must be done in compliance with the orders."The Six Nations Elected Council signed a deal in 2019 with the developers for $352,000 and 17 hectares of land in exchange for support of the two housing projects. Williams said Thursday that the elected council has expressed "tentative" support for 1492 Land Back Lane. Six Nations' traditional government, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Council of Chiefs, supports the reclamation camp.The group has been calling on the federal and provincial governments to step in and work with their representatives toward a peaceful resolution.Despite a pledge from the office of Carolyn Bennett, minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, that government officials "look forward to meeting with the community at the earliest opportunity" and are "committed" to addressing longstanding land claim issues, Williams said negotiations have yet to begin."They've said over and over again that they want to be at the table, that they're working on it … and here we are. This is three-and-a-half months later," said Williams. "Apparently it takes a long time to get here from Ottawa."
Le Comité de la commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel invite les personnes intéressées à une activité qui a pour but de rendre hommage aux femmes ayant lutté pour que les terres expropriées soient rétrocédées, alors que l’on inaugurera, par le fait même, une plaque commémorative installée à la Maison Jean-Paul-Raymond, dans le secteur de Sainte-Scholastique. Le tout se déroulera le vendredi 11 décembre prochain de manière virtuelle. L’événement, qui prendra la forme de conférence, mettra en lumière le rôle joué par toutes ces femmes auprès de leurs familles et de leur communauté pendant une période difficile. Des personnes impliquées dans le dossier de l’expropriation de Mirabel livreront des témoignages et permettront de faire le point sur le vécu et la contribution des femmes lors des événements qui se sont déroulés des décennies auparavant, mais qui laissent toujours ses traces. Rappelons qu’à la fin des années 1960, le gouvernement fédéral s’était approprié 97 000 acres, parmi les terres agricoles les plus riches du Québec, afin de construire le nouvel aéroport de Montréal, à Mirabel. La nouvelle touche alors plus de 3 000 familles, ainsi que 14 villages et municipalités des Basses-Laurentides. Des citoyens impliqués Rita Léonard-Lafond sera l’une des personnes qui témoigneront, elle qui a été elle-même délogée de sa maison. Ceux qui suivent le dossier de près se rappellent que Mme Léonard-Lafond a été impliquée activement à titre de porte-parole pour les gens expropriés, au sein du Comité d’information et d’animation communautaire (CIAC). Elle est aussi membre du Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire. D’autres acteurs prendront la parole au cours de l’événement. Ils seront disponibles afin d’échanger après la conférence. Considérants les mesures liées à la pandémie, l’activité se tiendra virtuellement, sur la plateforme Zoom, le 11 décembre, dès 14 h. À noter que l’on doit absolument confirmer sa présence d’ici le 30 novembre prochain. Seules les personnes ayant confirmé leur présence recevront le lien Web qui permettra de se connecter sur la plateforme. D’ailleurs, une assemblée générale suivra, sur le coup de 15 h, à nouveau sur la plateforme Zoom. Pour confirmer sa présence aux deux événements, vous devez écrire au Comité de commémoration du 50e anniversaire de l’expropriation de Mirabel, via le email@example.com. Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
November 5, 2020 - Westwind alternate school principal, Mike Devuyst, has seen a significant increase in Cardston and area student registration this fall. Student registrants cover a wide geographical area across the division and include students in the Parent directed Home Education Program, the Personalized education programs on campuses, and the outreach students. The risk of increased COVID-19 exposure to vulnerable family members has encouraged many to consider one of these as at least a temporary option. Enough new students registered in the different home based options during August that the division increased teaching staff by one and a half. But by the end of September, administration soon realized this would not be enough for the extreme increase in numbers and have since approved a total of 4.5 new positions. Devuyst, says “these temporary positions are for the first semester only as we are aware some families may choose to go back to public school as the year plays out, however all teachers are currently teaching at capacity or above”. So far, families do not seem to be changing their minds about the move to home learning- Westwind has seen a 127% increase in new student registration this year. A typical year may see 10 new student registrations at the alternate school, but this year 275 new students have registered in the various alternate learning environments. New student intake began to seriously increase in the first couple weeks of August and Principal Devuyst found himself busy every workday at the office in a month he would usually have been at home. The registrations kept coming in September and there have even been new students registered as recently as this week. Westwind runs various home based learning campuses and satellite schools across the area to meet the needs of families interested in alternatives to public school. Westwind boasts two main campuses, one building in Cardston and another in Raymond, as well as smaller classrooms in Magrath and Stirling for high school students interested in unique schooling options. Westwind Alternate offers two options for families looking for a substitute from traditional public school- one is Home education, where there is more parent led learning and less teacher contact, and the other being Personalized Education Programs, where there is regular contact with teachers with parents contributing to learning also. The Personalized Education Programs at the school building follow the directions of the education minister, the school division, and chief medical officer of health in the province and have changed their health protocols along with mainstream public schools. Students need to have masks when they come, and may need to wear them, depending on student numbers and types of activity. There are also hand sanitizer stations and signs reminding everyone to wash up. Physical distancing is attempted as much as possible, the best that can be done in the classroom setting. Devusyt believes that, masks or not, “kids are happy to enjoy some of the normalcy in ‘going back to school’ after the huge changes in March”. In March, homeschoolers who usually got together with other families daily for a combined science class or other focus group had to stay home just like the kids in public school. Homeschool parent Lindy Mckay’s kids had been attending community classes for robotics, hip hop, dance, gymnastics and more that were all closed down when the pandemic hit Alberta. She says “We weren’t ever able to get together with each other or go to community classes, and the library was shut down which made it difficult to find information for projects”. Families are happy to see these groups reopen this fall and have been able to keep attending many field trips as they don’t have to rely on division bus transportation. Devuyst says “our days are looking pretty normal, besides kids with masks.” Mckay noticed an increased interest in homeschooling on social media and in her close friend groups. She says “its interesting because even women who work full time are considering homeschooling now”. She recognizes that homeschooling is not just luxurious for stay at home moms, but many parents are afraid of the unknown and want an education that is stable and unchangeable when the pandemic is changing everything. Mckay has advised over a hundred people internationally who are interested in making the change this year, and locally 4 or 5 of her friends have also asked for advice on switching over. When asked for home education advice Mckay tells families interested in changing over that homeschool does not have to look like public school at home. Many homeschoolers in the area use natural opportunities to learn in a more simplified and flexible way. She says “Honestly I’ve felt like my kids were always getting an excellent social life even though they don’t go to a brick and mortar school. With homeschool in Cardston, entire families are friends regardless of gender or age and parents are able to take direct action when teaching their kids how to resolve conflict”. COVID 19 has given families and individuals a lot to think about as each group recreates what normal and best looks like for themselves. Education change is one of the many ways the novel pandemic is changing lives. Whether your family have chosen to send kids to public school, private school, traditional homeschool, or a home based learning program, it is clear that many people are making sacrifices in order to make the best choice for their kids during uncertain times. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
An Orléans business owner says a man paid him for $75,000 worth of disposable gloves with a fraudulent certified cheque in an apparent personal protective equipment (PPE) scam.The Ottawa police fraud unit confirmed it's investigating the incident after receiving a complaint from the business.Andrew Bascoe, who owns Orleans Janitorial Supplies on St. Joseph Boulevard, said his business recently received a request from an individual for a large order of disposable gloves. He thought they were destined for the Hull Hospital.> I was speechless.... I'm still in shock. \- Andrew Bascoe, Orleans Janitorial Supplies"Everything looked legit from the get-go," said Bascoe. "I assumed they were going to the hospital because I saw the purchase order said ... the hospital address, the telephone number of the hospital."Bascoe said on Friday, the man came to collect the gloves and handed over the cheque for nearly $100,000, payment for the initial order as well as more gloves on back order.But when Bascoe attempted to deposit it the next day, the bank teller and a manager told him the cheque appeared to be a fake."[The teller] said to me, 'A TD-certified cheque doesn't look like that.' I said, 'What do you mean?'" Bascoe recalled. "I was speechless.... I'm still in shock."Bascoe said he then contacted Ottawa police.Large orders a 'red flag', police sayOttawa police said they've received "about three" complaints regarding PPE scams during the pandemic."In all cases, the victim/business is dealing with a new customer who is making a very large order. Our Fraud experts stress that this is a red flag in itself," police said in a statement. "[In] those specific circumstances, it is highly recommended that the business conducts their due diligence and wait for the funds to clear before allowing the merchandise to be transported. No matter the method of payment – considering a certified cheque can be fraudulent, a credit card may be stolen or it could come from a fraudulent Government account."Bascoe said he thought he had done his due diligence by requesting to see a purchase order, and had even recently warned employees not to accept email orders from foreign countries.He said he's now waiting to hear whether his insurance will cover the value of the gloves.
Council and Chief will be elected this Thursday November 26th with voting taking place between 9am and 7pm after a three week election period. Over 88 candidates ran in the council election from which only 12 will be selected through popular vote. Eight Tribal Members have submitted their name to be on the ballot for the one position of chief including incumbent chief Roy Fox. All current councillors are also running for re-election. The selection of chief and council on the Blood tribe happens every four years, on a different schedule than the municipalities in the province who will not be holding elections until fall 2021. Due to the global health situation, Indigenous Services Canada enacted new temporary regulations to allow Chief and Councils to extend their roles and duties for another six months with the potential to extend again after that period in order to reduce large gatherings where COVID19 can be transmitted. The Blood tribe decided to proceed with the election following improved safety precautions in order to reduce transmission. These measures include (but are not limited to) personal protective equipment for administration and election officers, strictly enforced physical distancing at designated polling stations, masks and gloves for voters entering building, allowance for the elderly and physically disabled to skin to the front of the voting line, regular sanitizing and disinfecting of all tables and voting compartments. The Blood Tribe voting locations include: Blackfoot Confederacy Office in Calgary Moses Lake Hall in Moses Lake Exhibition Pavilion (Saddle room) in Lethbridge Both the nonmination meeting on November 5th and the Advanced poll on November 19th were live-streamed for public viewing and are still available on the website bloodtribe.orgElizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
Saskatchewan reported 299 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Three residents who tested positive for the virus have died — a person in Saskatoon in their 70s, and two in the 80 and over age group in the northwest zone. There have now been a total of 40 deaths in the province due to COVID-19. Of the cases announced Thursday, 72 are from the Saskatoon Correctional Centre, including 68 offenders and four staff.Those numbers are a sharp increase from a week ago. As of Nov. 21, only one inmate and one staff member at the facility had tested positive for COVID-19.There are now 85 known active cases among offenders and staff at Saskatoon Correctional Centre.Correctional facilitiesThe province says corrections officials are working with public health on measures to reduce the spread within the Saskatoon facility and within the correctional system. Those measures will include ongoing testing of offenders and staff at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre.All new admissions to provincial correctional centres will be tested for COVID-19 starting early next week. New admissions will continue to be quarantined for 14 days."Given that we tested a large amount of people and we had such a high number of cases come back, we are going to do a large amount of testing to get a better picture of what's happening in these facilities so that we can manage it better," said Noel Busse, executive director of communications for the Ministry of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety, during a media conference call Thursday. The province said Corrections is instituting mandatory continuous masking for offenders across all provincial correctional facilities. Employees at correctional centres have been masked up since the summer, according to the province. But masks have not been available to all offenders."Under the previous health order, it wasn't mandatory for offenders to wear masks in the common areas," which would be considered "clean units," said Busse."Everybody in those units would have been through the 14-day assessment unit. They weren't they were considered public areas."As of Thursday, there will be no new admissions to Saskatoon Correctional Centre. The province says remanded and sentenced offenders are being redirected to Regina and Prince Albert correctional centres.There are currently no active cases at Pine Grove Correctional Centre in Prince Albert. The Regina Correctional Centre has two cases among staff and one case involving an offender, and there is one active case among staff at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre.'From zero to 100 in about 4 days'The union that speaks for staff at the jail says that it wants the province to offer workers "optional accommodation" because of the high risk they now face at the facility."No one wants to carry this infection outside of the correctional centre," said Glenn Billingsley, a labour relations officer with the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees' Union (SGEU)."We want to keep it contained and manage the best we can within the facility."Billingsley said the COVID-19 numbers at the jail exploded over four days, with one inmate and three staff testing positive on Saturday."We went from zero to 100 in about four days," he said.All of the estimated 200 staff at the jail are now getting tested and Billingsley expects the number of known positive cases to climb by Friday.Numbers breakdown The seven-day average of daily new cases in Saskatchewan as of Thursday is 243 per day — 20.1 new cases per population of 100,000. Of the 7,362 total reported cases in the province, 3,146 are considered active. Eleven of the new cases are located in the far northwest, four are in the far north central, 16 are in the far northeast, 17 are in the northwest, 34 are in the north central, three are in the northeast, 125 are in the Saskatoon area, four are in the central west, six are in the central east, 44 are in the Regina area, seven are in the southwest, 12 are in the south central and eight are in the southeast zone. The locations of eight of the new cases are still pending. There are 108 people in hospital with COVID-19, 90 of whom are receiving in-patient care. One person is in the far north west, eight are in the northwest, eight are in the north central, one is in the northeast, 34 are in Saskatoon, two are in the central east, 16 are in Regina, one is in the southwest and 19 are in the southeast zones. Eighteen people are currently in intensive care, with one in the northwest, one in the north central, 10 in Saskatoon, two in the southwest and four in Regina.New restrictionsSports competition is suspended and gatherings at restaurants are being further limited under new COVID-19 restrictions announced by Saskatchewan on Wednesday.Limits on private gatherings like weddings and funerals, along with places of worship, will also be introduced. Starting 12:01 a.m. CST on Friday, no more than four people will be allowed to sit together at a table at a restaurant, and tables will need to be separated by three metres unless there are "impermeable barriers" between them, in which case they can be placed two metres apart.Restaurants will also need to keep information about guests or patrons.All team sports and group activities are suspended, but athletes and dancers 18 years old and under may keep practising in groups of eight or fewer if they use masks and practise physical distancing. Fitness activities in groups of eight or less are still allowed, with conditions.All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people, and no food or drink can be served. Mandatory non-medical masking is being extended to apply to all students, employees and visitors at schools. All employees and visitors in common areas in businesses and workplaces, even where the public does not have access, also have to wear a mask.All residents, employees and visitors in all common areas in provincial and municipal correctional facilities will also have to wear a mask.Capacity will be restricted to 30 people at casinos, bingo halls, arenas, live theatres, movie theatres, performing arts venues and other facilities that currently have a capacity of 150 people.Indoor gatherings such as banquets, weddings, funerals, conferences will also have a limit of 30 people, and food and beverage service will be prohibited.The limit for private indoor gatherings will remain at five but the province said "gatherings of any size beyond your immediate household are strongly discouraged at this time."What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Prince George, B.C., resident Judy Howard recently shelled out $50 for a six-pack of soy sauce after a family Facebook bidding war, and she feels like she got a pretty sweet deal — or salty, to be more accurate.A single bottle of Canadian-made China Lily Soya Sauce usually runs about $3 and is a staple in many kitchens in northern B.C., primarily in Indigenous households where it is often used liberally in traditional dishes and everyday dinner prep.Currently, it is incredibly hard to come by, and that's causing a bit of a panic among regular purchasers.The sauce is crafted by Lee Foods in Toronto. False rumours the factory is closing could be behind why grocery stores in B.C.'s north have been cleaned out, Amazon has nothing to offer, and prices on eBay keep climbing.Prince Rupert, B.C., resident Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North, caught the concerned chatter of locals on social media and contacted Lee Foods to find out why people were fearful their favourite brand was on the brink. A woman at Lee Foods who took de Ryk's call said there are no plans to shut down the family-run business.Her explanation for the shortage was simple: "China Lily Soya Sauce is the next toilet paper in the COVID-19 pandemic."While hearing the company is still open may be a relief for some, the current situation remains dire for die-hard fans. So much so that Tahltan President Chad Day released a tongue-in cheek-warning on Facebook that soy sauce bootlegging would not be tolerated. Annita Macphee, who is Tahltan and lives in Vancouver, said she remembers rice with China Lily being a component of many childhood meals. She told de Ryk its popularity in many Indigenous kitchens could be because so many Indigenous and Chinese people worked together at one time in coastal canneries."I've heard of people buying 16 bottles," she said, adding she currently has a line on some bottles that surfaced in Powell River, B.C., so she should be supplied for the time being.Howard, meanwhile, is likely being hailed as a hero by her immediate family for the six-pack she scored after her nephew, Sheldon Howard, Jr., a Prince George resident originally from the Gitxsan community of Gitsegukla in northwestern B.C., auctioned it off."I don't think it was extortion," said Howard, who uses the sauce to flavour much of her cooking, especially salmon and herring roe dishes.This year, said Howard, a bottle or two from Santa would be a coveted Christmas gift for many in Gitsegukla.To really dive down into the cultural significance of China Lily, De Ryk also spoke with Jeremy Pahl, also known as Saltwater Hank, a Tsimshian First Nation member and Prince Rupert resident.He was plum out at the start of the week but, while it was weighing heavy, he said he was staying strong."We are going to get through it, and future generations are going to look back and say my ancestors survived the great China Lily shortage of 2020," Pahl said with a chuckle.Pahl later got lucky when some employees at Coast Mountain College called up de Ryk to let her know they had a bottle and it was Pahl's if he wanted it. You can bet he did.But if you're not one of the lucky Howards, don't know about a stash out of town, and no kindly neighbour has tracked you down via the national broadcaster to offer you a spare bottle, don't despair — Lee Foods is still in full swing.In a statement, company president Christopher Wong said while there have been some supply, shipping and staffing hiccups due to the pandemic, customers can expect to see China Lily Soya Sauce back on the shelves within the coming weeks.To hear Judy Howard talk about her Facebook auction score on CBC's Daybreak North, tap the link below:
The federal government will prolong the mandate of the temporary head of the Canadian Museum of History in an attempt to bring greater stability to the institution as it waits for the results of a probe into allegations of a toxic working environment.That investigation, led by lawyer Michelle Flaherty, is expected to go on for at least a few weeks into 2021. Under current rules, interim president Caroline Dromaguet would have to be replaced before Jan. 20 by the museum's third temporary leader in less than a year.Sources have told Radio-Canada that the government has decided to extend Dromaguet's mandate beyond the regular 90-day period. The move still needs to be confirmed by cabinet, which will act on the basis of a recommendation from Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, sources said.Dromaguet has been acting as the interim president of the Gatineau, Que., museum since Oct. 20. The full-time holder of the title, Mark O'Neill, has been on sick leave since the summer, when an investigation was launched in response to allegations of workplace harassment.O'Neill's mandate will officially end in June of next year. It is not known if he will return into his position before the investigation results are released.The government already has launched a search for a new president. While some candidates are lining up, the final choice is months away.Institutional paralysisA number of former and current employees of the museum have told Radio-Canada they feel the investigation is moving too slowly, leaving the institution paralyzed while it also deals with the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its workplace and public activities.The sources also say the museum has provided little information to staff about the investigation and the timeline for its completion.Sources have said the complaints that led to the launch of the investigation in July were filed directly with Guilbeault's office. The complainants' decision to bring the matter to the government was widely seen as a rejection of the internal human resources process at the museum, which is an independent Crown corporation.A spokesperson for Guilbeault said the government has "full confidence" in the ongoing investigation."We invite all employees who would have gone through or witnessed any problematic situations to participate in the investigative process," said press secretary Camille Gagné-Raynauld.According to sources, the complaints are related to O'Neill's behaviour with his employees, as well as his management style and his temperament.Former employees who worked with him alleged that O'Neill was unpredictable, ill-tempered and became extremely angry at times. The sources said that while he has undeniable qualities that explain his rise to the top of the organization, he has kept staff constantly on their toes.The museum has lacked stability in upper management for some time. The position of director general has been vacant since the departure of Jean-Marc Blais over the summer. Dromaguet herself was previously in an acting capacity as the director general of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.The museum's board is operating under the leadership of an interim chair, Jean Giguère, who took the position in September.After O'Neill's departure on sick leave this summer, he was replaced initially by vice-president Heather Paszkowski for a 90-day period.O'Neill's lawyer, David Law, said his client does not have any comment to make on the current situation.The museum is also offering little information on the status of the investigation or Dromaguet's position."There is no change in the status of any museum executive team members at this time," said spokesperson Bill Walker.