The Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she had a miscarriage in July, giving a personal account of the 'almost unbearable grief' in the New York Times in hope of helping others.
The Duchess of Sussex has revealed that she had a miscarriage in July, giving a personal account of the 'almost unbearable grief' in the New York Times in hope of helping others.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
ATHENS, Greece — Lawmakers in Greece Wednesday overwhelmingly approved legislation to extend the country's territorial waters along its western coastline from six to 12 nautical miles. In the 284-0 vote, representatives of four opposition parties backed the centre-right government, while members of the Greek Communist Party abstained. Although the move does not directly affect an ongoing maritime boundary dispute with Turkey to the east, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told parliament that Greece was adopting a more assertive foreign policy. “It's a clear message to those who are trying to deprive our country of this right,” Mitsotakis said. Greece’s western coastline faces Italy and borders Albania at its northern tip. But the expansion is aimed at underscoring the country’s right to implement the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which set the 12-mile limit in 1982. Greece and Turkey, neighbours and NATO allies, are at odds over sea boundaries and mineral rights in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean in a dispute that caused a tense military standoff last year. Under pressure from western allies, Turkey and Greece will resume talks aimed at reducing tensions on Jan. 25, restarting a process that was suspended five years ago. Turkey says an extension of Greece’s territorial waters eastward would be considered an act of war, arguing that Greek islands would effectively block its access to the Aegean. The longstanding dispute between the two countries has been fueled by the discovery of large offshore gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean in recent years. Greece has signed recent agreements with Italy and Egypt for the delineation of maritime exploration rights and is in talks with Albania to take a maritime boundary dispute to an international court. The Associated Press
The Nova Scotia Police Review Board is looking into claims from convicted murderer Christopher Garnier's family that accuse Cape Breton Regional Police officers of conducting an illegal arrest and seizure of evidence in 2017. Garnier was taken into custody for breaching bail conditions after failing to present himself to the municipal force at his mother's basement door in Millville, N.S. during a compliance check His mother, Kim Edmunds, said she does not believe police were at her home as they have stated. "I honestly don't think they were," Edmunds told members of the board's three-person panel. "When somebody knocks on the door, it wakes me up." Alleged breach In February 2017, while awaiting trial for murder, Garnier took a trip to Cape Breton, where his mother lives. He was allowed to live at his father's house in Bedford or at his mother's residence in Millville as part of his bail conditions. Garnier was to submit to regular compliance checks from either members of the CBRP and Halifax Regional Police. Before his trip, Garnier called a Halifax police answering service to advise he was going to stay at his mom's place, although he did not leave his cell phone number with the service at that time. A CBRP officer testified under oath at a bail revocation hearing that he went to the Millville home in the early morning hours of Feb. 18, 2017, but Garnier did not present himself at the door. A Supreme Court judge later ruled Garnier did not intentionally breach his conditions, as he was likely asleep. That same year, Garnier was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of off-duty Truro police officer Catherine Campbell. Complaint launched Christopher Garnier's father, Vincent Garnier, is representing himself as a complainant at the police hearing into the actions of four officers. The men accused of misconduct are Const. Steve Campbell, Const. Gary Fraser, Const. Dennis McQueen and Const. Troy Walker. Each officer is represented by a lawyer, while a member of Cape Breton Regional Municipality's legal team is acting on behalf of the police organization. "We'll dig deep into the practices of the [CBRP] which I believe violate the constitution, violate the charter and violate aspects of the criminal code. Those are the informations I would like to bring forth over the next two weeks," Vincent Garnier said during a break in the proceedings. "The police, without a warrant, and without any consent of the property owners, accessed private property, walked into a private residence and placed a person under arrest." The board heard that photographs of the property were taken without the knowledge of the homeowner. Hearing continues Vincent Garnier said his family incurred more than $35,000 in legal fees as a result alleged breach. After his son's arrest, he filed a complaint with CBRP. An internal investigation found that if a breach had occurred, it was only minor. Members of the police review board, Hon. Simon J. MacDonald, Stephen Johnson and chair Jean McKenna are hearing arguments on both sides of the case at a Sydney hotel. Police will have a chance to explain their actions on the weekend in question once Vincent Garnier finishes calling witnesses. In total, 14 people are expected to testify at the hearing that is slated to run over two weeks. So far, the board has heard from Christopher Garnier's mother and stepmother, his uncle, and his former common-law partner. MORE TOP STORIES
MONTREAL — Health authorities in Quebec have reported fewer than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 for four consecutive days — almost two weeks since the imposition of a provincewide curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Premier Francois Legault has suggested the drop in cases may be the result of the curfew, which he said he imposed to reduce COVID-19 transmission, especially to people older than 60. The measure will be in effect, he said, until at least Feb. 8. Health experts say it's too early to know for certain whether the curfew is behind the significant drop in new daily cases. But they differ on whether the drastic measure should start getting some credit. Benoit Masse, professor of public health at Universite de Montreal, said it's "very difficult to know" whether the curfew is working because that measure was one of several restrictions imposed to reduce spread. Primary schools had been closed for an extended winter break and only reopened Jan. 11, he said. High schools, meanwhile, reopened Monday. Government data indicates schools have been tied to more than 20 per cent of non-active outbreaks in the province. Quebecers also got a "rude awakening," Masse said, when earlier this month officials reported more than 3,100 cases in a single day, sparking public warnings from doctors who said hospitals were on the verge of rationing care. Those warnings may have shocked Quebecers into reducing their contacts, Masse explained. "It's certain that also had an enormous impact on Quebec." But, he added, the curfew may have also played a role in shocking Quebecers into reducing their contacts. Roxane Borges Da Silva, a public health professor at Universite de Montreal who was one of the experts calling for a curfew in early January, said the measure may be having the desired effect. She said a new study by researchers at the Aix-Marseille University in France indicates that a partial lockdown coupled with a curfew reduced transmission in that country among people aged 20 to 60. That study, "An Early Assessment of Curfew and Second COVID-19 Lock-down on Virus Propagation in France," which has not yet been peer reviewed, found that the acceleration of viral spread among people older than 60 "decreased notably with curfew measures." But even with the decline in the number of new cases, Masse said it's too early to say whether the trend will continue. It's also too early, he said, to declare victory. Quebec reported 1,502 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 66 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 10 that occurred in the preceding 24 hours. Health officials said hospitalizations dropped by 33, to 1,467, and 216 people were in intensive care, a rise of four. The majority of the new cases were reported in Montreal and neighbouring regions. Officials reported 629 cases in Montreal, 199 in the Monteregie region and 148 in Laval. No other region in Quebec had more than 100 reported cases Wednesday. Quebec has reported 247,236 COVID-19 infections and 9,208 deaths linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, b2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
European leaders described the 46th President's inauguration speech as "inspiring" and said it was time to bring "conviction and common sense" to help rejuvenate their relationship with the US.View on euronews
COMMUNAUTÉ. C’est finalement un montant de 40 235 $ qui aura été amassé via Gofundme afin de créer une bourse d’études pour Jacob, le fils de l’urgentologue Karine Dion. «Je suis vraiment émue. Je pensais faire une petite campagne pour mon hôpital, mais c’est tout le Québec qui est solidaire pour aider Jacob et honorer la mémoire Karine», constate avec reconnaissance la Dre Geneviève Simard-Racine qui s’était d’abord fixé un objectif de 10 000 $ à recueillir pour créer une bourse d’études pour le fils de son amie. «Il y a eu aussi le 13 janvier, en soirée, un parcours commémoratif dans l’hôpital de Granby. Nos gens pouvaient se recueillir et déposer une étoile dans un cadre. Il y avait également un livre qui sera remis à David, le conjoint de Karine, où l’on pouvait laisser un mot», rapporte-t-elle. À son tour, la Dre Simard-Racine a invité «les aidants à accepter de se faire aider». Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A new study links the fitness level of Canadian children to that of their parents. The StatCan analysis suggests a child's aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility all correlate to that of their parent. But there were differences when it came to the sex of each parent and child involved. Boys whose parent had "excellent" cardiorespiratory fitness had better cardiorespiratory fitness than boys whose parent had a "poor" cardiorespiratory fitness level. Girls whose parent had "excellent" flexibility had higher flexibility than girls whose parent had "poor" flexibility. But the correlation in cardiorespiratory fitness was only seen significantly in mother-and-son pairs; while a significant flexibility correlation was only seen in mother-son and father-son pairings. Grip strength was associated in all duos except father-son pairings. The study was based on data from the ongoing Canadian Health Measures Survey, and draws from a sample representative of children aged 6 to 11 years and their biological parents. Previous research also found associations between parents and children in obesity, physical activity and sedentary behaviour. StatCan notes the results should be interpreted with some caution since the aerobic test used by the study is only meant for adults. Researchers allow that it's possible the sample represents "a slightly healthier" subset of children. Researchers also note that analysis was limited to data where a birth parent also responded to the survey. These adults were more likely to be younger, have a bachelor's degree or higher education, come from a smaller household size, and have a household income of more than $100,000 than respondents to the ongoing survey who were not the birth parent. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — An attorney for “That ’70s Show” actor Danny Masterson pleaded not guilty on his behalf Wednesday to the rapes of three women in the early 2000s. Defence lawyer Tom Mesereau entered the plea for Masterson, who was not present in court, to three charges of rape by force or fear in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The frequently delayed hearing coincided with the inauguration in Washington of President-elect Joe Biden, resulting in far less media attention than Masterson’s initial court appearance in June. His arraignment has been postponed several times since. Prosecutors have alleged that Masterson, 44, who has been free on bond since his June 17 arrest, raped a 23-year-old woman sometime in 2001, a 28-year-old woman in April of 2003, and a 23-year-old woman between October and December of 2003. All of the alleged rapes happened at his Hollywood Hills home. Masterson could face up to 45 years in prison if convicted. Mesereau, whose previous clients have included Michael Jackson and Bill Cosby, said in court in June that the charges were the result of unfair hype from media outlets and political pressure to prosecute his client. The lawyer said his team would prove that Masterson is not guilty. Masterson’s arrest came after a three-year investigation that resulted in the rare prosecution of a famous Hollywood figure in the #MeToo era. Despite dozens of investigations, most have led to no charges based on lack of evidence or too much time having passed since the alleged sexual assaults. The alleged rapes happened at the height of Masterson’s fame as he starred as Steven Hyde on Fox TV's retro sitcom “That ’70s Show” from 1998 to 2006 alongside Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis and Topher Grace. Andrew Dalton, The Associated Press
WINNIPEG — Manitoba health officials say delays in getting COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech will force the province to sharply reduce the number of injections planned for February. The province says it is planning for incoming supplies to be cut in half. The federal government announced Tuesday that Canada is not getting any COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer-BioNTech next week. "We originally were told we would be receiving 18,720 doses (in the next two weeks) and our new estimate is 9,360," Dr. Joss Reimer, a member of the province's vaccine committee, said Wednesday. There are enough doses for all appointments currently booked, but fewer appointments will be scheduled next month, Reimer said. The goal of administering an average of 2,500 doses a day in February is being reduced to 1,496 daily. In the unlikely event that supply delays continue and the province does not receive any doses in the first week of February, its current supply of the Pfizer vaccine would be used up and appointments would begin to be cancelled, Reimer said. The revised outlook comes just as Manitoba is ramping up its vaccination capacity. A so-called supersite, which can handle hundreds of vaccinations a day, opened this week in Brandon and another is planned for early February in Thompson. Because of the supply issues with the Pfizer vaccine, the Thompson site will instead use the Moderna vaccine, the only other one approved in Canada to date. Health officials reported 153 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths Wednesday. Manitoba's numbers, including the number of people in hospital and the percentage of people testing positive, have dropped since a spike in the fall. The provincial government is considering easing some of the restrictions that were put in place in November by this weekend, subject to public feedback. The proposals include letting non-essential stores reopen, as well as hair salons and barber shops, and easing a ban on social gatherings in private homes to allow two visitors at a time. "I know that people are eager to reduce restrictions, especially businesses," said Dr. Jazz Atwal, acting deputy chief public health officer. "But we need to be cautious. We can't open everything at once." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021 Steve Lambert, The Canadian Press
The Beaverlodge and Sexsmith chambers of commerce are waiving membership fees for businesses this year. Both organizations are making the change to support local enterprise in 2021. “Many business owners are feeling the crunch with reduced services or closures,” said Callie Balderston, Beaverlodge and District Chamber of Commerce president. Balderston said the chamber board made the decision during its meeting last week to waive the fee for 2021. The Beaverlodge chamber has approximately 75 members and it will also be free for other businesses to join this year, she said. The fee was $100 annually, but the chamber has kept on budget in past years and is in a sound enough position to offer the waiver, she said. Balderston said the chamber may consider whether certain expenses can be cut later in the year, while trying to continue supporting members. The Beaverlodge chamber is doing well, with a growth of approximately two to three businesses per year, Balderston said. The group was stable in 2020 but she noted events like the Christmas Craze had to be scaled back. “It wasn’t our traditional Christmas Craze,” Balderston said. Jennifer Caseley, Sexsmith and District Chamber of Commerce president, also informed members their fees are waived for 2021 via an email last week. Membership fees varied. Businesses with under four employees paid $50 per year, while members with four to five paid $75, Caseley said. The fee for businesses with more than five employees was $100. The waiver will likely cost the chamber between $4- and $5,000, but Caseley said the chamber will cope by drawing on its accounts and savings from fewer activities in 2020. The chamber would typically hold in-person mixers with food, as well as rent space for meetings, she noted. “The fee is a small thing for some companies … but for smaller organizations, that $50 is sometimes a make-or-break for whether they renew or not,” Caseley said. “It was the right thing to do.” Caseley said the Sexsmith chamber doesn’t have any financial difficulties, but it was a challenge to remain operational. The chamber is a volunteer group and it was difficult to keep positions filled as entrepreneurs have to keep their own businesses going, she said. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Après l’annonce d’une aide financière de Québec pour lancer les travaux du chantier de construction du Port de Contrecoeur, la semaine dernière, on apprend maintenant l’identité des entreprises qualifiées en vue de décrocher ce lucratif contrat. Trois consortiums se feront la lutte dans le cadre d’un appel d’offres. Par voie de communiqué, l'Administration portuaire de Montréal (APM) a annoncé, mercredi, que trois consortiums ont été retenus à la suite d’un appel de qualification. Les trois groupes s’identifient sous les noms Ancre Contrecoeur, CAP Contrecoeur et Kiewit-Pomerleau. Derrière Ancre Contrecoeur, on retrouve un partenariat des entreprises Dragados Canada et AECOM Consultants. Sous CAP Contrecoeur, ce sont Eurovia Québec Grands projets, Janin Atlas, Soletanche Bachy International, VINCI Infrastructure Canada, GHD Consultants, COWI North America et CH2M Hill Canada qui se sont associées. Finalement, le groupe Kiewit-Pomerleau est composé des entreprises Construction Kiewit et Pomerleau ainsi que CIMA+, Englobe, Hatch et Solmatech. D’après le communiqué de l’APM, cinq dossiers ont été reçus et trois ont été retenus. Ces consortiums seront donc invités à participer à l’appel d’offres pour la conception et la construction du futur terminal de Contrecoeur. En entrevue à La Presse Canadienne, la vice-présidente affaires publiques de l'APM, Sophie Roux, a affirmé que l'appel d'offres devrait être lancé «dans les prochains mois» sans pouvoir donner plus de précision. La semaine dernière, le ministre des Transports, François Bonnardel, et la ministre responsable de la région de Montréal, Chantal Rouleau, ont dévoilé une aide financière de 55 millions $ pour appuyer la phase de démarrage du projet. Le chantier n’a cependant pas encore obtenu le feu vert du ministère fédéral de l'Environnement, alors que des inquiétudes persistent au sujet de l'impact sur certaines espèces menacées, dont le chevalier cuivré. Dans l’éventualité où l'APM reçoit l'approbation nécessaire, les travaux devraient débuter dès l'automne, avait fait savoir le président-directeur général Martin Imbleau. Sophie Roux a réitéré, mercredi, que les démarches progressent dans le but de lancer les travaux dès que le gouvernement fédéral donnera son accord final. «On est sur un échéancier critique, a-t-elle soutenu. Nous savons qu'avec nos installations portuaires en manutention de conteneurs sur l'île de Montréal, nous opérons à quasi pleine capacité présentement.» L'APM plaide donc l'urgence d'agir pour bonifier sa capacité d'accueil de conteneurs. À la fin de l'ensemble des travaux, que l'on prévoit pour 2024, le terminal devrait être en mesure d'accueillir 1,15 million de conteneurs afin de permettre au port de Montréal de poursuivre sa croissance. D'après les projections du gouvernement, le terminal devrait permettre la création de 1000 emplois lorsqu'il sera en pleine opération. La facture totale du projet est estimée entre 750 millions $ et 950 millions $.Ugo Giguère, Initiative de journalisme local, La Presse Canadienne
Conservative MPs today voted to expel Derek Sloan from caucus after the eastern Ontario MP accepted a donation from a notorious white nationalist. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole initiated the ouster earlier this week after news emerged that Paul Fromm — whose ties to white supremacist and neo-Nazi causes have long been documented — had contributed $131 to Sloan's leadership campaign. Sloan fought against the vote, saying he was unaware of the source of the donation because Fromm used his full name, Frederick P. Fromm. Conservatives voted by secret ballot today, with the majority of MPs voting to remove Sloan from their benches. In a statement issued this afternoon, O'Toole called the donation the "last straw." "The Conservative caucus voted to remove Derek Sloan not because of one specific event, but because of a pattern of destructive behaviour involving multiple incidents and disrespect towards the Conservative team for over a year," he said. "These actions have been a consistent distraction from our efforts to grow the party and focus on the work we need to do. Events of the past week were simply the last straw and led to our caucus making the decision it did today." News of Fromm's contribution was first reported by PressProgress, a non-profit news website funded by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute. Sloan, who was elected in 2019 to represent the riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington, argued his team couldn't vet every donation to his leadership campaign last year. He also accused O'Toole of hypocrisy, pointing out that Fromm was accepted as a member of the party and voted in its 2020 leadership election without raising any red flags with party officials. In a statement to CBC News earlier this week, Conservative Party director of communications Cory Hann said it was Sloan's campaign that sold the party membership to Fromm. He said the party would be revoking Fromm's membership and returning the funds. Controversial player in party Sloan pushed back on that argument, saying new members who signed up for memberships through a leadership campaign website like his were directed to the party's main website. Fromm, who founded the Canadian Association for Free Expression and Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform, has appeared at far-right protests, has spoken regularly on the white nationalist radio show Stormfront and is the subject of a Hamilton police investigation into claims that he shared the New Zealand mosque shooter's manifesto on his organization's website. Sloan has been a polarizing figure in Canadian politics, generating controversy with his socially conservative views on LGBTQ rights. He alarmed members of his own party in April when he posted a message and video on Facebook and Twitter claiming Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam had "failed Canadians" during the pandemic and asking if she works "for Canada or for China." Today's move marks a shift in position for O'Toole. During the leadership race, he took out a Facebook ad to defend Sloan's place in the party. But in recent days, O'Toole has said he wants to build a more inclusive Conservative Party. Just hours before the donation news broke, he released a lengthy statement saying there is "no place for the far right" in the party and pushing back at Liberal attempts to link his party to Trump-style politics. In a Facebook post this afternoon, Sloan — who will now sit in the house as an independent — urged his supporters to keep their party memberships and delegation spots ahead of the Conservative policy convention planned for March. "The CPC belongs to you, the grassroots of the party. I encourage you to use your voice, to stand up, and represent true conservative values with this convention," he wrote. 'They will regret this' In a subsequent Facebook video, Sloan used even more forceful language and took aim at O'Toole and the Conservative Party. He compared his situation to that of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott — two former Liberal cabinet ministers who were removed from that caucus after breaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin affair. "It shows an absolute cowardice, an absolute failure to address the real issues that animates much of our base," Sloan said. "This was the worst mistake they ever made and they will regret this. I'm positive of it." O'Toole stressed in his own statement that he did not vote to expel Sloan because he's a social conservative. "We have members of Parliament of deep compassion and unmatched character, who like many Canadians, draw strength from their faith," he said. "The Conservative Party is a big tent that is reflective of all Canadians. People of all backgrounds have a place in our party."
High school students who identify as Indigenous are earning more credits with the new learning system being used by District School Board Ontario North East (DSB1), according to the board's data. In September, the public board implemented a new learning model, called octomester, designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce student-to-student contacts. Last year, students would take four courses a day each semester. With the new system, secondary school students, who opted for in-class learning, focus on one course for about 22 days. There are eight rotations in a school year. “What we are noticing for all our students and particularly our students who identify as Indigenous, they’re earning credit more than they did last year. And that’s specific to students who come to school, our in-person learners,” said Lesleigh Dye, DSB1 director of education. In 2019-2020, 68 per cent of students who identify as Indigenous earned all of their credits. So far this year, 80 per cent of students who identify as Indigenous and who are learning in-person have achieved their credits. “Those are significant rates for us. That’s because of the hard work of our students, our teachers, our Indigenous Student Advisors and our principals and vice-principals,” Dye said. During the month of February, the board’s superintendent of learning and teaching Kristen Niemi will gather feedback from teachers, students, principals and vice-principals about the octomester model. “We know from our data that our students are being far more successful in terms of attaining their credit, so we’re going to be looking at what is the best possible model as we move forward,” Dye said. “The one-period day, there are some comments that it’s a long day for students and teachers. There are some boards that are using the two-period day, or known as the quadmester, so that might be something we explore. We also have to plan based on the direction of the ministry … and we’ll also follow the guidance of our two health units.” Compared to in-person learning, the percentage of students who earned their credit via distance learning is lower. In rotations one and two, 55 per cent of Indigenous students earned their credit with distance learning. After rotation three, the number sat at 47 per cent. “We have a lot of work to do. Those rates are far lower, and we’re putting a number of supports in place for those students,” Dye said. The supports include child and youth workers, Indigenous Student Advisors, staff individually reaching out to students and connecting or providing them with community resources. “Being a student who is learning online all day is challenging for our students. And we’re thinking of different ways of making it interesting, exciting and supporting to the learner,” she said. The board has also introduced a new Grade 11 English course, called Understanding Contemporary First Nations, Métis and Inuit Voices. The average pass rate of all students who took the course during the first rotation is 91.5 per cent. The second rotation had an average pass rate of 95.5 per cent, while in rotation three the rate was at 78 per cent. “Our students are being incredibly successful at passing the course, and the feedback from our students is that they’re really enjoying the course,” Dye said. The course will be offered next year as part of the board's commitment to honour Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action, Dye said. “We’re incredibly proud. That speaks of the hard work of the classroom teachers using resources that are provided to them and really tapping into the students’ strength and how they engage the students in the learning.” Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Last summer was meant to be filled with festivals for Rick Matharu and his food truck, itself a recent expansion of a fusion diner experience born from a reality cooking show victory. Instead, within a week of the declaration of an emergency lockdown in March, the calls and e-mails cancelling or postponing events came flooding in, while all the fixed costs of running a bustling (but now shuttered) restaurant just west of Toronto Pearson Airport piled up. “We’ve got no money coming in, we’ve got to pay our suppliers, our rent and whatever else there may be, and it was frightening,” said Matharu, chef and owner of Rick’s Good Eats, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped in for a photo op in 2018. Matharu’s ability to weather the COVID-19 storm is an exceptional one, involving a recipe that won a 2012 reality TV show and put his butter chicken lasagne in grocery store freezers across the country. Half of Canada’s restaurants risk closing within six months, according to survey results published by Restaurants Canada in December, while more than a third of all Ontario businesses won’t survive the provincial government’s Boxing Day expansion of restrictions, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Matharu didn’t collect royalties from the President’s Choice Butter Chicken Lasagne he spawned, but he did collect $250,000 in prize money and a loyal following of customers who know him as the winner of the second season of the Food Network’s Recipe to Riches show. So when the business he started after his win was ordered to serve takeout only, he secured an interest-free loan from Ottawa to invest in vacuum-sealing equipment and started selling fresh and frozen versions of his lasagna, naan pizza, mac and cheese, butter chicken sauce and other menu items for pick up. “It was a nice return that brought in a lot of business, so for me, that was a win,” he said. Sales fell 60 per cent when the pandemic first hit, and remain 30 per cent less than a year ago now, plus all that lost catering revenue from the summer, he said. Matharu, who describes his style as Punjabi-Canadian comfort food, also started posting Instagram cooking videos showing people how to cook tandoori chicken and various other recipes. “The only thing I have left to do is pivot, think of new ideas, and accelerate my business, or at least pay my bills to make sure that we're surviving,” he said. Matharu was also able to invest personal funds into web development for online orders for the curbside service, and is thinking about adding delivery across the ci It’s not that Matharu hasn’t been hit by some of the same economic realities facing many small businesses, especially those in hospitality. Rick’s Good Eats employed 22 people before the pandemic, and that’s now down to nine. But after initially needing the maximum wage subsidy on offer, sales in the summer recovered enough that he is only eligible for 30 or 40 per cent (he expects it may dip again once accounting for October onward). He also took two big losses over the summer, when the provincial government gave short notice for changes to limits on social gatherings, including one Thursday announcement of changed protocol when his food truck was lined up to attend seven events that weekend. “You can’t change it on us last minute. We have all this food prepped up, we have all this food bought, we have staffing ready to go,” he said. “What do you want me to do with 50 kilograms of chicken?” Alastair Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
OTTAWA — The economy will go in reverse for the first quarter of 2021, the Bank of Canada said Wednesday as it kept its key interest rate on hold, warning the hardest-hit workers will be hammered again on a path to a recovery that rests on the rollout of vaccines.Workers in high-contact service industries will carry the burden of a new round of lockdowns, which the central bank warned will exacerbate the pandemic’s uneven effects on the labour market.The longer restrictions remain in place, the more difficult it may be for these workers to find new jobs since the majority move to a new job but in the same industry. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in his opening remarks at a late-morning news conference that the first-quarter decline could be worse than expected if restrictions are tightened or extended.The central bank kept its key rate on hold at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday, citing near-term weakness and the "protracted nature of the recovery" in its reasoning.The short-term pain is expected to give way to a brighter outlook for the medium-term with vaccines rolling out sooner than the central bank expected.Still, the bank said in its updated economic outlook, a full recovery from COVID-19 will take some time. Nor does the Bank of Canada see inflation returning to its two per cent target until 2023, one year longer than previously forecast, and the bank's key rate is likely to stay low until then.Overall, there is reason to be more optimistic about the economy in the medium-term, but it will still need extraordinary help from governments and the central bank to get there, Macklem said.The bank’s latest monetary policy report, which lays out its expectations for economic growth and inflation, forecast that COVID-19 caused the economy to contract by 5.5 per cent last year.Despite an upswing over the summer and fall that may have spared the country from a worst-case economic scenario, the drive to a recovery will hit a pothole over the first three months of 2021.The bank forecasts real gross domestic product to contract at an annual pace of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, before improving thereafter if severe restrictions start easing in February.The bank expects growth of four per cent overall for 2021, then 4.8 per cent next year, and 2.5 per cent in 2023.Trevin Stratton, chief economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, was more dour on lockdowns, saying the group doesn't expect them to ease until well into March."During this period, we need to provide the right kind of support to individual Canadians and to businesses to get them through the lockdowns, recognizing that neither group is in the same financial position as it was in March 2020," he said in a statement.For the central bank, that help could come through ramping up its bond-buying to force down interest rates, or a small cut to its key policy rate among options Macklem mentioned Wednesday.Keeping the door open to such a "micro" rate change is a shift in tone, as Macklem has previously said the current 0.25 rate is as low as it would go.The bank said the path for the economy will be like riding a roller-coaster as resurgence in COVID-19, or new, more virulent strains, weigh down a recovery in one quarter before leading to strong upswing in the next.Inflation may be equally rocky.Gasoline prices, which have weighed down the consumer price index during the pandemic, will by March be “well above their lows of a year earlier,” the bank’s report said. That should significantly bump inflation, the report said, possibly to two per cent in the second quarter.The bump will even out over the rest of the year. The bank forecasts inflation for 2021 at 1.6 per cent, then 1.7 per cent in 2022 and 2.1 per cent in 2023.Statistics Canada reported Wednesday the annual pace of inflation cooled in December to 0.7 per cent compared with 1.0 per cent in November. The agency also reported that the average last month of Canada's three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures and closely tracked by the Bank of Canada, was 1.57 per cent.The central bank’s lookahead rests on efforts to vaccinate Canadians by the end of the year without any hiccups in that timeline, which would mean broad immunity six months sooner than the bank previously assumed."It's going to be very important that Canada get the vaccines, we get them distributed to Canadians and that Canadians take the vaccine," Macklem said.A shorter timeline for vaccinations should mean less scarring overall for the economy in the form of fewer bankruptcies and fewer workers out of jobs for long stretches, which makes it more difficult for them to get back into the labour force.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the first quarter decline in real gross domestic product was 2.9 per cent.
Declining numbers of cases and positive tests for COVID-19 in Alberta show that restrictions put in place last year have been effective, the province's top doctor says. Alberta reported 21 more COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday and 669 new cases of the illness. Laboratories conducted about 14,900 tests over the past 24 hours putting the positivity rate at about 4.5 per cent. "It's very encouraging to see our positivity rate steadily declining since the peak in December," Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday at a news conference. "And I would say that the data that we have indicates that the restrictions put in place in November and December have achieved, so far, their intended outcome." It's critical that the province maintain enough restrictions to continue to drive those numbers down, Hinshaw said, given the high number of people still being treated in hospitals. "We need to build on our collective success by going slowly toward allowing some additional activities and not experiencing a rebound if we open too quickly," she said. Hospitalizations remain high Hospitals in the province are treating 744 patients for the disease, including 124 in ICU beds. "It is important to remember that it is the number of people currently in hospital that I am providing, not all those who have ever needed hospital care since the spring," Hinshaw said. "To put this into context, over the last 10 years, we have had an average of just over 1,500 total hospital admissions for influenza annually. For COVID-19, the comparable number comes from less than a year of data. More than 5,000 people have needed hospital care since the pandemic began for COVID-19 in Alberta." A total of 5,086 people with COVID-19 have been treated in hospitals since the pandemic began last March. That represents about 4.3 per cent of the total cases, which now sits at 118,436. Of those, 106,387 were listed as recovered and 10,565 were active. Of the patients hospitalized with the illness so far, 816 have ended up in ICU beds. Far greater toll on older people Slightly more than one per cent of all people infected have died. Alberta Health data shows the illness has taken a far greater toll on older people. To date, 1,265 of the 1,484 reported deaths (85 per cent) have been people aged 70 and older. A total of 109,089 people under the age of 70 have contracted the illness. In all, 218 of them have died, a rate of .0.19 per cent. To date, 9,347 people aged 70 or older have become sick. In all, 1,265 of them have died, a rate of 13.5 per cent. Older people also have a much higher chance of ending up in hospital. Those in their 20s who contract the illness have about a one in 100 chance of being hospitalized. Those aged 60 and older have about one in six chance. Here's a breakdown by age of those who have been infected, and those who had symptoms serious enough to require hospitalization. Under one, 644 cases, 34 hospitalized, 10 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 5.3 per cent) one to four, 3,671 cases, 14 hospitalized, two in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.4 per cent) five to nine, 5,094 cases, eight hospitalized, two in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.2 per cent) 10 to 19, 13,606 cases, 68 hospitalized, nine in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 0.5 per cent) 20 to 29, 22,025 cases, 241 hospitalized, 25 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 1.1 per cent) 30 to 39, 22,470 cases, 388 hospitalized, 40 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 1.7 per cent) 40 to 49, 18,678 cases, 489 hospitalized, 92 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 2.6 per cent) 50 to 59, 14,075 cases, 721 hospitalized, 164 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 5.1 per cent) 60 to 69, 8,788 cases, 879 hospitalized, 239 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 10.0 per cent) 70 to 79, 4,370 cases, 952 hospitalized, 172 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 21.8 per cent) 80+, 4,977 cases, 1,291 hospitalized, 60 in ICU. (Hospitalization rate, 25.9 per cent) A total of 95,243 doses of vaccine have been administered in the province.
CALGARY — The lawyer for a teen charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer says it will likely be a difficult case because of the high level of scrutiny it is already generating. Kaysi Fagan spoke to reporters at the conclusion of a two-day bail hearing Wednesday for her client, who was 17 at the time Sgt. Andrew Harnett was killed on Dec. 31 and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Police have said Harnett was hit and dragged while attempting to stop an SUV after noticing its plates didn't match its registration. They allege the accused youth was driving the vehicle and a 19-year-old man, also charged with first-degree murder, was a passenger. "Certainly any time there's a death, whether it be an officer or a member of the public, certainly it's more difficult. The exposure's greater, the attention is greater, scrutiny is greater," Fagan said. She said the fact that Harnett was a police officer, killed in the line of duty, will add to the divisiveness when it eventually goes to trial. "When the police kill someone it takes a year to investigate it, maybe there's charges laid, maybe there aren't. Here's we've got a first-degree murder charge laid against a youth within 12 hours. So I think it's a bit of a double standard," Fagan said. "Certainly the fact an officer was killed here is concerning to the public and obviously it's going to be very divisive." Youth court Judge Steve Lipton has reserved his decision on bail for the teen suspect until Jan. 28. Crown Prosecutor Doug Taylor is opposed to his release. "The young person ought to be detained for both the safety and the protection of the public, and to maintain confidence in the administration of justice," Taylor said. He told court Tuesday that the Crown will seek an adult sentence for the youth if he's convicted. That would mean life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 10 years. The co-accused in the case, Amir Abdulrahman, is to appear in court on Feb. 4. His lawyer, Balfour Der, has said he intends to seek bail on Feb. 12. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021 — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
One of Vancouver's independent movie houses is reclassifying itself as a sports bar in an attempted workaround of provincial health orders that forced cinemas to close. The Rio Theatre says that as of Saturday it will operate as a bar that shows sporting events on the big screen, part of a business pivot is says would comply with British Columbia's COVID-19 guidelines. Operators of the Rio have protested B.C.'s pandemic guidelines after being told in November they could no longer stay open. Over the Christmas holiday, the theatre used its marquee to question the decision to close theatres while malls could operate. Movie theatres in most parts of the country have been forced to close under local guidelines. Some indie theatres have continued to operate concession stands to stay in business, while the owners of Ottawa's ByTowne Cinema chose to permanently close in December. The Rio says it will take a different road. "Screw the arts. We're a sports bar now," read a marquee outside the theatre posted Tuesday on Rio's social media channels. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The head of the Ontario Medical Association says dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is spreading on social media among all age groups. The association's analysis of more than 65,000 recent online posts in Ontario shows that conspiracy theories about the origin of the novel coronavirus and fears that vaccines are dangerous and untested run particularly rampant among people under the age of 35. Dr. Samantha Hill says any delay to vaccinating Canadians will cost lives, whether it stems from untruths that dissuade people from getting a shot in the arm or current issues slowing down delivery of doses to Canada. Canada's small supply of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech will shrink even more over the next four weeks as the company slows production while upgrading its facility in Belgium. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't doing enough to pressure Pfizer to limit the effect on Canada and is urging him to get company CEO Albert Bourla on the phone right away. A Trudeau spokesman says they will not confirm who Trudeau has spoken to about the matter, and will not negotiate in public. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press