Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs a $106 million bill that will provide relief to businesses and fund efforts to fight the economic impacts of the coronavirus. (Dec. 29)
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs a $106 million bill that will provide relief to businesses and fund efforts to fight the economic impacts of the coronavirus. (Dec. 29)
Opposition leaders were quick to criticize Justin Trudeau’s handling of the pandemic on Monday — the one-year anniversary of the first presumptive case of COVID-19 in Canada. As the country heads towards a grim milestone of 20,000 deaths, the government’s official Opposition leader, Erin O’Toole, said a smooth vaccine rollout is the “key.” Canada has so far vaccinated about two per cent of its population with its two approved vaccines, by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, but the delivery of the latter has ground to a halt as the company upscales its plant in Belgium. As a result, Canada will receive zero doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and a reduced amount for the weeks to come. “It is imperative we work together to improve the Liberal vaccine plan and get Canadians back to work,” O’Toole said in a press conference Monday morning. Green Party Leader Annamie Paul echoed calls for increased collaboration among parties. “The prime minister has not invited other party leaders to meet and be briefed on the COVID pandemic and on the government’s response for months,” Paul said. “This is the kind of thing that prevents parties from having and presenting a united front to the public.” Paul repeated calls for Trudeau to convene an intergovernmental COVID-19 task force to co-ordinate a national response to the pandemic. She praised U.S. President Joe Biden, who appointed a national COVID-19 response co-ordinator on his first day on the job. Paul, who has sounded the alarm on the “humanitarian crisis” happening in long-term care (LTC) homes, is also urging Trudeau to convene a first ministers meeting to develop a plan to tackle the issue. Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh brought up the example of the 19-year-old who worked at an Ontario LTC home and died after contracting COVID-19 to push for better paid sick leave. “This is devastating and could have been avoided if paid sick days were made more accessible,” Singh said. As of now, the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) has some shortfalls, according to Singh, who pressured the feds to create it in September. The CRSB gives $500 per week for two weeks to workers who can’t work because they’re sick, need to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or have an underlying health condition that makes them more prone to infection. The program has paid out more than $287 million since it launched, according to government data, however the number of people approved to receive the benefit has been shrinking every month, from 67,600 in the first eligibility period to 21,830 in the first week of January. Singh says there’s a lack of awareness of the benefit and wants the government to better promote it. He also wants the CRSB to be amended so that it’s easier for people to apply, for more people to be eligible and for the money to flow into people’s bank accounts faster. Singh had an unsuccessful attempt to recall Parliament earlier than scheduled to discuss these matters but is expected to bring them forth in the House this week. There will also be an emergency debate on Canada’s vaccine shortage Tuesday evening. Yasmine Ghania, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Premier and Liberal Leader Andrew Furey was campaigning in the Big Land on Monday, visiting candidates and groups in Labrador West and Lake Melville. Furey spoke to the media while he was in Labrador City and covered a variety of topics, including concerns Labradorians have with the Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP). Last week NL NDP Leader Alison Coffin said her party would remove the requirement for upfront payment by patients and reimbursement for medical flights, which has been referenced as a barrier by people in the region. When asked by SaltWire how his party would change the program to better meet the needs of Labradorians, Furey said he had met with impacted people while in Labrador West and recognizes there needs to be changes made. The Liberal leader said when he was working as an orthopedic surgeon they had begun offering clinics in the region to cut down on patient travel, but says more needs to be done. “When you hear the stories about a child or a loved one with cancer, obviously you can’t have an oncology clinic in every nook and cranny around our beautiful province, but we’re Canadian and everyone deserves a Canadian standard of medical care,” he said. “That’s part of being Canadian, part of what we’re proud of as Canadians, is that won’t bankrupt you. My government won’t let that happen in the future.” The district was a close loss for the Liberals in the last election, when NDP Jordan Brown beat then Liberal cabinet minister Graham Letto by only two votes. Former Labrador City mayor Wayne Button is representing the Liberals this time around, and Furey said he has full confidence in Button as a representative for the region as a candidate. Investment portal Furey was also asked about InvestNL, an online portal for investors to connect with local entrepreneurs his party had announced earlier in the day. One of the ways out of the global economic crisis is to continue to bring investment to the province, he said, referencing Labrador West and the mining opportunities there an example of what the province has to offer. “There is great interest around the world, but we need to make it easy for foreign investments to come to Newfoundland and Labrador by creating a portal to attract foreign investments to the government,” he said. “It’s a virtual trade desk that will link foreign investors with local entrepreneurs and the appropriate people in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Saint Andrews passed the first reading of its short-term rental bylaw at a special council meeting on Monday. The bylaw was created, said Coun. Andrew Harrison, to develop a permit system to regulate short-term rentals in the town. Short-term rental residential units are full dwelling units (or parts of it) used as accommodation for travellers for no more than 30 days at a time, he said. "The purpose of this bylaw is to help limit negative impacts to long-term rentals and housing affordability, ensure the accommodations meet safety requirements and compliance, neighbour compatibility, support the tourism economy and support equity among all short-term rental accommodation providers," Harrison said. Town clerk Paul Nopper said AirBnBs have "very limited to no regulations at this point." Deputy Mayor Brad Henderson said it's to make sure that when people are visiting Saint Andrews, it's safe. The bylaw mostly covers permit requirements, inspections, responsibilities of the owner and operator, prohibitions and penalties. Saint Andrews resident Joanne Carney said she would like to see a compromise on the bylaw and aims to bring her concerns forward to council. Carney operates a short-term rental space within her home and has also purchased a property for her employees and for short-term rental space. She said if the bylaw is passed, it would make it so that certain zones require a primary resident on the property that houses the short-term rental space. She said she's not so sure that "penalizing" short-term rentals will make these spaces revert to long-term rental spaces or increase the vacancy rate. She said there needs to be a balance between long-term and short-term rentals "I know the councillors, they're open to changes and discussion. They'll definitely hear from people who are threatened to be shut down at the moment." In addition, she said limiting the short-term rental permits (if the primary resident lives there most of the time), doesn't make sense. In some cases, she said owning and operating short-term rentals, helps make living more affordable in Saint Andrews. The councillors discussed having a three-permit limit per individual for short-term rentals with a potential grandfather clause, or an increasing permit fee for individuals; instead of a 50-permit limit for the whole town. CAO Chris Spear said all existing short-term rentals would be included in this 50-permit total. Nopper said the 50-permit limit was based on the town's pre-existing short-term rental numbers and took into consideration council's aim to protect the long-term rentals by limiting the number of short-term rentals. "It limits that so that we don't have AirBnB Inc. coming in and buying up a bunch of short-term rentals," said Coun. Guy Groulx. Coun. Kurt Gumushel was against limiting the number of short-term rentals. Nopper said he would take the discussions and feedback and put it into the second draft of the document. There were also some discussions and clarifications at the meeting between the councillors concerning limiting of guests and permit qualifications. The full bylaw is posted on the town's website, so the public can view it before it goes onto further readings and a public hearing. Nopper said the bylaw could be passed by April 2021 but Mayor Doug Naish said it's subject to change. "It will be done right," said Naish. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Les restaurateurs sont pris en étau entre le besoin de s’adapter au marché actuel, en offrant la livraison, et le désir de conserver leur indépendance et leurs profits. Acculés au mur depuis la pandémie, de plus en plus de restaurateurs s’associent aux services de livraison Uber Eats, DoorDash et SkipTheDishes. Pour certains qui rament à contre-courant et qui veulent garder leur indépendance, livrer avec Uber Eats est comme signer un pacte avec le diable. Ces services de livraison sont-ils la solution ou le coup de grâce pour les restaurateurs? L’avis de nos commerçants Pour Romain Lanly, copropriétaire de la crêperie Les Friands Disent, à Chambly, qui sollicite les services d’Uber Eats, le gain est plutôt de nature promotionnelle. « Uber prend 30 % sur toutes les commandes. Nous sommes gagnants dans le sens où ça nous aide à nous faire connaître, mais pas forcément financièrement. » Au restaurant italien Tre Colori, on préfère conserver son propre service de livraison. « On fait la livraison nous-mêmes depuis 1967 », nous apprend-on au comptoir de la prise de commandes, affirmant que c’est plus avantageux. Rappelons que la semaine passée, le gouvernement du Québec a demandé aux plateformes de livraison de repas de réduire les frais imposés aux restaurateurs et que le ministre de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec, André Lamontagne, a proposé un plafond à 20 %. Alors que les géants américains Uber Eats et Doordash ont refusé de se soumettre à leur volonté, leur concurrent canadien SkipTheDishes a abdiqué, plafonnant sa livraison à 20 % tous frais inclus. Notons que la livraison offerte par ces services est ce qui permet à plusieurs restaurants de demeurer ouverts et fonctionnels pendant le couvre-feu, tout en leur évitant les efforts de logistique qu’impliquerait le fait de se doter de leur propre service de livraison. Mais surtout, la mise en marché sur des services aussi populaires qu’Uber Eats offre une visibilité non négligeable, lorsque l’Association Restauration Québec (ARQ) reconnaît elle-même qu’une importante portion de la clientèle généralement organique n’est souvent pas au courant du maintien de l’ouverture des restaurants pendant le couvre-feu.Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
WHISTLER, B.C. — A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia.A statement from the Environment Ministry, which oversees the Conservation Officer Service, says the 69-year-old victim is recovering in hospital from serious injuries to his face and hand.The attack occurred Monday near the man's property in the Soo Valley, about 150 kilometres north of Vancouver, between Whistler and Pemberton.The ministry says Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby.Conservation officers with a specialized team that investigates predator attacks also responded.The ministry says those officers don't believe there is any ongoing risk to the public and further details could be released soon.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
HELSINKI — A new two-party coalition government was sworn in Tuesday in Estonia, led by the first woman prime minister since the Baltic nation regained independence in 1991. The 15-member Cabinet of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas took office after lawmakers in Estonia's parliament approved the government appointed by President Kersti Kaljulaid. Kallas, 43, is a lawyer and former European Parliament member. The centre-right Reform Party that she chairs and and the left-leaning Center Party, which are Estonia’s two biggest political parties, reached a deal on Sunday to form a government. The previous Cabinet, with Center leader Juri Ratas as prime minister, collapsed this month due to a corruption scandal. The two parties each have seven ministers in the Cabinet in addition to Kallas serving as prime minister. The government controls a comfortable majority in the 101-seat Riigikogu. Kallas stressed gender balance in forming the new Cabinet, placing several women in key positions, including naming the Reform Party's Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as finance minister and Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, as the foreign minister. Kallas' Cabinet has a little over two years to leave its mark in this European Union and NATO member before the next general election set for March 2023. One of the government's immediate priorities is to tackle Estonia’s worsening coronavirus situation and the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. The Reform Party, a pro-business party espousing liberal economic policies, emerged as the winner of Estonia's 2019 general election under Kallas' lead. However, she was outmanoeuvred by Ratas' Center Party, which formed a three-party coalition with the populist right-wing EKRE party and the conservative Fatherland party. But Ratas’ government, which took office in April 2019, was shaky from the start due to strong rhetoric from the nationalist EKRE, the nation’s third-largest party which runs on an anti-immigration and anti-EU agenda. The EKRE leaders, Mart Helme and his son Martin, brought the government to the brink of collapse at least twice. However, Ratas' government was eventually brought down on Jan. 13 by a corruption scandal involving an official suspected of accepting a private donation for the Center Party in exchange for a political favour on a real estate development at the harbour district of the capital, Tallinn. Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million, is now one of the few countries where both the head of state and the head of government are women. However, that may not necessarily last long as Estonian lawmakers will convene by September to elect a new president. Kaljulaid, who assumed her post in October 2016, hasn't announced whether she will seek reelection to another five year term. Jari Tanner, The Associated Press
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — People arrested during three nights of rioting sparked by the Netherlands' new coronavirus curfew will face swift prosecution, the Dutch justice minister said Tuesday as the nation faced its worst civil unrest in years. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said rioters would be quickly brought before the courts by public prosecutors and will face possible prison terms if convicted. “They won't get away with it,” he told reporters in The Hague. The rioting, initially triggered by anger over the country's tough coronavirus lockdown, has been increasingly fueled by calls for rioting swirling on social media. The violence has stretched the police and led at times to the deployment of military police. Grapperhaus spoke after a third night of rioting hit towns and cities in the Netherlands, with the most serious clashes and looting of stores in the port city of Rotterdam and the southern cathedral city of Den Bosch. “If you rob people who are struggling, with the help of the government, to keep their head above water, it's totally scandalous,” Grapperhaus told reporters. He stressed that the 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew is a necessary measure in the fight against the coronavirus. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: “Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?” He also appealed to parents of the young rioters, asking: “Did you miss your son yesterday? Did you ask yourself where he was?” The municipality in Den Bosch designated large parts of the city as risk areas for Tuesday night, fearing a repeat of the violence. Residents in Den Bosch took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup as the city’s mayor said he would investigate authorities’ response to the rioting. A total of 184 people were arrested in Monday night's unrest and police ticketed more than 1,700 for breaching the curfew, a fine of 95 euros ($115). Officers around the country also detained dozens suspected of inciting rioting through social media. Police said rioters threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers. “This criminal violence must stop,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted. “The riots have nothing to do with protesting or struggling for freedom,” he added. “We must win the battle against the virus together, because that's the only way of getting back our freedom.” The unrest began Saturday night — the first night of the curfew — when youths in the fishing village of Urk torched a coronavirus testing centre. It escalated significantly with violence in the southern city of Eindhoven and the capital, Amsterdam. Gerrit van der Burg, the most senior Dutch public prosecutor, said authorities are “committed to tracking down and prosecuting people who committed crimes. Count on it that they will be dealt with harshly.” The rate of new infections in Netherlands has been decreasing in recent weeks, but the government is keeping up the tough lockdown, citing the slow pace of the decline and fears of new, more transmissible virus variants. The country has registered more than 13,650 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Mike Corder, The Associated Press
POLITIQUE. La cheffe de l'opposition officielle Dominique Anglade annonce des modifications au sein du cabinet fantôme de sa formation politique. Pierre Arcand demeure sans dossier assigné en vue de la rentrée parlementaire de l’hiver. Voici la liste des nouveaux porte-parole du Parti libéral du Québec : Frantz Benjamin, député de Viau : Président du caucus et Dossiers jeunesse ; Gaétan Barrette, député de La Pinière : Conseil du trésor et Transformation numérique ; Enrico Ciccone, député de Marquette : Transports, Sports, Loisirs, Saines habitudes de vie et Lutte à l'intimidation ; Hélène David, députée de Marguerite-Bourgeoys : Enseignement supérieur et Recherche et Langue française ; Isabelle Melançon, députée de Verdun : Environnement, Tourisme et Condition féminine ; Marwah Rizqy, députée de Saint-Laurent : Éducation et Capitale-Nationale ; Filomena Rotiroti, députée de Jeanne-Mance-Viger : Whip en chef et Métropole ; Christine St-Pierre, députée d'Acadie : Culture, Communications et Immigration.Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by the family of an Ottawa man who suffered a fatal heart attack during an encounter with police. In a statement, the Ottawa Police Services Board says it has come to a "mutual agreement" with the family of Abdirahman Abdi, putting an end to the civil action. It says the details of the settlement are confidential and will not be released publicly. However, the board notes both sides agree "significant improvements" need to be made to how police respond to people experiencing mental health issues. The settlement comes months after an Ottawa police officer was acquitted of manslaughter and assault charges in connection with Abdi's death in July 2016. An Ontario judge ruled in October that he couldn't conclusively say the blows Abdi suffered during his arrest significantly contributed to his death. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — Jane Fonda cemented herself into Hollywood allure as a chameleonlike actor and social activist, and now the Golden Globes will honour her illustrious career with its highest honour. Fonda will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 78th annual awards ceremony on Feb. 28, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced Tuesday. A member of one of America's most distinguished acting families, Fonda has captivated and inspired fans along with critics in such films as “Klute” and “Coming Home.” Fonda, the daughter of Oscar winner Henry Fonda and sister of Peter Fonda, made an impact off-screen by creating organizations to support women’s equality and prevent teen pregnancy and improve adolescent health. She released a workout video in 1982 and was active on behalf of liberal political causes. In a statement, HFPA President Ali Sar applauded the Golden Globe winner’s decorated career and her “unrelenting activism.” “Her undeniable talent has gained her the highest level of recognition,” Sar said of Fonda. “While her professional life has taken many turns, her unwavering commitment to evoking change has remained.” The DeMille Award is given annually to an “individual who has made an incredible impact on the world of entertainment.” Past recipients include Tom Hanks, Jeff Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Morgan Freeman, Meryl Streep, Barbra Streisand, Sidney Poitier and Lucille Ball. Nominations for the upcoming Globes show are scheduled to be announced Feb. 3. Fonda, 83, has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won two for the thriller “Klute” and the compassionate anti-war drama “Coming Home.” She had other prominent films including “The China Syndrome,” “The Electric Horseman” with Robert Redford, and “9 to 5” with Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton. She stars in the Netflix television series “Grace & Frankie.” Fonda gained notoriety in the the 1970s when she travelled to North Vietnam during the height of the anti-Vietnam War protests and posed for photos next to an anti-aircraft gun. She fell under hefty criticism for her decision — one she repeatedly apologized for — to pose in the photo that gave her the nickname “Hanoi Jane.” In 2014, Fonda was given a lifetime achievement award by the American Film Institute. She launched IndieCollect’s Jane Fonda Fund for Women Directors, an organization aimed to support the restoration of films helmed by women from around the world. Fonda was arrested at the U.S. Capitol while peacefully protesting climate change in 2019, an action dubbed Fire Drill Fridays. For her 80th birthday, Fonda raised $1 million for each her nonprofits, the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential and the Women’s Media Center. She also serves on the board of directors and made $1 million donation to Donor Direct Action, an organization that supports front-line women’s organizations to promote women’s equality. Fonda’s book, “What Can I Do? My Path from Climate Despair to Action,” released last year, details her personal journey with Fire Drill Fridays. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — U.S. consumer confidence rose in January as Americans became more optimistic about the future. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index increased to 89.3, a rebound from December when it dipped to 87.1. The increase was fueled by the board's rising expectations index, which measures feelings about the future path of incomes, business and labour market conditions. The present situation index weakened further, likely reflecting concerns about the resurgence of COVID-19. Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
Des sculptures de glace dignes des expositions d’hiver les plus impressionnantes sont présentement exhibées devant l’entrée de la bibliothèque du Pôle culturel de Chambly, pour le plus grand plaisir des visiteurs. Suivant l’exposition des toiles d’Angélique Ricard, qu’il est aussi possible d’admirer, il s’agit de la deuxième exposition tenue au Pôle culturel depuis le début de la nouvelle année. De la magie entre les doigts La Ville de Chambly décrit l’œuvre du sculpteur de glace professionnel, Nicolas Godon, comme étant le « résultat d’un travail minutieux alliant la technique et la beauté de la nature », et elle n’a pas tort. Les quatre sculptures ont été façonnées par Nicolas Godon, des Entreprises Godon, basées à Mont-Tremblant, sous la thématique de l’hiver. Il s’est notamment servi de scies, mécanique et électrique, puis de couteaux pour sculpter dans 16 blocs de glace cristalline, de 300 lb chacun, afin de modeler les formes d’envergure qu’il a imaginées : des patins et des flocons tombants, un ours polaire et un pingouin taillés un peu à l’image des figurines en cristal de la marque Swarovski, mais en format géant. Le travail aurait pris une huitaine d’heures. « C’est un peu comme travailler le bois, mais en termes de finition, c’est un peu plus spécifique de la glace. » Une lignée de sculpteurs aguerris Diplômé en charpenterie et en menuiserie, Nicolas n’était pas particulièrement prédestiné à être sculpteur professionnel comme son père, Laurent Godon, un sculpteur de renommée internationale. C’est en travaillant avec lui pour l’aider au sein de l’entreprise familiale qu’il s’est découvert une véritable passion pour la sculpture sur glace, au point de s’y consacrer professionnellement. Parmi les événements notoires auxquels père et fils ont participé, on compte la Fête des neiges de Montréal, le Mondial des cidres de glace, Montréal en lumière et beaucoup d’autres. « Les Entreprises Godon, c’est une vocation qui se transmet de père en fils. C’est mon père qui m’a appris à sculpter. Je fais de la sculpture depuis quinze ans, mais cela fait cinq ans que j’ai pris les rênes de la compagnie », raconte Nicolas. « C’est par le bouche à oreille que nous avons obtenu ce contrat avec la Ville de Chambly. Nous faisons de la sculpture un peu partout au Québec. Ça marche assez bien, cette année, surtout parce qu’avec la pandémie, les options sont plus limitées en termes de format d’exposition. Une exposition à l’extérieur est de circonstance. » Quant à la présente exposition, elle témoigne d’un style bien particulier. « Depuis les trois dernières années, environ, je fais des animaux en sortant un peu de l’ordinaire, comme de l’origami. C’est un peu moins conventionnel et ça fait changement de la sculpture traditionnelle. J’ai toujours mon idée de base, mais c’est en sculptant que ça se dévoile dans ma tête. » Il sera possible d’admirer les œuvres aussi longtemps que la température les conservera.Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
P.E.I. has no new cases of COVID-19 to report, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in her regular weekly briefing on Tuesday. The Island has had 110 confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began in March. Six cases were still considered active as of Tuesday morning. Morrison said that despite the low number of active cases in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, it is too early to consider a bubble involving just those two provinces in which residents could travel back and forth without self-isolating — a partial Atlantic bubble, as it were. She said non-essential travel off P.E.I. is still strongly discouraged. While Nova Scotia has just 15 active cases, New Brunswick has not been as fortunate. It currently has 348 active cases. We learned that this virus is not easily contained and that half measures are not effective. — Dr. Heather Morrison "While we all yearn for a time when we can travel more freely within Atlantic Canada and elsewhere, now is not the time to leave P.E.I. unless it is absolutely necessary," she said. "We learned that this virus is not easily contained and that half measures are not effective." Hockey team must self-isolate Morrison said anyone who leaves the province — including the Charlottetown Islanders hockey team — must self-isolate for 14 days upon return unless they receive an exemption. Morrison said the team can apply to work-isolate, which means they can go directly back and forth to the rink for games and practices, but must self-isolate at all other times. That would rule out players, coaches or team staff going to school or off-ice jobs. So far, Morrison said, 85 people have been charged for violating public health measures during the pandemic, including eight new charges in the past week. She warned that people will continue to be charged if they fail to self-isolate when required. If a restaurant looks too crowded it likely is. We all have a responsibility to make good choices. Do not enter an establishment if it looks too crowded. - Dr. Heather Morrison Morrison also said there will be additional evening inspections at restaurants to ensure COVID-19 health protocols are being followed. She has heard concerns about crowded restaurants where social distancing is not taking place. "If a restaurant looks too crowded, it likely is," she said. "We all have a responsibility to make good choices. Do not enter an establishment if it looks too crowded." More vaccines next week Morrison said new shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines are due next week, and the province remains on track to have all front-line health-care workers, as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities, vaccinated by Feb. 16. As of Saturday, a total of 7,117 doses had been administered. The province is now posting vaccine data online showing the breakdown between first and second doses; the dashboard shows that 1,892 Island adults had received both doses as of Jan. 23. Morrison told the briefing that a phone number will be set up next week for people over 80 to call to set up vaccine appointments starting in mid-February. Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, also took part in the briefing. She urged people visiting patients in Island hospitals to not bring food or drinks to their loved ones, and keep their masks on at all times. She also asked that visitors not congregate in waiting rooms after visiting patients. Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for a violent home invasion in 2019 and assaulting two correctional officers while in jail awaiting trial. Luc Roger Nowlan of Dieppe pleaded guilty to charges of assault with a knife, break and enter and uttering death threats to a woman on May 13, 2019. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting two correctional officers in August and September 2019. "This was a planned and deliberate home invasion," provincial court Judge Ronald LeBLanc said of Nowlan's May 2019 crimes as he sentenced Nowlan on Monday afternoon. Crown prosecutor Maurice Blanchard outlined the facts of the case to the judge before Nowlan was sentenced. Blanchard told the judge that Nowlan exchanged Facebook messages with a woman he knew from school, asking if she wanted to buy marijuana. She refused, and Blanchard said there was a "heated argument" online. Tape, rope and knives used A week later, Blanchard said, the woman heard someone coming to her door and recognized Nowlan. He kicked the door open, punched the woman and pulled out a knife and tape. Blanchard said Nowlan was holding her down, trying to tie her up and stabbing the knife into walls and a counter. Blanchard said the woman was terrified, but didn't want to scream because she was worried it would further upset Nowlan. While swinging the knife around, he cut the woman in several places. "This was somewhat of a drawn-out incident," Blanchard told the judge. At one point, the prosecutor said Nowlan stabbed the knife into a wall and it got stuck. The woman saw a chance to escape and ran to a bedroom, closing the door behind her. She ran through a patio door out onto the street, flagging down a driver for help. "She said she was very worried throughout this," the Crown said. "But what scared her most was that he said words to the effect of 'I'm not going to to stab you, I'm going to have to kill you.'" Nowlan also admitted hitting a correctional officer while in jail on Aug. 8, 2019, and then pulling a shank made of plastic. A second assault occurred in jail on Sept. 25, 2019, involving a different correctional officer. Clearly, he has a significant mental illness, that cannot be denied, and he has an extreme addiction issue. - Defence lawyer Alex Pate In issuing the sentence, LeBlanc read extensively from a psychological report by Dr. Julian Gojer prepared for the defence, which traced Nowlan's addiction to drugs and declining mental state leading up to the crimes. The report described how Nowlan had started using various drugs in his late teenage years and sometimes wouldn't sleep for days. The report indicated Nowlan became mistrustful and paranoid of his parents, claiming they were filming him and posting the video online and making millions of dollars from it. The judge said Nowlan experienced drug-induced psychosis. He said the report points to a major mental illness, either a psychosis or schizophrenia. "Clearly, he has a significant mental illness, that cannot be denied, and he has an extreme addiction issue," Alex Pate, Nowlan's defence lawyer, told the judge. 'I feel bad about it' Nowlan told the judge he didn't mean to harm anyone, and that he's not a violent person. "I feel bad about it, I wish I would've never done it," he said. The judge pointed out he was sentencing Nowlan for three different violence offences and Nowlan previously assaulted his father. LeBlanc imposed an overall sentence of six years for the home invasion, 18 additional months for assaulting a correctional officer with a plastic shank, and 30 more days for assaulting the second correctional officer. Nowlan was given 933 days credit toward his prison time for the time he's spent in custody since arrest, reducing the total time he'll spend in prison to just over five years.
The European Union says it may move to curb shipments of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries after manufacturer AstraZeneca reported major production problems.
POLITIQUE. À l’issue d’une rencontre avec des acteurs des milieux économiques, la députée de Shefford, Andréanne Larouche et son collègue d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien Lemire, par ailleurs vice-président du Comité permanent de l’industrie, des sciences et de la technologie, proposent un fonds propre aux régions. «Je voulais ouvrir un espace de dialogue avec des dirigeants d’organismes économiques, d’entreprises et de municipalités pour échanger sur nos propositions pour la relance», a expliqué Andréanne Larouche au sujet de sa tournée de consultations économiques. Elle a reçu de nombreux témoignages d’entrepreneurs en difficulté selon les bureaux de circonscription des deux élus. «La pénurie de main-d’œuvre est aussi un enjeu qui freine le développement économique de nos régions et qui comporte de nombreuses ramifications. Je pense à la complexité et aux délais en matière d’immigration en lien avec les travailleurs étrangers et aux problématiques de logements qui limitent grandement les possibilités d’attraction de travailleurs», analyse le député d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien Lemire. Sa collègue de Shefford et lui saluent les contributions des centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAE), mais ils préconisent qu’on leur donne «plus de moyens afin qu’ils assurent un soutien de proximité aux entrepreneurs.» En effet, plus de 200 000 PME, soit 20 % des emplois du secteur privé, envisagent sérieusement de mettre la clé sous la porte selon la dernière mise à jour de l’analyse de la fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante. Un fonds de développement par et pour les régions Sébastien Lemire estime que les questions du développement territorial nécessitent des « solutions flexibles adaptées aux régions » et non des approches globales développées à Ottawa. En parlant d’Internet, le bloquiste annonce que le comité de l’industrie a dans ses cartons un rapport sur cet «enjeu fondamental» pour lequel sa circonscription, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a pris 20 ans de retard. «Il faut s’assurer de démocratiser son accès pour tous, même dans les zones moins densément peuplées… il faut sortir de la logique de rentabilité », dit-il en conférence de presse dans un plaidoyer énergique sur l’accès au développement régional. Les deux élus soutiennent «la mise en place d’un fonds de développement par et pour les régions», qui devra être déployé en fonction des besoins spécifiques de celles-ci. Ils déplorent «des improvisations d’Ottawa» même s’ils reconnaissent que les programmes s’ajustent progressivement. Ils prônent «les enjeux identifiés par les régions», comme les incubateurs d’entreprises ou l’innovation territoriale plutôt que «des programmes mur à mur mal adaptés» conçus à partir des mégalopoles uniformes. En cette veille de rentrée parlementaire et en prélude au budget fédéral, Andréanne Larouche envisage de poursuivre ses consultations «afin que les programmes soient les mieux adaptés aux besoins des entrepreneurs.»Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
SAINT JOHN • Nearly one quarter of Anglophone South students were absent on the first day of the red phase in Zone 2, according to district superintendent Zoë Watson. Wednesday saw 23 per cent of students absent, up from 14 per cent on Tuesday, following Public Health returning the region to the red phase of COVID-19 recovery. Saint John father Mike Stephen said he plans to keep his son Kohen McKenna home for the rest of the week. McKenna is in Grade 9 at Simonds High School. "(Masks) definitely cut down transmission, but it's not a silver bullet. You can still get (COVID)," he said. "And I just think that we need to do more to try to shrink our bubbles, before something ends up bursting, and we end up in a lockdown like Quebec or Ontario." Up until this week, a switch to the red phase of recovery meant a switch to online learning from home for public school students. That's not the case any more, with the province recently announcing a change in protocol. Stephen called it a sharp change for parents. He said he doesn't understand why high schools can't be doing fully online learning or why students can't decide whether to learn from home or not, since many are already alternating days. Even if protocols are tight in schools, he said being together in schools gives kids the temptation to mingle without six feet of distance and without masks outside the school walls. "The best in-class protections in the world doesn't help when kids walk off the property. And at the end of the day, kids that age think that they're invincible." Kristina MacRae, a Nerepis mother who is immunocompromised, pulled all six of her kids out of school on Wednesday. "How are we supposed to be feeling safe to send our kids if [the provincial government] doesn't even know what they're doing?" she said. "They're just winging it is how I feel." In a letter released to families on Tuesday, Watson said that attending school helps facilitate learning, and students will be under strict health and safety protocols in a supervised environment. "Their social needs can be met, while physical distancing is maintained, masks are used, and proper hygiene is encouraged," the letter states. In the event a parent chooses not to send a child to school, the parent is responsible for the child's education, according to a government directive document issued Wednesday. Teachers are not required to support learning in those cases, the document states, but support to the families would be encouraged. For those attending school, under the red phase of recovery, school personnel will be screened every day. Students and personnel can't enter the building if they have one COVID symptom or more, according to the document. If there is a positive case at a school, then the school is closed for three days, including weekends, and personnel are offered COVID-19 tests. All students, from kindergarten to Grade 12, are required to wear masks while on buses and while at school. However, there are a few exceptions to mask wearing: Kindergarten to Grade 8 students can take off their masks when working silently or eating, and Grade 9 to 12 students can take their mask off when eating. School personnel can take off their masks when eating or when in a closed office or classroom by themselves. All after-school clubs and sports have been cancelled. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Two people have died and two others are injured after a crash on the QEW near Burlington this morning that closed the westbound lanes of the highway. At 5:53 a.m., Burlington OPP say, officers were called to a crash involving three vehicles on the QEW at Brant Street. Const. Kevin Westhead says two female occupants of one of the vehicles were pronounced dead on scene. They appeared to be the only ones in the vehicle, Westhead says, and investigators believe one was ejected. Two people were transported to the hospital, but their condition is unknown. Police have closed the Toronto-bound Brant Street ramp, as well as the westbound lanes, Westhead says. He estimates they will be closed for six to eight hours.
It was a tough year here on Earth, but 2020 was a bright spot for space exploration. SpaceX sent its futuristic Starship to new heights, three countries launched Mars missions, and robots grabbed debris from the moon and an asteroid. Next year promises more, including a planned launch of the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor. Perhaps it's no surprise then that space themes are having a moment in home decor. When so many of us Earthlings are stuck at home because of the pandemic, space imagery can add a sense of adventure or whimsy to rooms, walls and ceilings. “I’ve done outer space, and starry skies," says New York interior designer Patrice Hoban. "My clients love using stars as a backdrop in nurseries. I’ve also worked with glow-paint to add an extra pop to kids rooms and home theatres.” She sticks tiny glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling; the light can last for hours. “It’s the closest thing I’ve found to being in a planetarium,” she says. Rachel Magana, senior visual designer at the sustainable furniture-rental company Fernish, picked up some cosmological decorating ideas from a colleague’s recent nursery project. “Base your colour palette around deep blue tones, then splash in bits of colour like yellow, white or red,” she says. “Or create your own galaxy wall,” she says. “Paint a blue wall, then use some watered-down white paint to splatter it with fine droplets. You may just create some new constellations.” She suggests adding fun, space-agey lamps, and vintage NASA posters. Outer space has inspired designers for decades. In the 1960s, the “space race” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, along with the development of space age-y, synthetic materials, led to a surge in futuristic furniture like moulded plastic chairs and Sputnik-shaped lighting. These days, you can download artwork directly from NASA: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/, or find it at retailers like Red Bubble, Etsy and Zazzle. Magana also suggests making a letter board with a space-themed quote like Neil Armstrong’s famous “One small step for man” phrase. Much of the astronomy-themed art in the marketplace would be striking in any room. There are lunar graphics on canvas at Target. Tempaper’s got constellation wallpapers, but if you can’t do wallpaper, consider Kenna Sato Designs’ constellation decals for walls or ceilings. Galaxy Lamps has a sphere that looks like a planetoid. Charge it up with the included USB and cycle through 16 colours with three lighting modes. There’s a moon version, too. And at Beautiful Halo, find a collection of rocket-ship ceiling fixtures. German designer Jan Kath has created a rug collection called Spacecrafted inspired by imagery of gas clouds and asteroid nebulae from the Hubble telescope. Studio Greytak, in Missoula, Montana, has designed a Jupiter lamp out of the mineral aragonite, depicting the whirling, turbulent gases of the planet. And there’s the Impact table, where a chunk of desert rose crystals is embedded with cast glass, as though a piece of asteroid had plunged into a pool. Zodiac wall decals and a Milky Way throw rug can be found at Project Nursery. There are hanging mobiles of the planets and of stars and clouds, at both Crate & Kids and Pottery Barn Kids. A glow-in-the-dark duvet cover printed with the solar system is also at PBK, but if you’re ready to really head to the stars, check out Snurk Living’s duvet set. The studio, owned by Dutch designers Peggy van Neer and Erik van Loo, has designed the set photoprinted with a life-size astronaut suit. Creating a night sky on the ceiling of a home theatre seems to be popular; Houzz has hundreds of examples for inspiration. Maydan Architects in Palo Alto, California, designed one for a recent project. “Our client’s grandfather was the owner of multiple movie theatres,” says Mary Maydan. “One of them had a retractable ceiling that enabled guests to experience the starry sky at night. When our client decided to build their home theatre, this installation was actually fulfilling a lifelong dream." The ceiling isn’t retractable, but has an eight-paneled fixture depicting the Milky Way and a shooting star. “It provides very soft light and was intended to be kept on during the screening of the movie and create a magical experience,” says Maydan. ___ Kim Cook writes AP's Right at Home column, which looks at themes in home decor and home products. Follow her at: www.kimcookhome.com Kim Cook, The Associated Press
BOGOTA — Colombian Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, one of the country's most recognized conservative politicians, has died from complications of COVID-19. He was 69. President Ivan Duque said in a televised address that Trujillo died early Tuesday, adding that he “couldn't express the pain” he was feeling over the news. He offered his condolences to Trujillo's wife, children and other family members. "His life was a reflection of vocation for public service," Duque said. Trujillo became defence minister in November 2019, after serving as foreign minister. He was also the mayor of Cali from 1988-1990 and held several ministerial and diplomatic positions during his decades-long political career. Trujillo ran for president unsuccessfully in 2018, when he was defeated by Duque, who was then a rookie senator, in an internal party contest. As a foreign minister, Trujillo backed U.S. efforts to force Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro out of office by supporting his rival Juan Guaidó. The campaign to remove Maduro through political and diplomatic pressure floundered, but has led to tougher U.S. sanctions against Venezuela's socialist government. Trujillo also oversaw Colombia's response to a massive influx of refugees from neighbouring Venezuela, coming up with programs that facilitated temporary residence for hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans. As defence minister, Trujillo led the country's efforts to tackle cocaine production, which had been growing rapidly since 2013 but stabilized the last two years. Trujillo campaigned for Colombia to resume aerial fumigation of coca crops, which was suspended in 2015 over environmental and health concerns. He argued that the Colombian government had found cleaner ways to fumigate the crops and that manual eradication put military personnel and contractors in danger. In a statement, Colombia's government said that Trujillo fell ill during a visit to the coastal city of Barranquilla, where he was taken to a hospital on Jan 11. The defence minister was transferred to a military hospital in Bogota two days later and was placed in an intensive care unit and spent several days in an induced coma before dying. Colombia has recorded more than 50,000 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 2 million cases. Vaccination still hasn't begun in Colombia, which has a population of about 50 million people and is the largest country in Latin America so far without the life-saving shots. Duque said that his government has purchased 20 million doses of vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca and has also signed an agreement with the World Health Organization's Covax platform for an additional 20 million shots. Government officials have said that they hope to start vaccinations in February. The Associated Press