Amanda Weldon has the details
Amanda Weldon has the details
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
Alongside Canada’s national flower, sport, symbol and bird, is a national animal that is often forgotten. Canada’s national horse, Le Cheval Canadien, is in danger of disappearing. An Uxbridge equestrian centre, however, is dedicated to the revival of this special breed. Hundreds of years ago, in about 1665, King Louis XIV of France began shipping mares and stallions, with bloodlines from the King’s Royal Stud, to Acadia and New France. These horses had great abilities to adapt to harsh climates (like Canada’s cold winters), rough terrains and were easily trained. They became known as the Canadian Horse, or Le Cheval Canadien. While the breed was well known to American colonists, it is rather rare today. After being used in the American Civil War and for breeding to diversify genetics in American stock, but its popularity in Canada waned. Despite this, however, and despite the fact that the horse was smaller in size and often thought of as the “Quebec pony,” the Canadian Horse was declared by the Parliament of Canada to be the National Horse of Canada in 1909. In 2018, Barb Malcom, owner and head coach of Churchill Chimes Equestrian Centre on Webb Rd., committed to doing her part to save the Canadian Horse. Alongside her riding school, Malcolm set up a sister company called Donalf Farms, specifically to breed the Canadian horses in an attempt to bring back the name and the breed. “I had worked as a professional for over 20 years and just happened to buy an unpapered Canadian gelding. He is one of the most darling horses I’ve ever had,” says Malcom. Very soon Malcom fell in love with the breed. “They are durable, willing, personable and versatile. I went from being a “crossbreed person” to being completely wowed by this purebred.” “It’s one thing for Canadians not to know Canada has a national horse, but for horse people not to know, it just shows how much the breed is in trouble,” says Malcom. If it weren’t for a pandemic, this year Malcom had plans to contact Heritage Canada and rally for government assistance in the fight for the Canadian Horse. “We would love to see federal support,” says Malcom. “It really is an altruistic endeavour, but they're worth it.” Malcolm dreams of one day having all the horses in her riding school be Canadian Horses. “They are so little known, but absolutely remarkable,” says Malcolm. For more information about the national horse of Canada, visit lechevalcanadien.com or find Malcom’s breeding farm at donalffarms.com Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Au cours de la semaine, plus de 10 000 doses du vaccin contre la COVID-19 ont été administrées chaque jour en Ontario. Jeudi, 15 609 personnes ont roulé leur manche en Ontario pour recevoir le vaccin contre le coronavirus. En tout, 174 630 doses ont été distribuées. On compte actuellement 17 094 Ontariens pour qui la vaccination est maintenant complétée, ce qui signifie qu’ils ont reçu leurs deux doses nécessaires du vaccin. Près de 3000 nouveaux cas Au cours de la journée de jeudi, 2998 nouvelles infections à la COVID-19 ont été répertoriées en Ontario. Depuis le 25 janvier 2020, 231 308 cas du virus ont été enregistrés en province. La santé publique de l’Ontario déplore, dans son plus récent bilan, 100 décès liés au coronavirus. Toutefois, ce nombre anormalement élevé peut être en partie expliqué par une initiative de nettoyage de données au bureau de santé de Middlesex-London, qui a ajouté 46 décès survenus plus tôt durant la pandémie au rapport de la santé publique provinciale de vendredi. En tout, 5289 ont perdu la vie en raison de la COVID-19 en Ontario. Hospitalisations Actuellement, 1647 personnes atteintes de la COVID-19 sont hospitalisées en Ontario, dont 387 aux soins intensifs. Parmi ces patients, 280 nécessitent l’aide d’un respirateur pour rester en vie. Foyers de soins de longue durée En foyers de soins de longue durée (FSLD), 145 nouveaux cas du virus ont été dépistés jeudi chez les résidents, et 60 chez les membres du personnel. On déplore le décès de 22 résidents de ces établissements causés par la COVID-19, portant le bilan total des résidents de FSLD ayant perdu la vie à 3085 en Ontario. En tout, 10 employés de ces établissements sont décédés, dont deux ayant perdu la vie depuis le début de l’année 2021.Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for a former RCMP officer convicted of perjury after the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport says his client has settled a lawsuit against the federal and B.C. governments. Sebastien Anderson says Kwesi Millington reached an agreement this week after suing the federal and provincial government for damages, claiming he acted in accordance with his RCMP training. A public inquiry heard that Dziekanski, who died at the airport's arrivals area, was jolted numerous times with a Taser seconds after Millington and three other officers approached him. Millington and his senior officer, Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were later convicted and handed prison time by the B.C. Supreme Court for colluding to make up testimony at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. Anderson says strict confidentiality provisions prevent him from discussing most of the settlement's details. The RCMP said in a statement that the matter had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, while the B.C. government says it wasn't a party to the settlement and the federal government referred questions back to the RCMP. Millington's lawsuit filed in 2019 said the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team found he and the other RCMP officers acted in accordance with their training. The statement of claim said an RCMP use of force instructor who trained Millington testified during the public inquiry that the officers' actions were consistent with training. Millington's lawsuit said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, nervous shock, loss of career advancement and other injuries. Anderson says he is able to disclose that part of the settlement agreement includes a letter from the RCMP in support of Millington's bid for a pardon, which would wipe out his criminal conviction. "Part of that is because all of their internal reports with respect to Mr. Dziekanski's unfortunate death was that they all acted within the scope of their training at that time," he said. The RCMP was asked about the letter Friday but didn't comment. Anderson said Millington has served his sentence and is living in Canada but not in B.C. "He's taken courses and has become a resilience coach," said Anderson. "He's published a book and he's hoping to help others who go through traumatic experiences like he has, and suffered PTSD, to cope and return to somewhat of a normal life." — By Dirk Meissner in Victoria. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Dr. Samir Sinha dreamed of the day a safe vaccine would be available. “We’ve lost patients, and we’ve seen so many colleagues negatively impacted by this catastrophic virus,” said Sinha, a geriatrician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. So when he received the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 31, he was thrilled. While Sinha’s patients are primarily elderly and are at risk of developing serious illness, he wasn’t scheduled on the front line on COVID-positive units until late January. But through a lottery, he was eligible for the vaccine earlier so the dose wouldn’t go to waste. That Thursday, Sinha was only given 15 minutes’ notice. He made it in time, rolling up his sleeves next to three front-line workers in long-term care. It was emotional for Sinha, especially after gruelling months of wearing full personal protective equipment, watching patients die and colleagues suffer mentally and physically. But his euphoria quickly turned into guilt. Vaccine doses, per provincial directives, are still reserved for front-line workers and residents of long-term-care homes. But excess doses have been given to other hospital staff if they become available through a lottery system to avoid wastage, as the vaccine is still not being offered to the general public. Reports of hospital administrators and researchers receiving vaccines in Toronto before those living and working in long-term-care homes — where 81 per cent of Canada’s COVID-19 deaths in the first wave occurred — have since clouded Ontario’s vaccine rollout, generating complicated feelings among those inoculated. The vaccine, initially a symbol of triumph and hope, has become a reminder of inequality and political failure, leaving some to feel regret instead of joy. Others have contemplated whether it’s ethical to publicly share they’ve received the vaccine on social media while many in need await their dose. Since Dec. 14, when the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were injected into Canadians’ arms, more than 650 Ontario long-term-care residents have died. It’s a figure that has haunted Sinha since he received his dose of the Pfizer vaccine. “I was thrilled because, do I want to get the vaccine? More than ever before,” Sinha reflected. “But I also don’t want to jump the queue when I know that front-line workers in long-term-care homes and patients living in those homes were at greater risk.” The debate over the ethics behind vaccine rollout quickly spilled over to social media, where many health-care workers began sharing vaccination selfies or news of their inoculation. Dr. Gail Beck, a child psychiatrist at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, was among those who were scrutinized when she shared publicly on her blog that she’s received the vaccine. “The main thing I felt when I got the call was a sense of duty,” Beck said, adding the hospital had done its due diligence to vaccinate those who are at a higher priority first and that she does see younger patients in-person, some with special needs. “I thought I was participating in a logical process.” But upon reflection on the scrutiny she’d received, Beck said she understands an emergency doctor or a front-line worker would have felt more relieved to have been vaccinated, compared to her situation of working at a largely controlled and COVID-free setting. While some have talked about “vaccine envy,” Dr. Alan Drummond, an emergency physician in Perth, Ont., who has yet to be vaccinated, said it’s more than just feelings of jealousy. It’s about ensuring that those who are most at risk are safe first. “The problem has been the lack of transparency or direct communication with respect to what the (vaccine) rollout plan would look like,” he said. Drummond added that as a front-line worker who deals directly with COVID-19 patients, watching administrators and non-acute clinical staff get vaccinated first in cities like Toronto and Ottawa through social media has been demoralizing. “Here we are, seeing COVID-19 patients or potential COVID-19 patients, and we’re not afforded the same level of protection,” Drummond said. “There’s something wrong with the rollout when it involves people who are frankly not at risk.” Drummond has yet to receive word on when he will be next in line for a vaccine. Since receiving his dose at Mount Sinai, Sinha said he has reflected deeply on his decision to enter the vaccine lottery, especially upon realizing that many at greater risk would have liked to get vaccinated earlier, but didn’t have the privilege of access. “I now look back with a little bit of regret saying, ‘Did I actually take a spot that should have been there for a front-line worker?’ ” Sinha said. One thing he doesn’t regret, however, is sharing a photo of his vaccination publicly through social media on New Year’s Day, captioning it: “a shot of hope.” For Sinha, it’s a way to spread the news of the vaccine among his social media followers, many of whom are in racialized populations who have grown distrustful of government policy as they continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. “When they can see another physician that looks like them and telling them that it’s safe, I think that really sends a strong message to both my patients and members of the public,” said Sinha, who is of South Asian descent. Part of assuaging his guilt, he added, is being outspoken about the inequality in vaccine rollout. “I will do harm by remaining silent.” Dr. Amber Bocknek was also among many who shared an inoculation selfie on social media. As someone whose work entails doing house calls for seniors with complicated health problems in Newmarket, getting the vaccine Jan. 7 was a welcome relief. Bocknek proudly shared the photo on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, partly, she said, due to misinformation swirling among her circles on the safety of the vaccine. “It’s stimulating questions, which creates an opportunity for more education,” Bocknek said. She added the end goal for health-care workers across the board remains getting as many people vaccinated as possible. Nadine Yousif, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says he will appoint two commissioners to undertake a review of the province's Official Languages Act. The Tory leader said today the commissioners will present a final report with recommendations to the government by Dec. 31. He says details of the mandate will be announced when the commissioners are chosen in the coming weeks. In addition to the formal review of the Official Languages Act, the commissioners will be asked to identify ways to improve access to both official languages for all New Brunswickers. Higgs notes that less than 50 per cent of students who graduate from the anglophone education system are bilingual in English and French. He also says new technologies and out-migration have created challenges in delivering government services in both languages. Green party Leader David Coon says a public review of the legislation should be conducted by a legislative committee, not by commissioners appointed by the premier. Coon also says problems with second language education in the school system should be examined by a separate commission. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
The deer cull at Point Pelee National Park is being cut short due to provincial COVID-19 measures, but Parks Canada says the deer population is still quite high and puts species in the ecosystem at risk. The cull started on Jan. 7 and was expected to run for two weeks, but as of Saturday, the park will resume its regular hours of 7 a.m. to sunset every day for visitors. Director of operations for Caldwell First Nation Nikki van Oirschot says it's not an "ideal decision" and it wasn't made "lightly" but they agreed to do so for everyone's safety. Caldwell First Nation carry out the activity in partnership with Parks Canada. In eight days, they were able to kill 31 deer and now estimate that the population is between 46 and 61, according to an emailed statement from Parks Canada spokesperson Sarah Quinlan Cutler. Yet, because the park ideally supports between 24 and 32 deer, the population threatens some parts of the habitat. "Therefore, the estimated park population size is higher than what the park is able to sustain to maintain healthy vegetation communities and the recovery of species at risk," Cutler said. Parks Canada plans to monitor and "take action to manage the deer population moving forward, in order to protect Point Pelee National Park's ecosystems," she added. But no further details were provided on what these measures may be. Despite this she said Parks Canada and Caldwell First Nation, who carry out the activity, are "pleased with the success of the first week of reduction operations." It was a joint decision to end early as both groups felt it necessary given the rise in COVID-19 cases in the region. Parks Canada said the deer reduction activity is part of other work, including planting native Carolinian species and removing invasive plants in an effort to improve the health of the park. As for whether the groups made this decision to help people let off steam during the stat-at-home order, Cutler says they are open to serving the local community but "advises all visitors to act in accordance with the provincial regulations and restrictions." Under the new order parks are allowed to stay open and people are allowed to step out of their homes for exercise.
Some Oakville residents have been told to seek shelter in their basements amid what police are calling an "active situation" with at least two people barricaded inside a home. According to tweets from Halton police issued Friday afternoon, Lakeshore Road West is closed from 4th Line to Birch Hill Lane for an ongoing investigation. Police say they first received a call just before 1:20 p.m. reporting possible gunfire in the area. On Twitter, investigators said the ongoing situation is contained to a residence on Lakeshore Road West, and originally involved "at least two" people barricaded inside. Police later said one person is now out of the home, but at least one person remains inside. Crisis negotiators have been in contact with the person inside the home and there are no reported injuries, police said. "Our crisis negotiators will be working to resolve this safely," police said on Twitter. Ryan Anderson, media relations officer with Halton Regional Police, says as of Friday evening, the situation is still ongoing. "It is our goal, our ultimate goal, to bring them out safely without anybody being injured," he said. Anderson could not say whether it was a hostage situation or if the person remaining in the home resided there or explain the relationship between the two people. Police are concerned for the safety of the individual inside, as well as those who live nearby. "We have reason to believe there may have been gas released in the home, so utilities have been cut off to the home," Anderson said. As a result, approximately nine residences have been notified and evacuated accordingly. Investigators say there is a "heavy police presence in the area," including officers, the tactical rescue unit, and police dogs. Appleby College was also in a hold and secure, but that has since been lifted. However, students boarding there will continue to remain indoors, according to the school's Twitter feed Police are asking people to avoid the area.
Le Syndicat des employés municipaux de Mirabel, affilié à la CSN, dénonce l’entêtement de la Ville à ne pas prioriser le télétravail partout où c’est possible de le faire, tel que le recommande le gouvernement du Québec depuis décembre dernier. Il accuse le fait que des employés sont obligés de se présenter sur leur lieu de travail, sous peine de voir leur salaire coupé, alors que du télétravail pourrait «aisément» être effectué. Selon le site du gouvernement du Québec, en lien avec la pandémie de COVID-19, le télétravail est obligatoire pour tous les employés, et ce, jusqu’au 7 février inclusivement. Seules les personnes qui doivent réaliser des activités jugées «prioritaires» par les ministères et les organismes publics ont droit de se retrouver au sein de leur milieu de travail. Par prioritaire, on veut dire des tâches qui ne peuvent être réalisées en télétravail. Or, selon le Syndicat des employés municipaux de Mirabel, la direction exige une plus grande présence au bureau malgré le fait que celle-ci ne soit pas justifiée vu la nature du travail à accomplir. «Pourquoi obliger des employés à se présenter au travail alors que leur présence n’est absolument pas nécessaire pour assurer les services aux citoyens?», de s’interroger Anabel Millette, présidente du Syndicat, rappelant que Mirabel est située dans une zone rouge qui s’étend jusqu’à Mont-Tremblant. Pas une première L’organisation syndicale avance même que certains employés ont été mis à pied au lieu d’être redirigés vers le télétravail. «Alors que plus de 2 000 cas par jour sont répertoriés, Mirabel devrait faire preuve de rigueur et de sens des responsabilités. Ce n’est pas le temps de tenter de contourner les recommandations, mais bien de donner l’exemple et de participer à l’effort collectif pour qu’enfin nous puissions espérer un retour à la normale», de poursuivre la présidente, Mme Millette. Ce n’est pas la première fois que le Syndicat observe une problématique en lien avec la pandémie et le milieu de travail. Au printemps dernier, lors de la première vague, des représentants ont dû «intervenir» pour que les édifices municipaux se conforment aux directives de la Santé publique. Mme Millette ajoute d’ailleurs que si la Ville ne se conforme pas aux directives gouvernementales, le Syndicat en informera la Direction de santé publique. Votre hebdomadaire a joint la Ville de Mirabel afin d’obtenir une réaction de la part de responsables. Par courriel, la directrice du Service des communications, Caroline Thibault, affirme que «la Ville de Mirabel respecte les consignes de la Santé publique et celles de la CNESST concernant le télétravail et l’ensemble des mesures sanitaires».Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
GAZA, Palestinian Territory — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday decreed parliamentary and presidential elections for later this year in what would be the first vote of its kind since 2006, when the Islamic militant group Hamas won a landslide victory. Elections would pose a major risk for Abbas' Fatah party and also for Hamas, which welcomed the decree. Both have faced protests in recent years over their inability to reconcile with one another, advance Palestinian aspirations for statehood or meet the basic needs of those in the territories they govern. Fatah and Hamas have been publicly calling for elections for more than a decade but have never been able to mend their rift or agree on a process for holding them, and despite Friday's decree, it remained far from clear whether the voting would actually be held. Elections could also complicate President-elect Joe Biden's plans to restore aid to the Palestinians and to revive the peace process with Israel. The 2006 election victory by Hamas, which is considered a terrorist group by Israel and Western countries, led to heavy international pressure being placed on the Palestinian Authority. Clashes between Fatah and Hamas raged for more than a year, culminating in Hamas' 2007 takeover of the Gaza Strip, which it still controls despite a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade and three wars with Israel. Abbas' Palestinian Authority is confined to the occupied West Bank, where it administers major population centres according to agreements with Israel. Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war, territories the Palestinians want for their future state. The decree sets a timeline in which legislative elections would be held on May 22, followed by presidential elections on July 31 — the first since Abbas was elected to a four-year term in 2005. Elections for the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents the Palestinian cause internationally, would be held Aug. 31. Abbas handed the decree to Hanna Nasir, the head of the Central Election Commission. Hamas welcomed the decree and expressed its “strong eagerness to make this obligation successful.” “We have worked in the past months to surmount all hurdles to reach this day, and we have shown a lot of flexibility,” it said in a statement. It also called for dialogue ahead of the vote. Fatah and Hamas have tried to reconcile on a number of occasions over the years, but every attempt has devolved into bickering and mutual recriminations, leaving the Palestinians divided politically and geographically, and further dashing their hopes for independence. Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Gaza’s Al-Azhar University, said the decree “points to a certain seriousness by Abbas on the issue of elections, regardless of the problems they could face and the disagreements that are not yet settled.” A poll carried out in December by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that if parliamentary elections were held, Fatah would win 38% of the vote and Hamas would win 34%. Abbas would lose in a presidential election against Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, 43% to 50%, according to the survey. The pollsters interviewed 1,270 Palestinians face to face across the West Bank and Gaza, and reported a margin of error of 3%. Hamas has spent years building up its own government in Gaza, including by hiring new civil servants to to replace those loyal to Abbas. It has also refused to give up its vast arsenal of rockets and other arms, and considers Israel a sworn enemy. Abbas is opposed to violence and favours negotiations leading to a two-state solution with Israel, a position with wide international support. It would be virtually impossible for Hamas to assume responsibility over the Palestinian enclaves in the West Bank, where Israel maintains overall security control. The Palestinian Authority co-ordinates with Israel on security, economic and other matters. Abbas, 85, has led the Palestinian Authority and the PLO since the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004 and has no clear successor. ___ Associated Press writer Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem contributed to this report. Fares Akram, The Associated Press
The outgoing Republican chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee asked the chief executives of five major U.S. tech firms to answer detailed questions about decisions to restrict or permanently ban accounts of conservative users. Senator Roger Wicker sent letters to Apple Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc and Twitter in which he said "thousands of conservative users’ accounts and content" have been "restricted or permanently removed from platforms." The companies took their strongest actions yet against President Donald Trump to limit his reach, fearing continued violence stemming from his posts after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol building last week.
OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer of health says British Columbia's decision to seek legal advice on limiting travel reinforces the message that it isn't the time to go on vacation across the country. Dr. Theresa Tam says stopping non-essential travel would be a difficult decision for the province, but it could reduce COVID-19 by cutting the number of contacts. Premier John Horgan said Thursday his government was seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel. Other provinces and territories, including those in Atlantic Canada, have required travellers to self-isolate upon arrival or get authorization to travel. Horgan said he and other premiers have made the case for Canadians to stay home during the pandemic, but people continue to travel. The issue has been discussed for months and it's time to determine if the government can act, Horgan added. B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Thursday that she's not sure if she has the authority to limit out-of-province travel nor was she considering such an order. "We do have requirements that people who come in to British Columbia must follow the rules in place here, and that is something that is continuing to be reinforced," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
FORT FRANCES, ONT., — A 30-year-old man in Fort Frances is facing a series of break and enter related charges. On Jan. 11, shortly after 8 a.m., Rainy River Ontario Provincial Police responded to a break and enter at a local business on First Street East in Fort Frances, according to a police news release. As a result, Thomas Atkinson, 30, of Fort Frances was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, mischief under $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime and possession of heroin. A day later, on Jan. 12, police responded again to a break and enter report at a pharmacy in Fort Frances shortly after 2 p.m. As a result, Atkinson was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime. On Jan. 13, police attended a break and enter at two separate pharmacies in Fort Frances. Atkinson was taken into custody and charged with two counts of break and enter and two counts of possession of property obtained by crime. Police say the investigation remains ongoing and anyone with information regarding the break and enters is urged to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
La Boucannerie Belle-Rivière, située rang Saint-Vincent, dans le secteur de Sainte-Scholastique, à Mirabel, est une boucherie et charcuterie artisanale unique en son genre, proposant des produits fins, tout en utilisant un fumoir antique en briques glacées qui respecte les traditions de l’époque. Le propriétaire de ce commerce local se nomme Frédéric Legault. C’est son père, aujourd’hui décédé, qui a entrepris l’aventure, en 1978, alors qu’il n’était âgé que de 18 ans. Il acheta alors une épicerie qui était assortie d’un fumoir. Il décida de réaliser un rêve, celui de le rénover, puis de le remettre en opération. Des suites d’un voyage au Mexique, le père a entrepris la construction de son fameux fumoir en briques glacées. Déjà impliqué dans l’entreprise familiale, le fils a su poursuivre la tradition. La Boucannerie a pris de l’expansion et offre maintenant plus d’une centaine de produits de charcuterie maison faits sur place. Pour des papilles heureuses De ce fumoir ressort une gamme de produits d’allure alléchante. La Boucannerie offre également un large assortiment de saucisses de diverses saveurs et viandes. Les férus y trouveront des saucisses fraîches et fumées, tandis que les plus aventureux pourront goûter des produits de ce genre, mais confectionnées avec de la viande sauvage, que ce soit, par exemple, au cerf, au sanglier, au bison ou au wapiti. Une myriade de produits maison est aussi disponible, dont des pâtés, des ketchups et des cretons. Les amateurs de desserts peuvent mettre la main sur des tartes au choix. Notons que la disponibilité des produits peut varier selon la saison. Il est préférable de contacter un responsable du commerce avant de se déplacer. On y offre d’autres services dont le fumage et la transformation de viandes, ainsi que le débitage et le dépeçage de gibier sauvage. En raison de la pandémie, l’épicerie fine a su ajuster ses modes d’achats en vertu des exigences du gouvernement du Québec. Il est donc loisible d’appeler au 450 258-3412, afin de passer une commande. Les employés de la Boucannerie Belle-Rivière prépareront cette dernière, pour ensuite calculer le montant exact, vous appeler et offrir le paiement par téléphone. Les clients pourront se diriger vers le magasin, alors qu’il est possible, afin de limiter le nombre de personnes à l’intérieur, de recevoir sa commande à la voiture. Pour plus d’informations: [www.boucanneriebelleriviere.com]. Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, under fire for the massive aid Ottawa has unveiled so far to combat the coronavirus, on Friday told his finance minister to avoid additional permanent spending. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is due to present a budget at some point in the next few months.
The Quebec College of Physicians is calling for all cosmetic surgery clinics to close for the time being, saying that procedures such as facelifts and breast implants shouldn't be performed while the province's public health system faces a staffing crisis. CBC News reported earlier this week that non-essential plastic surgeries are continuing to take place in the private sector. On Thursday, the health minister confirmed that this was allowed under public health rules. However, as Quebec's public hospitals struggle with a shortage of nurses and respiratory therapists, these front-line workers are also being hired for cosmetic operations. In a statement Friday, the college said that cosmetic clinics should be closed, given the current curfew and the fact that the province is preparing for the possibility of having to use a triage protocol to decide who will receive care. But, the college says, ultimately it's the province's Health Ministry that decides if the clinics should close. When asked about the situation during a news conference on Thursday, Health Minister Christian Dubé said forcing these clinics to close was not currently part of his plan to help hospitals cope with the influx of COVID-19 patients. On Friday, a spokesperson for the Health Ministry told CBC in an email that it had not yet "received this proposal" and that it would fall to public health officials to "analyze the idea and then make recommendations." 'Unacceptable,' says Québec Solidaire Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, MNA for Gouin and co-spokesperson for Québec Solidaire, said he was shocked to hear that cosmetic surgeries were still going on at private clinics. "It is completely unacceptable in the middle of an acute crisis in our health-care system that rich people are able to buy themselves a medical procedure, and it is a waste of very precious resources that that private system is able to work as usual," he told CBC News. He said the government should not just force cosmetic clinics to temporarily close, but all private clinics offering non-urgent medical services. "The government should make sure all our medical resources in Quebec are in the service of our collective effort to fight the pandemic," said Nadeau-Dubois. "Our intensive care units are on the brink of collapse right now, that's what the front line workers are telling us. The government should not accept that while this is taking place, there are nurses, equipment, rooms and doctors actually not taking part in our fight against COVID-19." A burden on the system This opinion is echoed by Dr. Isabelle Leblanc, president of a group called Quebec Doctors for the Public System. "I think all physicians should be helping out with the pandemic right now," she said. "Everything that is not urgent, I think, should be postponed. Just like some hip replacements and knee replacements are being postponed right now in the public system." Leblanc, who is a family doctor at St. Mary's Hospital, supports the call by the Quebec College of Physicians or cosmetic operations to stop. She said it needs to be all hands on deck in the public network, and when things don't go as planned during cosmetic surgeries, that further clogs up the public network. "Every time there's cosmetic surgeries, there's a risk of complication. And when there's complications, they are not treated in the cosmetic surgery office; they are treated in the hospital," said Leblanc. "It's a burden that the system cannot carry right now." Many people have been waiting months for elective surgeries and non-urgent procedures, and it's possible things like colonoscopies, kidney transplants and hip replacements will also be delayed. Many Quebecers have turned to private orthopedic surgeons for hip and knee replacements because of long wait times. According to the Health Ministry, nearly 8,000 health-care workers are currently absent because of COVID-19 — either because they are infected or in isolation because of exposure. Denyse Joseph, vice-president of the province's largest nurses' union, FIQ, told CBC that she doesn't think all surgeries in the private network should be cancelled but that this is an "exceptional situation" and more hands are needed. "With the situation we are in right now in the network, any help is welcome," she said. "The health care professionals are burning out. The workload is insane." Joseph said if she were the health minister, she "would give them 24 hours to do the analysis and come back with a proposal" as time is of the essence.
Neale Richmond, European Affairs spokesperson for a coalition party, Fine Gael, described the move as an "outrage".View on euronews
A mentally ill Mississauga man who died after being restrained by Peel police in late-2019 was Tasered after he followed orders to lie down in his own Mississauga backyard, a post-mortem and coroner’s report released to his family shows. The reports acquired by Clive Mensah’s family last month indicate that within a few minutes of his first contact with Peel police in the early hours of Nov. 20, 2019, Mensah was left with no vital signs after being Tasered several times, restrained and pepper-sprayed. “This is the first bit of information that we have about what actually happened,” said Vinidhra Vaitheeswaran, the lawyer for Mensah’s family. “Until now, we have been in the dark.” The documents, shared with the Star Thursday and first reported by the CBC, shed light on how Mensah, who had a history of psychosis linked to schizophrenia, was confronted by police while acting “erratically” near the Runningbrook Drive-area group home where he lived. Police arrived to find Mensah “walking on a sidewalk screaming, acting erratically, and “swinging his arms,” the reports say. He then entered the backyard of his own residence, after which three officers followed him in and ordered him to “lie down prone and place his hands behind his back.” Mensah, who according to the reports never spoke directly to the officers, followed the instruction to lie down but “continued to flail his arms,” according to the reports. This is when he was first Tasered, the report said. “The escalation and alarmingly aggressive response to what the police was responding to — which was a noise complaint — raises so many questions about police use of force,” Vaitheeswaran said. “He was at home and there was no indication that anyone was in danger.” According to the reports, which are based in part on the accounts officers gave during a Special Investigations Unit investigation (SIU), Mensah got up after he was first Tasered. He continued to act erratically and advanced towards one of the three officers, who reportedly backed away before the officers again Tasered him. Mensah then went “rigid” and fell face down on the grass, after which the officers claimed he continued to “be combative and aggressive.” All three officers pinned him down, pepper-sprayed him and Tasered him a third time, according to the pathologist’s post-mortem. After this, Mensah “suddenly stopped moving and became quiet,” while lying in a prone position with his arms handcuffed behind his back, the report states. The officers then called for backup, and asked for an ambulance. Mensah was “vital signs absent” by the time paramedics arrived. He was later pronounced dead at Trillium Mississauga Hospital. Mensah’s uncle Stephen Boakye went to identify his nephews’ body after being called to attend the hospital that morning. “I’m still asking myself “why, why, why?,” Boakye said in a statement shared with the Star. “The way they took his life, I just don’t understand.” The Peel police officers had gone to the neighbourhood to look into numerous calls to 9-1-1 for a noise complaint near Mensah’s address. The pathologist’s report states that his death was most likely due to cardiac arrest, with possible contributions from his agitated state, elements of the police interaction — including his restraint, prone position and the use of Taser and pepper spray — his obesity, and his schizophrenia. “We have serious concerns about how police are treating people whether or not they have mental health concerns given how fast they escalated this,” Vaitheeswaran said. More than a year after Mensah’s death, the case is still under review by the SIU, spokesperson Monica Hudon said Thursday. The watchdog has been widely criticized by victims’ families for the length of its investigations and perceptions of low transparency and poor communications. According to the SIU’s recent annual report, the watchdog took an average of 136 days to close a case in 2019 — about four-and-a-half months per case. Jason Miller is a Toronto-based reporter for the Star covering crime and justice in the Peel Region. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him on email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @millermotionpic Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
There were another four deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Saskatchewan on Friday. One individual in the North East in the 60 to 69-year-old age group's death was reported. The North East zone includes communities such as Melfort, Nipawin and Tisdale.Another individual in the same age category was reported to have passed away in the South East zone. There were also deaths in the 80-years-old and over age group in the South West and Saskatoon zones. The number of deaths in the province has grown to 210. There were 382 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Friday. The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported 38 new cases. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 295 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 147 active cases and North Central 3 has 156 active cases. There was one case with pending information added to the North Central zone. The North Central zone is second in the Active Case Breakdown with 598 active cases. Saskatoon is now reporting the most and Regina is now third. There are currently 210 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 175 reported as receiving in patient care there are 36 patients in North Central. Of the 35 people reported as being in intensive care there are five in North Central. The current seven-day average is 320, or 26.4 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 19,715 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 4,010 are considered active. The recovered number now sits at 15,495 after 231 more recoveries were reported. The total numbers of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 19,715 of those 5,113 cases are from the North area (1,892 north west, 2,507 north central and 714 north east). As of Jan. 15, a total of 14,017 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan. Two thousand and thirty-two doses were administered in the Regina, Saskatoon, North Central, Far North West, Far North East and North East zones. North Central saw 549 doses administered and 202 administered in the adjacent North East zone. Vaccine numbers from the Far North Central zone have not yet been reported. Second doses of Pfizer vaccine are now underway for health care workers in Saskatoon, with vaccination of residents and staff in long term and personal care homes in Saskatoon proceeding. The vaccine clinics announced earlier this week in the North Central communities of Wakaw, Cudworth, Rosthern, Big River, Canwood, Shellbrook, Birch Hills, Debden, Blaine Lake, Candle Lake and Christopher Lake are fully booked. Additional clinics will be scheduled as quickly as possible following the sequencing of priority populations in those zones with high active case rates. There were 3,455 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Jan 14. As of today there have been 465,390 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan. Under 100 active cases of COVID-19 in youth in North Central On Thursday the province released the updated numbers on COVID-19 cases in youth. The total active cases in youth provincially in all locations are 775, 17 have no known location and 758 have a location reported. The province releases the update on the numbers each Thursday. Currently in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, there are 96 active cases in youth. Last week there were 277 tests performed across the North Central zone. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 40 active cases in youth. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 42 active cases and North Central 3 has 28 active cases. Cumulative tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 in the North Central zone is 4,658. Provincially there is a 19.5 per cent test positivity rate in youth. There were 2,450 tests performed in total in the province in the last week. The cumulative number of tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 is 54,735. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald