Months after premiers demanded the federal government step up approvals and deliveries of rapid COVID-19 testing devices, CBC News has learned that millions of the tests delivered to provincial governments were never used.
Months after premiers demanded the federal government step up approvals and deliveries of rapid COVID-19 testing devices, CBC News has learned that millions of the tests delivered to provincial governments were never used.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials began expanding access to COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 22, opening community clinics for people aged 80 years and older. Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, has said the province's plan is to open another 10 clinics in March for 48,000 people who will be mailed a letter informing them how to book an appointment. Strang said the vaccination program will then expand to the next age group in descending order until everyone in the province is offered the chance to be immunized. The age groups will proceed in five-year blocks. Future community clinics are to be held March 8 in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro; March 15 in Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth; and March 22 in Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth. The province began its vaccination campaign with residents of long-term care homes, those who work directly with patients, those who are 80 and older, and those who are at risk for other reasons including First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island The province says the first phase of its vaccination drive, currently slated to last until the end of March, targets residents and staff of long-term and community care, as well as health-care workers with direct patient contact at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Those 80 and older, adults in Indigenous communities, and truck drivers and other rotational workers are also included. The next phase, which is scheduled to begin in April, will target those above 70 and essential workers. The province intends to make the vaccine available to everyone in late summer and fall. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors on Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. The province says the vaccination of children and pregnant women will be determined based on future studies of vaccine safety and efficacy in those populations. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. On Monday, several regions in Ontario moved ahead with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry also says first responders and essential workers may be eligible to get vaccinated starting in April as the province also decides on a strategy for the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
The U.S. Senate will start debating President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill this week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday after Democrats backed down from an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 as part of it. The backpedaling did not end hopes of addressing the minimum wage issue in Congress. Democrats and some Republicans have voiced support for the idea of raising the federal minimum wage, now at $7.25 an hour, for the first time since 2009, although they disagree on how much.
TORONTO — Professional rugby league in Canada lasted less than four seasons with the Toronto Wolfpack. The Ottawa Aces have yet to take the field. But there are plans to kick-start the sport at the grassroots level in Canada, in the form of the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League (CCCRL). Organizers hope to eventually establish a 12 -team league with both men's and women's teams with fans literally able to buy into the concept. Sandy Domingos-Shipley, a Toronto native now based in Leeds, England, is looking to help get the project off the ground. "I've got children born and raised here," the mother of three said in an interview. "And I've seen the impact of rugby league from a kid's point of view — how much they really do get involved in community and the good that comes out of the sport from the grassroots level. "And I really want the people in Canada to have a bit of that. I want them to have more of it … We can make rugby league grow in Canada the right way." The Canadian co-op league idea is the brainchild of 37-year-old Chris Coates, an English native who is the founding firector of CCCRL. He has been mulling over the concept for some years now. Coates is coach of the Sheffield Forgers, who play in the Yorkshire Men's League. He also has a hand in the international game as coach of the Lithuania men's team, describing himself as a "diehard expansionist at heart." "I believe that the game really should be for everybody," he said. "And I find it perplexing that so many people love the game but don't want to see it grow outside its (northern England) heartlands." His day job is in the tech world. "I build super-computers for a living." Looking to develop the sport, the league will feature rugby league nines which is akin to rugby union's sevens — a faster, condensed nine-a-side version of the rugby league game. They believe nines is an easier introduction to the game. The idea is to start with a six-team league in 2023, with plans of increasing up to 12 teams — six men's and six women's — with representation from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Divisional competition will be followed by championship play. Domingos-Shipley says the league will also serve as a home for members of the Canadian national teams: the Wolverines (men) and Ravens (women). Players will be paid on a pro-am model. The Canadian Rugby League Association is on board, although not contributing financially. " What's exciting from our point of view is that the initiative is based on the development of grassroots rugby league," said CRLA president Bob Jowett. "We certainly wish them al the best with it and are supportive of the initiative." Domingos-Shipley says the plan calls for the governing body to benefit from some of the profits from the proposed league. Coates says the league will be funded 40 per cent in the form of private equity and 60 per cent by fans. Investors would get an annual return. They have not yet disclosed the minimum investment but say the average fan will be able to afford to get involved. "The thing with a co-operative is it effectively buys brand loyalty," said Coates. "People who invest in something are inclined to want to make that work." "Fans want to be part of growing something and this is the way they can do that," added Domingos-Shipley, who moved to England in 2001. Her passion for rugby league started four years ago when she started following the Wolfpack in England, becoming essentially a super-fan. Coates applauded the expansion to Toronto although he says he saw "risks" with the Wolfpack agreeing to pay visiting teams' travel and accommodation costs. Unable to play at home due to the pandemic, the Wolfpack stood down in July saying it could not afford to play out the remainder of the 2020 Super League season. The club's subsequent bid for reinstatement under new ownership in 2021 was voted down in November. "As a business owner, I couldn't get my head around how we got to the place where we were," said Domingos-Shipley, who runs a consulting company. Coates, meanwhile, was prompted to look for alternate ways to grow the game. In his words, "If you could do it completely differently, how would you do it?" He started talking to other people about the Wolfpack, including Domingos-Shipley, sharing his idea for a co-op league. "I was like 'Right I'm helping you do this. I want this to work,'" said Domingos-Shipley, who is billed as the CCCRL co-founder and director of governance and compliance. Coates also watched tape of the East-West game played at Lamport Stadium in January 2020. "It was good quality stuff," he said. He believes the talent and interest for a domestic league are both there. "The Wolfpack have done fantastic job of growing that market, from nothing. To grow to 10,000 fans in four years from zero fans is a great achievement. But the problem is that it was done in an unsustainable way." Organizers say they are working with "appropriate organizations" to ensure that all financial participation is in line with regulations and expectations. Coates says his group already has some commercial partners "in the pipeline." --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — Prince Harry says the process of separating from royal life has been very difficult for him and his wife, Meghan. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Harry invoked the memory of his late mother, Princess Diana, who had to find her way alone after she and Prince Charles divorced. “I’m just really relieved and happy to be sitting here talking to you with my wife by my side, because I can’t begin to imagine what it must have been like for her going through this process by herself all those years ago,” Harry said, adding, “because it’s been unbelievably tough for the two of us.” “But at least we have each other,” Harry said, in a clip from the interview special, which is scheduled to air March 7 on CBS and the following day in Britain. Diana was shown in a photo holding toddler Harry as he made the comments. His mother died in 1997 of injuries suffered in a car crash. Harry and Meghan sat opposite Winfrey and side-by-side, holding hands during the interview that was conducted in a lush garden setting. The couple lives in Montecito, California, where they are neighbours of Winfrey. Meghan, who recently announced she is pregnant with the couple’s second child, wore an empire-style black dress with embroidery. Harry wore a light gray suit and white dress shirt, minus a tie. As Meghan Markle, the actor starred in the TV legal drama “Suits.” She married Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later. The brief promotional clip was one of two of that aired Sunday during CBS’ news magazine “60 Minutes.” Winfrey’s questions and comment were predominant in the other clip, including her statement that, “You said some pretty shocking things here,” without an indication of what she was referring to. Meghan was not heard from in the clips. Harry and Meghan stepped away from full-time royal life in March 2020, unhappy at media scrutiny and the strictures of their roles. They cited what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess, who is African American. It was agreed the situation would be reviewed after a year. On Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that the couple will not be returning to royal duties and Harry will give up his honorary military titles — a decision that makes formal, and final, the couple’s split from the royal family. The pair, also known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, verified “they will not be returning as working members of the Royal Family. “ A spokesperson for the couple hit back at suggestions that Meghan and Harry were not devoted to duty. “As evidenced by their work over the past year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role,” the spokesperson said in a statement. Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Chatham-Kent restaurants, gaming establishments, cinemas, performing art venues and gyms are able to receive an intake of 50 clients after the provincial government moved the municipality to the Orange Zone. On Friday the Ontario government, in consultation with its chief medical officer of health, announced it was moving nine public health regions to new levels in the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open Framework. The change came into effect Monday morning. During the past two weeks, with the Fairfield Park long-term care home outbreak under control, new cases have significantly decreased, prompting the zone change. The move into Orange means Chatham-Kent saw a weekly incidence rate of 25 to 39.9 new cases per 100,000 residents. On Friday, four recoveries and four new cases of COVID-19 were reported, keeping the active total at 17 cases. Limits for organized public events and gatherings in staffed businesses and facilities, where physical distancing can be maintained, has increased to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors. Religious ceremonies and weddings can continue to see an indoor occupancy of 30 per cent of a room’s capacity. Fitness or exercise classes can only have a maximum of 10 people and must take place in a separate room. New vaccine on the block Health Canada also announced on Friday that it gave the green light to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine which has an efficacy rate of 62 per cent from 15 days after the second dose was given to the study’s participants. It was authorized for use in individuals 18 years of age and older. "Today's approval of AZO by Health Canada represents a major addition to the armamentarium in the fight against COVID-19. I am very pleased," said Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s medical officer of health. The vaccine will be produced in Ontario and India. The Ontario-produced AstraZeneca vaccine will have 500,000 doses quicker. “There’s been no update in terms of when Chatham-Kent will receive this particular vaccine, but Health Canada produced a statement saying that it will begin being distributed in April,” Colby said. Colby added that the provincial projections for its vaccination schedule are based on only Moderna and Pfizer availability, with more being added, projections will need to be updated. His original timeline for Chatham-Kent was to have the population inoculated by September and to date things have been going on schedule. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
Les portes de Monkey Spaces à Sainte-Sophie s’ouvrent – littéralement – sur un site enchanteur et paisible, dont le chemin enneigé menant au stationnement est traversé momentanément par quelques chevaux et alpagas. Cette arrivée pour le moins surprenante nous donne l’impression d’entrer dans un tout nouveau monde. Nancy Trudeau est la propriétaire et fondatrice de cet organisme à but non lucratif, ouvert dans sa globalité depuis le mois de mai. Elle est accompagnée notamment de Coco, chargée de projet, Éric, en charge de l’entretien, des réparations ou du soin aux animaux, et de Mélanie, assistante responsable des petits animaux et des autres bénévoles. C’est cette dernière qui nous accueille chaleureusement sur le site qu’elle nous fait visiter avec un enthousiasme contagieux. L’organisation remplit une double mission : le site abrite des animaux, petits et grands – chats, chiens, cochons, poules, chevaux, alpagas, etc. – qui n’étaient plus souhaités ailleurs, ou risquaient même l’abattoir. Non seulement on les sauve, mais leur présence permet aussi de pratiquer la zoothérapie auprès de personnes aux défis particuliers, comme celles vivant avec un trouble du spectre de l’autisme. Il y a plus de 20 ans, Nancy Trudeau achetait ce terrain de 75 acres. Elle y a pratiqué quelque temps la zoothérapie. Par la suite, la vie l’a menée jusqu’au Costa Rica où elle passait normalement la moitié de l’année. Elle y a fait des acquisitions dans le but de développer un projet communautaire. « J’ai fait une serre et je donne les légumes et les fruits à l’orphelinat et à la maison pour personnes âgées », souligne-t-elle. Elle comptait aussi faire construire un sanctuaire pour les singes. La pandémie a toute-fois freiné ses plans au Costa Rica, mais accéléré et concrétisé son projet à Sainte-Sophie. S’adapter aux besoins Le concept de Monkey Spaces est simple et flexible. Les familles profitent d’une période de deux à trois heures sur le site, où plusieurs options s’offrent à eux : brosser et nourrir les animaux, marcher en forêt, faire de la raquette ou glisser en hiver, faire du kayak ou se baigner en été. Il y a même un espace pour prendre un café et une grande salle vitrée propice à la détente et au yoga. On y retrouve aussi des instruments de musique et des livres. Le circuit peut varier d’une famille à l’autre, selon leurs besoins et leurs désirs. Mélanie Dumoulin indique que cette approche fait rupture avec leur vie quotidienne, où les enfants sont souvent restreints et dictés dans ce qu’ils doivent faire. « C’est un centre de plein air pour la différence. Toutes les personnes à défis particuliers peuvent venir ici, se ressourcer ou prendre une pause. Toutes ces familles-là sont essoufflées. Et en plus, avec la COVID-19, leur routine a été bousculée », ajoute-t-elle. D’ailleurs, la demande est significative depuis le mois de mai. La bénévole précise qu’au total, le site a accueilli une centaine de familles différentes. Chaque semaine, une vingtaine y mettent les pieds. Certaines familles reviennent régulièrement. Nancy Trudeau a toujours eu une grande passion pour les animaux. Elle a même possédé un singe pendant trois ans, d’où le nom de son organisation. La propriétaire compte concentrer les vingt prochaines années à développer ses différents projets, répondre à la demande et aider le plus de familles possibles. Il y a d’ailleurs beaucoup d’ambition pour bonifier l’offre de Monkey Spaces. Mélanie indique par exemple la possibilité d’installer des volières pour y mettre des perroquets ou de construire un arbre en arbre pour la saison estivale. L’équipe souhaite aussi diversifier sa clientèle : ils veulent accueillir de plus en plus de personnes âgées ou encore de gens aux prises avec des problèmes de santé mentale, comme la dépression. Des démarches ont même été entreprises auprès de la DPJ pour accueillir des enfants. Bref, ce ne sont pas les projets qui manquent, et surtout pas la passion. Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
Les truffes de culture et sauvages pourraient d’ici quelques années devenir une spécialité mauricienne. Des chercheuses, spécialistes, organismes, investisseurs et propriétaires forestiers et terriens flairent aujourd’hui la bonne et belle affaire. La filière s’organise. Un véritable réseau truffier est en train de se structurer en Mauricie, grâce aux efforts concertés de nombreux intervenants qui travaillent en synergie. Parmi eux, Truffes Québec, ArborInnov, la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie (bras de développement des comestibles forestiers du Syndicat des producteurs de bois de la Mauricie), des chercheurs et des propriétaires privés. Truffes Québec espère, dès à présent, implanter chaque année un peu moins d’une dizaine de truffières sur le territoire de la Mauricie. L’organisation veut que la région serve de modèle dans la culture de ce champignon convoité, goûteux, rarissime et coûteux. Pour y parvenir, Truffes Québec travaille de très près avec la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie qui sert de point d’entrée aux exploitants intéressés par la culture des truffes. Ces derniers sont ensuite référés à Truffes Québec qui analyse les projets et leur faisabilité. « On veut avoir des producteurs qui ont une vision et qui ne cherchent pas une rentabilité à court terme. Il y a tout un accompagnement pour faire en sorte que chaque installation soit un succès. En particulier pour la truffe des Appalaches. C’est l’aspect global qu’on travaille avec eux », explique Jean-Pierre Proulx, directeur de Truffes Québec. Intervient alors ArborInnov qui travaille depuis 2009 à valoriser la culture des truffes, à produire des arbres truffiers et à conseiller les producteurs. Des producteurs qui n’ont aucune intention de crier sur tous les toits leur affection pour la truffe et les projets qui se réalisent dans le plus grand secret et sous le couvert de l’anonymat. « On a eu des rencontres, fait des analyses de sols, de faisabilité » précise M. Proulx. Julia (nom d’emprunt) est l’une de celle qui veut avec son conjoint, planter 1 600 arbres truffiers sur sa terre de douze hectares. La truffière en occupera le dixième de sa superficie. « C’est un projet de préretraite. On cherchait une culture à faire sur une petite surface et je voulais avoir une forêt derrière la maison. On va planter des chênes rouges, du pin blanc et des épinettes de Norvège qui tiennent compte de notre type de sol. Les cultures émergentes nous intéressent. Je suis dans l’industrie alimentaire depuis toujours, je vois beaucoup de potentiel de développement. On essaie de limiter nos rêves de grandeurs. Si on compare à ce qui sort en nature, on devrait avoir un rendement qui nous permette d’en vivre comme retraités. Et il n’est pas impossible, si le résultat est bon, qu’on ajoute un autre champ. Il faut être capable de supporter l’investissement », souligne Julia qui se garde bien de nous dire combien elle a investi, et où! « On est en Mauricie », se limite-t-elle à préciser. Julia lance sa truffière en toute discrétion dès le printemps prochain, avant les possibles sécheresses de l’été. « Il va falloir arroser, on n’a pas le choix ». Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie planchent sur des projets porteurs qui pourraient être dévoilés au courant de l’hiver. « Ça fait déjà travailler plein de monde. Quand ça se met à décoller, dans dix ans, c’est une autre affaire », conclut M. Quirion. Combien vaut un kilo de truffes du Québec? On vient de vendre un kilo de truffes des Appalaches pour 3 000 $. Des centaines de milliers de dollars investis dans la truffe en Mauricie Les investissements se multiplient en Mauricie. « On regroupe la cueillette, la transformation, la restauration, le mycotourisme, la recherche et le développement. On bâtit ensemble un plan quinquennal », explique Patrick Lupien, coordonnateur de la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie. La Filière travaille main dans la main avec Truffes Québec et ArborInnov. « Mon rôle est de mobiliser les propriétaires en vue de développer des champs truffiers en Mauricie, de venir ajouter au positionnement de la Mauricie dans le secteur », affirme M. Lupien de la Filière. Ce dernier travaille aussi au développement d’une filière de mycotourisme de la truffe sauvage avec la chercheuse Véronique Cloutier. Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie vont travailler de concert avec le club-conseil en agroenvironnement Lavi-Eau-Champ à l’implantation de champs truffiers. Cet automne, près de 200 000 $ ont été investis par des producteurs truffiers truffiers indépendants qui vont lancer leur truffière au printemps 2021. « L’investissement va varier selon les producteurs. Les arbres sont déjà réservés », ajoute Jean-Pierre Proulx. « C’est une excellente nouvelle, qui vient une fois de plus confirmer le rôle central que peut jouer la Mauricie dans la croissance de la mycologique et de la gastronomie au Québec , ajoute Patrick Lupien. Pour des projets qui sont porteurs comme ça, je ne pense pas qu’on ait besoin des gouvernements.» Une foule d’autres variétés pourraient, à terme, être produites en régie agronomique, estime Patrick Lupien de la Filière mycologique, d’autant que les pays européens enregistrent actuellement des baisses de production. Le Québec pourrait se faufiler. « On parle de la truffe sauvage au Québec, comme quand je parlais de champignons il y a douze ans. La truffe suit cette même dynamique. Et elle est réfléchie. Il y a une clientèle nationale et internationale prête à la découvrir », estime M. Lupien. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
ESPN has re-signed Rece Davis to a multiyear contract that will keep him in place as host of the network’s popular Saturday college football pregame show. The network announced the deal Monday. Davis, 55, is entering his seventh year as host of ESPN’s “College GameDay.” He told The Associated Press this new deal will take him through his 10th season leading the show that includes Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Lee Corso. "I believe I have the best job in sports television, but when you’ve been doing anything for a while there comes a period of evaluation, I guess, to see whether there are things you would like to pursue,” Davis said. “And for me I still very much wanted to host ‘College GameDay’ and to still have the opportunity to host some significant events along with that from time to time. Fortunately for me our place was able to provide all of those things.” Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the network. Davis will also continue to host ”College GameDay” for basketball, along with the network’s coverage of the NFL draft on ABC and the men’s Final Four. Davis is also set to host ESPN's coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship this summer. He will still to do some play-by-play for college football and basketball games. “The professionalism, energy and knowledge he brings to every show and every assignment is first-class as one of the best in the business," ESPN senior vice-president of production Lee Fitting said in a statement. Davis declined to say if he was pursued by other networks, but he said negotiations with ESPN moved expeditiously. “ESPN, and my long relationship with them, sort of had what I feel like my strong suits are but also opportunities to do some things to continue to grow as well," Davis said. The basketball version of “GameDay” began in 2005 with Davis as the host. He took over as host of the college football road show in 2015, replacing Chris Fowler. Fowler left “GameDay” to concentrate on calling games and become ESPN's lead college football play-by-play announcer. Davis said he enjoys calling games and might consider making a similar transition later in his career. “I feel like I've really built my career on hosting,” Davis said. “I hate the phrase tee-up the analyst. Anybody can do that. A good host is prepared for the conversation and knows where the lines are. He added: “My first priority is ‘GameDay.’ I still get a rush every time. I like being at the command centre of big events." “College GameDay” had a very different vibe last year as the coronavirus pandemic forced the show to be held on location but without fans. The threat of COVID-19 led to Corso, 85, doing the show from his home in Florida. “College GameDay” faced competition for the first time the last two seasons from Fox's “Big Noon Kickoff," but ESPN's show has remained on top in terms of viewership. “The best way to do it is to take care of your business and not be fixated on what someone else does and to be be confident and thorough in the direction you've tried to go into to,” Davis said. “If you start trying to react to someone else, that's more detrimental than helpful in my opinion. ”We still want to be regarded as the ultimate destination and if you turn away from our show, you're going to miss something." ___ Follow Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and listen at https://westwoodonepodcasts.com/pods/ap-top-25-college-football-podcast/ ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders have reached an agreement aimed at getting most public schoolchildren back in classrooms by the end of March. Under the deal announced Monday, school districts could get up to $6.6 billion if they reopen classrooms by March 31. To get the money, schools must return to in-person instruction at least through second grade. However, districts in counties with coronavirus case numbers low enough within a specific classification level must return to in-person instruction for all elementary school grades, plus one grade each in middle and high school. The proposal does not require staff and students to be vaccinated. Districts are not required to have agreements with teachers’ unions. Adam Beam, The Associated Press
La maison de répit Le Camélia est l’un des 12 récipiendaires canadiens d’une bourse de 10 000 $ offerte par la compagnie d’assurances Canada Vie. La Maison Le Camélia offre depuis huit ans un service de garde en milieu familial à une douzaine de personnes en perte d’autonomie ou vivant avec une déficience intellectuelle. Le don offert par Canada Vie dans le cadre de son programme Coup de pouce aux entreprises tombe à point nommé pour le Camélia de Trois-Rivières qui souffre d’un sous-financement chronique. Lucie Duval, propriétaire et directrice du Camélia, pousse un soupir de soulagement. Elle qui ne reçoit pas un centime du gouvernement, rien de Québec, ni du CIUSSS-MCQ, même en ces temps de pandémie. Et ça, elle ne l’encaisse pas. « J’ai parti une résidence pour ma fille et d’autres parents qui ne veulent pas placer leurs enfants dans le système de santé actuel. L’Agence de Santé me refuse d’être accréditée comme famille d’accueil. On a levé le nez sur moi à plusieurs reprises. Je l’ai partie sans aucune subvention de personne. C’est vraiment grave. J’ai des parents médecins qui m’ont confié leurs enfants, les intervenants sur le plancher du CIUSSS me réfèrent, mais la direction générale ne veut pas m’aider. Je leur ai dit que si je n’avais pas d’aide que j’allais fermer. Heureusement que Mme Grégoire (de Canada Vie) a cru en mon projet et a été sensible à ma cause. Ce n’est pas juste le coup de pouce, mais de savoir qu’il y a des gens qui croient en toi, à ton projet. Ça aussi on en a besoin », confie Lucie Duval. Le Camélia tourne tant bien que mal à pleine capacité et la maison refuse souvent des clients. Des parents de partout au Québec l’appellent à la recherche d’un endroit où placer leurs enfants. « Ce sont des gens épanouis, heureux. J’ai des employés en or. Sans eux je n’arriverais pas à tenir.» Lucie Duval n’a le temps de s’apitoyer sur son sort. Elle doit faire face aux urgences. Elle compte investir les 10 000 $ reçus dans la réfection de la toiture du Camélia et dans la création d’un site Web. Elle cherche à mieux faire connaître ses services, mais aussi, à mieux accompagner les parents qui ne savent plus où donner de la tête. «Je reçois régulièrement des demandes de coaching, de référencement. Souvent les parents sont laissés à eux-mêmes. J’ai des gens qui me contactent qui veulent ouvrir d’autres maisons comme la mienne. » La maison de répit Le Camélia a été nommée en l’honneur de la fille de Mme Duval, Camélia, qui vit avec une déficience intellectuelle associée à une épilepsie sévère. Camélia est née en France dans une maison bordée d’une haie de camélias. Elle est aujourd’hui âgée 25 ans. Quand on lui parle de campagne de collecte de fonds, Mme Duval affirme ne pas avoir le temps ni l’énergie de l’organiser, malgré les besoins. Le programme Coup de pouce aux entreprises de Canada Vie a été lancé en octobre dernier pour venir en aide aux petites entreprises qui n’ont jamais affronté autant d’adversité en cette période de pandémie. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
(RCMP New Brunswick - image credit) New Brunswick RCMP seized 17 unsecured long guns hidden in the wall of a home in Tobique First Nation last week, resulting in the arrest of a 68-year-old man. In a statement, police said the man was later released pending a court appearance in April at Woodstock provincial court. Police executed a search warrant at the home on Fourth Street on the evening of Feb 26, as part of an ongoing investigation. These guns were found inside the wall of the residence. Police said a large amount of cash was also discovered during the "extensive search of the property," but didn't disclose how much. In a photo released by RCMP there, several $50 and $100 bills were visible. The investigation was conducted as part of a co-ordinated law enforcement approach with West District RCMP and RCMP police dog services and involvement from the Woodstock Police Force and Fredericton Police Force.
La Dre Véronique Cloutier est une spécialiste de la truffe sauvage et des champignons souterrains. Les efforts qui se déploient dans la région et au Québec vont favoriser le développement dynamique de la trufficulture en Mauricie, affirme-t-elle. « Il y a peu d’études sur les truffes au Québec. On découvre souvent de nouvelles espèces ». Elle met cependant en garde de les consommer sans en connaître la variété. « Elles ne sont pas toutes propres à la consommation », note Mme Cloutier. Elle soumet même les siennes à des tests d’ADN! Mme Cloutier propose aux amateurs de champignons sauvages qui veulent se faire la main en truffes sauvages de profiter des sorties guidées en forêt. « L’idée est d’abord de comprendre comment en trouver. Des fois, on en a dans nos cours arrière et on ne le sait même pas ». Les truffes sauvages ont absolument besoin d’un animal qui va les consommer et disperser les spores via leurs fèces pour se reproduire. Les truffes affectionnent les milieux alcalins en forêt. Mme Cloutier en a trouvé des centaines dans des forêts de sapins. Il s’agit d’y retourner, car les truffes repoussent chaque année au même endroit. La truffe est le résultat de l’association entre le champignon et un arbre. « On est vraiment dans un bon moment pour cultiver la truffe au Québec. Et en les associant aux noisetiers, on peut aussi récolter les noix qu’ils produisent en attendant que les truffes arrivent à maturité. » Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
(Submitted by FCA - image credit) The Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant has reopened after being shut down for much of February because of a global shortage of semiconductors. The minivan factory was closed Feb. 8, resulting in temporary layoffs for workers. About 4,700 people are employed at the plant. A spokesperson for Stellantis confirmed that the plant is reopening as scheduled on Monday. Several automakers had to halt or slow down production because of the lack of supply of semiconductors, which are used in vehicle electronics.
(CBC - image credit) Carol Henzie says the provincial and federal governments need to do more to protect people like her parents after they were exposed three times to COVID-19 in a Pointe-Claire home for independent seniors. "The people that are supposed to be caring and taking care of our parents and our seniors are exposing them to the virus," said Henzie, citing Feb. 18 as the third time her parents were put at risk. "We're supposed to protecting our seniors, and we're not." Her parents live in Maywood Pointe-Claire and she recently found out that an in-home care worker from a local CLSC tested positive for the disease just a few days after visiting her mother and father. Now her mother has tested positive, and is in quarantine with her husband. They had both been vaccinated earlier in the week and, so far, Henzie said her father is doing just fine. "Neither of us have any symptoms," said Terrence Henzie. "We neither have a cough or cold or sneezing or wheezing. Nothing of the kind." Preliminary data from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec suggests the vaccines are 80 per cent effective after two weeks for health-care workers and after three weeks among the residents of long-term care homes. Carol Henzie said she holds public health accountable for her parents being exposed. She wants to see all health-care workers tested regularly for the disease if they work with seniors. CIUSSS says it is following regulations Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the West Island regional health board, said the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal follows the provincial directives for screening health workers. "We strongly encourage our employees to get tested preventively and on a regular basis," she said in an email. "To facilitate access, mobile screening clinics are located in some of our facilities." Quebec 85-years-old and over lined up for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Laval last week, but most who live in long-term care homes have already been vaccinated. The agency also follows infection prevention and control rules, providing all employees with the appropriate equipment and training they need to safely provide quality care and services, Bergeron-Gamache said. "Remember that, with community transmission still present, no one is safe from contracting the virus," she said. Quebec long-term care homes struggled through pandemic Long-term care homes — in particular CHSLDs, where residents have significant health or mobility issues — were hit hard by COVID-19 last spring as both staff and visitors brought the highly contagious disease into facilities. There has been a chorus of calls for reform since the early days of the pandemic, as its impact on long-term care homes has brought to light many issues with the way both private and public residences are managed. Francine Ducharme, a geriatrics researcher and nursing sciences professor at Université de Montréal, recently helped prepare a report on long-term care for the Royal Society of Canada in 2020 that showed Canadian seniors' homes have allowed staff-to-patient ratios to drop. The homes have also increasingly shifted to lower-paid care aides and personal support workers, who are often given "variable and minimal formal training," according to the report. A separate report by Quebec's ombudsman revealed the majority of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the province between March and June 2020 were among long-term residents — 3,890 in all. In some cases, ombudsman Marie Rinfret noted, overworked staff could not meet residents' basic needs such as being fed, changed or comforted as they died.
Trystan Lackner first got interested in urban food security way back in his senior year of high school after a supportive vice-principal helped him build a community garden in barren soil where portable classrooms had been removed. It ended up producing around eight or 10 grocery bags full of lettuce, potatoes, carrots and other produce that they donated to local volunteer group Feed The Need Durham. But it only lasted the year that Lackner and classmates he had brought along were there to sustain it. “It was a seed,” says Lackner, explaining he didn't have the experience or knowledge at the time to carry it forward. “The community garden was there, and then it wasn't, and there wasn't any communication of those ideas.” Fast-forward a few years and a degree in international development later, and Lackner is looking to make a more lasting impact. After six months of preparation, Lackner and colleagues hosted an online summit called "Does Your Meal Plan Cover Climate Change?" last month as part of Youth Challenge International’s Innovate MY Future program. “Our whole idea was to develop an educational summit for young people to become more aware, get involved, and connect with the experts within the field,” he says, about the Youth Roots Durham project. The hope is that more informed communities will build more resilience into the process by which they get fed, one that faced a sharp shock due to COVID-19 disrupting global supply chains, as well as ongoing threats to the same system from climate change. The summit included a weekend panel discussion of experts followed by networking, and workshops on the links between food and climate change, the benefits of moving from mass production of commodity crops, and how to get involved in pushing for more sustainable practices. One speaker at the summit was a local permaculture farmer, who grows multiple crops in proximity to each other for mutual benefit. The practice can reduce the need for pesticides and cut carbon emissions by limiting the need to transport food, Lackner explains. The information gathered in the course of the project is being prepared to be archived on a page of the Durham Food Policy Council’s website, ensuring that unlike his high school garden, Lackner’s legacy may live on. The region — which is suburban in its southern sections near Lake Ontario and more rural in its north towards the Lake Simcoe border — exports most of its produce in the form of commodity crops, such as soy and corn, Lackner says. He says that with demand for food to expand by roughly 70 per cent in coming decades as our global population approaches 10 billion people, innovative solutions applied locally will be key. “There is a very high possibility that you will see in the next decade or two, if we can innovate more with the greenhouses and produce more in warehouse settings, you can essentially urbanize and create factories of food within these large urban centres,” he says. In addition to these modern factory farms, Lackner wants to see more rooftop gardens and government policy that sets aside land to protect it from being developed other than as farmland. And for young people wondering what they can do, he says just dive in. “Get out there, get your hands dirty. Make that change that you want to see,” he says. “If you see something that no one else is doing or that's missing, don't wait for someone else to get that going, start it yourself and get involved. There is a way to do all that and connect with the experts and community partners.” Morgan Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
MOSCOW — Two top United Nations human rights experts urged an international probe into the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and called Monday for his immediate release from prison. Agnès Callamard, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and Irene Khan, the Special U.N. Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, said Navalny’s poisoning was intended to “send a clear, sinister warning that this would be the fate of anyone who would criticize and oppose the government.” “Given the inadequate response of the domestic authorities, the use of prohibited chemical weapons, and the apparent pattern of attempted targeted killings, we believe that an international investigation should be carried out as a matter of urgency in order to establish the facts and clarify all the circumstances concerning Mr. Navalny’s poisoning," they said in a statement. Navalny, the most prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell sick on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia and was flown while still in a coma to Berlin for treatment two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to a Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities have denied any involvement in the poisoning. In December, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as a fake. Callamard and Khan on Monday published their official letter sent to the Russian authorities in December and noted that “the availability of Novichok and the expertise required in handling it and in developing a novel form such as that found in Mr. Navalny’s samples could only be found within and amongst state actors.” The experts emphasized in the letter that Navalny “was under intensive government surveillance at the time of the attempted killing, making it unlikely that any third party could have administered such a banned chemical without the knowledge of the Russian authorities.” Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 upon returning from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from the nerve agent poisoning. The arrest triggered massive protests, to which the Russian authorities responded with a sweeping crackdown. Last month, Navalny was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation while convalescing in Germany. The sentence stems from a 2014 embezzlement conviction that Navalny has rejected as fabricated — and which the European Court of Human Rights has ruled to be unlawful. Last week, Navalny was sent to serve his prison sentence to a prison outside Moscow despite the ECHR's demand for his release, which cited concerns for his safety. Russian officials have dismissed demands from the United States and the European Union to free Navalny and stop the crackdown on his supporters. Mikhail Galperin, Russia's deputy justice minister, charged Monday that Moscow has contested the ECHR's ruling demanding Navalny's release in a letter sent to the Strasbourg-based court. Meanwhile, the UN rights experts noted that an international probe into Navalny's poisoning is “especially critical” now when he is in prison. They called for his immediate release and reminded Russia that it's “responsible for the care and protection of Mr. Navalny in prison and that it shall be held responsible for any harm that may befall him.” Vladimir Isachenkov, The Associated Press
Les observateurs les plus cyniques vont régulièrement répéter le laïus voulant que les politiciens de carrière soient tous faits à partir d’un même moule. Pourtant, l’éventail des citoyens qui se lancent en politique municipale est on ne peut plus varié. À ce chapitre, le parcours ayant mené Mathieu Daviault au conseil de Saint-Amable fait partie de ceux qui peuvent étonner. Élu pour la première fois en 2017, l’Amablien de 33 ans a notamment dû décider, à la croisée des chemins, s’il devait poursuivre sa carrière sportive dans les arts martiaux mixtes (AMM) ou se lancer en affaires pour gagner sa vie. « J’ai toujours été sportif, nous explique celui qui, en compagnie de son père, a fondé l’entreprise Conteneur Daviault en 2010. J’ai joué au football, au hockey durant toute ma jeunesse. Puis, à 21 ans, à la suite d’une blessure au genou, j’ai décidé de changer de discipline. Comme les sports de combat m’ont toujours intéressé, je me suis lancé dans les arts martiaux mixtes. J’ai notamment appris le jiu-jitsu, une des disciplines fortes dans la pratique des AMM. » Avec une fiche de sept victoires en neuf combats, on peut même dire que le jeune homme montrait un certain talent chez les combattants amateurs. Après avoir pris la décision de quitter l’hexagone pour de bon, le futur conseiller du district 2 de Saint-Amable a cependant poursuivi sa passion pour le jiu-jitsu, ce qui lui a permis de voyager pour participer à des compétitions un peu partout en Amérique avant de devenir lui-même entraîneur. « Sans me vanter, je pense que je suis un bon élève, croit Mathieu Daviault. J’ai roulé ma bosse. Le jiu-jitsu m’a permis de vivre des expériences incroyables. C’est un beau sport. Et c’était quand même moins demandant côté temps. En AMM, tu dois t’entraîner trois heures, et ce, tous les soirs avant un combat. Alors j’ai fait un choix de vie. Le jiu-jitsu, c’est demandant, mais la charge est quand même moins grande.» À l’instar de bien des résidents de Saint-Amable, où la moyenne d’âge se maintient sous la barre des 35 ans, Mathieu Daviault a fondé son propre petit clan ces dernières années. Père de deux fillettes âgées de 5 ans et 2 ans et demi, celui-ci a profité de la pandémie pour passer un peu plus de temps avec sa marmaille et intégrer la pratique de la discipline à la routine familiale. « On pratique la base, les techniques, les mouvements, mais c’est toujours sous forme de jeu, précise celui qui, en 2019, a été le candidat conservateur lors des élections fédérales dans Pierre-Boucher–Les Patriotes–Verchères. Ma grande, elle fait ça depuis déjà deux ans avec papa. C’est quelque chose que j’adore. Durant la pandémie, il n’y avait pas de cours pour les enfants, alors j’ai acheté des tapis pour que nous puissions pratiquer toutes les semaines dans le garage. C’est important pour moi. C’est un sport qui permet d’acquérir des vertus comme la discipline. Il faut dire que c'est aussi une technique d’autodéfense, alors c’est comme un cadeau qu’on leur fait. » Quant à l’inévitable parallèle entre les arts martiaux mixtes et la politique, celui dont la grand-mère paternelle a également été conseillère municipale admet qu’il y a des similitudes, même si la civilité est souvent plus présente entre des combattants qu’entre adversaires politiques. « Pour avoir fait les deux, je peux vous dire par expérience personnelle qu’il y a beaucoup plus de respect en sport de combat que dans la politique. Ça, c'est définitif! » Steve Martin, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
Some 329 nominations have been received for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, likely reflecting the profusion of pressing human rights issues around the world, the secretary of the committee which awards the prize said on Monday. "It is the third highest ever total number," Norwegian Nobel Committee Secretary Olav Njoelstad told Reuters. "It reflects a lot of international interest in the Nobel Peace Prize," he said.
On Friday, it was announced that $550,000 will be provided to Sault Ste Marie by the Ontario Government and Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services. These funds will help create affordable housing for Indigenous women and children. They are aimed at supporting women fleeing domestic violence, women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness during COVID. According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous women are over 3 times more likely to be a victim of domestic violence then non-Indigenous women. Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services is using the funding to purchase four three-bedroom houses, which will serve as single-family homes. These homes are in close proximity to schools, parks and nearby public transit. "It is critically important to ensure Indigenous women and their children fleeing domestic violence have access to safe housing," said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs. "In order to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the new variants, we need to provide vulnerable people immediate access to housing so they can stay home, stay safe, and save lives." Domestic violence has increased significantly during COVID, as many are stuck isolating in unsafe situations. This makes it difficult to get away from the abuser when your reasons to leave the house are few and far between. According to the United Nations, projections show that for every three months a lockdown continues, an additional 15 million women are expected to be affected by violence. This grant is only a starting point for the City of Sault Ste. Marie when addressing domestic violence in the pandemic. Additional resources for domestic violence in Algoma:Children's Aid Society of AlgomaSexual Assault Care CentreNimkii Naabkawagan Family Crisis ShelterNogdawindamin Family and Community ServicesWomen in Crisis Josie Fiegehen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SaultOnline.com