Ontario Premier Doug Ford says travel outside the country by Finance Minister Rod Phillips was ‘completely unacceptable.’ Phillips left Canada on Dec. 13 on what he called a ‘previously planned’ trip.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford says travel outside the country by Finance Minister Rod Phillips was ‘completely unacceptable.’ Phillips left Canada on Dec. 13 on what he called a ‘previously planned’ trip.
Former President Donald Trump considered replacing the acting attorney general with an official willing to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Joe Biden’s victory, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said the efforts in the last weeks of Trump's presidency failed because of resistance from his Justice appointees who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Other senior department officials later threatened to resign if Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, several people familiar with the discussions told the Journal.
L’espoir d’un retour à la normale se renforce alors que la population de la Jamésie reçoit progressivement la première dose du vaccin contre la COVID-19. Au moment d’écrire ces lignes, le 20 janvier, l’équipe de vaccination s’en va administrer Moderna au Manoir Pierre-Guénette de Chapais. Les personnes âgées de Chibougamau, de Lebel-sur-Quévillon et de Matagami, ainsi que le personnel soignant ont déjà été vaccinées. La vaccination des autres travailleurs de la santé a déjà commencé et devrait être terminée d’ici le 22 janvier. « Aucun effet secondaire anormal n’a été observé jusqu’à maintenant », affirme la présidente-directrice générale du Centre régional de santé et de services sociaux de la Baie-James (CRSSSBJ), Nathalie Boisvert. Nous avions hâte! Au Manoir Providence de Chibougamau, les quelques 70 résidents et travailleurs ont tous été vaccinés… sauf un! Cela s’est déroulé le 19 janvier entre 8 h 15 et 15 h. « Tout était merveilleusement organisé », assure un des copropriétaires, André Naud. « Avec l’éclosion qu’il y a eu avant Noël, c’était très difficile. À partir d’aujourd’hui, il y a eu un souffle nouveau, les gens étaient contents. Nous avions hâte! » M. Naud ne trouve pas bizarre qu’il faille maintenir les précautions même après le vaccin. « Ça fait moins de danger », explique-t-il. Quant à la personne qui a refusé d’être vaccinée, M. Naud affirme être le seul à connaitre son identité; il assure qu’elle ne subira aucun opprobre. « Elle peut encore changer d’idée », dit-il, taquin. 40 ans, 18 ans La vaccination pour les 40 ans et plus commence le 21 janvier aux salles des Chevaliers de Colomb de Lebel-sur-Quévillon et de Chapais, et à la salle adjacente à l’église de Matagami. À Chibougamau, elle début le 23 janvier, au Club de golf. Selon la disponibilité des doses, la vaccination pourrait s’étendre aux plus jeunes. Autrement, c’est en février que l’offre devrait être élargie aux 18 ans et plus. À Radisson, où il y a eu des difficultés de recrutement de personnel, la distribution de la première dose de vaccin, pour les 18 ans et plus, devrait avoir lieu à l’église pendant la première semaine de février. Selon Nathalie Boisvert, c’est le CRSSS Abitibi-Témiscamingue qui devrait procéder à la vaccination à Villebois et Valcanton. « Les discussions ne sont pas terminées, dit-elle. Ça devrait être la seconde semaine de février, pour les 18 ans et plus. » Rester à l’affût Comme c’est la première fois qu’une opération de ce type est effectuée, des modifications à l’horaire peuvent arriver. Des journées pourraient s’ajouter aux dates prévues. La population doit rester à l’affut. Pour recevoir le vaccin, la population doit préalablement prendre un rendez-vous, soit par téléphone, soit par le biais du site Internet du CRSSSBJ. Il est également important d’annuler son rendez-vous lorsqu’il y a empêchement, par respect pour la population et pour faciliter la gestion du temps des travailleurs de la santé. On demande aux patients de porter un gilet à manches courtes, pour faciliter l’opération, et de rester sur place 15 minutes après la piqure, afin de vérifier s’il y a des effets secondaires. Moderna choisi pour les facilités de gestion C’est le vaccin Moderna qui a été choisi pour le Nord-du-Québec, comme pour les autres régions éloignées et isolées du groupe 4, parce qu’il offre plus de facilités pour le transport et la congélation que le vaccin de Pfizer. « C’est un vaccin sécuritaire. Tous les milieux de recherches ont été mis à profit », assure Mme Boisvert, qui se réjouit que la Jamésie soit vaccinée avant plusieurs autres régions du Québec. La seconde dose du vaccin Moderna doit être administrée en mars. Selon des études citées par l’Institut national de santé publique du Québec, l’efficacité du vaccin chez les participants n’ayant reçu qu’une seule dose de vaccin est de 50,8 % en moyenne durant les 14 premiers jours et augmente à 92,1 % par la suite. Pour la seconde dose, l’efficacité est de 94,5 % après 14 jours. La durée de l’efficacité des vaccins n’est pas connue. La livraison des secondes doses est prévue au mois de mars pour l’ensemble de la population. Même après la seconde dose, il est recommandé de maintenir la distanciation physique, le lavage des mains et le port du masque. « L’objectif est de vacciner 80 % de la population pour lui donner une protection », explique la présidente-directrice du CRSSSBJ.Denis Lord, Initiative de journalisme local, La Sentinelle
FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Stars captain Jamie Benn didn't practise Saturday, a day after his right leg buckled awkwardly during a collision in the season opener. Coach Rick Bowness provided no update after practice on Benn's condition or his status for Sunday's game, when the Stars play Nashville again. The coach only repeated what he said after the 7-0 win over the Predators on Friday night, saying Benn has a lower-body injury and is day-to-day. Benn got hurt when colliding with Viktor Arvidsson in the second period. Benn went to both knees on the ice, before going to the bench and then being helped down the tunnel before gingerly walking himself. The Stars captain returned a few minutes later for a power play, but didn’t play after the second intermission, when Dallas already led 5-0. The Stars were the last NHL team to open the season after their first four games were postponed because of COVID-19 protocols. They started with their most lopsided victory since beating the New York Rangers 10-2 on Feb. 6, 2009. It was their most goals in a shutout victory since blanking Anaheim 8-0 on March 21, 2001. ___ More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL The Associated Press
A snowmobiler has died after colliding with a vehicle in the town of Ingleside, Ont., Saturday afternoon, police say. The 44-year-old from South Stormont, Ont., had driven his snowmobile onto County Road 2 when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle at around 2 p.m., Ontario Provincial Police said in a media release. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, OPP said. His name has not yet been released. No one in the other vehicle was injured, police said. As of 5:20 p.m. detours were in place on County Road 2 between Dickinson Drive and Killarney Road. The crash happened about 25 kilometres west of Cornwall, Ont.
Alberta reported 573 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, and 13 more deaths. Active cases continue to drop, with 9,727 total cases of the illness in Alberta reported Saturday, a decrease of 260 from Friday. Hospitalizations also saw a slight decrease, with 676 people in hospital with the illness on Saturday — down 15 from Friday — including 114 in intensive care unit beds. On Friday, there were 691 people in hospital, with 115 in intensive care unit beds. Provincial labs completed 10,894 tests for the disease on Friday, for a positivity rate of about 5.3 per cent, down fromabout 13,000 tests completed on Thursday. The positivity rate remained about the same from the previous day, which had a positivity rate of five per cent. Of the 13 deaths reported Saturday, two involved people in their 20s: a man and a woman, both in the Calgary zone. Three deaths in total were in the Calgary zone, four in the Edmonton zone, four in the North zone, and two in the Central zone. The deaths occurred between Dec. 16 and Jan. 22. Since the pandemic began last March, there have been 120,330 cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, including 1,525 deaths from the disease. Here's a regional breakdown of active cases: Calgary zone: 3,786 Edmonton zone: 3,407 North zone: 1,325 Central zone: 799 South zone: 396 Unknown: 14 An additional 1,022 doses of vaccine had been administered by the end of the day on Friday, bringing the total number of doses administered to 98,807. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, will provide her next in-person COVID-19 update on Monday.
B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office has a suspected Prince George drug dealer in its sights. The office's director has filed a notice of claim seeking forfeiture of two homes in the city owned by Tyler Aaron James Gelowitz, claiming they were used to engage in unlawful activity. Gelowitz faces five counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, along with one count each of possessing a controlled substance and possessing a loaded, restricted firearm without authorization. The counts stem from an Aug. 1, 2019 arrest when Prince George RCMP's street crew unit executed search warrants on five homes, including two named in the notice at 2805 Parent Rd. and 6843 Fairmont Cres. During the searches, police seized 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, 0.5 kg of methamphetamine, 200 grams of fentanyl and 28 grams of gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB). In addition, police seized a total of nine firearms, including two pistols, a silencer and $129,000 in cash. According to B.C. Assessment, the Parent Road home is valued at $442,000 and the Fairmont Crescent home at $332,000. The office is also seeking $36,995 in cash seized by RCMP on the day of Gelowitz's arrest, as well as a satellite phone, a cellphone and a money counter. Although she faces no criminal charges, Randi Alisia Lynn Temoin is also named in the notice of claim as a co-owner of the two homes. The claim goes on to provide an account of observations made by RCMP during a series of searches, arrests and surveillance operations targeting Gelowitz and Temoin over the course of about two months leading up to the arrest. The criminal matter remains before the court with Gelowitz scheduled to appear for arraignment in February after making a first appearance in November. Even if Gelowitz is found not guilty, he and Temoin could still lose the properties, cash and items, according to a statement from the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General. Because it's a civil proceeding, a judge decides on a balance of probabilities, in contrast to the more stringent standard of reasonable doubt for a criminal matter. "Civil forfeiture actions do not depend on criminal charges or convictions," the statement says. "Even if a person is found not guilty of an offence or a charge is stayed, the Civil Forfeiture Office can still proceed with an action against the property associated to the unlawful activity." Defendants can appear before the court in order to tell their side of the story, the statement adds. The CFO does not initiate investigations on its own but rather relies on referrals from law enforcement agencies, which in turn are assessed on a number of factors, including the quality of the evidence, the fairness and proportionality of seeking forfeiture and the public interest in pursuing forfeiture, the statement also says. The claim was filed on Dec. 14, 2020 and after Temoin filed an application on November 17 seeking return of $26,430 and the satellite phone. Neither defendant has yet filed a response to the CFO's claim and the claims have not yet been tested in court. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
VANCOUVER — Several Metro Vancouver taxi companies have lost a court bid to quash the approvals of ride-hailing operators Uber and Lyft in British Columbia. Nine cab companies filed a petition asking the B.C. Supreme Court to overturn the decisions of the provincial Passenger Transportation Board that allowed the two major ride-hailing providers to operate. The cab companies argued that the board's decisions were "patently unreasonable," because they allowed Uber and Lyft an unlimited fleet size while the number of taxis is capped. The companies, including Yellow Cab and Black Top Cabs, claimed that the board failed to consider whether there was a public need for an unlimited number of ride-hailing cars in the province. The board also did not consider whether granting unlimited licences to Uber and Lyft would promote "sound economic conditions" in the passenger transportation business in B.C., the cab companies argued. The cab companies said that the board had extensive evidence before it describing the economic harm suffered by taxi operators in other jurisdictions as a result of allowing unlimited ride-hailing. However, Justice Sandra Wilkinson said in a written ruling this week that the board carefully considered fleet size and decided not to limit ride-hailing cars at this time, but left the issue open for future review. "In each of the decisions, the board devotes numerous paragraphs to discussing whether an indeterminate fleet size will promote sound economic conditions in the passenger transportation industry," she wrote in the decision dated Jan. 20. "This is not a deferral of a decision or a failure to consider the issue of fleet size. I would go so far as to say that the board made a very common sense decision in the circumstances." The board's decisions were made one year ago, on Jan. 23, 2020. Wilkinson added there is nothing in the board's decisions that is "obviously untenable" or "clearly irrational," and therefore they cannot be considered "patently unreasonable." She dismissed the petition and granted costs to Uber and Lyft. The B.C. Taxi Association, Yellow Cab and Black Top Cabs did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ruling. Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself. "Uber is excited to be celebrating one year in Metro Vancouver this weekend, and looks forward to making the app available in more communities in 2021," it said. Lyft said it is encouraged by the court's decision and looks forward to continuing to provide drivers and riders access to its platform in Metro Vancouver. "Navigating the pandemic has made it clear that Lyft helps connect individuals with essential needs and we're committed to continuing to provide that service," it said in a statement. The arrival of ride-hailing in Metro Vancouver early last year, long after it was already common in many other Canadian cities, was contentious. The provincial government has said it spent two years developing legislation and regulations in advance of ride-hailing licences being approved by the Passenger Transportation Board. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Laura Dhillon Kane, The Canadian Press
ALLEN PARK, Mich. — The Detroit Lions hired Aaron Glenn to be their defensive co-ordinator. The Lions announced the move Saturday. Glenn joins new coach Dan Campbell's staff after spending the past five seasons as the secondary coach for the New Orleans Saints. Before his tenure in New Orleans, Glenn was an assistant defensive backs coach for the Cleveland Browns. He also worked as a personnel scout for the New York Jets for two seasons. Glenn was a three-time Pro Bowler as a player and played in 205 games in 15 years for the Jets, Texans, Cowboys, Jaguars and Saints. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL The Associated Press
TORONTO — The federal government has approved an Ottawa company's made-in-Canada rapid COVID-19 test, Health Canada confirmed Saturday as the nation's top doctor warned the virus's impact on the health-care system showed no signs of abating. The test developed by Spartan Bioscience is performed by a doctor and provides on-site results within an hour, a spokeswoman for the federal agency said. Spartan bills the test as the first "truly mobile, rapid PCR test for COVID-19 for the Canadian market." "The Spartan system will be able to provide quality results to remote communities, industries and settings with limited lab access, helping relieve the burden on overwhelmed healthcare facilities," the company said in a news release Saturday. The company originally unveiled a rapid test for COVID-19 last spring but had to voluntarily recall it and perform additional studies after Health Canada expressed some reservations. At the time, Spartan said Health Canada was concerned about the "efficacy of the proprietary swab" for the testing product. The new version uses "any nasopharyngeal swab" rather than one of the company's own design, Health Canada said, and meets the agency's requirements for both safety and effectiveness. The Spartan COVID-19 System was developed through clinical evaluation completed in Canada and the U.S., with the University of Ottawa Heart Institute as one of the testing locations. The company said it has already started production on the rapid tests. The news comes as Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, warned that COVID-19 continues to strain the health-care system even as daily case counts decline in several long-standing hot spots. "As severe outcomes lag behind increased disease activity, we can expect to see ongoing heavy impacts on our healthcare system and health workforce for weeks to come," she said in a written statement. Surging new infection rates continued to show signs of easing in multiple provinces, though one jurisdiction was poised to impose new restrictions in a bid to stem the ongoing spread. Public health officials in New Brunswick reported 17 new cases across the province, 10 of which were in the Edmundston region, which was set to go into a lockdown first thing Sunday morning. Starting at midnight, non-essential travel is prohibited in and out of the area, which borders northern Maine and Quebec's Bas-St-Laurent region. The health order forces the closure of all non-essential businesses as well as schools and public spaces, including outdoor ice rinks and ski hills. All indoor and outdoor gatherings among people of different households are prohibited. Saskatchewan, meanwhile, logged 274 new cases of the virus and three new deaths, while Manitoba counted three more deaths and 216 new diagnoses. Alberta logged 573 new cases and 13 virus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, while both Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new infections on Saturday. Both Quebec and Ontario reported fewer cases Saturday — 1,685 and 2,359 respectively. But officials in Ontario expressed concern about a highly contagious U.K. variant of the virus that was detected at a long-term care facility north of Toronto. Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit confirmed the variant was behind the outbreak at Roberta Place Retirement Lodge in Barrie, Ont., where 32 residents have died of COVID-19 and dozens of others have tested positive. "Stringent and consistent efforts are needed to sustain a downward trend in case counts and strongly suppress COVID-19 activity across Canada," Tam said. "This will not only prevent more tragic outcomes, but will help to ensure that new virus variants of concern do not have the opportunity to spread." Fears of variants that can circulate quickly come as the federal government considers a mandatory quarantine in hotels for travellers returning to Canada. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Victoria Ahearn and Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press
The federal government is providing Ontario with some much-needed support in the fight against COVID-19. Ottawa is deploying two mobile health units – an additional 200 beds – to the Greater Toronto Area. The assistance comes as the province grapples with the growing strain on its hospital system. Morganne Campbell has more in this report.
An effort to shake off some homesickness led Adam DuBourdieu to mix pop culture and provincial politics — namely, taking politicians involved in this election and matching them with their visual counterparts on "The Simpsons." Originally from Kippens on the province’s west coast, DuBourdieu, 30, moved to Edmonton, Alta., just before the COVID-19 pandemic set in. As with many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, he experienced homesickness in the months that followed the move. A keen follower of local politics when living in the province, DuBourdieu set about combatting his traveller’s lament by having some fun with the upcoming provincial election. Combining his love for "The Simpsons" and politics, he matched the politicians running in the election with the Simpsons character he saw as their cartoon counterparts. “I always loved watching 'The Simpsons,'” DuBourdieu. “I watched it with my dad.” Some matchups were tough, while others were easy fits, such as the NDP’s Jim Dinn, a former schoolteacher, and his match with Principal Skinner. "You can't take yourself too seriously. Being a teacher, that's par for the course," Dinn said of that character match. Dinn has seen the rather large social media thread containing the pictures. He said that as a teacher, he learned long ago that you have to have a sense of humour, and it's a lesson he's taken with him to politics. Seeing the thread, he took it in good fun. He said it could be worse. It could turn into a meme like a recent picture of United States Senator Bernie Sanders. "Let's have a laugh with it," said Dinn. "It's a good thing. It's a bit of good fun." The result was a 47-part thread on Twitter filled with pictures of the politicians and their characters side by side. It is a mixture of retiring MHAs, incumbents and party leaders of all political stripes. "The Simpsons" and politics have a bit of history. Across its 32 seasons, the show has mixed humour and politics. The show seemingly predicted the start of the United States presidency of Donald J. Trump, and the Lisa Simpson presidency that followed him. Coincidentally, Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans is paired with the presidential Lisa. The relationship, however, between "The Simpsons" and the political arena doesn’t stop at a coincidental presidential prediction. The show has often tackled topics of the day, such as same-sex marriage and gun control, and it has often been accused of having a liberal bias. Springfield’s Mayor Quimby is a regularly appearing character, and DuBourdieu saw him as a perfect match for Conception Bay East-Bell Island incumbent David Brazil. Homer Simpson — coupled with Topsail-Paradise MHA Paul Dinn — once fought former U.S. president George H.W. Bush after the two became neighbours. Former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford have also made cameo appearances on the show. DuBourdieu tabbed Ford as the right match with Mount Pearl North MHA Jim Lester. “Politics has always been in 'The Simpsons,' and Newfoundland politics has some characters,” said DuBourdieu. Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons knew at once who voiced Bart Simpsons’ former babysitter, Laura Powers. “That’s the one where Darlene from Roseanne voiced the character. Sara Gilbert,” she said. Like other children of the ’80s and early ’90s, Parsons grew up in the early years of "The Simpsons." She saw the show move from animated shorts on "The Tracy Ullman Show" to a pop culture phenomenon on Fox. “Growing up as a child, I certainly watched 'The Simpsons.' I loved Bart Simpson. I think we all did,” said Parsons. “I even had the little toys that McDonald’s was putting out.” Parsons is one of 10 women featured in the long Twitter thread. Of the 10, nine are incumbent MHAs and their animated doppelgangers. The remaining one is Newfoundland and Labrador Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote. She was paired with Springfield Elementary second-grade teacher Mrs. Hoover. “I like that (Dubourdieu) was non-partisan,” said Parsons, who appreciated the comedic break it offered. “I got a good chuckle out of it.” The response to the sizeable thread has been favourable online. It was something that surprised DuBourdieu at first. Since it went online, there have been dozens of interactions between politicians and the public. People have marvelled at how perfect some of the comparisons are, such as independent MHA Eddie Joyce being matched with oil tycoon Rich Texan. “It is something people are familiar with,” DuBourdieu said about why he chose to use "The Simpsons" as a reference point. Liberal candidate George Murphy tweeted that he thought of himself as the lovable barfly Barney Gumble instead of Police Chief Wiggum, the character he is attached to. Other candidates, such as Progressive Conservative candidate Kristina Ennis and the NDP’s Jenn Deon, have expressed interest in being connected to their Simpsons doubles. Lake Melville NDP candidate Amy Hogan even went ahead and did her own. It was Jerri Mackleberry, the mother of notable twins Sherri and Terri. “I think I’m probably the twins, Sherri and Terri’s mom, Jerri. It’s is the purple hair and the glasses,” Hogan tweeted. DuBourdieu pledged to do a third part of the thread if there is enough interest. In the days since it was posted, a link to the thread made its way around the Progressive Conservative email chain. “We got a good kick out of it,” said Conservative MHA Barry Petten. "You can’t help but laugh.” The Conception Bay South representative readily admitted he wasn’t much of a Simpsons watcher and had little background on Superintendent Chalmers or why he was paired with him. Still, Petten said he appreciated the work and the humour it brought to the election. “It’s all good humour,” he said. Looking back on the process and the result of his humourous entry into the Newfoundland and Labrador political scene, DuBourdieu has no regrets about piecing everything together. Some comparisons were easy, while others required a bit more thought, he said, and he learned a little along the way, namely, how male-dominated this province’s legislature is. As the province rolls toward the election on Feb. 13, DuBourdieu will watch from his home in Alberta. In the meantime, he is glad he got to contribute to the run-up in some way. “I’m glad I did it and I hope people get a good chuckle out of it,” said DuBourdieu. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Toronto police say they have arrested 10 people flouting provincial orders at anti-lockdown protests in the downtown core Saturday. In a news release late Saturday evening, police say they monitored and attended "several large gatherings" at Nathan Phillips Square, Yonge-Dundas Square and Queen's Park. Among the 10 people charged, seven protesters are facing criminal charges. Of those, five are facing charges for obstructing a police officer, two for common nuisance, one for assaulting a police officer and one for four counts of public mischief. All 10 protesters were arrested at Yonge-Dundas Square. Police say nine charges were also laid against attendees at the gatherings for failing to comply with the province's emergency orders, and three charges were laid under the Highway Traffic Act. This comes exactly one week after Toronto police arrested three people and issued 18 charges for failure to comply with the provincial stay-at-home order currently in effect for protesters in large gatherings that were flouting the order. "[We] continue to respond to calls to attend large gatherings and will take steps to disperse. Police will issue tickets and summonses to individuals when there is evidence of non-compliance of the provincial order under the EMCPA or the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA)," police said in a news release.
Liquor restrictions in Fort Simpson are set to be lifted on February 1, the village's mayor has said. The village voted to lift the restrictions in November. However, the change requires formalization from the N.W.T. government, meaning the restrictions did not simply lift the day following that plebiscite. Mayor of Fort Simpson Sean Whelly on Friday said a regulation had now been drafted that would lift restrictions from February 1. The territorial government's Department of Finance, which holds oversight of the relevant legislation, did not respond to confirm that date when approached by Cabin Radio. Fort Simpson will still have restrictions in place, despite the plebiscite's result, as the territory must abide by separate, pandemic-related restrictions on alcohol sales mandated for all N.W.T. communities. The plebiscite applied only to a set of restrictions specific to Fort Simpson that had existed before the pandemic. The pandemic rules state customers are limited to a maximum spend of $200 per day at any N.W.T. liquor store, plus a limit of six mickeys (375-ml bottles) of spirits in any 24-hour period. The plebiscite was held in response to a petition signed by more than 150 Fort Simpson residents asking for the village's restrictions to be removed. November's ballot saw 240 of 730 eligible residents vote, with 175 in favour of the change. Fifty-eight were opposed while seven ballots were rejected. The result was criticized by some residents who felt not enough public notice had been given beforehand. Finance minister Caroline Wawzonek dismissed that complaint. “Based on all of the information I have received to date, I am confident in the integrity of the plebiscite held in the village of Fort Simpson,” Wawzonek said in response. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
IDRE FJALL, SWEDEN. — Being patient paid off handsomely for Canadian Reece Howden on Saturday. After sitting back for most of the final, the 22-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., came on to capture the gold medal in a World Cup ski cross competition. It was his second World Cup win in just over a month. Howden is accustomed to leading races but said that wasn't the idea Saturday. “The plan was to not come out in front, the draft was too strong," he said on Alpine Canada's website. "I wanted to chill in the middle of the pack and give my legs a bit of a break and once I made that last turn fire up those engines and get out in front. "Today was a day of racing, not a day of leading so I was super happy with my execution and it couldn’t have gone any better.” Montreal's Chris Del Bosco of Montreal was third in the small final Saturday and seventh overall for his best finish since 2018. "It's been a while since I've been back in the small finals," said Del Bosco, who ruptured his Achilles last summer. "It felt really good to get the monkey off my back. "I made a few small mistakes in that last round, but I am heading in the right direction." Tiana Gairns, of Prince George, B.C., was a career-best fifth in the women's event. Courtney Hoffos of Invermere, B.C., and Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., were sixth and eighth, respectively. "Idre is interesting since it's such a long track with such a long straight section that you don't want to pass at the beginning," Gairns said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
A 97-year-old woman in Montreal may be the first person in Quebec to receive a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, albeit accidentally. Two weeks after receiving the Moderna vaccine, Antonietta Pollice was given a dose of the Pfizer-Bio-NTech vaccine, said her daughter, Patrizia Di Biase. Pollice, who has dementia, did not understand what vaccine she was receiving, Di Biase said. The mix-up has left the daughter livid. "Shocked. I was upset," she said. "How can that happen? 'Mistakes happen,' well, it's not a small mistake." Di Biase said Pollice received a dose of the Moderna vaccine on Jan. 7 at CHSLD Herron. With the owners of the private seniors' home deciding to close the facility, Pollice was transferred temporarily to CHSLD Joseph-François-Perrault on Jan. 11. Di Biase said staff at the CHSLD called her on Friday to inform her that Pollice had accidentally been given the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. She says she was in shock and had staff repeat the information twice before she hung up because she couldn't process the news. "It's unacceptable. They have to do something about it," Di Biase said. "I don't want this to happen again. It's happened now, we can't go back for my mom, but we need to go forward and have everybody know." Quebec Premier François Legault made the decision earlier this month to delay all second doses of the vaccine in favour of inoculating more people with a first dose instead. The government has said that everyone who received the first dose so far will get the second after 90 days. Di Biase said she has reached out to Quebec Public Health seeking answers. A spokesperson for the regional health authority in charge of CHSLD Joseph-François-Perrault said the situation has been brought to its attention and it is currently investigating. The CIUSSS de l'Est-de-l'Île-de-Montréal wouldn't give further details, citing confidentiality. But spokesperson Valérie Lafleur said that if this happened, a rigorous review would be put in place involving the medical team, public health and a team from infection prevention and control. Mixing COVID-19 vaccines Most concerning to Di Biase is the effect of inoculating her mother with two different vaccines. The Public Health Agency of Canada says Canadians should receive the same COVID-19 vaccine for both shots — except in very specific and unlikely situations. According to the public health agency's recommendations on the use of the vaccine, "no data exist on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines." Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Public Health England share those same recommendations. Infectious disease specialist and microbiologist Dr. Donald Vinh, who is also an adviser to the federal government's COVID-19 task force, said each individual's situation is different but that the jury is still out on mixing vaccines. "The short answer is that we don't know anything," he said. "There is no data to determine whether or not that's efficacious. There is simply an experience, or more of a gut feeling, among people who have vaccine and immunology experience that it is probably acceptable to use different mRNA-based vaccines." WATCH | Montreal woman says vaccine mix-up 'not a small mistake': Jörg Fritz, an associate professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at McGill University in Montreal, agrees. Still, despite the lack of data, he said mixing the two vaccines should not be immediate cause for alarm. "I wouldn't be too worried because both vaccines were approved, they went through rigorous testing," Fritz said. "It shouldn't happen, a mix-up like that, but I don't think it'll have any negative consequences. There is no scientific reason to believe there are any negative consequences."
An Ontario doctor who caught the coronavirus variant is no longer on the medical team at two nursing homes east of Toronto, after it was revealed this week that she's been charged with obstruction for allegedly misleading health officials about her contacts. Dr. Martina Weir was an attending physician at Fairview Lodge in Whitby, Ont., and Hillsdale Terraces in Oshawa, Ont., long-term care homes run by the Durham Region municipal government. A spokesperson confirmed by email on Saturday that Weir "is no longer working as an attending physician at any of Durham Region's long-term care homes." Weir's status at the homes was suspended earlier this week and her contract was put under review, after CBC News revealed she has been charged with three provincial offences alleging she hindered COVID-19 contact-tracing efforts. Two of the charges under Ontario's Health Protection and Promotion Act against Weir allege she provided inaccurate information about her contacts both before and after it was discovered, by fluke, that she and her husband had caught the highly contagious variant of the coronavirus first detected in the United Kingdom. The third charge alleges she committed obstruction by giving false information to Durham Region's associate medical officer of health. Her husband, Brian Weir, who works in administration for Toronto Paramedic Services as a senior scheduler, has also been charged with three similar counts. The non-criminal charges, which carry a maximum penalty of $5,000 each, have not been tested in court. Weir and her husband said through their respective lawyers earlier this week that they are not guilty and will "vigorously defend" themselves. Their case first came to public attention on Boxing Day when Ontario's Ministry of Health put out a statement that a then-unnamed Durham Region couple had tested positive for the coronavirus variant first reported in the U.K. The Health Ministry said at the time that they had "no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts." But a day later, the ministry issued a second statement alleging the couple had withheld information. "Additional investigation and follow-up case and contact management has revealed that the couple had, indeed, been in contact with a recent traveller from the U.K., which is new information not provided in earlier interviews," the ministry said on Dec. 27. CBC News has learned that a close family member who lives in Britain flew to Canada in mid-December to spend time over the holidays at the Weirs' home. 'Protocols were followed' The two nursing homes where Weir worked have made it clear that "there are no concerns about risk to residents related to this matter," because Weir wasn't on site after Dec. 11 — well before she is believed to have tested positive for COVID-19. Weir also has staff privileges at three hospitals in Durham Region. Lakeridge Health, which operates the hospitals, said on Thursday that Weir didn't enter any hospital facilities, work or care for patients during the month of December. "All COVID-19 prevention protocols were followed to ensure the safety of our team and our patients," Lakeridge Health said in a statement. CBC News also has no information that Weir's husband went to work and put anyone at risk at his workplace.
WASHINGTON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear to President Joe Biden on Saturday that he's eager to forge a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal. The push for a new deal came in a broad-ranging call between the two leaders that touched on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Biden administration announcing this week that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization, according to a statement from Downing Street. A new trade agreement between the allies is a higher priority for Johnson than it is for Biden. The U.K. regained control over its national trade policy at the start of the month following the end of a post-Brexit transition period. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the administration had no timeline for forging a new trade deal as Biden's attention is largely focused on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and pressing Congress to pass the president's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Janet Yellen, Biden's Treasury secretary nominee, also signalled during her confirmation hearing earlier this week that Biden wasn't eager to negotiate new trade deals. “President Biden has been clear that he will not sign any new free trade agreements before the U.S. makes major investments in American workers and our infrastructure,” Yellen said. Downing Street said Saturday that Biden and Johnson discussed “the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries," and Johnson “reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible." The call with Johnson was at least Biden's third call with a foreign counterpart since Friday. The president spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday evening. Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press
A burned body, believed to be that of a homeless person, has been found in a forested area of North Vancouver. RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries says no foul play is suspected at this time and it appears to have been a tragic accident. He says a resident of a nearby home called police around 5 p.m. PT Friday about a fire in the bushes behind the Phibbs Exchange bus loop near Orwell Street. Police found the body, along with items that suggested the person had set up shelter in the area. DeVries says the cause of the fire is under investigation but the temperature has dropped significantly in North Vancouver and the person might have been trying to stay warm. 'If you see homeless people, help them out' He says the BC Coroners Service is working to identify the person and it is not currently known if the individual was a woman or a man. He says it's not clear whether anyone other than the deceased person was camping there and no one else was at the scene when police arrived. DeVries is urging everyone to do what they can to help homeless people, especially as winter weather hits Metro Vancouver. "If you see homeless people, help them out,'' he said. He points to a program started by a fellow North Vancouver RCMP officer, Cpl. Randy Wong, called Warming the Homeless, which delivers socks, toques, mittens and other items to people living on the streets. When the weather gets cold, police proactively go out and find people who may be homeless and help them find shelter, DeVries added. "I know that police agencies throughout the Lower Mainland do the same things. It's a sad reality of society that this is the case.''
LA QUINTA, Calif. — Max Homa has been tearing up the Stadium Course at The American Express for two days. If he can do it one more time Sunday, the Southern California native could be raising his second career PGA Tour trophy. Homa made nine birdies and shrugged off a double bogey on the way to a 7-under 65 in the third round Saturday, joining Tony Finau and Si Woo Kim atop the leaderboard at 15-under 201. Richy Werenski also shot a 65 and moved within a shot of the lead on the Stadium Course at PGA West near Palm Springs. Roger Sloan of Merritt, Ont., is in a seven-way tie for 13th place after a 3-under 69 Saturday, four strokes behind Homa. Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, B.C. shot a 2-over 74, to fall into a tie for 31st place. Taylor finished his second round in second place, one stroke behind then-leader Sungjae Im. Fellow Abbotsford native Adam Hadwin also shot a 2-over 74 and is now in a tie for 55th place. Brantford, Ont. native David Hearn is in a tie for 63rd at 2-under par. Burlington native Michael Gilgic failed to make the cut to play Saturday. Scotland's Russell Knox shot the day's low round with a 64 — one stroke off the course record — to join Brian Harman and Emiliano Grillo at 13 under. Finau and Kim both shot 67. Kim was bogey-free, while the streakier Finau bounced back from a double bogey on the 13th with three consecutive birdies. The field played through sparse desert rain in the afternoon. Precipitation finally fell in earnest when the final group reached the 18th hole, with Finau and Kim forced to pull out their umbrellas. Second-round leader Sungjae Im struggled to a 73, leaving him five shots off the lead after four bogeys — including a triple bogey on the ninth after putting two straight shots in the water. First-round leader Brandon Hagy shot a 72 and was even with Im at 10 under. Homa is in prime position for his second career win in his first tournament of the new year. He began the day just three shots off Im's pace at 8 under, and he swiftly closed the gap with four birdies in his first five holes. Homa has 17 birdies in the last two rounds on the Stadium Course. “There’s obviously a handful of very daunting holes, but I’ve been fortunate enough to play here a ton, so I have a pretty good feel for the place,” Homa said. “I’ve been able to put myself in a position to have good looks for birdie, and I’ve been putting great. It’s just something about these greens. It feels like home.” The Burbank-born son of a well-known acting coach put his tee shot in the water and two-putted for that double bogey on the seventh, but Homa made up for it with birdies on five of his next eight holes, including three in a row down the back stretch. Finau put his tee shot in the water on the 13th and then missed a 10-inch putt for double bogey, but the Utah native rebounded with three of his eight birdies on a series of impressive approach shots. Werenski charged into fourth with a round that included six birdies and was highlighted by an eagle on the fifth after an exceptional 224-yard approach shot left him a 4-foot putt. The 29-year-old Massachusetts native is seeking his second PGA Tour win. After going bogey-free through his first 48 holes at The American Express, he finally missed a 10-foot par putt on the 13th before rallying with two more birdies down the stretch “I’ve been giving myself plenty of looks and just haven’t been converting them, and today I finally made some (putts),” Werenski said. “So I think we’re kind of turning the corner.. ... I’ve always liked this place. I’ve never finished really, really high here, but I’ve always known that I could play really good. It just fits my eye.” Australia's Cameron Davis had the shot of the day on the 15th, holing out for eagle from 157 yards away from a section of rough below the fairway. Davis finished the third round at 12-under 204 along with Rory Sabbatini, Chase Seiffert, Francesco Molinari and Doug Ghim. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Greg Beacham, The Associated Press
Twenty people in custody at the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam, B.C., have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Fraser Health. The health authority announced the outbreak on Friday and said it is working to identify others who may have had contact with those who tested positive at the jail. There have been several outbreaks in prisons and jails across Canada, including Mission Institution in B.C.'s Fraser Valley, where an inmate died in April. Fraser Health says there is also a new outbreak at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. It says two patients tested positive for COVID-19 in a surgical unit at the hospital and the outbreak is limited to that unit. The emergency department remains open and the health authority says other areas of the hospital are not affected by the outbreak. The health authority also announced two outbreaks have ended: one at the rehabilitation unit at Queen's Park Care Centre in New Westminster and the other at Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre. The news follows Friday's announcement of 508 new cases of COVID-19 and nine more deaths. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix put the number of hospitalized patients at 315, including 74 who are in intensive care. There are currently 4,479 active cases of coronavirus in the province. On Saturday, Vancouver Coastal Health announced an exposure event at Hail Mary's, a restaurant at 670 East Broadway, from Jan. 13 to Jan. 16. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control also announced new possible COVID-19 exposures on recent flights between Toronto and Vancouver, and from Dallas to Vancouver.