Deviled eggs are making a comeback! These deviled eggs have been updated so they stand up on a plate. We serve these warm so the flavors are alive. Enjoy!
Deviled eggs are making a comeback! These deviled eggs have been updated so they stand up on a plate. We serve these warm so the flavors are alive. Enjoy!
EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition says Premier Jason Kenney is sowing distrust by recounting misleading anecdotes to illustrate COVID-19 policy decisions. “I think this is about trust. I think this is about telling the truth,” NDP critic Sarah Hoffman said Friday. “I think we’ve seen many examples where the premier tries to bolster his own narrative. “This is a trend of being dishonest, and I think it really does call into question what trust and confidence we can have in the things the premier says and does.” Hoffman’s comments came a day after Kenney’s office confirmed the United Conservative premier “misspoke” when he used an anecdote about a super-spreader birthday party in Athabasca as a key driver of recent soaring COVID-19 rates in the town north of Edmonton. Kenney used the party as an example of how super-spreaders are not necessarily driven by in-school transmission but by social gatherings. "Apparently the virus had a 100 per cent attack rate at that birthday party. All of the kids who came to that birthday party got sick,'' Kenney said Monday. He repeated the same information at a news conference again Tuesday. An official with Alberta Health later said there was no data to suggest there had been an outbreak from a children's party in the community. Athabasca Mayor Colleen Powell said the publicity the community of 13,000 people has received since the premier's comments is not the kind it wants. "Why are you saying these things when you don't know?" Powell asked in an interview. "I had a couple of people get in touch with me (asking) who held the party. News spreads like wildfire." Just over 100 people, including students and a dozen staff, from three different schools in Athabasca tested positive for COVID-19 and its variants. Kenney’s spokesperson, Jerrica Goodwin, responded Friday in a short statement. “The premier was using the very real example to illustrate a point of the serious nature of COVID-19 and ease of transmission. As we've acknowledged, he misspoke on the specific location,” said Goodwin. “All the NDP's ridiculous criticism shows is that they can only attack and criticize.” Kenney has used anecdotes before to illustrate the rationale for COVID-19 policy decisions taken by his government. In late November, he cited an impromptu encounter with a food court kiosk owner — a refugee from Venezuela — as an example of the devastating impacts that COVID-19 health restrictions can have on businesses. “She came up to me, and she broke down in tears in front of me saying, 'Sir, I put my entire life savings as a refugee into this business. We're struggling to pay the bills. If you shut me down, I'm going to lose it all, everything, and I'll be in abject poverty,’” Kenney recounted at the time. When reached later by a reporter, the owner, Carolina De La Torre, said Kenney accurately recounted her core concerns of balancing health and the economy. But she dismissed the colourful drama, saying she did not cry and did not approach him, rather it was Kenney who approached her. Earlier this week, the premier came under criticism for challenging a radio host for saying Kenney once downplayed COVID-19 as the flu, telling the host he had never done so. Hansard, the official record of house debate, recorded Kenney calling the virus “influenza” multiple times during debate on May 27, 2020. In late February, just before Kenney’s government released its first COVID-era budget, he announced that due to oil and gas revenues the revised forecast deficit for the 2020 fiscal year would be about $14 billion — a third lower than expected. Treasury officials refused reporter requests to confirm the accuracy of that figure and, two days later, the budget revealed the 2020 deficit forecast was $20 billion. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. — With files from Fakiha Baig in Edmonton Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press
Ontario's new COVID-19 rules and restrictions - from cutting outdoor gatherings to extending police powers - have drawn out mass criticism and condemnation by medical experts, residents.
VANCOUVER — A mineral exploration company with provincial permits to work in Tahltan territory in northwestern British Columbia is treading on sacred grounds, an elected leader in the nation's government says. Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. There's "no way" the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, he said. "The Sheslay area was a major village site in pre-contact times and even nowadays we have many elders who were born in the Sheslay area. Many of our ancestors are buried out there," Day said in an interview. "British Columbia, Doubleview, we should all just save ourselves a lot of time, energy and conflict and get Doubleview out of there," he said. Doubleview has 10 mineral tenures covering about 63 square kilometres where "an aggressive 2021 exploration program is being planned," the company said in an update posted online in February. It said it expected to give shareholders a more complete assessment of the deposit's value after verifying the results of metallurgical sample analysis. The Tahltan Central Government accuses Doubleview of failing to act in a manner consistent with both Tahltan protocols for the mining sector and with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Tahltan made "many reasonable attempts to work with Doubleview in a respectful manner," the central government said in a statement in March. But the company has a "track record of being disrespectful ... including unsuccessfully taking legal action against Tahltan leaders and elders in 2015," it said. Doubleview "regrets the poor relationship that we have established" with the Tahltan, lead director Andrew Rees said in an email when asked about the conflict, and the company offered an apology letter after the nation's public statement. "Doubleview strives to be a responsible steward of the areas in which we live and operate, and continues to seek a positive, collaborative, productive, and mutually beneficial relationship with the Tahltan Central Government." The Mines Ministry said Doubleview was first granted a multi-year permit in 2012 in a process that included consultation with the Tahltan Nation. Laws and legal precedents concerning Indigenous rights and title have changed since then, said Day. The B.C. government is now in the early stages of aligning its laws with the UN declaration after adopting it through legislation. It requires governments to obtain free, prior and informed consent before taking actions that affect Indigenous Peoples and territories — which would include decisions on proposed mines and future exploration work permits. The statutory adoption of the UN declaration means industry and the B.C. government must start building "processes that seek a genuine consent from Indigenous governments, communities and people," Day said. "And there's a huge difference between having a conversation and calling it consultation versus having a robust consultation process that is aiming to get consent from Indigenous people." The Tahltan Nation has "excellent relationships" with the majority of mining and mineral exploration companies operating in its territory, Day noted. There are three active mines — Red Chris, Silvertip and Brucejack — and the nation has impact benefit agreements with each of the companies. "When you have Tahltan title and rights over 11 per cent of the province and you have jurisdiction over an area the size of Portugal, you don't need to be supportive of projects that are in really culturally sensitive areas," Day said. The Tahltan has communication agreements with more than two dozen mining and mineral exploration companies allowing it to check in on their work as necessary, he said. Day said Doubleview had refused to sign, though Rees said the company is now waiting to hear back from the nation after sending a written response about a communications and engagement agreement. "We acknowledge that it has taken us much longer to do so than we would have liked and attribute the delay to internal miscommunication and lack of expert resources," the Doubleview statement said. "Our utmost priority right now remains getting back to the table ... and doing so in a respectful and collaborative manner so that we can continue understanding Tahltan Nation's ongoing concerns, which will allow us to collaboratively develop appropriate mitigation measures." Day, however, said the company has "chosen a path of conflict" with the Tahltan and he would oppose any further permits. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press
A Peel police officer has been suspended and an internal investigation has been launched after a Global News reporter recorded him hugging unmasked people who were protesting against the closure of a Mississauga gym. Peel Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said he became aware of the incident, which took place outside the gym, Friday afternoon after he saw various social media posts. "Upon learning of the incident, I immediately directed that the sergeant be suspended and commenced an Internal Affairs investigation," he wrote in a statement. "Peel Regional Police are committed to ensuring the safety of our members and the public. Our officers will enforce municipal and provincial regulations as required." According to reporting by Global News, one of its reporters was at Huf Gym near Cawthra Road and Dundas Street East on Friday to report on continuing protests against the Ford government's COVID-19 restrictions, which have temporarily shuttered gyms. There, the reporter, identified as Sean O'Shea, recorded himself as an unmasked protester aggressively approached him wearing a sweater with the words, "hugs over masks." O'Shea, still recording, approached a Peel police officer at the scene and asked if he condoned that behaviour. The officer in the video can be heard telling the journalist that he was agitating the crowd. The same officer, not wearing a mask or any COVID-19 protective gear, can later be seen hugging some of the protesters and posing for pictures. None of the demonstrators can be seen physically distancing or wearing any protective equipment. Duraiappah's statement says members of the force continue to follow advice issued by local public health officials "while using the appropriate safety precautions, including all available Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)." Under current COVID-19 restrictions, all gatherings and protests must follow provincial laws. Tickets may be issued to individuals or organizers who do not comply with this order, the statement reads.
A shutdown at the Windsor Assembly Plant is being extended amid an "unprecedented" global shortage of microchips, automaker Stellantis says. The plant was expected to be closed for four weeks starting on March 29. Unifor Local 444, which represents workers, said the closure is expected to last an extra week, until May 3. A spokesperson for the company confirmed that the closure would last through the end of April. "Stellantis continues to work closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry," Stellantis spokesperson LouAnn Gosselin said in a statement. Along with other industries, the auto sector is grappling with a shortage of the electronic chips needed to make vehicles. Other automakers, such as Ford and General Motors, have slashed production. The Windsor Assembly Plant is in its second shutdown due to the shortage. In February, production was halted for three weeks.
The captain of the Vancouver Canucks has a message for the masses: take COVID-19 seriously. Bo Horvat, one of 21 Vancouver players recovering from the outbreak, said he unwittingly infected his wife with the virus. The couple's infant son, Gunnar, has not been tested. "It hit her a little harder than it hit me. I'm one of the lucky ones, my symptoms were fairly mild … I got through them and am continuing to get through them," he said. "I'm not going to lie, it was tough to know my family got it from me." On Friday the NHL once again adjusted the Canucks schedule to give players more time to recover from their illnesses and a three-week layoff. Vancouver returns to game play Sunday versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, with a repeat match up on Tuesday. P1 variant confirmed General manager Jim Benning confirmed the P1 variant originally detected in Brazil is the outbreak's cause. He also said the variant is why the Canucks were hit harder than other NHL teams that have dealt with COVID. Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning has confirmed the teams COVID-19 outbreak was caused by the P1 variant initially detected in Brazil. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) "What was different with our situation is with the regular COVID it seemed that after 10 days players were ready to get back on the ice and start working out and performing," he said. "But we had players that when they did that, they still had symptoms." Benning said the virus "buckled" some of the players, and that three or four regulars likely won't be ready when games resume. Head coach Travis Green, who also contracted COVID-19, has yet to return to practices. Originally, the Canucks were supposed to host Edmonton Friday night in their first game back. But after forward J.T. Miller publicly questioned the wisdom of forcing games when so many on the team were still recovering, the schedule was delayed. 'Guys were not healthy' "[J.T.] spoke on behalf of the team and it was needed. He basically got the ball rolling," said Horvat. "Guys were just not healthy enough to play.… I think a lot more guys will be ready to go on Sunday." According to Horvat, no Canucks players have yet been vaccinated. That's in comparison to the majority of players on U.S. teams — and their family members — who have. "It's a little bit of a slower rollout here in Canada. We've got to get the essential workers done first," he said. "That's out of our control and I guess we have to wait our turn." According to a Vancouver Coastal Health spokesperson, the Vancouver Canucks organization does not qualify for the program of accelerated vaccinations to target workplace outbreaks because employees are not essential workers. Benning said Canucks practices will remain closed to media for the time being to give recovering players some privacy. "Some haven't been on the ice for three weeks," he said. "We don't want them to be judged."
SANTA FE, N.M. — The 300-million-year-old shark’s teeth were the first sign that it might be a distinct species. The ancient chompers looked less like the spear-like rows of teeth of related species. They were squatter and shorter, less than an inch long, around 2 centimetres. “Great for grasping and crushing prey rather than piercing prey,” said discoverer John-Paul Hodnett, who was a graduate student when he unearthed the first fossils of the shark at a dig east of Albuquerque in 2013. This week, Hodnett and a slew of other researchers published their findings in a bulletin of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science identifying the shark as a separate species. He named the 6.7-foot (2 metre) monster Dracopristis hoffmanorum, or Hoffman’s Dragon Shark, in honour of the New Mexico family that owns the land in the Manzano Mountains where the fossils were found. Hodnett says the area is rife with fossils and easy to access because of a quarry and other commercial digging operations. The name also harkens to the dragon-like jawline and 2.5-foot (0.75-meter) fin spines that inspired the discovery’s initial nickname, “Godzilla Shark.” The formal naming announcement followed seven years of excavation, preservation and study. The 12 rows of teeth on the shark's lower jaw, for example, were still obscured by layers of sediment after excavation. Hodnett only saw them by using an angled light technique that illuminates objects below. Hodnett is now the paleontologist and program co-ordinator for the Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission’s Dinosaur Park in Laurel, Maryland. His fellow researchers come from the New Mexico museum, as well as St. Joseph’s University in Pennsylvania, Northern Arizona University, and Idaho State University. The recovered fossil skeleton is considered the most complete of its evolutionary branch —ctenacanth — that split from modern sharks and rays around 390 million years ago and went extinct around 60 million years later. Back then, eastern New Mexico was covered by a seaway that extended deep into North America. Hodnett and his colleagues believe that Hoffman’s dragon shark most likely lived in the shallows along the coast, stalking prey like crustaceans, fish and other sharks. New Mexico's high desert plateaus have also yielded many dinosaur fossils, including various species of tyrannosaurus that roamed the land millions of years ago when it was a tropical rain forest. ___ Attanasio is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for Americ a is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues. Follow Attanasio on Twitter. Cedar Attanasio, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Conservatives have moved to quash a government bill that mandates Ottawa set legally binding targets to hit net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 over a lack of representation from the oil and gas sector on an outside advisory panel. Tory House Leader Gerard Deltell put forward the motion during the fourth debate of Bill C-12. It asks the House not to give the legislation a second reading, where it could be approved in principle and sent to a committee for further study. The Conservatives' motion says C-12 fails to implement a plan that addresses climate change while protecting Canadian jobs and economic growth. It says the Liberal government failed to work with other parties as to who would be part of an outside group advising the environment minister on how to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson expressed disappointment with the move and questioned the Tories' commitment to fighting climate change. "This move comes the day after Erin O'Toole released a climate pamphlet that made no commitment to get Canada to net-zero emissions by 2050," Wilkinson said in a statement. The Conservative motion said Liberals appointed "climate activists" to the outside panel and if the government acts on their advice it would destroy the oil and gas sector, as well as other industries, and weaken national unity. "What bothers us with regard to this bill is that yet again, the Liberals have a hidden agenda," said Conservative MP Joel Godin in French. "They're already making appointments — they've identified people who would be on the advisory body. Can we not respect all industries in Canada?" The government announced in February that 14 people had been appointed to the advisory group. Among those were the president of the Canadian Labour Congress and executive director of Climate Action Network Canada. The Yukon regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations and former president of SaskPower also make up the advisory panel. "Conservatives wanted to work with the Liberals on their plan to reach net-zero, but the Trudeau government has broken their promise to work with representatives from oil and gas companies and their organizations," Tory environment critic Dan Albas said in a statement. He said the panel doesn't include anyone from oil and gas or associated groups, even though the natural resources minister has said the country can't achieve net-zero emissions without the sector. "The body is filled with individuals who are actively working to hurt Canada's energy workers and against oil and gas projects." The Conservative motion comes after Wilkinson sent a letter to opposition leaders urging they end the debate over C-12 and move it onto the next legislative stage. He asked that if leaders didn't allow the debate to wrap, that they consider supporting the government's use of what he called "the parliamentary tools available" to move the bill forward. The NDP and the Bloc Québécois say the bill needs to be strengthened while the Liberals say they are open to making amendments. NDP environment and climate change critic Laurel Collins said the bill doesn't include any accountability mechanisms for the next 10 years and wants it include a 2025 milestone target. "The Conservatives have not been treating climate change seriously and it's clear that they're not interested in getting this bill into law. But the Liberals need to stop blaming everyone else for their failure to address climate change." The push to move C-12 to committee comes a day after O'Toole unveiled his long-promised plan to combat climate change, which Wilkinson has dismissed as convoluted, inconsistent and ineffective. O'Toole, who campaigned for his party's leadership with a promise to scrap what he calls the Liberals' carbon tax, is now proposing to levy his own price on carbon, the money from which would be put into personalized savings accounts which individuals could tap to make green purchases. The bill would require the federal environment minister to set rolling, five-year targets for cutting carbon emissions starting in 2030 and ending in 2050, when the Liberal government has promised to achieve net-zero emissions. It does not specify what those targets would be and would not require an actual number — or a plan to get there — until at least six months after it becomes law. The only penalty for failing to meet the targets would be a public admission of failure. — With files from Joan Bryden This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
New Ontario COVID-19 restrictions are giving police the power to stop and question people who are outside of their homes and ask for their address. The option to increase police powers is a bit alarming and dishevelling to Chris Rudnicki, a partner and legal counsel at Rusonik, O'Connor, Robbins, Ross, Gorham and Angelini, who admitted he's concerned there could be some overstepping by police and are constitutionally concerning.
ATHABASCA, Alta. — The mayor of a town in northern Alberta says Premier Jason Kenney shouldn't have commented about an outbreak of COVID-19 among school students and staff if he didn't know the circumstances. Kenney said during two news conferences this week that the outbreak in Athabasca, Alta., was one of the worst in the entire province and had stemmed from a birthday party. "Apparently the virus had a 100 per cent attack rate at that birthday party. All of the kids who came to that birthday party got sick,'' he said. An official with Alberta Health subsequently said there was no data to suggest there had been an outbreak from a children's party in the community. A spokeswoman for Kenney said he misspoke about the location of the party and was using it as an example of how easily COVID-19 can spread. Mayor Colleen Powell says the publicity the town of 13,000 people has received since the premier's comments is not the kind it wants. "Why are you saying these things when you don't know?" Powell asked in a phone interview. "I had a couple of people get in touch with me (asking) who held the party. News spreads like wildfire." Just over 100 people, including students and a dozen staff, from three different schools in Athabasca tested positive for COVID-19 and its variants. But students and teachers are feeling confident about returning to classrooms on Monday after a week of spring break and two weeks of self-isolating, said the superintendent for Aspen View Public Schools. "We feel like we've mitigated the risk, and we feel like it's time to go back and give it a shot," said Neil O'Shea. "Some of the cases within the town and the county have gone down. We've deep-cleaned all of our schools. We've adjusted a little bit of our protocols around masking. Our phys-ed classes are going to be held outside." The area had 155 active cases on Friday. O'Shea said he first heard about an outbreak near the end of March at Edwin Parr Composite School, where about 700 students in Grades 7 to 12 are enrolled. Students from two more schools started showing symptoms and the school board shut them all down, he said. "We went all the way from kindergarten to Grade 12 online for the three weeks, just because of the interconnectedness of our communities and families and transportation and workplaces." Powell said that earlier in the pandemic, she kind of agreed with some who said rural towns shouldn't face the same public health restrictions because they are smaller. But with the rapid rise in cases, she doesn't feel that way anymore. "It's been a lesson." Anne Karczmarczyk is a school board trustee and the mother of two girls who tested positive in the Edwin Parr Composite outbreak. She said she has heard nothing about a birthday party and the premier's comments came as a surprise to her. "My own daughters contracted the variant and they got it from school. I know for a fact that all of the cases were at our school and not all from a birthday party," Karczmarczyk said. "It sets an uneasy feeling when you hear that, especially as a parent who had children with COVID ... I just know my kids did not receive it from a birthday party." Karczmarczyk said the two other schools that were shut down were a primary school and a middle school. "There were probably contacts from busing, or contacts from siblings or family members ... that sort of thing. That would basically (be) how it travels everywhere else." She said the community has been working hard to bring down cases. "It's an eye-opener, hopefully, for people to be more vigilant," Karczmarczyk said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. — By Fakiha Baig in Edmonton ___ This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
This family bought their puppy a mini Golden Retriever sensor-activated toy that moves and barks. Check out the reaction!
Calgary's hospitals are filling up with COVID-19 patients once again as an unrelenting third wave — driven primarily by the B117 variant first identified in the U.K. — rages through Alberta. The number of COVID-19 patients in Calgary has jumped by 51 per cent in just over two weeks, from 112 on April 1 to 169 on Friday. At the start of the month, 28 people were in ICU, compared with 42 on Friday. COVID-19 wards are fully operational across the city. As of Thursday afternoon, roughly 128 of the 188 designated beds on these units were full. An additional 25 intensive care unit beds have been added to deal with the influx — bringing the total in Calgary's four adult hospitals to 91. With those surge beds, the city's ICUs were running at 80 per cent capacity as of Thursday. And health-care workers have — yet again — been redeployed to care for patients in those ICU surge beds and on the COVID wards. "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't tremendously frustrated," said Dr. Peter Jamieson, an associate medical director with Alberta Health Services, Calgary zone. "We all just desperately want this to be over.… And I think within the walls of the hospital, we all have those same kinds of feelings and frustrations." Many staff already reassigned to vaccination clinics Jamieson has been watching as the number of COVID-19 patients swells all over again. He says Calgary's hospitals have the capacity to expand further, and he's confident patients can be cared for. But, he warns, this will come at a cost. "In order to do that, we're at … significant risk of having to slow down other services to free up the staff in order to look after the COVID patients," he said. Surgeries and outpatient services may have to be put on hold yet again. And the third wave brings with it a new complication, according to Jamieson. Many of the workers who will be needed have already been redeployed to provide vaccinations. "So a big surge in COVID patients means that we may need to cut back on our usual services and it may lead to stresses in being able to deliver the other important COVID services like vaccinations." Dr. Daniel Niven is an intensive care physician at Peter Lougheed Centre and assistant professor in the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary.(Erin Brooke Burns) Patients younger, sicker A Calgary intensive care specialist, Dr. Daniel Niven, says there has been a steady increase in patients coming to the intensive care unit at the Peter Lougheed Centre over the past few weeks. "There's no doubt that there's been a rise and we're seeing more of these patients everyday," he said. "While we're still seeing patients that are 60 or 70 years of age with a few well controlled medical problems, we're seeing a number of younger patients who come in with no medical problems and then have severe COVID-19 and need to be placed on a ventilator for life-support." Patients also appear to be deteriorating more rapidly. "There seems to be a higher rate of younger people getting severely ill and getting severely ill very quickly," said Jamieson. He says young people can progress from having initial symptoms to critical illness — potentially requiring a ventilator — in just days. All this leaves Jamieson with a plea for Albertans. "For our health system to continue to deliver all the services that we want it to, we desperately need the public health measures to be effective, and we really, really need the people of Calgary and Alberta to hang in there and stick the landing on, hopefully, this last wave of public health measures."
Yukon's mining regime needs a major overhaul, according to the final report from an independent panel appointed by the territorial government. The Yukon Mineral Development Strategy report was released on Thursday, and it includes 95 wide-ranging recommendations for how to modernize the mining industry and ensure it's socially and environmentally sustainable, and beneficial to local communities. Recommendations include updating mining legislation — namely the Quartz Mining Act and the Placer Mining Act — streamlining land use planning and revamping the royalty system to make it more equitable. Math'ieya Alatini, one of the three panel members appointed to draft the report, said the overall goal is to "move the industry forward," in co-operation with the Yukon government and First Nations. "Not just the industry, but the entire relationship, [moving] forward in a holistic manner — so really that was our approach," she said. "[It's] a very pragmatic approach to how we can do better, by working together." A central tenet of the strategy is ensuring First Nations rights are respected and that the mining sector's competitive edge isn't dulled. "The whole of Yukon government must embrace the principles of reconciliation and work to build the trust and respect of Yukon First Nation governments, and the entities and agencies borne of the modern treaties and agreements," the strategy states. The timing of the release — just days after the territorial election and before the next government is sworn in — was strategic, Alatini said. '[It's] a very pragmatic approach to how we can do better, by working together,' said Math'ieya Alatini, one of the three independent panelists who drafted the Mineral Development Strategy. (Philippe Morin/CBC) It's meant to show that the panel and its work are independent of government, she said — but it also puts it on the front-burner for the next territorial government, as well as First Nations. "In the report, there are priorities and, to us, there are some clear first steps. But it will really be up to the governments to have that discussion and to come up with the top priorities and how those top priorities are going to be implemented," she said. The report is the culmination of about 16 months of work by the three-person panel. That panel was appointed after the Yukon government and First Nations governments signed a memorandum of understanding on mining in 2017. A draft strategy was released late last year for public review and Thursday's document is the final product. 'Social sustainability' The strategy "fulfills the desire of many engagement participants for a bold, transformative approach to Yukon mineral development now and into the future," it reads. One of the goals is to move the industry toward "social sustainability," the report says. That would mean moving the territory farther away from how mining was approached in the past, when the North was plundered for resources to send south, and benefit other regions. "Recognition that the adverse effects of resource development are borne locally, while many of the benefits are exported outside the Yukon, is crucial to social sustainability." Recommendations in the report include: overhaul or replace Yukon's century-old Quartz Mining Act and Placer Mining Act with new legislation ensure that First Nations can capitalize on resource development projects change royalty and tax structures to ensure more money comes to Yukon implement a profit-based placer gold royalty introduce a payroll tax on out-of-territory workers in Yukon implement a First Nation Resource Charge, to help First Nations cover the costs of reviewing and monitoring mining and exploration projects introduce a new tax for all industrial water users accelerate the land use planning process across Yukon Lewis Rifkind of the Yukon Conservation Society welcomed the report and recommendations, saying it's time to fix Yukon's "ecological horror show." "Now, we don't agree with all of [the recommendations], but by and large what the panel is proposing will be a great improvement on what we currently have," Rifkind said. 'It's not going to be a perfect improvement, and there's a lot of room for changes and a lot of room for devil-in-the-details,' said Lewis Rifkind of the Yukon Conservation Society.(CBC) Rifkind said an overhaul of Yukon's mining legislation is overdue, but the panel's recommendation to complete that work by 2025 might be unrealistic. "That's ambitious," Rifkind said. "Rewriting one of the three major pieces of legislation of the Yukon government may take longer than that … but it does need to be redone." Rifkind also questioned whether a profit-based placer mining royalty would have any real benefit for Yukon, since mining companies typically reinvest any profits into further developing their operations. Still, he said, the report's recommendations need to be considered seriously. "It's not going to be a perfect improvement, and there's a lot of room for changes and a lot of room for devil-in-the-details." CBC News also requested an interview with Ed Peart, president of the Yukon Chamber of Mines, about the newly-released strategy, but was told Peart wanted time to review the document before commenting. CBC also sought comment from Chief Roberta Joseph, of Dawson City-based Tr'ondek Hwëch'in First Nation, but she was not available.
In November, the Canadian government said it would make it easier for Hong Kong youth to study and work in Canada in response to new security rules imposed by China on the former British colony. "In the first three weeks that the program was open (Feb. 8 to Feb. 28), IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) received 503 applications for work permits and 10 applications for work permit extensions," press secretary Alexander Cohen said in an emailed statement.
KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — La Soufriere volcano shot out another explosive burst of gas and ash on Friday as a cruise ship arrived to evacuate some of the foreigners who had been stuck on a St. Vincent island coated in ash from a week of violent eruptions. The explosions that began on April 9 forced some 20,000 to flee the northern end of the eastern Caribbean island for shelters and contaminated water supplies across the island. Friday morning's blast “wasn’t a big explosion compared to the ones that we last weekend, but it was big enough to punch a hole through the clouds," said Richard Robertson, lead scientist at the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center, in an interview with local NBC radio. “Probably got up to 8,000 metres (26,000 feet)." During a comparable eruption cycle in 1902, explosive eruptions continued to shake the island for months after an initial burst killed some 1,700 people, though the new eruptions so far have caused no reported deaths among a population that had received official warning a day earlier that danger was imminent. Meanwhile, British, U.S. and Canadian nationals were being evacuated aboard Royal Caribbean Cruises' Celebrity Reflection from the harbour in the Kingstown, capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The ship was due to arrive Saturday in Dutch Sint Maarten. Dozens of foreigners toting luggage descended from tour buses and cars at the port terminal in Kingstown and patiently waited in a line that began in the parking lot and reached deep into the terminal. They included students from the Trinity School of Medicine along with stranded tourists, including families with young children in arms. “As of right now, we are being evacuated for our safety and to keep the island as safe as possible," said LLeah Ransai, a Canadian student at Trinity. "Between the school, the government and the embassies of the US and Canada, we’re being evacuated now.” The U.S. Embassy said those aboard would have to make their own travel arrangements home. It also noted in an official statement that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had recommended against travel on cruise ships because the chance of getting COVID-19 and said people who had been in close contact with suspected COVID-19 cases were barred from the trip. All aboard were supposed to have a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of boarding. Meanwhile, thousands of locals were stuck n emergency shelters with no idea when they might be able to return home. Levi Lewis, 58, a retired public servant from the town of Fancy, said the eruption had left him trying to get by with practically nothing. “I just reusing clothing cause i didn't walk with much," he said. "Plus water is an issue, so I’m trying to conserve it still.” “I want to go back home, or to whatever is left of it," he added. A few people, however, never left, defying evacuation orders. Raydon May, a bus conductor in his late 20s who stayed in Sandy Bay throughout the eruptions, said he had always planned to stay if the volcano erupted and was trying to protect properties in the community while making occasional trips outside the evacuation zone to pick up water and supplies. He said so much ash had fallen that the roofs of houses were collapsing under the weight. “One roof might get on like three truckloads of sand," he said. “We trying to help ... but we can’t help everybody.” Kristin Deane, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A judge on Friday rejected Ghislaine Maxwell’s arguments to toss charges that she recruited three teenager girls from 1994 to 1997 for then-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan denied claims that a non-prosecution agreement Epstein reached with federal prosecutors over a dozen years ago protects Maxwell from prosecution. She also disagreed that some or all charges should be tossed out for a variety of other perceived flaws. The judge, however, did agree that Maxwell can be prosecuted separately on perjury charges. And she said arguments the defence will make against new sex trafficking charges will be decided later. Defence lawyers publicly filed legal briefs Friday challenging the new charges on multiple grounds, including that evidence and the indictment was improperly obtained and charges duplicate crimes already alleged. In a written opinion, Nathan said that the law of contracts and prior precedents meant Manhattan federal prosecutors could charge Maxwell last year, even though a non-prosecution deal Epstein reached with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2007 seemed to protect his employees too. “Single-district plea agreements are the norm. Nationwide, unlimited agreements are the rare exception,” the judge wrote. The judge also rejected arguments that the charges had to be dismissed “because of the possibility of missing witnesses, failing memories, or lost records.” “These are difficulties that arise in any case where there is extended delay in bringing a prosecution, and they do not justify dismissing an indictment,” she said. She also rejected claims that pretrial publicity spoiled Maxwell's chance at a fair trial or resulted from accusers who fabricated stories based on media allegations. “The Court will not dismiss the indictment on Maxwell’s bare assertion that numerous witnesses are engaged in a perjurious conspiracy against her,” she said. “And the Court will take all appropriate steps to ensure that the pretrial publicity in this case does not compromise Maxwell’s right to a fair and impartial jury.” Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to charges filed against her when she was arrested last July at a New Hampshire estate where prosecutors claim she was hiding from law enforcement but where defence lawyers say she went to spare her family and herself from media attention and threats. Last month, prosecutors brought a superseding indictment to add sex trafficking charges and extend the alleged conspiracy between Maxwell and Epstein to a decade in length rather than three years in the 1990s. Prosecutors also added a fourth teenage victim to the charges. The judge's ruling came a day after a defence lawyer asked to delay a July 12 trial until mid-January, saying the rewritten indictment will require much more around-the-globe investigation that is hampered by the coronavirus pandemic and the busy schedules of defence lawyers. Epstein took his life in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in a Manhattan federal jail. Maxwell has repeatedly sought to be freed on bail, but Nathan has rejected the requests. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments on an appeal of the bail rejections later this month. Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press
A surge in patients with COVID-19 means Vancouver General Hospital's intensive care unit is under intense strain with patients arriving "back to back," according to a critical care physician who works there. Dr. Hussein Kanji, the hospital's medical director of the high acuity unit, said everyone working in the ICU is stretched to the limit. "Our hospital system is incredibly, incredibly stressed right now. Our ICUs are more stressed than they've ever been," Kanji told reporters Friday. "We're all exhausted." Friday saw a record 425 patients in hospital with COVID-19 across B.C., including 127 in intensive care — more than ever before. Between 50 and 70 patients a week are now entering critical care with the disease. On the ground, that's translating into hectic days at VGH. "They seem to be coming back to back or even at the same time needing admission into the ICU. Just right now we've had two simultaneous admissions into the emergency department needing our care," Kanji said. 'Way, way, way beyond the call of duty' He said patients are coming in more quickly after their initial diagnosis, they're much sicker and they're younger than what was seen previously in the pandemic. Younger patients are now needing ventilators and other lifesaving interventions more frequently as well. Data presented by health officials on Thursday shows a significant spike over the last month in the number of patients between the ages of 40 and 59 who are ending up in hospital with COVID-19. In Ontario, doctors have begun discussing "triage" measures in the event hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. In these scenarios, because of insufficient staff and resources, doctors would have to decide which critically ill patients will receive lifesaving care. Dr. Hussein Kanji is the medical director of the high acuity unit at Vancouver General Hospital.(CBC News) Kanji said B.C.'s medical system is not in immediate danger of being overwhelmed and "I very much hope we'll never be in that position." But he added that the availability of health care professionals will be the limiting factor in B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix told reporters Friday that B.C. has enough beds and equipment to handle a significant surge in hospitalizations, but the province cannot spare any workers. There are reports that Ontario Premier Doug Ford has asked other provinces to send health-care workers to support the crunch in his province, but Dix said it's not possible for B.C. to help out. Despite the pressures at VGH, Kanji said he's never seen staff working with such a high level of devotion to patient care. "There isn't a single staff member who hasn't gone way, way, way beyond the call of duty, and it's heartwarming," he said.
VICTORIA — The B.C. government has reached an agreement to give Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs $7.2 million in funding to support the implementation of their rights and title. The government says in a statement the three-year funding will support the chiefs' efforts to reunify members of the Wet'suwet'en nation, which includes six First Nations. It will also support the revitalization of Wet'suwet'en governance structures in areas like water stewardship and wildlife programs, and renovations at a former school that will be used as a governance and administration centre. The provincial government says it has also reached an agreement with the neighbouring Lake Babine Nation to accelerate the distribution of $22 million previously planned over several years. The government says the lump-sum payment means the nation can make larger-scale economic development and forestry investments sooner and create a wealth plan to grow the investment. The government says it's a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. The Canadian Press
CALGARY — Doctors say the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be offered to Canadians in a wider age range as COVID-19 infections soar in many parts of the country. Provinces limited eligibility for that vaccine to those 55 and older after a small number of cases of an unusual and serious blood-clotting condition appeared in younger people — mostly women — who had received a shot. The odds of someone getting the syndrome — dubbed vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia — has been estimated at between one in 100,000 and one in 250,000. By comparison, about one in four people hospitalized with COVID-19 will experience a blood clot, Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw noted this week. "Certainly based on risks, most people are much better off with a vaccine," said Dr. Daniel Gregson, an associate professor at the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine. "You can certainly drop it easily to 45, if not 35." Gregson, who specializes in infectious diseases and medical microbiology, said uncertainty has been planted in peoples' minds about getting AstraZeneca, but they do things that are just as risky on a daily basis without a second thought. Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, said she would also support dropping the age limit, so long as no other worrying side-effects arise and recipients are aware of the risk, however small. "I think it's an important strategy we need to consider," said Hota, also an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto. "The case counts are going up too fast and they're going to a point where it's hitting the hospitals in a way that we've not experienced before, ever." Hota suggested one approach could be offering the shot to younger men, since the rare side-effect seems to be more prevalent in women. Health Canada has deemed the AstraZeneca vaccine safe, saying the benefits outweigh the risks. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has not yet changed its recommendation that the shot only be offered to those 55 and up, but the decision ultimately rests with provinces. In Quebec, where AstraZeneca is available to those between the ages of 55 and 79, Health Minister Christian Dube said provincial public health authorities were considering whether to expand access. Alberta is also considering a change, Hinshaw said. "I also know that some who are younger than 55 are interested in getting the protection that this vaccine offers," she said Thursday. "Given the Health Canada assessment, we will be discussing this question with our Alberta Advisory Committee on Immunization this week to get their perspective." In the meantime, Hinshaw is urging anyone who is already eligible to get their AstraZeneca dose without delay. Walk-in vaccinations are available at 26 pharmacies in Calgary and Edmonton and Alberta Health Services is opening walk-in vaccination clinics this weekend in both cities. "While not getting vaccinated may feel like a way to protect your health by avoiding the rare risk of a blood clot following vaccine, waiting can actually increase your risk of getting sick, or worse," Hinshaw said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 16, 2021. Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — The B.C. Supreme Court says lawyers for Meng Wanzhou are applying to adjourn the final three-week leg of her extradition case set to begin April 26. The court says in a statement that the Huawei executive's legal team will bring the application before the court on Monday but it doesn't explain the reasons. The hearings are expected to cover a final branch of abuse of process allegations from Meng's team before moving on to arguments over remedy and the actual extradition hearing. Meng was arrested in 2018 at Vancouver's airport on a request by the United States, where she faces fraud charges that both she and the telecom company deny. She is accused of lying to HSBC about Huawei's control of another company doing business in Iran, putting the bank at risk of violating U.S. sanctions. A Hong Kong court approved a document-sharing agreement last Monday that Huawei claimed would allow it to obtain information from HSBC that would prevent her extradition. A Huawei spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about whether the ruling is linked the application to adjourn the planned hearings, saying only that the reasons would be disclosed in court. This story by The Canadian Press was first published April 16, 2021. The Canadian Press