For a man obsessed with winning, President Donald Trump is losing a lot.He’s managed to lose not just once to Democrat Joe Biden at the ballot box but over and over again in courts across the country in a futile attempt to stay in power. The Republican president and his allies continue to mount new cases, recycling the same baseless claims, even after Trump’s own attorney general declared the Justice Department had uncovered no widespread fraud."This will continue to be a losing strategy, and in a way it's even bad for him: He gets to re-lose the election numerous times," said Kent Greenfield, a professor at Boston College Law School. “The depths of his petulance and narcissism continues to surprise me.”In an Associated Press tally of roughly 50 cases brought by Trump's campaign and his allies, more than 30 have been rejected or dropped. About a dozen are awaiting action. Trump has notched just one small victory, a case challenging a decision to move the deadline to provide missing proof of identification for certain absentee ballots and mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania.Trump has refused to admit he lost, and this week posted a 46-minute speech to Facebook filled with conspiracies, misstatements and vows to keep up his fight to subvert the election.Five more losses came Friday. The Trump campaign lost its bid to overturn the results of the election in Nevada and the Michigan appeals court rejected a case from his campaign. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a challenge brought by GOP lawmakers. And in Arizona, a judge threw out thrown out a bid to undo Biden’s victory there, concluding that the state’s Republican Party chairwoman failed to prove fraud or misconduct and that the evidence presented at trial wouldn’t reverse Trump’s loss. The Wisconsin Supreme Court also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a conservative group over Trump’s loss.Thursday dealt another blow in Wisconsin, where a split state Supreme Court refused to hear Trump’s lawsuit seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. The case echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes. Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court late Wednesday.Judges in battleground states have repeatedly swatted down legal challenges brought by the president and his allies. Trump's legal team has vowed to take one Pennsylvania case to the U.S. Supreme Court even though it was rejected in a scathing ruling by a federal judge as well as an appeals court.After recently being kicked off Trump's legal team, conservative attorney Sidney Powell filed new lawsuits in Arizona and Wisconsin this week riddled with errors and wild conspiracies about election rigging. One of the plaintiffs named in the Wisconsin case said he never agreed to participate in the case and found out through social media that he had been included. The same lawsuit asks for 48 hours of security footage from the “TCF Center,” which is in Detroit.The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have raised are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postmarks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. Election officials from both parties have said the election went well, and Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the Justice Department uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the election's outcome.Trump's lawyers responded by criticizing Barr, who has been one of the president's biggest allies.Greenfield says their criticism speaks volumes. “It goes to show how vehement their ability to overlook reality is," he said.Failing to gain any traction in court, Trump and his allies are now turning to events with Republican lawmakers and rallies in states like Pennsylvania, Georgia and Michigan where they can use unfounded claims of fraud to incite the president’s loyal base.At a rally in Georgia on Wednesday, Powell and another pro-Trump attorney, Lin Wood, suggested that Republican voters sit out of the two January runoff elections that will decide control of the Senate because of the potential for fraud. And in Michigan, Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, urged Republican activists to pressure, even threaten, the GOP-controlled Legislature to award the state’s 16 electoral votes to Trump despite Biden’s 154,000-vote victory.In his video posted Wednesday, Trump said there were facts and evidence of a mass conspiracy created by Democrats to steal the election, a similar argument made by Giuliani and others before judges that has been largely unsuccessful. Most of their claims are rooted in conspiracy theories about voting machines that are not true, and affidavits by partisan poll watchers who claimed they didn't get close enough to see ballots being tallied because of safety precautions in the coronavirus pandemic. Because they couldn't see, they argued, something untoward must have happened.“No, I didn’t hear any facts or evidence," tweeted Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, after watching the video Wednesday night. “What I did hear was a sad Facebook rant from a man who lost an election."___Associated Press writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., David Eggert in Lansing, Mich., and Jacques Billeaud in Phoenix contributed to this report.Alanna Durkin Richer, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (17,520.97, up 122.95 points.)Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up $1.63, or 7.64 per cent, to $22.97 on 27.3 million shares. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX:CNQ). Up $1.44, or 4.69 per cent, to $32.15 on 17.7 million shares. Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Down 54 cents, or 3.74 per cent, to $13.89 on 16 million shares.BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Technology. Up $1.27, or 13.23 per cent, to $10.87 on 12.4 million shares.The Green Organic Dutchman Holdings. (TSX:TGOD). Health care. Down four cents, or 12.12 per cent, to 29 cents on 11.3 million shares.Hexo Corp. (TSX:HEXO). Health care. Down 13 cents, or 8.67 per cent, to $1.37 on 9.6 million shares.Companies in the news: Crescent Point Energy Corp. (TSX:CPG). Up 24 cents or 9.9 per cent to $2.67. Crescent Point Energy Corp. says it is cutting its capital spending budget for 2021 because of the ongoing volatility in oil prices. The Calgary-based company says it plans to spend between $475 million and $525 million next year, trimming $25 million from a preliminary budget it released with its third-quarter results report in late October. A year ago, the Saskatchewan-focused oil and gas producer budgeted $1.1 billion to $1.2 billion for 2020 capital spending, but that was reduced twice during the year and was pegged at about $665 million in September. Crescent Point says it expects annual average production of about 110,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2021, down from average output of about 120,000 boepd this year.Capital Power Corp. (TSX:CPX). Up $1.84 or 5.5 per cent to $35.44. An environmental think tank says Alberta will meet its goal to eliminate coal-fired electricity production years earlier than expected thanks to recent conversion announcements by utility companies. The Pembina Institute welcomed news from Capital Power Corp. of Edmonton on Thursday that it will spend nearly $1 billion to switch two coal-fired power units to gas at its Genesee generating facility west of the city as part of a plan to stop using coal entirely by 2023. Capital Power says direct carbon dioxide emissions at Genesee will be about 3.4 million tonnes per year lower than 2019 emission levels when the project is complete. In November, Calgary-based TransAlta Corp. said it will end operations at its Highvale thermal coal mine west of Edmonton by the end of 2021 as it switches to natural gas at all of its operated coal-fired plants in Canada four years earlier than previously planned.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.The Canadian Press
In a reversal of an earlier vote, today Strathmore town council passed a mandatory face covering bylaw requiring residents to wear masks when visiting indoor public spaces. The bylaw takes effect immediately. According to Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule, council worked with administration to make the bylaw the best solution for the town. “They made adjustments and amendments to make this is a more palatable bylaw that will still protect a lot of people in Strathmore,” he said. “We’re regular people caught in a really irregular health crisis, and I just hope the public will support all the councillors who have tried to make the best decision they can for the community’s health and safety.” The bylaw requires masks to be worn in all indoor public places and public vehicles, unless the person is separated from other persons by an installed screen, shield or other barrier. Businesses must also display signage at their entrances requiring people to wear masks. Anyone breaking either of these rules is liable to a fine of not less than $50. The bylaw also notes that if circumstances represent a “marked endangerment” or “increased risk of endangering public health,” a larger fine is possible. Under the bylaw, a proprietor may refuse entry to his/her business or ask a person to leave an indoor public place or vehicle and may request assistance of a peace officer. The officer can also issue a violation ticket requiring a court appearance of the person breaking the rules. The bylaw will be enacted when the number of COVID-19 cases in Strathmore exceeds 20, as reported by Alberta Health Services. However, town council may activate the bylaw at any time by resolution. Once enacted, the bylaw will be reverted once the number of cases in Strathmore is less than 20 for 14 consecutive days. The bylaw has several exemptions. Children under five years of age are not required to wear masks. Additionally, people with medical conditions or disabilities preventing them from wearing a mask are exempt. Also exempt are people who cannot use or wear a mask safely without assistance. Under the bylaw, people are not required to provide proof to an employer, business operator or proprietor of any exemption. People are exempt during certain activities, such as eating or drinking while seated at a business offering food or beverage services, during athletic or fitness activities, or while receiving services impeded by masks. The bylaw does not apply to schools and businesses already undertaking face covering measures through provincial guidelines, corporate requirements and recognized provincial professional bodies.Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
A Fort St. James man has been fined $1,000 for flying a drone while out on a hunting expedition. Paul James Hesse was issued the penalty on November 9 in Fort St. James Provincial Court. He was also prohibited from hunting for one year and assessed a $150 victim surcharge. The outcome stems from a complaint conservation officers received on Sept. 22, 2018. The next day, officers attended a cabin on Marie Lake, southwest of Fort St. James, where they seized the drone along with a harvested bull moose. After securing a search warrant, they gathered photos and videos from the machine and forwarded the matter to Crown prosecution. Conservation officer Richard Keenan-Toop, who was the lead investigating officer on the file, said it was the first conviction for the offence in British Columbia. The Wildlife Act was amended in July 2016 to make the use of drones while hunting illegal. "It was definitely a different one and definitely a learning experience for the Conservation Officer Service for sure," Keenan-Toop said. "But it's not something we see very often, thankfully, because hunting with a drone completely defeats fair chase for wildlife." However, Connie Morrisey, a native court worker in Fort St. James who helped Hesse put together a defence against the charges said he never actually used the drone for actual hunting. Instead, she said he was using it to get images of the cabin and a route planned for a trail from big Marie Lake to little Marie Lake, but because he was at the cabin as part of a hunting trip, he was charged. "The minute you leave your house to go hunting to the minute you get back to your house, that's considered a hunting expedition," Morrisey said. "He did not use it to hunt but he flew it when he was at the cabin." She said Hesse uses the drone for work purposes and had it with him in camp. When he came back to Fort St. James, his father picked him up and went to the cabin. "He said 'I know you can't use it for hunting but if I had known you can't even have it one you, I would've went home, dropped the drone off and went out," Morrisey said. As part of the prohibition against hunting for a year, Hesse is also prohibited from accompanying other hunters and the drone was forfeited to the Crown. Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
South Korean authorities urged vigilance on Saturday as small coronavirus clusters emerged in a third wave, centred in the Seoul area, with infections near nine-month highs. The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) reported 583 new coronavirus infections, down from the 629 reported on Friday, which was the highest since the first wave peaked in February and early March. This wave of infections is different from the first two, which were driven by large-scale transmission, said KDCA official Lim Sook-young.
Canadian dairy farmers will receive over $1.4 billion in the next three years from the federal government to compensate for recent trade deals. On Saturday, Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food, announced the funds as part of a $1.75-billion trade deal compensation package granted to the sector last year, which will be rolled out significantly faster than originally announced. The money was first slated to be distributed over eight years, not three. Canada’s poultry and egg sectors, which, like dairy, are supply-managed, will also receive compensation to the tune of $691 million over the next 10 years, said Bibeau. That accelerated timeline has been welcomed by dairy farmers, who say they need to adapt to a transformed market, despite criticism from observers who argue the compensation is an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars. “(The funding) allows farmers to really make plans right now,” said Dave Taylor, a Courtenay, B.C., dairy farmer and member of the BC Dairy Association’s board. “There are so many areas on our farms that this money could be going towards to help our farms prepare for what’s ahead.” For instance, he said farms will likely start facing increasingly stringent environmental and climate standards best met with more efficient farm management technologies. These can also improve working conditions, making it easier for farms to find and keep workers — an endless challenge. Each farm will receive an annual payment that reflects the size of their milk quota, a measure of the farm’s size. For instance, a farm with 80 cows will receive a direct payment of about $38,000 each year, according to a statement by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. In total, about $468.5 million will be disbursed for each of the three years to approximately 10,300 dairy farms. Unlike most agricultural products, dairy products are supply-managed commodities in Canada, a regulatory mechanism that is designed to prevent excess milk from flooding the market and pushing dairy prices below a financially unsustainable threshold for farmers. A key part of the system is milk quotas, which are used by the Canadian Dairy Commission — the Crown corporation administering the supply management system — to control how much milk each farm produces. The system also depends on using high tariffs to protect dairy producers from imported milk products — everything from artisanal cheeses to dry milk powder — that are produced more cheaply abroad, including in the U.S. Those tariffs have proven contentious in Canada’s three most recent trade agreements: the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Each one increased the amount of dairy that can be imported into Canada. According to the Dairy Farmers of Canada, these new agreements — the most recent, CUSMA, only came into force in July — have already had an impact on the sector. In the last three years, for instance, cheese imports from Europe have been as high as 99 per cent of the 5.3 million kilograms allowed under CETA. And U.S. industrial cheese imports are already at 50 per cent of the total amount allowed under CUSMA, despite the pandemic. Once the three trade deals are fully phased in, the federal government expects imports to be equivalent to about 10 per cent of Canada’s milk production. For Taylor, the compensation package is about more than the trade agreements. “It encourages the next generation that the government does believe in us,” he said. “Maybe this is the last of the bleeding from future trade deals. It encourages me that, when other trade deals come around, (the federal government) will hold firm and say, ‘No. Dairy has given up enough already.’” Not everyone is convinced. “The COVID open bar seems to extend beyond just helping people who are in need; it is also there to help asset-rich dairy farmers,” said Sylvain Charlebois, director of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab. “(The federal government) is labelling it as compensation. What I’m seeing is a clear path towards subsidizing a sector that is heavily protected by a supply management regime.” The entire $2-billion trade deal compensation package — $1.75 billion in direct payments to farms and another $250 million for an on-farm innovation program — is misguided, Charlebois said, because the sums reflect predicted losses, not real ones. Unlike the supply management system designed to keep milk prices high enough for farmers to break even and compensate them for actual losses, he said the trade deal compensation package doesn’t reflect conditions on the ground. That could end up driving too much milk production and keeping too many “underperforming” farmers in the industry. Taylor, the dairy farmer from Courtenay, B.C., disagreed. “If a farm is not economically viable, this compensation is not going to help,” he said. “A farm like that really needs to transition, revitalize and innovate … farms really need to keep investing, we really need to keep pushing forward to adjust to the future.” In the U.S., where dairy farms aren’t controlled through supply management, the milk supply has regularly exceeded demand, pushing down prices and forcing smaller farmers out of business. The result has been an increasingly consolidated sector, with the number of U.S. dairy farms — overwhelmingly family farms and key drivers of rural economic activity — falling by half between 2002 and 2019 even as milk production increased, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But that’s not Charlebois’ only critique of the compensation funds. Cheeses and other processed products are also being imported, not just liquid milk, he noted. That means processors — artisanal cheese makers, for example — are being hit harder by the trade deals than dairy farmers. Dairy processors can draw on a $100-million compensation fund created in response to the CETA trade deal, Bibeau said in a written statement. She also noted demand for dairy products also remains strong in Canada, growing by almost six per cent since 2010. Still, for Taylor, the compensation funds reflect more than just innovation and sales. They’re about a need to maintain rural well-being and resilience in Canada’s food system — a need that has been made more visible since March, and that he hopes will be reflected in further supports for farmers across multiple sectors. “For me, COVID just flags the need to have strong food production locally, and I hope the government knows that,” he said. “I’m obviously a little biased because I’m producing food, but I want all of our lines of food — whether it’s vegetables, or beef, and on and on it goes — that we have security in that area.”Marc Fawcett-Atkinson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
OTTAWA — A former Liberal MP whose medical company was subcontracted as part of a $237-million ventilator deal with the federal government says no "backroom" business factored into the agreement.Frank Baylis told the House of Commons ethics committee Friday that he had no contact with any lawmakers before the company he chairs, Baylis Medical, signed on to produce 10,000 ventilators under a subcontract with another Ontario-based firm.Rick Jamieson, head of FTI Professional Grade Inc., which inked the multimillion-dollar contract with Ottawa as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said he and Baylis had never heard of each other until the spring and that he never imagined politics would enter the picture.Baylis, who served as president of the company he founded in 1989 until serving as a one-term MP starting in 2015, said he did not alert the federal ethics commissioner he was involved in the deal.The hearing Friday afternoon comes nearly six weeks after the House passed a Conservative motion to have the health committee investigate government contracts that could compel sweeping document disclosures and testimony from cabinet ministers.Liberal MP Greg Fergus suggested Baylis was before the ethics committee as part of a potential "political witch hunt," and said ethics commissioner Mario Dion had found no reason to investigate him.Baylis Medical vice-president Neil Godara said the $21,000 cost of each ventilator came in so far above the market price of roughly $13,000 due to extra accessories, a new factory and 250 more employees needed for the subcontract, as well as higher shipping costs amid the pandemic.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.The Canadian Press
A 35-year-old Dawson Creek man was killed Saturday, November 28 when he was caught in an avalanche while out snowmobiling north of Mackenzie. Police and rescue personnel were called to the scene in the Powder King-Bijoux Falls area beginning shortly before 2 p.m. They said two snowmobilers were in the area at the time and one was buried in the snow. The victim's name was not provided. "The BC Coroners Service has conduct of this incident and is currently investigating to determine the facts surrounding this death. No further details are available at this time," RCMP said in a statement. On the previous Friday, Avalanche Canada had issued its first forecast of the season and had put the danger rating for the North Rockies at high for treeline and above and considerable for below treeline. "There was a pretty big storm that pass through the area, almost a week long storm," Avalanche Canada warning service manager Karl Klassen said Monday. "And that storm just started breaking up on Saturday, there was a fair amount of wind and quite a bit of new snow. Temperatures were quite warm and then they cooled off and those are kind of classic conditions for pretty significant avalanche danger. "We rated the danger as high, we told people to expect large avalanches on all aspects and all elevations given the amount of wind and snow and the temperatures that were occurring at the time." The high rating is one level below extreme and is used when conditions are deemed to be very dangerous. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended when the rating is in place although Klassen said it can be done with proper training and experience. "Even when the avalanche danger is high or even extreme, there are places in the mountains where avalanches just don't occur so as long as you can recognize that terrain and stay on that terrain, you'd be fine," Klassen said. "But again, just to stress, it's not something you (should do) without getting some training, getting some experience and gaining some knowledge and making a good trip plan before they leave." Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, he said avalanche courses remain available. Theory is being learned online or in smaller class sizes and with greater physical distancing and masks once outside for the practical part. To find a class, go to avalanche.ca and click on the learn tab. Thanks to an influx of federal funding, a three-person field team has been working in the region during the winter months since December 2019. Klassen said forecasts for the region will be issued four times a week this season, up from three times a week last winter.Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
Fort Qu’Appelle’s Mission Ridge ski park is hoping everything goes downhill, in the most normal, alpine way possible. The long-time downhill ski and snowboard resort is to open Dec. 19 with several new restrictions aimed at cutting the spread of the coronavirus. Among those are mandatory face coverings indoors and outdoors and cancelled group lessons larger than a single-family unit. In a Nov. 26 update on its website, the ski resort said it picked Dec. 19 “given the most recent announced restrictions from the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) and the marginal temperatures that have prevented us from making snow.” Business manager Anders Svenson didn’t respond to requests for comment for this story. The resort’s online statement said it co-developed a document with other ski resorts across the continent called Ski Well Be Well. It “will be the standard at every resort in North America.” The document says, among other items, resorts are to follow local health authority guidelines specific to each locale. For Mission Ridge, it's asking guests and staff to wear masks or face coverings all the time. Ski or snowboard school lessons are by-appointment only for individuals or family-only cohorts. The resort isn’t recognizing medical exemptions for skiers or snowboarders unable to wear a mask. “If a mask cannot be tolerated, it is strongly recommended that public spaces be avoided,” the statement said, adding guests are to maintain a two-metre distance between each other. “Not everyone will agree with our plan. Some may feel that our approach is too aggressive while others may feel it is too moderate. We recognize that some of these changes will be inconvenient yet we ask for your patience and understanding as we navigate these times together,” the statement said. Indoor spaces at the resort, like its rental shop and lift-pass purchasing area, will use single-direction traffic flow procedures; its bar and eatery require face covering all the time, except when a person is eating or drinking. Rentals for gloves, jackets, pants and goggles aren’t allowed; staff will rent out equipment like skis, boots and snowboards, disinfecting them after each rental. The online statement didn’t mention helmets. The COVID-19 pandemic has also forced the Regina Alpine Race Team to adjust training for its approximately 60 athletes. “A huge amount of revamping from the club’s organization and coaches,” vice-president Colleen Silverthorn said. They’re renting “box modular units” as warm-up stations “to put our athletes in so they will be socially-distanced,” she said as an example. When Mission Ridge opens, the race team will start using them, hoping to “take pressure off the clubhouse … so we’re not contributing to a crowded situation.” She said the team looks forward to when Mission Ridge does open so it can hit the slopes for the first time. “We support their plans to get fully operational and adhere to any of the guidelines that are being imposed on businesses and ski resorts … Mission Ridge has done a ton of work.” For now, the alpine racers are doing dry-land training at Regina’s Level 10 Fitness. The team has had to cut its inter-provincial travel, which would have taken it to the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia for early-season training. Under non-pandemic conditions, competitive racing usually starts in early January, Silverthorn said. email@example.comEvan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
Du 27 novembre 2020 au 4 janvier 2021, l’ensemble des corps policiers du Québec, en collaboration avec Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) participeront à une opération nationale ciblant la capacité de conduite affaiblie par l’alcool ou la drogue. Des points de contrôle se tiendront dans plusieurs endroits au Québec et une campagne de sensibilisation sera diffusée sur les réseaux sociaux de la SAAQ et des différents corps policiers. En raison de la COVID-19, il n’y aura pas de services de raccompagnements. Ce faisant, cette campagne a pour but de rappeler aux conducteurs les conséquences de la capacité de conduite affaiblie par l’alcool, la drogue ou la combinaison des deux. Malgré les différentes campagnes de sensibilisation organisées chaque année, la présence policière accrue et les services de raccompagnement disponibles durant cette période, de 2014 à 2018, les collisions attribuables à l’alcool ont causé en moyenne : De 2014 à 2018, chez les conducteurs décédés dans une collision de la route au Québec : Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
EDMONTON — Alberta is offering more of its Rocky Mountain landscapes to coal mining after rescinding a decades-old policy that protected them. In documents released earlier this week, Alberta Energy is giving miners until Dec. 15 to bid on nearly 2,000 hectares on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.Surface mining on those lands would have been prohibited under the former coal policy rescinded in May, said Ian Urquhart of the Alberta Wilderness Association."Unfortunately, it isn't surprising."The leases will add to the land already leased for coal, which stretches in an almost unbroken swath for nearly 60 kilometres north from the Crowsnest Pass in the province's southwest corner. "There isn't much left there," he said. Alberta Energy spokesman Kavi Bal said any mine proposal is subject to review."A coal lease does not mean that a coal project has been approved or exploration has been permitted." If the proposal is large enough, it is subject to a federal review as well. The United Conservative government has said it seeks to encourage increased export coal production. The province and the federal government are currently considering a proposal for a mountaintop removal coal mine in the Crowsnest Pass area. More proposals are expected. Most Alberta coal is used for steelmaking, not power generation.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.The Canadian Press
People who use the OC Transpo My Alerts system may have had their emails and passwords compromised, says the City of Ottawa.The My Alerts system is used to notify customers about changes to transit service by email or text, a news release from the city said Friday.People's financial and credit card information are not affected, and there's no impact to the city's payment system nor Presto, according to the city.Subscribers to the My Alerts system who use the same password for other accounts are advised to change their passwords. "Other private accounts that use the same password could be at risk. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security advises against using the same password for multiple accounts," reads the release.The affected system is currently shut down, but people who are already subscribed will continue to get notifications.Cyber security expert hired"The safety and security of all customers is our top priority. The City is investigating to determine how and when this information was accessed," reads the news release.The city says it has asked a third-party expert in cyber security to look at the system and make sure "the vulnerability that caused this issue is resolved."The city says it apologizes to My Alerts subscribers for the incident.If any subscribers have questions, they're asked to contact OC Transpo's customer service centre at 613-741-4390
MEXICO CITY — Sometimes Latin American dance tunes on the radio — salsa, cumbia, ranchera — bring a little cheer into the emergency room of Mexico City’s Ajusco Medio hospital, which is operating well over normal capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic.Dr. Marta Patricia Mancilla, head of the emergency unit, says the upbeat soundtrack is a distraction from the routine at the packed hospital, where some people have kneeled at the doors of the emergency room, praying for relatives suffering from the disease.It has been eight months since the city-run Ajusco Medio hospital was named as one of the few exclusively COVID-19 hospitals in the city of almost nine million, and empty beds are rare.“The worst is still to come,” Mancilla said.“And unfortunately, it is going to catch us very tired,” she said of medical personnel who have been working constantly while themselves vulnerable to the disease. Almost 2,000 health care workers are confirmed to have died of the disease across Mexico.The toll is psychological and physical, and is as clear as the numbers written on an erasable whiteboard in the office of Dr. Alejandro Avalos, the Ajusco Medio hospital's director: total patients are at 122% capacity, intensive care is at 116%, and the emergency unit at 100%.“We haven't been below 100% since May,” said Avalos, whose hospital — a government facility that treats patients for free — has been temporarily expanded to meet the waves of coronavirus cases. Citywide, occupancy at hospitals was 69% this week.Yet as full as the city's hospitals are, its streets are also once again thronged; in some more central parts of the metropolis, almost everyone wears a face mask, but in other poorer, outlying areas, fewer people do.The situation has officials worried. Millions normally gather each year for the Dec. 12 holiday of Mexico's holy Virgin of Guadalupe day, and huge family gatherings are the norm for Christmas in Mexico.It drew an urgent appeal from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday, who decreed an expansion of 500 more hospital beds in Mexico City and pleaded with Mexicans to stop crowding the streets and stay home in December.“In this month, December, there are traffic problems, there are growing numbers of vehicles in the streets,” the president said. “Right now, we cannot act like this.”López Obrador announced new hiring to help exhausted medical personnel. “There is a lot of tiredness, fatigue,” he said.At least 13,800 people have died of COVID-19 in Mexico City alone, according to official data. Authorities say the number is probably higher in part because of limited testing, especially in the early months of the pandemic.Methods have improved since the city's hospitals were overwhelmed in May and June, when patients were treated in hallways and relatives of the dead were not even allowed to enter the hospital to identify the bodies. The case fatality rate has dropped significantly at Avalos' hospital, but along with the improvements there has been an emotional cost.“Our way of thinking has changed,” Avalos said. “We have learned to weep with people, to suffer with people, to understand people better.”On Friday, the mayor didn't raise the city back to the maximum alert level as some had expected, and employers had feared because it would have required business shutdowns. But Sheinbaum said some measures that were in place during the previous maximum alert would resume, including urging people to isolate themselves voluntarily, suspending non-essential local government activities and authorizing checkpoints to limit the number of people entering the capital’s colonial-era downtown at one time.Health care professionals' patience appears to be wearing out. Last week a group of doctors and nurses at the La Raza state hospital, one of the city's largest, signed an open letter threatening to stop treating COVID-19 patients unless the city declared a partial lockdown, as it did in the spring.“If it was bad in May, now it's worse,” said one doctor who signed the letter, and who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals. “There are fewer doctors," he said, due to infections, or doctors simply taking leaves of absence because they can't face the pressure, fear and overwork.Just as bad, the anesthesia medications needed to successfully intubate patients and keep them on ventilators are running out. “It's shameful to say that some patients have to get their own PCR tests and find a hospital that will take them, because there are no beds” at the free government hospitals, he noted.López Obrador has rejected any kind of strict lockdown, saying such measures smacked of “dictatorship.”There are some victories; at the Ajusco Medio hospital, one of the 36 patients on ventilators has been disconnected from the machine and is recovering. A baby was born, separated from his mother who has COVID-19.The hospital has set up tents outside to detect and triage arriving patients; some can be sent home with medications, others admitted. That has allowed the hospital to greatly increase the number of people it treats.But the signs of wear are clear: the hospital's CT scan machine is being repaired, after having performed about 4,500 lung scans in recent months to detect coronavirus damage.The psychological toll is also clear for patients, even those who survive.María Eugenia Ortiz, 51, and her husband — they were both infected — came to the hospital for their third checkup since being sent home with medications. She chose to endure the disease at home because she was terrified of the hospital. At her worst moments, she struggled to breathe. Fourteen of her friends and relatives have died of the disease.“Everything would go black and I would feel like I was floating,” Ortiz recalled. “My chest was empty and cold.”Now, Ortiz feels more confidence in the doctors.“Before, the doctors wouldn't help you, there was more fear, we didn't know what to do,” she said.But attitudes change slowly; medical personnel still question whether city residents are taking the pandemic seriously enough.“We are getting more and more fed up,” said the doctor at the La Raza hospital who himself was infected. “In Mexico, what is killing people isn't the disease itself so much as the lack of information, the poor handling of the pandemic and people's ignorance. Seeing full shopping centres is discouraging, after working a 24-hour shift.”Mancilla, the emergency director, said: “There is a feeling of 'why do we keep risking ourselves if people aren't paying attention.' This is getting out of hand, and it is hard to keep going on like this.”Maria Verza, The Associated Press
Arizona expects to get enough doses of new coronavirus vaccines by the end of the year to inoculate more than 383,000 health care workers and long-term care facility residents, the state's health director Dr. Cara Christ said Friday. (Dec. 4)
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has appointed two close allies of President Donald Trump, Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie, to a defence advisory board, continuing a post-election purge in the final weeks of the administration.The acting secretary of defence, Christopher Miller, who was installed by Trump on Nov. 9 after he fired then-Defence Secretary Mark Esper, said in a written statement Friday that nine members of the Defence Business Board had been replaced with the appointment of 11 new members.Lewandowski and Bossie are among Trump's most vocal supporters. The nine other appointees are Henry Dreifus, Robert McMahon, Cory Mills, Bill Bruner, Christopher Shank, Joseph Schmidt, Keary Miller, Alan Weh and Earl Matthews.“These individuals have a proven record of achievement within their respective fields and have demonstrated leadership that will serve our department and our nation well,” Miller said.The Miller statement initially said the nine individuals removed from the board had been serving in ”expired positions," implying they were overdue to leave. But later the Pentagon amended the statement to say some board members had been “terminated.” It gave no reason for the firings.The board's charter says members are appointed for terms ranging from one to four years, with annual renewals.The board's charter says members must possess “a proven track record of sound judgment and business acumen in leading or governing large, complex private sector corporations or organizations and a wealth of top-level, global business experience in the areas of executive management, corporate governance, audit and finance, human resources, economics, technology, or healthcare.”The role of the Defence Business Board, which was established in 2002, is to provide the secretary of defence and deputy secretary of defence with independent advice and recommendations on overall Defence Department management, business processes and governance from a private-sector perspective.Lewandowski was Trump’s first of three campaign managers in 2016, and both he and Bossie were regulars on the campaign trail with Trump this year.Bossie was brought on as part of a 2016 campaign team shakeup to help Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. He briefly fell out of favour with Trump aides over his involvement with political groups that sought to fundraise off Trump’s name but did not benefit his reelection campaign. He found his way back into Trump’s orbit earlier this year thanks to his vigorous advocacy of the president.—Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.Robert Burns, The Associated Press
A Strathmore resident has been recognized for her extensive efforts volunteering for the community. Marlys Lein was nominated for the 2020 Stars of Alberta Volunteer Awards, a yearly award given to volunteers who have made a large impact on their community. While Lein was not ultimately selected as an award finalist, her impressive contributions were recognized by a certificate and letter from Leela Sharon Aheer, Alberta’s Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women. A resident of Strathmore for over 40 years, Lein has contributed to numerous organizations in town. One of her current efforts is volunteering with the Strathmore Pickleball Club, which was founded in 2015 after the hosting of the Alberta 55+ Summer Games. Lein’s work with the club, including organizing playing venues, purchasing equipment, booking instructors and helping players has helped it to grow, said Louise Bleier, a volunteer with the organization. “We started literally from nothing and we’re over 100 members now.” Lein was also instrumental in helping to plan for the possible construction of permanent, dedicated pickleball courts and to repair the town’s existing courts, added Bleier, who wrote the nomination. “She’s volunteered hundreds and hundreds of hours over the past 40 years, and it’s improved the quality of life in our community,” said Bleier. “Her initiative and leadership are incredible.” By working with the club, Lein said she was “just promoting a game I really love … trying to get all different people exposed to it,” she said, adding she hopes the club’s membership continues to grow, especially from among the town’s seniors. While matches are sidelined by the COVID-19 pandemic for now, membership is $35 and available through the organization’s website, strathmorepickleball.ca. Lein also serves as president of Strathmore Regional Victim Services Society, which provides 24-hour crisis response to victims of crime and tragedy, and is in her sixth year volunteering with the organization. Lein helps the organization continually move forward, said Linda Stead, treasurer. “She always steps forward and does what she can for us,” said Stead. “She’s a hard worker and when she takes something on, she gets it done.”Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
The Regina Police Service and the Saskatchewan Coroner's Service have recovered human remains that are believed to be Patrick Thauberger's. Patrick Thauberger was 53 when he went missing in September 1997. His disappearance has remained a cold case until now. Police says the remains were found in rural Saskatchewan. Further investigation and forensic examination will confirm whether or not they belong to Thauberger. Police arrested Patrick's brother Joseph Thauberger, who is now 78, on Sunday. Joseph is charged with first-degree murder in Patrick's death. He is also charged with uttering threats to a woman between 1997 and 2014.According to the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police missing persons database, Patrick was last seen at the bus depot in Regina.The database says Patrick was travelling by bus from Winnipeg to Edmonton, when he stopped in Regina to visit relatives. He never arrived in Edmonton. Police have no other information for the public at this time.
On the cover of Peter Rukavina's new book is a photo of his late wife, Catherine Miller. She is smiling at the camera, dressed in a colourful knitted poncho with a backpack slung over one shoulder. Although the book, Using Her Marbles: Chronicles of a Family Living with Incurable Cancer, is about Miller living with the metastatic breast cancer that claimed her in January 2020, Rukavina wanted to show that his wife "owned her cancer." In the cover photo, Miller was "two years into her diagnosis, about to head off to a participatory democracy conference in Spain, with no health insurance," Rukavina told Matt Rainnie on P.E.I.'s Mainstreet. "It was the last trip that she was able to take. She did it on her own. Yeah, it was a fantastic thing." Rukavina, a well-known P.E.I. blogger and web developer, wanted to write Using Her Marbles, his first book, to help other families who may be going through a similar experience of cancer diagnosis and treatment. "Every cancer journey is unique, but just a sketch of the terrain that was to come? I would have found that useful," he said. > Trying to, I guess, reach out a hand to those who are going to go down the same path... is what was behind this. \- Peter Rukavina Fear of the unknown is one of the hardest challenges, Rukavina hears from a lot of caregivers in families of people living with cancer. "It's the feeling like 'This is a journey that you're the only one who knows anything about.' And so I think trying to, I guess, reach out a hand to those who are going to go down the same path, I think is what was behind this."Using act of writing to process life The book developed out of an email newsletter Rukavina sent to family and friends over the five years of Miller's illness. "Although it really was a newsletter for friends and family, it was also a way for me to process everything that had happened. To write it down, I think, allowed me to receive some distance from it," said Rukavina. Rukavina has been writing a blog for 20 years, so writing is often a part of how he processes his life. "It was not unusual for me to seek solace in writing." About six months after Miller died, Rukavina began to realize that those email newsletters could take the shape of a book. Going back to reread all of the emails was a challenge, however. "A healing challenge, I would say, but a challenge nonetheless in rereading these words time and time again over the recent weeks." Rereading the emails, he was also struck by how he, Miller, and their son Oliver, now 20, managed to continue in their daily lives through the many challenges of cancer treatments. "It gives me a sense of pride for us as a family, as a household, that we went through all that and that there was as much life in those five years as there was, despite all the hell." Marble metaphor helped Miller deal with cancer The title of the book is taken from a metaphor Miller used to help get her through daily life with cancer. "The metaphor was that you start the day with a certain number of marbles, let's say 100," said Rukavina. All of the actions undertaken during a person's day, from getting up and making breakfast to meeting a friend for coffee or taking a walk, use up a certain number of marbles. "At some point in the day, you're going to run out of marbles. And so the idea was that you ration your marbles," he said. "I think Catherine did effectively use her marbles over those five years. And that metaphor helped her manage. So it seemed like a good metaphor to apply to the whole journey that she was on."Son and dad 'doing OK' these daysNearly a year after Miller's death, Rukavina said he and Oliver are "doing OK". Just a few days after Miller found out her diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, Rukavina said she spoke to the rector at St. Paul's church in Charlottetown about holding her memorial service there, even though she was not a member of the church. "Her rationale being 'It's right across the street from our house, and if Oliver needed to escape, he could escape home.' "And you know for the following five years, her mind was never far from, 'What becomes of my son after I'm gone?'" Rukavina said his son, who was 14 when Miller was diganosed, helped get him through those first few months after her death. "I hope I've helped him a little bit, too." Talking about it helps The other thing that helped Rukavina was talking about the hard things. "At times where my mental health was on edge over this journey, more often than not, it's because I was keeping things bottled up. And when I had the chance to either write about them or talk to someone about them, that was helpful," he said. "When things took a turn for the worse, often our road out of it was either to talk to one another or for us to talk to professional help, sometimes to talk to a pastor. I think that's kind of what the message of the book is underlying."You can find Using Her Marbles: Chronicles of a Family Living with Incurable Cancer at Bookmark on Queen Street in Charlottetown. More from CBC P.E.I.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said he expects the Provincial Health Services Authority and its president and CEO "to do better" following allegations of misspending."We're not happy," Dix said in a phone interview. "It's [president and CEO Benoit Morin's] job and PHSA's job to do better and to follow the recommendations. And I expect that they will."A review of spending at the PHSA has made several recommendations, including an independent adviser to look into a "problematic purchase" of personal protective equipment.Dix ordered an immediate review of alleged misspending by the authority after CBC News brought forward concerns raised by multiple sources.The whistleblowers accused the authority of squandering $7 million on the purchase of unusable face masks from China, hundreds of thousands of dollars on unnecessary renovations to executive offices and tens of thousands of dollars on high-end catered meals for executives and their staff."We needed ... to clear these issues up so the PHSA can make improvements and then move on from this," Dix said."It's critical that an agency this important have public credibility."Dix said in the statement he had accepted recommendations from the deputy minister of health, including: * Limits on PHSA internal capital spending, absent the deputy minister's approval. * A "review and refresh" of policies covering internal capital planning to be completed by the Ministry of Health. * Limits on senior executive changes by the authority without the deputy minister's approval. * A review of business meeting expense policies of the authority and each regional health authority.Dix also said a third-party adviser would be hired to probe concerns about how the authority handled the "problematic purchase" of personal protective equipment "to help restore public confidence in the PHSA and its leadership.""We're in a legal process now to seek legal remedies for that purchase," Dix said Friday. "We'll see how that goes."Friday's recommendations also called on the authority to clarify by January Morin's role in all aspects of the transaction involving Luminaire, a health-care product distributor.Dix said PHSA staff, current and former, are "absolutely" assured they can speak freely to Ernst and Young advisor John Bethel, who is overseeing the review, without fear of retaliation. He added this applies even if they believe their severance agreement precludes them from doing so.PHSA respondsThe PHSA, in a statement, said little in reaction to Friday's announcement."We have been and continue to be fully supportive of the review and we now welcome the recommendations as an opportunity to ensure public confidence in PHSA and its leadershipThe authority also said it welcomed the review into the mask purchase but cannot comment further at this time."PHSA is home to extraordinary people, doing remarkable life-changing and life-saving work. We will continue to support them in serving the citizens of British Columbia," the statement continued.Concerns about new CEOThe whistleblowers said the problems began with the hiring of new president and CEO Morin in February.In addition to the misspending allegations, they told CBC several key senior executives who oversaw spending at the authority are no longer employed there. Dix, on Friday, confirmed the direction to the authority not to change senior executive leadership was motivated by the departure of these financial watchdogs.He said it was implied they were let go for raising concerns about what was happening at the authority and there was a need to "clear the air."In addition, Dix ordered the authority to eliminate the position of chief of staff. He said the position is inconsistent with what other health authorities are doing.The chief of staff, he added, is already serving as vice-president of human resources and will continue to hold that position.As for the renovations of executive offices, Dix said they were "clearly poorly timed at the very least."CBC Vancouver's Impact Team investigates and reports on stories that impact people in their local community and strives to hold individuals, institutions and organizations to account. If you have a story for us, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTTAWA — Canada's working mothers saw their jobs gains stall in November after months of growth, and those who are working are seeing greater strains on their working hours to care for their children, Statistics Canada says.After six straight months of gains, employment among women 25 to 54 years dropped as full-time gains of 49,000 jobs were offset by part-time losses of 52,000 last month.The stalling in job numbers left their unemployment rate at 6.8 per cent, 2.2 percentage points higher than they were in February before the pandemic washed over Canada.The agency's monthly jobs report also noted that the overall pace of jobs gain slowed further last month.The November jobs report noted a nearly 55-per-cent jump, year-over-year, in the ranks of working mothers who worked less than half their usual hours, compared to 41.3 per cent for fathers.A key reason cited by those who worked less was child care responsibilities.Elizabeth Dhuey, an associate professor of economics at the University of Toronto, said the absentee figures, coupled with the stall in job gains, reflect what working mothers have been talking about for months."It's not just that we're getting slower back into the market, but there are all these other burdens attached to what is going on the pandemic and being a working mother," said Dhuey, who is also chair of the Canadian Economic Association's women economists committee."Anecdotally, that doesn't surprise me at all. This is my cohort of people that I associate with and everybody is struggling," Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland acknowledged those concerns during a virtual event Friday, pointing to spending from the fall economic statement as a first step toward a national childcare system."It can be hard to do your work when you have an ankle-biter running around, beautiful though the ankle-biters are," she said during a Zoom event with the Halifax Chamber of Commerce.An actual plan won't come until at least the spring budget despite an urgent need for childcare help now, said Leah Nord, director of workplace strategies for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.She pointed to rapid-testing capacity as a way to ensure daycares and schools remain open."The longer this goes on, and the more women that fall out, the bigger problem is going to be," Nord said.Full-time work rose in November by about 99,000 positions that were offset by a decline in part-time work of 37,000. Overall, the economy added about 62,000 jobs last month, down from 84,000 in October.Overall, the pace of job gains has slowed, with employment rising by 0.3 per cent in November compared to an average of 2.7 per cent per month between May and September.The unemployment rate as of November sat at 8.5 per cent, down from the 8.9 per cent recorded in October.The unemployment rate would have been 10.9 per cent in November, Statistics Canada said, had it included in calculations Canadians who wanted to work last month but didn't search for a job.Job gains and losses recorded in November reflected conditions before severe restrictions were put into place in cities like Toronto as COVID-19 case numbers rose. That means next month's numbers will likely reflect a worsening economic picture."As a result, it's likely that COVID will catch up with the Canadian economy in the December data, with a decline expected in both employment and overall economic activity," CIBC senior economist Royce Mendes wrote in a note.The gains left the country 574,000 jobs short of recouping the approximately three million jobs lost from lockdowns in March and April that sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 13.7 per cent in May.About 45 per cent jobs yet to be recovered are in the hard-hit accommodation and food services sector, said RBC senior economist Nathan Janzen. Jobs in those industries declined for the second consecutive month in November, shedding 24,000 jobs."These sectors of the economy that find it really hard to operate in a physical distancing world are still really underperforming," he said," and those also happen to be industries that are relatively low paying."Women are overrepresented among workers that fall into those categories, as well as those who work in industries with less chance of working remotely, said Behnoush Amery, a senior economist with the Labour Market Information Council.She said there was a need for better and timely data on child care options parents use to better tailor a policy response noting the blurring between work and family life will only rise in the future."This is something we need to ... help policy-makers ensure that this recovery in employment is equitable and inclusive," Amery said.There may also be another long-term effect for working mothers caring for children at home, Dhuey said.Drops in productivity compared to pre-pandemic times for those caring for children while working at home could show up in annual reviews or decisions on raises, she said."The people that are working with young kids at home are not being seen (in terms of) how difficult it is to do their job. And I think this is going to affect women for the long-term in terms of career success," said Dhuey, whose three-year-old regularly interrupts her day. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.Jordan Press, The Canadian Press