With Matt Di Nicolantonio.
With Matt Di Nicolantonio.
“Speak, Okinawa,” by Elizabeth Miki Brina (Knopf) Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa” is a masterful memoir in which Brina examines the complex relationship she has with her interracial parents. Brina’s father, white and American, met her mother, who is from the island of Okinawa, while he was stationed there on a US military base. The two settled in the United States, where Brina’s mother spent decades feeling lonely and out of place. Brina grew up feeling close to her father and resenting her mother. Desperate to feel wholly American, she pushed her mother away, embarrassed of her accent and overall inability to truly assimilate. In this investigation of her childhood, Brina begins to see things differently. She looks at life from her mother’s perspective, and now, she starts to understand the depth of her pain, pain she endured from leaving behind all she knew and loved, and also the pain of calling occupied land home. “Speak, Okinawa” is both a mediation on Brina’s own family as well as a powerful history of the United States occupation of Okinawa, where it maintains a massive military presence to this day. Brina’s writing is crisp, captivating and profound. She is vulnerable, raw, and relatable, and her stories will no doubt cause readers to reflect on their relationships with their own parents. As educational as it is entertaining, “Speak, Okinawa” is well worth the read. —- Molly Sprayregen can be reached at her site. Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press
CALGARY — The CEO of Crescent Point Energy Corp. says the company is poised to benefit from rising oil prices after two years of transformation through selling assets, cutting debt and reducing costs. The Calgary-based company's move last week to buy producing light oil shale assets in Alberta for $900 million from Royal Dutch Shell reflects that confidence, Craig Bryksa said. "We have built an asset portfolio that is well-positioned to benefit from a rising price environment given our light oil weighting and high netbacks," he said on a Wednesday conference call with analysts to discuss the company's fourth-quarter results. "We expect to generate $375 (million) to $600 million of excess cash flow this year at US$50 to US$60 WTI (West Texas Intermediate) prices." The company plans to devote most of that cash flow to paying down debt, he said, adding that it will evaluate increasing returns to shareholders over time. Shell is to receive $700 million in cash and 50 million Crescent Point shares under the deal and will wind up owning an 8.6 per cent stake in Crescent Point if it closes as expected in April. The companies say the assets are producing around 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from more than 270 wells. About 57 per cent of production is condensate, highly valued as a diluent blended with oilsands bitumen to allow it to flow in a pipeline. Analysts said the company beat their fourth-quarter estimates on production and average selling prices although both measures fell compared with the same period in 2019. "CPG closed the chapter on a highly successful year in its business transformation toward becoming a more sustainable producer generating significant free cash flow, which should be complemented by the upcoming (Shell) acquisition," Desjardins analyst Chris MacCulloch wrote in a report. Crescent Point reported producing 111,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, about 90 per cent crude oil and petroleum liquids, in the fourth quarter, down from 145,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter of 2019. It attributed the drop to capital spending cuts enacted early in 2020 as oil prices fell. It's average realized fourth-quarter oil price was $49.40 per barrel, down from $65.27 in the year-earlier period. It reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $51 million or 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of $932 million or $1.73 per share in the same period of 2019. On Wednesday, it confirmed 2021 production guidance released with the Shell announcement last week of about 134,000 boe/d, as well as a 2021 capital budget of about $600 million (both assuming the deal is closed). That's up from Crescent Point's average output of 121,600 boe/d during 2020 and down from actual 2020 capital spending of $655 million. The company reported net debt of about $2.1 billion at year-end, paid down by over $615 million during the year. It said it also removed about $60 million in budgeted operating expenses in 2020. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:CPG) Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
(Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit) The Prince Edward Island government plans to set up collaborative structures for patient care that it refers to as "medical homes" and "medical neighbourhoods." In his state of the province address on Monday, Premier Dennis King said three Island communities will get the new structure this year, staffed by multi-disciplinary teams with electronic medical records a critical part of the initiative. The "home" is the family doctor, who will co-ordinate each patient's care, and the "neighbourhood" is an integrated team of other health-care providers, which could include nurse practitioners, diabetes nurse educators, and dietitians among others. The person's overall medical care will be documented and communicated through an electronic health record. Dr. Kristy Newson, president of the P.E.I. College of Family Physicians, said the family physician will be like the quarterback for your care, but an entire team of people could be working to improve your health. "The evolution of family medicine and the way we are training early career family physicians is in this team-based model, and the key is the communication between all the providers," she told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier on Wednesday. "So you have your own network of allied health-care professionals that you interact with on a daily basis. And they always have communication back to the physician as the centre of the medical home." National blueprint The P.E.I. college's site links to a College of Family Physicians of Canada document that calls the concept a blueprint "for the future of family practice in Canada." The document explains that the medical neighbourhood "includes the many realms of health care outside of primary care, such as referrals to other medical specialists, health care providers, hospitals, long-term care, and home care structures, or to broader social and community supports such as community-based mental health and addictions supports and other social services." The document goes on: "Similar networks have been formed across Canada and around the world with the goals of providing improvements to patient outcomes, safety, and experience; lower costs through reduced duplication of services; improved delivery of preventive services; and more evidence-based patient care." More from CBC P.E.I.
Les ministères de tutelle n’ont pas à s’immiscer dans ce qui relève de la responsabilité des chercheurs. À la communauté universitaire d’ouvrir le débat sur recherche et militantisme.
TORONTO — A quarantine screening officer in Oakville, Ont., is facing charges of sexual assault and extortion. Regional police say the accused was trained by the Public Health Agency of Canada and worked for a private security company. Police allege the 27-year-old officer told a woman at a home she was in violation of a quarantine order. They allege he demanded a fine be paid in cash, and sexually assaulted her when she refused. Police say the accused goes by the name Hemant and has been suspended. They won't identify the security company. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says he will not trigger an election as long as the COVID-19 pandemic persists. Singh says he will stand by his pledge to prop up the Liberal minority government on confidence votes regardless of whether the Liberals back an NDP bill to implement universal pharmacare, due for a vote later today. The government is expected within the next couple months to table a budget, which would trigger an election if it fails to garner support from at least one major opposition party. New Democrats have been hyping their pharmacare legislation in advance of a vote that will either kill Bill C-213 or send it to committee for further scrutiny. The NDP and Liberals both promised some kind of pharmacare program during the 2019 federal election campaign, but differ on the details. Singh says his party's universal medication plan, laid out in a private member's bill sponsored by MP Peter Julian, resembles the framework recommended by a government-commissioned report released in June 2019. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
MILAN — It was a lockdown well-spent for Daniel Del Core. The German designer chose the unlikely moment when the world was reeling from the coronavirus last spring and the luxury sector was experiencing its deepest profit drops ever to conceive a new brand, under the Italian surname he inherited from his immigrant grandfather. And he defied yet another piece of conventional wisdom, launching Del Core with a live runway show during the otherwise digital Milan Fashion Week of womenswear previews for the next cold weather season. Just 40 invited guests were socially distanced in the basement of Milan’s city archives, boxes of files replaced by trays of plants: the seed of a new collection that is taking root. Rapid COVID tests were offered at the entrance, in full awareness that the pandemic prevails and that live events are the exception, not the rule. For anyone immersed in the new fashion ritual of zoom previews and interviews, a real live runway show was a reminder of what has been mostly missing -- energy, the swish of textiles, the gasp of novelty -- since local transmission of the virus was first detected outside of Asia near Milan just over one year ago, during runway previews for Fall-Winter 2020-21. Del Core tapped his experience as Gucci events designer, focused on one-off creations for VIPs and red-carpet stars, and his love of nature for the launch of his “Collection 0” that was strong on sculptural drama and looks that demand notice. Would-be tuxedo tails were slightly off kilter, the tail creating asymmetrical line down the side of jackets. Feather-heeled sandals peeped from beneath trousers. Belted, the jacket became a minidress, worn with lace fishnet stockings. Strappy tops were laced up the side, worn over miniskirts. The oversized bow of a suit jacket tied prettily next to the cheek. The ready-to-wear palate was rigorously monotone, in strong shades including tangerine, lavender, teal and black. Japanese culture received more than a few nods, with a kimono mini, a frontal Obi belted jacket and leg-revealing botanical print dress in silk, finished generously with feathery wisps. Fantastical eyewear included single-lens colored shields, and platform sandals appeared to be covered with creeping organic matter, effects that were part sci-fi, part Harajuku. “Mutant glamour,” the collection notes called it. The mood grew increasingly intense with evening wear, with sculptural details including a velvet bubble ruffle on an off-shoulder dress, giant ruffled and bell-shaped sleeves like a mushroom on a crystal-encrusted dress. Accordion pleats created a cape-like effect on a tightly fitted dress, layered with lace. Circular pleated fans bloomed from the bodice of a pleated number like so many lily pads. “A merging of human savoir-faire and the splendor of mother nature ignites the re-emergence into the natural through the deftly man-made, in luscious fabrications of silk, wool, taffetas, brocade, jacquard and fil coupe,’’ the collection notes said. Seemingly stunned by what he had accomplished, the 32-year-old designer was too emotional to do more than exchange greetings back stage, and wipe back tears. “Beauty is not static,” his collection notes conclude. Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
(CBC - image credit) A large fire Wednesday morning in Ingonish, N.S., destroyed a barn and the livestock inside, which were the heart of a young family's business and livelihood. The barn belonged to the Groovy Goat Farm & Soap Company, located along the Cabot Trail in northern Cape Breton. "It just was such a shock and it all just happened so fast," said Shannon Costelo, who owns the Groovy Goat with her husband, Ryan Costelo. Costelo said a neighbour knocked on their door to point out smoke coming from the barn behind their house. "We went out right away and there was smoke at that point ... It didn't seem like a lot so my husband ran out with the fire extinguisher. But he went in and the whole barn was already filled with smoke," Costelo said. She said her husband kicked the doors open, hoping the goats inside, which included some new kids, would run out, but none did. They were unable to rescue any of the animals that were in the barn. Engulfed in flames within minutes "It just went so fast and, you know, the whole barn was filled with hay in the hay loft, so ... it didn't take long," she said. It was only about, like, five or 10 minutes from the time we saw the smoke that it was totally engulfed in flames." The wind was blowing in the direction of the family home, Costelo said, so while her husband called for fire crews, she packed up their three children and got them off the property for fear the barn fire would spread. Costelo said her family built the barn about five years ago as their business was just taking off. They operate a petting farm and a shop where they sell their goat milk, soaps and other bath products. In addition to their goats, the family also owns some cows, which were out in a pasture at the time of the fire. 'It was pretty traumatic' Costelo said her husband is also the chief of the Ingonish volunteer fire department, which is not far from their home, so he got the truck from the station and started trying to extinguish the blaze with the help of neighbours before additional fire crews arrived. "It was very hard for him," Costelo said. "It was pretty traumatic." Crews from Ingonish and Neils Harbour responded to the blaze around 8:30 a.m. Victoria County deputy warden Larry Dauphinee was among the firefighters responding to the call. "It's a big loss to the community," Dauphinee said. "It's definitely a young couple with a nice business on the go ... I'm sure the community will pull together and assist as much as they can." Dauphinee said high winds made the fire difficult to control, as crews worked to save nearby buildings. A GoFundMe account has been launched to raise money for the Costelo family. Costelo said she and her husband haven't talked a lot yet about what comes next, but she's hoping to keep the business going. "We'll never, never get the animals back and we'll have to live with what happened," she said. "But we do hopefully plan to rebuild the barn and kind of pick ourselves up and keep going, if we can." MORE TOP STORIES
Despite rising COVID-19 cases, especially in Metro Vancouver, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry didn’t announce new measures to curb the spread of the virus in a briefing today. Henry urged British Columbians to continue to stay home when sick, wear a mask in public spaces and not socialize outside their households — public health orders that have been in place for nearly five months. “It is concerning that we’re seeing an increase in our per-cent positivity and in our weekly average, particularly in the Lower Mainland,” she said. “We know what to do to manage.” The province need only stay the course to lower transmission as it continues to roll out vaccines to the most vulnerable to serious illness, she said. But recent data shows the number of people infected is beginning to climb again after a slow decline. Earlier this month, the province was reporting about 450 new COVID-19 cases each day. On Thursday, the province reported 617 new cases. Today, Henry said 559 new cases had been identified. And the rolling seven-day average of new daily cases has surpassed 500 for the first time since early January. Recent polling also suggests British Columbians are less likely to consistently follow COVID-19 guidelines than people in other provinces. Concerns have also increased after seven schools reported students and staff had been exposed to COVID-19 variants that are believed to be more easily transmitted and potentially more likely to cause serious illness. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside acknowledged the issue in a briefing Monday. “I can appreciate the anxiety,” she said. But she added that testing has shown the variants are not being spread within schools. Henry said the province is testing all positive cases for evidence of a variant, and genomic sequencing has been ramped up to confirm the extent of variants in the community. “We are paying extra attention, so we better understand how and where these are spreading,” she said. “We’re learning about the impacts of these variants of concern,” Henry said. “But we know what we have to do to manage it.” Henry said there are signs the province’s vaccination effort has saved lives, particularly in long-term care. More than 220,000 people have been vaccinated, and at least 55,057 of those have had two doses. The province reported one death due to COVID-19 today, an individual in assisted living. There have been no new cases or deaths in long-term care in the last 24 hours, and 92 per cent of residents have had their first dose of the vaccine, Henry said. Outbreaks in long-term care have also dropped from almost 60 in December to 12. There are five outbreaks in assisted living facilities. On Monday the province will announce the plan for vaccinating seniors over 80 living in the community, Henry said, which will begin shortly. “We are in a period of vaccine hope and pandemic reality,” she said. Moira Wyton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee
Shawinigan - Le maire de Shawinigan Michel Angers a confirmé mardi midi, lors de son traditionnel bilan organisé par la Chambre de commerce, qu’il serait officiellement candidat aux élections municipales l'automne prochain. Le principal intéressé avait laissé entendre en novembre dernier qu’il y avait de fortes chances qu’il soit de la course, ce qu’il a officialisé mardi midi, devant les gens d’affaires, réunis sur une plateforme de réunion virtuelle. «J'ai bien réfléchi. Je suis en forme et il y a encore beaucoup de défis, dont la pandémie, pour Shawinigan. J'ai toujours dit que quand je serai dans une zone de confort, je ferai autre chose, mais ce moment n'est pas venu», a-t-il laissé tomber. «Si je n'étais pas prêt à peser à fond sur l'accélérateur, il n'y aurait pas de demi-mesures. C'est pleinement ou ce n'est pas du tout», a indiqué le maire, qui précise avoir pris le temps des Fêtes pour réfléchir à sa position. Se gardant bien de dévoiler l'ensemble de ses idées pour un éventuel quatrième mandat, M. Angers a tout de même assuré vouloir faire de la création d'emploi, de la lutte à la pauvreté et à l'exclusion et de l'augmentation des services offerts à la population quelques unes de ses principales priorités. Malgré le fait que cette campagne se déroulera fort probablement en pandémie, celui qui est maire de Shawinigan depuis 2009 n'entend pas changer une recette gagnante. «J'ai toujours mené des campagnes toujours positives. J'aime les campagnes électorales, j'aime les élections. Bien sûr, les médias sociaux joueront un rôle majeur et important, le porte à porte sera plus difficile à faire, alors on trouvera les moyens, sûrement numériques, de rejoindre les gens. Je trouverai des moyens cet été, en fonction des décisions de la Santé publique, de rencontrer gens et je ferai les ajustements nécessaires.» Si certains croient qu'il pourrait s'agir pour lui d'un dernier mandat au municipal, Michel Angers n'entend pas se consacrer à un autre palier politique dans le futur. «Je pense sincèrement que la plus belle politique est la municipale. J'ai été sollicité à plusieurs reprises pour d'autres paliers et je n'ai pas d'intérêt pour la politique provinciale ou pour la politique fédérale. J'aime que les gens puissent nous interpeller dans la rue. Je suis le capitaine du bateau et je sens que j'ai les coudées franches pour faire du développement économique, du développement social. Cette capacité de pouvoir bouger me nourrit et m'anime. Est-ce que j'ai le goût d'être un matelot dans un bateau plus gros? Probablement pas. Est-ce que j'ai le goût d'être un matelot dans un bateau encore plus gros? Encore moins», souligne-t-il, précisant du même coup qu'il entend se consacrer au bénévolat une fois sa carrière politique derrière lui. Bilan positif, malgré la COVID-19 Lors de son allocution, le maire Angers a relevé que l'économie de sa municipalité s'en est plutôt bien tirée dans la dernière année, malgré la pandémie. Parmi les bons coups, Michel Angers a notamment noté que la Ville a soutenu 158 entreprises en 2020, pour une aide financière de 3,2 millions $, générant du coup 6,8 millions $ en investissements. La mesure a permis de créer 121 emplois et d'en maintenir 116. Le maire sortant a également rappelé que Shawinigan a fait partie d'un projet-pilote l'été dernier qui autorisait les restaurants à utiliser des espaces publics pour agrandir leurs terrasses. Monsieur Angers a aussi souligné la vitalité des secteurs industriels et immobilier, deux domaines en forte expansion à la ville. Ce dernier mise beaucoup sur la Zone d'innovation, ce concept du gouvernement du Québec qui vise à augmenter la commercialisation des innovations, les exportations, les investissements locaux et étrangers et la productivité des entreprises. Le premier magistrat s'est aussi fait une fierté de souligner la croissance démographique de Shawinigan qui, en cinq ans, a connu une croissance de 1,7% de sa population, alors que tous les indicateurs prévoyaient une baisse nette à cet égard sur la période indiquée. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says allocating COVID-19 vaccine doses for Indigenous people in urban areas through the provinces is faster and more effective than delivery directed from Ottawa. He says he will be working with provinces and territories to ensure they prioritize Indigenous people in their immunization efforts, even as the National Association of Friendship Centres and other advocates call for more direct federal involvement.
La fatigue contemporaine peut s’analyser comme une revendication sociale légitime, celle de la prise en compte de nos besoins vitaux.
Lors de la séance du conseil de la MRC de Minganie du 16 février, les élus ont adressé une demande au gouvernement du Québec pour que l’île d’Anticosti soit incluse dans le territoire du Plan Nord. Malgré le fait que l’île soit au-dessus du 49e parallèle, elle ne fait pas partie du plan de développement du nord québécois. Pour la MRC de Minganie, l’île recèle un potentiel important au niveau forestier et faunique et son exclusion du Plan Nord est un frein au développement de ce lieu. Le préfet de la MRC de Minganie, Luc Noël, explique qu’il n’y a aucune reconnaissance spécifique accordé à Anticosti par le gouvernement. Cela fait que l’île ne peut bénéficier de certains programmes qui pourraient l’aider à subvenir à certains besoins reliés à sa situation d’insularité. « Si le gouvernement veut faire du développement durable avec le Plan Nord, je pense que le projet de faire inscrire l’île d’Anticosti comme site du patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO pourrait correspondre à cet objectif », affirme Luc Noël. Cette demande de la MRC de Minganie fait suite à la vision de la municipalité d’Anticosti qui souhaite relancer le développement de l’île en misant sur le tourisme durable et bonifier ses infrastructures d’accueil. De son côté, la Société du Plan Nord indique que le territoire de celui-ci est déterminé par « différents facteurs, dont les limites géographiques des régions administratives existantes, le type de végétation, l’isolement des collectivités, les principales industries et activités économiques présentes, et le critère de la nordicité ». C'est donc en se basant sur ces critères que le gouvernement a décidé de ne pas retenir l'île d'Anticosti dans le territoire du Plan Nord. De plus, la Société du Plan Nord affirme qu'elle « n'a pas l'intention de proposer au gouvernement d’entamer un processus de révision des limites du territoire d’application » du Plan Nord pour l'instant. Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
ANHCORAGE, Alaska — A highly transmissible coronavirus variant originally traced to Brazil has been discovered in Alaska. The variant was found in a specimen of an Anchorage resident who developed COVID-19 symptoms, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The person had no known travel history. It’s the sixth case of the variant found in five U.S. states, officials said. Dr. Joe McLaughlin, an epidemiologist with the state health department, said there is evidence to suggest the P.1 variant is more transmissible than the original virus and that its mutations also “appear to change the antigenic profile of the virus.” That means it can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated. It’s also troublesome that the person in the Alaska case has no known travel history. “That does make it more concerning,” he told the newspaper. “So we are trying to do a thorough epidemiological investigation to figure out where the person actually got infected from.” The person ate at an Anchorage restaurant with at least one other person in late January and didn’t wear a mask. The infected person developed symptoms four days later and tested positive on Feb. 8 There is at least one person who had close contact with the infected person. The state has had two cases of people with the coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom. “COVID is still circulating,” McLaughlin said, adding that more variant cases will likely be detected even as cases overall continue to decline. “We really want people to continue following all the mitigation strategies,” McLaughlin said. “There’s a reasonably high probability that the infection may have incurred while the person was eating at a restaurant with another person, so we just want to make sure people continue to stay within their social bubbles.” Alaska reported 58 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 55,560. The state has reported 287 deaths. Alaska has administered 232,811 doses of vaccine. Of those, 89,147 have been second doses. Alaska’s total population is about 731,000. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The Associated Press
Jasper Municipal Council discussed potentially approving the installation of utility services in connection with the Connaught Drive affordable apartments during its committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 23. Utilities would be installed for GC, GB and GA parcels, or for just one or two of them. The parcels of land are located along the south side of Connaught Drive between Hazel and Willow avenues. The go-ahead for the 40-unit apartment building is contingent on the success of a Rapid Housing Initiative grant application by the Jasper Community Housing Corporation (JCHC). Word about the success of the grant was expected by the end of February. If it doesn’t go through, other alternatives will be looked at. Coun. Bert Journault said he’s not supportive of installing utility services beyond parcel GC. “I don’t think it’s fair to the taxpayers to saddle them with that (because) that may not be used for a long, long, long, long time,” he said. Journault asked if services installed in parcel GB would be recoverable from the developer. Chief administrative officer Bill Given said if that scenario is presented, “Administration would be proposing that if there is private development that is able to benefit from those services then there should be some kind of contribution toward that. That would be a decision council would be involved in, of course.” Deputy mayor Scott Wilson said the lots “may not be developed for some time but they’ll be developed quite a bit sooner if the services are there and they’re ready to roll.” “If you’re looking at a lot and realizing you have to spend millions in services to start your project, I just can’t see anybody coming to the table,” Wilson added. “I think that’s a challenge currently. I think we have to make them desirable and developers will come.” Coun. Jenna McGrath noted servicing these parcels was the first step to ensuring that affordable housing would be built in Jasper. “When we were elected for this term of council, the single most important issue facing the community of Jasper was housing,” McGrath said. “This is our first opportunity as this council to ensure that housing has a possibility of being built in our community.” McGrath added that the initiative is “absolutely necessary.” “There are many, many people needing affordable housing in our community.” Coun. Paul Butler emphasized how development was a priority. “We have the wherewithal to recuperate whatever proportion we, as council or future council, would decide,” he said. About GC only or GC and GB, or all three sites being developed, Butler said “I do respect the thinking that suggests if we’re going to be in the ground let’s do the whole thing and set ourselves up for future success on those sites.” Butler said he’s being cautioned by the question of what is realistically the near-, medium- and long-term demand for high-density housing. He noted the JCHC has identified other areas in town as being suitable for other kinds of housing, and that there are other sorts of housing being needed in the community, such as more family- and senior-oriented housing. Information provided by administration outlined how Jasper has systemic housing affordability, suitability, adequacy and risk of homelessness issues, along with a complex process for securing land to fulfil affordable housing needs. The town has had a 0.0 per cent vacancy since at least 2014 with approximately 37 per cent of residents overpaying for shelter. Parks Canada identified that 46 new housing units have been constructed in the municipality since 2017 and that through the same period, 63 units were converted to condominiums, likely removing at least some from the rental pool. Administration will present borrowing bylaws to council for approval at a future meeting. The bylaws would fund a maximum of $3.647 million towards these utility services. Council will also decide whether to allocate $350,250 in the 2021 budget for upfront project costs, subject to approval of the RHI grant application. The final decision on how to proceed about servicing the lot(s) will be back for a decision at council’s regular meeting on March 2. Wastewater Treatment Plant The committee of the whole recommended council direct administration to enter into contract negotiation with Aquatera Utilities Inc. for a ten-year operating contract of the Jasper Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP). Since Jan. 27, 2020, the WWTP has been operated by a contracted service provider (EPCOR) under a one-year service agreement. This agreement was extended until June 30, 2021 to complete the RFP process and ensure an orderly transition. Final approval is scheduled to be mid-May of this year. Canada Healthy Communities Initiative Council will discuss a recommendation to approve the submission of an application to the Canada Healthy Communities Initiative for up to $260,000 for improvements to public spaces in town, at their March 2 meeting. The deadline for submitting an application is March 9. “It’s a fairly flexible grant,” Given said. There are three themes to projects: safe and vibrant spaces, improved mobility options and digital solutions. Administration identified improvements that would fit under the safe and vibrant public spaces and improved mobility options themes. The application could include: Some projects are enhancements to existing funding and others wouldn’t go ahead without grant funding. Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
(The Canadian Press - image credit) More than 50 cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed among inmates and staff at the Sarnia Jail. The active case count among inmates is 33 as of Monday, according to data released by the province. That figure is down from a peak of 41 cases last week. The outbreak was declared on Feb. 6, and Lambton Public Health's website says five staff members and 47 inmates have been diagnosed in total. No deaths are associated with the outbreak. A spokesperson for the Ministry of the Solicitor General, which oversees the province's correctional institutions, said a number of changes have been made in recent months, including testing and isolation for those newly admitted and others as necessary, personal protective equipment for staff and inmates, and temperature checks for staff and visitors. "Protecting the health and safety of correctional services staff and those in provincial custody is the ministry's top priority," Andrew Morrison, a spokesperson for the ministry, said in a statement. Inmates who test positive are isolated while they receive medical care, according to the ministry. "The ministry continues to work with local public health authorities to complete contact tracing, and voluntary testing of inmates is ongoing," Morrison said. The outbreak is one of five ongoing in Sarnia-Lambton. One is active at Bluewater Health, and the others are at seniors' homes. Overall, there are 72 active cases of COVID-19 in the region. On Tuesday, a clinic to vaccinate health-care workers with the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine opened up at Bluewater Health.
Substantial increases in speed and avail-ability for broadband may be coming to Mono. Council heard a request from Rogers Communications Canada Inc., to support their application to the Federal government to become part of the Universal Broadband Fund (UBF) program. Their aim is to supply the entire town of Mono with Fibre Optic Internet service. Currently, much of Mono is underserviced by the available service providers and this prevents many residents and businesses from taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by digital communications.Broadband connectivity is a key priority for Mono Council and is in fact, part of their Corporate Strategic Plan. Rogers’ “leave no home behind,” plan is a true game changer for Mono.Rogers build strategy commitment is to bring broadband to entire areas of under-served homes. If it is approved, it will bring the needed broadband service, to house-holds and businesses to enable them to avail themselves of digital opportunities. Espe-cially, in the fields of business, education, health and public safety.One of the other benefits to the propos-al, is that there is no suggested cost to the Town. A notation made by Deputy Mayor John Creelman, who has been spearheading the drive for better internet service in Mono. To this end, the deputy Mayor was deeply involved with helping Vianet set up the an-tennae on the Town water tower. Another potential benefit is that if two ser-vice providers are eyeing the same territory, the funder, in this case the Federal govern-ment will be the one to decide who may op-erate where. Also, any service must be an open access one, meaning that third party users must be allow access to the service for a reasonable cost.The proposed service, will have a mini-mum download speed of 50 megabits per second and a minimum upload speed of 10 megabits per second. There are purportedly, several service providers interested in servicing Mono. CAO Mark Early mentioned that he had recently been approached by V-Media from Concord, who are also interested in supplying internet services to Mono.Deputy Mayor Creelman noted that the SWIFT program is set to go along Hwy.10, from the 10th Sideroad north through Camil-la. If Rogers and Vianet are prepared to ser-vice the rest of Mono, this will allow SWIFT to move into other parts of Dufferin County, not adequately services with broadband.Innovation Canada expects that 90 per cent of Canada will have access to high speed internet by the end of 2021. Individ-uals are encouraged to reach out to their internet service providers to notify them about the UBF and encourage them to apply for funding. Peter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen
“Kill Shot: A Shadow Industry, a Deadly Disease,” by Jason Dearen (Avery) Lower back pain. Spinal stenosis. Cataracts. All those conditions are treated with drugs manufactured by compounding pharmacies. And those drugs can blind or kill you, due in large part to an almost total absence of regulatory oversight. In his terrific but unnerving new book, “Kill Shot,” Associated Press investigative reporter Jason Dearen explores the shadow industry of compounding pharmacies and various unsuccessful efforts to rein it in. The story centres on the New England Compounding Center, which in 2012 produced mould-infested batches of an injectable steroid that killed more than 100 people and sickened nearly 800 others across 20 states. Eventually, the lab in Framingham, Massachusetts, half an hour west of Boston, was shut down, and 13 people, including co-owner Barry Cadden and supervising pharmacist Glenn Chin, were convicted of federal crimes. But as Dearen makes clear in his gripping, tautly written narrative, the problems posed by pharmacy compounding — which accounts for at least 10% of the country’s drug supply — are far from over. Relying on transcripts, interviews, FDA inspection reports and other sources, he reconstructs this slow-moving tragedy in scenes of almost cinematic intensity. We meet the sympathetic victims, many of them elderly people living with chronic pain, who, after receiving the injections, died slow, horrible deaths from fungal meningitis and its complications. We also meet the callous lab owners, who set out to enrich themselves by cutting corners, hiring unqualified staff, running a filthy operation and relying on payoffs to drum up business. And while some NECC employees were eventually held accountable, they had a host of enablers. These included the lobbying group Alliance for Pharmacy Compounding; members of Congress, who accepted their campaign contributions and killed meaningful reform; and the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 2002 struck down a section of a law designed to give the FDA more oversight. Thankfully, there were good guys as well: mostly, the dedicated doctors and scientists in hospitals, state health labs and federal agencies, including the FDA and CDC, who tracked the mysterious outbreak of deadly infections in real time and limited its scope by alerting the public. “Kill Shot” is coming out in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exposed the overall fragility of the U.S. health care system. By calling attention to just one facet of it, Dearen has performed a tremendous public service. He includes a handy checklist of questions to ask prescribers about compounded drugs, but his takeaway is inescapable. Consumers would do well to educate themselves about treatment options and press for tougher regulations. Their lives — and those of their loved ones — may depend on it. — Ann Levin worked for The Associated Press for 20 years, including as national news editor at AP headquarters in New York. Since 2009 she’s worked as a freelance writer and editor. Ann Levin, The Associated Press
Les personnes de 85 ans et plus, en Montérégie, sont invitées à réserver leur place dès jeudi matin, mais la vaccination de la population générale ne débutera que le 11 mars dans la région. Le premier ministre François Legault a annoncé cette semaine que la région de Montréal serait priorisée. Si la Rive-Sud est souvent incluse dans les décisions impliquant le Grand Montréal, il semble que ce ne soit pas le cas cette fois-ci. Par voie de communiqué, la direction régionale de la santé publique de la Montérégie (DSP) lance un appel à toutes les personnes de la région nées en 1936 ou avant. Les gens qui répondent à ce critère et qui souhaitent être vaccinés contre la COVID-19 doivent prendre rendez-vous en ligne à l’adresse: Québec.ca/vaccinCOVID. La prise de rendez-vous débute jeudi matin à 8 h 00. Les gens qui n’ont pas accès à internet ou qui préfèrent prendre rendez-vous par téléphone peuvent appeler au 1-877-644-4545. Une personne accompagnatrice peut aussi être vaccinée si elle se rend au site de vaccination avec quelqu’un de 85 ans et plus ayant obtenu un rendez-vous. Cette personne accompagnatrice doit cependant être âgée de 70 ans ou plus et côtoyer la personne aidée au moins trois jours par semaine. Afin de limiter les déplacements et bien desservir tous les secteurs de la Montérégie, on a prévu des sites de vaccination à Acton Vale, Boucherville, Candiac, Brossard, Châteauguay, Lacolle, Longueuil, Saint-Césaire, Saint-Hyacinthe, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield et Sorel-Tracy. Deux autres lieux vont s’ajouter à compter du 15 mars à Mont-Saint-Hilaire et Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville. Toujours selon le communiqué, la directrice régionale de la santé publique, Dre Julie Loslier, reconnaît que l’arrivée du vaccin dans la population générale s’accompagne d’un vent d’espoir dans la lutte contre la pandémie. Elle insiste toutefois sur l’importance de demeurer vigilant et de continuer de respecter les règles de prévention. Il est important de rappeler que le corps a besoin de plusieurs semaines avant de réagir au vaccin et de bâtir son arsenal de défense contre le virus. «Le virus circule encore, des variants plus contagieux ont été identifiés au Québec. Nous devons donc continuer à suivre les mesures de santé publique pour continuer à protéger les personnes les plus vulnérables», peut-on lire dans une citation attribuée à Dre Loslier. Par ailleurs, d’après les données recueillies par l’équipe de la chercheuse de l’Université de Sherbrooke, Dre Mélissa Généreux, 73,9 % des Québécois veulent être vaccinés contre la COVID-19. En Montérégie, le taux est légèrement plus élevé à 76,8 %. Ces résultats ont été obtenus à la suite d’une enquête menée auprès de 10 513 répondants entre le 5 et le 16 février 2021. Ugo Giguère, Initiative de journalisme local, La Presse Canadienne
(Jeremy Cohn/CBC - image credit) A quarantine screening officer employed by a private security company hired and trained by Canada's federal health agency has been charged after allegedly demanding a cash fine from an Ontario resident and then sexually assaulting her when she refused to pay. Halton Regional Police say the accused, a 27-year-old Hamilton man whose full name is Hemant, went to the Oakville home on Feb. 18 to carry out a quarantine compliance check, telling the resident she was in violation of a quarantine order. Under Canada's Quarantine Act, designated screening officers regularly visit travellers' quarantine locations to ensure they are complying with the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements. The officers are not police and cannot issue a ticket or conduct an arrest, nor can they demand payment of any kind. Police allege the accused demanded the resident pay a fine in cash. "When the victim declined to pay, she was sexually assaulted by the accused," said a police news release issued Wednesday. Police also said he worked for one of four private security firms hired to help enforce isolation orders. The force said it will not identify the name of the security company where the man was an employee, but say he has been suspended. The accused, who now faces charges of sexual assault and extortion, has been released from custody. He is set to appear in court in Milton, Ont. on March 23. The investigation was prompted by a complaint from the alleged victim, said police spokesperson Const. Steve Elms, who had no other details. The Public Health Agency of Canada did not immediately respond to a request to comment. All people entering Canada are required to isolate for 14 days. Designated screening officers visit quarantine locations to confirm the person is where they said they would be in quarantine when they arrived in the country. Failure to comply can result in fines. Screening officers, contracted by the Public Health Agency of Canada, are not police officers and have no authority to issue a ticket or arrest anyone. As a result, police said, screening officers should never be demanding payment of any kind during a quarantine-compliance check. Police said other people might have been victimized and urged anyone who might have had a similar experience to contact their local police. Issues have previously arisen with quarantine guards. Last year, private security contractors at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne, Australia, were accused of sleeping with guests, the Herald Sun reported.