No winning ticket sold for the $12 million jackpot in Friday night's Lotto Max draw.
The jackpot for the next draw on Dec. 29 will be approximately $17 million.
The Canadian Press
No winning ticket sold for the $12 million jackpot in Friday night's Lotto Max draw.
The jackpot for the next draw on Dec. 29 will be approximately $17 million.
The Canadian Press
FORMOSA – The Grade 8 students at Immaculate Conception School in Formosa joined a national campaign to eradicate racism and bring Indigenous children affected by the child welfare system home to their communities. The Moccasin Project (So They Can Go Home) is not a new concept to the school's Grade 8 teacher, Mary Steffan. She said she had a previous class participate in the project, which was the inspiration for this year's involvement. Steffan said the students developed knowledge of the issues Indigenous youth and children face and that “they do their best to raise awareness,” since participating in the project. The Community Liaison Committee (CLC) and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) provided funding for the project, formally presenting a cheque for $1,800 to the school on Feb. 25 in a special ceremony. In a letter to the CLC, Steffen explained that classes have been learning about Canada’s Indigenous community and the inequalities they face. In particular, students have learned that a disproportionate percent of children in foster care are Indigenous; 90 per cent in the case of Manitoba’s foster care system. "Through the...project, students make moccasins and send them back to the foundation along with letters for Indigenous infants in foster care,” a media release from the CLC said. “According to their website, this program aims to educate and raise awareness on child apprehension that is impacting Indigenous children in Canada and hopes to eradicate racism and reunite children with their communities and families.” The kits were distributed amongst several classes at Immaculate Conception as a result of the funding approved by CLC in December 2020. Students in Steffen’s class began making the moccasins at home during the period of virtual learning and completed them upon the return to school. The moccasins will be sent back when all the classes at Immaculate Conception complete them. “It’s so amazing to see kids helping kids, especially in times such as these, and the CLC and NWMO helped make that happen,” Steffan said. “The committee was happy to provide support to make this unique program taking place at Immaculate Conception School a possibility. It is positive to see local students receive education on Indigenous issues, and support youth across the country in the process,” said Les Nichols, CLC member. Da-giiwewaat (so they can go home) is a national campaign to raise awareness about child apprehension impacting Indigenous children in Canada. Their website said, “We are calling on everyone to get involved and help us make 165,000 (as reported by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on First Nations Child Welfare - Jan. 1, 2016) moccasins for Indigenous children affected by the child welfare system of Canada!” “The NWMO has committed to contribute to reconciliation and we are delighted to provide support to a local school to contribute to the ongoing learning of our youth,” said Cherie Leslie, NWMO senior engagement advisor. The donation came from the Early Investments in Education and Skills (EIES) fund. This NWMO funding program exists for capacity building purposes in communities that have ongoing participation in the Adaptive Phased Management (APM) project. It provides investments in education as well as training for youth and the community, and is made available annually to any of the elementary schools in the Municipality of South Bruce. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Of all the restrictions placed on Manitobans during the pandemic, those that restrict funerals and those grieving the loss of a loved one may be the most damaging of them all. "The health of people is my concern, the wellness of people, their mental wellness, which plays out physically, emotionally, spiritually. Those restrictions that are in place right now, I’m finding are detrimental to people’s mental health," said David Klassen, a funeral director with Braendle-Bruce Funeral Service in Russell. Klassen noted an Alberta funeral that took place last year, where many people contracted COVID-19. But, he said, the funeral was not governed by a funeral director. "The families did it on their own. There are some, there are very few, but there are some communities where funeral directors aren’t actually present at the ceremony and the burial," he said. "Kevin (Sweryd) from MFSA (Manitoba Funeral Service Association) will quickly tell you that best practices as far as funeral directors is that we’re promoting the health guidelines." In fact, Sweryd, who is president of the association, has been trying to get basic answers from a variety of government agencies for almost a year. In a document provided to The Brandon Sun, Sweryd questions the internal logic of the orders with regards to funeral homes and churches. "I can go to a church service on Sunday and attend with 100 people. But, on Monday, if a member of the exact same church has to have a (funeral) service for his wife at the exact same church 24 hours later, then it is only safe to have 10 people in the exact same space," Sweryd states. He also wonders why funeral gatherings are restricted to 10 people while other businesses with far fewer safety protocols in place are allowed 25 per cent of their capacity, without tracking, without contact lists and very little management of crowd flow to ensure that there is adequate distancing. Currently the public orders state that up to 10 persons, other than the officiant and a photographer or videographer, may attend a wedding or funeral if the operator of the premises where the wedding or funeral takes place implements measures to ensure that all persons attending are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other persons at the wedding or funeral. Meanwhile, for worship, the orders state churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship may open to hold regular religious services if (a) the number of persons attending a service does not exceed 25 per cent of the usual capacity of the premises or 100 persons, whichever is lower. "Funerals can be conducted safely. We can keep contact lists and we can have proper social distancing in our chapels. What is the reason for treating our profession differently?" asked Sweryd. He stated he has asked this question of the previous health minister, the MECC (Manitoba Emergency Co-ordination Centre), Dr. Brent Roussin and Premier Brian Pallister. "I have been asking this question for almost a year. And I have not received even the courtesy of a reply that I can share with our membership," he stated. Klassen recalled one situation where a woman called three days after she had been in Braendle-Bruce’s, then tested positive for COVID-19. Staff went back through their contact information, determining who had been working and who might have been in contact with her. "We called the public health office and explained the situation. What do we do now? What are the protocols? And, they ask the question, ‘Was anybody within six feet of her, unmasked, for 15 minutes?’ Of course, nobody was. Everybody was masked throughout the whole time. So they actually told us that that wasn’t considered contact," said Klassen. "We were allowed to continue operating, nobody ever developed symptoms. There was no follow from that." Public health orders relating to gathering, consistently group weddings and funerals together, including the orders dated March 4. Klassen objects because gathering for a funeral is unlike any other type of gathering. "It’s not the same as a wedding. It’s far from the same as a wedding. The wedding can be planned at any time and everybody can change their plans. But a funeral happens only when someone dies. And immediately, grief takes over. Grief can’t be put on hold. Grief starts immediately, with a loss," he said. He added we face all sorts of losses — divorce, loss of a job, for example. The process of grief is very similar, but grief of loss through death is irreversible. A person can get another spouse, another job. "But you can’t establish that same relationship with a deceased spouse or a parent or a child," said Klassen. When the strictest restrictions were announced, Braendle-Bruce adapted with livestreaming — a practice the company will likely continue even after the pandemic for far-flung relatives. But it’s not the same as being physically in a room. "In the last little while, we handled the funeral service for a young mother, a 38-year-old wife, mother (of four), and of course her parents are still living, her in-laws are still living. She became ill with cancer and her death was way more premature than they anticipated with her illness," said Klassen. "How do you choose 10 people to be at that funeral? In that situation, there would have been 500 people at the funeral. You’re gathering with a family that’s waiting to begin a service where they’re walking into a church or a hall and just warmed by the fact that there are 450 people physically there to help participate in a memorialization and in the compassion of being together with this family who desperately is hurting, as well as all the other 450 people that are there. "And now what we have to do is just walk into a big empty facility. Nobody there. The only ones there are the cameraman, the minister and the organist." Klassen said it weighs heavy. In the last while, funeral services have had the ability to rotate. As one person leaves, another goes in. That happened after Klassen observed people rotating in and out of Tim Hortons. He spoke with MLAs and a provincial minister. "It’s fantastic. We need coffee. I said to them, why is it more important for people to be able to rotate in and out of Tim Hortons? Not diminishing the need to have coffee, OK, by any means. But why can’t people at least rotate in and out of the funeral home?" asked Klassen. That helped improve the situation, involving more people in the funeral service. Braendle-Bruce has handled roughly 250 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Add to that number, in the Westman/Prairie Mountain Health region, another two dozen funeral service providers. That’s a lot of grief. Some postpone the service, as public health officials have suggested, but Klassen said when grief doesn’t start out properly, it becomes dysfunctional, which will cause more strain on society down the road. The restriction on gathering outdoors are just as onerous and, when applied to the graveside, is also incomprehensible to Klassen. "A funeral service is very different than your weekend barbecue with your neighbours," he said. "The weekend barbecue, you can have any night of the week and as many times in a year as you want. But a graveside service to say that only 10 people can be in a space that’s 100 acres — that just doesn’t make sense." Braendle-Bruce serves several First Nations, and one chief said to Klassen, "Where’s the common sense?" With regard to First Nations, Klassen said there is always someone from the community designated to work with Braendle-Bruce to regulate the protocols of the public orders. "So they’ve established within their own community a leader to promote or encourage people to follow the guidelines," he said. While he said he has the utmost respect for those in the position of authority and responsibility, Klassen said he and others in his profession would like direct communication with Manitoba Public Health. "They’re doing the best they can, but what I’d like to see is a liaison between funeral service, those that are involved in it directly, and the public health office. I see a lot of people are able to communicate directly with the public health office, and then establish guidelines and protocols that are suitable for each different segment of society," said Klassen. Michèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
SOUTH BRUCE – Last week, the Municipality of South Bruce responded to a letter received on Feb. 23 from David Donnelly. The lawyer represents opponents of the proposed deep geological repository (DGR) with their lawyer's correspondence. The communication said, “We have been provided with a copy of your letter to Municipal Council dated Feb. 4, 2021 on behalf of Protect Our Waterways – No Nuclear Waste. We have been asked to respond to the points raised in your letter on behalf of the municipality.” South Bruce’s lawyer, Patrick G. Duffy, outlined “significant developments…over the past 18 months that are relevant to the topics outlined” in the letter. He provided a timeline of these developments starting in November 2019, spanning to February 2021, which included updated reports and studies completed to date. The outline included that “approximately 60 processes and inputs” have recently been initiated “to ensure the community has the information needed to make an informed decision about whether to host the project.” Duffy went on to answer each of the questions/concerns outlined in Donnelly’s letter. Duffy answered, “your letter raises questions about the regulatory jurisdiction for the project and the municipality’s role in the regulatory process.” He explained that the DGR project is a federal undertaking under the Constitution Act 1867, and that it must comply with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) licensing regime. “Before the CNSC can issue a licence for the Project, the NWMO (Nuclear Waste Management Organization) will be required to complete a federal impact assessment under the Impact Assessment Act,” with a public regulatory process that will take “many years to complete.” The project will only advance after the assessment and licencing are finished. Duffy added, “While the federal government holds primary regulatory authority over the project, the municipality can exercise its jurisdiction over the project provided it does not displace or frustrate the purpose of federal regulation.” He said the municipality has “a limited but important role in regulating local impacts…such as aspects of land use and transportation.” In regards to Donnelly’s request to “confirm a compelling demonstration of willingness to host a DGR as a binding referendum, requiring a two-thirds majority,” Duffy said, “at this time, council has not made any determination as to whether the community is a willing host for the project.” Added Duffy, “Council has not yet decided how willingness to host the project will be determined. The municipality is working with its lead consultant GHD on a process to seek community input on what mechanisms should be used to assess willingness.” The peer reviews and funding for those reviews are addressed in the “Guiding Principles” recently incorporated by the municipality. The municipality is applying the same practices they use for other large infrastructure projects, the letter said, adding, "The municipality required and has secured funding from the NWMO to undertake appropriate peer reviews and independent studies of the potential impacts on and benefits for the community associated with the project.” Duffy said, “In this regard, Principle 25 of the Guiding Principles states: ‘The NWMO will fund the engagement of subject matter experts by the Municipality to undertake peer reviews of Project reports and independent assessments of the Project’s potential impacts on and benefits for the community as determined necessary by the Municipality.’” Donnelly said that “NWMO should apply under the Planning Act for amendments to the South Bruce Zoning Bylaw.” Both the Bruce Nuclear Power Development and Darlington Nuclear Power Plant are governed in part by the Planning Act. The South Bruce Zoning Bylaw (bylaw 2011-63) does not authorize a nuclear waste repository in the municipality. A nuclear waste repository is not a service or utility referenced in subsection 3.1.1 (i) or (ii), nor is the NWMO considered an agency or department of the federal government. “The issue of municipal planning authority over the project has been addressed in Principle 33, which states: ‘The NWMO will comply with the Municipal Official Plan and zoning bylaw and seek amendments to the Official Plan and zoning bylaw as necessary to implement the Project,” said Duffy. “Consistent with Principle 33, the Municipality expects that the NWMO will comply with the South Bruce Zoning Bylaw for all activities undertaken within the community and seek appropriate variance or amendments to the applicable zoning as needed,” he added. The municipality does not view the Planning Act as a good tool to obtain public participation in assessing "willingness," Duffy said. “A zoning bylaw amendment for the use of the site as a Deep Geological Repository would not be required until a building permit for the facility is needed, which will be after the federal impact assessment process is completed and the NWMO is ready to commence construction on the Project,” he said, adding, “this timing is obviously unsuitable for use in the site selection process.” Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
MUNICH — Attacking midfielder Jamal Musiala signed his first professional contract with Bayern Munich on Friday. The Bavarian club said in a statement that the 18-year-old Musiala, who recently chose to play internationally for Germany over England, had signed a deal to 2026. Musiala has been making steady progress since he joined Bayern’s under-17 team from Chelsea in 2019. He has made 27 appearances for the first team, scoring four goals. He became its youngest goal-scorer in the Champions League last week when he netted in a win at Lazio, and was already the club’s youngest player in the Bundesliga. “I am very pleased that our system of finding talented players, developing them and then integrating them into the first team is bearing fruit,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidžic said. Musiala said: ”I just feel very good at the club and in the team. I’m playing with the best players in the world and I can learn from them every day in training.” Musiala, who was born in Germany, moved to England as a 7-year-old and came through Chelsea’s academy. He played for both Germany and England at under-16 level and most recently played two under-21 games for England in November. But he said on Feb. 24 that he had decided to represent Germany. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The European Union has promised legal action after the British government unilaterally extended a grace period for checks on food imports to Northern Ireland, a move that Brussels said breached the terms of London's EU divorce deal. Provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement and the protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland set out the EU's course of action. Britain signed them when it formally left the EU in January 2020.
You might be surprised at how easy it is to fix a cracked bumper cover. With normal tools like a soldering iron and a hot air gun, you can repair this bumper again so it is very strong and and will look very nice!
Toronto-area residents seeking to make their homes greener must wade through a confusing array of online information to find out about financial incentives to reduce costs. Urban Retrofit wants to help cut through the noise. “There is just a ton of information (online), and hidden beneath that information are all these grants that are there, and nobody really knows about them unless you're going through every page that shows up on the Google search, going to every municipality and researching through them,” said Rahemeen Ahmed, one of the group’s founders. “We wanted a very comprehensive source, just one platform where everyone could come and get their basic information and get access to what resources there are available to them,” said Ahmed, who graduated last year from the University of Toronto’s civil engineering program. So that’s exactly what Ahmed and her teammates — high school and university students or recent grads — in Youth Challenge International’s Innovate MY Future program built. Urban Retrofit's website presents a collated list of the various grants and loans currently available — from municipalities, utilities and others — complete with deadlines and other details that help homeowners calculate whether they can afford to install new windows, extra insulation or a reworked heating and cooling system. More than half of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, mostly from the use of natural gas to heat indoor spaces and water, and the city needs to cut emissions in half in order to hit its target of a 65 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2030. The Urban Retrofit team focused mostly on those who currently own a single-unit dwelling, since they have the most direct agency to make such changes, but aim to collect more information useful for residents of apartments and condos to share with building owners when advocating for improvements. “It's a resource that you can use to increase your knowledge and advocate for more retrofits or advocate for specific types of retrofits to be implemented in your community or in your building,” AHmed said. Urban Retrofit also took to Instagram to engage younger people in the project. “We wanted to empower youth. Maybe they’re not in the position now but have someone — their parents, extended family — who are in that position. We don't want to ignore an entire demographic that is essentially going to be the future of our world.” The team has just wrapped its involvement with YCI and is now looking to grow the project independently, with plans to develop a calculation tool so potential retrofitters can plug in numbers to see what a project will cost and how much it will save. “We want to focus more on more tangible numbers, tangible benefit-cost ratios, so people understand how it will be useful for them in the future,” Ahmed said, adding the team has also started reaching out to housing associations and other resident groups around the region to see what other help they might appreciate. Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer Morgan Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
“When you meet her in person, her whole personality, her eyes, her face, lights up. She's just such a strong example of a powerful human being,” Jennifer Gillivan, president and chief executive officer of IWK Foundation, describes her mentee Sylvia Gawad. Gillivan first met Gawad at a conference in Halifax in 2013, when the young college student approached her after hearing her speak. At the time, Gawad had just started her first social enterprise, Project 360, a non-profit that helps to empower newcomers through entrepreneurship. Gillivan was immediately impressed by her energy and the two have fostered a close relationship. “I just knew the minute I met her, I thought, 'I don't know where you're going to end up, but you're going to end up somewhere,'” said Gillivan. The impression Gillivan had summarizes who Gawad is. She talks passionately about her cause and Gawad is unapologetic when it comes to advocating for newcomers, especially immigrant women. The young professional now works at Placemaking 4G, a social enterprise that helps employers to attract and retain talent. Signing on with Placemaking 4G, Gawad said, was a strategic move. Her position as the research, innovation, and immigration manager allows her to continue to educate the community about the value of immigrants as well as the hardships many face — a cause that she has been dedicated to for 10 years. “It's beyond just the passion. It's who I am,” said Gawad. Since coming to Halifax in 2010, Gawad has worked relentlessly in the non-profit sector to help newcomers get settled before starting her own social enterprise. She sits as a volunteer on multiple boards, sometimes as the only woman of colour under 30, to champion the rights of underrepresented communities. Speaking up in Nova Scotia is always not easy. Gawad has been told that she is too gloomy, too loud, too difficult. But she refuses to be silenced. There were times when she feared that she'd lose her job or hurt her own reputation but she persevered — all because, according to her account, of the “glimpse of change” she saw in those moments. “Just being told that this is not gonna go anywhere; all you're gonna do is hurt yourself; you're gonna hurt your reputation. Going through it and knowing that that has created an impact is what motivates me. It's what inspires me to become who I am.” Personal journey Gawad, originally from Libya, arrived in Halifax just over a decade ago as an international student. She says she has firsthand experience of the difficulties newcomers face when looking for help. During her second year at Saint Mary's University, a civil war broke out in her home country. Both of her parents lost their jobs and she was stranded abroad. “During that time, I really felt the struggle of being an immigrant, being a woman, and not being able to access support and feeling alone,” said Gawad. Gawad said although she's a resourceful person and was able to tap into the community, she is aware that not everyone is able to do the same. “Not all people from immigrant communities know how to do that because the system is so complex here, let alone no language (skill); let alone no community to bring you in. You'd feel so alone,” she said. The personal struggle spurred her nto setting up her first social enterprise in Halifax: Project 360. Through Project 360, she was able to empower 188 women in the first year and provide jobs to 21 women through entrepreneurship efforts. The success of the project inspired Gawad to take her commitment to a global level. Soon, she found an opportunity in Uganda working with Reach One Touch One, an organization that supports senior citizens and their dependents in the remote villages of Kabale and Mukono. For the following year, Gawad carried on with her work to help immigrant women to settle in Canada and continued with her passion by pursuing a master's degree in global health at McMaster University. Upon graduation, she returned to Halifax and joined YMCA as their newcomer co-ordinator. Going through it and knowing that that has created an impact is what motivates me. It's what inspires me to become who I am.” Sylvia Gawad Sylvia Gawad talks about her passion for helping newcomers at the Halifax Social Network event. - ContributedNova Scotia has over 6,000 non-profits, twice the number of small businesses. And Gawad thinks that's too many and they should work together instead of “working in silos.” “If your mandate is to help people elevate people, then why are people year over a year still accessing your services?” Gawad continued to sit on different boards to revamp the structure of the nonprofits but left the YMCA and joined another social enterprise, Placemaking 4G, where she does a variety of things to connect the dots between immigrants and employers. But one would be wrong if they think Gawad will stop pushing boundaries and moving forward. “I can't even predict what that girl's gonna do. That's how I feel about her,” said Gillivan. Lu Xu, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle Herald
LOS ANGELES — Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, Megan Thee Stallion and DaBaby have blazed the Billboard charts, but Grammy voters gave the young hip-hop stars the cold shoulder in the best rap album category, instead, surprisingly nominating the genre’s more matured voices like Nas and Jay Electronica. Some were baffled by the academy's decision to push through some lesser-known projects in the category instead of the popular chart-topping albums that have dominated streaming services with record numbers. Several hip-hop artists weighed in and called out the Grammys, including Drake, Killer Mike and 50 Cent, who said the awards show is “out of touch.” In addition to Nas' “King’s Disease" and Jay Electronica's “A Written Testimony," this year's best rap album nominees include Freddie Gibbs & the Alchemist's “Alfredo," “The Allegory" by Royce da 5’9” and D Smoke's “Black Habits." The rappers are 35-and-up with Nas — who has never won a Grammy — being the oldest at 47. Each of the nominated albums were reviewed as solid pieces of work, but some rap enthusiasts saw a clear divide between the seasoned rappers and the new generation of twentysomething hip-hop performers — sometimes referred to as “mumble rappers" who focus more on quick word play with heavy bass melodies instead of lyricism. “First thing that came to my mind was rigged," said Twysted Genius, who produced four songs on Lil Baby’s sophomore album “My Turn," including the platinum-selling singles “Sum 2 Prove" and “Emotionally Scarred." Billboard named “My Turn" the second-most successful album of 2020, besting projects by pop stars like Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and The Weeknd, and easily out-selling the nominees for best rap album. Roddy Ricch's “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial" ranked third on Billboard's list and has won honours at the American Music Awards, BET Awards and Apple Music Awards.. Twysted Genius, 28, declined to offer names but the producer said he’d never heard of some of the rap album nominees. He struggled to understand why hit singles like Roddy Ricch's “The Box," DaBaby's “Rockstar" and Pop Smoke's “Dior" were good enough to receive nominations for best rap song or best rap performance, but not their albums. “It kind of blew me,” Twysted Genius said. “I’ve seen how big Lil Baby has become in the world. I, at least, knew that he would be up for a Grammy for best album. It’s just mind-blowing.” The producer’s thoughts come a year after former Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan claimed that the awards are rigged and filled with conflicts of interests in the nomination process. She was ousted after reporting sexual harassment and pay disparities. Despite the criticism, Royce da 5’9” believes the Grammys are heading in the right direction under the leadership of Harvey Mason jr., the academy's interim president and CEO. Last year, the producer-songwriter took on the role with aspirations to diversify the academy’s staff, membership and outreach to the music community. “They are doing a good job,” said Royce da 5’9”, who is nominated for his first Grammy in a decade. “(Harvey is) a good addition to the Grammys. I think just adding more Black people to the board in different states would really help. I think that’s key." Royce da 5’9” said he believes the best rap album nominees perfectly reflects the genre, though he added that Lil Baby and Roddy Ricch's albums should compete for the Grammys' top prize — album of the year — instead of best rap album. “I think if they break it down like that, that would be great,” the 43-year-old said. “Everybody in the rap album category, I (support) them." D Smoke — who has been lauded for his Kendrick Lamar-like rap style — believes the rap album nominations opens a “conversation of what our culture needs and wants.” The rapper said the mature voices in the category speak to a broader audience on a “deeper level,” but he adds that the younger generation of rappers need to be heard as well to push the genre forward. “Their music is successful for a reason. I hope they are not using this as a measuring stick of how successful their year was,” said 35-year-old D Smoke, who rose to fame in 2019 as the winner of Netflix’s music reality TV series “Rhythm + Flow." “I’m sure their bank accounts are telling another story,” continued D Smoke, who is also nominated for best new artist along with Megan Thee Stallion and Chika. “I don’t knock them, I just know the quality of music and the people nominated are different — I’m not saying better or worse.” Freddie Gibbs thinks there should be no reason to complain. The rapper said he’s waited to become Grammy-nominated after years of believing he was overlooked as an artist who made waves in the underground scene. “We can all complain about not getting recognition, but we all live blessed lives doing something that we love to do,” said Gibbs, 38. “It’s not too much to really complain about. When you’re making music on this level, you’re rich. So, whatever." He added: “I’ve never been nominated for (anything), but I’ve never complained about it either. When it’s your time — it’s your time.” The Grammys will air from Los Angeles on March 14. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
TORONTO — HBC has signed a deal to sell a minority stake in Saks Fifth Avenue's ecommerce business and turn it into a separate company.The retailer says private equity firm Insight Partners has agreed to invest US$500 million in a deal valuing the standalone business that will be known as Saks at US$2 billion.The retailer’s 40 stores will operate separately as an entity referred to as SFA, which will remain wholly owned by HBC. Marc Metrick, previously president and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, will serve as CEO of Saks and a member of the company’s board of directors. Larry Bruce will be president of SFA.HBC says Saks and SFA will be better able to plan and invest in their respective models as separate but related companies.The company says Saks and SFA will work together to continue delivering a seamless customer experience.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
NORTH PERTH – The 2021 North Perth budget was tabled for council approval on March 1. Through the 2021 budget process, members of council and staff worked to find a balanced position between the need to support important municipal services, invest in current and future infrastructure and asset needs, while limiting tax increases. Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, council kept in the need to limit increased financial obligations on ratepayers. Council began the 2021 budgeting process with a policy statement and pre-budget public survey, followed by a visioning session. The visioning session allowed each member of council to outline their concerns and priorities for the 2021 budget. Council also requested that senior management perform a review of municipal services and proposed capital projects to address staff capacity issues and identify spending efficiencies. In 2021, the province is providing the municipality with $1,445,300 in funding through the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF), which is equivalent to $254 per household. The OMPF revenue was distributed amongst the municipal department operating budgets. OMPF is the primary funding source provided by the province to municipalities. For services funded by tax dollars raised by the municipality, the operating expenses for 2021 are budgeted at $15,779,645.00. Other operational budgets totalling $12,029,825.90 are solely funded by user fees. These include child care services, building department, water services, wastewater services, waste management and Perth Meadows. As part of the Asset Management Financing Strategy approved by council, $242,000 per year is included in the annual operating budget. This should close the funding gap by 2048. Introduced in 2018, the Stormwater Management Area Rate is an area-rated levy to provide for future stormwater management services in the built-up area of Listowel, including some of the fringe development. The levy for 2021 is estimated at $245,000 and is shared amongst the properties within the SMAR boundary. The Business Improvement Area levy of $119,300 is also area-rated to commercial properties in a limited boundary. The 2021 capital budget includes multiple carryover projects from 2020. Some significant carryover projects include the Albert Avenue storm trunk drain project, the traffic study transportation master plan, Line 84 reconstruction, Listowel Memorial Arena demolition and redevelopment, John Bell South and John Bell North light tower replacement, replacement of fire apparatuses and IT governance and modernization. Some new projects planned for 2021 include hydraulic re-rating of the wastewater treatment plant, water meter replacement program with installation to occur in 2022, Atwood servicing upgrades, Elma Memorial Community Centre heating, ventilation, and air conditioning updates, and equipment purchases. The overall project cost estimate for 2021 is just over $19.7 million. Carryover project costs represent $6,394,747.00, or 32 per cent of the overall amount. The ongoing project work is being funded by development charges revenues, reserve funds, the tax levy, donations and provincial and federal grant funding. Maintaining and improving North Perth’s municipal infrastructure will continue to require significant and planned investment. The North Perth Building Department had a busy year in 2020, issuing 420 building permits, which included the creation of 241 new residential dwelling units. This increased tax base allows the costs related to growth to be applied across a greater number of properties. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MPAC postponed the 2020 property reassessment that would have reassessed properties based on a valuation date of Jan. 1, 2019, with reassessments applied and used in budgeting through the 2021-2024 period. The North Perth 2021 tax levy increase is $465,791.99 for local municipal purposes. A total property tax bill reflects taxes levied by the Municipality of North Perth, the County of Perth and local school boards. Specifically, for every residential tax dollar received in 2021, approximately 61 cents is kept by North Perth, 21 cents will be transferred to Perth County and 18 cents will be transferred to local school boards. When all three 2021 levy requisitions are combined, the overall levy increase in North Perth is 2 per cent. Due to assessment shifts, the residential levy impact is about 1.2 per cent. “This budget addresses operational and infrastructure needs to maintain anticipated municipal service levels required by our community while managing past provincial revenue cutbacks in OMPF funding,” said Budget Chair Dave Johnston. “Members of council will be closely monitoring the 2021 financial statements to ensure that the municipality is sustaining the desired levels of services while moving forward with current development to ensure growth and prosperity during 2021. “On behalf of Coun. Allan Rothwell, vice-chair, and myself, I thank members of council, our staff and the public for participating in developing the future of North Perth via the 2021 budget deliberations.” Council passed the budget unanimously as tabled. “I have to admit I read about these budget discussions and debates that happen in other communities and it just seems like at times things are a bit wild,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. “It seems like we have a very civil and efficient process that brings us to reasonable decisions… so congratulations to everybody.” Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
THE LATEST: Health Canada has approved the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine for use. Friday's update included 634 new cases and four more deaths. As of Friday, there are 255 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 66 in intensive care. To date, 1,380 people in B.C. have lost their lives to COVID-19. There are currently 4,901 active cases of coronavirus in the province. 250 cases of variants of concern have been identified. So far, 311,208 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in B.C., with 86,865 of those being second doses. Despite the optimism that has come with an increasing vaccine supply, B.C. recorded the highest number of new cases since Jan. 7. On Friday, health officials announced 634 new cases of COVID-19. "Our days are brighter, but the number of new cases remains higher than where we want it to be. So, as we get outside and enjoy the many activities we can do safely, let's ensure we are also staying the course with our safety measures," said Health Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry in a written statement. Health Canada has approved the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in Canada, CBC News learned Friday. The U.S. health-care giant's one-shot vaccine is the fourth to be approved in Canada. Friday's update also included four more deaths, and four more confirmed cases of more transmissible variants of concern, bringing the province's total to 250. Public health has not been able to identify the source of transmission for about 25 per cent of those cases. Meanwhile, the number of people under active monitoring is at its highest point since Dec. 31 and the number of hospitalizations is the highest since Feb. 4. As B.C. approaches one year under public health restrictions, the province extended the deadline for the Small and Medium Sized Business Recovery Grant program from March 31 to Aug. 31. One of the key requirements has also changed to allow more businesses to be eligible for the grant, which offers up to $30,000 in aid. Businesses now only need to show a 30 per cent revenue loss over a month between March 2020 and the current date, when compared to the same one-month period the year before. The previous requirement was a 70 per cent loss. As of Friday, a total of 255 people are in hospital with the disease, including 66 in intensive care, out of 4,901 active cases. To date, 1,380 people have died of COVID-19, out of 83,107 confirmed cases. Since the province's vaccination program began in late 2020, 311,208 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, including 86,865 second doses. READ MORE: What's happening elsewhere in Canada As of 8:30 p.m. PT Thursday, Canada had reported 878,391 cases of COVID-19, with 29,903 cases considered active. A total of 22,151 people have died. What are the symptoms of COVID-19? Common symptoms include: Fever. Cough. Tiredness. Shortness of breath. Loss of taste or smell. Headache. But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia. What should I do if I feel sick? Use the B.C. Centre for Disease Control's COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Testing is recommended for anyone with symptoms of cold or flu, even if they're mild. People with severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, difficulty waking up or other extreme symptoms should call 911. What can I do to protect myself? Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Keep them clean. Keep at least two metres away from people outside your bubble. Keep your distance from people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Wear a mask in indoor public spaces. More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.
Inspectors from Ontario's Ministry of Labour will be conducting an enforcement campaign in Windsor-Essex this weekend. Inspectors, who conducted a local blitz on big-box stores in January, will be focusing on small businesses on Saturday. The inspections will occur in two stages, according to a Wednesday press release from the ministry. First, small businesses, particularly those closed during the provincial shutdown, will receive guidance and education, then follow up visits focused on enforcement. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health, said Thursday that the health unit's officers would be participating in the campaign. Ahmed said he couldn't specifically comment on why the blitz was focusing on small businesses, but he referenced the previous campaign involving larger stores, and said enforcement has to be "across the board." "It's not about big or small businesses. I think it's more about making sure that our businesses in the community are safe," he said at the health unit's daily briefing. Six businesses — two personal service providers and four restaurants — were charged by the health unit's officers with violating COVID-19 restrictions late last month. The charges laid were during the first weekend after the region entered the red "control" zone after being in lockdown since mid-December.
Residents in Ulukhaktok, N.W.T., say they've never experienced anything like this before — the internet has been cutting in and out for eight days straight, since a power outage on Feb. 24. On Thursday, Joanne Ogina said it was the worst outage she has seen after hearing the internet had briefly returned. "[I'm] frustrated. The internet has been in and out," she told CBC. "The ATMs, when they go down, when both stores get affected, you can only purchase with cash," she said. "You can't pull out any money at the office or the ATM so it's very frustrating. "You can't charge on your accounts…. Even at the gas station, you can't purchase gas, you can't purchase fuel for your home unless you have cash." Ogina and other Ulukhaktok residents have tried to alert Northwestel, but the issue is ongoing. Ogina said she had been told that although the internet company has technicians in the hamlet, that they are working on upgrades and "they're not fixing the issue." She said she was lucky to be able to take out cash early on Thursday morning, but there are some residents that are in dire need. She said the outage is putting residents at risk. "I was able to purchase fuel for my own home this morning, but later on the internet acted up … and another person in the community … couldn't even pay for fuel," said Ogina. "We can afford it but can't pay for it." This was all happening as a blizzard was expected to hit the community on Thursday evening. Ulukhaktok Mayor Joshua Oliktoak also said he's never seen an internet outage this bad in the community.(Mackenzie Scott/CBC) Ulukhaktok Mayor Joshua Oliktoak agreed with Ogina that an internet outage has never been so bad. "This has been one of the worst times that I know of. It's gone on for a few days before, but not to this extent," Oliktoak said. "We need help. We need somebody to come here and fix this situation because people are struggling to get groceries," he said. "People are struggling to get heating fuel, to get gas for their snowmobiles." Oliktoak said he was trying to figure out with the senior administrative officer how they could come to the assistance of community members, and whether residents could rely on the food bank in the meantime. Oliktoak also urged residents who are in dire situations to reach out to him personally since he "has some food at home and some cash" to help them in the meantime. Northwestel's director of communications, Andrew Anderson, confirmed to CBC Thursday evening that a technical issue has caused internet network congestion over the last eight days. "During this time, data was still flowing in and out of the community and we did not fully realize the impact it was having on customers. We sincerely apologize for this error," Anderson wrote in an emailed statement. "We have taken steps to immediately improve internet service in the community and we are now confirming with customers that they are able to access the internet. Ulukhaktok customers will each get a one-week credit on their next bill."
Takedown NOTICE Please DO NOT USE story slugged LJI-Ont-South-Bruce-POW-NNW-letter headlined South Bruce responds to POW-NNW letter. This story has been killed by its news editor. Regards, Local Journalism Initiative AVIS d'annulation Prière de NE PAS PUBLIER l'article identifié LJI-Ont-South-Bruce-POW-NNW-letter et intitulé South Bruce responds to POW-NNW letter. Cet article a été annulé par le rédacteur en chef de la publication. Merci de votre collaboration, Initiative de journalisme local Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
NORTH PERTH – At its council meeting on Feb. 22, North Perth agreed to enter into a partnership with the Township of Perth South, the Township of Perth East, the Municipality of West Perth and Perth County to launch a new service delivery model for planning services. “Council will recall our efforts in addressing the creation of a single planning service for Perth County and some of the effort during the process… was to establish… revised fees,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. “The guiding principle of the costs to be fully covered by developers and no longer subsidized for land and planning matters.” As of March 1, planning services for Perth County will be streamlined to provide services in a new single-tier model. The new model will allow for a more coordinated approach, creating one-window access to all planning services in each lower-tier municipality. “Certainly if all the fees are the same across the board, which I suspect they should be, it would be advantageous to have one-stop shopping,” said Coun. Allan Rothwell. A working group consisting of the Perth County warden, mayors and CAOs was formed to oversee the development of an implementation plan, and a planning staff advisory team was established in 2019. As a result of the review, the recommendation was to implement a single-tier service model delivered by the county. This was supported by the five municipalities. Following analysis of neighbouring communities, the county provided a planning application chart for the upper and lower tiers. Through the analysis, it was noted that current application fees are on average covering only 45 per cent of the service cost. “As the mayor said these fees are intended to cover the true costs of planning applications and not have them subsidized through the tax levy,” said CAO Kriss Snell. “This is a significant jump in the fees so I just want that to be noted. Staff recognizes that as well.” Within the new model, planners will be assigned responsibility to deliver planning services in each of the lower-tier municipalities. They will be on-site in each municipality to provide a local presence and resource for all types of planning applications and services. Also, there will be centralized support at the county for the administrative side of operations. Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
Les élus de Tadoussac ont octroyé un mandat à la Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) afin d’accompagner la municipalité dans le projet Destination Tadoussac phase 2. « La chargée de projets actuelle qui travaille sur le dossier va nous quitter dans deux semaines et on va travailler avec la FQM pour cheminer la dernière étape de ce projet », a expliqué la directrice générale Marie-Claude Guérin lors de l’assemblée extraordinaire le 24 février. « On n’a pas vraiment le droit à l’erreur avec le calendrier serré », d’ajouter le maire Charles Breton. Rappelons que la première phase de Destination Tadoussac s'est réalisée en 2020. Les travaux, dont les coûts ont été évalués à 1,8 M$, prévoyaient le réaménagement de l’espace situé devant l’église Sainte-Croix. Une place publique adjacente à l’église a été érigée ainsi que des voies piétonnières pour y accéder via la rue du Bord-de-l’Eau. Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden is enjoying an early presidential honeymoon, with 60% of Americans approving of his job performance thus far and even more backing his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. At a moment of deep political polarization in America, support for Biden’s pandemic response extends across party lines. Overall, 70% of Americans back the Democratic president's handling of the virus response, including 44% of Republicans. Still, Biden faces more skepticism from Americans on the economy, which has been battered by the pandemic. Fifty-five per cent of Americans approve of Biden’s approach to the economy thus far, and 63% say the U.S. economy is in poor shape, the AP-NORC survey shows. Republicans are also less likely to back Biden on the economy than they are on the pandemic, with just 17% supporting his fiscal stewardship. Less than two months into his presidency, Biden has made the pandemic his central focus, urging Americans to follow stringent social distancing and mask guidelines and vowing to speed up distribution of critical vaccines. He’s also argued that until the spread of the virus is under control, the economy won’t fully recover. To address financial shortfalls in the meantime, he’s asking Congress to pass a $1.9 trillion pandemic rescue plan that would provide direct payments to millions of Americans and surge funds into state and local governments. The measure has already passed the House. But Biden is having to make compromises to keep all Democratic senators in support of the measure, including agreeing this week to narrow eligibility for $1,400 stimulus checks. In a concession to moderate Democratic senators, Biden agreed that individuals making more than $80,000 annually and couples making more than $160,000 won’t receive any benefits. Biden's original proposal extended the stimulus funds to Americans with higher annual wages. The administration estimates that 158.5 million households will still receive checks under the Senate compromise. The prospect of a pandemic relief bill is welcome news to John Villegas, 58, an Illinois Democrat who supports Biden's handling of both the virus response and the economy. “With the closure of so many businesses, there are a lot of people suffering,” said Villegas, who called Biden’s approach a “180 degree shift” from his predecessor, Donald Trump. Trump argued that the U.S. economy couldn't afford the hit that came from enacting restrictions on business and travel. The worst fears of economists were averted as Republican-led states followed Trump's lead and resisted restrictions, but COVID-19 cases skyrocketed. More than 520,000 people have died in the United States from the virus over the past year. Despite their differing approaches to managing the economy during the pandemic, Biden’s approval ratings on the economy are similar to Trump’s, whose handling of the economy since the virus took hold was consistently backed by about half of Americans. The key difference: That level of support made the economy Trump’s strongest issue, while it’s a relative weakness for Biden compared with Americans' views of his handling of the pandemic and other issues. In a reflection of the partisanship that continues to rage in the U.S., many Americans' views of the economy have flipped since the new president was inaugurated. In December, 67% of Republicans and just 15% of Democrats described the economy as good. Now, 35% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats describe the economy positively. There’s been little change in overall growth or unemployment over that time. Biden’s handling of the pandemic may well determine the course of his presidency and the political capital he has to pursue significant legislation on other matters. Democrats are working urgently to tee up bills addressing infrastructure investment, policing reforms and voting rights. Biden has also vowed to tackle climate change and build on the sprawling health insurance measure signed into law when he served as Barack Obama’s vice-president. His promises of action have garnered him solid approval ratings on some of those fronts. For example, about 6 in 10 Americans say they approve of Biden’s handling of health care and race relations. Overall, 48% of Americans say the country is headed in the right direction, compared with 37% who said that in December. The poll also shows that 43% of Americans expect things in the country overall to get better in the next year, while 34% think things will get worse and 23% think they will remain about the same. Biden himself has been purposefully cautious in predicting when life in the U.S. will return to a pre-pandemic normal. Even as he promises that the U.S. will have enough vaccine supply for all Americans by the end of May, he’s said it could be the end of the year or early 2022 before Americans can stop wearing masks or fully return to normal activities. His team’s goal in setting expectations? Underpromise, then overdeliver. ___ The AP-NORC poll of 1,434 adults was conducted Feb. 23-March 1 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. ___ Online: AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/. Julie Pace And Emily Swanson, The Associated Press
Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. Early results indicated the AstraZeneca vaccine was significantly less effective against the South African variant, which is similar to P1. The information comes as a plasma study published ahead of peer review on Monday (https://bit.ly/3bX3LBa) suggested the CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccine developed by China's Sinovac Biotech may not work effectively against the Brazilian variant.
OMAHA, Neb. — Across the nation officials are closing prisons as crime rates drop and views about drug use change, but not in Nebraska, where the governor is pushing for a new $230 million prison to relieve overcrowding and house a steadily rising inmate population. It's not certain that lawmakers will support Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts' plan to build a 1,512-bed maximum security prison, but the fact that the state is considering what would amount to a 37% increase in bed space runs counter to most states. Sen. John McCollister, who has introduced bills this year to try to steer more inmates into rehabilitation programs, said he can't understand it. “It’s too bad Nebraska hasn’t learned from the experiences of other states,” McCollister said. “We’re definitely going against the grain.” As Nebraska is seeking to expand its prison capacity, other states are taking a different approach. California plans to shutter one prison this year that holds about 1,500 inmates and another as early as 2022, partly in response to state budget cuts. Connecticut plans to close two facilities as the state’s prisoner population fell to its lowest level in three decades. In 2019, Republican-led Missouri closed one of its maximum-security prisons for an estimated $20 million savings, after cutting the possible prison time for nonviolent drug offences and allowing parole for more nonviolent offenders. Similar attempts to reduce Nebraska's prison population have repeatedly stalled because of opposition from prosecutors and law enforcement. Nebraska’s attorney general has argued that most of those serving mandatory minimums in Nebraska are repeat offenders or have committed major drug crimes, such as manufacturing large amounts of methamphetamine. Offenders who aren't ready for living within the law end up committing serious crimes, including home-invasion robberies and murder, and must be kept away from the public, prosecutors said. “You've got to work pretty hard to end up in prison on just a possession case,” said Lancaster County Attorney Pat Condon. In most drug cases, “you're given several opportunities to turn things around.” Ricketts and other top officials recently announced a new effort to try to learn why Nebraska's prison population has grown. But Ricketts acknowledged it's “very unlikely” that Nebraska will be able to close prisons as it strives to ease overcrowding. At a minimum, he said, the state needs to replace its oldest prison, the Nebraska State Penitentiary, built in 1869. “We all know that we are facing a number of different challenges,” he said. Nebraska had the nation’s second-most crowded prisons as of 2019, according to federal statistics, with 5,500 inmates held in facilities designed for 4,050. Corrections officials project the inmate population will climb to 6,438 by 2025. The state has 10 prisons, but hasn't opened a new facility since 2001. Nebraska's inmate population grew 27% between 2009 and 2019, while the state's overall population rose by 7%. The increase is driven by several factors, including a large number of former inmates who violate their parole, said Scott Frakes, director of the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Frakes said state laws that create new crimes also contribute to the growth. “Maybe it leads to another five or ten people coming to prison — but as you accumulate that over the years, it leads to our current rate of incarceration,” Frakes said. One study found that of 1,050 Nebraska inmates paroled in 2016, 429 later returned to prison, mostly for technical violations, such as associating with other felons or drug use. Many inmates fail to complete their drug abuse treatment or other programs, officials said. Sen. John Stinner, chairman of the budget-writing Appropriations Committee, said he wants to review other options before supporting a new prison. “Obviously, the most important thing is keeping the public safe,” Stinner said. “But this is a multi-million dollar decision, and you always have competition for dollars inside the budget.” Nebraska can't sharply reduce its inmate totals through prison diversion programs because it doesn't have a high incarceration rate compared to other states, said Doug Koebernick, inspector general for the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services. Nebraska ranks 36th nationally, averaging 289 inmates for every 100,000 residents. Louisiana has the highest rate of 680 per 100,000. States with high incarceration rates have more wiggle room to reduce numbers by changing sentencing laws, he said. Still, Koebernick said lawmakers should consider more “community corrections” beds that focus on treatment and a successful return to society. “This is a really costly, long-term decision,” Koebernick said. Marshall Clement, an executive with the Council of State Governments Justice Center, which has studied incarceration trends, said states with a “revolving door” of returning parole violators must look at whether they have adequate treatment or job training for those released. It takes legislatures, courts and governors working together on the problem, he said. “No one branch of government can fix this on their own...,” Clement said. ___ Associated Press reporter David A. Lieb contributed from Jefferson City, Missouri. ___ Follow Grant Schulte on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrantSchulte Grant Schulte, The Associated Press