TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $32 million jackpot in Friday night's Lotto Max draw.
It means the jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Jan. 12 will grow to approximately $40 million.
The Canadian Press
TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $32 million jackpot in Friday night's Lotto Max draw.
It means the jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Jan. 12 will grow to approximately $40 million.
The Canadian Press
An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod says the public health directive supporting in-class learning in northern Ontario schools is more political than scientific. The community’s high school opted to keep Nbissing students online until at least February 16 after the province extended its COVID-19 pandemic emergency order. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is one of the few in Ontario to support in-class learning, a decision panned by many in light of it closing down toboggan hills, outdoor skating rinks and snowmobile trails. “We're just trying to deal with the Covid and we just shut our rinks down and we're just kind of monitoring what provinces and municipalities are doing and making sure that we're consistent or more stringent in areas like our school being closed,” McLeod said about Nbisiing Secondary School Thursday. “It's all online right now, despite the provinces still allowing it, at least in northern Ontario, the high schools are still open,” he said, noting that seems to be out of step with what some provincial experts are saying. “I was listening to Dr. Kevin Brown. He's the co-chair of the Covid Science Table for Ontario,” said Chief McLeod. “He was giving an update to the Chiefs of Ontario and he honestly can't understand why the schools in northern Ontario are still open. And you know, that, to me was troublesome, right? ‘You have one of the top epidemiologists saying that he doesn't understand. I was expecting ‘Here, this is the data, shows this or that,” because I like listening to the data, not just listening to people rant on Facebook. But, yeah, he was lost for an answer as to why it's still open. “And so obviously it's a more political call than a science one,” McLeod said. The school posted the update on its website, as did the community. “In response to Ontario’s second declaration of emergency and to align Nbisiing with Nipissing First Nation’s response to the provincewide stay-at-home order and shutdown restrictions, Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Council has approved changes to Nbisiing’s return to in-person learning date,” it reads. “In order to keep people home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our community, protect vulnerable populations, and keep our school community safe, Nbisiing will continue to teach all classes virtually and will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 (Monday the 15th is Family Day).” Nipissing FN only closed its outdoor rink in Garden Village, which is enclosed with walls and roof, because they don’t want people from outside the community taking advantage of it while their rinks are ordered closed. “Our problem with the skating rinks, as soon as North Bay and Sturgeon closed, we have to close because they all come down hours and we don't want them there,” he said. Chief McLeod did what many others are doing in response by creating their own ice sheets, whether that’s in a yard or on the lake. They can control the numbers and make it safe by following the known protocols, he added. “Well, I made one in my backyard and I Facebooked all my family members saying, ‘You want to come skating with your family, book it … just message me so I know that there's no other family there and you can have it to yourself.’” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
Two teachers at Rothesay Park School will be able to get their students outside and moving with the help of new grants. Julie Cyr, who teaches art, wellness and French, was awarded a $1,250 Innovation and Engagement Grant from the Anglophone South School District. With that, she bought outdoor classroom equipment, including clipboards, tarps and rope. "The planet is in great need of some change. And research is showing that students or kids who spend time outside in nature, form bonds with nature," Cyr said. She also received a First Nations Education Grant from ASD-S for $3,000 to purchase drums kits. Once the region returns to the yellow phase of COVID recovery, Cyr said she'll bring in an elder to teach the kids how to make the instruments and how to play them, as well as teach lessons about sharing circles and First Nations culture. Meanwhile, her colleague Jeanette Fisher, who teaches music and physical education, has received four grants for a project to overcome the obstacles of gym classes during the pandemic. With the school district encouraging teachers to stay away from team sports during the pandemic, Fisher found she couldn't use many of the regular equipment she would use for her gym classes. "I was thinking, 'What can I do? What kind of sports can I do that will engage the kids and keep them active during this time?'" she said. So Fisher decided to give the kids sticks and get them to try drumming with them. So far the kids love it. "It helps the body, the brain, and for the students, it helps strengthen the heart and the lungs, and increases muscular strength and endurance," Fisher said. "It builds brain connections, promotes social emotional learning, improves coordination. And with the student, it builds confidence and self-expression." Fisher received a $500 Education Improvement Grant for online training for cardio drumming, a $1,800 Innovation and Improvement Grant, and a $1,500 Teacher-Designed Professional Learning Grant. Those grants will go toward a training course, equipment and the continued development of integrating the drumming into courses. Fisher also received a $1,000 grant to purchase an iPad, which allows students to use GarageBand on the iPad to compose music. Fisher said drumming also gives an opportunity for kids who aren't getting regular exercise or participating in team sports like usual. Less exercise, she said, is affecting their social, emotional and mental well-being. Cyr said she's nice to be able to get outside during the pandemic, which has kept many people inside. She hopes to secure grant funding in the future to create an outdoor classroom as well. In the meantime, she plans to lay some groundwork for teachers through her new programming to get their kids outside, and she's open to letting other teachers use her equipment for their classes. "It's maybe a stress reliever to be outside. But [for teachers] it can also be just an extra thing to plan and prepare for," she said. "And I think it's what I'm hoping to do with this is to create an easier way for teachers to be able to go outside" The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has suspended the sale of decommissioned RCMP vehicles, two days after a man in Nova Scotia was arrested for allegedly impersonating an officer while driving a fake police car. The suspect's 2013 Ford Taurus was a decommissioned police car and was allegedly altered to look like an unmarked police vehicle. The car was similar to the replica RCMP cruiser used by a gunman who killed 22 people in Nova Scotia during a 13-hour rampage on April 18-19. Blair issued a statement today saying the RCMP's resale process for decommissioned vehicles ensures they cannot easily be misused for criminal purposes. The minister said, however, such sales will be suspended to ensure the process is not flawed. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said today he was pleased with Blair's decision. "It's a great first step," McNeil said, adding that the province's justice minister, Mark Furey, has been working with Blair on the police vehicle file. "We have a piece of legislation that will be introduced during the next session. It deals with (police) accessories and how to deal with municipal (police) vehicles in our province." On Wednesday, the Mounties said that in the most recent case, a 23-year-old suspect from Antigonish, N.S., may have used the car in question to pull over other vehicles in the Halifax region and Antigonish County. The vehicle was outfitted with LED lights in the rear window, a microphone on the dashboard, a public address system, citizens band radio and a push bar with LED lights mounted on the grill. Police also confirmed the suspect did not appear to have any police clothing or firearms of any kind. "It remains illegal to impersonate a police officer and we will take every step possible to prevent such crimes from taking place," Blair said in the statement. "We will continue to work so that all Canadians feel safe in their communities." The vehicle used in the April mass shooting was heavily modified with an emergency light bar on the roof and decals that looked exactly like those found on marked RCMP cruisers. Early in the RCMP's investigation of the mass killing, a senior officer said the killer's vehicle allowed him to "circulate around the province, steps ahead of our investigators." The replica vehicle was so convincing that questions were raised about the availability of former police vehicles for public purchase. The Mounties have confirmed that on the night of April 18, the killer set fire to several homes and killed 13 people in Portapique before evading police later that night while disguised as an RCMP officer. The next morning, he resumed killing people he knew and others at random before he was fatally shot by a Mountie at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., which is just north of Halifax. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Speaking to reporters outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is thinking about getting Canadians the COVID-19 vaccine "when I wake up in the morning, when I go to bed, and every hour in between."
NEW YORK — Bob Avian, a Tony Award-winning choreographer who had a role in some of the most beloved and influential shows on Broadway, including “Dreamgirls,” “A Chorus Line,” “Follies” and “Miss Saigon,” has died. He was 83. Avian died Thursday of cardiac arrest at Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said Matt Polk, head of the theatrical publicity firm Polk & Co. Tony-winner Tony Yazbeck on Twitter called Avian “a sweet and kind spirit who generously gave his creative talents to legendary works.” Marvin Hamlisch said: “His legacy will live on stage for years to come.” Avian rose from a dancer in “West Side Story” and “Funny Girl” to work alongside such theatre luminaries as Michael Bennett, Cameron Macintosh, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was with Bennett that Avian enjoyed a long professional partnership, working as associate choreographer or assistant director on such Bennett-choreographed productions as “A Chorus Line,” “Promises, Promises,” “Coco,” “Company,” “Follies, “Seesaw” and “God's Favorite.” He was a producer on the original “Dreamgirls” and “Ballroom” and did musical staging for “Sunset Boulevard” starring Glenn Close in 1994, “Putting It Together” with Carol Burnett and the original “Miss Saigon” with Lea Salonga in 1991. Avian earned six Tony nominations and won twice, for choreographing “Ballroom” and co-choreographing “A Chorus Line.” He won an Oliver Award for choreographing Boublil and Schonberg's musical “Martin Guerre” in London. He also choreographed “The Witches of Eastwick” in the West End starring Ian McShane. Avian's association with “A Chorus Line” continued when he directed the 2006 revival on Broadway and the London revival at the Palladium in 2013. He also directed touring versions. He earned a bachelor's degree from Boston University and also studied at Boston Ballet School. In 2020, his memoir “Dancing Man: A Broadway Choreographer’s Journey” co-written with Tom Santopietro was published by University Press of Mississippi. He is survived by his husband, Peter Pileski, and a sister, Laura Nabedian. Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Recent turmoil in Kahnawake required the Task Force to clarify safety measures that were put in place. Starting on December 31, Directive # 55 mandated that all non-essentials stores be closed until the end of January. This measure included tobacco stores while allowing convenience stores to continue selling cigarettes strictly to Kahnawa’kehró:non. “The Task Force decided to close retail stores, which includes cigarette/tobacco stores, as they often cater mainly to non-local clients and are therefore at risk of increasing the spread of the COVID-19 virus to the community,” said Frankie McComber, the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake lead liaison for the Task Force, in a press release. The executive director of Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre (KMHC) Lisa Westaway said that the decision was met with a strong response. She explained that there was a big outcry in the community, as people felt like the tobacco industry was being targeted. On January 15, the Task Force announced that stores that met certain requirements, such as selling a significant amount of food, essential toiletries and cleaning products, could be reclassified to remain open. As a result, some tobacco stores have requested to be categorized as convenience stores. “There are many businesses that have rebuilt themselves differently in order to survive during the pandemic,” said Westaway. “I think it’s part of innovation and growth, we all have to adapt.” One of the stores was the tobacco shop on Highway 132 that had received more than $15,000 in fines for going against the measures. Under the new classification, it was allowed to remain open - a decision that was also met with disagreement. “This has nothing to do with politics, these decisions are about safety,” said Westaway, in response to the backlash they received for allowing stores to be reclassified as convenience stores. The Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK) issued a statement in which it explained that decisions are made on a daily basis “to the best of everyone’s abilities and based on the best information available.” The Task Force also implemented new measures regarding outdoor rinks. Starting on January 14, it is now required that only one household at a time be found at any rinks across the territory. The decision was taken after the presence of a positive COVID-19 case was reported on January 10 at the town rink, along with several other community members. “The Local Public Health Team is unable to identify all potential contacts and therefore is asking any person who was at the town rink during those times to self-isolate until the end of the day on Sunday, January 24,” read an MCK statement. All Kahnawa’kehró:non need to reserve their one-hour spot with the Sports and Recreation Unit, who will be monitoring the rinks. Kahnawake extended its state of emergency for an additional 30 days, but the recent safety measures remain effective until January 31. firstname.lastname@example.org Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Centre Culturel La Ronde’s annual winter tradition is returning with a wide variety of virtual activities and events. The carnival runs from Feb. 15 to Feb. 27. Friday, La Ronde unveiled the three candidates for the Bonhomme Carnaval mascot. This year’s candidates are dance teachers from Dansons La Ronde: Melissa Kelly-Lavoie, Emma Bertrand and Seth Guillemette. “We’re pretty excited because we never had that opportunity to be Bonhomme Carnaval,” Kelly-Lavoie said. “We’re going to make sure he’s enthusiastic and full of life.” Bertrand, 18, teaches jazz and contemporary, while Guillemette, 15, teaches hip-hop and musical theatre. “When I was really, really small, Bonhomme used to come around,” Guillemette recalled. “And a few of my friends and I were a little frightened but we used to hide and spy on him. It was a great time.” In the past, people would go to businesses and fill out a ballot to guess who Bonhomme is. This year, people will be able to vote through a Facebook poll. There’s a $100 prize. While details of the upcoming events are still being ironed out, La Ronde’s executive director Lisa Bertrand said events are open to adults and children, and everyone is welcome to attend. “Bonhomme is going to be on the Zoom meetings, saying hi and stuff like that,” she said. “Out of the people who guessed the right Bonhomme, we will put all their names in the draw and one person.” Some of the potential events this winter include a Sip and Paint via Zoom, a pop-up dance class, a cooking class with Merv Russell, online readings for kids and virtual shows featuring local musicians. Instead of a snow sculpture competition, which used to take place during the carnival in previous years, there will be a window painting contest for each class in all the French and French immersion schools. Participants will paint their windows with Bonhomme Carnaval, take a picture and send it to La Ronde's email. “And then we’re going to have the competition online to see what school will win. The school that wins will get $100 and they get a trophy," Bertrand said. The full confirmed schedule of the carnival will be revealed in the first week of February. All events will be free. The identity of the Bonhomme will be revealed on the last day of the carnival, Feb. 27. “For us, the francophone community, it means a lot,” Kelly-Lavoie said. “Throughout school, I remember growing up we were always part of the carnival. We used to go skating, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing. Last year, they had a ball hockey (tournament).” “La Ronde always makes it so much fun. And it’s a great way for the francophone community to come together for this event.” The carnival has been taking place in Timmins since 1968, with an exception for 2015 when La Ronde’s previous building was destroyed in a fire. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
More than $100,000 worth of unpaid water and sewage bills could result in the Town of St. George starting to turn off the taps for some customers as soon as this spring. Town CAO Jason Gaudet said the town couldn't shut down off any delinquent accounts last year due to the province's emergency order as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that changed in October. "We'll be back shutting water off for delinquent accounts in the spring," he said. With a total water and sewage budget of $800,000 for the town annually, Gaudet said that $100,000 in unpaid bills is "like one-eighth of our budget is being held in delinquency." Without those payments coming in, Gaudet said the town's ability to maintain its aging water and sewage system is hampered. Some of that system dates back to the 1930s. It's also believed St. George has more sewage lift stations than other towns because the town is hilly. Those lifts all require maintenance. Earlier this month, St. George had a boil water advisory because of a valve and water main break. In order to fix the problem, Gaudet said the town had to repair the water main break, pay for two tests to declare the water safe to drink again, and pay the wages for the workers involved in the project, which all in total cost about $7,000. This all come out of the water and sewage fund. The funds collected are reserved for maintenance and repairs on the water and sewage system throughout the year, said Gaudet. That work can include clearing out sewage lines, rebuilding sewage lift stations, flushing testing and preparing for capital projects. "If you don't have the money there, you have to wait until it's there or postpone the project, or work," he said. "It's tough to budget for." He said he believes some St. George water customers were less inclined to pay their bills because of the past year's emergency order and they may have just forgotten during the frenetic year, but the town will be turning off service for delinquent customers this year. Typically, the town shuts the water off on the first of April or May, he said. But before that happens, final notices are sent out followed by phone calls. Customers typically have three months from the date the bill was sent out to pay, he said. Bills are sent out twice annually, in January and June. Past due notices were recently sent out, Gaudet said, noting notices are being sent out for those who haven't paid their bills as of June 2020. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
A Durham doctor and her husband, a Toronto paramedic, have been charged with failing to disclose information to local public health officials about contact they had with a U.K. visitor in light of the spread of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus present in Britain. The couple, Dr. Martina Weir and Brian Weir, are alleged each to have failed to provide accurate information about “all persons that the defendant may have had contact with during their period of communicability,” as well as “providing false information in relation to contact with anyone who travelled from the United Kingdom,” according to court documents. The non-criminal charges were laid under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and relate to a Section 22 order put in place by Robert Kyle, the commissioner and medical officer of health for the Durham Region Health Department. Local public health officials have the power to enact the orders to require businesses or individuals to adhere to certain restrictions in order to curb the pandemic. The public health alleges the offences occurred December 25 and December 26, which is when the Province announced publicly that the first two cases of the variant had been found in a Durham couple. At the time, the Province said the cases had “no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts. Both individuals have been informed and are now in self-isolation as per public health protocols.” The U.K. variant is about 50 per cent more transmissible than the virus that has been in circulation in Ontario. According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, a Dr. Martina Weir works at Lakeridge Health sites in Bowmanville, Oshawa and Whitby. Lakeridge Health wouldn’t comment, stating the matter is before the courts. But a hospital spokesperson said in an email “we can confirm that the physician did not enter any Lakeridge Health facilities during December and did not work or provide patient care at any Lakeridge Health hospital during the month of December.” The hospital said it follows strict COVID-19 prevention guidelines for physicians, staff and patients and has had an active screening process in place since March last year, as well as prevention communication and education initiatives. “Physicians and staff must attest that they have not travelled outside the province or country or had contact with anyone travelling outside the province or the country,” said the spokesperson. The Star confirmed with a source that Brian Weir works for Toronto Paramedic Services, where he is a scheduler. TPS spokesperson Dineen Robinson said in an email that her organization does not “provide personal information in respect of our staff,” but said “we can confirm that Mr. Weir does not currently work in a public-facing position.” “We trust that all staff will follow public health guidelines and provincial regulations put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Robinson in the email. “In the event that we become aware of any staff member not respecting COVID-19 protocols required in the workplace, we will take appropriate action.” The allegations against the couple were set out in court documents filed by a Durham public health inspector before a justice of the peace in Whitby on January 12. Durham Public Health wouldn’t confirm they were responsible for the charges. The Province said it does not have any direct involvement with laying of charges. “Those are local enforcement matters,” said a ministry of health spokesperson in an email. The Section 22 order charges state that non-compliance can lead to a “fine of not more than $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.” The Star reached out to the couple last night for comment, but was unable to contact them. Patty Winsa Toronto Star Reporter and Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
One of the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake (MCK) chiefs was arrested for an alleged sexual assault of over a year ago. On January 13, Kanehsata’kehró:non Victor Bonspille willingly turned himself in to the Surete du Quebec (SQ) after he received a letter by mail, endorsing a warrant against him. The St. Jerome courthouse issued a warrant against Bonspille on December 22, for aggression that would have taken place between the MCK vice-chief Patricia Meilleur and Bonspille. The vice-chief had filed a complaint against Bonspille last April and the file had been under investigation ever since. The SQ confirmed that they released the 50-year-old man with a promise to appear in court at a later date. Bonspille will officially be accused of sexual assault on February 24, at the St. Jerome courthouse. Kanesatake grand chief Serge Otsi Simon was reluctant to comment on the issue, saying that it hasn’t been decided yet if Bonspille can continue to sit on council as chief while the accusation hangs over his head. “Until this is brought to the other chiefs’ attention, I need to look at what our options are going to be,” said Simon. However, the grand chief also finds himself a part of another legal case. Earlier in October, Bonspille filed a defamation lawsuit against both Simon and Meilleur. It was claimed that the grand chief and the vice-chief used threats, false accusations and insults toward Bonspille - resulting in the latter seeking $75,000 in damage. The first hearing is set for next Thursday, January 28. Legal documents obtained by The Eastern Door showed that the plaintiff’s name was repeatedly mentioned over social media in many statements by the MCK, as the initiator of misinformation, which caused division within the community. It also revealed that Meilleur filed a complaint against Bonspille in regards to the sexual assault allegedly suffered on January 29, 2020. A second criminal investigation, filed this time in December 2019 by the grand chief, placed Bonspille in the middle of potential fraud accusations. Both allegations were denied by Bonspille, stating that he’s been wrongfully accused. email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Two weeks ago, little was left of the Dank Bank after it caught fire in the middle of the night. But rather than throwing in the towel, the owners, Mary and Victor Nicholas, rolled up their sleeves and re-opened within days. Last Wednesday, with the help of community members, the owners cleaned everything up and brought in a trailer to get the business going again - hoping that they could quickly raise enough money to rebuild the Dank Bank. On January 8, the cannabis store in Kanesatake was completely destroyed, only two months after its grand opening. Mary estimated the damages to the structure and products at more than $130,000. “It’s a difficult time for anybody, but the best thing is that everybody is safe,” said Mary. “It is what it is.” After investigation, the Surete du Quebec (SQ) ruled out the possibility of arson. The fire department, which was called around 2:30 a.m., checked the security cameras. “Nobody was in the building, but a security guard was there and saw the fire coming out of the roof,” said the director of the Oka Fire Department, Sylvain Johnson in an interview with The Eastern Door. Johnson confirmed that the cause of the fire was declared electrical. Mary said that her brother and herself were both relieved of the result that came out of the investigation. However, the non-criminal cause doesn’t make it less difficult for the owners who rushed over and watched their business burn to the ground. “It was a shock, as you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy thing to see,” said Mary. “They showed me where the fire caught and started from, there was no accelerant or anything, so I’m confident it was electrical.” Mary explained that she and her brother not only had to deal with the incident, but also with community members who were more suspicious of the fire’s cause. “I know others wanted more answers, and dramatized it, but it doesn’t help anybody and anything,” said Mary. “But you can’t change people’s minds.” While Kanesatake has a long history of arson, one of the reasons why some Kanehsata’kehró:non were skeptical of the investigation’s outcome was the fact that Molotov cocktails were thrown at Mary’s car earlier in December. “It was almost a month apart, so obviously I immediately thought it was connected,” said Mary. “I’m not gonna lie, that’s the first thing that popped in my head.” No suspects were arrested and the investigation is still ongoing. But Mary said that instead of pointing fingers and starting accusations, she prefers focusing her energy on rebuilding. And this time, said Mary, they will be more careful when it comes to the electricity. “I’m good to say that cutting corners for a quicker construction doesn’t pay off,” she said, laughing. firstname.lastname@example.org Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Five years later, reminders of a tragedy linger in La Loche. On Jan. 22, 2016, violence unfolded at a community home and in Dene High School as a 17-year-old shot and killed four people, and injured seven others. As La Loche observes the fifth anniversary of that horrible day, Mayor Georgina Jolibois says "moments of healing" and grief remain in the community. "No doubt today is a heavy day," she says. "Not only for myself, but for many in the community and educators across Canada who were here that horrible day.” The first people to die five years ago were teenage brothers. Seventeen-year-old Dayne Fontaine and 13-year-old Drayden Fontaine were shot at their home by their cousin, Randan Dakota Fontaine. Randan then went to Dene High School, where he killed teacher’s aide Marie Janvier and teacher Adam Wood. La Loche began the difficult task of healing from the tragedy as Randan's case wound through the courts. More than two years later, in February 2018, he was sentenced as an adult for two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted murder. The court gave him a life sentence with no chance of parole for 10 years, which is the maximum for a youth sentenced as an adult. In 2019, a Saskatchewan Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal. Jolibois says La Loche is "rebuilding and learning from this horrible experience." Community members were expected to attend a virtual mass Friday, after which they would receive a prepared supper in their vehicles and later be able to tune into a local broadcast of a gospel performance. In a prepared statement, Premier Scott Moe praised the "strength and resiliency of the people of La Loche" who he said would be "a beacon of hope for future generations across Saskatchewan.” During a time of grief, he said "we also saw great courage, we saw compassion, we saw a community united and determined to recover and rebuild in the face of adversity that most of us could never imagine." In a video recorded for Dene High School, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he mourned with the community over the "senseless act of violence" five years ago and promised more supports. "This terrible loss will never be forgotten. Together, we will remember, together, we will heal," he said. Also in the video, local students shared their positive experiences at Dene High School and in their community. One noted the success of a modular farm, a wellness centre, some outdoor education programming and the availability of elders for students. Another simply thanked her teachers and expressed her pride in being from La Loche. As Jolibois prepared for the day, she said there was more left to do. She says the community still needs more support in areas like mental health and addictions and pledged to build on the progress of the last five years. "There were moments of healing and giving together, rebuilding families and friendships, refocusing the community," she said. "We just have to keep going with those positive moments and build on that." Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
Italian broadcaster Mediaset said on Friday it had won two legal cases against French and U.S. portals involving online piracy. In a statement, the broadcaster said an Italian court had ordered France's Dailymotion to pay it more than 22 million euros ($27 million) for publishing illegally 15,000 videos using Mediaset content. The court also ordered American portal Veoh, known as Qlipso Inc at the time of the offence, to pay Mediaset more than 3.3 million euros and 60,000 euros in costs.
A Candle Lake research facility has been recognized by the United Nations for its role in protecting, promoting and restoring sustainability. The Hannin Creek Education and Applied Research Centre, an equal partnership between Saskatchewan Polytechnic (Sask. Poly) and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, won a 2020 Global Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) award for its role in addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 15, Life on Land. The goal is to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. The recognition comes from the United Nations University, which headquarters the Global RCE Service Centre. Hannin Creek was nominated by RCE Saskatchewan. Sask. Poly is a founding partner of RCE Saskatchewan since it was formally acknowledged by United Nations University in 2007. It’s the second consecutive year Hannin Creek won a Global RCE award. The centre is the only boreal forest field station in the province and one of just two in Canada. According to a press release, it is a “unique place to study and conduct research” in diverse programs. Currently, the centre is addressing issues such as climate change, overpopulation, deforestation, urbanization and economic austerity through its research and education programs. According to the award, conservation, education and research are critical to mitigate those challenges. The camp at Hannin Creek has been around for over 50 years. It has operated in collaboration with Sask. Poly and the SWF for the last eight. In the last few years, work has been done to upgrade some facilities and to establish a wet lab that allows for researchers to work year-round. The facility has 12 hectares of boreal forest, creek and forest, expanded from 1.2 hectares in 2013, and is surrounded by a game preserve. It’s a very broad and diverse facility in terms of people using it for hands-on learning relating to the overall focus of protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of land for Saskatchewan and beyond,” said Jamie Hilts, the Saskatchewan Polytechnic dean for the Schools of Mining, Energy and Manufacturing and Natural Resources and the Built Environment. “We do a lot of research in the areas of forestry, fishery, wildlife, programs related to natural resources, environmental law, environmental engineering, civil engineering and water (resources).” He added that other programs, such as human services, use its camp facilities for therapeutic recreation. The University of Saskatchewan uses the site for research done by the Global Institute for Water Security. The Ministry of Environment uses the site for wildfire management training, the federal environment ministry uses it for research and training and the Prince Albert Model Forest uses it for its Stewards of the Land land-based learning program. Within SWF, there are courses, youth camps and work and education training conducted at the site. According to the Regional Centre of Expertise network website, the centre allows visitors to connect with natural ecosystems, helping them return with a deeper understanding and value for natural systems and the sustainability issues that threaten them. Meanwhile, lab facilities offer data collection, sample analysis, research and hands-on learning. Several hundred students attend the centre annually. “It contributes to formal, non-formal and informal learning through the educational processes about sustainable development,” said SWF director of communications and marketing Chelsea Walters. “Our programs introduce youth to these concepts through our youth camps and conservation programs.” Hilts said Saskatchewan Polytechnic and SWF are working to continue growing the centre. The past three years have been focused on making the facility as user-friendly and adaptable as possible. Now they’re looking at establishing an Indigenous encampment and at opportunities to enhance applied research and learning in other areas. “We want to be able to work with memes of the First Nations communities around the facility to establish this learning experience and camp,” he said. “We feel we can do some significant work there in terms of education and training related to an understanding of the issues and concerns related to truth and reconciliation and also good stewardship from a First Nations and Indigenous perspective as well.” As for other research areas, Hilts said the hope is to look at alternative energy sources such as solar, wind and biomass in a boreal forest setting. “That has applications into smaller northern or rural communities where you can establish what different energy systems can be created that will provide a good and dependable power source but at the same time be environmentally friendly. We’re going to be doing some work on that.” He also said that as it grows, the centre will continue to improve to meet the needs of the students, researchers and others who use the facility annually. The award, he said, is a big honour. “It means quite a bit,” he said. “It provides an example that we take the concept of sustainability seriously and want to improve upon that. It gives some evidence that we … walk the talk.” This is the second time the facility has won an award. “It’s a huge honour for us,” Walters said. “Everybody has been pretty excited around our office. We are really proud of our partnership with Sask. Poly.” Hilts agrees. The award, he said, provides an example of a strong, “symbiotic” relationship between the SWF and Sask. Poly. Beyond that, he said, it gives the facility recognition provincially, nationally and internationally, especially as it works to find solutions to sustainability and conservation. “We do have the facilities. We do have the people we do have the resources that lend themselves to an international l audience and we can do it right here in Saskatchewan. We don’t have to go elsewhere.” he said. “Those are the kinds of things which lend themselves to saying we have a made in Saskatchewan solution to made in Saskatchewan problems.” , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
TORONTO — Canada's main stock index dipped to cap a losing week as COVID-19 virus and vaccine concerns weighed on the energy sector. The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 70.29 points to 17,845.91. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 179.03 points at 30,996.98, the S&P 500 index was down 11.60 points at 3,841.47, while the Nasdaq composite was up 12.14 points at 13,543.06. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.64 cents US compared with 79.2 cents US on Thursday. The March crude contract was down 86 cents US at US$52.27 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was down 4.1 cents US at nearly US$2.46 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$9.70 at $1,856.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was down about 2.1 cents at almost US$3.63 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — A group of large businesses in Banff National Park is proposing a rapid COVID-19 testing project meant to help reopen the economy safely. Yannis Karlos, the head of the group, said rapid testing can guarantee the safety of the community while allowing the return to a semblance of normality in a place heavily dependent on tourism. "We're just looking for options to take a different approach to ensure that our community remains safe," said Karlos, who owns a distillery and restaurant in Banff, Alta. "Back in March, our community basically fully shut down and we had an extremely high level of unemployment," he said. Karlos said the group of businesses that represent 5,300 employees would cover the costs of deploying COVID-19 rapid tests if the Alberta government will supply them. "The way we envision it is becoming a public-private partnership, so we're looking for some assistance from the municipality as well as from the province," he said. Town of Banff spokesman Jason Darrah said the municipality will support the project. "We want to support however possible, such as offering facilities for doing it," he said. Sandy White, the co-founder of a coalition of academics, medical professionals and business leaders called Rapid Test and Trace Canada, which is working with the businesses in Banff, said millions of rapid tests already bought and distributed by the federal government are sitting in warehouses across Canada because provincial governments are either unable or unwilling to deploy them. "The overall mismanagement of this file in particular, to say nothing of vaccines and everything else, has been depressingly indicative of Canada's response to this thing," he said. White, who himself owns two inns in Banff, said other countries have responded to the pandemic more efficiently than Canada using rapid tests and other measures to reopened their economies safely. "We are drowning in this situation and we've had a year to get all these wonderful things in place and we could be Taiwan or South Korea or Australia or New Zealand but we're not," he said. "That's very frustrating." White said the 90-day rapid-testing project proposed for Banff would aim to test as many of the town's roughly 8,800 residents as possible within the first two days. After that, the program would test between five and 10 per cent of residents every day. "We are quite confident that with a strategy like that, we can eradicate COVID within the community," he said. Banff had close to 200 active cases of COVID-19 at the end of November, when the economy had reopened and tourists were in town. "The goal really is to be able to safely reopen the economy and encourage tourists to come back to town," he said, noting local jobs depend on tourism. He said the program could also be used as a "test case" to prove that a rapid-testing strategy can work to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. White said his organization is speaking with several groups across the country, including universities and Indigenous communities, to prepare rapid-testing project proposals. "It would be us advising and assisting in setting up pilots and executing on them with the government really just provided testing services in the form of the tests and maybe some basic guidance," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
It was a normal shift for Value Village manager Jeffrey Stonehouse. He and a colleague were in the back room of a Vancouver store on Monday, sorting through donations. Then, while going through "a very old bag," he noticed there were some envelopes mixed in with the other household items. That's not too uncommon, says Stonehouse, who expected to find some personal papers stuffed inside. But when Stonehouse and his colleague opened up the envelopes, they found much more than personal papers. "This was certainly the largest sum of money I have ever come across," he said. Inside the envelopes was $85,000 in cash. Stonehouse says the cash appeared very old, as if someone had stashed it away and forgotten about it. "When you're dealing with this you know immediately that the person didn't intend to have it come your way," he said. "We take every step we can to make sure it gets reunited with the person it belongs to." Stonehouse then contacted police who, thanks to an old bank receipt in the bag, were able to identify the money's owner — an elderly woman who now lives in a retirement home. Her family had cleared out her storage locker and unknowingly donated the bag containing the envelopes full of cash. "It was nice to get that money back to her," Stonehouse said.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada Post is telling customers to expect delivery delays due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a key mail facility in Mississauga, Ont., that has sickened dozens of workers. A spokesman says testing at the Dixie Road site has found 39 positive COVID-19 cases over the last three days. Canada Post says 182 workers at the site have tested positive since the start of the new year. Spokesman Phil Legault says the Mississauga facility is central to the crown corporation's entire national delivery and processing network. Legault says the plant continues to operate and process heavy incoming parcel volumes, but there will be delays. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press