North and South Dakota have some of the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the world, but governors of both states have been resisting restrictions.
North and South Dakota have some of the highest COVID-19 infection and death rates in the world, but governors of both states have been resisting restrictions.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
Une pétition pour soutenir les ainés Si la Covid-19 frappe particulièrement fort chez les ainés, ces derniers font aussi partie des victimes collatérales de la pandémie. En effet, les 65 ans et plus, qui forment 25 % de la population du Bas-Saint-Laurent, souffrent de l’isolement et de la précarité financière induits par les périodes de confinement. Ce jeudi, trois organismes se sont joints aux deux députés fédéraux Maxime Blanchette-Joncas et Kristina Michaud pour lancer une pétition demandant au gouvernement fédéral d’assurer un meilleur soutien aux personnes âgées. Car si Ottawa n’a pas été avare d’aides financières en tout genre dans la dernière année, les ainés font figure de grands oubliés : ils n’ont eu droit qu’à une aide ponctuelle de 500 $ en mars 2020, loin des milliards dépensés en PCU… Cette différence de traitement alimente un « profond sentiment d’injustice », selon M. Blanchette-Joncas, d’autant plus que les personnes âgées doivent composer avec des frais supplémentaires, qu’il s’agisse d’inflation ou de coûts de livraison. Augmenter le revenu des ainés est donc une priorité, ainsi que le martèle le président régional du Réseau FADOQ Gilles Noël : « Nous demandons que le gouvernement mette en œuvre sa promesse électorale faite lors de l’élection de 2019 en rehaussant minimalement de 10% le montant des prestations de la Sécurité de la vieillesse. » Le bénévolat en déroute Du côté de la Table de concertation des ainés du Bas-Saint-Laurent, on souligne l’urgence de briser l’isolement des 65 ans et plus. « Le gouvernement du Canada doit innover afin de mettre en place un réseau d’aide et de soutien direct aux ainés », explique la vice-présidente Kathleen Bouffard. Il devient difficile de trouver des bénévoles (la majorité ayant plus de 70 ans) pour faire des livraisons ou accompagner quelqu’un devant se rendre à l’hôpital pour passer des examens, et il faudrait donc former des travailleurs de milieu pour aller à la rencontre des personnes vivant seules, qui se sentent de plus en plus abandonnées. De son côté, le président du Carrefour 50 + Richard Rancourt alerte sur la situation des organismes qui font vivre les villages : ceux-ci sont portés à bout de bras par des retraités, et leurs revenus s’effondrent suite à la baisse de leur membership. M. Rancourt aimerait que le gouvernement pense à implanter des mesures de compensation pour assumer les coûts fixes, comme cela a été fait dans d’autres secteurs. La remise en route post-pandémie ne se fera pas d’elle-même, ajoute-t-il : « La culture de la peur s’est installée, il va falloir remotiver tout l’engagement bénévole de nos ainés. » Il sera alors probablement nécessaire d’avoir recours à des professionnels en animation, ce qui aura un coût. Internet haute vitesse et transferts en santé exigées Deux autres revendications plus universelles permettraient également d’améliorer le sort des ainés : tout d’abord, l’amélioration de la connexion au réseau internet haute vitesse, qui pourrait permettre de reconnecter les personnes seules au reste du monde si elles sont en mesure d’utiliser les outils web. Le Bas-Saint-Laurent est la région la moins bien branchée au Québec, souligne le député Blanchette-Joncas. La pétition demande également d’indexer les transferts en santé de 6 %. L’autre députée bloquiste de la région, Kristina Michaud, rappelle que pour « chaque [tranche de] 100 $ dépensé[e] par le gouvernement fédéral depuis le début de la pandémie, seulement 33 cents sont allés dans le réseau de la santé du Québec. » La pétition sera déposée à la Chambre des communes si elle atteint plus de 500 signatures d’ici le 20 mars.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
Richmond city council will consider banning the use of rodenticides on city-owned property when it meets Monday. The item comes to council following discussion at a July 2020 general purposes committee meeting. According to provincial guidelines, anticoagulant rodenticides are permitted when all pesticide-free methods have been deemed unsuccessful at managing infestations. However, if used improperly, they can enter the food chain and poison non-target animals including insects, birds, squirrels and raccoons, as well as larger animals like coyotes, bobcats and raptors that might eat the contaminated rodents. Affected animals do not die right away, but become lethargic and/or erratic which allows for easier predation and may go on to contaminate other animals that eat the contaminated animals. As well, improper disposal of anticoagulants can contaminate local soil, surface and groundwater conditions. The proposed ban would last for one year, after which point there would be a staff report on its effectiveness. Staff are also recommending writing a letter to B.C.’s Ministry of Environment requesting a review on policies allowing for the retail sale of rodenticides. The plan is estimated to cost $97,000, but some of that funding can be taken from the funds previously allocated to Vancouver Coastal Health, which has overseen the city’s rodent control service but will cease to operate its contract after March 31. Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
The stuffed fawn is small and somewhat scruffy, but it means the world to Nico Lavallée, 4. The little deer, purchased at the Parc Omega gift boutique, even had white spots on its soft hindquarters. But instead of Bambi, Nico called it Rudolph, and the name stuck. But then, disaster struck. While out for a family stroll along the Rideau Canal last week, Nico's little brother Santiago chucked Rudolph over the railing and onto the snow-covered ice below. "The two-year-old, in toddler fashion, just saw the opportunity to grab it and … watch gravity to make sure it still works ... in the second that I wasn't looking," said mom Brenda Duke, 35. There were tears as Duke tried to explain to Nico that they couldn't just climb down and retrieve Rudolph. Notices advise people to stay off the canal or face a fine, and there had been public warnings about unsafe ice. Nor did Duke want to contradict her own exhortations. "With the two-year-old especially, I still worry that he is going to fall in, so we made a very strong point of constantly saying that is so dangerous, you can't go there, the ice isn't ready." I didn't want to bother anyone. I don't think anyone would care. - Brenda Duke Several times over the next few days, the family "visited" Rudolph, who gradually became covered with freshly fallen snow. Luckily, the incident happened near a distance marker sign, allowing the family to locate the telltale lump below. They even spotted animal tracks nearby, as if some other creature had checked in on Rudolph. "I didn't want to bother anyone. I don't think anyone would care," said Duke. But then her six-year-old son Sebastian encouraged her to share the story on neighbourhood Facebook sites, which have seen activity grow since COVID-19. Suggests began pouring in, including using a fishing pole to hook the stuffie, or scooping it up with a long-handled pool strainer. Still others looped in the National Capital Commission (NCC), pleading for a rescue mission. The NCC promised its skateway crews would keep an eye out, and that they did. An alert worker found the lost fawn, crusted over with ice and snow but otherwise no worse for wear. Duke showed Nico the picture the NCC posted rescued Rudolph thawing out. "Utter disbelief. He stared. It took a while to click. He's like, 'Wait, that's mine?' He was just in shock, and then he was really excited." On Thursday, one week after Rudolph's adventures began, the family went to pick the toy up from the skateway operations centre at Fifth Avenue. A joyful reunion ensued. Meanwhile, the story has given some reason for optimism in these difficult times. "This stuffed baby deer isn't the only thing melting ... so is my cold cold heart," tweeted Monica Ward, who spotted the rescue story on social media. For Duke, it's reaffirmed her faith in the power of community. "You just have to just have to ask. People do care. Assuming that they don't is something that adults do," she observed. "[My kids] are growing up knowing that other people have our backs and other people care, and that's really heartwarming."
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Les audiences publiques sur le premier projet de Plan stratégique de développement du transport collectif de la région métropolitaine (PSD) ont débuté le 13 janvier dernier. Cette démarche est sous la responsabilité de l’Autorité régionale des transports de Montréal. Sept séances étaient au menu soit les 13, 14, 20, 21 et une dernière le 26 janvier pour entendre les opinions des organismes et citoyens sur la planification du transport collectif d’ici 2035. Dans le cadre de ce processus de consultation publique lancé le 27 octobre dernier, des centaines de personnes ont participé à l’exercice en ligne et, suivant l’appel de mémoire, l’ARTM a reçu 91 contributions écrites, dont 57 mémoires. « À la suite de la participation de plus de 1 200 citoyens et organismes au processus d’élaboration du projet, nous sommes heureux de constater la richesse et la diversité de l’implication publique à la consultation en cours. Ce plan sera véritablement celui de toute la région métropolitaine », a déclaré Benoît Gendron, directeur général de l’ARTM Quarante-cinq organismes et citoyens vont présenter leur mémoire devant le comité de la consultation formé de Mme Chantal Deschamps, mairesse de Repentigny, qui présidera l’exercice, ainsi que de M. Pierre Shedleur et Mme Diane Marleau, respectivement président et vice-présidente du conseil d’administration de l’ARTM. Nous vous invitons à prendre connaissance des audiences sur YouTube. L’ARTM est accompagnée dans ce processus par l’Institut du Nouveau Monde, qui anime les rencontres et rédigera le rapport final. L’ARTM a pour objectif de présenter au conseil d’administration le PSD bonifié au printemps 2021.François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
You might say Springwater Township’s zero-per-cent tax increase falls into the zero-net-sum game. If you continue to pay your taxes, they won’t raise them in 2021. “We generated a zero-per-cent increase because any increase is impacted by COVID-19. To generate a tax increase in this environment is just not fair,” said Coun. Jack Hanna. The 2021 budget has set aside $21.3 million in operating costs, $18.6 million for capital expenditures, $2.8 million for water operations and $1.7 million for wastewater management, for a grand total of $44.4 million. Originally, the budget was expected to show a 1.8-per-cent increase, but council convinced staff to keep the status quo for another year. “This year has brought unprecedented challenges for residents and businesses, as many struggle to deal with the impacts of COVID-19. By approving a zero-per-cent tax increase, council is providing relief to property owners and allowing them to better weather these uncertain times,” said Nicole Audette, Springwater’s communications officer. However, the budget does include a $2.6-million price tag for a new Springwater Fire Station 2 to be located at the corner of Bayfield Street and Snow Valley Road. It will eventually help service the Geranium subdivision development, which will see 342 homes built on Carson Road in the coming year. The County of Simcoe also approved its annual budget with a zero-per-cent increase. Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
A natural day-use recreation area near Evergreen Park will be enhanced to better accommodate pedestrians, on-leash dogs, cyclists and equestrians. County of Grande Prairie council approved a management plan for the 99-acre area, christened Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area, during its regular meeting last week. “Over the past year, people have been outdoors, recreating more,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. “This (provides) another opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our natural backyards.” Evergreen Ridge Recreation Area is located northeast of Evergreen Park and north of the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS). It is also near approximately a half-dozen residences in Pine Valley South subdivision to the south, she said. Local people sometimes refer to the area as the “dog park” before the county named it Evergreen Ridge due to its proximity to Evergreen Park, according to administration. The area is Crown land and is leased to the county under a 2018 agreement with Alberta Environment. The natural trail network and sandy dunes are already used by pedestrians and dog-owners and PARDS members use trails as well, Beaupre said. The county means to maintain Evergreen Ridge as a “low-impact” recreational resource. It is not, said Beaupre, part of Evergreen Park. Alberta Environment and Parks requested a management plan be developed. Beaupre added a plan can prevent conflicts between responsible users and others using the area for unpermitted fires or illegal dumping. According to county communications, the plan as approved by council proposes infrastructure improvements to begin this spring. The improvements include new signage and the addition of an information kiosk, as well as fencing around the area’s eastern boundary. The kiosk will be unstaffed and will include more signage, and the information may include trail directions, Beaupre said. The signage may also provide information about local animal species, as well as communicate pets must be kept on leashes, according to the plan. Local wildlife includes mule deer, elk, moose, black bears, coyotes and smaller mammals, but due to heavy human use large animals aren’t common in the area, according to administration. The parking lot is mainly sand, and the county may grade it and perhaps add a culvert as part of the improvements, according to the plan. Funds of under $5,000 for Evergreen Ridge in the 2021 budget are expected, according to county parks and recreation. Evergreen Ridge does not allow overnight stays, off-highway vehicles or unleashed pets, according to the county. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
A Bedford, N.S., man is facing three sexual assault charges in relation to incidents that occurred in student housing at Dalhousie University in 2019. Halifax police say they have charged Michael James Allain, 20, with two counts of sexual assault involving one woman and a third count involving a different woman. The alleged assaults occurred in September and October 2019 and were reported to police in February and March 2020. Police say Allain was acquainted with both women, but did not provide further information in order to protect the identity of the women. MORE TOP STORIES
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best. While the discovery of insulin has saved the lives of millions of people afflicted with diabetes, it is not a cure. Diabetes continues to take the lives of Canadi-ans and the rate of dia-betes is alarming. One in three Canadians are living with, or are at risk of developing diabetes. Currently, youth around 20 years-old have a 50 per cent chance of being diagnose with Type 2 dia-betes in their lifetime. The current COVID-19 pandemic is hindering care for some people with diabetes and placing people with the disease at three-times higher risk of dying from the virus if contracted. Diabetes Canada is launching a new fund-raising and awareness campaign called, “We Can’t Wait Another 100 Years to End Diabetes.”“ The discovery of insu-lin in Canada ranks among the leading achievements of medical research,” said Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Although insulin has enabled an incredible change in life expectancy and quality of life for millions of people around the world, it isn’t a cure. It is a treatment. More than ever, the millions of Canadians with or at risk of diabetes need our support. We can’t wait another 100 years and we hope Canadians will support us and help to end diabetes.” Beginning in January 2021, the year long campaign will recognize the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning scientific achievement by Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and fellow scientists and co-discoveres of insulin, JJR Macleod and James Collip. While celebrating the milestone, the campaign aims to remind Canadians about the serious and sometimes deadly consequences of the disease which can lead to other chronic illnesses includ-ing blindness, heart attack and stroke, amputation and kidney failure. Through the campaign, Diabetes Canada will engage in a national conversation about the disease. Although this is the anniversary of an incredible discovery, Diabetes Canada says “insulin is not enough. It is the starting line, not the finish line for diabetes.” New Tecumseth has a special connection to Sir Frederick Banting. He was born on a farm in Alliston in 1891 and attended high school in the Town before leaving to attend school at the University of Toronto.T he Banting Homestead Heritage Park preserves this historic site. Diabetes Canada was started by Charles Best in 1940, and is dedicated to supporting people living with diabetes. None Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
The Grey-Bruce Medical Officer of Health (MOH) says the region is ready for kids to return to the classroom. “We, in Grey-Bruce, are in good standing to proceed with what we started in the first term of school,” said Dr. Ian Arra, MOH for the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) during a virtual town hall meeting held last night. Yesterday, Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced the government will let students in seven public health units return to the physical classroom on Jan. 25. Students in the Bluewater District School Board and Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board will be allowed back in the classroom starting Monday. “I realize that there may be some questions related to health and safety as students and staff return to in-person learning while the provincial stay-at-home order remains in place,” stated Lori Wilder, director of education for the Bluewater District School Board in a letter to parents. “With this regional approach, and through consultation with public health, it has been determined that our relatively low local COVID-19 case numbers place us in a favourable position for students to physically attend school as many were doing before the holidays,” Wilder continued. According to Arra, current data trends in the region have indicated that it is time for kids to go back to school. “We are ready to go back. Does this mean that school is a safe place? It’s a pandemic and we need to remember this,” he said. GBHU's most recent situation report states there are currently 30 active cases the region and Grey-Bruce has seen a total of 657 cases since the onset of the pandemic. Arra noted that during the initial semester of classes, there were COVID-19 cases reported in school-aged children, however, no transmission was detected within the schools. “The screening handled most of these cases and prevented them from going into school. None of these measures are perfect. But, the more we implement them, the more committed we are to them, the better the results,” Arra said. According to Arra, the GBHU witnessed a surge of cases in October and November as the second wave of COVID-19 hit the province. During that time period, there were no outbreaks declared in any schools in Grey-Bruce. “That says that if it's circulating in the community, it does not mean it's going to be circulating in schools in that controlled environment. You can infer from it also, if the physical distancing, hand washing and other measures are implemented, it will be a safe environment, wherever that environment is,” he stated. As the students return to the classroom next week, Arra is quick to remind parents that the provincial stay-at-home order is still in effect and he would discourage any activities outside of the home and classroom. “The fact that the kids are going back to school, does not mean that the stay-at-home order does not stand,” he said. “Going outside of our homes for whatever the activity is different from our children getting the social and educational experience they need.” Arra said, at this point, kids should not be engaging in after-school activities or social engagements. “I would ask everybody to remember this is not mutually exclusive – staying at home and returning to the classroom – we need to do one and the other to actually make both work,” he said. “The school staff, teachers, workers are doing an amazing job at controlling the environment. If kids get together after school, that's not a controlled environment. A birthday party, or whatever it is, that's definitely the opposite of controlled environments.” Students returning to the classroom on Monday will continue to be required to complete the province's daily COVID-19 self screening questionnaire before coming to school. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
For the first time in more than a decade, Republicans are waking up to a Washington where Democrats control the White House and Congress, adjusting to an era of diminished power, deep uncertainty and internal feuding. The shift to minority status is always difficult, prompting debates over who is to blame for losing the last election. But the process is especially intense as Republicans confront profound questions about what the party stands for without Donald Trump in charge. Over the past four years, the GOP's values were inexorably tied to the whims of a president who regularly undermined democratic institutions and traded the party's long-standing commitment to fiscal discipline, strong foreign policy and the rule of law for a brash and inconsistent populism. The party now faces a decision about whether to keep moving in that direction, as many of Trump's most loyal supporters demand, or chart a new course. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, one of the few Republican elected officials who regularly condemned Trumpism, evoked President Ronald Reagan in calling this moment “a time for choosing.” “We have to decide if we’re going to continue heading down the direction of Donald Trump or if we’re going to return to our roots,” Hogan, a potential 2024 White House contender, said in an interview. “The party would be much better off if they were to purge themselves of Donald Trump,” he added. “But I don’t think there’s any hope of him completely going away.” Whether the party moves on may come down to what Republicans such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz do next. Cruz spent weeks parroting Trump's baseless claims of election fraud, which helped incite the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. Republican elections officials in several battleground states that President Joe Biden carried have said the election was fair. Trump’s claims were roundly rejected in the courts, including by judges appointed by Trump. Cruz on Wednesday acknowledged Biden's victory but refused, when pressed, to describe it as legitimate. “He won the election. He is the president. I just came from his inauguration,” Cruz said in an interview. Looking forward, Cruz said Trump would remain a significant part of the political conversation, but that the Republican Party should move away from divisive “language and tone and rhetoric” that alienated suburban voters, particularly women, in recent elections. “President Trump surely will continue to make his views known, and they’ll continue to have a real impact, but I think the country going forward wants policies that work, and I think as a party, we need to do a better job winning hearts and minds,” said Cruz, who is also considering a White House run. In the wake of the Capitol riot Jan. 6, a small but notable faction of high-profile Republicans is taking a stronger stance against Trump or seeking distance from him. The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, said on the eve of the inauguration that the pro-Trump mob that stormed the Capitol was “provoked by the president.” Even Mike Pence, Trump's vice-president and long considered his most devoted cheerleader, skipped Trump’s departure ceremony to attend Biden’s inauguration. Trump has retreated to his South Florida club, where he has retained a small group of former White House aides who will work out of a two-story guest house on the Mar-a-Lago grounds. In addition to advisers in Washington, Trump will have access to a well-funded political action committee, the Save America PAC, that is likely to inherit tens of millions of dollars in donations that flooded his campaign coffers after his election loss. Those close to Trump believe he will lay low in the immediate future as he focuses on his upcoming impeachment trial for inciting the riot. After that, he is expected to reemerge, likely granting media interviews and finding a new home on social media after losing his powerful Twitter bullhorn. While his plans are just taking shape, Trump is expected to remain politically active, including trying to exact revenge by backing primary challenges against Republicans he believed scorned him in his final days. He continues to leave the door open to another presidential run in 2024. Some friends believe he might even flirt with running as a third-party candidate, which would badly splinter an already fractured GOP. Trump issued an ominous vow as he left the White House for the last time as president: “We will be back in some form." Many in the GOP’s die-hard base continue to promote conspiracy theories, embrace white nationalism and, above all, revere Trump’s voice as gospel. Trump loyalists in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wyoming expressed outrage and disappointment in the 10 Republicans who voted with Democrats to impeach Trump last week. One of them, Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer, said he bought body armour to protect himself from a wave of threats from Trump supporters. In Wyoming, state GOP Chairman Frank Eathorne raised the possibility of secession this week and criticized Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, another Republican who backed Trump's impeachment. “The Republican National Committee views President Trump as our party leader into the future. ... The (state party) agrees,” Eathorne said, noting that Trump “represents the timeless principles” that the state and national GOP stand for. Trump left office with a 34% approval rating, according to Gallup — the lowest of his presidency — but the overwhelming majority of Republicans, 82%, approved of his job performance. Even as some try to move on, Trump's continued popularity with the GOP's base ensures he will remain a political force. Despite the GOP's many challenges, they're within reach of retaking one or both chambers of Congress in next year's midterm elections. Since the 2006 midterms, the party in the White House has lost on average 37 House seats. Currently, Democrats hold a 10-seat House majority and they’re tied with Republicans in the Senate. Hogan, the Maryland governor, said that the GOP may be at one of its lowest points ever, but noted that Reagan reclaimed the White House for Republicans just six years after President Richard Nixon was forced to resign in disgrace. “Obviously, (Trump) still has got a lock on a pretty good chunk of the Republican base, but there are an awful lot of people that were afraid to speak out for four years — unlike me —who are now starting to speak out," Hogan said. Still, there are plenty of hurdles ahead. Primary challenges could leave the party with congressional nominees next year who are even further to the right, potentially imperiling the GOP's grip on races they might otherwise win. More immediately, Senate Republicans, including McConnell, are wrestling with whether to convict Trump of high crimes and misdemeanours as outlined in last week's House impeachment. The Senate could ultimately vote to ban Trump from ever holding office again. “I hope that Republicans won’t participate in this petty, vindictive, final attack directed at President Trump,” Cruz said. “We should just move on.” ___ Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Mead Gruver in Cheyenne, Wyoming, contributed to this report. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Frank Eathorne is the GOP chairman in Wyoming, not Montana. Steve Peoples, The Associated Press
Early in the morning last Friday, Marissa Murphy and her partner were asleep in bed when they heard "aggressive banging" on the doors and windows of their home in Inuvik, N.W.T. "We were kind of scared we didn't know what was going on … as soon as I got downstairs I could see that the whole street was filled with smoke and people were running around, and somebody was at my door looking very panicked," said Murphy. "She was saying that there was a fire and we need to leave." That woman was Murphy's neighbour from across the street, Elise Decarie-Jean, who is being praised by the other tenants for her courage when she stopped to wake up people sleeping during the fire. 'You could feel the heat' No one was injured during the fire on Natala Drive, but there was significant damage to the four-unit townhouses, which included Murphy's unit. Decarie-Jean said she was getting ready for work when she went outside and saw dense smoke. In the past, she has smelled the wood stove burning from the unit where the fire started, but this time was different. That morning, it also smelled like chemicals, and she realized it was a bigger fire. Outside, another woman was calling the fire department, but Decarie-Jean noticed no one else was standing outside and she thought people might still be asleep. I would've never woken up without them pounding on the door - Jerry Lennie-Inglangasuk, resident "That's when I dropped my bags and went to the first door closer to the unit on fire because it was too smoky to go to the first unit where the fire started," said Decarie-Jean. She knocked on the windows and doors of two of the units on both sides of the building. She said someone else had alerted the person in the fourth unit. Murphy, who is new to Inuvik and has only been living in her home since September, praises Decarie-Jean's actions. "I just went into pure adrenaline mode," Murphy said. "I have four parrots and two rabbits. I wasn't exactly prepared to do something, but luckily I had a couple of carriers in the room and I just kinda shoved them in the carriers and we ran out. I was still in PJs." Murphy, her partner and animals all waited at Decarie-Jean's house as they figured out what to do. "It was just incredible the heroism that it took to go and to make sure that everyone was awake and that the fire department was called. It could've been really dangerous," said Murphy. I don't think anyone would've been able to stand there and do nothing. - Elise Decarie-Jean, resident Jerry Lennie-Inglangasuk and his partner live in one of the units Decarie-Jean knocked on. "My room was right behind where the fire was, and that was full of smoke already," said Lennie-Inglangasuk. "You could feel the heat … I would've never woken up without them pounding on the door … true northerners." Fire being investigated Both Lennie-Inglangasuk and Murphy say the unit where the fire started doesn't have power. They say the person living there creates his own heat, which they suspect is either a generator or wood stove. They also say this isn't the first time the fire department has been called to the unit; sparks were flying from the same unit's chimney back in November. "I feel really ticked off because he endangered my family," said Lennie-Inglangasuk. Fire Chief Cynthia Hammond confirmed to CBC that the fire is still under investigation. Lennie-Inglangasuk, whose granddaughter lives in the fourth row house, says the units are still out of water and they have all been cleaning tirelessly due to the smoke damage. He couldn't be more thankful to Decarie-Jean, and gave her a painting to express his gratitude. "I would just like to thank them for saving my life, and my granddaughter's life, and my family's life," said Lennie-Inglangasuk. But for Decarie-Jean, she says anyone would've done the same thing if they were in her position. "What else would you have done? I don't think anyone would've been able to stand there and do nothing," said Decarie-Jean. "You do good, and you receive good."
Though the position of school settlement worker — someone who guides and supports students and their families who are new to Canada as they familiarize themselves with their new home — is not a new one in Southern Ontario, it is new to the North. In July, 2020, Tibila Sandiwidi took on the role of “Travailleur d’établissement dans les écoles” (school settlement worker) for the two Francophone school boards (Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon and Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario ) in Sudbury through his position with Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury. In addition to degrees in early childhood education, political science, applied research and social work, Sandiwidi is a newcomer to Sudbury himself, arriving in Sudbury in 2003 from Burkina Faso, West Africa. In his role as settlement worker, Sandiwidi aids parents and children new to Sudbury from beyond Canada’s borders, as well as the educators that have called Sudbury home for years – perhaps their whole lives. The role itself is financed through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) and co-ordinated through the Centre de santé, where Francophone newcomers to Sudbury can find most of the guidance and resources they need to succeed in their new home. It is about ensuring that parents and students can become a part of their school community by helping them understand how the education system works, the curriculum they will be learning, the interactions between parent and educator, and how to make the most of them, as well as helping with the cultural aspects of Canada that those who have lived here their whole lives may take for granted. “Everything is new,” said Sandiwidi. “To the parents, to the children, everything is new. So, you have parents who are learning new things, but they are supposed to teach their children, who are also learning new things.” It is a challenge, to say the least. For as much as it is of the utmost importance to make sure a child is succeeding in school in their new home country, it is also important they understand cultural traditions here – for instance, Halloween. The event features the simple and oft-repeated question: ‘What are you going out as?’ If you have not heard that line all your life, that’s a pretty vague question. “When you celebrate Halloween, if you ask them about Halloween activities when they have never been in them, have never done them before, it’s hard for them. Even for a newcomer parent to understand how to dress the kids with a Halloween costume or do activities like trick-or-treating, or even activities at the school.” Sandiwidi not only ensures that educators understand the need to offer more information or background on these events for any students in their class, but he also ensures that parents can understand the requirements as well, so that students can enjoy the fun and never have to feel as though they are on the outside. They can participate as if they had been ‘trick-or-treating’ all their lives. It also helps with cultural differences in behaviour; for example, looking someone in the eyes. There are many cultures that consider looking anyone older than you in the eyes while they are speaking, rather than casting them down at the ground, is considered a sign of disrespect – challenging your elders in a way that is disrespectful and rude. Eurocentric traditions would have you meet an elder’s gaze. The phrase ‘look me in the eyes when I am speaking to you,’ may be a familiar one here among parents and teachers, but not so in other countries. This results in a child that doesn’t know whether to choose up or down. And it’s something that Sandiwidi can help with as well. He also works to offer intercultural training workshops, supports schools with their registration efforts and acts as an ambassador for Francophone schools in Greater Sudbury. Of course, like everything in the world, the pandemic has changed how Sandiwidi is working. It is much more virtual and Sandiwidi says that though “it is hard to build trust when someone has never met you in person,” he continues to work within the limitations to assist parents, students and educators in their learning and development. He says that while online learning has presented even more challenges, not to mention a focus on achieving what’s possible under the circumstances rather than moving ahead with goals, the program is going strong and his interactions with newcomers are proving everyday that he can make a difference in their lives. If you would like more information on the program, visit SanteSudbury.ca. Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Avec les confinements, nous pouvons nous attendre à une augmentation de notre facture énergétique d’environ 30 %.
If you have been shopping for a new or used car over the past few months, you prob-ably noticed that local dealerships are starting to look a little bare as their lots don’t have the same amount of inventory they had a year ago. A check with one dealership noted that they usually have around 150 units on the lot but had been reduced to around 20 .It is a two-fold problem. During a visit to a prominent dealer in the Orangeville area, it was explained that dealerships are having trouble getting new vehicles delivered to their lots. Disruptions in trans-portation due to the current pandemic means dealerships can’t get the inventory they need. On top of that, the recent province-wide lockdown has seen a drop in sales as custom-ers aren’t as willing to make appointments to visit a dealership. One sales person said, “It happened almost overnight. People just stopped coming in.” The shortage of vehicles has also impacted the used car market. With fewer people trad-ing in their old cars, there isn’t a lot of inven-tory on the pre-owned side of the dealership lots. “Used cars are going fast,” one salesperson said. “There’s not a lot of vehicles coming in. When we get a nice one it won’t be here long.” The latest concern in the auto industry is a shortage of parts that is causing delays in pro-duction. The parts shortage has affected pretty much every auto manufacture, not only in North America but around the world. In Brampton, the Chrysler plant has already seen temporary layoffs and also suspended operations at its plant in Mexico. The Alliston Honda plant has announced it will stop production on one of its lines during the week for January 25. The problem is a shortage of semiconductor microchips.After a slow down in production earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor manufacturers allocated more capacity to meet the soaring demand from consumer-electronics makers. Microchip makers favour consumer-electronics customers because their orders are larger than those of automakers. The annual smartphone market alone is more than 1 billion devices compared to fewer than 100 million for cars. The pandemic has resulted in an increase in sales in phones, game consoles, smart TVs and laptops, as people are spending more time at home. New cars are using more and more micro-chips in their vehicles to handle everything from navigation systems to traction control.Industry experts say the situation will most likely turn around in the next three months. Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
COVID-19 has been far from sweet for Godiva, which has decided to sell or close its stores across North America. The luxury chocolatier says 128 brick and mortar locations, including 11 in Canada, will shut by the end of March. The company declined to say how many jobs will be affected by the decision. Godiva will maintain retail operations across Europe, the Middle East and China. The closures mark a reversal from its strategy announced in 2019 to open 2,000 cafe locations worldwide, including more than 400 in North America. It says a key part of its moves has been to focus on retail food and pharmacy locations as well as online. It noted that in-person shopping at its own stores has waned because of the pandemic and changes in consumer shopping behaviour. “Godiva is already available in many retailers in North America and we will continue to increase our presence there while always upholding the premium quality, taste, and innovation that we have been renowned for since we were founded in Brussels in 1926,” stated CEO Nurtac Afridi. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris showcased American designers at their inauguration Wednesday, and Harris gave a nod to women's suffrage, Shirley Chisholm and her beloved sorority in pearls and purple. Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush also donned hues of purple. Harris has cited Chisholm, a Democrat from New York, as an inspiration for her career. Chisholm was the first Black woman elected to Congress and the first Black major-party candidate to run for U.S. president. Pearls had a strong fashion showing, in line with a social media campaign that had inauguration watchers donning strands in support and celebration of Harris. Nobody in attendance did them quite like Jennifer Lopez — from earrings to bracelets — as she sang “This Land is Your Land" in head-to-toe white Chanel. Rep. Barbara Lee, a California Democrat, wore a pearl necklace owned by Chisholm herself. It was a gift from Chisholm's goddaughter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, I am,” Lee, who is Black, posted on Twitter. “Because of Shirley Chisholm, Vice-President Harris is.” The pearls Harris wore, by Wilfredo Rosado, were also a symbol of unity with her sisters in Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first African American Greek-letter sorority, said Rachel Torgerson, fashion features director for Cosmopolitan. The sorority's founders are referred to as the “Twenty Pearls.” Every new member receives a badge adorned with 20 pearls. Harris attended Howard University, one of the nation's historically Black colleges and universities. “There’s no doubt that every part of her look today celebrates who she is, where she came from and where she hopes to lead the country. Every piece was carefully considered and packed with meaning,” Torgerson said. Like Harris, Rosado is the child of immigrants. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders drew fashion praise on social media for his cozy, comfortable inauguration wear: His signature beige parka and a pair of knit patterned mittens. The look earned him his own inauguration Bobblehead to mark his viral fashion moment. It's now on pre-sale for $25 at the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s online store. Jill Biden wore an ocean blue wool tweed coat over a dress by American designer Alexandra O’Neill of the Markarian label. The new first lady's matching coat and dress included a velvet collar and cuffs on the coat, and a chiffon bodice and scalloped skirt on the dress. The neckline of the dress is embellished with Swarovski pearls and crystals. The same crystals adorn the coat. The outfit was handcrafted in New York City. Aides said Harris was dressed in Christopher John Rogers and Sergio Hudson. Both are Black designers, Rogers from Louisiana and Hudson from South Carolina. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, wore a Ralph Lauren suit. Michelle Obama, a fashion icon, drew praise from fans on social media for her belted pantsuit in plum, also by Hudson. Joe Biden wore a navy blue suit and overcoat by Ralph Lauren. It was a change from Brooks Brothers, the oldest U.S. clothier at 202. The brand has outfitted 41 of the 46 American presidents, including Barack Obama during his inauguration in 2009. Brooks Brothers fell on hard financial times last year, when it filed for bankruptcy reorganization and announced a planned sale. Ralph Lauren has a history of nonpartisan dressing, including moments with Michelle Obama and outgoing first lady Melania Trump. Joe Biden wore Polo shirts, emblazoned with the label’s pony and polo player logo, to take both of his COVID-19 vaccinations on television. Véronique Hyland, fashion features director for Elle magazine, noted the wins for young American designers. “They chose a diverse group of talents — Christopher John Rogers, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, Markarian’s Alexandra O’Neill and Jonathan Cohen — to be a part of this historic moment," she said. “It made for a meaningful statement at this particular time, when all small businesses, including fashion businesses, are in need of support and spotlighting.” Harris’ choice to wear pieces by Black designers “felt particularly significant in light of her triply historic title as the first female, Black and Asian American vice-president of our country,” Hyland added. As for the colour purple, it was a symbol of unity and bipartisanship. Republican Red and Democratic blue make purple. “If there’s a message to be taken from today’s inauguration fashion, it’s that those who attended are signalling faith in unity and bipartisanship, as well as restoring truth and trust,” Torgerson said. Hillary Clinton confirmed she wore “purple with a purpose,” telling The Associated Press: “I want to just send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together.” Lady Gaga went for red and let her pin do the talking. She sang the national anthem in a lavish custom Schiaparelli gown designed by Daniel Roseberry with a full red skirt and a navy coat adorned with a humongous gold dove holding an olive branch. Garth Brooks went another way: country. He performed “Amazing Grace” holding his black cowboy hat and dressed in blue denim jeans paired with a black suit jacket and shirt. Another inauguration fashion star on Twitter was Nikolas Ajagu, the husband of Harris' niece, Meena Harris. Sharp-eyed sneakerheads noted his ultra-rare and pricey Air Dior Jordan 1 shoes. The Dior 1s, a collaboration between Dior and Jordan, debuted last year and retail for $2,000. They're reportedly going for up to $7,000 on some sneaker resell sites. Harris' stepdaughter, Ella Emhoff, schooled some of the older folks in her embellished Shetland Miu Miu coat in a pied de poule pattern with a large brown button at the neck and a pointed collar. “To put it quite plainly, over the last four years we’ve been starved for fashion choices from the White House that are thoughtful and intentional for the sake of the greater good," said Nikki Ogunnaike, digital director for Harper’s Bazaar. ____ This story was first published on January 20, 2021. It was updated on January 21, 2021, to correct the fact that Meena Harris is Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, not her sister. Leanne Italie, The Associated Press