A CBC Marketplace data analysis found Southbridge and Rykka homes had higher death rates than other for-profit homes in Ontario.
A CBC Marketplace data analysis found Southbridge and Rykka homes had higher death rates than other for-profit homes in Ontario.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
Alongside Canada’s national flower, sport, symbol and bird, is a national animal that is often forgotten. Canada’s national horse, Le Cheval Canadien, is in danger of disappearing. An Uxbridge equestrian centre, however, is dedicated to the revival of this special breed. Hundreds of years ago, in about 1665, King Louis XIV of France began shipping mares and stallions, with bloodlines from the King’s Royal Stud, to Acadia and New France. These horses had great abilities to adapt to harsh climates (like Canada’s cold winters), rough terrains and were easily trained. They became known as the Canadian Horse, or Le Cheval Canadien. While the breed was well known to American colonists, it is rather rare today. After being used in the American Civil War and for breeding to diversify genetics in American stock, but its popularity in Canada waned. Despite this, however, and despite the fact that the horse was smaller in size and often thought of as the “Quebec pony,” the Canadian Horse was declared by the Parliament of Canada to be the National Horse of Canada in 1909. In 2018, Barb Malcom, owner and head coach of Churchill Chimes Equestrian Centre on Webb Rd., committed to doing her part to save the Canadian Horse. Alongside her riding school, Malcolm set up a sister company called Donalf Farms, specifically to breed the Canadian horses in an attempt to bring back the name and the breed. “I had worked as a professional for over 20 years and just happened to buy an unpapered Canadian gelding. He is one of the most darling horses I’ve ever had,” says Malcom. Very soon Malcom fell in love with the breed. “They are durable, willing, personable and versatile. I went from being a “crossbreed person” to being completely wowed by this purebred.” “It’s one thing for Canadians not to know Canada has a national horse, but for horse people not to know, it just shows how much the breed is in trouble,” says Malcom. If it weren’t for a pandemic, this year Malcom had plans to contact Heritage Canada and rally for government assistance in the fight for the Canadian Horse. “We would love to see federal support,” says Malcom. “It really is an altruistic endeavour, but they're worth it.” Malcolm dreams of one day having all the horses in her riding school be Canadian Horses. “They are so little known, but absolutely remarkable,” says Malcolm. For more information about the national horse of Canada, visit lechevalcanadien.com or find Malcom’s breeding farm at donalffarms.com Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit Au cours de la semaine, plus de 10 000 doses du vaccin contre la COVID-19 ont été administrées chaque jour en Ontario. Jeudi, 15 609 personnes ont roulé leur manche en Ontario pour recevoir le vaccin contre le coronavirus. En tout, 174 630 doses ont été distribuées. On compte actuellement 17 094 Ontariens pour qui la vaccination est maintenant complétée, ce qui signifie qu’ils ont reçu leurs deux doses nécessaires du vaccin. Près de 3000 nouveaux cas Au cours de la journée de jeudi, 2998 nouvelles infections à la COVID-19 ont été répertoriées en Ontario. Depuis le 25 janvier 2020, 231 308 cas du virus ont été enregistrés en province. La santé publique de l’Ontario déplore, dans son plus récent bilan, 100 décès liés au coronavirus. Toutefois, ce nombre anormalement élevé peut être en partie expliqué par une initiative de nettoyage de données au bureau de santé de Middlesex-London, qui a ajouté 46 décès survenus plus tôt durant la pandémie au rapport de la santé publique provinciale de vendredi. En tout, 5289 ont perdu la vie en raison de la COVID-19 en Ontario. Hospitalisations Actuellement, 1647 personnes atteintes de la COVID-19 sont hospitalisées en Ontario, dont 387 aux soins intensifs. Parmi ces patients, 280 nécessitent l’aide d’un respirateur pour rester en vie. Foyers de soins de longue durée En foyers de soins de longue durée (FSLD), 145 nouveaux cas du virus ont été dépistés jeudi chez les résidents, et 60 chez les membres du personnel. On déplore le décès de 22 résidents de ces établissements causés par la COVID-19, portant le bilan total des résidents de FSLD ayant perdu la vie à 3085 en Ontario. En tout, 10 employés de ces établissements sont décédés, dont deux ayant perdu la vie depuis le début de l’année 2021.Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
“Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives” - that’s the motto for the week as Ontario hits another COVID-19 milestone, reaching more than 5,000 deaths from the virus. In light of this statistic, new measures that the province has announced gives local by-law officers more authority to ensure the public complies with the new measures, as well as authority to ticket and fine those who don’t. On Tuesday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced the second state of emergency for the province, effective immediately, along with a mandatory stay-at-home order, commencing today (Thursday). These new restrictions require all Ontarians to stay at home unless going to grocery stores, pharmacies, or medical appointments. Further restrictions will be in place for workplaces. All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close by 8 p.m. Under the Reopening Ontario Act, both individuals and businesses that do not fall in line with these newly imposed measures could face fines and up to a year in jail, according to the Solicitor General. Uxbridge By-Law Services said Tuesday that enforcement of the measures continues to be a joint effort between municipal law enforcement officers, the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS), the Region of Durham Health Department, and various government of Ontario provincial offences officers. Kristina Bergeron, manager of Uxbridge By-Law Services, said that enforcement will be conducted both proactively and complaint based. “If residents have observed a violation, they are asked to report the violation to the Durham Regional Police Service non-emergency number at 905-579-1520 or submit a complaint online at www.drps.ca under Online Services - Community Concerns. DRPS is the main point of contact for complaints, and matters deemed required to be addressed by municipal law enforcement will be dispensed to us through DRPS,” said Bergeron. On Tuesday, the province also shared new modeling data showing the infection curve set to take a steep rise in the next few weeks. With a positivity rate of more than five percent in all age groups, a survey by the government showed that only a third of the population is actually following Public Health guidelines in a manner that will help to end the pandemic. Dr. Matthew Anderson, president and CEO of Ontario Health, fears that Ontarians are not afraid as they were in the first wave of the virus. “When you’re a bit younger, you feel a bit immortal. But we’re not. And we are seeing trends where people who are younger are getting COVID, and while the mortality rate may not be as high, we can certainly see continued morbidity for those people. So there’s really no one who should consider themselves immune until they are vaccinated.” Over the past four weeks there has been a 72 per cent increase in hospitalizations and a 61 per cent increase in ICU patients. Half of the province’s hospitals have run out of capacity and can no longer take patients for emergencies such as traumas from accidents, heart attacks or emergency surgeries. This type of ICU occupancy can compromise care across the province. As of Monday evening, another eight cases of the UK variant, V117, were found in Ontario. Dr. Anderson said that if this new strain spreads through community transmission, Ontario residents can expect to see the case curve rise close to vertical by the end of January. By Tuesday evening, more than 133,000 doses of the COVID vaccine had been administered in Ontario, with over 6,000 Ontarians fully vaccinated with a second dose. “We have hope on the horizon, it’s in sight, it's in reach,” said Ford. To get ‘herd immunity’, experts say approximately 60 to 70 per cent of the population will need to be vaccinated. A group of North Durham doctors and medical administrative staff are working to get the vaccination serum into the Uxbridge community and say that once it is here, the community will be informed. Uxbridge currently has 14 active cases with only one of those being hospitalized. According to the Durham Region Public Health website, both Reachview Village and Uxbridge Cottage Hospital still have outbreak status. For more, visit durham.ca/covidcasesJustyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's chief medical officer says inmates in provincial jails will be considered for immunization, alongside other vulnerable populations, when there's a larger supply of vaccine in the province. Dr. Robert Strang said today that health workers and residents of long-term care homes will be vaccinated first in the weeks to come, adding that the next rollout will be targeted at older citizens. However, prisoner advocacy group East Coast Prison Justice Society issued a statement this week saying conditions at the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility in Halifax are inhumane, and that prisoners are spending most of their days in their cells. The group says the province should prioritize vaccinating prisoners and corrections staff. Strang responded by saying when "general immunization" begins in the spring, high priority will be given to African Nova Scotian and First Nations communities, along with people in homeless shelters and in prisons. Strang, however, says planning for the vaccination rollout for all of those groups is still in the early stages. "Part of our planning is actually looking at how do we make sure those vulnerable populations and settings get included in a timely manner as we're able to, once we get much greater vaccine supply," he told reporters. Earlier this month, Correctional Service of Canada announced it was beginning to vaccinate older, medically vulnerable federal inmates against COVID-19, as recommended by the national advisory committee on immunization. The agency said vaccine will be administered to all federal inmates as supply becomes more available. Strang's comments came as the province announced two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 32 active reported cases. In New Brunswick, cases continued to rise much faster than in the rest of Atlantic Canada. Health officials in that province reported 25 new infections today and said there were 256 active reported cases, with four people in hospital with the disease. Strang said Nova Scotia was far from being safe from suffering a similar trend, and he urged citizens to truthfully report if they test positive and to tell officials who they've been in contact with. The province has administered 7,600 doses of vaccine, with 2,200 front-line health workers having received two doses. Strang said while there are still supply uncertainties in the short term, "much greater supplies (of the vaccine) are expected in April and May." At that point, Strang said, there will wider community distribution, including to prisons and to other vulnerable groups. However, the East Coast Prison Justice Society said in its release that prisons have "above average rates of illness and disease, cramped living quarters where infection can spread easily," adding "public health priorities demand rapid access to vaccines in this context." It also argued that the number of people in custody has returned to pre-pandemic levels after the province made initial efforts to reduce the prison population during the initial phase of the pandemic. The society called for more expedited bail hearings and bail reviews — including pre-trial release proceedings on weekends — and for more investments in community-based housing for inmates. Department of Justice spokeswoman Heather Fairbairn said in an email Friday that the government has continued its program to release inmates early. She noted that between March 2020 and Jan. 14, 2021, 48 inmates who were within 10 to 30 days from completing their sentence were released. In addition, she said 97 people serving intermittent sentences have been given temporary releases, adding that inmates within 30 days from completing their sentence will continue to be considered for early release. She said while some visits and programming have been reduced because of public health restrictions, prisoners are still able to communicate with their loved ones and with legal counsel online. People serving intermittent sentences were all released at the start of the pandemic, Fairbairn said, adding that the correctional service will "review any new intermittent sentence admissions for release based on the individual’s level of risk." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Canada's international development minister says the world's first inoculation of a refugee with a COVID-19 vaccine this week is an important milestone in ending the pandemic everywhere. Karina Gould tells The Canadian Press that inoculating the world's most vulnerable people offers a glimmer of hope that the pandemic can be brought under control everywhere. A woman living in the northern Jordanian city of Irbid who had fled northern Iraq became the first United Nations registered refugee to receive the vaccine on Thursday. Before the pandemic Canada committed $2.1 billion in security, humanitarian and development funds to help Jordan and neighbouring Lebanon cope with the massive influx of refugees they face due to the crises in Syria and Iraq. Since the pandemic, Canada has committed more than $1 billion to international efforts to buy vaccine doses for low- and middle-income countries. Rema Jamous Imseis, the Canadian representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, says if refugees aren't vaccinated they run the risk of infecting people in their host national populations. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Neale Richmond, European Affairs spokesperson for a coalition party, Fine Gael, described the move as an "outrage".View on euronews
A month has passed since the first round of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Canada, but Kanesatake’s turn has not yet come. While the federal government put Onkwehón:we communities among their priorities, Emergency Response Unit (ERU) spokesperson, Robert Bonspiel, said that the community hasn’t received a fixed date as to when the vaccination will begin. “We have been led to believe that the reason for the delay is because of the enviable position that Kanesatake finds itself to be in,” said Bonspiel. Bonspiel said that at the moment, the community still has zero active cases. In comparison, their neighbour’s sister community, Kahnawake, has more than 20 positive cases, where some members already received their first dose of the vaccine. “The ERU and the community, we are not reactionary, we are proactive,” said Bonspiel. “We are using a lot of common sense, things that are culturally appropriate to us. And so far, it’s working amazingly.” Julie Lemieux-Côté from the communication services of the Centre integre de sante et de services sociaux des Laurentides (CISSS), explained that the rollout of the vaccine follows priority groups, rather than the amount of cases. The groups were established by the Quebec government, putting at top of the priority list the vulnerable people living in residential and long-term care centres (CHSLD), health and social workers who have contact with COVID-19 patients, and then private seniors homes. As mentioned last week during one of Quebec’s press conferences, the province’s plan is to have 250,000 people from its priority groups vaccinated before February 8. “We are still at the first levels, then we will start the vaccination in remote communities,” said Lemieux-Côté. The CISSS is already in contact with the ERU to organize the logistics surrounding the vaccination campaign in the community. Lemieux-Côté assured that it would only be a matter of one or two weeks, depending on the delivery of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Although, health and social workers don’t have to wait for the vaccines to be delivered in the community to receive their first shot. The Quebec government sent invitations to schedule the administration at one of their two locations outside of the community, such as at Quartier Dix30 in Brossard. Yet, none of the Kanesatake Riverside Elders Home health workers, staff from the Health Centre, nor the First Nations Paramedics (FNP) received their invitation. “I’m considered a priority to the CISSS in comparison to the general population but not that high on the list,” said Riverside’s registered nurse team leader Sabrina Richard, explaining that they aren’t in direct contact with COVID-19 patients. Richard believes that Kanesatake has been very lucky not to have been affected by COVID-19 like some other communities have. “Our time to get the vaccine will come and I hope that everyone considers getting it. It will not only protect you from serious complications, but it will also protect your loved ones,” said Richard. Even if the vaccine is not mandatory, Kanesatake grand chief Serge Otsi Simon hopes that community members will collaborate. For him, there’s no other alternative, saying that the community cannot keep going into lockdown. “Either you roll up your sleeve,” he said, “or you get out there and take the chance to die of this.” email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Windsor police say 911 lines are being bombarded by people calling looking for information regarding the provincial stay-at-home order that came into effect Thursday. Since the stay-at-home order was announced Tuesday, Windsor police said they have received about 200 non-emergency and 911 calls related to COVID-19 and the new order. "Any call to 911 that is not an emergency can take precious seconds away from a person trying to get through on 911 for a true emergency, where seconds may count for them," police said in an emailed statement to CBC News. In a tweet on Friday morning, the police service said 911 is for emergencies only, and that information about COVID-19 can be obtained through dialling 211. Any COVID-related complaints can be made through 311. The OPP says the provincial communications centre in London is also seeing an increase in 911 calls about the new pandemic measures. The stay-at-home order that took effect overnight Thursday means that people are only permitted to leave their homes for essential reasons such as buying groceries, picking up prescriptions or daily exercise. The new measures have prompted questions about what exactly is illegal and how the new rules will be enforced across the province. Under the new order, officers can order people attending gatherings to go home, close any building where they believe an illegal event is taking place, and ask for the name and address of anyone they think is committing an offence. Charges can be laid through a ticket or summons to appear in court. The minimum fine for violating provincial gathering rules is $750. Windsor police said in a statement Thursday they will be monitoring compliance. The police service said community safety is the top priority, and officers will "strike a measured balance between enforcement and overall safety." "As part of a collaborative public health and provincial wide safety strategy, Windsor Police Service officers will continue to be monitoring compliance and will support this strategy, and any orders, with enforcement actions as necessary under the legislation." The police service hasn't provided detail on how their enforcement be conducted. But there is criticism among advocates that the new rules are too ambiguous and racialized residents could be disproportionately targeted. "It's a little dangerous and reckless to give police officers the power of determining whether or not someone's reasoning to leave their house is legitimate especially considering that we're in the middle of a pandemic," UWindsor student Fardova Kusow said in an interview Thursday.
Now that a stay-at-home order has been issued by the provincial government, it’s a good time to refresh the memory on what outdoor activities can be done, and what safety protocols must be observed. As the community slogs its way through this second wave of increasing COVID-19 cases, the Uxbridge trail system, tobogganing hills and local ponds are filling up with people. But Mayor Dave Barton opened this week’s council meeting by reminding the community of the importance of social distancing when enjoying outdoor winter fun. “If you get to the toboggan hill and there are lots of people there, go home for a while and come back later when there are fewer people,” said Barton in his remarks. The trails are also busy spaces. Snow shoeing, cross country skiing, biking and hiking is enticing many visitors. Just this past Saturday, at least 100 cars lined Conc. 7, just south of Uxbridge, at the Durham Regional Forest trail entrances. While the air circulation and wide open space is comforting, healthcare experts remind the public that maintaining distance is still necessary. Dr. Carlye Jensen, from the Uxbridge Health Centre, points out that, while outdoor transmission is low, it is not zero. “Getting outside is a great way to relieve the pressures of lockdown. We have beautiful trails and wonderful streets to walk along. Just remember that when you are on these trails it is still important to keep your distance from those not within your bubble.” Dr. Jensen also notes that the new variant of the COVID-19 virus appears to be more easily transmitted, and that it’s not the time to let guards - or face masks - down. Dr. Jensen advises, “If you can't be six feet apart, then turn your face away, wear a mask or step off the path to allow safe space between you and others.” During its announcement on Tuesday, the provincial government recommended that everyone wear masks both indoors and out as much as possible. Tuesday’s announcement also outlined that police officers and provincial offences officers now have the authority to disperse crowds of more than five people who appear to not be from the same household, and to shut down the relevant location. For more on the current shutdown, visit https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/59922/ontario-declares-second-provincial-emergency-to-address-covid-19-crisis-and-save-livesJustyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
The Ford government’s state of emergency declaration had Peel residents scratching their heads this week amid confusion and criticism over how the new “stay at home” order differed from restrictions imposed in November. For Peel businessowners, one thing was unmistakable: the runway to re-opening just got a lot longer. Since the start of the pandemic it was clear some areas of Brampton and Mississauga were going to face unique challenges due to a range of demographic and economic realities. The small business sector has been directly impacted, and many leaders in Peel have engaged in hand-wringing, pointing to everyone but themselves to help struggling entrepreneurs, while many criticized public health measures for doing more harm than the virus itself. Unlike the City of Boston, which set aside $15 million of municipal funds to help small businesses, Mississauga and Brampton have not pursued creative initiatives allowed under existing legislation to directly help local entrepreneurs. Efforts to curb local public health restrictions have not been matched with specific local policies to get immediate support to small businesses. On November 11, when a lockdown seemed inevitable because of unparalleled infection rates in parts of the region, Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish suggested that “if we put a little pressure on Dr. Loh (Peel’s chief medical officer)”, he could be convinced to alter restrictions around indoor dining. On November 23, the day Peel was put into lockdown, she was more brazen in her calls, saying City Council should “start pressuring” Loh to separate Brampton from Mississauga, in an effort to spare her city’s small businesses from harsher restrictions. In attempts to curb the second wave of COVID-19, the Region has been under some form of advanced public health restriction for more than seven consecutive weeks, beginning with the lockdown on November 23. Since then, rising case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the pandemic drove the premier to declare a “crisis” in the province, issuing regulations late into the evening on January 13, just five hours before the stay-at-home orders came into effect. They will remain in place until at least February 11. Non-essential retail businesses are required to limit their hours of operation between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., including those which offer curbside pickup. Restaurants serving and delivering takeout food, grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies are among the retailers that can remain open beyond that window. For John Pappas, owner of The Crooked Cue restaurant and billiards hall in Port Credit, the extra hours are unlikely to make a difference. “We’re not even doing five-percent of our regular sales with the takeout,” Pappas told The Pointer. “It’s brutal, and the government is barely helping. They say they’ve got your back and they don’t.” The second wave and current infection rates that are much higher than what was seen in the spring coincide with the thinning of financial supports from Ottawa and Queen’s Park, as both higher levels of government struggle to manage budgets already devastated by the pandemic. On January 15, the Province finally launched its latest grant program for small business owners to apply for $10,000 to $20,000 in funding, as the pandemic gets worse. There is no end in sight, and concerns are now being raised by some in medical circles around the world that a silver-bullet vaccine is unlikely. The future picture for entrepreneurs has never been so unclear. According to a December 2020 StatsCan report assessing pandemic business closures by September, Ontario registered an 8.3 percent drop in businesses compared to February, translating to a loss of about 25,600 commercial operations which was not offset by new businesses opening. The supports available to small businesses from the provincial and federal governments fell short in the second wave of the pandemic compared to the first, Pappas said, citing his experience with narrowed criteria of the emergency wage benefit, lack of mandated business loan deferrals, and restrictive eligibility for certain grant programs based on the size of a company’s payroll. “I was at Costco…there must have been 500 people in the store. Meanwhile, a retail store can’t even have five people inside,” Pappas said in an interview, prior to Thursday’s emergency order. “The big businesses are thriving. The small businesses are getting killed.” Still, Pappas does not see cities like Mississauga being able to wield “financial firepower” to help business owners. Elsewhere in Canada, some municipal officials sprung to take pay cuts at the beginning of the pandemic, including Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, who voluntarily reduced his pay by 20 percent until at least July. In October, Edmonton city council members agreed to freeze their salaries for the next two years in response to the pandemic, following the recommendation of an independent oversight committee. Outgoing city manager and chief administrative officer Janice Baker told The Pointer in April that pay-related solutions were “token, and right now we’re all working harder than we’ve ever worked...so I feel like I’ve earned all the dollars I’ve been paid in the last few weeks.” “At the end of the day, are we going to solve the financial problem on the backs of all of us taking a 10 percent pay cut? No,” said Baker, who announced her retirement from Mississauga in the spring and returned to work as the new Chief Administrative Officer for the Region of Peel by the fall. Brampton’s and Mississauga’s council members have not passed any resolution to reduce their own pay, while thousands of their constituents, including many who cover their salaries, have endured a loss of income or their job. While both of the city’s mayors and councillors have pointed to higher levels of government for more funding to help local businesses, council members are not toting around an empty toolbox. “We have a number of consultations with [businesses] and we asked them what they need...and we've been advocating to other levels of government,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in response to The Pointer’s questions at her January 13 press conference. She pointed to tax deferrals, approved in both Brampton and Mississauga, on commercial and residential taxes. (About 60 percent of Mississauga’s cash flow comes from property taxes.) The cities also offer a variety of small-business resources, such as free information seminars on using digital tools and business mentorship, patio programs for restaurants in Brampton, and buy-local campaigns like Mississauga Made. Mississauga is also in talks with food delivery app Ritual to extend its partnership for commission-free local ordering. But these are not significant supports that make a difference when businesses face the prospect of closing, for good. Other courses of action were proven, in hindsight, to be desperate efforts to help businesses regain revenues when the public health landscape in Peel was becoming more precarious. In a last-ditch attempt to push for easing the lockdown in some pockets of Peel, regional councillors from Mississauga and Caledon backed a motion on December 3 urging Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh to use targeted interventions that would see certain restrictions in Mississauga drop while Brampton’s remained intact. Three weeks later – as daily cases in Peel hit records of above 600 and Mississauga hospitals looked to hire more doctors for pandemic support – the province-wide shutdown began. There are examples of more direct action by municipalities to aid local small businesses during the worst crisis they have ever faced. South of the border, some American cities are helping businesses in a range of ways. “In the very early days of the pandemic, when the federal government hadn’t put any money out yet, communities scrambled and did amazingly creative things,” said Kennedy Smith, a senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Washington D.C. Last summer, she published her research into 26 strategies for local leaders to help safeguard small business during the pandemic. Smith found examples of cities that explored issuing municipal bonds, councillors giving up their salaries to put together small programs to help local businesses, or councils setting aside money that would otherwise be used for capital improvements to recreation programs. Cities like San Francisco and Jersey City passed emergency orders that limited the fees on food delivery apps. Boston has set aside $15 million (US) of municipal funds for small businesses, including a rent relief grant up to $15,000 and a grant for restaurants to retain or rehire staff. Other cities that are smaller than Peel’s, including Lexington, Kentucky and Albuquerque, New Mexico, shifted their procurement strategy to buy directly from local businesses, Smith found. Companies like Glass Commerce, an e-commerce website for verified vendors to connect with governments for a streamlined procurement process, are being used by small governments to help bolster local supply chains, she noted. Relief programs based in the community are also more efficient at getting funds to small businesses, her report found, which were in turn able to give a renewed appreciation to residents and other civic organizations for the importance of small business to the local economy. “That was a huge help there. Things like that were sort of ‘aha’ moments for a lot of community leaders,” Smith said. “We can do these other things we hadn’t really thought about that comp new money back into our community and make the environment a sturdier blanket for small businesses to survive, and then hopefully succeed.” Unlike in some U.S. jurisdictions, however, a city’s power to provide certain types of assistance to small businesses is somewhat limited due to provisions in Ontario’s Municipal Act called anti-bonusing. There are a number of exceptions in the legislation, and it does give municipalities the “power to make grants...for any purpose that council considers to be in the interests of the municipality,” although even this power is limited to certain types of grants. Nonetheless, between the exceptions in the legislation and the ability of cities to explore emergency measures during a crisis, there are certainly tools in the municipal toolbox, and they can look across the border for inspiration to help their local businesses. For example, a state-funded $7-million small business restaurant grant program offered in Baltimore County in Maryland – with a population comparable to that of Mississauga – or the City of Boston restaurant program might not be possible in Ontario because the Act considers certain grants as a financial advantage for one group over another without a “corresponding benefit” to the community. However, an April 2020 Mississauga staff report notes that, “Arrangements that benefit an entire class of businesses, across an entire municipality, while maintaining a level playing field among competitors, are less likely to be challenged for bonusing.” In an email to The Pointer, Councillor Parrish said she believes paid sick leave is the largest policy gap in COVID-19 relief programs offered by the federal and provincial government. When it comes to restaurants, for example, she said the “social services” they perform for their clients, relationships with supply markets and labourers, and years building clientele cannot easily be patched up with funding. “I don’t know how a grant would ever address all those elements, but even an inadequate grant would of course be helpful,” she said in an email. In Brampton, Councillor Jeff Bowman, co-chair of the Social Support Taskforce, said he would see value in relief programs specifically for small businesses. “We do offer grants to community groups and arts businesses, but our local businesses could certainly and deservedly use the assistance,” he said in an email. If a small business closes there are widespread impacts on the municipality, from the immediate loss of commercial property taxes, the potential of reduced neighbourhood values that could impact residential tax revenues and direct damage to local economic development efforts crucial to a city’s growth. With warnings from health experts vocal about the province bracing for a difficult February, local businesses maneuvering the next leg of the pandemic may be looking to local representatives for more than advocacy to higher levels of government. “The municipalities are very much hamstrung right now, and kind of strapped in terms of the pressures on their expenditures, the collapse of some of the revenue side,” said Neil Bradford, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Western University’s Huron College. In an October 2020 research paper published through the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, Bradford explored historic examples of tri-level policymaking as COVID-19 underscores how cities are key partners to implement programs and services from higher levels of government. Noting that about $8 of every $10 in COVID-19 relief money comes from the federal government, the pandemic is exposing the need for what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the “Team Canada” approach, Bradford said. He believes the pandemic should be motivating leaders to think creatively and get out of the box. Bradford says Politicians and the public have “this expectation that this crisis is kind of a spur to really bold and more policy innovation and responses to these very big and complex challenges. The time is right for some experimentation.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @LaVjosa COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you.Vjosa Isai, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer of health says British Columbia's decision to seek legal advice on limiting travel reinforces the message that it isn't the time to go on vacation across the country. Dr. Theresa Tam says stopping non-essential travel would be a difficult decision for the province, but it could reduce COVID-19 by cutting the number of contacts. Premier John Horgan said Thursday his government was seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel. Other provinces and territories, including those in Atlantic Canada, have required travellers to self-isolate upon arrival or get authorization to travel. Horgan said he and other premiers have made the case for Canadians to stay home during the pandemic, but people continue to travel. The issue has been discussed for months and it's time to determine if the government can act, Horgan added. B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Thursday that she's not sure if she has the authority to limit out-of-province travel nor was she considering such an order. "We do have requirements that people who come in to British Columbia must follow the rules in place here, and that is something that is continuing to be reinforced," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
**This article was originally published on July 17, 2020. Opening the windows to breathe in the fresh air and cool down the house is no luxury, yet it’s something that people in Kanesatake have been deprived of. A woman who wishes to remain anonymous, whom we will call Jane, lays on her bed every night wondering when and if the smell will come. For the past few years, it has been so noxious that it has often left her with a burning sensation in her eyes as well as throat irritation. Then the headaches come on strong, shortly followed by a feeling of being ill. “Some days, I want to sell my home and move,” said Jane. “I can’t run away in the middle of the night to breathe clean air because it lingers outside in the air.” The foul smell described by Jane emanates from the G&R; recycling site, not that far from her house. With the pandemic forcing people to stay indoors, the smell has now been impossible to avoid. The site, owned by Robert and Gary Gabriel, is well-known in the community and has been causing tension since 2014. Documents obtained by The Eastern Door show the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake’s (MCK) approval for G&R; recycling, dated back to October 7, 2014. The resolution authorizes both brothers, but also Stephen John Borbely, a non-band member, to operate their business until 2044. Back then, before the site was moved to Rang St. Jean on the border of St. Placide, it operated on Centre road, close to Julie’s house (another person who wishes to remain anonymous). Julie recalls that it didn’t take long until she started to receive verbal threats and vandalism after raising questions regarding activities on site. She was and still is not the only one being intimidated, she said. Neighbouring farmers, also wanting to remain anonymous for security reasons, reported fences bulldozed, garbage bins kicked all over the place, and threats of burning down houses. “The community is scared,” Julie said. “It’s just a terror on this community from this family, and it’s been like this for years and years.” Community members have complained to the MCK, but no action is being taken to address the issue. As a matter of fact, the complaints remain mostly unanswered. A lot of questions and no answers When it comes to the MCK, the recycling site is yet another issue that lacks transparency, according to Tracy Cross, who also lives not far from the site. Along with six other community members, Cross has been pushing for explanations in a letter sent to the council on June 30, but he’s mostly a worried community member who’s also been noticing the recycling site’s effects on his health and environment. “We are people that are looking seven generations down the road,” said Cross, “so what about our grandchildren? This could have long-term effects. We need a soil sample, water sample, air particle, blood sample. We want to know whether or not the health director knew about it and if they did, why didn’t they inform the community?” As an ex-member of the Ratihontsanontstats Kanesatake Environment department, Gabrielle Lamouche said she knows the council had some information all along, but employees’ hands were tied from disclosing anything and instead, ordered to re-direct every question to MCK grand chief Serge Otsi Simon. On June 9, Lamouche was fired from the department. No reasons were given, but she believes the fact that she was asking too many questions regarding G&R; played a part. “Questions were about the smell,” said Lamouche, “and as I was working for the environment, people were asking them to me, wondering what we were doing about it. There are even people who said I should lose my job because nothing was being done about it. I was telling them, call the council, call the grand chief because I couldn’t share any information with them.” Lamouche is now part of the seven community members who are asking for accountability and transparency from the MCK. The council had until Tuesday to provide the requested documents, which also included financial disclosure of emergency funds, but they asked for an extension. One of the requested documents is a Golder Firm report, showing environmental assessments in relation to the recycling site. Simon told The Eastern Door he was reluctant to hand out the report, as he felt it was still incomplete and needed clarification. “People are gonna make their own assumption based on half the information,” said Simon. “I need to know what we are dealing with, anywhere on the territory, before releasing the information and everyone starts panicking like hell.” Simon also agrees that the contract has been breached. Yet, G&R; is still allowed to operate despite the fact that the 2014 resolution, signed by Simon along with six other chiefs, clearly states that it shall remain valid subject to G&R; respecting the terms of their contract with MCK. The terms of that contract are yet to be disclosed to the community. Surrounding municipalities While Kanesatake is asking the MCK to act on the matter, the municipality of Oka, along with St. Placide and Mirabel, is putting pressure on the ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques to retract the recycling site’s permit to operate. The latest environmental report shows that in addition to going way beyond the limit of permitted dimensions, almost double the amount of allowed recycling material is stored at G&R.; Following the report, the ministry released an ordinance on March 18, against G&R;, to cease any material storage on non-authorized land, which is also exceeding the allowed amount. In addition, it requests that the owners clean up and restore the unauthorized use of land. Requests for comment to G&R; from The Eastern Door have gone unanswered. “Different deadlines are planned regarding the order and the requested actions,” said the communication advisor for the Environment ministry, Frédéric Fournier.“The situation is being closely monitored. Diverse interventions occurred on site since the order was made in March 2020. The ministry is considering every possible action to ensure a return to compliance.” But despite the Quebec government’s threat to withdraw the permit, the site remains on Mohawk territory - meaning the MCK will have no other choice but to eventually get involved. “The people on this end of the reserve are suffering from this,” said Jane. “No one should have to live like this.” email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Some Oakville residents have been told to seek shelter in their basements amid what police are calling an "active situation" with at least two people barricaded inside a home. According to tweets from Halton police issued Friday afternoon, Lakeshore Road West is closed from 4th Line to Birch Hill Lane for an ongoing investigation. Police say they first received a call just before 1:20 p.m. reporting possible gunfire in the area. On Twitter, investigators said the ongoing situation is contained to a residence on Lakeshore Road West, and originally involved "at least two" people barricaded inside. Police later said one person is now out of the home, but at least one person remains inside. Crisis negotiators have been in contact with the person inside the home and there are no reported injuries, police said. "Our crisis negotiators will be working to resolve this safely," police said on Twitter. Ryan Anderson, media relations officer with Halton Regional Police, says as of Friday evening, the situation is still ongoing. "It is our goal, our ultimate goal, to bring them out safely without anybody being injured," he said. Anderson could not say whether it was a hostage situation or if the person remaining in the home resided there or explain the relationship between the two people. Police are concerned for the safety of the individual inside, as well as those who live nearby. "We have reason to believe there may have been gas released in the home, so utilities have been cut off to the home," Anderson said. As a result, approximately nine residences have been notified and evacuated accordingly. Investigators say there is a "heavy police presence in the area," including officers, the tactical rescue unit, and police dogs. Appleby College was also in a hold and secure, but that has since been lifted. However, students boarding there will continue to remain indoors, according to the school's Twitter feed Police are asking people to avoid the area.
Le Syndicat des employés municipaux de Mirabel, affilié à la CSN, dénonce l’entêtement de la Ville à ne pas prioriser le télétravail partout où c’est possible de le faire, tel que le recommande le gouvernement du Québec depuis décembre dernier. Il accuse le fait que des employés sont obligés de se présenter sur leur lieu de travail, sous peine de voir leur salaire coupé, alors que du télétravail pourrait «aisément» être effectué. Selon le site du gouvernement du Québec, en lien avec la pandémie de COVID-19, le télétravail est obligatoire pour tous les employés, et ce, jusqu’au 7 février inclusivement. Seules les personnes qui doivent réaliser des activités jugées «prioritaires» par les ministères et les organismes publics ont droit de se retrouver au sein de leur milieu de travail. Par prioritaire, on veut dire des tâches qui ne peuvent être réalisées en télétravail. Or, selon le Syndicat des employés municipaux de Mirabel, la direction exige une plus grande présence au bureau malgré le fait que celle-ci ne soit pas justifiée vu la nature du travail à accomplir. «Pourquoi obliger des employés à se présenter au travail alors que leur présence n’est absolument pas nécessaire pour assurer les services aux citoyens?», de s’interroger Anabel Millette, présidente du Syndicat, rappelant que Mirabel est située dans une zone rouge qui s’étend jusqu’à Mont-Tremblant. Pas une première L’organisation syndicale avance même que certains employés ont été mis à pied au lieu d’être redirigés vers le télétravail. «Alors que plus de 2 000 cas par jour sont répertoriés, Mirabel devrait faire preuve de rigueur et de sens des responsabilités. Ce n’est pas le temps de tenter de contourner les recommandations, mais bien de donner l’exemple et de participer à l’effort collectif pour qu’enfin nous puissions espérer un retour à la normale», de poursuivre la présidente, Mme Millette. Ce n’est pas la première fois que le Syndicat observe une problématique en lien avec la pandémie et le milieu de travail. Au printemps dernier, lors de la première vague, des représentants ont dû «intervenir» pour que les édifices municipaux se conforment aux directives de la Santé publique. Mme Millette ajoute d’ailleurs que si la Ville ne se conforme pas aux directives gouvernementales, le Syndicat en informera la Direction de santé publique. Votre hebdomadaire a joint la Ville de Mirabel afin d’obtenir une réaction de la part de responsables. Par courriel, la directrice du Service des communications, Caroline Thibault, affirme que «la Ville de Mirabel respecte les consignes de la Santé publique et celles de la CNESST concernant le télétravail et l’ensemble des mesures sanitaires».Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested Friday and charged with trying to organize an armed response to pro-President Donald Trump protesters expected at the state capitol on Sunday, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced. Daniel Baker of Tallahassee was using social media to recruit people in a plot to create a circle around protesters and trap them in the Capitol, according to an affidavit filed by an FBI agent. The court document describes a series of threats of violence and a prediction of civil war. Baker is described as anti-Trump, anti-government, anti-white supremacists and anti-police. "Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” said U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe in a news release. Baker was kicked out of the Army in 2007 after going AWOL before being deployed to Iraq. The affidavit said Baker was then homeless and largely unemployed for the following nine years, most of the time in Tallahassee. “REMEMBER THAT THE COPS WONT PROTECT US BECAUSE THE COPS AND KLAN GO HAND IN HAND!" Baker wrote on a Facebook event page he created, according to the affidavit. “If you are afraid to die fighting the enemy, then stay in bed and live. Call all of your friends and Rise Up!” The Associated Press
HALIFAX — The rugged point of land upon which sits the Peggys Cove lighthouse will be getting a much-needed facelift this summer. Plans were announced today to build a large viewing platform to improve access to the site and, at times, prevent people from venturing onto the rocks when storms roll in. The $3.1-million deck is expected to be completed by the end of June. The wood and concrete structure will include steel guardrails that look like fishing nets. The lighthouse and nearby fishing village attracted more than 700,000 visitors in 2018. Nova Scotia is contributing $1.7 million to the project and the federal government is covering the rest of the bill. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Alberta is easing restrictions on outdoor social gatherings, funerals and on businesses such as barbershops and tattoo studios. Starting Monday, outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people but indoor gatherings are still banned. Funerals can now have 20 people in attendance, but receptions are still prohibited. Personal wellness services can reopen by appointment only. Businesses include hair and nail salons, aesthetics, reflexology, and piercing and tattoo shops. “If we continue to see case rates and hospitalizations and out ICU admissions continue to slow down and go down, we will continue to open things back up,” said Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro. “It’s that simple.” Shandro said Alberta's health authorities do not yet know when other COVID-19 measures will be lifted. However, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said more restrictions will be lifted if active cases continue dropping. "This first move is a test case," she said. "This is our opportunity to give Albertans a little bit more freedom and the ability to do a few more activities in a safe way." Hinshaw warned the easing of restrictions and shrinking number of new daily cases does not mean the crisis has been contained. Hospitalizations are still high and Alberta's health-care system is still strained, she said. "By easing some measures like outdoor gathering limits, we hope to support Albertans’ mental health, while still following other restrictions that are helping us reduce case numbers," said Hinshaw. Economic Minister Doug Schweitzer also announced that Alberta's small and medium business relaunch grant will include businesses that started between March 1 and Oct. 31. Businesses that have seen at least a 30 per cent drop in revenue because of COVID-19 could be eligible for up to $15,000. Applications open Feb. 4. firstname.lastname@example.org Sarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
When Bay Roberts’ director of tourism and economic development, Ron Delaney, opened his email inbox one day this past November, probably the last thing he expected to see was a message from Digital Government and Services NL alleging non-complaint signage along the highway entrance into Bay Roberts — especially seeing as the signs have been standing there for over a decade. “All of a sudden, all of the signs that lead into our Town via LT Stick Drive are non-complaint, or, as they say, illegal,” said Delaney. “Which I find puzzling, which would be one word for it, for the simple fact that, because up by the TCH we’ve been adhering to their policies for a number of years, but as you come down through the main area leading into LT Stick, I’m going to venture to say that for 15 years we’ve had signs there. Right from the Summer Games, which is in partnership with the provincial government, right down to tourism, and our ‘Why Litter?’ campaign, which started around 12 or 14 years ago. And now, all of a sudden they want us to take them down, and they’re only giving us 30 days to take them down.” His recommendation was to send a letter back looking for policy clarifications. Delaney also wondered if there were other communities suddenly finding themselves dealing with a similar issue. “Our signs are very neat and respectful and help our business community and let people know what’s going on within our community,” he said. Councillor Dean Franey recommended asking MHA Pam Parsons to have a look at the situation, and shared some of the sentiments expressed by Delaney. “It’s kind of annoying, actually, because for the Summer Games one, for example, the reason (being given for taking it down) is ‘this business is not tourism related.’ The Summer Games is a provincial government sanctioned event, awarded by the provincial government, and now a provincial government department is saying you can’t advertise a provincial government sanctioned event,” said Franey. Deputy Mayor Walter Yetman said it should be pointed out to the department that Bay Roberts is a municipal government, not a business, as stated in the letter. Councillor Frank Deering said he felt the request was more about applying to have the signs registered, than having them taken down. “I hope it’s as simple as that, but to give us only 30 days after having them up for 14 years is a little bit silly in my mind,” said Delaney. “Especially at this time of year, when we don’t have a lot of staff on to go deal with the issue. We’re not not going to do it; it just seems awful funny that it’s coming at this time in November when we’re getting into the winter season when we have most of our staff laid off.” He noted that one of the signs dates back to before 2007. So far as he knew, there was no change of policy that would suddenly make the signs non-complacent. “I’m thinking it’s more of a change of staff more than anything. It just seems funny to give us such a tight timeline of 30 days after 14 years,” he said. The letter, which had requested that the town submit design applications for the signs, was dated November 16, which would means the signs would have had to be removed within a month of that date. “I would submit the applications and afterwards phone the MHA,” said Mayor Philip Wood, suggesting a plan that was quickly voted on and approved by council. Several other councillors noted their dislike at the use of the word ‘illegal’ being used to describe the signs.Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News