This column is an opinion from Rebecca Haines-Saah, a health sociologist at the University of Calgary. Last week, I became someone I might study. My job is to research how health-related stigma affects people and communities. Yet, as I listened to my supportive, non-judgmental doctor confirm their diagnosis that I have high blood pressure, I felt deep shame and self-blame. I've been working too much. I don't manage my stressors. I fuss over my family. I should have been more active, cut out all alcohol and the late-night snacks. I should have said no to committees, working groups and new projects. I need to quit Twitter. I should really lose 10 pounds. I've written extensively about how health is not just shaped by individual actions and access to health care. It's promoted by communities that provide belonging, fairness, supports and safety for all their members. I know very well the evidence showing that health is socially and structurally determined, shaped by the society in which we work and live. Yet, in that moment in my doctor's office, I forgot everything I've learned about public health and attributed everything about the diagnosis to my behaviour. My failures. That's why the move this week to list the presence or absence of comorbidities for each COVID-19 death in Alberta was a punch to the gut for a newly diagnosed person like me, and for the many who've been living with pre-existing conditions throughout the pandemic. An incorrect message Intended or not, there's a loud and clear (and incorrect) message: Those who died from COVID-19 died because of their own risk factors; the "otherwise healthy" person is safe. The attention to comorbidities shifts focus from the fact that every death from COVID-19, including those among older people and those with chronic illnesses, is wholly preventable. Left ineffectively checked, Alberta's exponential growth in cases threatens everyone. Dangerously, people who are "otherwise healthy" (and those who assume they are) may be emboldened to ignore public health restrictions or take them less seriously, assuming death from COVID-19 is near impossible and that recovery from the virus would be without complications. It's easy to blame people for their "unhealthy lifestyles," but 800,000 Albertans — about one in five — have a chronic condition. We are not exactly a small minority. That the incidence of diagnoses like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are higher in Alberta than the national rates suggests there's something about living here, something Albertan, if you will, that is contributing to our ill health. After all, health is shaped by where we live. By including comorbidities with Alberta's reports on recent deaths from COVID-19, the province is weaponizing the idea of "protecting the most vulnerable among us," perversely assuring everyone else they're not at risk. This contributes to chronic disease stigma by inferring that the dead, to borrow a term from the premier, bear "personal responsibility" for their deaths. It also neglects how the government's inadequate policy response has failed to protect all people and communities. But maybe that's the whole point. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please readour FAQ.
En date du 1er décembre, le député bloquiste de Bécancour–Nicolet–Saurel a bouclé 36 ans, deux mois et 27 jours aux Communes, battant de trois jours le record de Charles Marcil, l’élu de Bonaventure qui siégea jusqu’au 29 janvier 1937. L’indépendantiste qui se fait appeler amicalement «Doyen» par ses collègues est arrivé à la Chambre des communes en 1984 sous les couleurs du Parti progressiste-conservateur de Brian Mulroney. Avec l’échec de l’Accord du lac Meech en 1990, il change de fusil d’épaule pour cofonder le Bloc québécois, le parti politique créé à Sorel-Tracy en 1991. À 77 ans, Louis Plamondon s’apprête à briguer un douzième mandat. S’il est élu, il pourrait battre le record de longévité de cinq députés anglophones dont deux de 37 ans et trois autres de plus de 39 ans parmi lesquels le libéral Herb Gray. Ce dernier est le député qui a siégé le plus longtemps à la Chambre des communes avec au compteur une longévité de 39 ans, six mois et 30 jours. En tant que Doyen de la Chambre des communes, Louis Plamondon a régulièrement présidé la première session du parlement au lendemain des élections depuis 2008. Le secret de son ancienneté réside dans la proximité qu’il a longtemps développée avec les gens dans sa circonscription et aux assemblées parlementaires. Dans l’une de ses entrevues accordées au Courrier Sud pendant la pandémie, il s’est montré profondément affecté par les restrictions qui l’empêchent d’assister aux multiples évènements sportifs et culturels qui ont longtemps meublé son emploi du temps. M. Plamondon a plusieurs fois confié qu’il s’ennuyait des contacts humains et des activités auxquels il s’était habitué. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Royal Bank of Canada reported a small rise in quarterly profit that beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday, driven by strength in its capital markets unit and reduced provisions to cover potential loan-losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.Canada's largest lender by market capitalization set aside $427 million in the fourth quarter, as economic disruptions from the pandemic raised the possibility of defaults. The amount was far lower than analysts' expectation of $798.75 million, and down 14 per cent from a year earlier.Net income from personal and commercial banking — RBC's biggest source of income — fell 7 per cent to $1.5 billion, largely reflecting the impact of lower interest rates.The country's banks have faced margin pressure this year from surging deposits and slower lending growth across retail and business segments.RBC's capital markets division, which includes trading, investment banking and advisory, however, saw net income soar 44 per cent to $840 million, helped by increased volatility in markets due to the health crisis.Overall profit was upTotal net income rose to $3.25 billion ($2.51 billion) for the quarter ended Oct. 31, or $2.23 per share, from $3.21 billion, or $2.19 per share, a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, the bank earned $2.27 per share, higher than analysts' average estimate of $2.05 per share, according to Refinitiv data.
Christian Serratos embodies late Tejano icon Selena Quintanilla in new show "Selena: The Series." (Dec. 2)
Israel handed over a backlog of billions of shekels in tax money to the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, both sides said, in another sign of warming ties between the sides after the U.S. presidential election victory of Joe Biden. The taxes, managed by Israel under interim peace accords from the 1990s and usually handed over monthly, make up more than half of the budget of the Palestinian Authority (PA), whose economy has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The 3.77 billion shekels ($1.14 billion) transfer is the first since June, when the Palestinians snubbed the handover due to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plans, currently suspended, to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.
BURNABY, B.C. — The death of a teenager in Burnaby, B.C., is now being investigated as a homicide. A statement from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says the 18-year-old woman was found in a Burnaby home on Sunday. She was suffering from critical injuries and died in hospital. Sgt. Frank Jang with the homicide team says one man was arrested at the scene but has been released without charges as the investigation continues. Jang says the woman knew her attacker, the case is considered isolated and there is no risk to the public. He urges anyone with information to contact investigators. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
LOS ANGELES — People magazine has named George Clooney, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Selena Gomez and Regina King as the “2020 People of the Year.”The magazine revealed its list Wednesday morning as part of a year-end double issue with four covers. The four will be celebrated for their positive impact in the world during a challenging 2020.Clooney, Fauci, Gomez and King will be separately featured on the magazine covers of the issue, which is out Friday.Clooney has received some Oscar buzz for his upcoming film “The Midnight Sky,” but the actor was also in spotlight for his advocacy work. He donated $500,000 to the Equal Justice Initiative in wake of George Floyd’s death and $1 million for COVID-19 relief efforts in Italy, London and Los Angeles.As the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Fauci provided steady guidance during the turbulent pandemic. As the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, he has been one of the nation's leading sources of information about the fight against COVID-19.Gomez released her chart-topping album “Rare” and hosted the cooking show “Selena + Chef” on HBO Max. But the pop superstar also spread her message of inclusion through her makeup brand Rare Beauty, which set the goal of raising $100 million in 10 years to help give people access to mental health initiatives.King, who won an Emmy in September, used her voice to encourage people to vote. The actor also called for support of marginalized communities during the pandemic and end police brutality of unarmed Black people. Her directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” has also been talked about as a possible Oscar contender.Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
Le psychologue sportif, auteur et conférencier de renommée internationale, Sylvain Guimond, rencontrera virtuellement, ce mercredi, à 18h, les étudiants innus du collégial et universitaire afin de les motiver à ne pas abandonner en cette période difficile de pandémie. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Macotenord.com Par le biais de sa conférence, Sylvain Guimond partagera ses trucs et de précieux conseils qui aideront les étudiants à persévérer. "La motivation, c’est l’énergie intérieure qui nous pousse à agir, en créant tes ressorts et en brisant tes freins", mentionne M. Guimond Docteur en psychologie du sport, Sylvain Guimond est conscient que les étudiants doivent parfois jongler avec leurs études, le sport, le travail et les amis, d'où l'importance de comprendre que la clé du succès et d’être bien dans sa tête. Ce professionnel souvent invité à des émissions de télévision souligne que pendant l'actuelle crise sanitaire sans précédent, chaque moment mis à notre disposition doit-être utilisé de façon positive. "Que ce soit pour travailler notre force mentale, mettre à jour nos objectifs ou prendre conscience du chemin que l’on a fait, cette année sera charnière pour plusieurs personnes." Or, des recherches ont démontré que le manque de motivation des étudiants a des répercussions directes sur le décrochage scolaire. Taux alarmant de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones Organisée par le département de l'Éducation du Conseil de Uashat-Maliotenam, cette conférence tombe à point alors que le taux de décrochage scolaire chez les autochtones est alarmant. Les statistiques sont ahurissantes: plus d'un élève autochtone sur deux vivants sur les réserves abandonne les études secondaires. Le taux de décrochage est aussi inquiétant pour les autochtones qui vivent à l'extérieur des réserves. Plus de 40% de ces autochtones ne terminent pas leurs études secondaires. Dans le reste de la population canadienne, le taux de décrochage oscille autour de moins de 10%. La conférence Web du Dr Guimond offre des pistes concrètes et des stratégies à mettre en place pour motiver les diplômés de demain. De plus, les concepts développés dans la conférence s’appliquent à de nombreuses sphères de la vie. Anxiété et stress Une planète au ralentie par une pandémie occasionne beaucoup de stress et d'anxiété dans notre quotidien et les étudiants n'y échappent pas. Coauteur du livre, avec Johanne Lévesque, Anxiété sois mon invitée, Sylvain Guimond explique simplement et sans préjugés, comment naviguer entre stress, peurs, frayeurs, anxiété, angoisses, phobies... et les maîtriser. "Car être anxieux n’est pas une condamnation, et bien que l’anxiété puisse handicaper une vie, elle apporte aussi une énergie qui peut être un formidable moteur pour nous pousser à nous dépasser." Sylvain Guimond s’exprime de façon claire et imagée et propose des solutions simples aux questions parfois complexes. Il a travaillé avec plus de 1000 athlètes d’élite, dont le célèbre golfeur Tiger Woods. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Big data is playing a prominent role in life insurance this year.Interest in coverage has surged during the pandemic, but for many people, social distancing mandates took the life insurance medical exam off the table. As consumers look for quick, noninvasive ways to buy policies, insurers have turned to accelerated underwriting, a process that uses algorithms instead of exams to evaluate applicants.While accelerated underwriting isn’t new, more than a third of life insurers have expanded it due to the pandemic, according to a study by the Society of Actuaries. And no-exam life insurance appeals to many people. “They want it to be fast and easy,” says Gina Birchall, chief operating officer for the life insurance trade group LIMRA.Accelerated underwriting can help you get life insurance quickly online, but there are caveats. What you gain in speed, you may lose in flexibility and price.HOW BIG DATA HAS CHANGED LIFE INSURANCETraditionally, buying life insurance was a lengthy process involving bloodwork, urine samples and long waits for approval. “It was probably the hardest or most difficult product to buy left in the modern economy,” says Brooks Tingle, president and CEO of John Hancock Insurance.This changed as the world became steeped in big data. Insurers now typically check your prescription drug history and data from the MIB Group, an information-sharing service for insurers. Companies may also consider non-medical data, such as your credit history, driving record and shopping habits. Algorithms then combine these data points to quickly determine eligibility and cost of coverage.This data can be tricky to dissect, but industry experts expect the trend to grow.“The more information we have, the deeper the data that we have, the more capable we are of making sound decisions,” says Jackie Morales, chief insurance officer for Bestow, an insurer that uses accelerated underwriting.HOW ACCELERATED UNDERWRITING WORKSCompanies typically use accelerated underwriting techniques in two ways:1\. TO FAST-TRACK HEALTHY PEOPLE’S APPLICATIONS. Many major carriers approve low-risk applicants based on big data and then require medical exams for everyone else, says Jeremy Hallett, CEO of Quotacy, a life insurance broker. On average, it takes nine days for an insurer to reach a final decision using accelerated underwriting instead of the traditional 27, according to LIMRA. These policies are considered fully underwritten, even if you don’t take an exam.2\. TO PROVIDE INSTANT ANSWERS. Insurers like Bestow use information from your application and big data algorithms to assess risk, and never require a medical exam. Coverage is not guaranteed, but the application process is fast and you often get an answer within minutes.Accelerated underwriting is not to be confused with “simplified issue” life insurance, which considers the answers on your application but doesn’t tap into big data. These policies typically cost more and offer less coverage than standard policies because they rely on limited information.WHAT TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A POLICYWhen you shop for life insurance, be sure to ask how the policy is priced. Both instant-answer and fully underwritten policies have pros and cons, and your specific needs will dictate what is right for you.Before you apply, ask yourself these questions:HOW FAST DO YOU WANT COVERAGE?If speed is paramount, consider instant-answer policies that solely use big data and never require an exam. You will get an answer quickly, although the answer may be no.“What big data is providing people is speed,” says Bestow’s Morales. Nearly 85% of people who apply for a Bestow policy do so on a mobile device, she says.HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT TO PAY?A policy with full medical underwriting is likely to be the cheapest option. If the insurer chooses to use accelerated underwriting to fast-track your application, you are not penalized; your price and product will likely be the same as if you had taken the exam, Hallett says.Instant-answer policies may not offer rates in the cheapest brackets since the insurer doesn’t have the option of a medical exam to get more information. But Morales says, “Some people will trade off that ability to get a fast decision at a reasonable price.”DO YOU WANT FLEXIBILITY?Fully underwritten life insurance may offer more options, such as the ability to convert from term to permanent coverage. This is not always true of policies that rely solely on your application information and big data.“When you at least have that medical exam as a possibility,” Hallett says, “you get a more robust product.”___________________________________This article was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Georgia Rose is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.comRelated Links:NerdWallet: Options for No Medical Exam Life Insurance https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-medical-life-insuranceMIB Group: Request a copy of your report https://www.mib.com/request_your_record.htmlGeorgia Rose Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Chuck Rosenberg makes no secret of his admiration for Robert Mueller.Keep that in mind, along with the format of Rosenberg's podcast “The Oath,” now that NBC announced Wednesday that the former special counsel who looked into Russian interference in the 2016 election has given an extensive interview that debuts next week.Mueller, the ex-FBI director, rarely speaks publicly and has been virtually silent about his special counsel experience since testifying before Congress in July 2019.In two separate podcast episodes, each nearly an hour, Mueller doesn't talk about his work as special counsel. He isn't even asked.“There are some questions that you simply don't have to ask,” said Rosenberg, who worked for Mueller as an FBI counsel. “I knew he wouldn't talk about it and I had really no intention of asking about it.”He took Mueller at his word that he wouldn't talk about his work as counsel after his testimony. Mueller made an exception in September, pushing back after one of his former prosecutors suggested in a book that the counsel's team wasn't aggressive enough.Rosenberg's stance is consistent with the format of “The Oath,” in which present and former government officials who have taken an oath to protect the Constitution are interviewed about their lives and careers, while steering clear of current events and political controversies.Rosenberg, also a former federal prosecutor, has taken the oath nine times. He's been an analyst and podcast host for NBC News since quitting as acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2017, after President Donald Trump suggested to law enforcement officers that they “don't be too nice” to suspects in custody.Even in an era of suspicion about the “deep state,” or perhaps because of it, there has clearly been a public taste for “The Oath.” The Mueller interview leads its fourth season.The show has been in the Top 200 of the Apple Podcasts charts for more than a year, said Andy Bowers, co-founder of the podcast hosting company Megaphone.Rosenberg's extensive experience helps with access, so his guest list is consistently interesting, said Benjamin Wittes, editor in chief of the Lawfare blog. He's also unapologetically earnest, as are many of his guests, at a time of cynicism.“That's the winning formula on ‘The Oath,’ a serious person talking to serious people about public service at a time when people really want to remember what public service is supposed to be," Wittes said.The Mueller interview is a bookend to Rosenberg's two-parter with Mueller's successor as FBI director, James Comey, in the podcast's first season.The voluble Comey is a contrast to Mueller, who's quite comfortable with short answers. “I did OK,” Mueller said when Rosenberg was trying to draw him out about commendations he received during training with the Marines.Did you like law school? “Not particularly,” Mueller said.“Jim is a natural storyteller, so in some ways it is easier (to interview him),” Rosenberg said. “Bob also has a lot of stories to tell, you just have to let him tell them in his own way. I found that compelling — two very different styles, as our listeners will notice, but I think two men of substance.”Although there was talk after his congressional testimony that Mueller, now 76, had lost some sharpness with age, Rosenberg said “he seemed fine to me.”When coaxed, Mueller is most interesting in the first podcast talking about his experience in Vietnam. He volunteered for the Marines after a teammate on his Princeton lacrosse team was killed there, and commanded a unit that was — he found out later — essentially used as bait to draw out the North Vietnamese army.The experience inspired a lifetime of public service, primarily because Mueller was grateful to have survived.It's the type of service that's hard for the cynical to fathom. In another episode this season, Rosenberg speaks to Heather “Lucky” Penney, a former fighter pilot given the assignment on Sept. 11, 2001 of stopping United Airlines Flight 93 as it was bound for the U.S. Capitol. Since there was no time to arm the jet, her only choice was to ram the airliner; she was effectively sent on a suicide mission. Instead, the plane crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers overpowered the hijackers.In the Mueller interview, Rosenberg said he relished the opportunity to get to know someone he knew only as a boss.“There's a bit of a Marine Corps officer outer shell,” he said. “He can be a little bit intimidating. But underneath all of that, he is a remarkably kind and humble and civil man. Coming up in the ranks of the Department of Justice, Bob Mueller is an icon. Everybody that I worked with knew of him and admired him, but often from a distance.”David Bauder, The Associated Press
A Peel police officer faces multiple charges after allegedly leaving three prohibited firearm magazines in the trunk of a police cruiser.Police announced the constable had been charged on Tuesday, but revealed few other details.They said the officer, an eight-year veteran, was investigated by the force's professional standards bureau for 14 months. "The officer reported off duty leaving behind three prohibited firearm magazines loaded with ammunition in the trunk of the police cruiser that he was operating," a news release said.The magazines were not work issued. The officer faces three counts of unauthorized possession of a prohibited device, three counts of careless storage of a prohibited device and one count of careless storage of ammunition.Police say the officer is set to answer to the criminal charges on Jan. 4, 2021, and that a Police Services Act investigation will follow that.
The chief of the Shawanaga First Nation northwest of Parry Sound says two new businesses in his community will help spur economic growth and secure a better future for his people. Chief Wayne Pamajewon says a new service centre is set to open in the spring and the territory’s long-awaited cannabis store could possibly open later this month. The cannabis store is set to open behind the community’s existing gas bar. “Over the years, one of the shortfalls that we’ve always encountered is the shortage of revenues to be able to do the things that we want to do. We’ve always had to wait with our hands open. I think we’re going to change all of that now by building in the economic development for our community,” the chief said. The territory learned back in July 2019 that the Ontario Gaming Commission awarded it a licence to operate a cannabis retail store. It is one of eight First Nations in the province to receive a licence. Chief Pamajewon said that a lot of work has already taken place in order to get the store open. “We’ve hired a manager so we have a person that’s putting it together right now. The policies to govern this will have to be worked out,” said the chief. “The supply, we don’t know what that is yet, but I’m sure the individual that we have working for us will be working with his staff to put that together. We’ve been waiting a long time for this to happen.” Chief Pamajewon said that at this point, he sees no reason why people who don’t live on the territory wouldn’t be able to shop at the store, despite COVID, as long as all the necessary precautions are taken. He said he expects the service centre to open in mid-May of next year. The foundation is laid, he said, and the fuel tanks are in the ground. He added they are working with a couple of companies to see which one will operate the service centre. John McFadden is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous issues for MuskokaRegion.com, ParrySound.com and Simcoe.com. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
BUDAPEST, Hungary — The head of the European Parliament delegation representing Hungary’s ruling party is being targeted for expulsion from his political group in the European Union legislature after comparing the group's leader to the gestapo.Members of the European People’s Party have called for a vote on expelling Tamas Deutsch, the head of the Hungarian delegation to the centre-right group. Deutsch is a founding member of Hungary’s right-wing ruling party, Fidesz, which belongs to the European People's Party.In a Monday letter addressed to the leader of the EPP in the European Parliament, Manfred Weber, and delivered to all group members, EU lawmakers referenced their “growing dismay and impatience (with the) increasing radicalization and verbal abuses of certain Fidesz MEPs."The signatories demanded that a vote on Deutsch’s expulsion be held at the group’s next meeting on Dec. 9.Weber, who represents Germany, has been critical of Hungary and Poland’s decision to veto passage of the EU’s next seven-year budget and coronavirus recovery fund, which the two countries oppose due to a so-called rule of law mechanism which would link payment of EU funds to countries’ adherence to democratic standards.Weber had called the veto “irresponsible,” and said if media freedom and judicial independence were upheld in Hungary, the country's leaders had no reason to fear the rule of law mechanism.Deutsch told two Hungarian news outlets last week that Weber’s comments were reminiscent “of the Gestapo and (Hungary’s communist-era secret police) the AVH.”In the letter demanding a vote on Deutsch’s expulsion, EPP lawmakers called his remarks “shocking and shameful.”“Comparing our support for the rule of law with Gestapo or Stalinist methods is an insult to all of us in the EPP group,” the letter reads.Deutsch told pro-government newspaper Magyar Nemzet on Tuesday that the effort to oust him from the EPP was proof that Hungary must “use all means” to prohibit adoption of the rule of law mechanism.The Hungarian delegation to the European People's Party also is facing fallout from the news that another senior lawmaker had attended an illegal lockdown party in Brussels. Fidesz MEP Jozsef Szajer resigned Sunday after police broke up a party that media reports described as a sex orgy.The EPP suspended Fidesz’s membership in 2019 over concerns that it was eroding the rule of law in Hungary and engaging in anti-Brussels rhetoric. In a weekend interview with Belgian newspaper De Standaard, Weber said the EPP would have already made a decision on expelling Fidesz from the group were it not for the coronavirus pandemic.A spokesperson for the EPP confirmed to The Associated Press that Weber had received the letter, and said that it would be up to the EPP’s presidency when to hold a vote on Deutsch’s exclusion.Justin Spike, The Associated Press
The proposal to have the former Capital Pointe site be a temporary parking lot for one year has been approved.Regina's new city council voted 6-5 in favour of the proposal. A developer has said it is interested in purchasing the land if it had approval to use it as a parking lot for a one-year term.The city is owed $2.8 million from the property. Councillors Landon Mohl, Jason Mancinelli, Terina Shaw, John Findura and Lori Bresciani voted in favour, along with Mayor Sandra Masters. "I feel that I need to put a little bit of a trust going forward," Findura said. "I would like to see it move forward, get out of that hole." Councillors Andrew Stevens, Bob Hawkins, Cheryl Stadnichuk, Shanon Zachidniak and Daniel LeBlanc voted against the proposal."I think it's a mistake, frankly," Stevens said. "There was such promise with that corner. It really fell short and went from a hole to a buried hole now to a parking lot. And I'm not sure what's worse from a planning perspective. There was absolutely no reason to approve this." Masters said that the city is not in the business of commercial real estate development."I have a bigger fear that if we don't provide what assistance we can in terms of facilitating a sale, that we end up ... we can end up with possession of it for years," Masters said. It was the first time the new council was together. It approved a new meeting schedule and will now meet twice a month instead of once a month. Councillor Lori Bresciani is in her second term. She said from her view, the first meeting went smoothly."Of course, there's the procedural things that take a little bit of time. But I thought overall it was very, very well done," Bresciani said. "Mayor Masters did a great job and actually all of councillors spoke. So I think, again, very inclusive. And at the end of the day, that's what we want."New wellness committee, no more mandatory written statements for delegatesCity council also created a new community wellness committee. The committee will discuss housing, poverty reduction, mental and physical wellness, addiction, discrimination and other social determinants of health and crime. Masters said this is more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic and that the city needs to support those combating the increasing number of overdoses. "The city needs to continue to support the services that are providing the [naloxone] kits and arriving on scene for the overdoses," Masters said. She said the city also needs to build relationships with different levels of government for funding initiatives. Masters said a safe consumption site is one of the options the committee could look into. She said she's interested in hearing from Prairie Harm Reduction about the one in Saskatoon."As well as looking at other best practices in other communities for the success stories that they've had or perhaps mistakes that have been made or learned lessons," she said. Stevens said the creation of the committee is symbolic right now and hopes it shows commitment to these issues. "I think what's really exciting about this new council and mayor is that everybody's talking about addictions, social determinants of health and community well-being," Stevens said.Also during the meeting, city council debated the mandatory written statements that previously had to be provided by people hoping to address the councillors.Councillor Stevens brought forward an amendment and said he has worked with people with intellectual disability who have trouble with the written requirement. People did not have to read their written statement verbatim. The idea passed with only Councillor Shaw opposed. Now people wanting to speak to the council will need to tell city administration in advance and will be encouraged to provide a written submission so the city administration can prepare answers, but the written submission is not a requirement. Both the priorities and planning committee and the finance and administration committee were cut, with their responsibilities transferred to the executive committee. The community and protective services committee and the public works and infrastructure committee also merged into a new operations and community services committee.
Brown paper packages, white plastic envelopes and large cardboard boxes are spilling beyond the confines of mailrooms and storage rooms at residential buildings throughout the Lower Mainland. With more people turning to online shopping since the beginning of the pandemic, and the year's biggest shopping events clustered within these final weeks of the year, one building manager says the volume of deliveries is presenting new challenges. "Generally most buildings have seen about 100 per cent increase in packages this year alone since the COVID-19 pandemic started," said Matthew Scott, an area manager with FirstService Residential, which manages more than 400 buildings in the Lower Mainland. Some buildings are receiving 70 to 100 packages a day and Scott expects that number will only go up with deliveries from Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas still to come. Scott says front-desk staff in the buildings have learned to be efficient, but processing each package still takes a few minutes. The packages have to be entered into a computer system, which tracks them and notifies residents that their deliveries have arrived. This is done on top of everything else staff have to manage, including approving visitors and overseeing tradespeople."You've got the daily machinations of running a building going on: people looking for trades, people being locked out, people moving, you know, all those other things going on, you need to get these packages out of the way," he said. He says some buildings were receiving so many packages their strata councils decided the concierge would no longer accept parcels, while others put restrictions on the size and weight of packages they will accept.Some higher-end buildings that had the budget decided to hire a dedicated staff person just to handle deliveries."That's all the person does, is receive packages and be prepared to hand them out," said Scott. Canada Post is expecting a significant increase in parcel volumes this holiday season. As a result, it's hiring 4,000 more temporary seasonal employees and adding 1,000 vehicles to its fleet.It's advising people to shop early for their own peace of mind as well as to help retailers, delivery companies, and Canada Post deliver the packages in time. As for how residents can help front-desk staff with the mountain of online shopping packages, Scott advises picking up parcels as soon as possible."Residents can be really helpful with us if they can collect their packages as soon as they get the notification or within 24 hours. You know, that just allows us to free up that space a little bit more."
A 31-year-old man is facing several charges after police were alerted to an improvised explosive downtown.Officers were flagged by three men on 11th Avenue and Rose Street around 3:44 p.m. CST on Saturday, according to a news release from police.The men told police they found a suspicious package in front of a downtown business, although the release didn't indicate where the business is located.Officers were given a bag containing four containers filled with fluid and what appeared to be a wick tied to each.Police then searched the area but didn't find any other suspicious items. However, security personnel at the business helped identify the suspect using surveillance video, which showed him carrying a bag that matched the one left outside of the business.In the video, police say it appears the suspect left the bag when he saw a police car in the area on an unrelated matter.Further investigation found the fluid in the containers was combustible/explosive.The suspect, Lyndon Adrian Chamberlin, was then found and arrested without incident.Chamberlin is facing numerous charges, including making or possessing an explosive substance, unlawful possession of explosives and possession of a weapon for a purpose dangerous to the public peace.
Lakefield resident Brant Dunford decided to paint a powerful image on a paddle because he wanted to contribute to the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project and to keep the conversation alive about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “The idea to paint this portrait came to me when I was doing another drawing on the paddle. I changed my mind, basically erased what I had and got inspired to do the portrait. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Dunford. The paddle depicts an Indigenous girl with a bloodied hand across her face. It’s a strong image that’s used to show the blood shed of Indigenous woman, while at the same time bringing awareness of MMIWG to the forefront. Dunford says the paddle was purchased at a local store. He says in order for him to paint the paddle he had to sand the surface. “From start to finish, it took me the better part of two days,” he says. Dunford, a father of two and the great-grandson of the late Chief Moses Marsden of Alderville First Nation, says he likes to paint as a hobby and says he has a lot of time to do other work. “During the pandemic I find myself doing more paintings,” he says. He said he has painted a few other paddles with different images and says he plans on doing another one to bring awareness to MMIWG. The auction to bid on the paddle began Dec 1 and continues to Dec. 3. Details about the auction are listed on the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project Facebook page. Stephanie Doughty, organizer, says the project is going strong. She expects there to be a large turnout to bid on the paddle as the art is very well done. She says there was a sneak peak on Nov. 15 where many posted comments on the beauty of the artwork and showed interest in bidding before the auction began.Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local): 9:25 a.m. President-elect Joe Biden says he won’t immediately lift tariffs placed by President Donald Trump on many imports from China or break Trump’s initial trade deal. Biden says he wants to maximize his leverage in future talks with the United States' geopolitical rival. Speaking to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Biden said, “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs.” Biden adds in Friedman's column published Wednesday: “I’m not going to prejudice my options.” Under Trump, the U.S. and China engaged in a yearlong trade war that has been largely frozen since a Phase One deal was reached in January. While some industries have benefited from Trump’s protectionist policies, the policies have been largely panned by the business community and most experts — and most of the cost of tariffs has been borne by American businesses and consumers. Biden tells Friedman an early priority after his January swearing-in will be to restore relationships with allies to strengthen his negotiating position with China. Biden says key to talks with China is “leverage” and in his view "we don’t have it yet.” ___ HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN'S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE: President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done. Read more: — Ron Klain brings decades of DC experience to Biden White House — Trump threatens defence veto over social media protections — Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud — Senate GOP leader sticking with partisan COVID-19 relief plan The Associated Press
Workplace safety-relatedcharges against the company managing construction at the Faro mine site and a site supervisor have been stayed.Parsons Inc. and Len Faber, who's also the mayor of Faro, were charged under the Yukon's Occupational Health and Safety Act in September 2019 for allegedly intimidating workers, obstructing safety officers in the course of their duties and failing to maintain a safe and healthy workplace.Both parties pleaded not guilty to all charges. The matter was set to go to trial on Nov. 16 but was adjourned to Nov. 24, when territorial Crown prosecutor Kelly McGill told the court that Parsons Inc. and Faber had successfully met the terms of a diversionary arrangement. The terms included Parsons Inc. augmenting its health and safety training program, while Faber had to complete coursework in psychological heath and safety. They also donated $5,000 and $1,000 to the Northern Safety Network Yukon, respectively, and paid $1,500 and $500 in administrative fees. McGill told Judge Karen Ruddy that, in light of the successful arrangement, there was no longer a public interest in proceeding with the prosecution and entered stays on all charges. Lawyers representing Parsons Inc. and Faber did not immediately return requests for comment. The federal government awarded Parsons Inc., an international engineering firm, an $80 million construction management contract for the Faro mine site in 2018. The firm held the care-and-maintenance contract before that. Faber won Faro's mayoral election in October 2018 by chance when his name was pulled out of a box after he and incumbent mayor Jack Bowers both received the exact same number of votes. The Faro mine was, at one point, the largest open-pit lead-zinc mine in the world but was abandoned in 1998. Remediation work, set to begin in 2024, is expected to cost upwards of $500 million and take about two decades, with officials needing to monitor the site indefinitely after that.
A "high-risk" COVID-19 exposure case was reported for Windsor's Northwood Public School Tuesday, according to the board's website. In a letter to parents, the board said it is working with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) by providing lists of students and staff in possible contact with the individual. WECHU is contacting anyone who may be at high-risk and will provide follow-up steps. It's unclear whether any cohorts have been dismissed as a result of the case. This case is one of 70 active in the public board. At this time, 16 schools have confirmed COVID-19 cases, the majority of which are from Frank W. Begley with 49 cases.The school continues to remain closed at this time. As for the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board, there are 10 active cases across six schools. W. J. Langlois remains closed at this time with three total cases.