Here's why Octavia Spencer filmed all her drives to work while filming 'The Witches' last year.
Here's why Octavia Spencer filmed all her drives to work while filming 'The Witches' last year.
Albertans feeling cooped up by COVID-19, can take solace in some winter sunbathing. A high-pressure system hovering over Western Canada means the forecast across the province for the week ahead is downright balmy. By the weekend, most Alberta communities will hit double-digit highs. And the unseasonably mild temperatures will be accompanied by sunny, cloud-free skies, perfect for working on your tuque tan. A high of 10 C is expected in Edmonton on Sunday. Calgary will be even milder with a high of 17 C expected by Monday afternoon. Even northern communities like Fort McMurray will get a taste with a long-term forecast free of any icy wind chill. "This is almost tropical in a way," said Dave Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada. "It's clearly an atmospheric gift. You don't expect weather like this." The temperatures started to thaw over the weekend, melting mountainous snow banks, turning roads into skating rinks and giving sun-loving Albertans a welcome reprieve from winter temperatures. The province is being temporarily shielded from the cold by a massive flow of pressurized, sinking air, Phillips said. "It's like putting a dome over the Prairies and it doesn't allow any kind of weather to get in. "You're squeezing in all those air molecules; they're jiggling and jaggling and creating all kinds of heat. And this is what makes it so, so unseasonably mild. "And it doesn't matter where you are. It's not just that Edmonton's getting all the good weather. The entire region is getting this gorgeous kind of weather." 'Sweater weather' The temperatures expected are about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average for this time of year, Phillips said. He said some temperature records could be broken but the most notable thing about this mild stint of weather is its duration. The balmy temperatures are expected to stick around for more than a week. "One- or two-day wonders are usually in the offing, but not a whole week or even longer with wall-to-wall sunshine, no weather to get in the way," Phillips said. "I mean, it's going to be well, not muscle shirts and tank tops, but hey, you'll be changing. "It'll be going to sweater weather rather than leather weather." After a frigid fall marked by the stress of the pandemic, the balmy forecast is likely a welcome weather anomaly. Phillips said temperatures will begin to cool off next week but the current forecast could be a tiding of things to come. "I mean, we've never cancelled winter in Alberta and we're not going to this year, but we certainly think that December looks milder than normal. "And you know, when you can claim that winter is maybe only three months long instead of five months long, you're already ahead of the game."
Shawn Mendes, “Wonder” (Island)On his 14-track fourth album, Shawn Mendes is airy, grand, intense and rapturous. It is the sound of a man totally and hopelessly in love.Adoration is baked into “Wonder,” from the almost religious-sounding title track as Mendes sings “I wonder what it’s like to be loved by you," to the last song, where, with a voice shaking with emotion, he sings over acoustic guitar: ”I can’t imagine what a world would be without you." The album's cover captures Mendes ecstatic, floating in waves.Though she is mentioned only once — in the liner notes, thanked right after his family — it's not hard to find the source of this ardour: Mendes’ longtime romantic and quarantine partner, singer Camila Cabello. Whatever happens to this couple in the future, she has inspired a hopelessly romantic set.“Teach Me How to Love” flirts with ’80s disco (with Anderson .Paak on drums) and “305” (the area code to Cabello's Miami) is a candy-colored piece of '60s doo-wop in which Mendes sings to his lover, “If there’s a door to heaven, baby you’re the key.” The lovers are finding a new home to share in “24 Hours” — “It’s a little soon but I wanna come home to you,” he sings.Mendes' falsetto soars with pure glee atop a pillow of strings on the standout “Look Up at the Stars” (where Mendes sings “the universe is ours” in a Coldplay “Yellow” way) and “Always Been You” is both soaring and triumphant. This is music you’d hear in a mall in heaven.The only tune that veers out of the love zone is Mendes’ duet with Justin Bieber, “Monster,” an outstanding moody banger about how early fame messes with you, sung by a rising heartthrob singer-songwriter and an established one.In-demand producer Kid Harpoon, who took Harry Stiles to new heights on “Fine Line,” is all over this gooey album. There's little of the urgency Mendes has shown before — no “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” or ”In My Blood" — and “Wonder” is sometimes hard to take during extended plays — especially its pointless intro — but to find fault with it is to find fault with love itself.___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitsMark Kennedy, The Associated Press
HAMILTON — Police say a Hamilton man has been arrested and charged after he allegedly hit a child with a pickup truck, critically injuring him. Hamilton police say the 11-year-old boy was crossing the street at a marked crosswalk Tuesday afternoon when he was hit. The driver allegedly hit the boy after failing to stop for a traffic light and a crossing guard. Police say the child was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. The 28-year-old driver will appear in court today on a charge of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Police are still investigating but say they have ruled out driver impairment and other contributing factors. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
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
This December rain in Charlottetown is feeling more like late summer than Christmas.Charlottetown recorded a record temperature early Wednesday morning, beating the mark hit in 1985."The record high today is 10.4, and we are at 13 degrees," said CBC meteorologist Tina Simpkin said at 6 a.m..Early morning temperatures peaked at 14.3 C at Charlottetown Airport at 4 a.m.The temperature will fall only a little over the course of the day, said Simpkin, holding steady around 12 C for much of the afternoon. Overnight the temperature will drop to about 3 C.Tuesday was almost as warm, topping out at 14.0 C, but that was well short of the 1927 record of 16.7 C.While weekend temperatures will be cooler, they will remain a few degrees above the average high of 2.5 C.More from CBC P.E.I.
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."
TORONTO — Three promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates may have spurred optimism from investors, but Royal Bank of Canada's chief executive is warning the country is not rid of its pandemic troubles yet.Dave McKay told analysts Wednesday that the economy could still suffer some blows as the globe grapples with uncertainty around how soon people will be injected with Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca's vaccines. "The economy has rebounded well to date," he said on a call to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter earnings."But given the emergence of the second wave of COVID-19 in our core markets, we expect economic growth to slip over the next couple of quarters and project Canadian economic growth to end 2020 down over 5 per cent."McKay projected that economic growth could rebound by between 4 and 5 per cent, but likely not until 2021.His outlook is less rosy than some of his banking counterparts, who said on Tuesday they were cautiously optimistic about the economy's future.Bank of Nova Scotia chief executive Brian Porter said the economy was looking up because government relief programs had pushed retail spending back to pre-pandemic levels, helped housing market growth and triggered a recovery in auto sales."There’s good reason to be optimistic about the associated economic recovery accelerating as 2021 progresses,” BMO Financial Group chief executive Darryl White added.McKay's warnings come even as his bank beat analyst expectations and managed to report higher fourth-quarter profits than those prior to the pandemic.The bank said it earned nearly $3.25 billion or $2.23 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from nearly $3.21 billion or $2.18 per diluted share a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, RBC says it earned $2.27 per diluted share for its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $2.22 per diluted share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $2.05 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.Revenue totalled $11.09 billion, down from $11.37 billion in the same quarter last year.RBC's successes were largely due to its ability to use gains in its capital markets business to offset lower interest rates, client deposit revenue and. results in its personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses. Looking at its full year, the bank's personal and commercial banking sector saw earnings slip by 21 per cent and in wealth management they fell by 13 per cent, but RBC saw growth in the insurance and investor services areas.Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, the bank was keen to keep spending in line as much as possible. Expenses fell 4 per cent year over year and in most areas remained "relatively flat or down from last year," McKay said.The bank also took the quarter as a chance to ease up on the amount of money it reserves to cover bad loans.After putting away $1.11 billion in the second quarter and $675 million in the third quarter, McKay said the bank only had to dedicate $427 million for provisions for credit losses in the latest quarter.That was down from $499 million a year ago and followed a strategy also being used at Scotiabank and BMO, which announced Tuesday that they too had reduced their provisions for credit losses.The wind down signals that some government relief programs and billions in loan deferrals and fee abatements from banks have worked to mitigate risks associated with the pandemic.RBC said it had offered deferrals on more than $90 billion of loans and seen long-term interest rates edge up, but McKay feels short-term interest rates will remain low for "an extended period."When combined with elevated levels of fiscal stimulus, the rates provide a buffer for customers to manage risk, but he indicated that won't help everyone."While the majority of clients have returned to making payments on their loans, some will experience further difficulties with the effects of the second wave," McKay said.Predicting how significant an impact the second wave and fiscal stimulus will have on the ability of Canadians to deal with financial troubles is tough, said National Bank of Canada when it too released earnings on Wednesday.The bank said its profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31 amounted to $492 million or $1.36 per diluted share, down from a profit of $604 million or $1.67 per diluted share a year ago.Revenue hit $2 billion in the quarter, up from $1.91 billion in the same quarter last year."It is not possible to predict the full impacts that this pandemic will have on the global economy, financial markets and the bank," National said in a release. "The actual impacts will depend on future events that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with any certainty, including the extent, severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the effectiveness of actions and measures taken by governments, monetary authorities and regulators over the long term."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:RY, TSX:BNS, TSX:BMO, TSX:NA)Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
Hanover Deputy Mayor Selwyn Hicks has been elected as Grey County's warden for 2021. “I believe that my credentials speak for themselves. I'm an early riser with a strong work ethic and I have the capacity to build relationships that promote progress,” Hicks said while addressing county councillors during the virtual inauguration session held Tuesday afternoon. The position of warden is voted on by fellow county council members and holds a one-year term. Hicks was nominated for the position by Southgate Deputy Mayor Brian Milne and seconded by Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus. Hicks was born in South American country of Guyana and moved to Toronto when he was nine. He moved to Hanover in 2003 and he entered politics in 2006, serving as a councillor from 2006 to 2014 and then as deputy-mayor since 2015. Hicks served as warden of Grey County in 2019. He is a lawyer by trade with offices in Hanover and Walkerton, which he operates with his wife of 24 years, Barbara. They have four children: Selwyn IV, Rylee, Connor, and Chloe. At Tuesday’s meeting, Hicks defeated current Grey County Warden Paul McQueen, who is the mayor of Grey Highlands. In the coming months, Hicks says he plans to meet with each lower-tier council representative to build relationships and seek out priorities. “I will also immediately reach out to our provincial and federal representatives to schedule a minimum of one formal meeting each quarter to build relationships and plan how we can work together to address important priorities for the people of Grey County,” he said. “I'm also now a member of the Western Ontario Wardens Caucus," Hicks added. "I have strong relationships from my first year as warden and I plan to continue to build those relationships.” For the coming year, Hicks said he would like to focus on affordable housing, rural broadband programs, and regional transportation. “We've got a number of things on the go. We're still in a COVID environment and we have to figure out how we pull out of this thing together, how to keep people safe, keep our good track record in public health, and take care of our seniors,” he added.Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
A former reeve says an error at the polls affected the results of the Rural Municipality of Dundurn's election last month. Trevor Reid, who said he lost his own seat "fair and square," alleged polling staff wrongly turned voters away on Nov. 9. He said that may mean the difference in two divisions, which were decided by one and seven votes. Those results could have changed "if people weren't denied their right to vote on election day," he said. Residents couldn't vote because they failed to offer proof of address or a land description, Reid said, adding that proof of identity and a completed voter declaration form are all that's required. Reeve Jay Olyniuk said polling staff only turned away voters who lacked proper identification. He said candidates are free to challenge the results if they wish, but none have done so. He said the results reflected the will of the RM's voters. "Voters did come out in strong numbers, showing ... they wanted a change. They got the change that they wanted." The Local Government Elections Act says if a voter's identification doesn't have evidence of residency in a municipality, "but is, in the opinion of the deputy returning officer, consistent with information relating to the person that appears on the voters list or voter’s registration form, the person’s residence is established for the purposes of voting." In a prepared statement, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities said it was unaware of the concerns, but noted poor weather conditions during last month's elections may have kept voters away from polls. The RM of Dundurn is about 32 kilometres south of Saskatoon. Deputy Reeve Fred Baran, who wasn't up for election, said elections staff asked him for a land location so he could vote. He presented his property titles on his phone, but wasn't happy about it. He worries the requirement could have discouraged others from voting, he said. "Had I not found that ... on my phone, I would have gone home and I wouldn't have come back to the polls." When the matter came before council last Thursday, he said he was the only member to vote for challenging the election results. He said the meeting minutes will be released in coming weeks, but declined to comment on the council's discussions. Travis Libke, who lost his division's election by a single vote, said he is weighing a legal challenge. However, he worries some of the legal costs are prohibitive and may prevent him from pursuing the matter. He said he raised the issue with Olyniuk and wanted council to apologize. "When somebody's denied the right to vote and they live here, in my opinion, that's just wrong."Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
Ontario reported another 1,723 cases of COVID-19 and 35 more deaths linked to the illness Wednesday.Five public health units recorded 100 or more new cases: * Peel Region: 500 * Toronto: 410 * York Region: 196 * Durham Region: 124 * Waterloo Region: 103Other areas that saw double-digit increases were: * Hamilton: 74 * Windsor-Essex: 60 * Ottawa: 46 * Halton Region: 45 * Simcoe Muskoka: 45 * Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph: 20 * Niagara Region: 18 * Chatham-Kent: 15 * Southwestern: 12 * Thunder Bay: 10(Note: All of the figures used for new cases in this story are found on the Ontario health ministry's COVID-19 dashboard or in its daily epidemiologic summary. The number of cases for any region may differ from what is reported by the local public health unit because local units report figures at different times.)At the province's daily news conference Wednesday, Health Minister Christine Elliott said Ontario has "plateaued at a very high level." She also said case numbers went up after lockdowns were enacted in certain regions "largely because of some of the events in certain communities."The province should be seeing the results of lockdown period reflected in its case numbers in the next week or so, Elliott said."That's what we all want to see," she said.The health minister also said that the province's chief medical officer, Dr. David Williams, is now talking with medical officials in communities that are seeing spikes in cases to see if they should be moved into different zones of the province's COVID-19 restriction plan.Also included in today's new cases are 166 that are school-related: 140 students and 26 staff members. Some 742 of Ontario's 4,828 publicly-funded schools, or about 15.4 per cent, currently have at least one case of COVID-19, while six schools are currently closed because of the illness.The new infections drive the seven-day average to a record high of 1,720.There are currently about 14,526 confirmed, active cases of the COVID-19 throughout the province, also a new high. They come as Ontario's network of labs processed 44,226 test samples for the novel coronavirus and reported a provincewide positivity rate of 4.7 per cent. Another 49,574 tests were added to the queue to be completed.The number of patients in Ontario hospitals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased to 656, while the province reported 183 people are being treated in intensive care. Of those, 106 are on ventilators. Elliott acknowledged that some hospitals are feeling the strain of the virus."There's no question that many Ontario hospitals are under stress right now, particularly in the lockdown areas," she said.But, she added, "To say that they are in crisis is not the case."The 35 additional deaths push the official toll to 3,698. Twenty-two of the 35 deaths in today's update were residents of long-term care.Premier Doug Ford returned to the press conference after missing Tuesday's briefing. Ford said he had "zapped" his back, but is now feeling better.Ford was asked why he isn't forcing big box stores, which are allowed to stay open in Ontario while small businesses in some areas are forced to close, to cordon off non-essential goods, as is being done in other jurisdictions."What the health table is trying to do is limit the amount of visits when you're out there," Ford said. "I know it's not fair, but it limits people from going out and [making stops] on the way home."
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
HALIFAX – Boylston residents won’t be rocking Netflix around-the-clock anytime soon, but they and about 1,000 other rural residents of Antigonish and Guysborough counties are set for unexpected upgrades to high-speed Internet by 2023 – adding to communities announced by Develop Nova Scotia in September. “They’re getting new coverage as a result of scope expansions,” Braedon Clark, a Develop Nova Scotia official, told the The Journal in an email last week. “The number of homes and businesses to be connected is 1,342.” The upgrades now include: Southside Antigonish Harbour, Monks Head, Kenzieville (Keppoch Mountain, Addington Forks, Ohio, Hillcrest, Ashdale, Pinevale, South Salt Springs, Beech Hill), Fairmont, Pleasant Valley, Caledonia Mills (Lower Springfield, Roman Valley), Brierly Brook (James River), Mulgrave (Aulds Cove, Pirate Harbour, Middle Melford, Hadleyville), and Guysborough (Boylston, North Riverside, Manchester, Glenkeen). Other rural communities scheduled for scope expansion along the Eastern Shore include: Musquodoboit Harbour (Lower West Jeddore, Quinlan Dr., Ostrea Lake Rd., Anderson Rd., Innis Cove, West Petpeswick), Lake Charlotte (Clam Bay, Upper Lakeville, Ship Harbour, DeBaies Cove, Southwest Cove, Little Harbour, Clam Harbour, Clam Bay), Goffs (Old Guysborough Rd., Devon), and Chezzetcook (Lawrencetown, Leslie Rd.). The new $24-million initiative through the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust (with an additional $9 million from other levels of government and the private sector) will connect 6,700 homes and businesses across the province with high-speed Internet at speeds higher than Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) targets by late 2023. “These scope expansions will reduce the number of remaining unserved or underserved homes and businesses by over half,” said a Develop Nova Scotia press release on Nov. 23. “Preparatory and engineering work will begin immediately on the contract extensions.” It’s not clear whether the scope expansions are part of a planned connection program or an ad hoc response to areas overlooked during the second round of high-speed rural Internet enhancements in the fall. “They (the communities) were identified as still needing connection after our Round 2 announcement in September,” Clark said. According to Develop Nova Scotia, since the first round began in February, more than 21,000 of a targeted 81,500 homes and businesses now have networks in place to provide new or improved high-speed Internet. It also says projects are being completed about 50 per cent faster than industry standards. So far, the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust, other levels of government and the private sector have invested about $263 million the initiative with a goal of hooking up 97 per cent of rural communities in the province with high-speed Internet by summer 2022.Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
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
VIENNA — Austria will allow skiing to start on Dec. 24, but will limit the capacity of ski lifts and keep restaurants, bars and hotels largely closed until early January, officials said Wednesday. It also will require many people entering the country over the Christmas period to go into quarantine. Tough lockdown measures took effect Nov. 17 and are due to expire on Sunday. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said a limited curfew that has applied around the clock will be eased, and from Monday will apply only between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. Schools will be reopened next week, except for older students, as will nonessential shops, museums, libraries and some other businesses. But restaurants will remain closed for all but takeout and deliveries, as will bars, and hotels will remain closed except to business travellers. Austria has been hard hit by the resurgence of coronavirus infections in Europe, though its infection rate has declined over recent weeks. It currently is recording 335 new infections per 100,000 residents over seven days, down from around 600 last month — but still more than twice as many as in neighbouring Germany, which is in a milder partial shutdown. Kurz said that progress over recent weeks, and the expectation of more before Christmas, allows “cautious” reopening steps. But he said the tourism and catering sectors won’t start reopening until Jan. 7. That will effectively mean that, over the holiday season, skiing is possible in most cases only on day trips for those Austrian residents who live fairly close to the Alps. Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler said there will be mask-wearing and distancing requirements, and the capacity of cable cars will be limited. Kurz said that allowing skiing for locals but keeping the catering sector closed is “absolutely justified.” “Skiing is a sport that takes place in the open air, an individual sport, so epidemiologically it must be assessed differently from catering, where we know that there can time and again be infections,” he said. Kurz added that he, as a resident of eastern Austria, won't benefit but “for a large part of our population it will then be possible to go skiing at least for the day.” France and Germany, which has closed its ski resorts, are pushing for similar measures to be taken in other European countries, like Italy and Spain, for the Christmas season. Ski resorts are already open in neighbouring Switzerland, which has allowed skiing. Kurz rejected suggestions that Austria's limited reopening was a response to pressure from abroad. “We decide according to our infection situation, and our expectation is that we can push down our infections very, very strongly by Christmas,” he said. Austria also plans tougher border controls and quarantine rules in an effort to dissuade people from travelling abroad over the Christmas period. Austrian residents' summer trips to see relatives in the western Balkans, in particular, were blamed as a significant source of the resurgence of infections this fall. The quarantine rules will be imposed by mid-December and will apply “if you're coming from a country that exceeds a certain limit of infections,” Kurz said. He didn't specify that level. The requirement will be for new arrivals to go into quarantine for 10 days, which they can cut short by taking a test after five days, Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said. ___ Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak. ___ Geir Moulson reported from Berlin. Geir Moulson And Philipp Jenne, The Associated Press
Following the province’s daily COVID Measures update on Dec 1, 2020, Big Lakes County has been upgraded to Enhanced Status. As the Towns of Swan Hills and High Prairie are within Big Lakes County; both communities have also been upgraded to Enhanced Status. This means, effective immediately and until at least December 15th, the following protocols must be followed along with all previous COVID social distancing measures. The following measures went into effect across Alberta on Nov 24, 2020: • No indoor social gatherings in any setting • Outdoor gatherings have a maximum attendance of 10 • Weddings and funeral services have a maximum attendance of 10, with no receptions permitted • No festivals or events • Working from home should be considered, where possible • Grades 7-12 will be doing at-home learning between November 30, 2020 to January 11, 2021 • ECS-Grade 6 at-home learning after break until January 11, 2021 The following measures for Enhanced Status regions now also apply to Swan Hills: • Places of worship must operate at one-third capacity with mandatory masking in place • Restricted access to some businesses and facilities Swan Hills currently has one active case of COVID-19. Detailed information about the restrictions to some businesses and facilities can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
TORONTO — Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. has agreed to sell its interests in the RiverStone Europe insurance business to a fund managed by CVC Capital Partners.Fairfax says it will receive US$750 million for its stake on Riverstone Europe, once the deal closes, and it is entitled to up to an additional US$235.7 million after closing.The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System has also agreed to sell its entire stake in RiverStone Europe as part of the deal.RiverStone Europe managing director Luke Tanzer will remain in his role and Nick Bentley, CEO of the RiverStone Group, will continue to serve on the board of RiverStone Europe once the deal closes, Fairfax said in a statement.CVC is making the acquisition through its Strategic Opportunities Fund II.The deal is contingent on approval by regulatory agencies and is expected to close in early 2021.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:FFH)The Canadian Press
Supporters thronged buses taking Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong to jail after he was sentenced to more than 13 months in jail for organizing a protest.
La microbrasserie gaspésienne Pit Caribou s’est illustrée à l’international, ses bières décrochant cinq prix au Brussels Beer Challenge, l’un des concours brassicoles les plus prestigieux de la planète. L’entreprise de l’Anse-à-Beaufils, près de Percé, peut se targuer de vendre parmi les meilleures bières du monde. Les microbrasseries ont remporté cinq prix au prestigieux concours Brussels Beer Challenge, où près de 1800 bières étaient inscrites. Il s’agit de la troisième participation au concours pour Pit Caribou, qui avait remporté respectivement un et trois prix lors de ses dernières participations. «On ne s’attendait vraiment pas à ça. Sur un maximum de six bières, on a remporté cinq prix. C’est fou raide», se réjouit le copropriétaire, Jean-François Nélisse. La Gaspésienne no 13, la Blonde du pêcheur, la Gose du Barachois et la Bonne Aventure se retrouvent sur la première marche du podium, toutes récipiendaires de médailles d’or. La Gaspésienne no 13, une bière noire «robuste à la texture crémeuse» en est à sa septième récompense internationale. La Conqueror, une IPA, a de son côté remporté la médaille de bronze. «Ça a été une surprise, surtout pour la Blonde du pêcheur. Normalement, c’est une bière d’été limitée pour la Maison du Pêcheur de Percé. On l’a mise en bouteille pour la première fois cette année pour aider les commerçants locaux. On savait qu’elle était bonne, mais c’était la première fois qu’on la comparait au niveau international», explique M. Nelisse Augmentation de la capacité Au cours des derniers mois, la microbrasserie gaspésienne, qui a aussi pignon sur rue à Montréal, a considérablement augmenté sa capacité de production afin de répondre à la demande. Les brasseurs ont produit près de 30% de bière de plus que l’année dernière, et les propriétaires comptent bien continuer à augmenter le volume de bière produit au cours des prochains mois. «On a reçu quatre nouveaux fermenteurs cet été, ce qui nous permet de produire 300 000 litres de plus par année. C’est non-négligeable et ça va nous permettre de développer de nouveaux marchés», note M. Nélisse. Au cours de la saison estivale, la brasserie Pit-Caribou emploie près d’une quarantaine d’employés dans ses succursales de Percé et de L’Anse-à-Beaufils, en plus d'environ 25 personnes dans son usine de production. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
It's estimated an emergency food parcel could be handed out every nine seconds to people across the country. The Trussell Trust, which supports more than 1,200 food banks across the UK, said its network