The Falcons QB hasn't earned more than 15 fantasy points since Week 9 - and Liz Loza thinks he'll struggle again vs. the Bucs.
The Falcons QB hasn't earned more than 15 fantasy points since Week 9 - and Liz Loza thinks he'll struggle again vs. the Bucs.
An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod says the public health directive supporting in-class learning in northern Ontario schools is more political than scientific. The community’s high school opted to keep Nbissing students online until at least February 16 after the province extended its COVID-19 pandemic emergency order. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is one of the few in Ontario to support in-class learning, a decision panned by many in light of it closing down toboggan hills, outdoor skating rinks and snowmobile trails. “We're just trying to deal with the Covid and we just shut our rinks down and we're just kind of monitoring what provinces and municipalities are doing and making sure that we're consistent or more stringent in areas like our school being closed,” McLeod said about Nbisiing Secondary School Thursday. “It's all online right now, despite the provinces still allowing it, at least in northern Ontario, the high schools are still open,” he said, noting that seems to be out of step with what some provincial experts are saying. “I was listening to Dr. Kevin Brown. He's the co-chair of the Covid Science Table for Ontario,” said Chief McLeod. “He was giving an update to the Chiefs of Ontario and he honestly can't understand why the schools in northern Ontario are still open. And you know, that, to me was troublesome, right? ‘You have one of the top epidemiologists saying that he doesn't understand. I was expecting ‘Here, this is the data, shows this or that,” because I like listening to the data, not just listening to people rant on Facebook. But, yeah, he was lost for an answer as to why it's still open. “And so obviously it's a more political call than a science one,” McLeod said. The school posted the update on its website, as did the community. “In response to Ontario’s second declaration of emergency and to align Nbisiing with Nipissing First Nation’s response to the provincewide stay-at-home order and shutdown restrictions, Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Council has approved changes to Nbisiing’s return to in-person learning date,” it reads. “In order to keep people home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our community, protect vulnerable populations, and keep our school community safe, Nbisiing will continue to teach all classes virtually and will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 (Monday the 15th is Family Day).” Nipissing FN only closed its outdoor rink in Garden Village, which is enclosed with walls and roof, because they don’t want people from outside the community taking advantage of it while their rinks are ordered closed. “Our problem with the skating rinks, as soon as North Bay and Sturgeon closed, we have to close because they all come down hours and we don't want them there,” he said. Chief McLeod did what many others are doing in response by creating their own ice sheets, whether that’s in a yard or on the lake. They can control the numbers and make it safe by following the known protocols, he added. “Well, I made one in my backyard and I Facebooked all my family members saying, ‘You want to come skating with your family, book it … just message me so I know that there's no other family there and you can have it to yourself.’” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
OTTAWA — Public Safety Minister Bill Blair has suspended the sale of decommissioned RCMP vehicles, two days after a man in Nova Scotia was arrested for allegedly impersonating an officer while driving a fake police car. The suspect's 2013 Ford Taurus was a decommissioned police car and was allegedly altered to look like an unmarked police vehicle. The car was similar to the replica RCMP cruiser used by a gunman who killed 22 people in Nova Scotia during a 13-hour rampage on April 18-19. Blair issued a statement today saying the RCMP's resale process for decommissioned vehicles ensures they cannot easily be misused for criminal purposes. The minister said, however, such sales will be suspended to ensure the process is not flawed. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said today he was pleased with Blair's decision. "It's a great first step," McNeil said, adding that the province's justice minister, Mark Furey, has been working with Blair on the police vehicle file. "We have a piece of legislation that will be introduced during the next session. It deals with (police) accessories and how to deal with municipal (police) vehicles in our province." On Wednesday, the Mounties said that in the most recent case, a 23-year-old suspect from Antigonish, N.S., may have used the car in question to pull over other vehicles in the Halifax region and Antigonish County. The vehicle was outfitted with LED lights in the rear window, a microphone on the dashboard, a public address system, citizens band radio and a push bar with LED lights mounted on the grill. Police also confirmed the suspect did not appear to have any police clothing or firearms of any kind. "It remains illegal to impersonate a police officer and we will take every step possible to prevent such crimes from taking place," Blair said in the statement. "We will continue to work so that all Canadians feel safe in their communities." The vehicle used in the April mass shooting was heavily modified with an emergency light bar on the roof and decals that looked exactly like those found on marked RCMP cruisers. Early in the RCMP's investigation of the mass killing, a senior officer said the killer's vehicle allowed him to "circulate around the province, steps ahead of our investigators." The replica vehicle was so convincing that questions were raised about the availability of former police vehicles for public purchase. The Mounties have confirmed that on the night of April 18, the killer set fire to several homes and killed 13 people in Portapique before evading police later that night while disguised as an RCMP officer. The next morning, he resumed killing people he knew and others at random before he was fatally shot by a Mountie at a gas station in Enfield, N.S., which is just north of Halifax. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
15 Mount Allison University students have to move by Feb. 13 because their apartment building was not zoned to be used as apartments. The town of Sackville brought the matter to civil court because it claims the building owner had committed a zoning infraction and was doing work to the former mansion without the proper permit. Justice Darrell Stephenson presided over the proceedings in Moncton on Friday by phone. He said he doesn't take the matter lightly, considering that the province is in the red phase of COVID restrictions and the students have just started the winter semester. "I'm not going to let any of the students fall through the cracks on this," said Stephenson via teleconference. The matter was before the court last Friday as well, but was adjourned because Stephenson requested that a walk through be performed to determine if there were any safety issues. The lawyer representing the town of Sackville, Christopher Stewart said a number of problems were found, and "there appears to be no livable units without a safety issue." Stewart said some windows were too small to be considered a fire exit, others were too high to reach without a chair. One new window in the basement was deemed large enough, but it opened into a window well, not meeting building codes. Hearing of the problems, Justice Stephenson said the students needed to be notified that they must leave the building by mid-February with their moving expenses covered by the landlords, Barbara and Gordon Beal. At the first hearing, the Beals, including their daughter and property manager, Kathy Beal, were asked to find vacant apartments for their tenants to move into. Their lawyer, Ted Ehrhardt told the court that 13 spaces in apartments were secured, and Mount Allison University had dorm rooms available as well. He said that three students had already found new apartments. Stephenson said if the new accommodations cost more to rent, the Beal family would be responsible for covering the difference for three months. "Let's get those students out as soon as we can," said Stephenson. According to Kathy Beal, fifteen students live in the apartments on the second and third floor of the Georgian mansion at 131 Main Street. The bottom floor of the house, which sits across from the Mount Allison swan pond, was rented out as office space. She said, as many of businesses that rented space in the house started to move out in the spring because of COVID, her 86-year-old father wondered how he could generate enough income to pay the taxes. He started adding two new kitchens to make room for more students. Beal said her father comes from a different time, "he thinks he can do whatever he wants because its his property." A complaint was made, and Beal said the town became involved via the Southeast Regional Service Commission. Lori Bickford is the planning manager, her office administers building permits and enforces zoning bylaws. She said the issues at the heart of the matter is that alterations were being done to the building without a permit, and the building housed apartments even though the current zoning, residential historic commercial, doesn't allow that. "On my end, it's relatively simple, it's just not allowed under the bylaw," said Bickford. Tenants for a decade According to Beal, there have been student tenants in the building for ten years. But when she became aware of the fire safety problems, she said she replaced some windows and added fire extinguishers. She thought she'd done enough to allow the students to finish the school year in the apartments, but, "the week before Christmas I got an order from (Bickford)." "I thought, 'there's been students in there for ten years, what's another few months'," said Beal. Though she wishes the students could stay for their sake, she accepts Stephenson's decision. "There's a lot of other places that have students that are a lot worse,"said Beal. As for the future of the building, Beal isn't sure what comes next. It's listed on Canadian Register of Historic Places as the Joseph F. Allison House, built in 1841. It was most recently called the Fawcett Professional Centre. "My Dad wanted a demolition permit to knock it down," said Beal. But she said selling it is another possibility. In 2014, the Beal family requested that a section of land at the back of the lot be rezoned to make way for an apartment development. Sackville town council denied the request twice. Vacancies hard to come by Jonathan Ferguson, president of Mount Allison's student Union, said several students have reached out for help. A similar situation cropped up when a fire broke out in Sackville's downtown in the fall of 2020 and approximately the same number of students had to find new homes. "This is a very difficult time of year for students to find out that they have two weeks … notice to find new accommodations in a relatively small town that's near capacity," said Ferguson. Classes started virtually at Mount Allison on Monday and are scheduled to happen in person next week. Sackville's chief administrative officer, Jamie Burke, said "usually when people receive a notice to comply, typically the property is brought into compliance," said Burke. The town issued its first notice to the Beals in August, 2020, with the town council passing a motion to begin court proceedings in October. "This is a last resort obviously, it's not something that we like to do or want to do, but we really don't have any other choice in this case," said Burke. The Beal's lawyer, working with the town of Sackville's lawyer. is in the process of drawing up a letter that will go to the affected students by Jan. 29. They'll be offered one of the vacancies found by the university and the landlords. Justice Stephenson said he wanted them safely out of the building before he will deal with the bylaw infraction. "I want to make sure they're looked after," said Stephenson. The matter will be back before the court on Feb. 17.
VALENCIA, Spain — Levante needed Roger Martí's late goal to salvage a 2-2 home draw with Valladolid in the Spanish league on Friday. The match came alive when Levante’s Dani Gómez scored in the 62nd minute from a pass by Jorge Frutos after the midfielder sped down the left and set up the forward. Rubén Alcaraz made up for two misses in the first half when he helped rob the ball from Levante’s Mickael Malsa and scored from outside the area to level in the 73rd. Óscar Plano appeared to have given Valladolid the winning goal five minutes later after a pass by Pablo Hervías. But Martí dribbled around his marker to open a tight shooting angle. He drove a shot that took a deflection off a defender before finding the net to seal the draw in the 83rd. Levante moved into 10th place and Valladolid into 15th. “We generated the scoring chances to take the lead, and then let the three points slip away,” Valladolid midfielder Alcaraz said. “But I recognize the effort and attitude of the team.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
There were another eight deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Saskatchewan on Friday. This follows 13 deaths that were reported on Thursday by the province. Six deaths were reported in the Regina zone with two from the 80-years-old and over age group, one from the 70 to 79-year-old age group, two from the 60 to 69-year-old age group and one from the 40 to 49 age group reported. There was also one death reported in the 80-years-old and up age group in the Central East zone and one death in the 60 to 69 age group reported in Saskatoon. The number of deaths in the province has grown to 247. There were 312 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Friday. The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported 38 new cases. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 139 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 58 active cases and North Central 3 has 108 active cases. There was one case with pending information added to the North Central zone. North Central now ranks fourth in the province in Active Case Breakdown behind Saskatoon, Regina and the North West. Seven previously reported cases have been found to be out-of-province residents and removed from the counts. There are currently 175 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 147 reported as receiving in patient care there are 17 in North Central. Of the 30 people reported as being in intensive care there are four in North Central. The current seven-day average is 275, or 22.4 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 21,643 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 3,196 are considered active. The recovered number now sits at 18,200 after 203 more recoveries were reported. The total numbers of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 21,643 of those 55,675 cases are from the North area (2,144 North West, 2,680 North Central, 851 North East) There were 1,448 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered yesterday in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 31,275. As of January 22, 96 per cent of the doses received have been administered in Saskatchewan. There were 101 doses administered in North Central on Thursday. An additional 46 doses, not previously reported, were administered in Saskatoon on January 20 Pfizer’s Feb. 1 allocation to Saskatchewan has been confirmed to be 5,850 doses. Moderna shipments are expected for February 1 (6,500 doses) and will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West; and February 22 (7,100 doses) and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. There were 3,147 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Jan 14. As of today there have been 485,003 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
On Friday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam reported more than 731,000 cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada, including 18,622 deaths. Additionally, she said 31 cases of the U.K. variant have been identified, as well as 3 cases of the South Africa variant.
Northern Saskatchewan community leaders are upset that health officials are no longer sharing daily reports of how many confirmed cases of COVID-19 are in their communities. Pinehouse Mayor Mike Natomagan, whose community is emerging from a widespread outbreak earlier this month, said he needs those figures to plan a response and keep the community informed. He said Pinehouse currently receives reports on Tuesdays and Thursdays. "We just don't want to work blind here," Natomagan said. "We like to know on a daily basis what we're up against." The Saskatchewan Health Authority's vice-president of integrated northern health, Andrew McLetchie, said the far north was the only place in the province where leaders received such regular reports about COVID-19 transmission in their communities. The SHA chose to stop that service around the new year because it couldn't continue without affecting other services, he said. "Really, this came down to the ability to do it daily, on a regular basis. And ultimately, we just were not able to do that without impacting care that we needed to provide to people across the far north." As of Jan. 22, the province reports that the far north west has 259 cases of COVID-19, the far north central has 69, and the far north east has 179. On a per-capita basis, those are some of the highest rates of COVID-19 in the province. Natomagan said the north's lack of resources makes it more vulnerable. He's asked Health Minister Paul Merriman and Government Relations Minister Don McMorris to provide the capacity for more regular reports. Natomagan said he hasn't received a response to the request. Buffalo Narrows Mayor Robert Woods said the numbers are needed for northern communities facing an uptick in cases so leaders can inform residents accordingly. He's worried the loss of daily, locally-specific information will hold those efforts back. "It doesn't help if we don't know what we need to be prepared for," he said. McLetchie said the SHA is considering other avenues to keep leaders in the loop, such as town halls. He also said the daily number updates could be misleading "because there's often people in the community who are positive but haven't been tested yet." La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois, whose community was hit hard by COVID-19 in April and continues to see new cases, said daily information is key for warning residents. "If we're on the increase, we need to know that." Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
WELLINGTON COUNTY – The County of Wellington is undertaking a large study to improve and identify needs on its road network. The Road Master Action Plan (RMAP) intends to map out improvements to all county roads that connect the seven municipalities. Provincial and municipal roads are not included in the scope of the study. Don Kudo, county engineer, said the last time Wellington County did a transportation master plan was in 2005 making this a good time to take another look. “There’s also a number of different current issues and concerns that residents have with respect to road safety and needs that we’d like to review in this plan,” Kudo said. He explained the study is looking long range to 2041 which will help with budget forecasts and more currently at operational improvements. A press release lays out four key objectives that are guiding the study: The county is seeking public input throughout the process with a survey and mapping tool available until Feb. 11. “Community engagement is critical to the success of the RMAP,” said Andy Lennox, county roads committee chair, in a press release. “By engaging, we can be certain that the RMAP is shaped by our community. Residents have an opportunity to participate in meaningful engagement.” The map allows participants to pin points on particular county roads or intersections to highlight areas that have speeding issues, safety concerns, improvement suggestions or general comments. “We thought we would try to either see if there’s other new locations or confirm the issue we’ve heard in the past and the mapping tool allows residents to really provide a direct input,” Kudo said. “We can see how many other residents will have the same concerns and that’ll point us in the direction for areas of focus to look at what we can do at some of these locations.” Although geared toward county residents, Kudo said they welcome input from those in other municipalities who regularly use county roads. Those who provide input before the deadline will receive a $5 voucher for Ride Well, the county’s rideshare program, and a chance to win a $25 gas gift card. The survey and mapping tool can be found here. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
Ottawa's police force has received nearly three dozen complaints from its members since launching a strategy last spring to tackle sexual violence and harassment, according to a report going before the city's police board next week. The 33 complaints reported to the Ottawa Police Service's (OPS) respect, ethics and values directorate since May 2020 cover a wide range of topics, from harassment — both sexual and otherwise — to abuses of authority, discrimination and ethical breaches. Just over half of the complainants were women, notes the report, which goes to the Ottawa Police Services Board on Monday. Roughly 70 per cent of the complaints came from sworn members of the force, while the remainder were made by civilian employees, the report said. Two of the complaints have been forwarded to the Rubin Thomlinson law firm, which the OPS hired in September to investigate allegations of sexual harassment and violence within its ranks.
NEW YORK — NBC News veteran Tom Brokaw said Friday that he is retiring from the network after 55 years. Brokaw, author of “The Greatest Generation,” was NBC's lead anchor at “Nightly News” and for big events for more than 20 years before giving way to Brian Williams in 2004. The 80-year-old newsman did documentaries and made other appearances for the networks after that, but he has fought cancer and his television appearances have been more sporadic. He said he will continue to be active in print journalism, writing books and articles. Brokaw began at NBC in its Los Angeles bureau in the 1960s, where he covered Ronald Reagan's first run for public office and the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. He was a White House correspondent during Richard Nixon's presidency, and began co-hosting the “Today” show in 1976. He started hosting “Nightly News” in 1983. For two decades, the triumvirate of Brokaw, ABC's Peter Jennings and CBS' Dan Rather were the nation's most visible broadcasters, anchoring major stories like the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “During one of the most complex and consequential eras in American history, a new generation of NBC News journalists, producers and technicians is providing America with timely, insightful and critically important information, 24/7." Brokaw said. "I could not be more proud of them.” The Associated Press
English teachers in western Quebec could walk off the job as early as the middle of next month after voting overwhelmingly in favour of striking. On Thursday evening, members of the Western Quebec Teachers Association (WQTA) voted 95 per cent in favour of a five-day strike mandate after a year of negotiations with the province recently stalled. "We are asking for more investments in education, and the government doesn't seem to want to invest," said Heidi Yetman, president of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, which encompasses the WQTA. "There's less money in this round of negotiation than there was six years ago under an austerity government under the Liberals." Low pay, heavy workload biggest concerns Teachers have been without a contract since last March, and the major sticking points are salary and workload, Yetman said. Not only do Quebec teachers have the lowest starting salary in the country, she said, but they also have several more rungs to climb than teachers in other provinces before they can make it to the top of the pay ladder. Yetman said while the Coalition Avenir Québec government wants to increase teaching time, the union is looking to decrease it as teachers are already spending a lot of time outside the classroom on work like marking, lesson planning and assisting students — an extra burden that's been brought into focus over the past year. "The pandemic has actually shown that the conditions are not great to begin with," she said. The two sides had started negotiations in January 2020, but those were put on hold when the COVID-19 pandemic shut schools across Quebec. They resumed shortly after, but no agreement has been reached. 'Really frustrating' Tasha Ausman teaches at Philemon Wright High School in Gatineau, Que., and said teachers want smaller class sizes and a guarantee services aren't removed from special needs students. Ausman said teachers can spend 10 to 12 extra hours a week grading a single assignment, and ultimately, it's students who'll suffer if teachers are given even more responsibilities. "It becomes really frustrating for those of us who come to work every day to make sure everybody can learn and everybody has an equitable experience," she said. "We put a lot of heart in. But there's also a limit to the number of hours at home at eight, nine, 10 at night that you can put in." Other local unions across the province are also set to vote by the end of the month on whether to strike. In an email to CBC, Quebec's education ministry refused to comment, citing the ongoing negotiations.
OTTAWA — Health Canada says vaccine clinics are doing an "extraordinary" job preventing many doses of precious COVID-19 vaccine from going to waste. Canada has received more than 1.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna since mid-December, and has now given at least one dose to more than 767,000 people. A spokeswoman says "wastage has been very minimal" and well below initial estimates. Before the vaccination campaign began, there were concerns that as many as one-fifth of the doses delivered to Canada could end up being wasted due to intense cold-chain requirements and the complexity of distribution. The federal department did not provide statistics but said provinces and territories are reporting their experiences and waste has not been an notable issue thus far. Both vaccines have to be kept frozen, but the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is particularly delicate and must be stored at temperatures below -60 C until just before it is used. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Les vidéos de la diplômée au baccalauréat en kinésiologie, Marie-Claude Lavoie, et son mari, Antoine Lavoie, qui est à la dernière année de ce programme, ne sont pas passés inaperçus. L’équipe de Fitcam, une application new-yorkaise axée sur l’exercice physique, a recruté le couple de Saguenay pour les aider dans la création de différents contenus. Les parents d’un petit poupon de 10 mois avaient commencé, au début de la pandémie, à publier des vidéos sur leur page Facebook, appelée auparavant Lavoie Active et maintenant LesKinesiologists, qui rejoint plus de 1900 personnes. « Avec ces vidéos, on voulait informer notre public cible, soit la population qui veut être plus active physiquement. On voulait aussi les informer sur ce que c’était un kinésiologue, parce qu’encore aujourd’hui, ce n’est pas encore tellement connu. On se donne comme petit devoir de mieux faire connaître notre profession », souligne d’entrée de jeu Marie-Claude, lors d’un entretien par visioconférence avec Le Quotidien. Dans ses vidéos, le duo a exploré une foule de concepts tels que la nutrition, l’activité physique, la santé mentale, en plus de faire des collaborations avec une nutritionniste et une étudiante en psychologie. Fitcam Avec les partages, l’un de ses clips d’information a été vu par un ingénieur de l’application Fitcam, dont une partie de l’équipe est en France et l’autre aux États-Unis, plus précisément à New York. « Une personne de France nous a approchés. Elle nous a indiqué qu’elle était intéressée par ce que l’on faisait, en tant que professionnels de la santé. Elle aimait que nos vidéos soient vraiment dynamiques, bien montés et vulgarisés, ce qui fait qu’un enfant pouvait aussi bien comprendre ce qui est expliqué », explique Antoine. Cette application, disponible en trois langues sur l’App Store, a comme objectif de faire bouger les gens, tout en leur apprenant à bien le faire. Une intelligence artificielle de reconnaissance biomécanique et d’analyse de la posture est en mesure de visualiser le mouvement en temps réel et de donner des conseils à la personne qui s’entraîne. Fitcam voulait, pour continuer sa croissance, s’allier à des professionnels de la santé qui allaient expliquer au public les concepts entourant l’entraînement et l’activité physique. Le couple a pu apporter ses connaissances pour aider l’équipe à élaborer son contenu. Il a également monté tous les vidéos que l’on peut visionner dans l’application. Le duo a, par exemple, démontré divers mouvements et vulgarisé diverses connaissances qui peuvent aider l’utilisateur. « C’est ça qui est plaisant, c’est que nous travaillons derrière l’application, donc on aide à monter le contenu que l’on retrouve sur l’appli, mais nous sommes aussi devant la caméra et on apparaît sur le produit final. C’est gratifiant », ajoute Marie-Claude. La Fédération des kinésiologues du Québec a aussi pris contact avec le couple pour souligner le succès de son initiative et le féliciter. Objectifs Marie-Claude et Antoine souhaitent promouvoir l’importance de leur profession et inspirer le plus de personnes possible à bouger. « On veut vraiment faire connaître davantage la profession. En plus, en temps de pandémie, on se rend compte à quel point l’activité physique c’est important. C’est quasiment la seule chose qu’on peut faire, aller marcher, bouger ou jouer dehors. On voit que bouger c’est bon, pour la santé mentale et la santé du corps. Le kinésiologue, c’est le spécialiste de la santé qui aide dans toutes ces sphères », continue-t-elle. Le couple aimerait même, un jour, devenir les visages de la kinésiologie au Québec. Ils continueront d’ailleurs à collaborer avec Fitcam, qui a plusieurs projets pour les Saguenéens. Ce n’est que le début de leur collaboration ! Marie-Claude et Antoine comptent aussi utiliser à nouveau leur page LesKinésiologists pour y publier du contenu complémentaire à celui fait avec Fitcam.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
When drug companies like Pfizer and Moderna learned to successfully incorporate messenger RNA technology into a COVID-19 vaccine, experts say they likely opened the door to a significant shift in the future of immunization.The milestone in vaccine development was met with enthusiasm from most, but the seemingly swift pace and novel approach is causing hesitancy in others. Experts say the new technique shouldn't dissuade people from getting the vaccine. While the mRNA method is new to inoculations, the actual technology has been around for decades. The difference now, they say, is scientists have ironed out the kinks to make a useful product."It sounds fancy, mRNA, but there's nothing outlandish about it," said Dr. Earl Brown, a virology and microbiology specialist with the University of Ottawa. "This is the way our cells operate — we live by mRNA."Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were the first inoculations approved for humans to use mRNA, which provides our cells with instructions to make proteins. In the case of COVID vaccines, the injected material shows cells how to make a harmless piece of the coronavirus spike protein, which then teaches our immune system to recognize the virus and fight off a future infection.Scientists made the vaccine by programming genetic material from the spike protein into mRNA, a process that theoretically could work for other viruses."As long as you know how to create those instructions — that genetic code you need to convince your body to create that target — you can design an mRNA vaccine against any antigen," said Nicole Basta, an associate professor of epidemiology at McGill."But the question is whether it will be effective, and whether it will be safe."The development of future mRNA vaccines might be quick, Basta says, but they would need to go through the usual evaluation process and clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. So vaccines for other viruses won't be popping up overnight.Still, Basta adds, there's potential for using mRNA to either improve upon existing vaccines or to develop new ones against other pathogens.Dr. Scott Halperin, a professor at Dalhousie University and the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, sees mRNA vaccines as "evolutionary rather than revolutionary."Part of the reason COVID vaccines came together so quickly was the technology had been developing for years, Halperin said. The global pandemic offered scientists a pressing opportunity — and unprecedented funding and collaboration — to try again for a viable injection.Previous research had been done on creating mRNA vaccines against Zika and other viruses, Halperin added, and there were earlier efforts focused on cancer treatments. Coronavirus-specific research was further sped up by spike protein analysis from SARS and MERS.While the mRNA technology itself is impressive, Halperin says improvements need to be made to create a more temperature-stable product before these types of vaccines and treatments "truly take over.""The logistics of delivering mRNA vaccines right now, we wouldn't want to have to do that for every vaccine we produce," he said, referencing the ultra-cold storage temperature that's currently needed. "But I do think it's an important milestone."Scientists are expected to continue advancing the technology, just as they did recently in solving two confounding problems with mRNA — its fragility and instability.Brown says fragility was resolved by packaging the mRNA in a fat coating, giving it something to help bind onto cells so it wouldn't disintegrate upon injection. The instability was conquered by modifying the uracil component of RNA, one of the four units of its genetic code."The technology application is new, but the science is mature," Brown said. "We've just reached the point at which we can apply it." Traditional vaccines typically contain a killed or weakened virus, Brown said. Those methods are still being used in COVID vaccine development, including by AstraZeneca-Oxford, whose product has not yet been approved in Canada.A benefit to using mRNA is the speed at which a vaccine can be developed or updated once scientists know what to target, Brown says. While experts believe current vaccines will work against recent variants of the COVID virus — including one originating in the U.K. that's more transmissible — Brown says mRNA's adaptability could theoretically come in handy if new strains emerged that necessitated an update. "In six weeks they could produce something," he said. "It would still have to go through Phase 3 trials, but it does give you more flexibility and a big leg up."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — BMW Canada has lost a skirmish in its quest for $175 million in compensation from storage company Autoport for alleged damage to thousands of imported vehicles. In a decision Friday, the Ontario Court of Appeal ruled the German automaker should foot the $10,000-a-day bill the company says it’s been paying to preserve the vehicles as litigation evidence. The court set aside an earlier ruling that had shifted the cost of storage to Autoport, saying the goal was to "best ensure fairness" in the court process. "I am not persuaded that the ongoing cost of preserving the vehicles in the context of BMW’s $175-million damages claim would constitute hardship or prejudice to BMW that would reasonably justify shifting the interim cost of preservation to Autoport," Justice Katherine van Rensburg wrote for the Appeal Court. The case arose after a brutal winter in February of 2015 during which, the German automaker alleges, 2,966 imported BMW and MINI models stored by Autoport in Halifax were unduly exposed to ice, water and salt. In a July 2015, Transport Canada warned of a serious safety risk. Corrosion, the agency said, could lead to sudden engine shutdowns, steering problems or fires. The recall affected 10 different BMW models and seven 2015 MINI models. BMW argues it’s impossible to determine the extent of any damage without destructive tests, and, as a result, none of the vehicles could be made roadworthy and sold. The automaker wants to destroy all of them. The unproven suit, which alleges Autoport was negligent and breached its contract, seeks $175 million — the full value of the vehicles. Autoport denies any liability. It argues BMW’s claim is grossly exaggerated and the total recall unreasonable. To mount a proper defence, the storage company says it needs to examine the automobiles. But it wants the results of inspections BMW has already done, saying it needs that information to know what investigations are required and on how many of the cars. The automaker says it has been spending about $10,000 a day — roughly $3.5 million a year — to keep the vehicles at three sites in Canada and wanted Autoport to foot the bill. Autoport appealed after Divisional Court ordered the company to pay for past storage, and to keep paying or take possession of the vehicles for whatever tests it feels are needed. "I do not agree with the Divisional Court’s unqualified rejection of the duty of litigants to preserve evidence, and BMW’s assertion in this court that parties must be free to deal with their property as they see fit," van Rensburg wrote. "The focus here should have been on trial fairness — that is, on the parties’ ability to prosecute and defend the proceeding." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021 Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
REGINA — Saskatchewan reported eight more deaths Friday from COVID-19 and 312 new cases. Health officials say many of the latest infections came from in and around Saskatoon, North Battleford, Prince Albert and Regina. The Ministry of Health said there are 177 people in hospital, with 30 patients receiving intensive care. Premier Scott Moe focused on vaccinations, noting the success of the province's rollout but also noting it would soon run out of vaccine because there are no deliveries coming next week. "Saskatchewan now has the highest percentage of COVID-19 vaccine shots administered of any province in Canada," Moe tweeted Friday. "The federal government needs to get us more vaccines more quickly." Health officials said so far, more than 31,000 shots have been injected into the arms of doctors, nurses, long-term care staff and residents, and well as seniors in different communities. Saskatchewan continues to have the highest rate of active cases in Canada per 100,000 people. On Thursday, police in Regina said officers carried out a detention order against a 36-year-old man who was positive with COVID-19, but not self-isolating. It happened after officers were called to a downtown hotel, which is being used to house people who need to self-isolate but don't have the means to do so on their own. Police say the man was first taken to hospital in Regina, and then to a medical facility in North Battleford, which keeps people in closed custody. "He had left the hotel a number of times and the medical health officer believed he was endangering the lives, safety or health of others by his refusal to self-isolate," said Regina police spokeswoman Elizabeth Popowich. Popowich said detention orders are issued by the Saskatchewan Health Authority and allow for an officer to take a person into custody until their release is approved by a medical health officer. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2020 The Canadian Press
Staff at a Vancouver Value Village store returned over $85,000 in cash donated by accident, to the rightful owner, a senior who now lives in a long-term care home.
WASHINGTON — Images of National Guard soldiers camped in a cold parking garage after being sent to protect Washington sparked new calls Friday for investigations of the U.S. Capitol Police, now facing allegations that the agency evicted troops sent to help after its failure to stop rioting mobs two weeks ago. Members of both parties were irate about reports that Guardsmen were forced to take rest breaks outside the Capitol building. About 25,000 Guard members from across the country deployed to help secure President Joe Biden's inauguration, which went off with only a handful of minor arrests. Biden spoke Friday morning to Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard, said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. She said the president thanked Hokanson and the Guard for their help the last few weeks and offered his assistance if Hokanson needed anything. She did not say if they discussed what happened at the Capitol on Thursday. First lady Jill Biden visited Guard troops outside the Capitol on Friday, bringing them cookies and thanking them for protecting her family. She noted that the Bidens’ late son, Beau, served in the Delaware Army National Guard. A jittery Washington requested the aid following the riot where police were badly outnumbered, locking down the nation's capital with soldiers, police and barricades and lawmakers and Biden took pains to thank security forces for their effort. All 25,000 Guard members were vetted by the FBI over concerns of an insider attack, and a dozen were removed from their posts including two who made extremist statements about the inauguration. The National Guard said it originally moved troops out of the Capitol Rotunda and other spaces to garages at the behest of the Capitol Police. The Guardsmen were allowed back inside late Thursday after reports were widely shared of the conditions in the garages, with few bathrooms and little covering from the cold. Capitol Police Interim Chief Yogananda Pittman issued a statement Friday saying her agency “did not instruct the National Guard to vacate the Capitol Building facilities.” But two Capitol Police officers who spoke on condition of anonymity contradicted her statement, saying they were told department higher-ups had ordered the Guardsmen out. It was unclear why. The two officers spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized by the department to speak. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., said that “multiple members of military leadership” had told him a uniformed Capitol Police officer told them to leave the Capitol Visitor Center. “The troops didn't move on their own,” said Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added: “This isn’t a blame game, but I want to know what happened so we can make sure it can’t happen again.” Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, who leads a subcommittee that oversees the Capitol Police budget, said Pittman and other commanders would eventually need to testify about their decision-making. “If the Capitol Police in any way, shape, or form pushed the Guard out into a cold garage, then there’s going to be hell to pay,” Ryan said . “We’re already trying to re-establish trust with the Capitol Police and we’ve got to figure out exactly what happened.” The National Guard Bureau said Thursday that of the nearly 26,000 Guard troops deployed to D.C. for the inaugural, just 10,600 remain on duty. The bureau said the Guard is helping states with co-ordination and the logistics so that troops can get home. Thousands of Guard troops from all across the country poured into D.C. by the planeload and busload late last week, in response to escalating security threats and fears of more rioting. Military aircraft crowded the runways at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, carrying Guard members into the region in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Guard forces were scattered around the city, helping to secure the Capitol, monuments, Metro entrances and the perimeter of central D.C., which was largely locked down for several days leading up to Wednesday’s inaugural ceremony. Some local law enforcement agencies have asked for continued assistance from the Guard, so roughly 7,000 troops are expected to stay in the region through the end of the month. The insurrection highlighted multiple failures by the Capitol Police to prepare for what became a violent mob overrunning parts of the building. Officers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity said there was little planning before the riot or guidance from department leaders once the riot began. The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack. ___ Merchant reported from Houston. Nomaan Merchant, Lolita Baldor, And Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press