The cousin of Antoinette Traboulsi, who was found dead on a beach in Cuba earlier this month, says Global Affairs Canada confirmed an arrest has been made in her death. Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital and had four children, often vacationed in Cuba, which her cousin, Sami Soussa, called her second home.Soussa says the only information he received from Global Affairs was that an arrest had been made and that a suspect is in custody. He says he was given no details about the person's identity. But he says he's received eight messages from people he doesn't know, all pointing to one person they believe is responsible for her death."We're getting hopeful with the situation but at the same time it's not a lot of info for us to cheer and claim victory. But it does give a little light in our days," Soussa said. "The family is pretty happy with this information, but at the same time we're trying to be reasonable until we get the full conviction of the suspect."
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Cargojet Inc. says it is preparing for record levels of online shopping over the holidays as Canadians buy gifts digitally during restrictions at brick-and-mortar stores, and is taking unprecedented measures to try to keep package deliveries on time.The Mississauga-based company says it is hiring additional pilots and staff, and added a new plane to its fleet this month for the second time this year.Cargojet says it has also added flights on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to build up 20 per cent more capacity for packages, a schedule that will continue during the peak shopping season from Black Friday to early January.The air cargo company says that when stores closed for the initial COVID-19 lockdowns in March and April, cargo volumes easily surpassed levels that are usually only seen at the peak of the year — the holiday season. Now, Cargojet is predicting that volume this winter will top the spring, given that thousands of small businesses have opened online stores, and there is another wave of uncertainty around regional lockdowns. Statistics Canada also said this week that online sales are set to hit a record this year in Canada, topping 2019’s tally of $305 billion, after e-commerce doubled from February to May.“This peak is expected to be like none other,” Cargojet said on Wednesday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX: CJT) The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — Doctors and nurses are being asked to support British Columbia's safe supply drug program and other substance use measures, as an average of five people a day die from illicit drug overdoses, the B.C. Coroners Service says.There were 162 overdose deaths in B.C. last month, more than double the 75 recorded in October last year.The number of deaths in each health authority is at or near the highest monthly total ever recorded, the coroners service said Wednesday in a news release. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the supply of street drugs and is disrupting access to harm-reduction services such as supervised injection sites."We encourage clinicians to support those at risk of overdose by prescribing safe supply and reducing the numbers of lives lost to toxic substances," she said in the statement. The coroners service continues to advocate for an accessible, evidence-based and accountable treatment and recovery system for drug users, Lapointe added.Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry authorized registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses to prescribe pharmaceutical alternatives to street drugs in September.Before that, only doctors and nurse practitioners were able to prescribe drugs, including substitute medications for illicit-drug users.But advocates for drug users say there is still a lack of medical personnel prescribing safe, prescription alternatives to illicit drugs."They're not prescribing to the extent they should be," said Karen Ward, a drug rights advocate and a drug policy and poverty reduction consultant with the City of Vancouver."They need to be prescribing assertively and doing outreach," she said in an interview. Ward said drug users and advocates feel as if the relentless death toll is like an "ongoing tidal wave."She questioned why there is still a lack of prescribing guidelines related to Henry's September order."That was two months ago … why aren't they done? This should have been done that day," Ward said.Leslie McBain, the co-founder of Moms Stop the Harm, said she's devastated by the latest numbers from the coroners service."I don't know if it can get much worse than this for people," she said in an interview. There needs to be more people willing and able to prescribe prescription alternatives to illicit drugs, McBain said, and the provincial government needs to listen to drug users about the type of alternative drugs they want."The drugs being offered to people were not the drugs they were used to or would keep them in a balanced, stable place," she said.October is the fifth month this year that more than 160 people have died and the eighth consecutive month with more than 100 deaths.The latest toxicology testing suggests an increase in the number of cases with extreme concentrations of the opioid fentanyl between April and October compared with previous months, Lapointe said in her statement.Henry echoed Lapointe's concerns, saying the pandemic is having a devastating effect on the overdose crisis."Now more than ever, we must remove the stigma of drug use and remove the shame people feel, which keeps them from seeking help or telling friends and family," she said in a statement on Wednesday.There have been 1,386 deaths from suspected overdoses since January, nearly 400 more deaths than when a public health emergency was declared by the provincial government in April 2016.— By Nick Wells in Vancouver.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.The Canadian Press
Le biologiste évoque le besoin de vulgarisation pour notre société et donne des pistes pour que de nouveaux scientifiques s’y investissent.
COVID-19 outbreak at St. Martin school continues to grow. The outbreak was first declared at the elementary school in Smithville on Nov. 19. Two new cases were added on Nov. 23, bringing the total to four. The Niagara Catholic District School Board said there are now nine cases. The school has been in official outbreak status since last Thursday when the second case was confirmed. The first case was confirmed Nov. 13. NCDSB said since that time, the number of new cases at the school as grown to nine; however not all the cases so far have been linked to the outbreak, as their origin has not been determined. Niagara Region Public Health continues to investigate the situation. Two classes at the school will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days a result of the newly reported cases. Public health said they are not recommending St. Martin close at this time, as the virus is not widespread through the school community. Onsite testing will be available at the school on Thursday for staff who have not yet been tested and will be provided by public health. NCDSB said testing for staff at St. Martin is recommended, but not mandatory, while any parents of students who wish to have their children tested should do so at a an approved testing centre in Niagara.Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
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LINCOLN, Neb. — The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is creating the nation's largest tribal national park on a forested bluff overlooking the Missouri River and a historic site of its people.The 444-acre park will allow the tribe to tell the story of the Ioway people and provide a rustic getaway where people can hike, camp and bird-watch, said Lance Foster, the vice chairman of the tribe.“We’ve been here for a thousand years now and, unlike other people who can buy and sell land and move away, we can never move away,” Foster said. “This is our land forever. And we’ll be here for another 1,000 years."The new Ioway Tribal National Park will overlook a historic trading village where the Ioway people bartered for buffalo hides and pipestones with other tribes during the 13th to 15th centuries. That site includes three burial mounds that date back 3,000 years, the Omaha World-Herald reported.The Nature Conservancy of Nebraska recently transferred 284 acres to the tribe, which plans to use the land and an adjacent 160 acres that the conservancy donated two years ago to establish the second such tribal national park in the country . It is located just southeast of Rulo, Nebraska, on the Nebraska-Kansas border.Mace Hack, executive director of the Nebraska chapter of the conservancy, said his group has worked with the Iowa Tribe for years and was aware of how well it managed property.“It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Hack said. “We wanted to help the tribe connect even more deeply to their ancestral lands and heritage.”Acquiring the land also fits with the tribe’s goal of restoring tribally owned lands on its reservation, which once spanned 12,000 acres on both sides of the Nebraska-Kansas border. An 1887 federal “allotment” act that subdivided the reservation to individual families resulted in the selling off of 90% of the land to local farmers.The tribe, headquartered in White Cloud, Kansas, has now bought back about one-third of its original reservation, Foster said.The Associated Press
Integrity Commissioner David King has cleared the East Ferris planning advisory committee chairman of conflict of interest allegations, according to a municipal media release issued today. A resident fighting a subdivision plan approval registered a complaint to King six months ago, contending that PAC chairman John O’Rourke had a business relationship with the developer that she argued was a conflict. The media release the municipality issued was in response to an article published by BayToday Nov. 17 that featured the frustrations Maggie Preston-Coles was facing in her effort to oppose the subdivision approval. Preston-Coles, in the article, complained that the investigation was taking too long and she needed the results for her appeal to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, while also expecting to take the issue to the Ontario Ombudsman depending on the result. East Ferris, in the media release, stated it wanted to provide “complete and accurate information” to the public about the municipal planning progress because they were not contacted for comment for the Nov. 17 article. Preston-Coles said the municipality should be doing its own studies when considering subdivision proposals, including traffic impact and environmental risks studies. The article didn’t initially make it clear the general practice is to have the developer hire professionals in their field do the studies while municipal staff review them. A clarification line to that effect was added to the story after an East Ferris staff member contacted the reporter. “With respect to the conflict of interest allegation against our PAC member, the Integrity Commissioner’s role is to conduct inquiries into these types of allegations,” the media release stated. “In this case, the Integrity Commissioner has determined that the pecuniary interest is remote or insignificant and he will not be pursuing this matter any further.” Preston-Coles has also complained to LPAT about having three appeal managers, with the latest one not communicating to her since July. That’s when she was told LPAT changed its mind, due to an East Ferris objection, and was not allowing her to add to the appeal her issues regarding the municipality’s official plan and rezoning approval. Meanwhile, LPAT recently asked the municipality to submit a motion to dismiss the appeal entirely. 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 — The head of a Canadian biotech industry association says Canada can and does make vaccines — just not the ones expected first to help stop the COVID-19 pandemic.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau created a firestorm Tuesday when he said Canadians will have to wait a bit to get vaccinated for COVID-19 because the first doses off the production lines will be used in the countries where they are made.So while vaccinations might start next month in the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, it will be January at the earliest before any doses are injected in this country.Canada, said Trudeau, "no longer has any domestic production capacity for vaccines" and it makes sense that the countries that do will prioritize their own citizens.Andrew Casey, the CEO of BioteCanada, told The Canadian Press Wednesday that Canada does produce vaccines but the technology for the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates is so new, the manufacturing capacity is being built alongside the vaccines themselves."This is the first time the technology has actually been applied," he said. "So you have to then build the facility to manufacture at scale, which is a challenge."While pharmaceutical company Sanofi has a vaccine plant in Toronto and GlaxoSmithKline has one in Quebec, both make protein-based vaccines, such as the more familiar ones Canadians get every year for the flu.Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines, and only one being developed jointly by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline uses the protein technology.The first two vaccines expected on the market, from Pfizer and Moderna, each use genetic material known as messenger ribonucleic acid or mRNA. A third with promising trial results, from AstraZeneca, uses a modified common-cold virus that normally infects chimpanzees. Each type trains the human body to develop antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.Casey said a protein-vaccine maker can't just start making the bioengineered vaccines."One is like making wine, one's like making Coke," he said. "Yes, they both grow in bottles. Yes, you can drink both out of a glass. But the manufacturing processes used for the two is so completely different. You can't just say well, we'll shut down the protein one, and we'll switch over to the mRNA."Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner demanded in question period Wednesday that the government explain whether Canada had even tried to convince the companies to make their products here.Trudeau didn't answer, but if those negotiations happened, they have not been successful.Pfizer is expanding production facilities in Kalamazoo, Mich. and Puurs, Belgium to produce most of its vaccine. The company has said it is open to others manufacturing it, but that the technology is difficult to transfer.Moderna has a 10-year exclusive agreement with Swiss-based Lonza Group AC to make its vaccine, mainly in facilities in New Hampshire and Switzerland. Lonza chairman Albert Baehny said earlier this month the new technology meant Lonza had to remake its production lines "from scratch."AstraZeneca, which has promised three billion doses of its vaccine, has signed contract deals with at least two dozen manufacturers around the world to produce its vaccine but not in Canada.A spokesman for Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said the biomanufacturing sector has been declining in Canada since the mid-1980s."When this pandemic began Canada had no flexible, large-scale, bio-manufacturing capacity suitable for a COVID-19 vaccine," said John Power. He said Canada has been working with experts to address the issue and has made investments, including $140 million in a new National Research Council plant in Montreal.The NRC said Wednesday the Biologics Manufacturing Centre will be finished next July. It doesn't have an agreement yet to produce a specific vaccine, but is being built so it can produce several biologic vaccines, including of the type being made by AstraZeneca. It will not be able to make mRNA vaccines like those from Moderna or Pfizer.It is supposed to be able to produce two million doses a month before the end of 2021.A spokeswoman for GlaxoSmithKline told The Canadian Press the company's Ste-Foy, Que., plant will be part of production of the GSK vaccine eventually but timelines and specifics aren't yet available.A Canadian-made vaccine from Quebec-based Medicago is also expected to be in production in Canada next year. Medicago CEO Bruce Clark said the company has been able to adapt a vaccine for influenza to target COVID-19 instead, noting such an adaptation is one of the advantages of biologic vaccines. But Clark said one of the disadvantages is that it's harder to transfer the technology of biologics to be made in other places.Medicago has facilities in Quebec and North Carolina and is building a new one in Quebec. The existing ones can make about 50 million doses by the end of next year, while the new plant will be able to do as many as a billion annually.The company has been talking to the federal government for years to get funding for a "full-scale manufacturing facility," he said. "We were not successful," said Clark. "It's really only been in the context of the pandemic that we've seen funds be freed up to commit to capacity in Canada."Last month Ottawa agreed to provide $173 million to Medicago for research on its vaccine and construction of an expanded facility. Clark said the 2023 completion date for the new plant could be bumped up with more money.None of the vaccines in question have finished clinical trials and all must also be approved by Health Canada before they can be used here.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
A migrant's odyssey from boat to COVID nursing job in Spain. (Nov. 25)
TORONTO — Four family members who worked for the Ontario government in information technology defrauded the province of at least $11 million destined as COVID-19 relief money, a statement of claim alleges. The unproven civil claim on behalf of the province, which also seeks $2 million in punitive damages, accuses them and others of illegally issuing and banking cheques under the Support for Families Program that aimed to defray the cost of children learning at home. Named as a defendant in the Superior Court claim is Sanjay Madan, who had a senior IT role and helped develop the computer application for applying and approving the benefit. "The Madan family exploited their positions of employment with Ontario and unique access to the (program) and payment processing system," the government says. "The plaintiff was uniquely vulnerable to Sanjay, particularly with respect to the integrity of the...application." Also named is Madan's wife Shalini Madan, a senior level IT manager with the ministry responsible for electronically processing program payments. According to the lawsuit, Sanjay Madan and his family opened more than 400 accounts at the Bank of Montreal between April and May. They then deposited around 10,000 cheques made out to fictitious applicants with thousands of non-existent children under the support program. Most deposits were made over a four-week period starting on May 25, coinciding with a rule change that allowed more than five payments to be made to an applicant. The government alleges Sanjay Madan either sparked the rule change or knew about it and took advantage. "He would have been very familiar with the (program) computer application and with any vulnerabilities it may have had to fraud and other misuse," the government asserts. The claim also says that Sanjay and Chinmaya Madan wiped their government-issued phones to hide their misdoing. Christopher Du Vernet, the family's lawyer, said he could not discuss the claim. "As I am sure you can appreciate, this is a very difficult time for the entire Madan family," Du Vernet said on Wednesday. "Moreover, the matter is currently before the courts. Given these circumstances, I am instructed to advise that any comments our client makes will be in material filed with the courts and only there." However, in other court filings, Sanjay Madan is said to have told the government that he could explain "all of this" and that he has "helped many families." Other defendants include their son Chinmaya Madan, a technical product manager who resigned in July, and his brother, Ujjawal Madan, a programmer analyst, who worked indirectly under his father. He resigned in August. No criminal charges have been announced. The government also served notice it intends to seize any money the family obtained fraudulently. It obtained a court order to have their bank accounts turned over to the court pending the outcome of the lawsuit. To prevent the respondents from hiding any money, the government obtained a court order freezing the family's assets, which include a list of properties in Toronto. The government says in one document that Sanjay Madan maintains the program payments were directed to him by tenants for rent. "It is reasonable to believe that Sanjay’s alleged tenants are not the parents to over 10,000 children," the government says. "The attorney general submits that the cash in the bank accounts and safety deposit boxes is likely proceeds of unlawful activity." The freeze order was subsequently varied to allow some payout of money from an earlier Madan property sale but the family will have to return to court to have other funds for living expenses and legal bills released. Other defendants in the suit filed in the court's commercial lists division are several companies: Intellisources, Newgen and Wang and Associates. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
In addition to of Nunavut’s COVID-19 caseload — which reached 153 today — there are several Nunavummiut outside the territory who are infected with the virus, Dr. Michael Patterson, the territory’s chief public health officer. “Off the top of my head I think they’re all in Manitoba,” he said Wednesday at a news conference in Iqaluit. If a person who tests positive in another jurisdiction lists Nunavut as his or her home, the local health authority advises the Government of Nunavut of the case. A spokesperson for the Department of Health said there are fewer than five Nunavummiut who have COVID-19 and are out of the territory. Patterson said these people may isolate in hotel rooms, in a family home, in the hospital or in isolation hubs. None have isolated in boarding homes run or contracted by the GN, he said. Nunavut announced 11 new COVID-19 cases in the territory Wednesday. Arviat remains the community most affected by reported cases with eight new cases, for a total of 115. Two other communities have reports of active cases — Whale Cove, where three new cases were reported Wednesday, and Rankin Inlet. The number of people infected by COVID-19 is expected to rise in the coming weeks before it falls, Patterson said. Wednesday marks the halfway point in the territory-wide lockdown that is meant to prevent the territory’s outbreak of COVID-19 in the Kivalliq from spreading further. If cases are contained to Arviat, Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet, restrictions in other communities will be lifted after one more week. But public health restrictions will remain in the affected communities. “I need everyone to dig deep,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “We’re in this for the long run, and we need each other and every person doing their part.” There are 115 people in Arviat with COVID-19, and more than 300 people in isolation because they were in contact with someone who has the disease, Patterson said. He doesn’t know the number of people in isolation in Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove. Public health staff who are contact tracing and communicating with people who are sick or isolating in the three communities are doing it by phone, or in person. “I can’t remember how frequently we’re in contact with them,” Patterson said, “it varies a bit depending on resources and how easy it is to get ahold of them.” He said people are reminded “every few days” about needing to stay in isolation. Savikataaq said the GN is working with the three affected communities to provide food for families who need it. “We don’t want anyone to go hungry,” he said, “but we’re still working on [getting people food].” Family Services offices are closed due to public health restrictions, but income support workers are contacting clients “using phones and other means to make sure no one falls through the cracks,” Savikataaq said. The two people who had COVID-19 in Sanikiluaq are now classified as recovered. But people they were in contact with are still in isolation, and public health staff are still monitoring the community. Once the last person is out of isolation, elementary schools will re-open full time, and middle and high schools in the community will be open on a staggered schedule, with some remote learning. “And public health measures will be pretty much where we were in July,” Patterson said of Sanikiluaq. As Christmas approaches and more people are being infected in Nunavut and the rest of Canada, Patterson said he continues to advise against non-essential travel. However, people who live in Arviat who are not infected, and who have not had contact with anyone infected, can apply to the public health office to travel, Patterson said. As well, Agnico Eagle Mines has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 at its Meadowbank complex north of Baker Lake. The company’s previous cases all involved its Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet. On Nov. 20, a worker en route to Meadowbank tested positive for COVID-19 while stopped at the company’s testing facility in Val-d’Or. The worker and 10 other potential contacts were kept in isolation and then flown from the mine site on Nov. 21. COVID-19 cases at Nunavut’s mines are not included in the territory’s case counts because mine workers fly directly from southern Canada to the mine sites. Across Canada, more than 342,000 cases have been reported since March when the pandemic began. More than 11,600 people have died. No deaths have been reported in Nunavut. In March, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. In Nunavut, Nunavik and across the country, public health officials have encouraged physical distancing, hand-washing and wearing masks in public places as measures people should take to prevent the spread of the disease.Meagan Deuling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Nunatsiaq News
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Calgary-based Imperial Oil Ltd. said Wednesday it is laying off about 200 of its 6,000 employees across Canada as part of a cost-cutting initiative due to low oil prices.The oilsands, refining and energy retailing company, which has been reluctant to cut staff during the current and previous industry downturns, also confirmed Wednesday it has reduced the number of contractors it employs by about 450 since the start of the year.Imperial is 69.6 per cent owned by U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil Corp., which said in October it would cut its global workforce by about 15 per cent, equating to about 14,000 jobs."There has been study work underway globally to assess the potential for further cost reductions from structural efficiencies and lower activity levels across our business,' said Imperial spokeswoman Lisa Schmidt in an email."This work includes an evaluation of workforce requirements around the world on a country-by-country basis, including in Canada. Imperial has been engaged on this work with ExxonMobil."She said the job reduction decisions were made in Imperial's best interest, not ordered by ExxonMobil, adding she was unable to say where the job cuts would be implemented.In a separate news release on Wednesday, Exxon said it expects up to 300 job reductions in Canada by the end of 2021 from Imperial as well as its wholly owned subsidiaries, ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. and ExxonMobil Business Centre Canada ULC.Imperial committed in March to cut spending by $1 billion, including a $500 million reduction in capital spending plus $500 million in lower operating expenses, due to lower energy demand caused by lockdowns to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus."When the pandemic hit, we immediately started developing plans to respond and minimize the business impact during the downturn," CEO Brad Corson said at the company's recent investor day, adding the company is well ahead of its cost-cutting targets."And of course, we're going to continue to look for further efficiencies going forward."In a posting on its website, Imperial said it recognizes that job losses are difficult, adding that company support of affected workers will include outplacement services.Earlier this week, Imperial confirmed it will relinquish its contract to provide business management services to Syncrude Canada Ltd. when Suncor Energy Inc. takes over as operator of its oilsands mine and upgrader in northern Alberta at the end of 2021.Under the contract, which has been in place for about 14 years, staff from Imperial were seconded to certain positions at Syncrude and provided people to assist in implementing strategies, while Syncrude remained the day-to-day operator.Suncor said it hopes to realize cost-saving synergies of about $300 million per year as operator.The Imperial job cuts are part of a trend by Calgary oil and gas companies who have been reporting reduced earnings on lower commodity prices.Cenovus Energy Inc. and Husky Energy Inc. have announced they will cut as many as one in four jobs, potentially more than 2,000 workers, if their merger announced in October is closed as expected early next year.Suncor, meanwhile, has announced it will cut as many as 1,930 jobs over 18 months to reduce total staff by 10 to 15 per cent.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO, TSX:SU, TSX:CVE, TSX:HSE)Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
The City of Toronto will ramp up winter maintenance so residents can spend more time outdoors. Mayor John Tory says the city wants people to stay active despite COVID-19, even in sub-zero temperatures. He says residents can spend time in parks alone or with members of their household during the lockdown. He says there are also 23 toboggan hills, eight new snow loops at golf courses and numerous outdoor ice rinks. The rinks will have a capacity of 25 people to follow provincial pandemic rules. The city will also maintain an extra 60 kilometres of paved trails and pathways. "Much as the pandemic makes things different, we're committed to giving people more things to do outside safely," Tory said on Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. The Canadian Press
The town of Fort Frances is being asked to give our local bee population a helping hand next spring. At last Monday night’s town council meeting, mayor and councillors heard a deputation from Reagan Breeze of Dryden in regards to an initiative he is at the forefront of that aims to protect honeybees and give them every possible fighting chance to thrive as the weather begins to warm up in April and May. “We are looking at something that is more than climate change,” Breeze told council. “It’s a decline in our honeybees and as much as somebody may think that that is not that important, we have to understand the fact that there’s a lack of education about honeybees and what they give to us. Every time we have our supper or lunch or breakfast, it’s one third of our food source that comes from our pollinators and our honeybees.” As part of his efforts, Breeze asked the town to declare April and May as Honeybee Appreciation Month, something he said he’s seen movement on from other municipalities he’s spoken with, including Dryden, whose council passed a motion at the end of October declaring April and May of 2021 to be their own Honeybee Appreciation Months. In addition to asking the town to recognize special months for bees, Breeze also took aim at one of the town’s bylaws, asking that council work with him in order to provide a temporary easement of bylaw enforcement to allow more protection for bees. “Your bylaws are very easy... I appreciate that and amongst all of us other beekeepers within Ontario, in Canada... appreciate it as well,” Breeze said. “Within your regulations we also have your bylaws 3.03, subsection 3, which is the weeds for four inches of growth only. I am not asking for everybody within the Fort Frances area to grow a hay field, but I am asking for mayor and council, respectively, to have an easement to show remorse for the fact that we need to sustain our honeybees and our pollinators that are the most viable species for our existence.” According to the Town of Fort Frances bylaw 14/09, Section 3 (General Standards for All Property), subsection 3.03 declares: “Every yard, including vacant lots shall be kept free from: (3) long grass, brush, undergrowth and noxious weeds as defined by the Weed Control Act; a. all grassed and lawned areas shall be maintained to a maximum height of 100mm (4in).” Springtime is generally when honeybees emerge from their hives and are at their most active, with the Sioux Honey Co-op, located in Sioux City, Iowa, explaining that bees will use the season to expand their numbers following the cold winter months. “The first action of business for the colony as the weather changes is increasing its population in advance of summer’s warmth,” they explain on their website. “Spring is the busiest time of year for the bees, not only because of restocking food but it’s also the season when new colonies are started and established colonies re-emerge.” Part of the crop of flowers that bloom in those early months is the dandelion, which is an important food source for bees, but is also viewed as a pesky weed by many homeowners, some of whom go to great lengths to remove them from their yards. The easement of the bylaw would therefore allow homeowners in Fort Frances to grow their lawns out, along with any flowering plants in their yard, during the months of April and May when honeybees are trying to get back on their feet without potentially incurring a fine. Breeze also called on council to amend other parts of bylaws including references to injurious insects, which he said should be reworded in order to exclude honeybees from the likes of wasps and hornets. Honey is also a multi-billion dollar industry on a global scale, according to Breeze, which makes honeybees worth protecting and supporting on an economic level. Mayor June Caul thanked Breeze for his presentation to council and the recommendation was made that his request be presented to the Planning and Development Executive Committee for recommendation. At their meeting on Monday, November 16, the Planning and Development Executive Committee made the recommendation that the town proclaim April and May as Honey Bee Appreciation months in town, but that existing bylaws be left unchanged. The item will return to council at their November 23 meeting for a final decision.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
La mise en place du « live » sur Netflix apparaît comme un symptôme d’une mutation beaucoup plus dangereuse, profonde et large qu’il n’y paraît pour les chaînes…
L’adresse de Macron aux Français du 24 novembre combine l’usage d’expressions qui recouvrent a priori des objectifs distincts : inclure et assumer, mettre à distance et déléguer la responsabilité.