Christina-Laia takes us through the record-breaking warmth
Christina-Laia takes us through the record-breaking warmth
As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the province, the Alberta government is expected to introduce further measures to slow the spread of the disease.A meeting of the priorities implementation cabinet committee was scheduled for Monday afternoon to discuss options, according to the premier's office. The committee normally includes Premier Jason Kenney and the ministers of environment, finance, energy, innovation, health, justice, and children's services.Monday's meeting also included the ministers of municipal affairs, labour, and education.Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, cut her COVID-19 update short on Monday to attend the meeting but said little about what could be in store for Albertans."My role, again, is simply to provide recommendations," she told reporters.Speaking outside the legislative assembly, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said the cabinet would look to Hinshaw's advice for direction."I can say this, that we are taking these rising numbers very seriously," he said.COVID-19 cases have continued to rise rapidly, with new daily cases passing the 1,500 threshold for the past two days. As of Monday, Alberta had 13,166 active cases. more than any other province in Canada.The Official Opposition has hounded the government in recent weeks to introduce further measures.On Nov. 12, the government introduced measures in major population centres that require bars and licensed restaurants to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m. and to close an hour later. It also prohibited group fitness programs.Businesses would struggle through shutdownBusinesses are bracing for new restrictions. When Pigs Fly has sold gifts and trinkets from its storefront on Edmonton's Whyte Avenue for more than 25 years.Decorations are already up at the store in preparation for the Christmas season. Manager Tara Chekowski said the next few weeks are crucial for revenue to carry through the slower months of January through March."This is our time of the year that we need to be open and we need to be selling items," she said.With the possibility of new restrictions, Chekowski said the business is at least better prepared than it was at the beginning of the pandemic last spring. She intends to enter more items into the online store and hopes curbside pickup and delivery will be allowed."Unfortunately, if there is a shutdown we're going to have to take that in stride," she said.Kyle Murray, vice dean of the University of Alberta's Alberta School of Business, said many retailers are already struggling to find a way forward through the pandemic."If we can shut down for a short period of time, and as a result of that save lives … that's a good outcome," he said. "And I think most businesses are OK with that."But long-term shutdowns spurred by an increasingly dire pandemic could make things much worse, Murray warned."Any kind of shutdown is difficult. There's no easy decision here."Alberta announced on Monday it would open applications for a second round of its Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant. The payment will be available to businesses in areas on the provincial watch list that have health restrictions.Community spread in schoolsA report from the Edmonton Public School Board on the impact of COVID-19 on the first quarter showed 10,500 students and 1,075 staff were recommended or required to self-isolate. Cases were found in 111 of the division's 215 schools."It's clear the same COVID numbers that are happening in the community are happening in our schools," said trustee Michael Janz, who requested the report in October. He said staff are doing everything they can to prevent the spread of the virus within schools.Janz was critical of the government's communication about its future plans."We need as much notice as possible for whatever they are deciding," he said. "And it's not fair to 100,000 students, staff and families in Edmonton public schools to make them wait. "Tell us now. Get us the information as soon as possible."Colin Aitchison, press secretary for Education Minister Adrianna LaGrange, said in an emailed statement that the ministry was following Hinshaw's advice and was ready to make changes based on that advice."We are in regular contact with education partners, including school boards across Alberta, to deal with the challenges that arise during learning in a COVID-19 environment," he said.Hinshaw said Monday there were active alerts or outbreaks in 304 Alberta schools — about 13 per cent of the total."I am confident that because of the diligence of our schools, parents, guardians and students, the number of cases in schools will remain stable," she said.
There were more adjournments in the case against an Onion Lake woman accused of killing an Onion Lake man. Shari Heathen, 27, was scheduled to elect how she wants to be tried on Nov. 23 but the matter was adjourned to Dec. 21 in Lloydminster Provincial Court. Heathen is charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of Braden Alfred James Sparvier, 26, whose body was found Jan. 1, 2020, along a road in the R.M. of Frenchman Butte, which borders Onion Lake Cree Nation. According to Sparvier’s obituary, he was born and raised in Regina and moved to Onion Lake Cree Nation with family in his late teens. His obituary described him as “selfless and (he) put everyone first.” It went on to say that he was “so loving, kind, gentle and happy. He had a smile that would light up any room and he had the most contagious laugh.” The RCMP Major Crimes North unit arrested Heathen in July after a seven-month investigation. RCMP say the investigation into Sparvier’s death is ongoing and they encourage anyone with information to call Turtleford RCMP at 306-845-4520. Information may also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Good morning! This is our daily news roundup with everything you need to know in one concise read. Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox every morning.As COVID-19 cases soar and regions lock down, Dr. Tam has a blunt message about holiday planningOn a day that saw Ontario and Manitoba announce record-high numbers of new COVID-19 cases, two provinces pull out of the much-lauded Atlantic bubble and close their borders, and millions of people in different regions of the country plunge back into lockdowns reminiscent of last spring, Canada's chief public health officer said the tighter rules are a necessary evil right now. "The longer you wait to increase the measures, the longer it would take to come out of the restrictions," Dr. Theresa Tam told The National co-host Andrew Chang. She said that over the past several months, provincial and territorial medical officers of health tried hard to achieve a balance where they could keep up with COVID-19 testing and contact tracing while keeping society open. "It's just something that people have never tried in the history of the last hundred years," Tam said. "They were trying really hard to minimize impact on the economic side, on schools, on work.... It's just not an easy thing to do."WATCH | Tam says the message around holidays is the same no matter where in Canada you live:In the past month alone, Canada's number of confirmed or presumptive cases rose by more than 125,000, increasing from 211,732 on Oct. 23 to 337,555 on Monday. Provinces are seeing daily case counts higher than they ever saw during the first wave. And so now, with the holiday season just weeks away, Canadians are wondering if one of the bright spots in Canada's long, dark winter will be another casualty of 2020 — and whether the country will ever get off the roller-coaster of flattening the curve only to see cases soar again. Tam is blunt when it comes to the upcoming holiday season: No large gatherings. Keep it small. Keep it within your own household. "Christmas is not going to be having any kind of large group interactions," she said. "Even with family, you've got to really think twice. Avoid non-essential travel. Keep to your current household contacts as much as possible." Read more on this story here.Simian serenade(Prapan Chankaew/Reuters)British musician Paul Barton plays the piano for the macaques that occupy the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple site in Lopburi, Thailand, in this photo taken Nov. 21. The audience was a bit unruly as they climbed all over him, pulled his hair and tried to eat his sheet music. Barton said he hoped the music might calm the animals at a time when the pandemic-caused drop in Thailand's tourism industry means fewer visitors to feed them, and less money for their welfare.In briefAlberta has reached a "precarious point" in the coronavirus pandemic, the province's top doctor said Monday upon reporting 1,549 new cases and five more deaths. The province's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw also said there were 13,166 active cases in Alberta — surpassing Ontario's 13,004 for the most in the country. Hinshaw said she was meeting with a cabinet committee "to discuss a series of new measures to reduce the rising spread of COVID-19," and said a detailed update would be coming today. "We must take action. Waiting any longer will impact our ability to care for Albertans in the weeks and months ahead," she said. Read more on this story here.WATCH | Alberta faces pressure for increased restrictions as COVID-19 cases 'snowball':The Canada Revenue Agency says it's warning about 213,000 Canadians who may have been paid twice through the Canada emergency response benefit (CERB) program that they could be called upon to repay the money. But repayment isn't required right away, says the agency. The CRA has suspended collection of debts for the duration of the pandemic emergency. "The Canada Revenue Agency … has issued letters to individuals who may have applied for the Canadian emergency response benefit … from both Service Canada and the CRA, and who may be required to repay an amount to the CRA," an agency spokesperson said in an email. "We will resume collections activities when it is responsible to do so, including collection of debts related to CERB payments." The agency is still recommending people pay back any CERB funds to which they're not entitled by the end of the year, warning that if they don't, the sum will appear on T4A tax slips and will need to be reported as income on next year's tax return. Read more about the possible CERB repayments. Canada has turned away at least 4,400 asylum seekers at the U.S. border since 2016 — including some who were hoping to find refuge here at the height of the global pandemic — according to newly released government figures. Nearly half of those trying to enter Canada over that nearly five-year period made the attempt in the year after U.S. President Donald Trump took office. The figures were released in response to a parliamentary request from NDP MP Jenny Kwan. Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, which has been in effect since 2004, Canada and the U.S. consider each other to be "safe countries" for refugees and require them to make their claims in the country they arrive in first. The agreement has long faced criticism and legal challenges from refugee advocacy groups, who say the agreement is an inhumane way to limit the number of people Canada accepts as refugees. They say the U.S. is not a safe country for all refugees and that the dangers they face have increased under the Trump administration. Read more about the figures on asylum seekers. NAV Canada, hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, is considering cutting air traffic controller jobs at seven towers across Canada in an effort to save money as the global health crisis continues to drag down air traffic. CBC News obtained an internal memo from Nav Canada president and CEO Neil Wilson informing staff that the not-for-profit company that operates Canada's civil air navigation system is conducting studies of air traffic control towers in Whitehorse, Regina, Fort McMurray, Alta., Prince George, B.C., and Sault Ste. Marie and Windsor in Ontario, which "will result in workforce adjustments." The company also is looking into closing a control tower in St. Jean, Que. These locations were identified as having low air-traffic levels, even prior to the pandemic, the memo said. Some aviation experts and airlines warn that the cuts would amount to removing a layer of protection. "It would degrade the level of safety at Whitehorse," said Joe Sparling, president of Whitehorse-based airline Air North. "We would encourage Nav Canada to look for other cost reduction measures." Read more about possible NAV Canada cuts here. U.S. president-elect Joe Biden can start the formal transition of power process after the federal agency that must sign off on it said Monday that he could. "I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you," General Services Administration (GSA) chief Emily Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden. Yesterday, Michigan certified Biden's victory in that state, while a judge in Pennsylvania over the weekend threw out a lawsuit from U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign that sought to block certification in that state. The move by the GSA means Biden's team will now get federal funds and an official office to conduct his transition. Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris will also get access to the regular national security briefings that Trump gets. Read more about the transition here.WATCH | Trump allows co-operation in presidential transition as Biden chooses cabinet:Now for some good news to start your Tuesday: Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honey combs. Tristan Kennedy, 5, shared that joke and more than 100 other knee-slappers outside his home in Pitt Meadows, B.C., this spring in an effort to brighten up the days of his neighbours during the pandemic. For 155 days straight starting in April, Kennedy and his mother, Naya Kohout, searched for jokes and then shared them on a sign at the end of their driveway, with the setup line written up and posted on one side and the punchline on the other. Despite hearing a few groans from those bemoaning the jokes, the response was so positive they asked passersby if they would be interested in a book of jokes. Kohout says the demand was there, so they put together an offering. To date, they have sold more than 120 books, and raised more than $1,200, which they are donating in equal parts to the Ridge Meadows Senior Society and the Friends in Need Food Bank. Read more here about the joke book.Front Burner: Virus rages in 'precarious' AlbertaIn the first wave of the pandemic, Alberta was one of the provinces that seemed to have things relatively under control. Now, the province has daily case rates three times as high as Quebec or Ontario, and ICUs in Calgary and Edmonton have been hitting 90 per cent capacity. But Premier Jason Kenney hasn't addressed the province at a COVID-19 briefing for almost two weeks, and has resisted repeated calls for lockdowns from doctors and other experts. It's leading some Albertans to tweet the hashtag WhereIsKenney. Today, Jason Markusoff of Maclean's joins us to talk about how Alberta got here, and what happens now.Today in history: November 241892: Sir John Abbott, third prime minister of Canada and the first PM born in Canada, steps down due to ill health. He is succeeded by Sir John S. D. Thompson. 1937: The Canadian Authors Association sets up the Governor General's Literary Awards. Bertram Brooker wins the first award for his 1936 novel Think of the Earth. 1980: Moretta (Molly) Reilly, the first woman in Canada to get an airline transport pilot's licence and a member of the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame, dies in Edmonton at the age of 58. 1981: The Metric Commission of Canada announces the full conversion to the metric system in food stores across Canada. The changeover from imperial units to metric was implemented simultaneously in 21 areas across Canada in January 1982 and covered the rest of the country within two years. 1987: Jehane Benoît, called Canada's first lady of cuisine who published 25 cookbooks and was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 1973, dies at age 83.
Saskatchewan health policy consultant Steven Lewis has watched from the relative safety of Melbourne, Australia, as COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths have spiked back in his home province.The southern Australian city of five million people, where Lewis is currently living, is now COVID-free and in the process of lifting restrictions.Lewis, who has advised governments in several provinces and countries, agreed to share his thoughts on Saskatchewan's rapidly deteriorating COVID-19 situation — which saw nearly 3,000 active cases and more than 100 people in hospital as of Monday.On Monday, the province announced four more people with the virus had died and that Premier Scott Moe is in isolation after a recent potential exposure in the Prince Albert area.Lewis said the three-month lockdown in Australia was difficult, but that residents generally agreed it was necessary. Those tempted to flout the rules were slapped with large fines. Lewis said he isn't recommending an Australia-style lockdown, but that one thing is clear: the Saskatchewan government's "half-assed" approach will simply prolong the pandemic's devastating effects on people's health and the economy.The following comments by Lewis have been condensed and edited.On 'high-risk venues'Lewis: It's crazy to allow bars and restaurants and gyms to stay open. They are known worldwide to be three sites where infections take off. Alcohol is a disinhibitor. Loud music makes people lean in and talk louder to be heard over it, expelling more droplets. People exercising strenuously breathe more heavily, sweat, expel. On gatheringsAll mass gatherings, including church services, weddings, funerals, should be locked down, and [there should be] very strong prohibition of socializing at home with non-family members.On mandatory masksAt least [Saskatchewan] has mandatory mask wearing indoors in public spaces. But responding too late can't be undone. It may be useful prospectively but the numbers got bigger than they had to.On enforcing the rulesI don't have strong enough evidence to suggest cause and effect, but enforcement appears to matter.Here in Victoria [Australia], population 6.5 million, since March the police have issued about 25,000 tickets for COVID non-adherence violations, at an average of about $1,200, which is pretty steep. I do think this, combined with the 8 p.m. curfew that was in place for weeks, was a deterrent for young people.What we've learned is that even if messaging is well-done and broadly effective, a small number of non-adherers can spark a new cluster that quickly expands. When 95 per cent adherence isn't good enough, you cannot rely on moral suasion or appeals to civility.On contact tracingOnce numbers get beyond double-digits per day, contact tracing becomes virtually useless. It's just too labour-intensive, people may not have good recall, and there is still stigma and suspicion of authority, so people may not disclose their contacts.On testingCanada is still terrible at testing.Slovakia tested just about the entire adult population in a weekend and then repeated a weekend later. They found about a 1 per cent positive rate the first weekend and directed the infected to isolate. The positive rate the second weekend was a lot lower, no doubt because the first one removed the positives and kept them out of the population.My understanding is that it is still hard for asymptomatic people (in Canada) to get a publicly provided test and the results take days rather than hours.On the Saskatchewan government's 'slowdown' plan[Health professionals] have I think justifiably hammered the government for it's half-assed and complicated approach.It is increasingly clear that you can't slow-walk the pandemic with a fine-tuned balancing act that keeps the economy humming while keeping daily case rates at a predictable and low level. It's too volatile, there are too many asymptomatic transmissions, and there's too big a time-lag between when you are infected and when you know you are.So you have to come down hard and fast and universally to flatten the curve quickly. If you have to stop and start and stop and start, it's just as disruptive for businesses and the pain is prolonged. Bottom line: Saskatchewan has been tested by the second wave and largely failed. It was stupid to differentiate between urban and rural Saskatchewan [on mandatory masks] and it's really stupid to keep known high-risk venues open. The virus doesn't care if you're going to a bar or to church. It's going to bite people in both places if you keep them open.
HOUSTON — The U.S. government has agreed temporarily not to deport detained immigrant women who have alleged being abused by a rural Georgia gynecologist, according to court papers filed Tuesday.In a motion that must still be approved by a federal judge, the Justice Department and lawyers for several of the women agreed that immigration authorities would not carry out any deportations until mid-January.Dozens of women have alleged that they were mistreated by Dr. Mahendra Amin, a gynecologist who was seeing patients from the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia. The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general is investigating as well. Amin has denied any wrongdoing through his lawyer.Several women say they have faced retaliation by immigration authorities for coming forward. One woman has said that hours after she spoke to investigators, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified her that it had lifted a hold on her deportation. Another woman was taken to an airport to be placed on a deportation flight before her lawyers could intervene.The agreement filed in court Tuesday proposes that no deportations would take place until at least mid-January for women who have “substantially similar factual allegations.”Elora Mukherjee, a Columbia University law professor working with several of the women, said the agreement gives the women "a measure of protection for trying to expose the abuses there.”“ICE and others at Irwin thought they could silence these women,” she said. “They thought they could act with impunity and nothing would ever happen. But the women have organized and had the audacity to speak out.”ICE said Tuesday that it “complies with all binding court orders.” The agency has previously denied allegations that it tried to deport women to silence them, saying in a written statement: “Any implication that ICE is attempting to impede the investigation by conducting removals of those being interviewed is completely false.”Scott Grubman, a lawyer for Amin, did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.The allegations were originally revealed by a whistleblower complaint. Further investigations have found several examples of Amin performing surgeries on women who later said they didn't consent to the procedures or didn't fully understand them.Grubman has denied any wrongdoing by the doctor and previously described Amin as a “highly respected physician who has dedicated his adult life to treating a high-risk, underserved population in rural Georgia.”Nomaan Merchant, The Associated Press
’Twas days before Black Friday when all around the country, shoppers were gearing up for a day full of shopping.OK, so maybe you haven’t exactly been gearing up for the day after Thanksgiving. Maybe you haven’t done any research at all.No need to worry; we’ve broken down everything you need to do between now and Black Friday to snag the biggest savings — with the least amount of effort.Here’s your last-minute Black Friday guide.SEARCH THE WEB FOR SALESYou’ve probably been getting emails about Black Friday sales since October. Believe it or not, those were the early sales. The actual Black Friday event will take place on Nov. 27, and, yes, more deals are coming.Part of the reason for the longer holiday shopping season? Retailers are in “fierce competition” for sales given the pandemic’s rippling effects of consumer unemployment and lower disposable income, according to Simone Peinkofer, assistant professor of supply chain management at Michigan State University.Most retailers have already announced their planned Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday discounts with shiny websites and flashy ads. Go directly to a store’s website or do an online search for the store’s name plus the words “Black Friday” to preview the deals. Some deal sites sift through the ads and pull out the biggest discounts for you.GO ONLINE — OR HOLD A SPOT IN LINEAfter you zero in on what you want, decide how you’ll get it. This year, there’s more than one way to shop on Black Friday: online, at the store or a hybrid of both.Another one of the many retail effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is an increase in online shopping, as opposed to in-store purchases, as people avoid packed indoor spaces.“There will hopefully be no crowds, no stampedes, and no long lines,” said Vicki Morwitz, the Bruce Greenwald Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, in an email.Retailers are making it easy to avoid the traditional physical store experience. You can shop online for home delivery or curbside pickup. If you do choose to go to a store, Target will even let you save a spot in line.Morwitz says stores will probably look different this year as they carry fewer product categories to free up space. The products that occupy the space are changing, too. For example, as business attire gives way to athleisure, retailers may shift space allocations to reflect the current demand.SAVE A LITTLE EXTRAPerhaps most importantly, make it your goal to pay the least amount possible for your Black Friday purchases.Discounts will likely be deep this year because, as Morwitz points out, retailers are counting on a successful holiday selling season, especially after many stores have suffered financially during the COVID-19 crisis. But that doesn’t mean you should pay the first price you see. Compare prices across stores.Online discount strategies will be particularly useful this year for added savings. Search for coupons and use cash back, recommends Tiara Rea-Palmer, head of partnerships at CouponFollow, a coupon website.Make a list of the things you know you absolutely want to buy. Then, you can even prepare to buy any items that you think will be in high demand or at risk of selling out.“Because everyone’s shopping online, no one is going to be lining up in a store,” Rea-Palmer says. “The equivalent of that online is really to put these items in your shopping cart beforehand so that you’re ready to purchase them when they go on sale.”PREP FOR A RETURN TRIPIf you buy something you don’t like on Black Friday, you can usually return it. So just in case something goes wrong with your bargain purchases, figure out how you can return them to the store or by mail.Walmart and Best Buy, among other stores, have extended their holiday return windows. Look at retailer websites before Black Friday to familiarize yourself with their policies.As Morwitz points out, longer return periods and easier return methods that don’t require going into stores can help mitigate crowds after the holiday season. Consider making returns by mail when possible.And after all of your planning and preparation, reap the rewards of Black Friday discounts.“I think even this year, these retailers are going to go all out to try to get people to continue to shop in the same way that they did in years past,” Rea-Palmer says. “So the deals are going to be very competitive.”____________________________This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. Courtney Jespersen is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.RELATED LINKS:NerdWallet: How to save money: 17 tips http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-money-tipsCourtney Jespersen Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
A new study has shed light on the extreme toll COVID-19 has had on Ontario's health-care workers.Last spring, researchers interviewed 10 workers throughout the province about their experiences on the frontline of the pandemic.They spoke of high levels of fear, anxiety and emotional distress, said Jim Brophy, an adjunct professor with the University of Windsor sociology department, who worked on the study. They also reported very high workloads, and felt they weren't supported in their roles."And then, of course, the tremendous fear that they would become infected or that they would infect other patients, that they would infect their families," said Brophy, one of four researchers behind the study."They would go home at night and cry all the way home, couldn't sleep."The study participants included nurses, cleaners, clerical workers and personal support workers (PSWs) — some at hospitals, others at long-term care facilities. They were quoted at length about the difficulties they faced on the job and how they grappled with the strain of the surging pandemic."My husband and I are in separate bedrooms. We even have separate bathrooms because I don't want to take the chance of bringing something home to him ... I haven't seen my grandchildren," one PSW was quoted as saying.Frustrations were also expressed about inadequate protection from infection, as well as the pandemic response from government.The research was conducted in partnership with the health-care workers' union, the Council of Hospital Unions-Canadian Union of Public Employees (OCHU-CUPE), which helped the researchers locate participants.It follows a March survey of 3,000 Ontario health-care workers conducted by OCHU-CUPE that found that 87 per cent didn't have enough personal protective equipment to stay safe and 91 per cent felt "abandoned" by the provincial government.The researchers argue the pandemic has illuminated longstanding shortcomings in Ontario's health-care system, including under-funding and under-staffing.According to the most recent provincial statistics, out of more than 105,000 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Ontario as of Monday, nearly 8,900 were health care workers.Statistics also show eight workers from long-term care homes have lost their lives to the illness.Hope for better supportsBrophy is hopeful the study will spark stronger efforts to protect and support those on the frontlines."I'm hoping that all of this will contribute to a greater awareness that the public is not safe if our health care workers are not safe," he said.The Ontario government has established mental health resources specifically for health-care workers, including peer support groups and services at five hospitals.The province has earmarked an additional $3.3 billion to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and improve health care in 2020-2021.
The mayor, senior administrative officer (SAO) and former interim SAO of Norman Wells, N.W.T., have formally responded to a defamation suit against them and the town from its previous SAO, Catherine Mallon. Mallon worked as the town's SAO for about three years ending in October 2018. In 2019, the town filed a lawsuit against her and the town's former mayor Nathan Watson, alleging they conspired to defraud the town of $1.26 million.In May 2020 Mallon responded with a $2.57 million defamation lawsuit. Her suite alleged that the town used a T4 that included earnings over two calendar years to make it seem like she was overpaid. It also accuses current SAO Cathy Clarke, who is named in the suit alongside Mayor Frank Pope and interim SAO Darren Flynn, of failing to carefully review the town's records before making claims against Mallon.A recent notice of motion filed by the defendants says they acted with no ill will, with the input of their lawyers, and with a sincere belief that the report they had received from the Northwest Territories' Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) department was a forensic audit showing a pattern of misbehaviour. The notice filed in response to Mallon's lawsuit was one of seven documents in court filed on Nov. 18, including affidavits from Pope, Flynn, Clarke, and other people connected to the suit.A second notice of motion from the town accuses Mallon's team of sloppy legal filing, including vague accusations that amount to a "fishing expedition," and claims of damage that the defendants can't directly defend themselves against. "A defendant cannot plead in response where, as here, the plaintiff pleads only the alleged effect of the words spoken … and not of the words themselves," the notice states.When contacted by CBC, Mallon said that based on advice from her lawyer, she would not comment on the new documents filed with the courts."I am confident that I will be vindicated and I look forward to a determination of all of the allegations by a judge based on evidence, rather than speculation," Mallon said in an email.Lawyer told town mayor financial report was 'flawed'Many of the defendants' affidavits in their two notices of motion speak to the financial report that became the backbone of the town's lawsuit against Mallon, accusing her and Watson of fraud. An affidavit from interim SAO Darren Flynn said that after receiving a tax form he found unusual, he requested a forensic audit from the territorial department, and sent a copy of his request to his personal email for his own records. An affidavit from Pope, the mayor, said that after his election, he was told the territory was working on this forensic audit, and when he received an email with a PDF from MACA, he "understood this to be the results of a forensic audit requested."That PDF was a draft of a financial report on Mallon's spending, from EPR Yellowknife Accounting. According to the profiles of staff at the firm, two employees there specialize in forensic audits. The firm did not immediately reply to a request for comment.In an emailed statement from a MACA spokesperson, the department confirmed EPR was the successful proponent when the department put out a request for proposals to look at alleged "unusual activities in payroll and corporate credit cards."But the spokesperson said the department would make no further comment while the case was before the courts.Pope's affidavit shows that the town got legal advice about how to discuss and share information about its $1.26 million lawsuit against Mallon and Watson, accusing them of fraud. But the town's lawyer's advice, included alongside the affidavit, also cautions the town to avoid making assumptions based on the document received from the department."I would be particularly cautious about relying on the draft audit report," wrote lawyer Chris Buchanan in an email filed by the defendants along with Pope's affidavit. "I think some of the analysis is flawed."The documents also respond to specific allegations in Mallon's lawsuit against the town for damaging her reputation.Not defamatory to ask if Mallon and Watson were 'lovers,' defence saysIn Mallon's statement of claim, she says that town manager Cathy Clarke asked someone if Mallon and former mayor Nathan Watson were "lovers."In a notice of motion and an affidavit, Clarke denies asking this. A second notice of motion says that this kind of question is not defamatory and "is simply a question." Mallon's statement of claim also says that interim SAO Darren Flynn spread rumours about her reputation that made it hard for her to get new work. Flynn does acknowledge in an affidavit that then-Iqaluit mayor Madeline Redfern called him to ask about Mallon's performance, and he said that her finances were under investigation. He also told an executive search firm about the inquiries being made into her finances, when that firm was being hired to find a new town manager, he said, adding that he considered the information to be important for the city and the headhunter to know.
Talking to your children about the COVID-19 pandemic can be difficult, but with schools in the Windsor-Essex region and beyond experiencing outbreaks, that conversation may be necessary.So how should you talk to your kids about COVID-19?For Lance Rappaport, a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor at the University of Windsor, the first step may just be acknowledging that having this conversation is not the easiest thing to do."It's a difficult conversation to have ... It's a difficult thing to articulate and communicate with a child," he said. Drawing on your own knowledge of your child — their developmental stage, their fears, and what they already know — can also be valuable in preparing to have the conversation. "Every child is going to be somewhat different, and I think parents are in a unique position to know their child and explain it in a way that the child will understand," Rappaport said.Rappaport added that one of the keys to having a good conversation is to remember to talk about preventative and safety measures against the disease, rather than just talking about the risk.Good listening is keyStacey Slobodnick, clinical lead for outpatient services at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare's Regional Children's Centre, says that it's important to be aware of your own emotional state heading into the conversation. What might be most important is to be a calm and sometimes inquisitive listener."Regardless of whatever comments the child is making, I want the parent to reflect back, 'Oh it sounds like you're really scared.' 'Sounds like you're not scared at all.' 'Tell me some more about that,'" she said.It's an effort to get information from the child before offering information about the pandemic or an outbreak. But before you do that, Slobodnick says it's important to be aware of your child's developmental stage, including how much information your child can handle.Emphasizing that uncertainty and a lack of control are difficult is also important, but that comes with an opportunity to talk to your child about what they can control."Uncertainty can be really hard, so I want [parents] to validate and acknowledge that that's difficult," she said. "When we have situations where we don't have a lot of control, I want the parents to then focus on what are the things we can control."These include how to spend their time, what things can be done to keep safe and how they plan on doing their schoolwork.What you shouldn't doIn terms of mistakes to avoid, Slobodnick says you should not share questionable information from unreliable sources with your child. You also don't want to project your own fears and concerns, she said, adding parents should remember to stay calm. "So just being really aware, if this is something that makes you really nervous, know that your child needs to see that you're confident and that the two of your are going to get through this situation together," she said.Though the pandemic has been going on for nine months, Slobodnick warns that now is also not the time to get desensitized. "Even though we're kind of used to it by now, it's still something kind of impeding us from living our best life right now," she said.
The mix, developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is to be given to people who have the infection and are at high risk. View on euronews
Stratégie Carrière mise sur la régionalisation de l’immigration et tente de convaincre des familles montréalaises de s’établir dans la région. L’objectif: combler les besoins en main-d’œuvre des entreprises locales, mais aussi de lutter contre la dévitalisation de cette région où la moyenne d’âge est l’une des plus élevées au Québec. Stratégie Carrière vient, en ce sens, de recevoir une aide de près de 120 000 $ sur trois ans du ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI). L’initiative n’est ni nouvelle ni unique ; nombre de régions québécoises tentent le coup. À Trois-Rivières comme ailleurs, les efforts semblent peu à peu produire des résultats. Stratégie Carrière convainc, chaque année, une quinzaine de familles immigrantes de s’établir en Mauricie avec, à la clé, un emploi gardé au chaud. Beaucoup viennent de France, du continent africain et de l’Amérique latine, précise Luce Ricard, chargée de projet — régionalisation chez Stratégie Carrière. « Ils finissent toujours par trouver un emploi. Malgré la pandémie, il y a des secteurs qui ont le vent dans les voiles, comme le domaine du textile, de la désinfection des locaux par pulvérisateur et dans le domaine de la santé et de l’éducation. On réussit à placer nos candidats et à leur trouver un salaire parfois plus attrayant que celui de la PCU, récemment rebaptisé», indique Luce Ricard. Convaincre les familles Pour convaincre des familles immigrantes établies à Montréal d’accorder leur faveur aux régions, Stratégie Carrière entretient des liens serrés avec quatre organismes de la métropole. Parmi eux, Carrefour Blé, Promis, Collectif, et Alpa. L’organisation trifluvienne collabore aussi en Mauricie avec le Service d’accueil des nouveaux arrivants et la Ville de Trois-Rivières. La pandémie est toutefois venue brouiller les projets de Stratégie Carrière. La directrice de l’organisme constate que les nouveaux arrivants sont souvent ceux qui perdent leur emploi en premier. «Par contre, il y a certains secteurs qui sont encore pénurie de main-d’œuvre et ça nous permet de les replacer rapidement », assure Annie Jean. Il est clair que la pandémie aura joué les trouble-fêtes, à plus d’un titre. Les salons de l’emploi sont à proscrire, les déplacements déconseillés, les rencontres en personne aussi. L’organisme devra nul doute revoir ses objectifs à la baisse. « Dans le contexte actuel, c’est un peu une boule de cristal. On essaie d’extrapoler en fonction de nos références antérieures, mais il est difficile de savoir comment va réagir le marché du travail et comment va s’articuler la reprise économique. On est un peu dans l’œil du cyclone. Quand on va en émerger, on sera en mesure de mieux diriger nos efforts, explique Annie Jean. Le ministère comprend bien la situation .» Pour l’heure, Stratégie Carrière demeure donc en mode veille, mais continue de vanter les mérites de la région et de ses entreprises. « On fait valoir le fait que c’est une ville à échelle humaine, qu’il y a de grands espaces, un atout non négligeable en ces temps de COVID-19. Il y a une vitalité économique, tout le réseau scolaire et une qualité de vie. On est en train de semer. C’est un travail de long terme. Quand les gens viennent ici, ils se rendent compte qu’ils y gagnent », conclut Mme Jean.Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
Thousands of Albertans caught in a COVID-19 contact tracing backlog will no longer have their cases investigated.The province's contact tracing system has grown increasingly overwhelmed as Alberta's case counts spike.Starting Tuesday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is temporarily giving up on investigating contacts for people who received their positive test result more than 10 days ago.There are currently 11,500 people on the waitlist and about 3,000 of them will not be investigated."This is not good, this is not optimal, but this is, I think, choosing the lesser of two evils," said University of Calgary infectious disease expert Dr. Craig Jenne.He says focusing on the most recent cases is the best thing to do given the circumstances."We will have a significant absence of data from those cases, but instead of having that problem continue to move forward into the future I think this is a matter of accepting some loss of data, some loss of understanding of transmission," he said.The temporary measure comes less than three weeks after AHS was forced to limit contact tracing to Albertans connected to high priority settings such as hospitals or schools.Currently, roughly 85 per cent of active cases in the province have no identified source.With such a large gap in data, Jenne says broader restrictions will likely be necessary to rein in surging numbers since health officials don't really know where transmission is occurring.Commenting Tuesday on the situation in Alberta, Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Toronto, said the inability to complete contact tracing is like fighting blind."When you don't have the data, you have no clue what direction you are headed and how to pivot or point, and where to point your public health measures," he said."It's very, very challenging. You need good surveillance data, good contact tracing, good diagnostic tests to really help inform and steer the public health response."
The city of Moncton is asking residents not to treat parks like decoration stores.Dan Hicks, the director of parks and leisure operations for the city, said he's aware of incidents in two local parks where residents have been cutting pine branches and taking them home.One incident happened at Centennial Park. And Hicks said someone witnessed branches being cut in Irishtown Nature Park, and alerted the city.Irishtown Nature Park is one of Canada's largest urban parks and is designated as a nature park, meaning the land is permanently set-aside for the enjoyment of residents but also for the conservation of biological diversity.While some may think it's harmless, Hicks says it's stealing."It's theft, it's destruction of property, it's not your property you shouldn't take it home so that's the first thing." Hicks said."The second thing is these are nature areas, these parks are for everyone, they're the lungs of the city and overall we'd like to see these small trees eventually become big trees and be contributors to our ecosystems so that's why these spaces are here and protected."Hicks said cutting branches can damage the ecosystem."Each one of these trees has a function. They're here to provide ecological benefits and services to the park and ultimately to the citizens and the four legged citizens that also use them for food and shelter and everything else." he said.Hicks said the pandemic is making it hard for many people as the holiday season approaches, but he says there are alternatives to cutting branches off trees in a park."We all want to celebrate the festive season and it's a difficult year for that for sure but there are a lot of really good local sustainably produced festive decor products that people can find in their local area. You don't have to go far, we're in New Brunswick." he said.Hicks said people can also apply for a permit to harvest wreath tips and branch materials on Crown land through the provincial Natural Resources Department. The fee is $20 and the landowner's permission is required.If someone is caught cutting branches in a park, Hicks said the RCMP can be called and charges could be laid.He said if anyone sees this happening, they should report it to the city.Hicks said the parks are there for everyone's enjoyment, not "just for your living room."
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Netflix plans to establish one of the largest production hubs in North America with an expansion of its existing studio complex in New Mexico and a commitment to an additional $1 billion in production spending, government and corporate leaders announced Monday. Ten new stages, post-production services, offices, mills, backlots and other infrastructure would be added to Netflix's growing campus on the southern edge of Albuquerque. Aside from construction jobs, the project is expected to result in 1,000 production jobs over the next decade. Netflix first marked its presence in New Mexico in 2018, when it announced it was buying Albuquerque Studios and pledged $1 billion in spending over a decade. At the time, government officials saw the move as a transformative victory for a state that has struggled to lessen its reliance on federal funding and oil and gas development. "I am glad Netflix has chosen to double-down on its commitment to our state, and our partnership will continue to grow for the benefit of New Mexicans across the board,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos pointed to the proximity to Los Angeles, the crew base and local talent as reasons for the continued investment. “It allows us to be more nimble in executing our production plans while cementing the status of the region as one of the leading production centres in North America,” he said. A total of $24 million in state and local economic development funding will be funneled toward the expansion, and industrial revenue bonds will be issued by the city of Albuquerque to help reduce some taxes for Netflix. The footprint of the production hub will grow with a private land purchase and a lease involving state trust land. The Albuquerque Development Commission signed off on the proposal Monday. The City Council still must give its approval. Over the last 20 years, the film and television industry has become an economic force in New Mexico, with direct spending topping $525 million in the last fiscal year. “This is all outside money coming into the state, which would not be here otherwise,” state Economic Development Secretary Alicia J. Keyes told the commission during a meeting. She said the partnership with Netflix should send a signal that New Mexico is the place to be for film and television production. Businesses have cropped up around the state to support the industry, she said, and data from the state film office suggests 40% of production budgets go to small, local vendors. “So it really is trickling through our economy,” she said. As part of the proposed investment, Netflix has committed to providing training programs in partnership with the New Mexico Film Office, local universities and industry organizations. Netflix also has committed to supporting Native American, Latino, Black and other underrepresented content creators and filmmakers. Since coming to New Mexico in 2018, Netflix said it has spent more than $200 million, used more than 2,000 production vendors and hired more than 1,600 cast and crew members. Netflix is in production in New Mexico on the original films “The Harder They Fall" and “Intrusion" and is expected to soon begin filming “Stranger Things 4" in Albuquerque. Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, directly addressed young people during Tuesday's news conference, urging them to do what they can do to reverse the trend of COVID-19."Today, I want to speak directly to the youth of New Brunswick," Russell said in her opening remarks.New Brunswickers under the age of 30 are contracting COVID-19 in growing numbers, and currently make up 56.3 per cent of the province's active caseload, she said. Until recently, they accounted for 29.4 per cent of all cases. "Children, teens and young adults are not immune to this disease. They can become gravely ill ... and they can pass it on to others who are more vulnerable."Russell urged them to wear a mask in public, maintain physical distancing and observe other preventive measures."You can help return all zones to the yellow phase," she said. Russell also announced five new cases on Tuesday, although Public Health originally reported six.Three of the new cases are in the Saint John region (Zone 2), and include: * two people 19 or under, and * one individual 30 to 39.Two cases are in the Moncton region (Zone 1), both cases are individuals age 20 to 29.WATCH | Dr. Jennifer Russell appeals directly to New Brunswick's youth, young adultsThere are now 93 active cases in the province, with no one in hospital with the disease."There will be more cases," Russell warned. "A record number of people across the province are self-isolating ... and the risk that our hospitals will be overwhelmed is high."Russell was repeatedly asked why she is not rolling Zones 1 and 2 back to the red phase in light of rising case numbers in schools and in the community.She stressed that the situation is being closely monitored and that the goal is to balance the mental health and livelihoods of residents with protecting them from COVID-19 and protecting the health-care system from being overwhelmed."I understand the worry and concern, but we are evaluating the situation every single day," Russell said. "It's a very fluid situation."WATCH| Education Minister Dominic Cardy says he's prepared to switch system to online learning at a moment's noticeCommunity transmission hasn't been detected in N.B.Dr. Jennifer Russell said Tuesday that community transmission of COVID-19 has not been detected in New Brunswick.While 20 cases are still classified as "under investigation," she said it can take time to trace all the contacts and establish links."In the Zone 5 (Campbellton) outbreak, there were about five unlinked chains of transmission," Russell said. "At the time, because we didn't have those links, we assumed we had community transmission. But by the end of the outbreak we were able to link them all."That hasn't been the case in the Saint John region, she said."Every single case in Saint John is linked. There is no community transmission."In the Moncton region, there are several unlinked chains, but contact tracing and interviewing are still underway "and that's why we haven't declared community transmission," Russell said. Cardy on cases in schools, and why they're staying openEducation Minister Dominic Cardy said Tuesday that classes at some schools will move online temporarily, but took a firm stance on keeping schools open for now.He said the province learned from the earlier outbreak in the Campbellton region, took the summer to develop a plan and was able to push COVID-19 back."In the summer I was clear," he said. "I said there would be more cases, and more deaths. This is not a surprise."For now, he noted, a handful of classes in Zones 2 and 3 will be learning from home "in the coming week or two." Cardy said parents will be able to access remote IT services if there are technical issues, and provided this number: 1-833-453-1140. The classes that are moving online are at Centreville school and Montgomery school in Zone 3 and Hampton Middle School and Lakefield Elementary School in Zone 2.An email was sent to Lakefield school parents on Monday, saying that the kindergarten to Grade 5 school in Quispamsis is working with Public Health to identify students and personnel who might have come into contact with the coronavirus."Public Health officials will contact you if your child has been in close contact with the confirmed case and will tell you if your child needs to self-isolate," the email said. On Tuesday, Cardy took pains to acknowledge that this is an "incredibly stressful" time for parents, and said he knows some are asking that schools be shut down completely."But school is so incredibly important" for students' mental health and well-being, he said."So unless you've heard from Public Health, students need to continue going to school." However, he added, he would "not hesitate for a moment to move schools online" if the situation worsens.Asked if he was concerned that any Department of Education staff might not be following the orange phase rules during their off-hours, Cardy spoke bluntly."I'm not the minister for Public Safety and I have no responsibility over what staff do when they're not working," he said. "However, I can tell them that they better shape up. That if I find out anyone in my department is not following the requirements imposed by the orange phase, they'd better be ready to face the consequences."Testing capacity boosted in Saint John region A second assessment centre is being set up on Rothesay Road to deal with a backlog of testing in the Saint John region, Dr. Jennifer Russell said Tuesday.The new site will be set up at James the Less Church, located at 1760 Rothesay Rd. in Rothesay, and will begin taking appointments soon. Additional resources are also being sent to the assessment centre on Ropewalk Road in the north end, which is already operational.Pre-op testing changes for N.B. patients in Nova ScotiaNova Scotia Health is now requiring that all patients from Zones 1 or 2 in New Brunswick who will be undergoing a procedure involving anesthesia must be tested for COVID-19 beforehand. The announcement came Tuesday as Nova Scotia reported 37 new cases of COVID-19, and New Brunswick reported five new cases and two public exposure warnings.Patients can expect to be booked for testing up to 72 hours before the procedure is scheduled. They will be asked to limit movement within their community in the days leading up to the surgery, especially public places and gatherings. In the case of an emergency surgery, patients may be asked to undergo testing the same day as the procedure. How much is too much information in a pandemic?There's a fine balance between saying too much and not enough during a public health crisis, an associate professor of public policy at the University of British Columbia says."Feeling the information is consistent and trustworthy will really help with compliance, so it's completely crucial," said Heidi Tworek, who is also the co-author of Democratic Health Communications during COVID-19: A Rapid Response, which has been featured in the New York Times, Financial Times, CNN and elsewhere.Tworek spoke to Information Morning Fredericton on Tuesday. When a crisis emerges, she said people tend to have a lot of anxiety and want as much information as possible."At the same time, we have to recognize there is a limit to information authorities may be able reveal," she said.New Brunswick Public Health has been cautious about how much information it makes available to the public, withholding all details except the health zones where cases have turned up, the ages of the people who tested positive, and whether their cases are travel-related or under investigation.Although some of her counterparts have used data to show how the disease has spread through a particular area, Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, has said she will share only what she's decided the public needs to hear.There are seven zones in New Brunswick. However, Zone 3, the Fredericton and River Valley area and the largest zone in the province, contains more than 20 communities.Tworek said that if New Brunswick Public Health got too specific about where cases are, people in other areas might let their guards down, causing the virus to spread."We need to figure out the balance how specific to get ... while at the same time trying not to reveal so much, for example, we're stigmatizing certain people," she said, citing what happened during the early years of AIDS and HIV which caused some stigmatization around gay people. Russell has also avoided answering questions on other issues related to COVID-19 during the COVID news conferences that have happened on and off since the outbreak started in March.But there isn't a magic formula, Tworek said.She said countries around the world have taken different approaches to releasing public health information, partly because they have different laws about privacy, she said. Some countries are also more transparent. When the respiratory virus first broke out, authorities in Taiwan made a point of being transparent with the public, telling the public it didn't have enough masks to go around and those that were available were needed for health-care workers. However, countries like Canada have different degrees of disclosure depending on where a person lives. And some members of the public might have more trust in public health authorities than others. She said the most important objective is for public health officials to build trust with the people they're communicating with. And they can do this by explaining how and why they're making certain decisions."It's a very tricky balance." Saint John mayor asks public to stay calmSaint John Mayor Don Darling says he's never been happier to have the flu.Darling received a negative COVID test result Monday. But it's been a roller-coaster experience."I am following the rules.," he told Information Morning Saint John on Tuesday. "I'm masked and I've never washed my hands more in my life. "There's a fear, there's a shame. I didn't know if folks were going to show up with tiki torches outside my home."He has been self-isolating since Friday after experiencing several COVID symptoms, including aches, trouble breathing, a cough and fever. The Saint John region was recently sent back to the orange phase because of the recent spike in cases.There are currently 43 active COVID cases in the Saint John regionDarling is reminding residents to stay patient and calm. "We've seen it in our community, folks speculating and hunting down those that have COVID," he said. "Those that have COVID are human beings."The hospitality industry has been "barely hanging on," throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the vice- president of Restaurants Canada in Atlantic Canada says. Bars, restaurants should be shut down, Saint John bartender says A Saint John bartender says the government should temporarily shut down bars and restaurants in order to control the local COVID-19 outbreak.Liv Wagg, 26, has been off work and self-isolating since last Thursday, after a possible COVID exposure notice at her workplace.It's been a stressful week, said Wagg, and every bartender she knows is on edge.Wagg said she normally enjoys going to work and she thinks it's nice for people to be able to socialize in bars, but she doesn't agree bars should be open right now."I don't think they should be," she said. "I think we should be seeing a little bit more leadership from the government."Wagg said bar owners are taking precautions and following the rules, but a closure order would be a more clearcut way to reduce the spread. Bar and restaurant staff have felt "weird" about working since the mandatory mask order came into effect, she said.That's partly because it's hard to get patrons to follow the rules, said Wagg.Customers often absent-mindedly pull down their masks to talk to her. And she has to remind them to put them back on."People forget and they're like, 'Oh, I can't talk with this thing in my mouth.'"It happens so often, she said, it's "almost comical," except for the threat it currently presents to public health.It puts bartenders in a difficult position, said Wagg, to expect them to catch and confront people who put fake names down for contract tracing or come in with people who are not members of their bubble, as the premier said during Monday's news conference."I feel like it's going to be really, really difficult to execute," said Wagg.When the bar is busy, she said, there isn't time to double check names.And often young bar patrons will have IDs that show their parents' address, not their student accommodations. Wagg would also like to see the government make COVID testing more available to bar and restaurant staff. Nova Scotia has just done that. And it's been recommended by epidemiologist Colin Furness based on what's been learned from the way the disease has spread in Ontario. Chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell said Monday that she'd consider it."I think that's a really good idea," Wagg said. "Anyone working in customer service really should be able to have more access to testing right now."Wagg said she hasn't even tried to get a COVID test because she's heard from other bar staff that she won't get one because she doesn't have symptoms.y. Potential public exposure warnings for Saint John, MonctonNew Brunswick Public Health has released the following possible exposure to COVID-19 warnings for locations in Moncton and Saint John, including gyms, stores, bars, restaurants and on flights.Anyone who visited the following businesses during the identified times should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.Anyone who develops any COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take the self-assessment online to schedule a test.Saint John area * Rothesay Route 1 Big Stop Restaurant on Nov. 14 between 12:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. (2870 Route 1, Rothesay). * Pub Down Under on Nov. 14, between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. (400 Main St., Saint John) * Fish & Brew on Nov. 14 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (800 Fairville Blvd., Saint John) * Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Nov. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (39 King St., Saint John). * Goodlife Fitness McAllister Place on Nov. 16 between noon and 1 p.m. and on Nov. 18 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John). * NBCC Grandview campus on Nov. 16, 17, and 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (950 Grandview Ave., Saint John). * Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio on Nov. 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (47 Clark Rd., Rothesay) * Let's Hummus at 44 Water St. between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. * Eighty-Three Bar Arcade at 43 Princess St. on Nov. 14 between midnight and 2 a.m. * Callie's Pub at 2 Princess St. on Nov. 14 between midnight and 2 a.m. * O'Leary's Pub at 46 Princess St. on Nov. 14 between midnight and 2 a.m. * Five and Dime Bar at 34 Grannan St. on Nov. 14, between 12:30 to 2:30 a.m * Freddie's Pizza at 27 Charlotte St. on Nov. 14, between 2:30 to 3 a.m. * Big Tide Brewing Company at 47 Princess St. on Nov. 16, between 12:30 to 2 p.m. * Java Moose at 84 Prince William St. Nov. 16, between 2 to 2:30 p.m. * Rocky's Sports Bar at 7 Market Square on Nov. 13, between 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Potential public exposure was also reported on Nov. 14 between 10:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m.Moncton * RD Maclean Co. Ltd. on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 200 St. George St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. * GoodLife Fitness on Nov. 21 at 555 Dieppe Blvd, Dieppe, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. * Fit 4 Less at 165 Main St. on Nov. 6-12, at various times between 5 p.m. and midnight. Full list on Public Health website. * GoodLife Fitness at Moncton Junction Village Gym on Nov. 6, between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Potential public exposure was also reported on Nov. 9, between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. * Aldo Shoes at Moncton Champlain Mall on Nov. 6-10 at various times between 9:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. * CEPS Louis-J. Robichaud fitness room at 40 Antonine-Maillet Ave. on Nov. 6, 9, 10 and 12 at various times in the evening from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. * Tandoori Zaika Cuisine and Bar at 196 Robinson St. on Nov. 8, between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. * Keg Steakhouse and Bar at 576 Main St. on Nov. 17, between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. * Flights into Moncton: * Air Canada Flight 8954 on Nov. 15 from Winnipeg to Toronto, arrived at 8:16 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 8918 on Nov. 15 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:43 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 0992 on Nov. 7 from Mexico City to Toronto, arrived at 7:20 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 8918 on Nov. 7 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:43 p.m.What to do if you have a symptomPeople concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: * A fever above 38 C. * A new cough or worsening chronic cough. * Sore throat. * Runny nose. * Headache. * New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. * Difficulty breathing.In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.People with one of those symptoms should: * Stay at home. * Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. * Describe symptoms and travel history. * Follow instructions.
Wilton Gregory, the archbishop of Washington, D.C. who this week will become the first African-American cardinal, said on Tuesday he wanted to find common ground with the incoming U.S. administration despite disagreements on some issues. Gregory, who clashed with President Donald Trump earlier this year, is one of the 13 Roman Catholic Church prelates whom Pope Francis will raise to the rank of cardinal on Saturday. The American Church is divided over many issues, including abortion.
When Canadian trade negotiators begin talks with the United Kingdom next year on a permanent bilateral trade deal, their hands could be tied when it comes to offering any future dairy, egg or poultry concessions — if Parliament passes a new private member's bill that saw its first hour of debate on Tuesday.Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon's legislation, Bill C-216, would amend the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Act to state that the minister "must not make any commitment ... by future trade treaty or agreement" that would increase the tariff rate quota (TRQ) applicable to dairy products, poultry or eggs, or reduce the tariff applicable to those goods when they are imported in excess of that quota.Canada protects its agriculture supply management system for these commodities by carefully controlling access to its domestic market. Only small quantities of imports are allowed under strict international quotas — TRQs — with high tariffs keeping any extra imports above and beyond these quotas from being cost-competitive.But the three major trade deals implemented by the Liberal government over the last four years — the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) with 10 other Pacific Rim markets and, most recently, the revised North American Free Trade Agreement (the new NAFTA) — all offered new access to Canada's domestic market, among other concessions required to land these deals."Something very important for milk and egg and poultry production is given away as a token and nothing comes back for those producers, so we say in the law that this should not happen anymore," Bloc Leader Yves-François Blanchet told CBC News last week."[The Liberal government says,] 'Oh, we will will compensate you. And you know what? They don't."No word on NAFTA compensationA few weeks before the 2019 general election, Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau announced compensation for dairy farmers to cover their anticipated losses from CETA and CPTPP, which were already both in effect at the time. That financial assistance rolled out last winter.Help has also been pledged to compensate for the even larger concessions in the new NAFTA but nothing further has been announced. American farmers got access to a greater share of Canada's starting July 1 — and the new NAFTA also dictates how dairy ingredients can be priced and slapped strict export limits on sensitive global commodities like skim milk powder and baby formula.Blanchet slammed Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland for taking so long to present her fall economic update and said her spending plan must include the NAFTA compensation farmers anxiously anticipate."This money is owed, is expected [and] is terribly late," he said.Freeland announced Monday that she'll present her update on Nov. 30.Bill could block British demandsIf Plamondon's legislation garners enough support to pass in this Parliament before the next election, the first trade negotiation it could affect is talks between Canada and the United Kingdom to reach a permanent, comprehensive deal to liberalize their bilateral trade post-Brexit.On Saturday, prime ministers and trade ministers from both sides announced they'd reached agreement on a transitional deal to offer continuity for businesses by continuing most of the terms of the CETA past Jan.1, when it was otherwise set to expire because the U.K. is no longer an EU member.The government won't release details of exactly what's in that transitional agreement until the legal text is ready, which usually takes another two to four weeks. But Doug Forsyth, Canada's lead negotiator in the talks, confirmed previously that the British were seeking additional tariff-free access to Canada's cheese market."I want to be very clear that there is no new market access for cheese here in this transition agreement," International Trade Minister Mary Ng told CBC News at Saturday's announcement.But yesterday at the Commons trade committee, Ng's parliamentary secretary, Rachel Bendayan, said that language in the transitional deal commits both sides to returning to the table to reach what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called a "bespoke" bilateral deal by 2024.That means the British could make another play to get more U.K. cheeses into Canada."By 2024, Canada will have transferred 18 per cent of its domestic dairy production to dairy farmers in other countries ... that will displace our domestic products on the grocery shelves," said Pierre Lampron, the president of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, in a statement sent to CBC News last weekend. "Another concession as part of a trade agreement with the U.K. would have been dramatic for the industry."Officials had told us there would be no further concessions, and they followed through, but we must remain vigilant as this is a provisional agreement."Vote unclearBased on remarks made during Tuesday's first hour of debate, it appears Conservative MPs may not support this bill, but a party spokesperson has yet to comment on it or confirm how the Official Opposition will vote.In an email to CBC News, party spokesperson Melanie Richer said New Democrats agree with the Bloc that compensation has been slow to roll out, adding that "the Liberals added insult to injury by bringing CUSMA into effect several weeks earlier than promised, robbing Canadian dairy farmers of a full year to prepare for the change in their local markets.""New Democrats have consistently decried the damage done to Canada's dairy sector in successive trade deals and we have said we would not do the same," Richer said. "This bill would add legal force to that position."Youmy Han, a spokesperson for Trade Minister Ng, said the government is still studying the bill and would not say how Liberal MPs might vote."We have been clear: our government will not grant any further market access in our supply-managed sectors in any future trade negotiation," Han said.MPs will vote on the bill at second reading after its second hour of debate, expected later this winter.
The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia is calling for all restaurants and bars in Halifax to close to dine-in customers for at least the next two weeks because of rising COVID-19 case numbers in the area.Gordon Stewart, executive director of RANS, said the association's board of directors held an emergency meeting Monday night and decided unanimously to make the closure recommendation to its members and to Public Health.Restaurants and bars have been a significant site of COVID-19 transmission in Nova Scotia over the past two weeks, and Stewart said consumer confidence has been "wiped out.""It really has hurt. Business has taken a sharp decline. But it's more than that — it's that we're scared that the spread gets so bad that we end up like some of the western provinces right now," Stewart told CBC's Information Morning, referring to Manitoba and Alberta, which are experiencing overwhelming coronavirus surges. Stewart said he'll leave it to the provincial government to decide what geographical area to shut down, based on the current epidemiology. But he expects it to encompass downtown Halifax, which has been the epicentre of the province's current outbreak of the coronavirus.Public Health has not yet endorsed the RANS recommendation. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang and Premier Stephen McNeil are scheduled to hold a COVID-19 briefing at 3 p.m. today. Stewart said the closure recommendation is focused on "full-service" restaurants. He said he supports restaurants in hotels staying open for hotel guests only, and coffee shops staying open for take-out. The recommendations are not meant for the rest of the province, outside HRM.Stewart said closing will bring "a lot of repercussions for operators" but he expects it to be effective in slowing the spread of the second wave of COVID-19."It's really not about the economy now. It's really about the health and the long-term outlook of our communities," Stewart said.Over the past few days, many Halifax-area restaurants and bars have already decided to close — some as a precaution and others because of possible COVID-19 exposures on the premises.Among them is The Old Triangle, where owners closed voluntarily on Monday, only to learn a few hours later that they were in fact the site of a possible exposure."Honestly I think it's the right move," said Old Triangle co-owner Brendan Doherty of the RANS recommendation."We are at a bit of a tipping point so it does make sense to take at least two weeks ... to just kind of get reset and get back to where we've been.""We've been very fortunate [inside the Atlantic bubble] ... and it'd be nice to go back to that as soon as possible."Doherty said a government-mandated shut-down would help his business, and others, because it would allow them to access additional rent relief through federal programs."It's all about cost-saving during a shut down, and rent is the biggest cost we do incur."MORE TOP STORIES
Juliet Orazietti of Linc Farm in Niagara-on-the-Lake never intended to be a farmer, but standing on 75 acres of land, home to a flock of 150 sheep, around 120 pigs and 16 cows, she’s definitely finding her way. Having spent time during her childhood in British Columbia on her grandparent’s ranch around cattle and horses, Orazietti thought she wanted to be a vet. While earning a degree in applied animal biology, she worked a summer job at Southbrook Vineyards, trying to get 12 sheep to co-operate with a plan to graze cover crops and thin leaves in the vineyard. Though the effort didn’t work (the sheep had other interests), she came to realize that what she really wanted was to work with animals every day. “I fell in love with them,” she said of the sheep. But without a farm to inherit and looking at astronomical land costs, coupled with unwilling banks, Orazietti didn’t think she’d ever be able to run her own farm. Fast forward through an animal breeding and genetics master’s program in Vienna – where she met Martin Weber, now her husband – to the pair accepting an offer to return back to Niagara in 2015 and raise livestock on land owned by, and lying behind, Southbrook. “It’s a great time to be a woman in farming,” Orazietti said, taking a break from moving sheep fencing. While she admits there’s sexism ingrained into farming, she doesn’t believe it’s intentional. Tractors aren’t built to accommodate shorter statures, for example. “Every tractor we own is a bit awkward,” she said of the size. “So my husband does most of the tractor driving.” Good women’s work clothing is hard to come by, and she finds that on a rare occasion, a business transaction might go easier if her husband gets involved. “Which is a bit frustrating,” she said. Overall, though, Orazietti doesn’t believe women are facing any insurmountable hurdles in farming. “I get a lot of ‘sweethearts’ and ‘honeys’ from men who are not my sweethearts,” she said. “I think it also takes a tougher person to be a farmer, and maybe it’s just more water off our backs?” Orazietti finds women tend to be more open-minded, bringing different ideas to the table and coming into farming on their own terms. And at a time when buying local is on everyone’s mind, Orazietti says it’s important for farmers to communicate with the people they feed. “There’s a lot of mistrust out there and a lot of divisiveness,” she said, adding that women seem to be particularly good at communicating and bringing people together. “It takes time to break stereotypes where farming is for men – I think we’re breaking those walls,” she said. Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
There’s cheer and laughter as community members trim the trio of Christmas trees on the stage in Brighton’s Memorial Park one recent chilly November evening. With the frosty branches, sparkling lights and shiny ornaments, the setting will provide a picturesque backdrop when Santa Claus comes to town next month. It’s also giving downtown Brighton a festive feel. From hosting Old St. Nick, to launching a new shop local incentive to introducing a holiday decorating contest, the Municipality of Brighton, the Downtown Business Improvement Area (DBIA) and others are kicking off the holiday season. Uniting each of these initiatives is the theme of supporting the Brighton business community as much as possible – whether it’s warming up with a hot chocolate, stopping by to wave to Santa or finding the perfect gifts. Ben Hagerman, Brighton’s economic development and communications manager, is hopeful a new initiative, made possible through a Bay of Quinte Tourism sponsorship, will kick-start local holiday shopping. “It’s a little bit of out-of-the-box thinking,” Hagerman said. Shoppers spend $200 on holiday gifts at Brighton businesses and submit a photo of their receipts that total $200 or more to the municipality and the first 11 people to do so will each receive five free garbage bag tags, which are valued at $4 each. “Basically, you get back 10 per cent (of the $200 spent), which is kind of nice.” The incentive kicks off this week. “We’d really like it to be gift-oriented,” Hagerman noted. Instead of leaving Brighton or shopping from big retailers online, he’s optimistic that this will entice people to spend their holiday dollars here. “It’s about using the businesses and services we have locally to complete your Christmas shopping list as best as you can. I’d like to see people go into local restaurants and buy gift cards for people. I’d like to see people utilizing our wonderful boutiques in our downtown core whether it’s ladies’ wear, shoes or books. We’ve also got a great selection of retail up in the industrial park. There’s so much to offer…by shopping right where you live,” Hagerman said. As the owner of a Brighton-based business, Sheryl Delorme said the experience of shopping local can’t be matched. “The personalized approach, better customer service, the one-on-one connection that is created is worth its weight in gold,” said Delorme, Special Effects Lifestyle Boutique’s artist, designer and redesign specialist. “When you get to know the person behind the business, you appreciate their passion, their motivation and desire to create something truly exclusive. The investment far outreaches the product or service that you may have purchased. These solitary businesses also invest back into their community by sponsoring many local initiatives and events -- in the neighbourhood of about 48 per cent is returned back to the very place you call home,” she said. “This movement of supporting small business creates a certain flavour, a kinship that can only be created by offering your heart and soul to the cause. This is not a get-rich quick scheme or a one-shot deal, it's a commitment to create something real, something lasting for the neighbourhood that you reside in.” To get residents into the festive spirit, Brighton also launched a holiday decorating contest Nov. 20, which runs through to Dec. 14. Business owners and homeowners are encouraged to decorate their storefronts and homes and share photos of their displays for a chance to win pre-paid VISA gift cards to use at local businesses. There will be a total of 30 winners – 15 from the urban area and 15 from rural parts of the municipality. The DBIA and the municipality have each donated 15 $100 gift cards intended for use in the downtown core. Upload a photo to the municipality’s website Winners will be chosen through a random draw. Finally, to engage Brighton’s children in holiday fun, Santa Claus is slated to stop by Memorial Park on Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. “I think this year, more than ever, Santa in Brighton will bring a sense of normalcy to our younger citizens,” said Sarah Hilwerda, chair of the DBIA. “Even a wave and wink from the fella in the red suit will do just fine for the time-being. Physical distancing protocols will of course be in place but it’s the best we can do. A lot of folks aren’t in a position to take their kids shopping to the big box stores or the mall this year, so our downtown will provide a safe place to see Santa,” Hilwerda said. She reminded youngsters to be sure to bring their letters for St. Nick. Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Northumberland News