Chris St. Clair breaks down the timing.
Chris St. Clair breaks down the timing.
From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
Les audiences publiques sur le premier projet de Plan stratégique de développement du transport collectif de la région métropolitaine (PSD) ont débuté le 13 janvier dernier. Cette démarche est sous la responsabilité de l’Autorité régionale des transports de Montréal. Sept séances étaient au menu soit les 13, 14, 20, 21 et une dernière le 26 janvier pour entendre les opinions des organismes et citoyens sur la planification du transport collectif d’ici 2035. Dans le cadre de ce processus de consultation publique lancé le 27 octobre dernier, des centaines de personnes ont participé à l’exercice en ligne et, suivant l’appel de mémoire, l’ARTM a reçu 91 contributions écrites, dont 57 mémoires. « À la suite de la participation de plus de 1 200 citoyens et organismes au processus d’élaboration du projet, nous sommes heureux de constater la richesse et la diversité de l’implication publique à la consultation en cours. Ce plan sera véritablement celui de toute la région métropolitaine », a déclaré Benoît Gendron, directeur général de l’ARTM Quarante-cinq organismes et citoyens vont présenter leur mémoire devant le comité de la consultation formé de Mme Chantal Deschamps, mairesse de Repentigny, qui présidera l’exercice, ainsi que de M. Pierre Shedleur et Mme Diane Marleau, respectivement président et vice-présidente du conseil d’administration de l’ARTM. Nous vous invitons à prendre connaissance des audiences sur YouTube. L’ARTM est accompagnée dans ce processus par l’Institut du Nouveau Monde, qui anime les rencontres et rédigera le rapport final. L’ARTM a pour objectif de présenter au conseil d’administration le PSD bonifié au printemps 2021.François Laramée, Initiative de journalisme local, La Relève
Though the position of school settlement worker — someone who guides and supports students and their families who are new to Canada as they familiarize themselves with their new home — is not a new one in Southern Ontario, it is new to the North. In July, 2020, Tibila Sandiwidi took on the role of “Travailleur d’établissement dans les écoles” (school settlement worker) for the two Francophone school boards (Conseil scolaire catholique Nouvelon and Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l'Ontario ) in Sudbury through his position with Centre de santé communautaire du Grand Sudbury. In addition to degrees in early childhood education, political science, applied research and social work, Sandiwidi is a newcomer to Sudbury himself, arriving in Sudbury in 2003 from Burkina Faso, West Africa. In his role as settlement worker, Sandiwidi aids parents and children new to Sudbury from beyond Canada’s borders, as well as the educators that have called Sudbury home for years – perhaps their whole lives. The role itself is financed through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IIRC) and co-ordinated through the Centre de santé, where Francophone newcomers to Sudbury can find most of the guidance and resources they need to succeed in their new home. It is about ensuring that parents and students can become a part of their school community by helping them understand how the education system works, the curriculum they will be learning, the interactions between parent and educator, and how to make the most of them, as well as helping with the cultural aspects of Canada that those who have lived here their whole lives may take for granted. “Everything is new,” said Sandiwidi. “To the parents, to the children, everything is new. So, you have parents who are learning new things, but they are supposed to teach their children, who are also learning new things.” It is a challenge, to say the least. For as much as it is of the utmost importance to make sure a child is succeeding in school in their new home country, it is also important they understand cultural traditions here – for instance, Halloween. The event features the simple and oft-repeated question: ‘What are you going out as?’ If you have not heard that line all your life, that’s a pretty vague question. “When you celebrate Halloween, if you ask them about Halloween activities when they have never been in them, have never done them before, it’s hard for them. Even for a newcomer parent to understand how to dress the kids with a Halloween costume or do activities like trick-or-treating, or even activities at the school.” Sandiwidi not only ensures that educators understand the need to offer more information or background on these events for any students in their class, but he also ensures that parents can understand the requirements as well, so that students can enjoy the fun and never have to feel as though they are on the outside. They can participate as if they had been ‘trick-or-treating’ all their lives. It also helps with cultural differences in behaviour; for example, looking someone in the eyes. There are many cultures that consider looking anyone older than you in the eyes while they are speaking, rather than casting them down at the ground, is considered a sign of disrespect – challenging your elders in a way that is disrespectful and rude. Eurocentric traditions would have you meet an elder’s gaze. The phrase ‘look me in the eyes when I am speaking to you,’ may be a familiar one here among parents and teachers, but not so in other countries. This results in a child that doesn’t know whether to choose up or down. And it’s something that Sandiwidi can help with as well. He also works to offer intercultural training workshops, supports schools with their registration efforts and acts as an ambassador for Francophone schools in Greater Sudbury. Of course, like everything in the world, the pandemic has changed how Sandiwidi is working. It is much more virtual and Sandiwidi says that though “it is hard to build trust when someone has never met you in person,” he continues to work within the limitations to assist parents, students and educators in their learning and development. He says that while online learning has presented even more challenges, not to mention a focus on achieving what’s possible under the circumstances rather than moving ahead with goals, the program is going strong and his interactions with newcomers are proving everyday that he can make a difference in their lives. If you would like more information on the program, visit SanteSudbury.ca. Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Brent Secondiak is no stranger to jumping into freezing cold water for a good cause. For as many years as it has been running in Medicine Hat, Secondiak and his Medicine Hat Police colleagues have taken part in the Polar Plunge. The event is simple: jump into cold water and raise money for Special Olympics Alberta. The plunge has once again been altered this year due to COVID-19, and it has gone virtual. Those wishing to participate can raise funds digitally through the Special Olympics Alberta website. Then they can participate in a solo plunge, whether it is pouring cold water on their head, safely wading into the river or rolling around in snow. The Plunge will take place on March 13, when Secondiak will take a quick dip in the South Saskatchewan River. “It’s going to be cold, but it will be worth it,” he said. “I’ll have a few people out with me just to make sure everything is safe. “This is a really great cause that I really believe in.” Those raising money can choose to help out local athletes. “There’s a number of fantastic athletes in our city,” said Secondiak. “I do this every year and this is a cause that’s near and dear to me.” Those wishing to contribute can go to http://www.specialolympics.ca/albertapolarplunge Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Regina police have charged Adam R. Hook in the death of Jeffrey Gerald Lehto. Hook, 39, made his first appearance in Regina provincial court on Thursday charged with second-degree murder. On Tuesday, police responded to the 1700 block of Quebec Street following a report of an attack. Inside, police and emergency medical responders found a seriously injured Lehto, 30. He was taken to hospital, where he died on Wednesday. Police say it's the city's second homicide of 2021.
U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on Thursday lamented “wasted years” under the Trump administration to slow climate change and urged faster work to curb fossil fuel emissions. Kerry spoke remotely to an Italian business conference in his first international climate address under President Joe Biden. Biden, in his first hours in office Wednesday, signed an executive order returning the United States to the Paris climate accord. It reversed the withdrawal by President Donald Trump, who ridiculed the science of human-caused climate change. Biden's administration is getting back into the battle to cut climate-damaging coal, gas and oil emissions with “humility, because we know that the federal government of the United States, until yesterday, walked away from the table for four wasted years when we could’ve been helping to meet the challenge,” Kerry told the European forum in his prepared remarks. Biden's order starts a roughly 30-day process of getting the United States back into the nearly 200-country U.N. climate treaty. Countries in the accord commit to setting goals to cut climate-damaging fossil fuel emissions and to monitor and report their emissions. Biden has put Kerry, secretary of state under President Barack Obama, in charge of climate and national security issues. Kerry's words marked a 180-degree turn from the Trump administration on climate change. Trump withdrew from accords with U.S. allies and questioned scientific consensus that oil, gas and coal pollutants are too blame for the warming climate, and are contributing to worsening natural disasters. Biden on Wednesday signed other orders undoing dozens of Trump actions that had targeted earlier efforts to curb emissions from industry and transport and that had promoted new oil and gas drilling and production. Kerry said Biden had “with a few strokes of his pen began to restore domestic environmental leadership.” Preventing the worst of global warming would require $1 trillion in annual investment globally through 2030, Kerry told Thursday's gathering — moving five times faster than currently to phase out dirty-burning coal, 22 times faster to electric vehicles, and six times faster to ramp up solar, wind and other renewable power. Ellen Knickmeyer, The Associated Press
La crise de la mortalité liée à la pandémie a eu un impact particulier sur les lieux d’inhumation notamment pour les populations musulmanes, révélant les pratiques multiculturelles du deuil.
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
FRANKFURT — With more than a trillion euros in stimulus still in the pipeline to the economy, the European Central Bank left its key bond-purchase program unchanged Thursday as the 19-country eurozone endures a winter economic slowdown due to the pandemic. ECB President Christine Lagarde told a news conference that the economy likely contracted in the last three months of 2020 and the outlook going forward faces risks. Coronavirus infections and deaths have risen during the winter, leading to new restrictions on businesses. Germany has extended its partial lockdown until Feb. 14, France has imposed a 6 p.m. curfew, and Portugal has hit multiple records in case numbers. Lagarde said that while the start of vaccinations against the coronavirus was “an important milestone,” the outbreak continued to pose “serious risk to the eurozone and global economies.” She said that the bank's outlook for growth of 3.9% in 2021 was “still holding as we speak.” “We had anticipated the continuation and the lockdown measures that are currently in place... and that leads us to conclude that our own forecast for 2021 is still broadly valid at this time,” she said, while cautioning that short-term risk was “tilted to the downside, no question about it.” She said that “an ample monetary stimulus remains essential” and that if things turn out worse than expected “all instruments can be adjusted and nothing is off the table” in terms of stimulus. The economy is being propped up by massive support from the ECB, national governments, and the EU. The ECB’s decision not to adjust its key programs was largely expected because it added a major dose of stimulus only last month, at its Dec. 10 meeting. The governing council added 500 billion euros to its pandemic emergency stimulus bond purchases, bringing the total to 1.85 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion), and extended the regular purchases through at least March 2022. More than half of that total is still waiting to be deployed. The bond purchases are a way of pumping newly created money into the economy, which aims to raise inflation from levels that are currently considered too low. The purchases also keep market interest rates down so that companies can access the credit they need to get through the pandemic recession. One result of the purchases is that governments can use the bond market to borrow cheaply as their deficits rise through spending on pandemic support, such as paying salaries for furloughed workers to avoid layoffs. Additional stimulus is on the way from the EU’s 750 billion-euro fund established to support the recovery through shared borrowing by member countries — a step toward further solidarity and integration among the 27-member EU. The fund is to support projects that reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for climate change, and that promote the spread of digital technology and infrastructure. The European Union’s executive commission forecasts that the eurozone economy shrank 7.8% last year. Official numbers for last year are to be released Feb. 2. The bank left interest benchmarks untouched. Those are zero for short term loans from the ECB to banks, and minus 0.5% on deposits left overnight at the ECB by banks. The negative rate is a penalty aimed at pushing banks to lend the money rather than leave it at the ECB. The ECB is the chief monetary authority for the countries that use the euro, playing a role analogous to that of the Federal Reserve in the U.S. It sets key interest rate benchmarks and supervises banks. So far, 19 of the 27 EU countries have joined the euro. David McHugh, The Associated Press
THUNDER BAY — For more than five years, the Thunder Bay police force and its partner agencies have been dealing with a high-volume of individuals travelling from southern Ontario to traffic drugs in the northwest. Through a virtual news conference on Thursday, Jan. 21, Thunder Bay police announced the results of a major joint-forces police investigation involving several agencies in southern Ontario which resulted in the seizure of $2.7 million worth of street drugs. Despite the massive seizure of drugs and arrest of 12 individuals, police said they continue to be “plagued” with more individuals ready to take over for those who have been arrested. “Any given day, our highways have couriers bringing more drugs to our communities,” Det.-Insp. John Fennell of the Thunder Bay Police Service said Thursday. “It has been made very clear from our investigations and the people being charged that much of this illicit drug trade is coming from southern Ontario,” he said. Several police forces were involved in the operation called Project Valiant including Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police and Canada Border Services Agency. The operation was led by the Thunder Bay Police Service. “Our gang and gun problem is real and it needs to be taken very seriously by our legal system and our government,” Fennell said. "As much effort as we put into these initiatives we continue to be plagued with a steady stream of new persons taking over for those we have been able to charge.” The investigation took place from August 2020 to December 2020. Approximately six search warrants were conducted in Thunder Bay and one major search warrant was executed in Markham, Ont. As a result, police seized 11.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 1.55 kilograms of cocaine, more than 4,000 pills of fentanyl, 846 packages of cannabis edibles for the black market and eight capsules of hydromorphone. Furthermore, police seized several weapons including 10 rifles, four shotguns, one crossbow, two high-capacity magazines, two tasers and thousands of rounds of ammunition. Police also located and seized four cars, one motorcycle, more than $120,000 in Canadian cash, fake government identification and drug trafficking paraphernalia. The project’s lead, Det.-Sgt. Dan Irwin, said during Thursday’s news conference, the long-term impact of initiatives such as Project Valiant aimed to address the high volume of illicit drugs coming into the community from southern Ontario is minimal. “It makes an impact at the beginning but like Det.-Insp. Fennell said as soon as we make arrests unfortunately the highways and the planes are full of individuals coming from the south to continue to sell fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and various other drugs,” he said. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
In another bid to separate his team from the governing Liberals, PC Party Leader Ches Crosbie promised Thursday to elevate honesty and integrity in government to the highest standard in the country if his party is elected in the Feb. 13 provincial election. Crosbie made the pledge Thursday during a glitchy virtual news conference from Marystown, in which his speech about government corruption was corrupted by technical problems. But a clean video recording posted later to the party's Facebook page showed Crosbie on the attack against the governing Liberals and its leader, Andrew Furey. Crosbie said Liberal "corruption, scandal, and cronyism" are barriers to job growth in the province and he would ensure government hiring is based on merit. In a telephone interview, Crosbie said there's a perception that individuals and companies are hired based on their political connections, and not their qualifications or experience. "That must stop," he said. Asked for proof, Crosbie said, "Everybody has stories about it." He said a PC government would "root out corruption and bring ethics and accountability to government" by implementing the "strongest anti-corruption legislation in Canada." Crosbie said a PC government would order a review of the code of conduct for members of the House of Assembly and adopt what he called "honesty in politics" legislation. "That will provide penalties and sanctions if I don't do what I said I was going to do. That will serve to restore confidence in truth-telling by politicians when they make promises," he said. To make his point, Crosbie criticized the Liberals for their handling of the PET scanner controversy in Corner Brook. With accusations mounting that the Liberals had broken a promise to install the advanced imaging technology at the new Corner Brook hospital, Furey and the Liberals announced they would put $2 million into a trust account to be used for a scanner at some point in the future. "Imagine that politicians, cabinet ministers would feel the need to put money in trust because they know the public doesn't trust them," Crosbie said. Any member of a cabinet that he leads will be forced to step away from their duties if they become the subject of an investigation, he added. The PCs have been hounding the Liberals about such a situation involving Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons. The RCMP in Nova Scotia are investigating whether former justice minister Parsons, the province's attorney general, played a role in the decision to charge former RNC officer Joe Smyth with obstruction of justice over his handling of a traffic stop in 2017. Parsons has denied any involvement, and his position is supported by RNC Chief Joe Boland and the director of public prosecutions. As such, Furey refused to remove Parsons from his inner circle. Crosbie said it was the wrong decision. "The fact he remains in cabinet while under investigation by the police and the premier is content to keep him there is on a level with what happens in banana republics," he said. The PC leader said erasing any perception of corruption is essential to encouraging investment in the province, and helping revive the economy. CBC News has requested comment from the Liberal Party. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Kingston City Council unanimously passed a motion at their meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2021, moving that the City of Kingston write to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and the Minister of Environment, Conservation, Energy, and Parks to request that the Government of Ontario develop and implement a plan to phase-out all gas-fired electricity generation as soon as possible to ensure that Kingston and other municipalities are enabled to achieve climate action goals. The City of Kingston was the first city in Ontario to declare a Climate Emergency, and has a goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2040. The province of Ontario is phasing out the Pickering Nuclear Power plant in 2024, and plans to increase the output of natural gas-powered plants as the demand for electricity increases. An increase in gas plant production will see greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise, which is counterproductive to the province’s goal of a 30 per cent reduction of GHG emissions by the year 2030. Two delegations spoke to council, describing Ontario’s current and forecasted power needs, and the pros and cons of available power generation options. Jack Gibbons, from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, spoke about Quebec’s surplus Hydroelectric power, and shared some ideas for future cross-provincial electrical agreements. He also asked the City to consider joining the other municipalities in Ontario in passing a resolution requesting Ontario start phasing out our gas fired power plants to help Ontario, and the City of Kingston, achieve their climate targets. “We all know that the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine, and therefore wind and solar need a backup or a storage option,” Gibbons said. ”Ontario is very lucky to be located right next door to Quebec. There's a recent study from MIT, which shows that Quebec’s hydroelectric reservoirs are the best and lowest cost storage option, or backup option, for wind and solar.” “The reservoirs can act like a giant battery and help us convert wind and solar from an intermittent source of electricity into a firm baseload source of electricity supplied 24/7,” he continued. “By integrating our wind and solar with Quebec's hydroelectric reservoirs, wind and solar power can be a firm reliable source of supply.” Terry Young, interim president and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) spoke to council on the province’s electricity needs, how they are currently being met, and what they want to see happen in the future. The IESO is an agency whose primary job is to manage reliability of the power system, ensuring electricity is available when and where it is needed across the province. Young said that each year the IESO produces what they call a Planning Outlook that looks out over the next 20 years and projects what Ontario’s needs might be. Nuclear and hydro power are meeting 85 per cent of Ontario’s power needs, according to Young, with solar and wind providing less than 10 per cent due to their inconstant ability to create electricity. Gas power is used to make up the difference, and has greater flexibility for meeting increased needs, as well as reducing output when needs are low. “The key point I want to make is this that we need flexibility in the system,” Young explained to council. “One of the attractive things that we're starting to look at is pairing wind and solar with storage,” Young continued. “Then you get the opportunity to increase the value of wind and solar cells. If they’re producing, we can store it and then supply it back when and when the demands for electricity are on, then it gives us another option. So, in terms of the future of gas, one of the things that it depends on is how quickly some of these technologies can be developed.” Councellor Bridget Doherty put forth her thoughts on this proactive motion. “We've all been receiving frequently emails from people, or constituents, saying ‘You've declared a climate emergency. What are you doing about it?’ And tonight we have a couple of very positive examples about what we're doing about reducing greenhouse gases.” “I think that this [motion], and the other actions we've taken tonight, clearly address the fact that we unanimously passed a climate emergency motion a year and a bit ago. And so this is our opportunity to show that we mean what we say.” Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
When drug companies like Pfizer and Moderna learned to successfully incorporate messenger RNA technology into a COVID-19 vaccine, experts say they likely opened the door to a significant shift in the future of immunization.The milestone in vaccine development was met with enthusiasm from most, but the seemingly swift pace and novel approach is causing hesitancy in others. Experts say the new technique shouldn't dissuade people from getting the vaccine. While the mRNA method is new to inoculations, the actual technology has been around for decades. The difference now, they say, is scientists have ironed out the kinks to make a useful product."It sounds fancy, mRNA, but there's nothing outlandish about it," said Dr. Earl Brown, a virology and microbiology specialist with the University of Ottawa. "This is the way our cells operate — we live by mRNA."Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were the first inoculations approved for humans to use mRNA, which provides our cells with instructions to make proteins. In the case of COVID vaccines, the injected material shows cells how to make a harmless piece of the coronavirus spike protein, which then teaches our immune system to recognize the virus and fight off a future infection.Scientists made the vaccine by programming genetic material from the spike protein into mRNA, a process that theoretically could work for other viruses."As long as you know how to create those instructions — that genetic code you need to convince your body to create that target — you can design an mRNA vaccine against any antigen," said Nicole Basta, an associate professor of epidemiology at McGill."But the question is whether it will be effective, and whether it will be safe."The development of future mRNA vaccines might be quick, Basta says, but they would need to go through the usual evaluation process and clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. So vaccines for other viruses won't be popping up overnight.Still, Basta adds, there's potential for using mRNA to either improve upon existing vaccines or to develop new ones against other pathogens.Dr. Scott Halperin, a professor at Dalhousie University and the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, sees mRNA vaccines as "evolutionary rather than revolutionary."Part of the reason COVID vaccines came together so quickly was the technology had been developing for years, Halperin said. The global pandemic offered scientists a pressing opportunity — and unprecedented funding and collaboration — to try again for a viable injection.Previous research had been done on creating mRNA vaccines against Zika and other viruses, Halperin added, and there were earlier efforts focused on cancer treatments. Coronavirus-specific research was further sped up by spike protein analysis from SARS and MERS.While the mRNA technology itself is impressive, Halperin says improvements need to be made to create a more temperature-stable product before these types of vaccines and treatments "truly take over.""The logistics of delivering mRNA vaccines right now, we wouldn't want to have to do that for every vaccine we produce," he said, referencing the ultra-cold storage temperature that's currently needed. "But I do think it's an important milestone."Scientists are expected to continue advancing the technology, just as they did recently in solving two confounding problems with mRNA — its fragility and instability.Brown says fragility was resolved by packaging the mRNA in a fat coating, giving it something to help bind onto cells so it wouldn't disintegrate upon injection. The instability was conquered by modifying the uracil component of RNA, one of the four units of its genetic code."The technology application is new, but the science is mature," Brown said. "We've just reached the point at which we can apply it." Traditional vaccines typically contain a killed or weakened virus, Brown said. Those methods are still being used in COVID vaccine development, including by AstraZeneca-Oxford, whose product has not yet been approved in Canada.A benefit to using mRNA is the speed at which a vaccine can be developed or updated once scientists know what to target, Brown says. While experts believe current vaccines will work against recent variants of the COVID virus — including one originating in the U.K. that's more transmissible — Brown says mRNA's adaptability could theoretically come in handy if new strains emerged that necessitated an update. "In six weeks they could produce something," he said. "It would still have to go through Phase 3 trials, but it does give you more flexibility and a big leg up."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
L’immense Kazakhstan, riche en ressources naturelles, échappe de plus en plus à l’influence russe au profit de la Chine.
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
Alleged street gang associates accused of shooting at police who were pursuing them during a high-speed chase on Onion Lake Cree Nation had appearances in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 20. Crown Prosecutor Oryn Holm from North Battleford, told the court he was opposed to the release of Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, all from Onion Lake Cree Nation. Buffalo and Wolfe have show cause hearings on Feb. 3, and Chief has a hearing on Jan. 28. Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., appeared by CCTV from Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women and the appearances for the rest of the defendants were waived. The Crown agreed to McAlpine’s release. Defence Cameron Schmunk from Legal Aid in North Battleford told the court he was only representing McAlpine that day as duty counsel. She is scheduled to appear again on March 3. The case against Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, was adjourned to Feb. 3. Buffalo, Chief, Weeseekase, Wolfe and McAlpine were all arrested on Jan. 1, 2021. The incident started at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Onion Lake RCMP received a call from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV came into their private yard, drove off and smashed through their fence. RCMP patrolled the area in search of the SUV and found it driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. They followed the SUV down Highway 17 and then onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police saw a long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police. Police continued to pursue the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion Lake Cree Nation high school. Two men, including the driver and a front passenger, jumped out of the SUV and fled on foot into an open field. Police chased the fleeing suspects on foot and additional RCMP officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women. RCMP found the driver, Tyler Wolfe, hiding inside a garbage bin and the passenger in a nearby baseball field. From the SUV, police seized two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions. RCMP say the occupants of the SUV were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial RCMP General Investigation Section took over the investigation. Wolfe, Weeseekase, Chief and Buffalo were charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving. Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon. McAlpine was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. The charges against Wolfe, Weeseekase, McAlpine, Chief and Buffalo haven’t been proven in court. Onion Lake state of emergency Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in January 2020 after a string of drug and gang-related violence threatened the safety of the community, including three murders in as many months. If anyone has any information that could assist investigators, please contact Onion Lake RCMP at 306-344-5550. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
A new type of gas bar will be coming to roadsides and communities throughout Western Canada. Co-op has partnered with Indigenous communities and organizations to launch the Western Nations gas bar brand. Indigenous communities will be able to work with Co-op to build and run a local gas bar with Western Nations branding. They will also have access to grants, as well as building, training and management support. Cam Zimmer, communications and public relations manager at Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), says Western Nations is going to be a win-win for Co-op and Indigenous communities. "To get off the ground, that's always the most difficult stage for any business," he said. "But we can offer support there.… And this expands the network that we supply fuel to as well, so of course there's a business opportunity in there for us." In development for 2 years Tyler Case, assistant professor of management at the University of Saskatchewan, believes Western Nations has the makings of a strong partnership. "Co-op has a longstanding history and brand in Western Canada," he said. "So creating a new brand that is collaborative with Indigenous stakeholders … seems like a unique, authentic way for Co-op to invest in communities." The project has been in development for approximately two years. During that time, Zimmer says Co-op has been consulting with Indigenous communities and organizations throughout Western Canada to design a sustainable new program. A major component of Western Nations that came out of the consultations is the community building assistance program. Zimmer says there's an opportunity to benefit communities in a meaningful way, beyond simply business. "There's a formula that's based on the volume [of fuel sales] the site would do," Zimmer said. "And based on that, every year our partners that are part of Western Nations would have a certain amount reallocated to them. And they can choose where and how to invest that in their communities." 'It's their business' The funding would go toward community infrastructure, programming or events. Indigenous communities who want to own a Western Nations gas bar can start the process by contacting Co-op. "We will look for a good fit in terms of traffic and volume, all that good stuff," said Zimmer. "If it looks like a good fit, they would qualify for the Western Nations program, and they would own that site. It's their business. They own it. "But what they would get from us is the brand, of course, and a lot of support." Communities that already operate a gas bar under their own brand, or don't qualify for Western Nations, can still participate in Co-op's Indigenous gas bar program as Indigenous resellers. Indigenous resellers are also eligible for the community building assistance program.
American forward Sebastian Soto was recalled to Norwich of the second-tier English Championship on Thursday from his loan to Telstar of the Dutch second tier. The 20-year-old from Carlsbad, California, has seven goals in 12 appearances or Telstar this season. Soto scored twice in his U.S. national team debut against Panama in November and also appeared in December's match against El Salvador. Norwich said his recall is subject to confirmation of a British work permit. Norwich leads the League Championship with 53 points, seven ahead of second-place Swansea. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's deputy premier and finance minister says she will leave politics when the next provincial election is called. Karen Casey made the announcement following a cabinet meeting today, saying that after 15 years representing the riding of Colchester North, she is ready to retire and wants to spend more time with her grandchildren. Casey says while she had been pondering her future for some time she only made a final decision over the last week. She had served under Premier Stephen McNeil in the education and health portfolios and was named deputy premier in 2017. McNeil, who is leaving politics next month, says he counts Casey as a personal friend and believes she played an "integral role" in helping return the province to fiscal health. Casey was a former interim leader of the Progressive Conservatives and defected to the Liberals in 2011. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press