Originaire de Portneuf-sur-Mer, Alyson Desbiens est de retour au Québec, après quatre années passées en France, pour travailler dans un domaine qui la passionne : l’immigration. Technicienne juridique pour le moment, elle veut devenir consultante pour accompagner les immigrants. La firme Nadia Barrou Immigration de Montréal l’a repérée en mars dernier, alors qu’elle conseillait des immigrants sur des forums spécialisés. « Mme Barrou trouvait que mes commentaires étaient pertinents et que je connaissais bien les lois de l’immigration », affirme la jeune femme de 27 ans. Après plusieurs discussions, Alyson a finalement été embauchée, ce qui a devancé son retour au pays. « Mon mari et moi étions censés revenir au Québec en mars 2021, mais je ne voulais pas rater cette opportunité formidable pour moi. Je suis donc revenue seule pour le moment, mais il viendra me trouver quand il en aura fini avec la paperasse administrative », indique-t-elle. Ayant complété un baccalauréat en sociologie et développement social en France, la Portneuvoise exerce en tant que technicienne juridique puisqu’elle ne peut faire du conseil en immigration pour le moment. « Je dois terminer mon cours de consultante en immigration avant. Je le suis présentement en ligne et je dois passer l’examen de l’ordre en février prochain. Je suis assez confiante puisque jusqu’à maintenant, j’obtiens de très bonnes notes et j’adore ça », explique Alyson Desbiens. Hobby Pour la jeune femme, aider les gens qui immigrent était un « hobby » depuis longtemps. Elle participait à des forums de discussion et apportait son soutien régulièrement. « J’utilisais mon expérience et mes connaissances législatives. Ensuite, j’ai découvert que je pouvais être payée pour faire ça. C’est à ce moment que j’ai débuté mon cours », raconte-t-elle. Effectivement, en tant qu’immigrante en France avec son conjoint qu’elle a rencontré alors qu’il était en vacances à Québec, elle a vécu plusieurs problématiques pour obtenir et conserver son VISA. « C’est de cette façon que j’ai développé de l’expérience dans le domaine, dévoile Alyson Desbiens, nouvellement mariée cet été. Lire les petites lignes dans le bas des contrats, ça me connaît. » De plus, avec la pandémie qui sévit dans le monde en ce moment, l’immigration est rendue encore plus difficile, selon Mme Desbiens. « Il y a beaucoup de choses qui ont changé, ce n’est pas évident de s’y retrouver quand on n’a pas les connaissances pour le faire. Les démarches sont plus longues et coûteuses et seulement les membres de la famille immédiate peuvent venir au Québec depuis la pandémie. » Coup de foudre Alyson Desbiens fait partie de celles qui ont vécu deux coups de foudre dans leur vie, soit amoureux et professionnel. Ses trois premières semaines de travail pour Nadia Barrou Immigration l’ont enchantée. « Il y a vraiment un climat de confiance et d’entraide dans l’équipe, confirme-t-elle. C’est super comme ambiance ». Aider sa région natale La future consultante en immigration aura peut-être même l’opportunité d’aider les entreprises de la Côte-Nord qui souhaitent faire appel à la main-d’œuvre immigrante. « C’est un défi qu’est prête à m’offrir Nadia Barrou. J’en serais très heureuse puisque j’ai une bonne connaissance de la région », conclut Alyson qui peut être jointe à firstname.lastname@example.org ou au 514-286-1613.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
The quiz show is still looking for Alex Trebek's permanent successor.
WHITEHORSE — Residents of Yukon will be required to wear a non-medical mask in all public indoor spaces effective Dec. 1.Premier Sandy Silver made the announcement during the territory's regular pandemic briefing in Whitehorse.He says everyone who does not have a medical exemption and is over the age of two will be required to wear a mask. The territory has 38 cases of COVID-19, including 14 active cases related to what Yukon's top doctor says is the second wave of the pandemic, involving two separate outbreaks.Dr. Brendan Hanley says the illnesses have been linked, either directly or indirectly, to travel outside Yukon.The territory reintroduced COVID-19 control measures last week that include a mandatory 14-day quarantine for almost everyone entering or returning to the territory after travel outside its boundaries.Hanley says there is no plan to impose a lockdown, despite the arrival of the second wave, but he warned residents to prepare."Now, I don't mean, by preparation, you need to run out and buy toilet paper," he says."Prepare yourselves, more, that we may see more cases, perhaps many more. Prepare your mental health by being ready to see worse before we see better," he says.Hanley also urged residents to "start to think" about organizing virtual gatherings this holiday season.Silver reminded residents who must quarantine, or follow other public-health orders, that the restrictions are not optional.He says 26 charges have been laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act, including the most recent charge last week against a person who failed to self-isolate.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Democrat Joe Biden was certified Tuesday as winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania, culminating three weeks of vote counting and a string of failed legal challenges by President Donald Trump. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf first disclosed in a tweet that the Department of State had certified the vote count for president and vice-president. Wolf sent a “certificate of ascertainment” to the national archivist Washington with the slate of electors who support President-elect Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris. Pennsylvania's 20 electors, a mix of elected Democrats, party activists and other staunch Biden backers, will meet in the state capitol on Dec. 14. One of them, state Democratic Party chair Nancy Patton Mills, said she will also lead the Electoral College’s meeting in Harrisburg next month. Patton Mills said she was gratified that Pennsylvania was “the state that made it possible” for Biden to win. Biden’s win in the state, giving him its haul of 20 electoral votes, put him over the 270 needed and led The Associated Press to declare him the president-elect four days after Election Day. Biden has collected 306 overall electoral votes to Trump's 232. The Pennsylvania results show Biden and Harris with 3.46 million votes, Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence with 3.38 million, and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen with 79,000. Democratic Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, in a news release, called the state’s election officials and poll workers “the true heroes of our democracy.” “We are tremendously grateful to all 67 counties who have been working extremely long hours to ensure that every qualified voter’s vote is counted safely and securely,” Boockvar said. Trump made Pennsylvania a centerpiece of his unsuccessful legal attempts to invalidate the election results, launching legal attacks on vote counting rules and county election procedures. A federal judge on Saturday dealt a serious blow to the Trump campaign’s legal efforts by dismissing a lawsuit that he said lacked evidence and offered “strained legal arguments without merit and speculative accusations.” The federal government on Monday recognized Biden as the "apparent winner” of the national presidential contest. Mark Scolforo, The Associated Press
Homeowners in Swan Hills began to receive telephone calls from the town last week regarding their water meters. The electronic water meter heads installed on the water meters in many of our homes have reached the end of their "shelf life" and need to be replaced. The electronic heads are able to read the water meters through a pre-programmed algorithm that detects the magnetic signatures of the mechanical water meter. The electronic heads can then connect to a receiver to transmit the data from the water meter. This setup allows a meter reader to take water meter readings without having to enter the home. The person taking the readings drives up and down the streets of Swan Hills with a receiver in their vehicle, picking up the readings as they go. According to the town office, many of the electronic water meter heads were installed roughly 8 – 10 years ago and are now starting to have performance issues. The town will be contacting the affected homeowners on an individual basis to arrange the replacement of the water meter heads. This whole process may take some time as these service calls will depend on coordinating with the homeowners' schedules, and the town has a limited number of technicians to perform these replacements. Please do not be alarmed if you receive a call from the town regarding your water meter in the near future. This is merely routine maintenance to keep our present system running smoothly.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
PARIS — Restorers at Paris’ fire-damaged Notre Dame cathedral have completed key preliminary work by successfully removing all the perilous roof scaffolding, officials said Tuesday.The removal of the 200 tons of scaffolding was considered dangerous, with some experts fearing that it could cause more of the Gothic monument to fall down. It was thought that the scaffolding might have melded to the cathedral in the blaze, and be keeping it in place.When the Notre Dame fire broke out on April 15 last year destroying the spire, the cathedral was already under restoration.The scaffolding previously installed resisted collapse, “but was deformed by the heat of the fire” Notre Dame restoration officials said in a communique.The Associated Press
Did you know that November 28th is National French Toast Day? While this is entirely new information to me, I have to say that I absolutely approve. In fact, I find myself wondering how in the heck have I made it for 45 years on this earth without a day entirely dedicated to French toast? Well, maybe that’s pushing things a little bit… One of the things that I love about French toast is that it is easy to make and extremely versatile. You can change it up with the simple addition of a pinch of nutmeg or brighten it up with the zest of your favorite flavor of citrus. It can be sweet or even downright savory. Using different types of bread can completely redefine your recipe. One of my favorite renditions of French toast was served at a hotel in Victoria, made with a light and delicate banana bread. National French Toast Day is, unsurprisingly, celebrated by making French toast. I mean, who saw that one coming? Well, that works out great because this year, November 28th is on a Saturday. French toast for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee on a quiet Saturday morning sounds pretty darn good to me! Apparently, another way to celebrate is to share your favorite recipes for French toast, so I am going to share my recipe for Stuffed French Toast. Oddly enough, I came up with my Stuffed French Toast recipe because of an IHOP commercial. They were advertising… well, Stuffed French Toast, but the catch was that this was before IHOP had made their way into Canada. So, there I was with this American TV commercial taunting me with descriptions of French toast Nirvana, but with no way to sample it for myself short of taking quite the road trip. I love breakfast as much as the next guy, but I’m not about to hop the border to go searching for the next new flavor. What to do? Luckily, I happen to know my way around the kitchen. After contemplating what this commercial had described, I played around with my favorite French toast recipe until I had come up with something that tasted the way that I imagined that this mythical Stuffed French Toast would, or should, taste. As an aside, my wife and I were able to sample IHOP’s Stuffed French Toast several years later, after they had opened their Calgary location. Theirs was good… but let’s just say that we’ll be more than happy to stick with my recipe. Stuffed French Toast 1 Loaf of Bread (Sandwich Bread, Raisin Bread, French Bread, etc.) French Toast Batter: 2 Cups milk 2 Eggs 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar 1 tsp Cinnamon ½ tsp Nutmeg 1 tsp Vanilla Filling: 8 oz Cream Cheese (250 g pkg) 1 Cup Icing Sugar ½ tsp Salt Directions: Beat together the milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla until smooth to make your French toast batter. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, icing sugar, and salt until smooth to make the filling. Spray a frying pan with a light coat of nonstick cooking spray, and then heat the frying pan on medium. Take two pieces of bread and make a sandwich with a layer of the filling in the middle. Dip the sandwich into the French toast batter mixture and then fry it in the heated frying pan until it is golden brown on both sides. Repeat these steps until you have used up all the bread, French toast batter, and filling. Serve hot with maple syrup.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
When COVID-19 first appeared, people and governments across the globe reacted with alarm. Action was swift.In Alberta, businesses shuttered as the government imposed restrictions. People mostly stayed inside. Premier Jason Kenney said it was a generational challenge his government would rise to meet. But restrictions were loosened as the weather warmed. The most dire predictions didn't come to pass, and barbecues or drinks with friends seemed less risky. People held parties and their neighbours thought: why not me? Disinformation spread and, with it, doubt about the dangers of the virus and the actions of the government. But warnings were everywhere: Second wave. The fight isn't over. Be prepared.Many listened, but too many did not. Alberta's government said the economy couldn't take another hit and it was up to individuals to stem the tide. It delayed and equivocated. When the weather cooled, the virus was soon spreading more than ever. Now the talk was exponential growth and warnings of overwhelmed hospitals.As Kenney prepares to make an announcement on COVID this afternoon, he has so far stuck with personal responsibility as the key to fighting the outbreak.He and his government have pointed fingers at individuals for not obeying official recommendations, but now people are pointing back, laying blame at the feet of the government. Laying blame, however, is no easy thing.Personal responsibility and the role of the government aren't easily disentangled. Why individuals and the government have behaved as they have goes to the heart of who Albertans are — or at least who they perceive themselves to be. It begins with the ways that people, in general, deal with crises. The psychology of a pandemicThere's a common view of the world that assumes people panic when confronted with danger — causing more harm than the threat itself — but that's not often the case. Social psychologists have shown the greater risk is underestimating danger and not reacting in time. We also tend to believe the worst will happen to others, not us. Add misinformation to the mix and none of this should come as a surprise. "I've done an awful lot of reading about the Great Mortality, black plague, and about the Spanish influenza epidemic in 1918," said Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious disease expert at the University of Alberta. "And I would just say that every single thing that has happened could have been predicted by reading a history book."People in the past, like today, reacted to an invisible, existential threat by embracing conspiracy theories or unlikely cures while ignoring medical advice. Many denied the problem. Add social media, and the spread of misinformation is even more damaging and difficult to control. It creates deep divisions when cohesion is key to beating back the virus. Collective action problemThere are times when 51 per cent is enough. If enough people do the right thing, everyone will be swept along by their good deeds. A virus — especially an airborne one — doesn't work that way. We are in a classic collective action problem where almost universal buy-in is required. We all have to keep distance, wear masks, wash our hands, limit social interactions or just stay home. If we don't all do it, the virus spreads. Saxinger thinks the province has reached the ceiling on what independent co-operation can do.Compounding the problem is the perception of risk. Research shows that individuals are more likely to make moral decisions when ambiguity about risks is reduced.Prof. Leslie Francis, who works in the faculties of law, medicine and philosophy at the University of Utah, says the vast majority of people understand not to put other people at risk by, say, speeding down a residential road at 100 km/h. But people might not see COVID-19 the same way."What we see going on right now is that many people deny that COVID exists, or they think it's not going to make people very sick, or they think that it won't make them very sick, maybe they'll even be asymptomatic," she said."But they don't realize that, for example, in my own state right now, the estimate is that one in 73 people right now is actively contagious."Alberta's political cultureWe judge our behaviour and the behaviours of others based on what we observe, but also on how we perceive our own political culture and what it will allow. In Alberta, a lot of it might be built on myth.Political science Prof. Jared Wesley of the University of Alberta asks participants about the province in his ongoing study of politics and culture. He gets them to sketch out their typical Albertan and then asks what that Albertan would do in certain situations. The Albertan — here nicknamed "Joe" — is always male, often a farmer, a libertarian conservative. Wesley's point is to narrow in on what people believe the political culture to be — what is acceptable and what is possible.In the pandemic, Joe reacts in a specific way."They will tell you, like you see in the media everywhere, they'll tell you all Albertans will never stand for mask mandates because it's an infringement on their freedoms," said Wesley.That sort of statement comes from people across the political spectrum, not just those who agree with their typical Albertan. That shapes the way we think about the world and can shape our own behaviour. We make moral decisions based on how we think others might perceive us. If people think broader society doesn't want to have its freedoms restricted — even in minor ways like donning a mask — they are less likely to be strict about virus-beating behaviours and less likely to feel judged for their laxity. This despite a majority not agreeing with their "typical" Albertan. "Do a survey like we just did three or four weeks ago: Albertans are massively in favour of heavier restrictions," said Wesley. "You ask them on an individual basis, would you like to see a provincewide mask mandate, doesn't matter if they're rural areas. Absolutely, it's the right thing to do. They going to push for it? No, because they don't think that the rest of the province would accept it."At some point that tide could turn. There are more voices calling for government to impose more severe restrictions, including a complete lockdown, in order to fight surging case counts.The ethics of action are clear, even if the ultimate answers are not. The ethicsFrancis says there's a clear difference between someone who puts themselves in harm's way versus someone who creates "a real risk of harm to other people." Individuals are expected to go about in the world obeying the rules so that a free society can operate in a mostly free way. Social norms keep most of us from hurting one another, but there is never a full participation rate. Murders, assaults and more happen on a regular basis. So there are laws. Even the most stringent libertarians agree there is a role for the state to some protections. Francis argues that we should view restrictions around COVID-19 in the same light."I think a lot of people are treating this as some kind of unusual interference with liberty," Francis said about pandemic responses. "And my point is, it's actually much more like when people are thinking through some of the most standard kinds of interferences with liberty."Yet despite the ethical obligations to protect citizens, the decision to impose restrictions across a society is no small thing.Some see the delay in implementing more restrictions as cruel — akin to saying the economy is as important as human life.Certainly the belief that Alberta's political culture would not allow a lockdown plays a role in politicians' decisions. But governments also have to consider how their decisions might affect broader society. Lives and livelihoods can be lost due to a cratered economy. Not every individual can simply choose to stay home. Many calling for a sharp lockdown have salaries, home offices or the security to stay isolated. And race, class and gender mix to create a set of ethical and moral traps many can't escape."There has to also be an economic solution for those whose lives are going to be torn apart by this," Melissa Caouette, a political strategist with the Canadian Strategy Group, said on the CBC's West of Centre podcast. As cases and hospitalizations rise, there comes a point when political calculation isn't relevant, and protecting the health of Albertans and its health-care system becomes a priority.Every decision can have a profound impact on Albertans. The hesitance of the government to shut things down as the pandemic spreads out of control, however, should come as no surprise. The Alberta government"This government is refreshingly transparent and completely doctrinaire when it comes to all elements of public policy," Wesley says of the United Conservative Party's approach. "So if you want to know where this government was heading, you need to look no further than the 2018 UCP statement of principles."Wesley calls it Neoliberalism 101 — a political philosophy that makes no room for collective action problems. "From a political science standpoint, that's almost like the ideal of what we expect of responsible party actors, is that they have a set of principles, we know what they stand for, they're being transparent about it," he said. "And we know when they're confronted with things that are out of the ordinary, are not part of their policy platform, we know how they're going to react."In short, they'll react like Joe Alberta would want them to.That policy consistency is tied directly to the founding leader of the UCP, Kenney. A principled conservative to some, an ideologue to others, he tends to stake his position and stick to it. It doesn't help that he was elected on a commitment to get the economy back on track and the budget balanced — a near impossibility given COVID spending and the languishing price of oil. The focus is, and has been, on trying to preserve and repair a battered economy. Kenney wants to avoid more business closures and loss of jobs. He does not want to spend more money.There's also a documented combativeness to Kenney and his government that hasn't abated during the pandemic, including battles with doctors, nurses and public servants. The ensuing division inhibits any chance that collective action could be effective against the pandemic. It seems the government won't abandon its ideological mores until, as Wesley calls them, a substantial "accumulation of anomalies" attacks the tenets of that foundation.It seems plenty of individuals feel the same. With more cases, more deaths, fewer ICU beds and more calls for action as the government resists, the situation is ripe for blaming the government no matter the culprit in our collective failures. Laying blameEvery catastrophe eventually leads to the need for answers: Who is responsible? Who or what could have prevented this? Things are getting out of control in Alberta, with contact tracers overwhelmed and community spread in full bloom. Recent restrictions on fitness classes and earlier last calls have had no impact to date as 1,000-plus new cases a day becomes the norm. For a while, it appeared things were under control. As cases rose, most people were not vocally critical.Then doctors started writing letters with hundreds of their colleagues' signatures calling for circuit-breaker lockdowns. The chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency called for the same. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi wished for more, but told citizens not to wait for the province to do what was needed. Social media was flooded with calls for restrictions.Cases soared, as did hospitalizations. There are more deaths and likely many more to come.The government continued to resist, but looks prepared to act — in some way — on Tuesday afternoon.Critics have said the government has failed to provide clarity across the province on what is expected and even failed to model the baselines of good behaviour. Research has shown that people tend to lay more blame when an intentional harm has occurred, but that those in power can be judged harshly even if causality is ambiguous or indirect. Polls have shown that Albertans are dissatisfied with the performance of their government, including a recent poll by ThinkHQ that suggested the majority of Albertans don't think recent government restrictions went far enough. But it can't all be put at the feet of the government. No one told Albertans to celebrate birthdays with friends and family. There was no public health recommendation to drink until closing time on Saturday night.Frustration, however, is mounting. So too is evidence that something more drastic needs to take place."I say that it's never too late to do something that's useful," said Saxinger, the infectious disease specialist from the U of A. "But earlier action is very clearly, and in a very data-driven way, the best way to handle something that has exponential growth — acting before it becomes a problem, because you act after it becomes a problem and you're already on your way to a much, much bigger problem."What is happeningOn Nov. 20, Alberta announced 1,155 new confirmed cases of COVID-19. That number has grown every day since, giving Alberta the highest number of active cases of all the provinces. Hinshaw has said ICU beds set aside for the pandemic are nearing capacity, but that more resources could be freed up. Those resources would come at a cost to those seeking treatment for other reasons. Decisions will soon have to be made within hospitals about who has the best chance of survival and therefore gets a bed and treatment. Some of the dire predictions that were elaborately presented in Alberta's first wave are coming into focus.On Monday, Hinshaw admitted defeat in terms of the government's already limited contact tracing and, in an attempt to catch up, was giving up on contacting thousands of those linked to high-priority settings such as hospitals, schools and continuing care homes. She also said she'd be making recommendations to a cabinet huddle after her announcement. The government response is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon. Francis, speaking from Utah without any knowledge of Alberta's situation, said the way to minimize the impact on businesses while protecting the health of the public is to act swiftly and comprehensively if restrictions are imposed. "One wishes that business closures were very short-lived," she said. "Unfortunately, we've made some mistakes, we've done it halfway, and so we've let community spread really get out of control.... You don't treat a rapidly growing tumour by cutting out 20 per cent of it. And unfortunately, a sort of tepid approach to infection control has done exactly that."So, with the surgery delayed, that incision will only have to go deeper.
Canada welcomes the choice of John Kerry as new U.S. climate envoy but will press Washington not to cancel permits for an oil pipeline he opposes, Ottawa's ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday. President-elect Joe Biden this week announced Kerry would be his climate czar, a cabinet-level position. Kerry played an important role in crafting the Paris Agreement on climate but President Donald Trump has withdrawn from the treaty.
BUDAPEST, Hungary — Hungary’s government is considering an electoral law amendment that would make it harder for opposition parties to pursue their unity strategy against the powerful ruling party in future elections.After a 2012 overhaul by the ruling Fidesz party and its leader, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Hungary’s two-ballot election system has allowed parties to field individual candidates in the country’s 106 single-member voting districts and to present voters with a national party list.Currently, election law requires that parties must run candidates in a minimum of 27 voting districts in at least nine counties and the capital Budapest in order to present a national list. The new proposal, approved 8-4 on Tuesday by parliamentary committee, would significantly increase this minimum requirement.The government argues the changes are necessary to prevent fake parties from abusing state funding they receive for election campaigns.If approved by the ruling party’s parliamentary supermajority, the amendment would force opposition parties to join in running a single national list against Fidesz. This could widen ideological fault lines within the tenuous coalition and make it more difficult to unseat Orban’s government.For months, the opposition has negotiated the details of a unity strategy against Orban in forthcoming 2022 elections, vowing to co-ordinate candidates in individual districts in an effort to prevent splitting opposition votes, and to adopt a common political platform and single candidate for prime minister.This strategy brought substantial gains to the opposition in municipal elections last year, where opposition candidates took the majority of Hungary’s cities including Budapest.The Associated Press
THUNDER BAY — A former Thunder Bay lawyer who had his licence to practice law revoked by the Law Society of Ontario was given an 18-month conditional sentence order following a court proceeding last week. Daniel James William Matson, 33, pleaded guilty to 12 charges including counts of fraud, forgery and obstruction of justice for offences dating from 2013 to 2017 where he misled numerous clients in the status of their litigation matters and fabricated court orders. Crown counsel had asked for a six-month custodial sentence for Matson while defence counsel argued a conditional sentence order of 12 to 18 months was more appropriate. On Friday, Nov. 20, an Ontario judge sentenced Matson after he previously pleaded guilty to 12 charges in late October, according to court documents. In an agreed statement of facts read by Crown counsel Peter Keen on Oct. 28, court heard numerous cases of where Matson would be retained by individuals seeking assistance in legal proceedings and Matson would often delay meetings with clients, not return phone calls, present falsified or forged documents, and often times blame delays on opposing counsel. A conditional sentence order will allow Matson to serve his sentence in the community outside of jail as long as he abides by several conditions. For the first six months of his sentence, Matson will be confined to his house in Thunder Bay. He will be allowed to leave for some exceptions including for work, medical appointments, counselling and education. For the second six months, he will be required to be in his residence daily from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. If he breaches any of these conditions, he could serve the remainder of his sentence in custody. The Law Society of Ontario revoked Matson's licence to practice law in late September.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Children under the age of five are amazing sponges for information. Ask any childhood researcher, or any parent who has told a story to another adult, only to have a child bring it up at an inopportune moment. But that sponge-like nature, if encouraged and nurtured, means a child has the opportunity to grow into their best self, and have the tools and capabilities that will allow them to succeed in whichever way they see fit. “We know that the child’s first experiences with language and culture come from within his own family, and within early childhood settings.” says Josée Latulippe, manager of Collège Boréal’s Centre d’innovation sociale pour l’enfant et la famille (CISEF – Child and family social innovation centre). It is for this reason that the FrancoFUN program was created by the Association francophone à l’éducation des services à l’enfance de l’Ontario (AFÉSEO – Francophone association for early childhood education) as a way to ensure that early childhood educators are not just offered the chance to enhance early French-language learning for children, but to ensure that they can view their classroom through the Francophone lens, and build identity as well as skill set. “Identity building is vital, “Latulippe said. “Because studies show that it is a key mechanism to ensure the vitality of minority-language communities and prepare young children to be educated in French when they enter elementary school.” And it is this “continuum of language,” as Latulippe calls it, that ensures language and cultural identity survives. As children here in Sudbury, both Anglophone and Francophone, have the ability to enjoy their education in French from childhood to post-secondary, it ensures that a culture and language that could be considered already marginalized is one that will last the test of time, regardless of the surrounding majority. The FrancoFUN program focused not just on providing language to students, but also the cultural identity behind the Franco-Ontarien legacy. It is a specific culture, with a specific dialect — headed to ‘camp’ anyone — and stories and history all its own. And it is one that, if shared, can enrich a child’s ability to learn a language, and bring together a community that is consistently working to preserve its cultural identity. And now that the FrancoFUN program has been in place for some time, helping Early Childhood Educators find ways to continually incorporate cultural, historical, language-based, and just plain fun aspects of the Franco-Ontarien peoples, they are now ready to measure the success, and share their methods with others. “We are always reflecting,” said Latulippe, and notes the questions they continually ask: “How can I better my program? How can I make it more accessible? Do we have a welcoming structure in place to welcome families that are French and English?” For it is not just fully Francophone families that can benefit from this type of study, and action. If you would like your child to speak French, but your home is mixed-language, or perhaps somewhat disconnected to the culture, then this type of programming will not only offer you the opportunity to increase your child’s chances of success, as Latulippe notes that research shows language learning is greatly helped by immersion into the culture of the language, not just the words. And this is especially true for parents who would like their children to speak French, but do not do so themselves. Simply by building a bridge between your home and the school, said Latulippe, you can enrich your child’s language learning without knowing a word yourself. With a program like FrancoFUN, you can learn about the culture as well. “It doesn’t mean you need to take French classes,” Latulippe said. “You just need to support the culture in your home. It’s because we are all the first educators.” And now, as the program has raised awareness among early childhood educators about their role in encouraging Francophone identity in their classrooms, it’s time to find out how the tools are working. From now until March of 2021, a survey of the educators and their thoughts and feeling about the program will be gathered, and shared amongst interested parties. “We are hoping we will have a tool to promote culture and language identity within Early Childhood settings,” said Latulippe, “which can then be shared within the community, with teachers at the college, and with the Franco-Ontarien culture really.” And it is this tool that Latulippe hopes will encourage not just French-language learning across Ontario, but also an understanding of the unique and beautiful qualities that make a culture, and a portrait of those who have come before, and those who will come after. Because the loss of any culture is a horrific idea; but the loss of folklore, of La Nuit sur l'étang, of ‘Notre Place’, of CANO, and of tourtière and tarte au sucre, is much too tragic to imagine. Jenny Lamothe is a Local Journalism Reporter at Sudbury.com, covering issues in the Black, immigrant and Francophone communities. She is also a freelance writer and voice actor. Contact her through her website, JennyLamothe.com.Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro called the display outside his constituency office "offensive".
LONDON — Fittingly in this year of work-from-home and lockdowns, Douglas Stuart’s life-changing moment came to him on his sofa.The Scottish writer was at home in Manhattan when he was announced as the winner of the 2020 Booker Prize last week. Stuart won the 50,000-pound ($66,000) literary award for “Shuggie Bain,” the powerful story of a boy coming of age with an alcoholic mother in poverty-scarred 1980s Glasgow. It’s an astonishing feat for a first novel that took a decade to write and was rejected by 32 publishers before finding a home.“I had a bit of a dance around the kitchen -- that’s about as much as you can celebrate in 2020,” Stuart told the Associated Press in a Zoom interview from — where else? — his sofa.Stuart, 44, knows that the Booker can transform careers, bringing a major boost to an author’s sales and profile. Just ask previous winners like Bernardine Evaristo or Hilary Mantel, transformed from critically respected, commercially middleweight novelists to the top of bestseller charts.He hopes it will help open up publishing to new voices, especially writers from working-class backgrounds. Glasgow-born Stuart is only the second Scottish Booker winner in the 51-year history of the prize, open to English-language novels from around the world. He grew up, like his central character, in a poor home on a Glasgow housing project with a mother who struggled with addiction.The novel centres on Shuggie, a sensitive boy in a hardscrabble world, and his mother Agnes, trying to stop her dreams disintegrating during the grim 1980s, when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s free-market economic policies hastened Glasgow’s industrial decline.Stuart thinks it’s important — and overdue — that a working-class writer has won the Booker Prize. He said that in his childhood “books were never seen as ‘for people like us’ because they never contained people like us.”“The thing that’s defining about ‘Shuggie Bain’ is it’s a working-class family who are slipping through the fabric of society, and we don’t often get to hear those kinds of voices,” Stuart said in a gentle Scottish burr.“It’s good to have Scottish voices have a moment of support, and it’s great to see queer writers also," said Stuart, who lives in New York with his American husband. "So I’m hoping that it not only changes my life but it helps a lot of other people.”Stuart dedicated the book to his own mother, who died from alcoholism when he was 16. He says it was important to him to give a truthful depiction of addiction.“Sometimes when I read about addiction, it’s a big capital A and the addiction is almost the person’s personality or what they are,” he said. “And I never knew that to be true."“I write about it as someone who’s gone through it and who has loved someone who is lost. And I knew when I was writing the book that I wanted Agnes to be as round a person as possible. She doesn’t have to be nice. She doesn’t have to always do the right thing. But, you know, she’s a mother, a lover, a friend, an enemy. She is lots of things.”Stuart has won critical praise for the way he looks at addiction, poverty and dashed dreams unflinchingly, but with tenderness and humour. Publisher and editor Margaret Busby, who chaired the Booker judging panel, said the book’s emotional range and ability to convey “compassion without pity” made it likely to become a classic.Stuart’s own route out of poverty came through fashion rather than writing. He studied textile design at college, moved to New York and forged a successful career in fashion with firms including Banana Republic. He began writing “Shuggie Bain” in 2008, driven by what he calls a “compulsion,” not admitting even to himself that he was working on a novel.“I truly wrote it for the characters, not knowing it would ever be a published book,” he said. “Part of the reason why it took 10 years is because I didn’t want to let them go. I found such an immense comfort and joy in writing and in creating these worlds.”The novel was repeatedly turned down by publishers who said they liked it, but didn’t know “how to explain Glasgow in the 80s and Thatcherism to the American public.”They needn’t have worried. Already the top seller in the U.K. among the six Booker finalists, “Shuggie Bain” was a National Book Awards finalist in the U.S. and features on many best-of-the-year lists. Stuart has quit his day job to become a full-time writer, and has already finished his second novel, a “conflicted queer love story set in 1990s Glasgow.”He’s delighted with the way the book has been embraced in his native land. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon sent him a congratulatory message minutes after his Booker win.“But one of the greatest things about publishing the book and connecting with readers is people from New Zealand and India and Detroit have come out and shared with me similar stories,” he said.“And as we live in a society that is polarizing more between the haves -- who don’t want to hand back to the have nots -- and the have nots, who are being left behind, ‘Shuggie’ is not actually even a historical novel, either.”Jill Lawless, The Associated Press
A young, breastfeeding mother of seven is now one week deep into a hunger strike in the northern Quebec Cree community of Chisasibi, over a multi-billion dollar development agreement and what she says was a lack of consultation by Cree leaders. The $4.7 billion Grande Alliance agreement was signed in February by Quebec Premier François Legault and current Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum. At the time, the memorandum of understanding was called the Cree vision of development and includes a deep sea port, 700 kilometres of new railway, hundreds of kilometres of new road, new power lines and the creation of a network of protected areas, among other projects to be built in three stages over the next 30 years.Last Wednesday, Heather House posted an open letter to social media addressed to Cree leadership, the premier of Quebec and several provincial ministers. In the letter, the 32-year old said Cree leadership should have done more consultation before signing. > I say 'no' to the agreement. \- Heather House, Chisasibi resident"I say 'no' to the agreement already signed. Have it terminated and revoked on the grounds of no consultation, on the grounds that there was no informed consent from the people of Eeyou Istchee," wrote House in a Facebook message. That same day, House escalated her protest and began a hunger strike, taking in only fish, fowl or caribou broth. House said she launched the hunger strike to show she is serious in her opposition to the Grande Alliance agreement, which she wants changed. She also said she wants no more mining projects in Eeyou Istchee. "The money will run out. The lithium will run out … cobalt … graphite … it will run out," said House, adding many Cree people, like her, don't understand what is in the agreement and are concerned about the impacts of more development.Community chiefs consultedAccording to the Cree Nation Government website, the Grande Alliance agreement was the result of a "patient consultative process" with the Cree communities. The majority of the Cree community chiefs were on hand for the signing of the agreement with premier Legault in February. In an email response to CBC, a Cree Nation government representative said COVID-19 has severely impacted their ability to meet with community members to explain the agreement and establish regular channels of communication. Cree leaders are planning a community meeting in Chisasibi this Friday.The email also said that the Grande Alliance is a chance for Cree people to be in the drivers seat of development, rather than the old model of reacting to projects and being "offered only leftovers".All of the infrastructure projects proposed in the Grande Alliance are tied to the creation of a network of community-selected protected areas, the email said. "The exploration of this idea will take many meetings and many discussions from the kitchen table to the boardroom before any actual project is identified," said the email.Cree leaders have also said the communities will be consulted on the individual projects and each project will be subject to a full environmental review, something that doesn't reassure House. > We have every right to... to protect our land because this is all we have left. - Heather House, Chisasibi resident"History has shown us … that even with the environmental assessments, they always find loopholes that deceive us," said House. Since House shared her open letter on Facebook, it has been shared more than 500 times. She said she has received a lot of the support from Cree people, but understands there are many Cree who support the agreement. "That's your thought … and you have every right to it. But we have every right to feel the need to protect our land because this is all we have left," said House. Until she's been heardHouse said one supporter of the agreement told her "not to bite the hands that feed her".Her four-month old baby is not yet on solids and will not take formula.House said she is not worried for the moment about the health of her baby because she is drinking a very nutritious caribou marrow broth. "Our ancestors survived on this kind of nourishment, and sometimes way less," said House, adding she may start to worry if her hunger strike drags on. House also said she will continue until she feels she has been heard by Cree leaders. She said she is hoping to speak directly to Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum. "He's had my phone number since day two of my hunger strike," said House.
The newly appointed interim leader of the B.C. Liberals says one of her first tasks will be to find out what went wrong in this fall's B.C. election — in which the party lost vote share in every region of the province — and how to fix it.Veteran MLA Shirley Bond, who has represented Prince George-Valemount in the legislature for 19 years, was chosen Monday as interim leader of the party after former leader Andrew Wilkinson stepped down.The Liberals lost 15 seats in the October election, giving the B.C. NDP the gains it needed to form a majority government.In order to win back votes, Bond says the party will spend the next few months engaging with past MLAs and candidates, as well as British Columbians, to find out what the party can do differently and how to resonate better with voters, especially in urban areas."We were the No. 1 job creator, but British Columbians sent us a message that we needed to be thinking about other things as well … about social issues, about things that matter to families in the province," said Bond on CBC's The Early Edition on Tuesday.Evolving the economyBond, who said she lives in a riding where natural resources are very important to people's livelihoods, also spoke about the importance of evolving B.C.'s economy into one that is greener and "knowledge based.""It's not about either or," she said. Bond, who has held many ministerial roles and was the first female attorney general in British Columbia's history, did not say how long her temporary role at the party's helm would last, nor did she speculate about whom she may be handing the reins to.Wilkinson announced Saturday he would be stepping aside to make room for new leadership. He initially resigned two days after the party had its worst provincial election outcome in a generation, but at that time, he did not say when his resignation would be made official.Wilkinson's leadership came under criticism from many quarters during his time in charge of the party.Just weeks before the election, he was criticized for failing to apologize immediately after a video surfaced on social media in which Liberal candidate Jane Thornthwaite made sexist comments about NDP candidate Bowinn Ma.Bond said she is committed to creating a party culture of acceptance and respect."My job is to help us be an effective, professional well performing opposition in the legislature," said Bond.On Monday, the B.C. Liberal Party also elected Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux as caucus chair.To hear the complete interview with Shirley Bond on CBC's The Early Edition, tap the audio link below:
TORONTO — Anxiety-ridden and overworked health-care workers say they feel abandoned in their increasingly desperate struggle to cope with COVID-19, a new small-scale study suggests.Interviews with nurses, personal support workers and others in hospitals and long-term care homes suggest chronic stress and burnout are common, but fear of reprisals is stopping them from speaking out."The knowledge that they are at increased risk of infection due to lack of protection has resulted in anger, frustration, fear, and a sense of violation that may have long-lasting implications," the paper states.The study, in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, was done by James Brophy and Margaret Keith, academic researchers affiliated with the University of Windsor and noted occupational hygienists.Health-care workers in Canada have contracted the novel coronavirus in far higher numbers relative to the general public, comprising almost one-in-five confirmed cases, according to a previous study. To date, COVID-19 has sickened close to 9,000 front-line health-care workers and killed 16.Only 10 workers — nurses, personal support workers and other staff — agreed to be interviewed for the qualitative study. Others refused to take part for fear of being disciplined or fired, they said.Despite the handful of interview subjects, the authors said their peer-reviewed findings reflect other larger-scale research and surveys, and its findings are valid.Those interviewed said they still lack personal protective equipment despite the very real risks of contracting COVID or spreading it — risks apparent from the early days of the pandemic. Some said they were warned by supervisors not to wear N95 protection, even if they had their own, Keith said.Others spoke of the constant grief and trauma they endure when patients or residents die, a situation only getting worse as new cases soar."Words on the page cannot convey the level of emotion we heard in the voices of the health-care workers we interviewed," Brophy said. "We did not expect to hear the degree of anger and desperation that came out."The vast majority of the front-line health-care workers are women, many racialized, Keith said. Many are part-time and vulnerable to job loss."Health-care workers are desperately in need of protection from COVID and from their often back-breaking and soul-crushing working conditions," Keith said. "But the authoritarian and hierarchical nature of health-care work contributes to (their) risks and adverse mental-health impacts."Despite the issues, the workers said the provincial government had let them down by failing to take action to deal with their health or labour concerns. Chronic understaffing and failing to keep them safe, the authors said, means the workers can't do their jobs effectively, putting everyone at risk."Health-care workers health and well-being are being sacrificed," Keith said. "We all need to pay attention to their pleas."There was no immediate response to the qualitative study from the provincial government, but Health Minister Christine Elliott praised the "tireless efforts" of front-line health-care workers during an announcement on Tuesday about the roll-out of rapid tests.Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said front-line staff in close contact with COVID-infected people still have no ready access to proper respirators. The Ministry of Labour has also rejected all 253 work refusals as valid. "This explains why people feel sacrificed and why they feel exploited and violated," Hurley said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
SILVER SPRING, Md. — RadioShack, a fixture at the mall for decades, has been pulled from brink of death, again.It's the most prized name in the basket of brands that entrepreneur investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez have scooped up since the coronavirus pandemic bowled over the U.S. retail sector and sent a number of chains into bankruptcy protection.Mehr and Lopez plan to make RadioShack a competitive again, this time online, rather than on street corners or in malls. However, unlike RadioShack's glory years, it's Amazon's world now.The big question is: How much value does the RadioShack brand have when the prized target audience of millennials or Gen Z have likely never owned a radio, let alone stepped inside a store?“It’s a very thin line between being iconic and being dead,” said Robert Passikoff, founder and president of Brand Keys Inc., a marketing and research consultancy. “Being iconic a lot of the time just means people have a memory of it. I’m not sure that just remembering something is leverageable enough to be able to convert something into success.”Success is something that's been in RadioShack's rear-view mirror for quite some time. The company, which would celebrate its 100th birthday in 2021, appeared to be on top of the tech world in the pre-personal computer days of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the place kids and hobbyist would go to buy radios, walkie-talkies and all the parts to fix them, or even build them themselves.Somewhere along the way, “The Shack” got lost. Unable to capitalize on the PC boom that began in the mid-eighties, it also found itself largely on the outside of the portable device revolution of the aughts and drifting toward irrelevancy. It booked its last profit in 2011. After store redesigns and other changes failed to draw customers, the Fort-Worth, Texas company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015 and then again two years later.Mehr and Lopez have no designs on rebuilding the brick-and-mortar RadioShack empire. But they say there is a path back to profitability, and it all starts with the name.“We bought the raw material to build a big business," Mehr said. "Brand means trust. And the brand is very, very strong. I have quantifiable data that the brand is very strong.”Mehr said REV's formula for measuring public opinion of a brand differs significantly from the way other experts value such things, including their own polling and analysis of how the company might work in a specific “ecosystem."The plan, in short, is to build a vast online marketplace on top of the RadioShack brand. Trust in that name will get consumers to the site, where the quality and variety of merchandise will dictate whether or not shoppers click the “Buy” button, they say.Since it was founded in 2019 REV has been in the hunt for other names that could once be described as “household.” It's snapped up Pier1, Dressbarn and Modell's, also turning them into online-first businesses.Other bankrupt retailers have found a second life online. The overhead is low and there are people who remain loyal to the brand, even after the store lights go out. But they are typically much reduced affairs. American Apparel, which went bankrupt and closed all its stores a few years ago, now sells hoodies and sweatpants online. Toys R Us, which closed its doors two years ago, opened a couple of small stores and it has a website. However, the Toys R Us site redirects those who want toys to Amazon.com.REV says that its much leaner RadioShack will sell from its own website and an Amazon storefront. RadioShack was the place to go for batteries, phone chargers and headphones. Those are products that Amazon sells under its own brand name in vast quantities.And therein lies REV's Sisyphean challenge. Megachains like Walmart and Target have been able to slow Amazon's encroachment, but Amazon is the ultimate disrupter. It has upended industries from tech and grocery, to global shipping.If Amazon is the biggest threat to some of America's largest corporations, what are the prospects for a relic from the 1980s?“Amazon is the Death Star,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of the marketing strategy firm Metaforce. “They have everything and it’s easy and fast. There’s no need to go to your corner RadioShack to find something, or even to RadioShack online.”Yet Mehr doesn't look at Amazon as a competitor. Rather, he said, it's another channel where RadioShack can sell its products.“It’s like a big mall with a lot of traffic,” Mehr said. “So I think of Amazon as a partner, and I’ve done that in other brands, too. So this is yet another distribution channel for us.”REV bought RadioShack from General Wireless Operations Inc. for an undisclosed amount this year. The former owners have retained a minority stake, betting on the social media marketing expertise of Mehr and Lopez.The new owners say they hope to have RadioShack.com open for business by the end of the month. About 400 RadioShack locations remain open, but operate independently from the REV-owned parent company.Matt Ott, The Associated Press
La majorité des francophones hors Québec ne croit pas que le français soit en péril, tandis que les Franco-Québécois s’inquiètent de l’avenir de leur langue dans une proportion similaire.
EDMONTON — FC Edmonton has hired Alan Koch as head coach and director of football operations of the Canadian Premier League club.Koch replaces Jeff Paulus, who resigned in September.Koch coached FC Cincinnati from 2016 to 2019 during which time the club transitioned from the United States League to Major League Soccer. He was named USL coach of the year in 2018 when the Cincinnati topped the table with a 23-3-8 record. But the club went 6-22-6 in its inaugural MLS season.He coached the USL's Colorado Springs Switchbacks to a 2-7-7 record in 2020 before resigning.The South African emigrated to Canada in 1990 for a soccer scholarship at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.Following a pro career that ended in 2001, Koch coached his alma mater for seven seasons. His time at SFU included four conference championships and appearances in the NCAA Division 2 semifinals in 2012 and 2013.Koch became head coach of the USL's Vancouver Whitecaps2 in 2015. He was the first coach to offer Edmontonian and current Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davis a pro contract."I left Canada to gain additional professional experience, but am incredibly excited that this opportunity allows me to further my career while staying close to family," Koch said Tuesday in a statement. "The Canadian Premier League is a welcome opportunity for Canadian players and coaches, and I will work relentlessly to help FC Edmonton achieve its goals."FC Edmonton did not advance beyond the first stage of the summer's Island Games with an 0-6-1 record.The Charlottetown tournament was the stand-in season for one disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.“We had the privilege of talking to a lot of great candidates for the position," FC Edmonton owner Tom Fath said. "But in the end, coach Koch’s mix of professional coaching experience, winning track record, business understanding, and wide soccer network made him the clear choice to lead us into the future.“We spoke extensively about everything the club needs to change in order to win. Alan understands it and is up for the challenge."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press