Canada has other vaccines in line for approval -- how they compare to the ones already being rolled out and how COVID-19 variants are a complicating factor.
Canada has other vaccines in line for approval -- how they compare to the ones already being rolled out and how COVID-19 variants are a complicating factor.
A look at some second-leg matches in the Europa League's last 32 taking place on Thursday: AC MILAN-RED STAR BELGRADE (2-2) A meeting of two former European champions is level after the first leg amid controversy over apparent racist abuse aimed at Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. UEFA appointed an investigator Tuesday to look into the incident after footage published online appeared to show Ibrahimovic being insulted as he sat in the stands. There were no fans allowed in the stadium for the first game, but Red Star had officials and guests in the stands. Milan goes into the game without a win in its last three after losing 3-0 to fierce rival Inter Milan in Serie A on Sunday. NAPOLI-GRANADA (0-2) Spanish club Granada is on the verge of a major upset in its first European competition. Yangel Herrera and Kenedy scored Granada's goals at home against a Napoli team whose season seems to be slipping away. One win from six games in all competitions this month has seen Napoli fall from challenging for the Champions League places in Serie A to clinging on in seventh. ARSENAL-BENFICA (1-1) The Europa League is Arsenal’s last opportunity for a trophy — and might represent the team's only route to qualifying for European competitions next season. Mikel Arteta’s team has dropped to 11th in the Premier League and is nine points off Chelsea in fifth place, which is set to be the sole Europa League qualifying position in the league. Thomas Partey has returned to training with Arsenal after a hamstring injury but it remains to be seen if the midfielder is fit enough to feature in the second leg against Benfica. The game will take place in Athens due to coronavirus travel restrictions. LEICESTER-SLAVIA PRAGUE (0-0) Leicester midfielder James Maddison will miss the match because of a hip injury. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers does not believe the issue requires surgery but said Maddison is in consultation with specialists. The in-form attacking midfielder, who came off hurt in the Premier League match at Aston Villa on Sunday, missed matches at the end of last season with a hip injury and had an operation in July. “We’re just having to get a specialist’s opinion on it to formulate a plan for his recovery,” Rodgers said. Leicester is in third place in the Premier League and has been one of the surprises of the season. MANCHESTER UNITED-REAL SOCIEDAD (4-0) Edinson Cavani, Donny Van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba remain sidelined through injury for United, which is all but assured of progress after a big first-leg win in neutral territory in Turin. A shoulder issue prevents midfielder Hannibal Mejbri from making his first-team debut after a week that has seen fellow 18-year-old Amad Diallo — signed from Atalanta in January — and 17-year-old Shola Shoretire make their first starts in the senior side. “Hannibal was injured in the reserves, he’ll be out for a month,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has added 19-year-old Northern Ireland international Ethan Galbraith to United’s Europa League squad. “He was just coming into our squad. Unfortunately for him he’s out.” AJAX-LILLE (2-1) Even without two of its best players, Ajax is on the verge of eliminating the French league leader. Lille was heading for a win in the first leg before Ajax turned the game around with a penalty by Dusan Tadic in the 87th minute and a goal from Brian Brobbey in the 89th. Ajax is without striker Sebastien Haller after he was left off the squad list due to an administrative error. Goalkeeper André Onana was handed a 12-month doping ban this month after testing positive for a banned substance, something he blamed on a mix-up with his wife's medicine. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The County of Grande Prairie voted to contribute up to $104,000 Monday toward the first stage of a new Beaverlodge health complex. The project is currently seeking a P3 partner to supply capital and expertise. Consultancy commenced in April 2020 and will continue through to this fall, said Jeff Johnston, Beaverlodge chief administrative officer (CAO). Costs of that component are expected to be approximately $208,000, according to county administration. The county’s contribution will go toward that; Beaverlodge will supply the remaining $104,000, said Johnston. “This is very important to the west county and even to the county as a whole, because of the amount of emergency room access given to the whole region,” county Coun. Bob Marshall said during Monday’s meeting. “It’s a very worthy project and much needed for the west county,” reeve Leanne Beaupre added. “We’ve been advocating for it for as long as I’ve been on council.” “The relationship with the county, particularly on this project, is integral to the success of realizing a new health complex,” Johnston told Town & Country News. The Town of Beaverlodge established the Mountview Health Complex Committee (MHCC) last spring to pursue hospital replacement utilizing private funds through the company P3 Capital Partners. The health complex would be built on the 22 acres donated to the town by the McFarlane family approximately a decade ago. Once complete, the facility would be leased to Alberta Health Services. Beaverlodge mayor Gary Rycroft is an MHCC member along with town councillors Gena Jones and Judy Kokotilo-Bekkerus. The county appointed two councillors to MHCC, Peter Harris and Bob Marshall. The town issued a RFP titled “Mountview Health Care Campus” to the provincial online resource Alberta Purchasing Connection in January. The RFP is open until March 15. According to county administration, the RFP requests an operator or capital partner to contribute capital and expertise. The private partner would complete a business plan, determine a schedule for to the project and create a plan for operations, according to administration. Depending on the proposal, the developer may then “operate” the building in carrying out maintenance while AHS leases, or Alberta Health may maintain the building, Rycroft told the News in January. Coun. Marshall’s motion to provide half of the consultant costs up to $104,000 from the municipal infrastructure reserve was carried unanimously. After fall 2021 he said the partner and MHCC will move forward with a design. If a partner isn’t found as a result of the RFP, Johnston said the project will be reviewed. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. — The RCMP say a crash on Highway 16 west of Prince George has killed a Metro Vancouver man and injured a 20-year-old Alberta resident. An RCMP statement says the collision happened Monday as the Alberta man in a westbound pickup was overtaking an empty logging truck. The passing lane ended before the pickup had finished its manoeuvre and police say it collided with an oncoming car. Police say the driver of the car, who was in his 40s, died a short time later in hospital. Officers in Prince George are leading the investigation and want to speak with the logging truck driver, who stopped to assist but left before talking with police. Investigators are also appealing for dashcam video from anyone on Highway 16 between Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof at around 5:30 p.m. Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
BATON ROUGE, La. — Trashed on social media and censured by Louisiana Republicans, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy described himself Wednesday as “at peace” with his vote to convict former President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial and dismissed the scorching GOP backlash he's received. Louisiana's senior Republican senator said he does not believe the criticism represents the feelings of many of his party's voters. He said the censure he received from the leadership of the state Republican Party represented “a small group of people,” not the “broader Republican Party.” “I am such at peace with that vote. I say that knowing that I’m getting criticized, but I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Cassidy said in a conference call with reporters on a variety of topics. Cassidy joined six other Senate Republicans in voting with Democrats on Feb. 13 to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in an impeachment trial that saw the former president acquitted. Louisiana's other U.S. senator, Republican John Kennedy, voted against conviction. “I’ve received comments from folks who are Republican who object to the vote,” Cassidy said. “I’ve received a heck of a lot of folks who agree with me or, if they don’t agree with me, respect the kind of thought process that went into it.” He added: “There’s a diversity of opinion among Louisiana Republicans, even if there is not among a very small group of people.” Though the 57-43 Senate vote was short of the two-thirds majority needed to find Trump guilty, the seven GOP votes against Trump represented the largest number of lawmakers to ever vote to find a president of their own party guilty at impeachment proceedings. Some Republicans who voted to acquit Trump said they did not believe the Democrats proved their case that the former president was directly responsible for inciting hundreds of people to storm the Capitol building in a riot that left five people dead. Other Republicans said they simply did not believe Congress had jurisdiction over a president no longer in office. Cassidy has tried to change the conversation since the impeachment trial ended, sending out daily statements about a variety of subjects and talking about other issues, such as the confirmation hearings of President Joe Biden's cabinet appointments and recovery from the icy weather. But Trump supporters don't want to move on, and they've been slamming Cassidy on conservative talk radio and websites. They've called for Republicans to ban Cassidy from their events, and several local Republican groups have joined the executive committee of the state GOP in condemning Cassidy's vote to convict Trump. Cassidy, a doctor, overwhelmingly won reelection in November to a second term, with Trump's backing. Asked whether his vote to convict Trump could damage his chances of reelection in 2026, Cassidy replied: “It is six years off, but that's immaterial. I took an oath to support and defend the Constitution." ___ Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte. Melinda Deslatte, The Associated Press
“Speak, Okinawa,” by Elizabeth Miki Brina (Knopf) Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa” is a masterful memoir in which Brina examines the complex relationship she has with her interracial parents. Brina’s father, white and American, met her mother, who is from the island of Okinawa, while he was stationed there on a US military base. The two settled in the United States, where Brina’s mother spent decades feeling lonely and out of place. Brina grew up feeling close to her father and resenting her mother. Desperate to feel wholly American, she pushed her mother away, embarrassed of her accent and overall inability to truly assimilate. In this investigation of her childhood, Brina begins to see things differently. She looks at life from her mother’s perspective, and now, she starts to understand the depth of her pain, pain she endured from leaving behind all she knew and loved, and also the pain of calling occupied land home. “Speak, Okinawa” is both a mediation on Brina’s own family as well as a powerful history of the United States occupation of Okinawa, where it maintains a massive military presence to this day. Brina’s writing is crisp, captivating and profound. She is vulnerable, raw, and relatable, and her stories will no doubt cause readers to reflect on their relationships with their own parents. As educational as it is entertaining, “Speak, Okinawa” is well worth the read. —- Molly Sprayregen can be reached at her site. Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says allocating COVID-19 vaccine doses for Indigenous people in urban areas through the provinces is faster and more effective than delivery directed from Ottawa. He says he will be working with provinces and territories to ensure they prioritize Indigenous people in their immunization efforts, even as the National Association of Friendship Centres and other advocates call for more direct federal involvement.
(Aaron MacDonald - image credit) A dilapidated but historic piece of P.E.I.'s coastal culture has been put to rest. Work is now complete on removal of Rocky Point wharf in Charlottetown Harbour, with a rock breakwater now in its place. "We had a number of complaints from timbers leaving the existing wharf and washing up on the beach," said Stephen Yeo, chief engineer for the province. "It was a safety concern." Work included removal of wood pilings, creosote planks and steel debris at the site, located in the community of Rocky Point, near the mouth of the West River in Charlottetown Harbour. The five-week project was completed in mid-January at a cost of $450,000. Keeping costs down The province opted to install a rock breakwater to cap the underwater foundation of the wharf, rather than excavate and remove the structure completely. "If we removed everything, the cost would have been probably three times what we paid," said Yeo. Work began in December and was complete by mid-January. Engineers also believe installation of the breakwater will minimize alteration of water flow, erosion and sand-deposition patterns where the wharf once stood. "It shouldn't have any effect at all," said Yeo. Rocky Point had been the site of a public wharf and ferry service since the 1800s, according to historical records, and provided a vital transportation link in the early days of the province. Improvements to roads, including construction of the West River Causeway, contributed to the wharf's decline. In recent years, the wharf's distinctive Y-shape at its deep-water end remained visible, and now that work on the breakwater is complete, remnants of it can still be seen at low tide. Rocky Point is now the location of a rocky breakwater. The breakwater replaces the wharf with a structure that is intended to have similar waterflow, erosion and sand-deposition characteristics. To dismantle the wharf, crews built a temporary road on top of it, to serve as a working platform for heavy equipment. As debris was removed, the temporary road was replaced with rock, to form the 145-metre long breakwater. Seabirds, including cormorants, herring gulls and terns, had been the most prolific users of the wharf in recent years, often perching in large numbers on its sun-bleached wood frame. The newly installed rock is not easy to walk on, and the breakwater is not intended for use by visitors. "I don't anticipate it will draw a big crowd," said Yeo. The province owned the wharf and continues to own the new breakwater as well as access to it, off Route 19 in Rocky Point. Land around it remains in private ownership. Staff will keep an eye on the new breakwater at Rocky Point through the coming year to make sure it's holding up properly, according to Yeo. More from CBC P.E.I.
OTTAWA — A new report says too many federal inmates in isolation aren't getting a few hours a day out of their cells, pushing them into territory that could be described as inhuman treatment or even torture. Citing federal data, the report says nearly three in 10 prisoners in isolation units didn't have all or any of the four hours out of their cells they are supposed to get, for two weeks at a time. A further one in 10 were kept in excessive isolation for 16 days or longer, which by international laws and Canadian rulings constitutes cruel treatment. The findings suggest the federal prison system is falling well short of the guidelines the Liberals ushered in for "structured intervention units" designed to allow better access to programming and mental-health care for inmates who need to be kept apart from other prisoners. Prisoners transferred to the units are supposed to be allowed out of their cells for four hours each day, with two of those hours engaged in "meaningful human contact." The report by two criminologists says there needs to be better oversight of how the units are managed, adding the results show Canada commits "torture by another name." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Steven Kennedy/marinetraffic.com - image credit) The Transportation Safety Board says a fishing vessel that went down off the coast of Nova Scotia in 2018 was overloaded with fish, ice, fuel and freshwater, leading to its sinking. In its investigation report released Wednesday, the board said the Atlantic Sapphire should have been carrying no more than 41 long tons of cargo. When it sank around 11 p.m. on Dec. 13, 2018, the trawler was loaded with over 60 long tons, putting it about 46 per cent over capacity. One long ton is the equivalent of about 1,016 kilograms. "On the occurrence voyage, the crew caught a full load of fish in less time than on any other trip that year, so there was more fuel, freshwater, and ice on board than usual," the report said. "The crew did not appreciate the risk to the vessel's stability created by this excess weight, and as a result, the crew did not take precautions against the risk of downflooding and capsizing." Vessel was overloaded before last catch Based on evidence collected after the sinking, including interviews with the three-person crew — all of whom were rescued by another fishing boat — the board determined the boat was already overloaded when the crew hauled in a final catch of haddock weighing seven long tons. Sea conditions caused a "slight rolling motion," which was enough to bring water onto the main deck, which then cascaded into the fish hold through an open hatch. The crew was busy loading the final catch into pens below deck when the 18.6-metre fibreglass vessel first starting taking on water, so "the situation was not recognized until the fish hold began to downflood," the report said. Capacity guidelines ignored Investigators found the cargo limit for the Atlantic Sapphire was laid out by Transport Canada in a "stability booklet" that was available to crew members, said they hadn't consulted the information in at least a year. Up until its sinking, ignoring those guidelines hadn't had "any apparent impact on safety, indicating that an adaption to the loading procedure had likely evolved over time," the report said. The report added that the boat's owner, Nova's Finest Fisheries Inc. of Middle West Pubnico, N.S., hadn't been ensuring compliance with the capacity guidelines. "Consequently, the risks associated with the loading practices on the day of the occurrence, particularly given the extra freshwater and fuel on board, were not fully appreciated by the crew," it said. No one from Nova's Finest Fisheries was immediately available to comment on the board's findings. Work-rest requirements not met The investigation also found the crew hadn't been meeting the work-rest schedule required by federal regulations. Those requirements, the report said, would have been challenging for any three-person crew to accomplish. "When meeting the regulatory requirements with a crew of three, the time remaining for fishing operations is minimal: about four hours with two crew on deck and another three hours with one crew on deck," the report said. "Such a minimal amount of time allocated to fishing is not feasible in most operations." The board pointed out that Nova Scotia has no provincial regulations for fishing vessel operations, nor a minimum crew complement. In 2020, the board identified the need for co-ordinated regulatory oversight between the federal government and provinces as a key safety issue. MORE TOP STORIES
A declassified version of a U.S. intelligence report expected to be released on Thursday finds that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, four U.S. officials familiar with the matter said. The officials said the report, for which the CIA was the main contributor, assessed that the crown prince approved and likely ordered the murder of Khashoggi, whose Washington Post column had criticized the crown prince’s policies. President Joe Biden, a Democrat who succeeded the Republican Donald Trump five weeks ago, told reporters on Wednesday he had read the report and expected to speak soon by phone with Saudi Arabian King Salman, 85, father of the crown prince, the country's 35-year-old de facto ruler.
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) In addition to leading the province's fight against climate change, Quebec Environment Minister Benoit Charette is now being asked to lead the charge against racism. Premier François Legault's announcement Wednesday of the appointment of Charette, who is white, immediately drew scrutiny. But Charette was firm in his belief that being white should not disqualify him from the position, which was created following a recommendation from the anti-racism committee formed by the government last spring. "It's a mandate to fight racism, so someone's skin colour should not be the reason to exclude that person," Charette said, highlighting that he has deep ties with different communities in the province, and is sensitive to their struggles. Charette, whose wife is of Haitian origin, noted that he has lived in several countries, and his experiences abroad have convinced him that Quebec has the tools needed to fight racism, including its Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. "We can't deny that people from minority groups, and Indigenous people, are too often exposed to profiling, to disparities in how they are treated, notably in matters of housing, in matters of employment," said Charette. But he denied that racism in Quebec is systemic, even saying the use of the term can be detrimental. "What bothers me with the expression, there are many elements to this, it gives a false sense of security, [allowing some] to lay blame on others," he said. "If we base ourselves solely on a concept that is very vague, and not well defined, it takes away a bit of the responsibility that we have." Those remarks echoed past responses by the premier, whose repeated denials of systemic racism in Quebec have frustrated many in the province's Black and Indigenous communities. 'I think many communities, people of colour, have been very distrustful towards this government because of its systematic denial of systemic racism.' - Fo Niemi, Centre for Research Action on Race Relations Charette said he wants to work at implementing the 25 recommendations put forth by the committee, and promised significant progress between now and the end of the CAQ government's mandate. Some of the committee's other recommendations include creating a province-wide campaign to raise awareness about racism, as well as training for police and government employees. The new provincial role mirrors what was done in the City of Montreal, which appointed its first anti-racism commissioner last month. When he announced the recommendations of Quebec's taskforce against racism, Quebec Junior Health Minister Lionel Carmant said he has been a victim of police racial profiling. 'He's the best person to fight against racism,' premier says Legault was also asked several times why the task of fighting racism in Quebec was given to Charette instead of the Black members of his cabinet, Nadine Girault and Lionel Carmant. Girault serves both as the province's minister of immigration and the minister of international relations. Carmant is the province's junior health minister, and oversees its youth protection agency. The two also co-chaired last spring's anti-racism committee. "It's not like they have nothing to do," the premier said, before praising the man who ultimately got the position. "I've known him for many years, and I know it's a very important subject for him, so I think, again, he's the best person to fight against racism." WATCH | Montreal's first anti-racism commissioner discusses the challenges ahead Local civil rights organizations greeted the appointment with trepidation. Fo Niemi, director of the Centre for Research Action on Race Relations, said in an interview he was pleased to see the Legault government implement a recommendation from its committee. But he believes Charette is facing a significant hurdle of his own party's making. "I think many communities, people of colour, have been very distrustful towards this government because of its systematic denial of systemic racism," he said. That sentiment was echoed by Marisa Berry Méndez, a coordinator with Amnesty International. "To not acknowledge systemic racism not only will stand in his way in terms of taking action ... but also in terms of being seen as credible or legitimate by the communities that are impacted," Méndez said.
“Paul Anishinaabemo (Speaks Ojibwe)” is a new podcast series by Paul Rabliauskas and his mother Sophia Rabliaukas. Paul Rabliaukas is a comedian from Poplar First Nation in Northern Manitoba, and he has sat with his mother every Sunday this month at her kitchen table to learn Anishinaabemowin. Rabliaukas told CBC he is a self-described mama's boy and said that it's nice to laugh with her during the recordings. Sophia told CBC when she was a young adult, she didn't put emphasis on teaching her children Anishinaabemowin because she was taught that in order to be successful, they had to prioritize English. As Rabliauskas has gotten older, he has come to regret not being able to speak his mother's tongue and has been wanting to work on a language project with her for a couple of years. This podcast is a beautiful look into an honest relationship between mother and son as they explore language together. They started this podcast in February 2021, and they now have 4 episodes that run an hour long and go through the lessons and importance of traditional teachings and language. This podcast can be found on most streaming platforms for free! Locally, the Sault Ste. Marie Indian Friendship Centre offers several resources for traditional language learning. Check out their Facebook page for their weekly programming for all ages and abilities! Josie Fiegehen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, SaultOnline.com
Approximately 20 people participated in a Wembley virtual town hall with the Beaverlodge RCMP last Tuesday. Issues discussed included the use of snowmobiles in town, the prospect of starting a local Citizens on Patrol (COPs) group and recent break-ins, said Ash Browne, Beaverlodge RCMP detachment commander. “The town hall gives me that raw information I need to build our annual performance plan,” Browne said. “We have these consultations to focus our policing efforts in certain areas.” Browne said the RCMP held the town hall via Zoom from Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum with assistance from the Town of Wembley. He was joined by another member of the Beaverlodge Detachment and one from the Crime Reduction Unit as well as Wembley council, he said. Browne acknowledged the participation level was lower than ideal and said this might be due to town residents’ conflicting commitments or the limits of having a digital forum. While participation was low, he said this allowed him to address each person individually. Browne said he received a question from a resident as to whether the community should launch a COPs group. “I was in support of that,” Browne said. “Hythe just went through this process … (and) community members can be part of the solution, because police cannot be everywhere all the time.” Browne said if the town starts a group the RCMP will provide a liaison. Another issue that arose was the use of snowmobiles in town. Wembley has a bylaw stating snowmobilers and ATV users should only leave a residence through the most direct route to fields, he noted. Browne said this issue is best addressed through patrols, and officers can be aware it is something to look out for. Patrols are mainly preventative, he added. Recent break-ins at the public works building and firehall earlier this month were also top of mind. The Beaverlodge RCMP shared images online of the suspect from another attempted break-in outside a business while the investigation is ongoing. Browne said he believes the incidents are all related. Browne previously hosted town halls for Beaverlodge and Horse Lake last year and an in-person event in Hythe in June 2019. He said his performance plan for the detachment should be ready for April 1. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's auditor general is warning of a crisis in the nursing home sector if the government doesn't address the shortage of spaces. Kim Adair-MacPherson says the number of seniors in the province is expected to double by 2036 and there are currently almost 800 seniors waiting for a nursing home placement. She says it's unclear how the province plans to address the demand. Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch says 600 new nursing home beds will be opened over the next five years. He says the procedure the government uses to request proposals for new nursing homes has been streamlined, which he says should speed things up. Cecile Cassista, executive director of the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents Rights, says the government should concentrate on helping seniors remain in their own homes instead of putting them into nursing residences. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The fight to win the leadership of his party could be nothing compared to what Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole has ahead: keeping his party together as he tries to win over voters who haven't voted for it recently. Caucus morale is buoyed by this week's House of Commons vote in favour of a motion declaring a genocide against Uighur Muslims in China. But the Tories remain stuck behind the Liberals in the polls and the Liberal war room is revving up to keep them there. The Tories' hawkish view on China stands as a point of demarcation between O'Toole and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, so while the Tories lauded the vote Monday as a victory for human rights, it's also one for them. That Liberal MPs, but not cabinet, voted with the Tories on the motion underscores the point, O'Toole argued after the vote. "The fact that Mr. Trudeau did not even show up to be accountable is a terrible sign of leadership," he said. That he'd take a strong stance on China was a key promise O'Toole made in his bid for leadership last year. But how he's following through on others is emerging as a question as O'Toole marks exactly six months in the post. Among the issues: a fear he'll backtrack on a promise dear to the heart of the party, especially in the West: repealing the federal carbon tax. MPs not authorized to publicly discuss caucus deliberations say many are concerned about O'Toole's stated support for a Liberal bill aimed at cutting Canada's net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. Most environment and economics experts say getting there without a carbon tax is possible, but would cost more because the regulations needed to achieve the goal would ultimately be more expensive. For a party fixated on the bottom line, which path to take without inflaming the base is a tricky choice. O'Toole's spokesperson says he remains committed to scrapping the federal carbon tax, though O'Toole himself no longer includes it in election-style speeches to general audiences, nor would he repeat the commitment to reporters when asked last week. Another marquee promise, to defund the CBC, is also in the wind. Spokesperson Chelsea Tucker didn't directly answer this week when asked if he would still do that if the Conservatives win power. All outlets need a fair playing field, she said in an email. "Conservatives are committed to ensuring the best path forward for Canada’s news sector." The promises on the carbon tax and on defunding the CBC were key planks for O'Toole's leadership campaign because he needed the Tory base on side to win. But as he seeks now to broaden the appeal of the party, many in caucus are expressing frustration with his approach. Recent meetings have been laced with tension and demands for change, several told The Canadian Press. Underpinning the grumbling: how kicking controversial MP Derek Sloan out of caucus played out, the appearance of a demotion from the important finance-critic post for wildly popular MP Pierre Poilievre, and frustration over the Conservatives' overarching pitch to the public. In some instances, MPs have issued their own statements when official lines out of O'Toole's office didn't jibe with their own points of view. MPs Rachael Harder and Jeremy Patzer publicly lashed out over new Liberal measures restricting travel to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, calling them draconian and an overreach, while O'Toole's office stuck with a call for compassion. Meanwhile, some MPs see focusing on anything but vaccines against COVID-19 a waste of political energy, including the recent vote on China. Others argue that O'Toole's stated focus on jobs — it was the reason Poilievre has a new title as jobs and industry critic, O'Toole says — means little without ideas to advance. O'Toole's team has partially blamed lacklustre polling on an inability to get out in front of people during the pandemic, and have tried to counter it with ad blitzes. Those efforts are also aimed at defining O'Toole before the Liberals come up with a narrative of their own. The two clashed Wednesday. As O'Toole marked six months as leader with a new ad portraying him as a serious worker, the Liberals jumped on a clip from his leadership race where he suggests he wants to put the prime minister in a portable toilet. O'Toole's office discounted the tactic as another effort by the Liberals to distract from their record, calling on them to focus instead on vaccines. There are other signs of a disconnect emerging between O'Toole and at least some of his caucus. One is over an upcoming vote in the House of Commons on a ban on conversion therapy. O'Toole says he is against the practice of forcing those questioning their gender or sexual identities into therapy but it's a free vote for his MPs. The members of his caucus who oppose the ban are organizing their own strategy sessions to frame their planned votes, work that includes O'Toole's deputy chief of staff. And the well-organized social-conservative wing of the party is gearing up for the Tories' March policy convention. The effort includes snapping up delegate spots so rapidly that some party stalwarts didn't get one, raising fears the social conservatives will be mighty enough to get controversial policies passed. Competition for spaces is a healthy sign, said party spokesman Cory Hann. "We have had more people interested in our convention than at any time in history, so of course there's going to be competitive delegate-selection meetings right across the country, which just shows how much interest there is in our party," he said. O'Toole said recently what the polls show today doesn't matter. "The Conservatives got Canada through the last global recession, better than any other country, without raising taxes. That is what we will do," he said. "And I think the polls will be on election day when Canadians want to choose that strong future." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
Les technologies quantiques sont déjà une réalité. Les gravimètres quantiques permettent de faire des mesures avec une précision inégalée – malgré les embruns et la houle.
Former vendors at the Beaverlodge Farmer’s Market are exploring a new venue, citing concerns with inconsistent guidelines at the current market. “We’re in the very-beginning stages of (starting a new market),” said former vendor, Heather Tillapaugh of Silk Purse Acres. “Our goal is to be very welcoming to anybody and everybody - the current market limits who can come to the market to sell their items, based on who’s already selling those items.” Brittni Hudson, who ended up renting a table there for just a few months, told the News an estimated 10 vendors have left, citing concerns about “inconsistencies” in rules around multiple vendors selling similar items and a variety of rental fees. Tillapaugh agrees. “Customers want variety and choices. I don’t hold any ill will toward the Beaverlodge market - we just wanted different things,” said Tillapaugh, whose operation 10 kilometres west of Beaverlodge grows various garden produce. She was a vendor of the farmer’s market from June to December 2020. The Beaverlodge Farmer’s Market is one of more than 130 approved by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. Joyce Hatton, Beaverlodge Farmer’s Market president, confirmed the rules limit the number of vendors selling certain items. “For example, baby blankets and quilts don’t sell well, so we try to limit (them),” Hatton said. Slow-selling products at too many tables would be disadvantageous to vendors, she said. Hatton said the market currently has approximately 14 vendors, and it’s typical to have fewer early in the year compared to Christmas, when there are up to 25. Like Tillapaugh, Hudson objects to limits on vendors selling certain items. “A lot of people sell the same thing, but they’re different styles and textures,” Hudson said. Hudson said she signed on as vendor in late October with a variety of signs and decals and chose not to return in early February. Shannon Murdock sold farm eggs and other items at the market, signing on in August 2020 and leaving in November. She cited limits on types of products as a concern. “Everybody should be able to succeed,” Murdock said. “Any farmers market I’ve ever been to has the same item being sold by multiple vendors.” Both Hudson and another former vendor, Sheena Hailstones, had concerns about discrepancies in table rentals. Hatton told the News that new vendors pay a weekly table rental of $20; after three months it drops to $15; three years in, table rental drops to $10 a week. “We felt the vendors who were with us all the time deserved to have a break,” Hatton said. “If they leave and come back, they pay full price again.” Tillapaugh said she has been gauging support from community members for a new market and is in contact with Eileen Kotowich, farmers market specialist with the Alberta government. Kotowich told the News it is possible for a town to have more than one approved farmers market. Kotowich said where two markets exist in one community, they typically don’t go “head-to-head.” “They have different times, different days of the week, serving a different clientele,” she said. The application must include a business case demonstrating how the market would be viable if another is nearby, Kotowich said. Tillapaugh said a business case for a second market can be made. “The Beaverlodge market is currently the only market west of Grande Prairie,” she said. “There’s a very wide area of people to bring into the market as vendors and as customers.” Tillapaugh said the former vendors are considering either an indoor or outdoor venue and the market would likely be seasonal, from spring to early fall. The application must be approved by the provincial government and Alberta Health Services, she said. Tillapaugh said she is hopeful the applications can be complete and the market opened this spring. She said there would also be start-up costs, and the former vendors may hold some fundraisers to achieve this. The amount needed will depend on the location and if it already has the necessary amenities like tables, she said. If costs are minimal, fundraisers won’t be necessary, she added. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Lundi matin, la cloche de la pause sonne à l’école de l’Escale de Val-des-Sources. Emy Blanchet, qui a récemment perdu sa mère d’un cancer, se fait prendre la main par un ami. Il lui demande de se fermer les yeux. En les rouvrant, surprise : une quarantaine de camarades, touchés par son histoire, l’attendent et lui annoncent qu’ils ont amassé 800 $, qui seront donnés à la Fondation du CHUS et au CSSS des Sources. « Je pensais qu’il allait me donner du chocolat ou un petit cadeau! raconte Emy, le sourire dans la voix. Je sentais qu’il commençait à faire froid, on était dehors, je n’avais pas de manteau. Quand j’ai ouvert les yeux, j’ai vu tous mes amis qui me disaient “ surprise! ” Ils étaient là, ils m’applaudissaient. » Emy croyait d’abord à une blague. La finissante a ensuite vu une grande carte lui étant destinée. « Mon ami Émile avait la tâche de m’expliquer quel était le cadeau. Ils ont fait un grand carton pour expliquer qu’ensemble, ils avaient fait un don à la fondation de l’hôpital à la place de donner des fleurs », décrit-elle, visiblement reconnaissantes. À la genèse de l’histoire, Saule Marcoux voulait seulement acheter une fleur à son amie Emy pour la Saint-Valentin... et l’épauler dans son épreuve. « J’ai pensé que d’autres amis proches voulaient peut-être lui en acheter aussi. Je leur en ai parlé et on s’est dit que si on participait tous à ça, on allait pouvoir lui acheter un beau bouquet », décrit celle qui est également en cinquième secondaire. « Une fille du groupe nous a dit que la famille avait reçu énormément de fleurs lors des funérailles. Elle a proposé qu’on fasse un don pour les hôpitaux. Quelqu’un a amassé l’argent et l’a comptabilisé. On a finalement récolté 800 $ », explique Saule. « T’es belle, t’es forte, t’es capable » En plus du don, les amis d’Emy lui ont confectionné une carte géante. À gauche, des mots d’encouragement. À droite, quelques dizaines de photos qui représentent toute l’affection qu’ont les élèves pour la jeune femme de 16 ans. « T’es faite forte ma belle Emy », peut-on lire. « T’es belle, t’es forte, t’es capable », est-il aussi écrit sur l’affiche bleue. Et cette carte, Emy la conservera. « Je suis encore sous le choc, on dirait que je ne le réalise pas. [...] Ça reste, ça ne part pas comme des fleurs », se réjouit la finissante, profitant de l’entrevue pour remercier tous ses camarades. Les amis plus près d’Emy se sont montrés présents dès que l’annonce du cancer de sa mère est tombée. Ils étaient là à toutes les étapes, dit-elle. « Comme quand elle s’est fait opérer, ils m’ont fait un panier avec plein de cochonneries! lance la jeune femme en riant. Ils avaient acheté plein de chocolats et de bonbons pour me remonter le moral. Ils étaient toujours là pour me rassurer. Je sais que j’ai vraiment de bonnes amies. » Beaucoup d’argent Le montant d’argent amassé par les élèves de l’Escale a de quoi surprendre. Mais le nombre de donataires a aussi surpris Emy. « Je ne savais pas qu’autant de monde me supportait et était là pour moi. Je trouvais ça vraiment beau », confie-t-elle, la voix un peu tremblante. Saule a aussi été étonnée par le montant que ses collègues de classe et elle ont réussi à récolter. « Comme nous sommes des étudiants, certains ne travaillent pas. 800 $, c’est un gros montant. C’était vraiment fou de voir que tout le monde a pris de son temps et un peu d’argent pour faire du bien à Emy », exprime l’élève de Val-des-Sources, qui dit avoir réalisé que ses camarades étaient soudés. Contacté par La Tribune, le salon funéraire Fréchette a confirmé que 400 $ allaient être remis à la Fondation du CHUS et que le même montant allait être donné au CSSS des Sources dans les prochains jours. Tommy Brochu, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
(epridnia - stock.adobe.com - image credit) Some New Brunswick workers will see a slight bump in their paycheques come spring. The minimum wage is set to increase by five cents on April 1, bringing it up to $11.75 an hour from $11.70. The five-cent increase was arrived at because the minimum wage in New Brunswick is indexed to the province's consumer price index, which saw a 0.22 per cent increase last year. In a statement posted to the province's website, Labour Minister Trevor Holder said tying the minimum wage to the consumer price index protects "the purchasing power of employees" while also ensuring "predictability for businesses." "We are mindful of the financial realities faced by both employees and employers, particularly as we endure the COVID-19 pandemic." The increase is relatively small compared with recent increases. In 2020 the minimum wage rose by 20 cents in 2019, by 25 cents in 2018 and by 35 cents in 2017. The province estimates that 20,000 workers in New Brunswick make minimum wage. The province has the second-lowest minimum wage in the country. Saskatchewan has the lowest at $11.45, and Nunavut has the highest at $16. The other three Atlantic provinces are also raising their minimum wages later this year, but they're already higher than New Brunswick's will be after the April increase. In Nova Scotia, the minimum wage is now $12.55, in P.E.I. it's $12.85, and in Newfoundland and Labrador it's $12.15.
The latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada (all times eastern):1:50 p.m.Manitoba health officials are reporting one COVID-19 death today and 45 new cases. However, six cases have been removed due to data corrections, so the net additional count is 39.---1:50 p.m.Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for people aged over 95, or over 75 for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines had been directed at certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes.---12:45 p.m.Newfoundland and Labrador health authorities are reporting the province's fifth death related to COVID-19.Officials say six more people are in hospital due to the disease.Public health is also reporting eight new cases, all in the eastern region, where an outbreak has been flaring for several weeks.Chief medical officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says though case numbers have been low these past few days, the province remains in lockdown and people must stay on guard.---12 p.m.The Manitoba government has announced the location of its fourth site for large-scale vaccine distribution. Health officials say a so-called supersite will open in early March at a former hospital in Selkirk. There are similar sites already in Winnipeg, Brandon and Thompson.---11:30 a.m.Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 and now has 21 active infections.The new cases are in the Halifax area.One is a close contact of a previously reported case, while the other two cases are under investigation.As of Tuesday 29,237 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, with 11,658 people having received their required second dose.---11:15 a.m.Quebec is reporting 806 new COVID-19 cases and 17 more deaths attributed to the virus, including five in that past 24 hours.Health officials say hospitalizations dropped by 25, to 655, and the number of intensive care cases rose for a second consecutive day, with 10 more patients for a total of 130.The province says it administered 8,807 doses of COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, for a total of 376,910 since the campaign began.---11 a.m. Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says active cases of COVID-19 in First Nations communities are declining access the country.Miller says there were 1,443 active cases and a total of 20,347 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in First Nations communities on-reserve as of yesterday.Miller says vaccinations have begun in 440 Indigenous communities and more than 103,000 doses have been administered.---10:45 a.m.Ontario plans to start vaccinating residents aged 80 and older against COVID-19 in the third week of March, depending on vaccine supply. Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, the head of the province's vaccine task force, says an online booking system and service desk will become available on March 15 and people in that 80 and older age range, or those booking for them, can access it.Hillier says the task force aims to then vaccinate adults aged 75 and older starting April 15, and shots will go to those 70 and older beginning May 1.He says people aged 65 and older will be vaccinated starting June 1.---10:40 a.m.Ontario says there are 1,054 new cases of COVID-19 in the province today and nine more deaths linked to the virus.Health Minister Christine Elliott says that 363 of those new cases are in Toronto, 186 are in Peel Region and 94 are in York Region. More than 17,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine were administered in Ontario since Tuesday's daily update.---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press