The Canada emergency wage subsidy has helped businesses by supporting payrolls. But if a company ends up with a surplus, should it have to pay it back?
The Canada emergency wage subsidy has helped businesses by supporting payrolls. But if a company ends up with a surplus, should it have to pay it back?
In announcing a planned phone call on Friday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the White House's intended message was clear: Traditional allies are back in favour while despots, dictators and the killers of dissenters are on the outs. The way press secretary Jen Psaki announced the scheduled call with Trudeau was revealing, as it came in response to a question that had nothing at all to do with Canada's prime minister. She was asked about Vladimir Putin. Specifically, she was asked when Biden would speak with the Russian leader. Psaki replied that it wasn't an immediate priority. "[Biden's] first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau," she said. "I would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it's important to rebuild those relationships." U.S. plans to investigate Russia Psaki elaborated on Putin in a separate news conference where she described Russia as "reckless" and "adversarial." She said Biden has tasked the intelligence community with reporting on a variety of alleged Russian transgressions: cyberattacks on U.S. companies, interference in U.S. politics, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Russian-paid bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Yet the goal of rebalancing relationships away from rivals toward like-minded countries has been tested already. Some Canadians, notably Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, want trade retaliation against the U.S. following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day 1 of the new administration. The decision undermines Canada's No. 1 export to the United States: oil. WATCH | The National's report on Keystone XL: Biden's foreign policy ambitions will keep being tested as international relationships undergo unwieldy twists on any given issue due to practical and political considerations. Here is what we already know about the Biden administration's approach to other countries after its first couple of days in office. The moves so far The administration will release a report on suspected Saudi government involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an issue the last administration showed little interest in pursuing. It is also threatening to cancel support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is willing to consider new NATO expansion on Russia's doorstep, into Georgia, and in fact is staunchly supportive of the international military alliance. And Biden has rejoined previous alliances the U.S. was either scheduled to exit (the World Health Organization) or had already left (the Paris climate accord). These activities are intended to signal a dramatic change in foreign policy from Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, who frequently bashed the leaders of democracies and international institutions while simultaneously cultivating friendly relationships with non-democratic leaders in the Middle East, Russia and North Korea. There will be contradictions in Biden's approach — as there were in Trump's. For example, while Trump often had kind words for dictators, he also sanctioned their countries on occasion, including Russia and China. Also, don't count on an ambitious foreign policy from Biden. Early on, the new administration will be busy juggling domestic crises, said Edward Alden, an expert on Canada-U.S. relations. "I think we are going to see an approach to alliances that looks a lot like [Barack] Obama's — engaged, respectful, but not overly ambitious," said Alden, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. "The United States has enormous problems at home, and those are going to take priority for some time." Alden said he does expect some new international initiatives, such as more active co-operation on global vaccine distribution. Biden wants changes on Canada-U.S. pandemic travel On COVID-19, Biden also wants to immediately connect with Canada and Mexico to establish new rules within 14 days for pandemic-related travel safety measures. Alden also expects an attempt to rework and revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, and establish greater co-ordination with other countries in confronting China. For example, Biden has proposed a summit of democracies where countries can share ideas for countering autocracies. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his confirmation hearing this week that the last administration had a point in reorienting policy toward Beijing. "President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Blinken said. "The basic principle was the right one, and I think that's actually helpful to our foreign policy." He got into a testy exchange at that hearing with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Republican who favours a hands-off approach on foreign affairs. When Blinken said he was open to expanding NATO membership to Russia's neighbour Georgia, Paul called that a recipe for war with Russia. Blinken argued the opposite is true. After years of Russian incursions in non-NATO Georgia and Ukraine, recent evidence suggests Russia is most belligerent with countries outside NATO's shield, he said. Keystone XL: The early irritant Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss new travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion that would run south from Alberta to Nebraska. So far, Trudeau has shown little desire to escalate the pipeline issue. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, on the other hand, has demanded retaliatory action, and some trade experts say potential legal avenues do exist. WATCH | Kenny on the fate of Keystone XL: But they're skeptical they will achieve much. Eric Miller of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consulting firm specializing in trade and government affairs, said the best that pipeline-backers can hope for is to sue the U.S. government for financial compensation for the cancelled project. He said the Alberta government and the project's developer, TC Energy, can try suing under the investor-state dispute chapter in the old NAFTA, which will remain in effect for two more years for existing investments. "[But] nothing is going to force the Biden administration to deliver the permit," Miller said. "One has to be clear that there is no world in which Joe Biden [retreats on this]." Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he doubts complaints from Canada will make a difference. He said the most politically effective argument for the pipeline would come from Americans — from the companies and unions that would have serviced the project. The Ohio-based lawyer said challenges under U.S. laws, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, could potentially work, but he cautioned: "They're high hurdles."
TIRANA, Albania — Albania on Thursday expelled a Russian diplomat for allegedly not respecting the country’s virus lockdown rules. An Albanian foreign ministry statement declared Alexey Krivosheev “person non grata,” asking him to leave the country within 72 hours. The ministry said that since April last year there were continuous violations from the diplomat. It said Albanian authorities first contacted the ambassador but the diplomat still persisted in breaking pandemic restrictions. “A repeated challenging of the protective rules and steps on the pandemic, and disregarding of the concern of the Albanian state institutions related to that, cannot be justified and tolerated any more,” the statement said. The ministry did not provide details on the alleged violations, or give the post of the diplomat. Albania has set an overnight curfew, mandatory use of masks indoor and outdoors and social distancing. “We hope that such a decision ... at such a very challenging time for the globe, will be well understood from the Russian side as a necessary step to protect the health and security" of everyone in Albania, the ministry statement added. Albania resumed diplomatic ties with Moscow in 1991, 30 years after the country's then-communist regime severed previously close relations with Russia. The Associated Press
Shelburne Police Services (SPS) has revealed how they plan to enforce the Province’s new emergency declaration and stay-at-home order – ensuring officers won’t be conducting random vehicle or individual stops to check compliance. In a press release given last Thursday (Jan. 14), media relations officer Sgt. Paul Neumann said the local force’s initiatives for enforcing the order will be both “complaint-driven and proactive, with the goal of gaining compliance.” “Those that refuse to comply will receive the appropriate penalty,” wrote Neumann in the press release. “Enforcement will be aimed at those individuals who overtly put others in danger in our community.” The new stay-at-home order, which went into effect on Jan. 14, requires individuals to remain in their place of residence at all times unless leaving for an essential purpose such as the grocery store, pharmacy, accessing health-care services, exercising or essential work. Shelburne Police say that over the past few months the vast majority of cases, where they’ve received a complaint or responded to a call where individuals are in violation, have willingly complied after being educated. “We expect this to remain the same moving forward and we thank those citizens who are doing their part,” said Neumann. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), while requesting Ontarians to “voluntarily comply” with the new order, also announced through a press release on Jan. 15 how they plan to enforce compliancy. The OPP said officers will be enforcing the order by focusing on non-compliance in businesses and restaurants, complaints from the public and outdoor gatherings of more than five people. “In the absence of a complaint or other ground, officers will not arbitrarily stop an individual or a vehicle or enter a dwelling for the singular purpose of checking compliance with the order. Individuals are not expected to provide proof of essential work. Officers can ask an individual to identify themselves if they have reasonable grounds to believe the individual is violating an Act,” noted Neumann. SPS and OPP officers will be enforcing the stay-at-home order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMPCA), and the Reopening Ontario Act (ROA); dispersing tickets to individuals found non-compliant. Fines for failing to comply with the order include $750 and/or $1000 for preventing others (including individuals, employees or other workers) from following the order. Maximum fines for individuals are up to $100,000 and $10 million for corporation. Failure to follow the order can result in prosecution or jail time. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
A weekly entertainment series was recently launched by Gonez Media Inc. to feature national news coverage focused on serving Canadians from diverse backgrounds. The Brandon Gonez Show began airing 20-minute episodes at 8 p.m. eastern standard time featuring national issues on YouTube every Sunday, which began on Jan. 17. “This has never been done in this country before, and I’m so excited to have such a strong team who’ve put their blood, sweat, and tears into building The Brandon Gonez Show,” said Gonez, host of the show in a recent press release. “But most importantly, I am excited for people to finally have a show where they see themselves reflected, laugh, and get the news and entertainment they need. I am so humbled to see the support from my fellow Canadians.” Gonez, along with his partners Moët Hennessy, Uber and Seneca College, remain optimistic the nation may benefit from feel-good news coverage about ongoing discourse that reflects what’s happening in Canada in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing discourse about race and racism. Gonez hails from Toronto and has experience working for CP24 and CTV as a reporter. “We have had tremendous interest from national and global brands; the excitement around this groundbreaking show has been rewarding to witness,” said Dakota Rae, vice president of sales, partnerships and operations at Gonez Media Inc., in a recent press release. “Partners who have signed on for season one of The Brandon Gonez Show will get a pulse of the people and exclusive insight into what topics Canadians find important. The show will be a massive success and become a staple in Canadian culture.” His first season features 10 episodes, and Gonez welcomes all ages and backgrounds. The host’s goal is to provide news coverage that you can consume with open and honest dialogue. To learn more about the show, please visit: brandongonezshow.com or follow #TheBGShow on Instagram, Twitter or TikTok. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer
Commentators across the political spectrum spread anti-Islamic rhetoric, insisting that Islam is intrinsically violent and that Muslims are terrorists. But studies show these claims are unfounded.
Le virus responsable de la Covid-19 peut infecter différentes espèces. Les scientifiques sont toujours à la recherche de l’animal intermédiaire. Les regards se tournent vers l’élevage de visons.
American midfielder Mix Diskerud has signed a 1 1/2-year contract with Denizlispor of Turkey's first division. Now 30, Diskerud was with Major League Soccer's New York City in 2015 and 2016, spent the spring of 2017 on loan to Sweden's Goteborg, then signed with Manchester City in January 2018 but never got into a match. He was loaned back to Goteborg for the spring of 2018, to South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai for the 2018-19 season and to Sweden's Helsingborg last June. Born in Oslo to a Norwegian father and American mother, Diskerud has six goals in 38 appearances for the U.S. and was on the 2014 World Cup roster, though he did not get into a game. Denizlispor announced his acquisition Wednesday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin by Sir Frederick Banting and his assistant Charles Best. While the discovery of insulin has saved the lives of millions of people afflicted with diabetes, it is not a cure. Diabetes continues to take the lives of Canadi-ans and the rate of dia-betes is alarming. One in three Canadians are living with, or are at risk of developing diabetes. Currently, youth around 20 years-old have a 50 per cent chance of being diagnose with Type 2 dia-betes in their lifetime. The current COVID-19 pandemic is hindering care for some people with diabetes and placing people with the disease at three-times higher risk of dying from the virus if contracted. Diabetes Canada is launching a new fund-raising and awareness campaign called, “We Can’t Wait Another 100 Years to End Diabetes.”“ The discovery of insu-lin in Canada ranks among the leading achievements of medical research,” said Laura Syron, President and CEO of Diabetes Canada. “Although insulin has enabled an incredible change in life expectancy and quality of life for millions of people around the world, it isn’t a cure. It is a treatment. More than ever, the millions of Canadians with or at risk of diabetes need our support. We can’t wait another 100 years and we hope Canadians will support us and help to end diabetes.” Beginning in January 2021, the year long campaign will recognize the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning scientific achievement by Sir Frederick Banting, Charles Best, and fellow scientists and co-discoveres of insulin, JJR Macleod and James Collip. While celebrating the milestone, the campaign aims to remind Canadians about the serious and sometimes deadly consequences of the disease which can lead to other chronic illnesses includ-ing blindness, heart attack and stroke, amputation and kidney failure. Through the campaign, Diabetes Canada will engage in a national conversation about the disease. Although this is the anniversary of an incredible discovery, Diabetes Canada says “insulin is not enough. It is the starting line, not the finish line for diabetes.” New Tecumseth has a special connection to Sir Frederick Banting. He was born on a farm in Alliston in 1891 and attended high school in the Town before leaving to attend school at the University of Toronto.T he Banting Homestead Heritage Park preserves this historic site. Diabetes Canada was started by Charles Best in 1940, and is dedicated to supporting people living with diabetes. None Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
WASHINGTON — The Democratic-controlled Congress is moving quickly to install retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as President Joe Biden’s secretary of defence, brushing aside concerns about his retirement inside the seven-year window that safeguards civilian leadership of the military. The House is voting Thursday on a waiver that would exempt Austin from the seven-year rule. All signs point to quick action in the Senate after that, putting Austin on track to be confirmed as secretary by week's end. Austin, a 41-year veteran of the Army, has promised to surround himself with qualified civilians and include them in policy decisions. He said he has spent nearly his entire life committed to the principle of civilian control over the military. While the waiver is expected to be approved, the vote puts Democrats in an awkward position. Many of them opposed a similar waiver in 2017 for Jim Mattis, former President Donald Trump's first secretary of defence. Austin, who would be the first Black secretary of defence, said he understands why some have questioned the wisdom of putting a recently retired general in charge of the Defence Department. Much of his focus this week, including in his remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, has been on persuading members of Congress that although he has been out of uniform for less than five years, he sees himself as a civilian, not a general. Some aspects of his policy priorities are less clear. He emphasized on Tuesday that he will follow Biden’s lead in giving renewed attention to dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. “I will quickly review the department’s contributions to coronavirus relief efforts, ensuring we are doing everything we can — and then some — to help distribute vaccines across the country and to vaccinate our troops and preserve readiness,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Under questioning by senators, Austin pledged to address white supremacy and violent extremism in the ranks of the military — problems that received relatively little public attention from his immediate predecessor, Mark Esper. Austin promised to “rid our ranks of racists,” and said he takes the problem personally. “The Defence Department’s job is to keep America safe from our enemies,” he said. “But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.” Austin said he will insist that the leaders of every military service know that extremist behaviour in their ranks is unacceptable. “This is not something we can be passive on,” he said. “This is something I think we have to be active on, and we have to lean into it and make sure that we’re doing the right things to create the right climate.” He offered glimpses of other policy priorities, indicating that he embraces the view among many in Congress that China is the “pacing challenge,” or the leading national security problem for the U.S. The Middle East was the main focus for Austin during much of his 41-year Army career, particularly when he reached senior officer ranks. He served several tours of duty as a commander in Iraq, including as the top commander in 2010-11. An aspect of the defence secretary’s job that is unfamiliar to most who take the job is the far-flung and complex network of nuclear forces that are central to U.S. defence strategy. As a career Army officer, Austin had little reason to learn the intricacies of nuclear policy, since the Army has no nuclear weapons. He told his confirmation hearing that he would bone up on this topic before committing to any change in the nuclear policies set by the Trump administration, including its pursuit of nuclear modernization. Austin, a 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, served in 2012 as the first Black vice chief of staff of the Army. A year later he assumed command of Central Command, where he fashioned and began implementing a strategy for rolling back the Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He describes himself as the son of a postal worker and a homemaker from Thomasville, Georgia, who will speak his mind to Congress and to Biden. Robert Burns And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
A Nigerian court threw out two blasphemy convictions on Thursday that had caused an international outcry, freeing a teenager from a 10-year prison sentence and ordering a new trial for a man sentenced to death. The two had been convicted in August by a sharia court in Nigeria's northern, mainly Muslim state of Kano. Teenager Omar Farouq was accused of making blasphemous comments during an argument, while Yahaya Aminu Sharif was accused of having shared a blasphemous message on WhatsApp.
Farmers who employ migrant workers are urging the federal government to waive the negative COVID-19 test result required before the employees can fly to Canada, saying the cost of the tests in certain countries are proving to be a barrier for some. The Ontario Federation of Agriculture, which represents thousands of farmers across the province, said it has been working with Ottawa to find ways to accommodate migrant workers travelling to Canada for jobs in the agriculture sector. Keith Currie, director of the group and a farmer in Collingwood, Ont., said farmers have recently been discussing the pre-departure tests, which can cost hundreds of dollars in some countries and may also be hard to access. "(The travel requirements) put in place, we understand this is for the right reasons, for health reasons, but how can we alleviate some of these issues, are there different measures we can take," said Currie. The past year has seen a shortage of workers on farms because of the pandemic, Currie said, noting that employers are eager to help their workers get on the job. Employers of migrant workers have suggested to Ottawa that the workers simply be tested in Canada, where they have to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon landing, said Currie. "We're continuing to work with various government officials to see how we can alleviate this situation so that it's not too disruptive to the flow of the workforce that we desperately need to come into the country," he said. In addition to looking to the federal government for support, Currie said farmers are also considering shouldering the costs of the tests for their migrant workers. "Not having the labour to run your operation certainly is a lot worse than having to bear the extra costs of testing," he said. The pre-departure testing requirement kicked in earlier this month. All air travellers coming in to Canada must now get a negative COVID-19 PCR test result 72 hours prior to their scheduled departure. Those tests, however, can be expensive. In Mexico, they can cost up to $350, said migrant rights advocate Chris Ramsaroop. "We're indebting (migrant workers) further, prior to them even arriving in Canada," said Ramsaroop, president of Justice for Migrant Workers. He said employers and the Canadian government should be responsible for ensuring that migrant workers have access to testing, instead of the onus being on the individual worker. Anton, a migrant worker from Trinidad who asked that his full name not be used for fear of losing his job, said the extra cost of a COVID-19 test could be used to pay for his family's groceries back home instead. "You have to pay for your COVID test back home, which is unfair," said Anton, who has been working in southwestern Ontario for the last eight years. He plans to go home to Trinidad in a few weeks and then return to work in Ontario in the summer. "We come over here to make our living and make money for our family," he said. "The amount of money you have to come up with (for a test), if you don't have it, you cannot come." In an email statement, Employment and Social Development Canada said temporary foreign workers are subject to the same requirements as all travellers to Canada. It said it is working closely with other departments to ensure safe and timely entry of temporary foreign workers in order to maintain Canada’s food supply chain, and that the government is monitoring the situation. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press
HALIFAX — The number of seniors in Atlantic Canada will increase by 32 per cent over the next 20 years, putting added pressure on the region's health-care system and labour market, a new study says. The study released Thursday by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says the most rapid growth will be among older seniors. Policy analyst Fred Bergman said the number of Atlantic Canadians aged 75 and older will double by 2040. The independent think tank says these changes in demographic patterns will have significant implications for the region's economy. Atlantic Canada's population is already the oldest in Canada. By 2040, there will be three seniors for every two young people in the region, the council says. "We estimate Atlantic health care costs will rise by 27 per cent by 2040 simply due to the population aging." Bergman said in a statement, adding that the region will need an additional 25,000 beds in nursing or seniors homes. This so-called grey tsunami, which refers to the large wave of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age, is also having a profound impact on the labour market, the study says. In 1990, there were 20 young workers entering the job market for every ten retirees. Thirty years later, there are just seven, and APEC does not expect that number to change any time soon. The region's primary industries — agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and oil and gas — have the oldest workforce in the region. Meanwhile, the working-age population — those between 25 and 64 — has fallen by almost 50,000 in the past 10 years. During that time, the number of seniors has surpassed the number of people under the age of 19 for the first time. Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said aggressive immigration policies are helping solve the province's demographic problems. "We need to welcome new Nova Scotians," he said Thursday after a cabinet meeting in Halifax. "If we don't deal with the demographics of our population, our health-care budget will consume all of the operating ability of our government." Despite the doom and gloom about Atlantic Canada's aging population, the council's report also includes some uplifting news: retirees today have 44 per cent more disposable income than seniors just 20 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. As well, the region's charities and non-profit organizations are sure to benefit from the fact that seniors, on average, serve as community volunteers for over 200 hours every year, which is 50 per cent more than the rest of the population. And there will be opportunities for businesses that take advantage of the trends outlined in the report, APEC says. "Seniors will be a growth sector," the report says. "Senior homes, assisted living, and care workers will be in demand, as well as personal services to help those aging at home. Products and services that cater to or are adapted for an aging population will be in demand." The new numbers would not come as a shock to the region's politicians and business leaders, who have been receiving similar reports for years. In 2014, for example, the Nova Scotia government was handed a report from a panel of experts who warned the province was doomed to endure an extended period of decline unless population and economic trends were reversed. The report, written by a five-member panel led by then Acadia University president Ray Ivany, predicted that by 2036, the province could expect to have 100,000 fewer working-age people than it did in 2010. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
The North Vancouver Island health region had just two new cases of COVID-19 in the second week of January. The first week of January showed three new cases, and the last week of 2020 had just one. The Local Health Area known as Vancouver Island North includes Woss, Zeballos and everything north. Confusingly, the larger Health Service Delivery Area, called North Vancouver Island, includes Campbell River, the Comox valley, Tahsis and Gold River. Vancouver Island West, encompassing Tahsis and Gold River, has not had a new case since it recorded two at the beginning of Dec. 2020. The Greater Campbell River area had three cases in the third week of January, four cases during Jan. 3-9, and four cases in the last week of 2020. Comox Valley, the most populous Local Health Area in the North Island, had nine new cases between Jan. 10-16, down from 18 in Jan. 3-9, and 21 cases in the last week of 2020. Updated Local Health Area data is published weekly. RELATED: B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
In another bid to separate his team from the governing Liberals, PC Party Leader Ches Crosbie promised Thursday to elevate honesty and integrity in government to the highest standard in the country if his party is elected in the Feb. 13 provincial election. Crosbie made the pledge Thursday during a glitchy virtual news conference from Marystown, in which his speech about government corruption was corrupted by technical problems. But a clean video recording posted later to the party's Facebook page showed Crosbie on the attack against the governing Liberals and its leader, Andrew Furey. Crosbie said Liberal "corruption, scandal, and cronyism" are barriers to job growth in the province and he would ensure government hiring is based on merit. In a telephone interview, Crosbie said there's a perception that individuals and companies are hired based on their political connections, and not their qualifications or experience. "That must stop," he said. Asked for proof, Crosbie said, "Everybody has stories about it." He said a PC government would "root out corruption and bring ethics and accountability to government" by implementing the "strongest anti-corruption legislation in Canada." Crosbie said a PC government would order a review of the code of conduct for members of the House of Assembly and adopt what he called "honesty in politics" legislation. "That will provide penalties and sanctions if I don't do what I said I was going to do. That will serve to restore confidence in truth-telling by politicians when they make promises," he said. To make his point, Crosbie criticized the Liberals for their handling of the PET scanner controversy in Corner Brook. With accusations mounting that the Liberals had broken a promise to install the advanced imaging technology at the new Corner Brook hospital, Furey and the Liberals announced they would put $2 million into a trust account to be used for a scanner at some point in the future. "Imagine that politicians, cabinet ministers would feel the need to put money in trust because they know the public doesn't trust them," Crosbie said. Any member of a cabinet that he leads will be forced to step away from their duties if they become the subject of an investigation, he added. The PCs have been hounding the Liberals about such a situation involving Burgeo-La Poile MHA Andrew Parsons. The RCMP in Nova Scotia are investigating whether former justice minister Parsons, the province's attorney general, played a role in the decision to charge former RNC officer Joe Smyth with obstruction of justice over his handling of a traffic stop in 2017. Parsons has denied any involvement, and his position is supported by RNC Chief Joe Boland and the director of public prosecutions. As such, Furey refused to remove Parsons from his inner circle. Crosbie said it was the wrong decision. "The fact he remains in cabinet while under investigation by the police and the premier is content to keep him there is on a level with what happens in banana republics," he said. The PC leader said erasing any perception of corruption is essential to encouraging investment in the province, and helping revive the economy. CBC News has requested comment from the Liberal Party. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A teacher at Roncalli Central High School in Avondale has been arrested for sexual offences against a former student. Noel Strapp, 38, of Harbour Main, has been suspended from his job since the start of the investigation, RCMP said in a release Thursday. He's charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation for a number of incidents alleged to have happened between 2014 and 2016., according to the release. Holyrood RCMP were contacted on Nov. 25, 2019, by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, which received the original report. Last January, RCMP confirmed they were conducting an investigation into a teacher at the Avondale school, but did not provide any further details. Strapp was released from custody Thursday on a number of conditions and is scheduled to appear in provincial court on March 2. Two teachers in nearby schools have been criminally charged in the past two years. Robin McGrath, principal of Admiral's Academy in Conception Bay South, was charged in March 2019 with four counts of assault on young students with disabilities between kindergarten and Grade 6. Substitute teacher Krysta Grimes was charged with sexual exploitation in August 2019 for an alleged interaction with a student in Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
À l’issue du caucus du Bloc québécois en prélude à la rentrée parlementaire, les élus bloquistes entendent se pencher prioritairement sur la gestion de la pandémie, le soutien aux aînés, la hausse des transferts en santé et la promotion de la langue française. La lutte contre la pandémie de COVID-19 et «l’identité québécoise» seront au cœur de l’action des bloquistes à la Chambre des communes alors que les livraisons des doses de vaccin de Pfizer seront interrompues au Québec la semaine prochaine. «Nous allons talonner Justin Trudeau pour qu’il assume sa responsabilité d’approvisionner le Québec en vaccins. Il devra enfin assumer sa responsabilité de gérer les frontières et les quarantaines», a prévenu le chef du Bloc, Yves-François Blanchet, selon un communiqué du bureau d’Andréanne Larouche, députée de Shefford. Ottawa vient de prolonger les restrictions sur les voyages internationaux vers le Canada en provenance de pays autres que les États-Unis jusqu’au 21 février, mais ces mesures demeurent insuffisantes aux yeux du Bloc. Le Québec demande la suspension des vols internationaux et le renforcement du contrôle des quarantaines des voyageurs. Le premier ministre, Justin Trudeau, menace d’imposer de nouvelles mesures «sans préavis» si les Canadiens continuent de voyager sans raison essentielle. Les aînés et votes à distance Le Bloc plaide également pour une hausse durable de 110 $ par mois de la pension de la Sécurité de la vieillesse. «Avec le coût des médicaments et la hausse des prix, notamment de la nourriture et des loyers, plus que jamais, les aînés ont besoin d’une bonification de leur situation financière», a expliqué la députée Andréanne Larouche, porte-parole du Bloc pour les aînés et la condition féminine. Les bloquistes n’oublient pas la question de l’augmentation des transferts en santé alors que le gouvernement fédéral pourrait déposer au printemps son premier budget en deux ans. Toutes ces priorités du Bloc doivent avoir l’approbation de la Chambre dans un contexte où le parlement hybride pourrait être reconduit. Le parti souhaite que le gouvernement obtienne l’unanimité avant de lancer une application sur le vote à distance. «Les libéraux ne peuvent pas changer par simple majorité une règle du jeu aussi fondamentale que la manière dont se tiennent les votes. Ils doivent obtenir l’unanimité. Je leur demande d’enfin faire de véritables efforts pour rallier toute l’opposition en prouvant l’efficacité de l’application et en mettant de côté toute partisanerie préélectorale au profit du bon fonctionnement de la démocratie», a plaidé la députée Andréanne Larouche. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
German researchers have enabled mice paralyzed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain. Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralyzed because not all of the nerve fibers that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back. But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralyzed mice's nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein.
In an effort to continue to send the message that people in Ontario need to stay home, premier Doug Ford posted a video message on Thursday morning to get the message out in 22 languages.
CHICAGO — Elizabeth Shelby had her inauguration outfit planned weeks in advance: blue jeans, a Kamala Harris sweatshirt, a green coat, and pink Chuck Taylors as an homage to her sorority’s colours and Vice-President Harris’ signature shoe. And pearls, just like the ones Harris wore when she graduated from Howard University, was sworn into Congress, and was sworn in as the first woman, first Black and South Asian person, and first Alpha Kappa Alpha member to serve as vice-president. Shelby, a member of the Alpha Psi chapter of AKA, had hoped to wear her pearls at the inauguration in Washington, D.C. Instead, she donned them at home in Nashville, Tennessee. Following the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, AKA, the oldest sorority of the historically Black fraternities and sororities that make up the Divine Nine, called off inauguration events and urged members to stay home. So countless AKA members celebrated the historic moment in their living rooms, on Twitter and on Zoom calls. “I wanted to help show Kamala that her sisters are behind her always,” Shelby said. “I wanted her to look out and see a sea of pink and green and know that this is her moment.” After the Capitol insurrection, Shelby cancelled her plane tickets and hotel reservation. The rioting robbed many AKAs of their feeling of safety at the inauguration and beyond, she said, and many members have been telling each other to stop wearing their letters in public for safety reasons. But Shelby said that didn't stop her from celebrating at a Zoom viewing party with her local graduate chapter. “I’m not going to let this take the joy out of this moment,” she said. Harris, the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father, joined AKA in 1986 at Howard University, one of the country’s oldest historically Black colleges and universities. When she accepted the Democratic vice-presidential nomination in August, she thanked AKA, saying, “Family is my beloved Alpha Kappa Alpha.” Soon after, donations in increments of $19.08, marking the year, 1908, when the sorority was founded, started flowing in to a Biden-Harris campaign fundraising committee. Alpha Kappa Alpha declared on Twitter that Jan. 20 would be Soror Kamala D. Harris Day, and encouraged members to share photos of their celebrations with the hashtag #KamalaHarrisDay. Andrea Morgan, who became an AKA the same year Harris did, posted photos of her pink sweater and pearls on Twitter with the hashtag, which she told the AP “makes us feel closer together even when we're far apart." “If we were able to be there in person, I don’t think you’d be able to look anywhere without seeing pink and green,” said Genita Harris of the Delta Omega Omega chapter in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. "Now on social media, this is a showing of our solidarity, of our love and support for our soror.” She said group chats with her sorority sisters were “going bananas” during a historic moment for the sisterhood and for HBCUs. “It’s been the same story of white men for centuries," she said. “Now a new story is being written, and it’s our story.” AKA soror Josclynn Brandon booked her plane tickets to D.C. the day Biden announced Harris as his running mate in August. When the 2020 presidential election was called, CNN was playing on her phone on the dashboard of her car. She pulled over and cried. “I knew then that I was going to see Kamala Harris make history,” she said. “It confirmed that Black women and women of colour are so much more capable than some people believe us to be.” Brandon made plans to be in D.C. from Jan. 13-21 to celebrate the sorority’s Founders’ Day on Jan. 15, as well as Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the inauguration, all in the same city where AKA was founded. After the Jan. 6 insurrection, she, too, cancelled her trip. “It did rob me of my feeling of safety while going to D.C., and it robbed me of the moment of seeing a Black woman and sorority sister become VP right in front of me,” she said. “But it took away so much more than just me going to D.C. It takes away from this celebration and robs our incoming administration of the full celebration they deserved.” Brandon watched Harris' swearing-in from her home in Indianapolis while wearing a sweatshirt with a photo of Harris from college and the words, “The Vice-President is my sorority sister.” “I’m still going to celebrate,” she said. “I’m not going to let that group’s action take away this moment. I don’t want to let them win.” Shelby grew up hearing young Black boys say they wanted to be president after Barack Obama made history as the country’s first Black president. Now, she hopes Black girls will have those dreams too. “It’s a historic moment,” she said. “To see not only a woman but a woman of colour and member of the Divine Nine become vice-president is something I never even dreamed of happening as a little girl growing up in America.” “There is a pride I can’t put into words,” she continued. “It is such a joy to see her rise to this place in our country. It is such a joy to know that she is one of us, that she represents us. She is truly our ancestors’ wildest dreams.” — Fernando is a member of the Associated Press’ Race and Ethnicity team. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christinetfern. Christine Fernando, The Associated Press