The CBC's Johanna Wagstaffe talks about how the abandoned hippos of now-dead Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar are causing concerns in Colombia.
The CBC's Johanna Wagstaffe talks about how the abandoned hippos of now-dead Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar are causing concerns in Colombia.
HALIFAX — Three Atlantic Canadian provinces reported single-digit COVID-19 case counts on Saturday while urging residents to get tested for the virus. Health officials in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick each reported six new cases, while Newfoundland and Labrador recorded two new infections. Nova Scotia public health said two of the province's new cases are travel-related, while the other four are connected to previously known infections. "The case count is a little higher today but it's good to see that none of the new cases are from unknown sources," said Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin in a news release Saturday. "These numbers reinforce the importance of being tested and continuing adherence to public health guidelines." There are 29 active reported infections of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia, officials said. Newfoundland and Labrador public health authorities said both infections announced Saturday have been traced to previously identified patients. The province is still reeling from an outbreak that spread through the St. John's region in mid-February. Officials say it was caused by the more easily transmissible B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom. There are 87 active cases in Newfoundland and Labrador, with three of those patients in hospital, including two in intensive care. In New Brunswick, public health authorities said they're still investigating the source of at least one of the six infections announced Saturday. They also warned of a possible exposure at the Gretna Green Elementary School in Miramichi and said anyone found to be a close contact of any confirmed cases will be notified by public health. There are 35 reported active infections of COVID-19 across New Brunswick, officials said. Prince Edward Island, which recently implemented a three-day lockdown in a bid to curb a rash of COVID-19 infections that emerged last weekend, did not release new case figures on Saturday. Officials in the three other provinces are encouraging residents to follow public health advice and avail themselves of asymptomatic testing opportunities now offered in their respective areas. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
The top doctor for the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit is tightening restrictions for the area's eastern municipalities following a rise in COVID-19 cases. The order was implemented Saturday by the area's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Paula Stewart, with the goal of limiting opportunities for people to gather in the municipalities of Mississippi Mills, Carleton Place and Beckwith, Ont. Under the new order, sports facilities, including curling rinks, and privately owned arenas and indoor facilities for soccer, lacrosse, tennis, squash or pickleball, must close. As well, clubs must halt rentals for private social gatherings. Places of worship can still operate, but there are greater restrictions in place for social events. Banquet halls and wedding venues may also continue to operate, but only events hosted, organized and managed by the venue are permitted, with additional restrictions. Anyone dining indoors at a restaurant or bar can only sit at the same table with members of their own household. Restaurants and bars must also collect contact information as people enter, and staff must wear a medical face mask. "Everything that each and every one of us does makes a difference in preventing the spread of COVID-19 in households and the community," Stewart wrote in a notice Saturday morning. "This Class Order will reduce opportunities for people to gather and have close unprotected contact with others outside their household in public and private facilities." Restrictions in place for 14 days The order will be in place for the next two weeks, but could be shortened or extended if need be, the health unit said. Anyone failing to comply with the order could be fined $5,000 per day. As of Saturday morning, the region had 49 active cases, 48 of which were reported in the last week. On Wednesday, health officials reported 20 people had tested positive for the virus and warned customers of The Thirsty Moose may have been exposed on multiple days near the end of February. Health officials said the restaurant isn't to blame, and the cases could be traced back to a private gathering last month where people didn't wear masks or take proper precautions. The news of the surge in cases came the same day the health unit announced its first case involving one of the COVID-19 variants of concern.
Manitoba First Nation leaders are calling out the Province of Manitoba’s tabling of Bill 56 that removes the exemption for First Nations reserves, and certain federal jurisdiction areas, from the provincial tobacco control legislation. Once Bill 56 passes, legislative provisions on smoke-free places, retail display bans, and sales to minors will not be exempted from applying on reserves or in other areas. “In a time of reconciliation, this is not a positive step. Bill 56 is the Province proceeding with further steps to usurp First Nations jurisdiction,” said Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) Grand Chief Arlen Dumas in a press release. “This issue goes far beyond smoking bans as it holds ill-considered constitutional ramifications and sets negative precedence of provinces overstepping and interfering with constitutionally recognized and protected rights of First Nations.” Dumas added that First Nations in Manitoba were not consulted about the proposed legislation beforehand. If passed, he noted that First Nations will not hesitate to take this to court. “AMC and its members will continue to bring jurisdictional challenges through the court systems and fight as long as it takes for First Nations to receive autonomy,” said Dumas. “The Premier continues to refuse all First Nations attempts to resolve jurisdictional conflicts and appears content to continue his government’s thinly veiled practices of systemic racism.” The province stated Bill 56 will provide equitable access to healthy, smoke-free and vapour-free spaces across Manitoba and reduce smoking rates among children and youth. Current legislation which allows for the exceptions for the ceremonial or traditional use of tobacco will remain unchanged. “Now we see the province taking its own direction to decide that they are not going to recognize our jurisdiction. In fact, this is a direct attack on First Nations,” said Southern Chiefs' Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels on Friday. “We will continue to fight it vigorously, and many of our First Nation communities will step up to challenge the constitutionality of such policy and legislation.” Manitoba’s tobacco legislation was originally adopted in 1990 and came into force April 22, 1991. Between 1991 and 2004, there was no exemption for First Nation reserves. The ban on tobacco sales to minors under age 18 came into force in Manitoba in 1991. By 1994, there were provisions restricting smoking in public places, including banning smoking in retail stores, elementary and secondary schools, daycares, nursery schools, elevators, public transportation, and restaurants. Many other provincial laws of general application apply on reserves in Manitoba including highway traffic legislation, occupational health and safety legislation, elevator safety laws, environmental legislation. A lawyer for the Canadian Cancer Society said that Bill 56 is fully constitutional as exemplified by the fact that between 1991 and 2004 the Act did not have an exemption for reserves. “No other province has the exemption that Manitoba has,” said Rob Cunningham, who supports the legislation. “The tobacco control legislation is important public health. Everyone in Manitoba deserves first-class public health protection, and there should not be weaker health standards in part of the province.” Nicole Wong is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Nicole Wong, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun
Calgary lawyer John Roggeveen has been selected as the interim leader of the Alberta Liberal Party. The party announced Saturday the former provincial Liberal candidate had been appointed by the party's board of directors. Roggeveen previously ran unsuccessfully for the ridings of Calgary-Elbow and Calgary-Shaw. He has also served in various roles on the Alberta Library Party Board. Roggeveen was raised in Edmonton and graduated from the University of Alberta, according to a news release. He currently has a private law practice in Calgary and is married with three adult children. "My focus will be on creating a stronger organization so that the Alberta Liberals will be a force in the next election," he said in the release. After three years as Liberal leader, David Khan announced his resignation in November. The Calgary lawyer left in order to pursue a new job opportunity. Executive Director Gwyneth Midgley said the pandemic concerns around travel and in-person meetings has prevented the party from launching a leadership race. Going forward under Roggeveen, the board is set to decide in the next few months the format and timing of a race and date for a leadership convention.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Mathew Barzal and Scott Mayfield each had a goal and an assist, and the New York Islanders beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on Saturday for their fourth straight win. Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves as the Islanders improved to 9-0-2 at Nassau Coliseum this season and 14-6-4 overall. Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson and Anders Lee also scored. New York beat Buffalo for the fifth straight time this season, outscoring the Islanders 19-7 in those five meetings. The teams meet again Sunday for their third game in four days in the same venue. Buffalo dropped its sixth straight game. Sam Reinhart and Jacob Bryson scored for the Sabres, and Carter Hutton made 24 saves. Bryson put Buffalo in front when he scored his first career goal 33 seconds into his sixth game. The 23-year-old Bryson was selected by the Sabres in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. But the Islanders responded with four goals in the second, including a memorable play by the speedy Barzal. The 23-year-old Barzal tied it at 3:51 with his ninth of the season. After outmuscling Sabres defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen for the puck, Barzal hesitated in front of the net and then backhanded the puck between his legs to himself before sliding it past Hutton. Barzal has three goals and four assists in the last six games. Brock Nelson made it 2-1 at 5:16, taking a cross-ice pass from Anthony Beauvillier and firing a high shot past Hutton for his seventh goal. Cal Clutterbuck extended the lead at 8:45, sending a wrist shot past Hutton for his second goal this season. Mayfield made it 4-1 with his second goal of the season at 15:29, firing another high shot past Hutton. Reinhart scored his team-best ninth goal 52 seconds into the third on the power play before Lee added his team-leading 11th goal at 2:15. BUSY ISLANDERS The Islanders are in a stretch in which they are scheduled to play 19 games in 33 days for the first time in franchise history. The Islanders are 5-0-1 thus far in this stretch. IRON MEN The Islanders have three players with consecutive game streaks of last 250 games: Lee 292, Brock Nelson 269 and Barzal 256. Lee is nine games from tying Bob Nystrom for the second-longest such streak in Islanders history. Allan Kreda, The Associated Press
METCHOSIN, B.C. — The Vancouver Island Major Crime Unit is investigating a shooting death of a 37-year-old man in the rural Victoria-area community of Metchosin, B.C. West Shore RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Berube says in a statement police were called to Metchosin just after 9 p.m. on Friday to investigate a report of a shooting. He says a man, known to police, was found dead at the scene in the 4600-block of Sooke Road. Berube says initial evidence gathered at the scene leads investigators to believe the incident was targeted. He says there have been no arrests and the identity of the man has yet to be released. Berube says investigators are asking people who may have been travelling in the Sooke Road area between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. to contact West Shore RCMP or the crime unit. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
COVID-19. Les plus récentes données sur l'évolution de la COVID-19, au Québec, font état de 749 nouveaux cas pour la journée d'hier, pour un nombre total de 291 924 personnes infectées. Parmi celles-ci, 274 245 sont rétablies. Elles font également état de 10 nouveaux décès, le nombre total de décès s'élève à 10 465. Le nombre total d'hospitalisations a diminué de 16 par rapport à la veille, avec un cumul de 601. Parmi celles-ci, le nombre de personnes se trouvant aux soins intensifs a diminué de 2, pour un total actuel de 109. Les prélèvements réalisés le 4 mars s'élèvent à 26 109. Finalement, 19 865 doses de vaccin ont été administrées dans la journée d'hier, pour un total de 532 012. Jusqu'à maintenant, 638 445 doses ont été reçues. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska Native leader and former state lawmaker John Sackett has died. He was 76. Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on Monday in tribute. “John Sackett was a valuable and effective advocate for Alaska Natives and our rural communities throughout his nearly 20-year tenure in the Legislature, as well as his extensive professional and community involvement. His legacy of service will forever be an integral piece of Alaska’s history,” Dunleavy said. “Rose and I offer our sympathies to the Sackett family as they honour his memory.” His cause of death was not immediately released. Sackett was born in 1944 in the remote village of Cutoff, 35 miles (56 kilometres) up the Huslia River in Interior Alaska, Anchorage Daily News reported. He began his political career in 1967 in the state House of Representatives, when he was in his 20s. Sackett then spent 14 years in the state Senate, and four in the House representing Interior and Southwest Alaska, according to a profile by the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He also served as chair of the Senate Finance Committee. Sam Kito, former president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, said on Friday that Sackett's work in the Legislature was only part of his legacy. He also helped establish Doyon Ltd., the Alaska Native regional corporation, in the 1970s. Sackett was the first president of Doyon and Kito served as executive vice-president, he said. Sackett was also former president of the Tanana Chiefs Conference, providing services to dozens of tribes. Kito also said Sackett was an influential leader in the fight for the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, which established Alaska Natives claims to land in the state. Doyon, Ltd. said on its Facebook page in 2019 that Sackett continued to attend meetings until late in life. The Associated Press
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Nearly a month after Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial election was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, officials say the counting of the ballots has begun — at least for those that have been returned. A spokeswoman for Elections NL confirmed today that ten teams of two people had begun the laborious process of tallying special ballots. Such ballots are cast either through mail-in voting kits or at district voting offices, which were set up across the province before a COVID-19 outbreak upended the election in mid-February. Voters were set to head to the polls on Feb. 13, but officials called off all in-person voting the night before as an outbreak spread through the St. John's metro area. All ballots will now be cast by mail instead, and they must be postmarked for return by March 12 in order to be counted. Elections NL has said that logging mail-in ballots is time consuming and the count could carry on into April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
LAS VEGAS — Kyle Larson was out of NASCAR long enough to wonder if he'd still feel comfortable in a Cup car. He raced in nearly 100 events last year, just not in 3,400-pound stock cars. Would it feel the same as he remembered? Had his familiarity with the interior faded? His instincts slipped? Larson, who won 42 of 83 open-wheel races during his NASCAR suspension for using a racial slur, has fallen right back into the old routine. “I thought there would be cobwebs and rust. But maybe because I raced so much last year in sprint cars and open wheel cars ... I felt as fresh as ever," Larson said. "When I got in the car and put my head-and-neck restraint on and buckled up, everything just felt normal. It didn’t feel like I had been out of the car a long time. “Even shifting gears and coming down pit road and stopping on my pit sign and stuff like that, like it’s all come natural so far." Larson, fired by Chip Ganassi Racing after using a racial slur during an iRacing event in April, was hired by Hendrick Motorsports when his ban was lifted at the end of last season. His official return was last month at Daytona International Speedway, where he opened his second chance in NASCAR with a 10th-place finish in the Daytona 500. He was running in the top three with seven laps remaining a week later on the Daytona road course when Larson, in a moment of admitted over-aggressiveness, spun his Chevrolet and fell to a 30th-place finish. Last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Larson led five laps and finished fourth, marking back-to-back weeks he believed he had a shot to win. Next up is Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It's the fourth race of the season and falls one day short of his fourth and final Cup race a year ago. The season was paused for the pandemic, Larson was suspended during the shutdown and missed the final 32 races of the year. Despite his layoff and the move to a new organization, he's already fitting in well at Hendrick Motorsports. The team got its first win of the season last week from William Byron, a playoff driver who typically hovers around the cutoff mark but is now automatically qualified. Alex Bowman had one of the fastest cars at the Daytona 500, and reigning series champion Chase Elliott could have won both the Daytona 500 and the road course race a week later. Chad Knaus, vice-president of competition, believes Hendrick drivers could have swept the first three races of the season and Larson could get a victory soon. Coming off the suspension, Larson has made a strong off-track impression on Hendrick, too. He has been a welcome addition to the driver debriefs, which no longer include seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson downloading information for the first time in nearly two decades. “I've been really impressed with Kyle. Having him here, he's been very open, very forthcoming with information from what he's feeling,” Knaus said. “He's an open book. He's been great and we could not be more pleased with his performance.” He's also noticed a patience in Larson, particularly at Homestead last week when Larson could have been too aggressive with his preferred style of riding up against the wall. “Everybody also had the thought of Kyle, fast but he crashes. Or fast but he hits the wall, fast but does a lot of those things,” Knaus said. "Homestead would have been a great opportunity to compromise the car and he didn't do it. He ran top-five all day long, didn't think he had more than that and didn't want to push it. “That's a high level of maturity that I did not know he had.” NEW WINNERS Las Vegas should be the track that returns some normalcy to victory lane after three surprise winners through the first three races. Michael McDowell and Christopher Bell scored the first wins of their careers to open the season and Byron earned his second-ever Cup victory. But the 1.5-mile traditional intermediate Las Vegas track represents the type of track the Cup cars frequent most and the top teams really pull away from the pack. Six of the drivers in Sunday's field are previous Las Vegas winners, including two-time defending race winner Joey Logano. Denny Hamlin, the current Cup points leader, has never won in 18 starts at Las Vegas. ODDS AND ENDS Harvick is the 5-1 favourite to win Las Vegas, where he won in 2016 and 2018. Martin Truex Jr. is 13-2, while Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin are both 8-1. Team Penske teammates Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano are 9-1 and Logano is the defending race winner. ... Chase Briscoe is leading the rookie of the year standings by nine points over Anthony Alfredo. Briscoe last season was the first Xfinity Series driver in history to sweep the Las Vegas races. ... Raiders quarterback David Carr is the grand marshal. ... Spectators returned to the speedway for the first time since last February's race. The speedway was permitted to host approximately 12,500 fans and tickets sold out for all three days of racing. Infield camping was not permitted. "This is the first time I can ever remember being disappointed to announce a sellout,” said Chris Powell, track president. Jenna Fryer, The Associated Press
JUSTICE. Par la voix de Claude Robitaille, le directeur des poursuites criminelles et pénales (DPCP) présente une requête d’émission d’une ordonnance de non-publication. Si elle est acceptée par le juge de la Cour supérieure François Huot, elle fera en sorte qu’il sera impossible de «divulguer et/ou publier toutes informations relatives à la preuve et aux plaidoiries qui seront présentées au cours du procès de l’accusée. Selon l’argumentaire du DCCP, la publication de la preuve remettrait en cause la possibilité de tenir un procès «juste et équitable» pour le père de la fillette. La requête sera présentée le 14 juin 2021 au Palais de justice de Trois-Rivières suite à un changement de venue. Rappelons que le procès de la belle-mère qui débutera le 13 septembre 2021 sera devant jury. De son côté, le père de la fillette de sept ans morte le 30 avril 2019 devrait être de retour en cour le 9 avril 2021. L’homme de 31 ans est accusé de négligence criminelle, de séquestration et d’abandon d’enfant avec omission de lui avoir fourni les choses nécessaires à la vie. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Volunteers with the York Sunbury Search and Rescue have a new building to call home, and more importantly, a place to store equipment year-round. The ground search and rescue group, which is made up entirely of volunteers, has been around since the early 1980s, but hasn't had a home base until now. The group relies on fundraising as its primary source of money, which is why it's been hard to land a spot. "We're not a government entity, which a lot of people don't realize," said Brad Parker, the organization's president. Parker said the group does get a few small government grants but "there's not a lot of commercial space that fits our needs and our budget." Brad Parker is the president of the York Sunbury Search and Rescue. (Gary Moore/CBC) Members of the non-profit group have been looking for a space that can store the command post, which is a truck that's about 25 feet long, and a trailer about the same size that stores all of the group's equipment needed for a search. It's created a logistical issue for decades. "The truck itself goes into storage that we can get to if we need to," Parker said. He added that in order to access the command post the group needs to make arrangements with the storage facility. That add another step in the process and another call to make. The group's trailer isn't accessible in the winter because it's buried in snow. Each winter, the group has to store other equipment with volunteers. That means radios, flashlights, compasses, GPS units and laptops are not in a central location. "It's the difference between taking two minutes to grab something and taking 20 minutes to grab something," Parker said. In the summer months, the trailer is always attached to the command post, making it a 52-foot unit. York Sunbury Search and Rescue's command post and trailer. (Submitted/York Sunbury Search and Rescue) The group has been able to work out a parking space with the city of Fredericton for that time of year. After searching for a budget-friendly solution to meet their needs, the group struck a deal with Canada House Clinics in Oromocto, which has a large garage that wasn't being used. "It all kinda came together pretty quick, we started talks with them just before Christmas time and now we're moving in," said Parker. The new space has two large garage doors and plenty of space for the vehicle, trailer and other equipment year-round. The group also has its own access to the site. The location is just off the highway. Parker said that will make it easier to get to calls. "We plan to make this our base of operation for the foreseeable future," he said. The group took over the space on Mar. 1 and will move in over the coming weeks.
Cet investissement permettra aux municipalités d’acquérir des autobus « à zéro émission » pour les transports collectifs et scolaires, ont annoncé la ministre de l’Infrastructure et des Collectivités, Catherine McKenna et le ministre de l’Innovation, des Sciences et de l’Industrie, François-Philippe Champagne. La ministre McKenna a rappelé que le Canada était leader mondial de la fabrication des autobus électriques, mais elle a précisé qu’Ottawa n’allait pas conditionner l’obtention des subventions par l’attribution des appels d’offres aux fournisseurs canadiens. « On ne force personne, mais les compagnies canadiennes ont la technologie » a-t-elle mentionné au sujet de ce financement sur 5 ans pour 5 000 véhicules. Cet investissement permettra de créer davantage d’emplois bien rémunérés dans le secteur solide et en pleine expansion de la fabrication de véhicules électriques au Canada selon un communiqué. Les entreprises Nova Bus à Saint-Eustache, Lion Electrique à Saint-Jérôme, GreenPower à Vancouver et New Flyer à Winnipeg ont été cités en exemple pour le déploiement des solutions en matière de transport en commun à zéro émission. Ce projet va également contribuer à consolider l’objectif fédéral de zéro émission de CO2 d’ici 2050 à travers une première enveloppe globale de 14,9 milliards de dollars sur huit ans destinés à de nouveaux projets de transport en commun. Avec un investissement complémentaire de 1,5 milliard de dollars, la Banque de l’infrastructure du Canada (BIC) aidera à fournir les infrastructures connexes pour le fonctionnement de la flotte telles que les bornes de recharge. « L’investissement annoncé aujourd’hui par le gouvernement fédéral permettra aux organismes de transport en commun de tout le pays d’accélérer la décarbonisation de nos réseaux de transport en commun afin d’atteindre les ambitieux objectifs climatiques du Canada », s’est réjoui la présidente-directrice générale du Consortium canadien de recherche et d’innovation en transport urbain, Josipa Petrunic. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Kyle Brookings says his father Barry was told by Elections NL to forge Barry's twin brother's signature in order for his vote to count after receiving the wrong ballot in the mail. (Heather Gillis/CBC) A man in Carbonear says his father received a mail-in ballot for his uncle — who hasn't registered to vote — and when his father contacted Elections NL to fix the situation, he was told to sign the name on the ballot, instead of his own. Elections NL, however, said Saturday its staff would never provide such advice, and that it would be fraudulent for someone to sign another name on their ballot. Kyle Brookings says the voting package meant for his father, Barry, arrived in the mail bearing Barry's twin brother Bruce's name, so he reached out to the body that governs the province's elections. "They basically told him that, at this point, everything is locked in for the election, so he would have to put his brother's signature on it and send it back if he wanted his vote to be counted," Brookings told CBC News of his father's dilemma on Saturday. Brookings' father declined an interview with CBC. Brookings says this is the blue declaration envelope his father Barry received, which has his brother's name instead of his own.(Heather Gillis/CBC) In-person voting in the election was suspended on Feb. 12 following an outbreak of coronavirus variant B117 that resulted in mass resignations of Elections NL poll staff. As a result, voters in the province who hadn't taken part in the advance polling were left with only the special ballot option, with Friday as the deadline for ballots to be postmarked. He said his father contacted Elections NL a second time, and was transferred to Elections Canada who told him it was abnormal to be asked to put a different person's name on a declaration to return a ballot. That leaves Brookings wondering if the election results will be legitimate in the end. "He actually said he was shocked when he got it in the mail and saw that it was, in fact, his twin's name and then he went through the process trying to call them, trying to figure out is there a way to to fix this before the deadline?," Brookings said. "It seems like they're swamped and there's really nothing they can do. And it seems like their advice was to basically pretend he was his twin brother." Brooking's father isn't the only voter to find mistakes with their ballot, a St. John's woman received a voting kit labelled with the wrong electoral district earlier this month. Voters' confidence in Elections NL has also declined, as a CBC Vote Compass survey conducted after election's postponement found a majority of people surveyed either disapproved or strongly disapproved of Elections NL's management of the election thus far. 'Certainly a miscommunication' Elections NL says an Elections NL official would never tell somebody to misrepresent themselves, and doing so constitutes as fraud. (CBC) Elections NL told CBC News in a statement that an Elections NL official would never instruct someone to forge another person's signature or misrepresent themselves. The organization said if the incident did happen, there was "certainly a miscommunication between the election official and the elector." "It would absolutely be election fraud for someone to sign someone else's name on the blue declaration envelope," the Elections NL statement reads. "Only an election official can assist an elector in completing the signature on a blue declaration envelope. Even then, the process is for the elector to mark an 'x' on the signature line, followed by the election official writing 'his or her mark' and their own initials." Elections NL said Brookings' father can contact them directly to request a replacement voting kit, but Brookings said the family was told they will have to "wait and see." "We tried calling. I sent an email to Elections Newfoundland and Labrador, we tried to contact the candidates running here to see if there's anything they can do. I even offered, is there a possibility we could go to St. John's and, maintaining social distancing, retrieve a ballot?" he said. "I think it really does throw the whole election into question. If he was told this, who's to say someone else was? And who's to say that if we see a district that's close, these votes are legitimate?" Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The NBA is expecting arenas to be filled again next season and a return to its normal calendar, commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday. But Silver cautioned again every plan is contingent on continued progress in the ongoing fight against the novel coronavirus. There are no plans for the league to travel overseas next season for exhibitions or regular-season games, Silver said, meaning recent preseason trips to foreign markets such as China, Japan or India won’t be repeated until 2022 at the earliest. But otherwise, things may largely appear back to normal — with the NBA eyeing a return to the 82-game schedule, starting in October and ending in June. “I’m fairly optimistic, at this point, that we will be able to start on time,” Silver said from Atlanta, in his annual news conference that precedes the all-star game. “Roughly half our teams have fans in their arenas right now and, if vaccines continue on the pace they are and they continue to be as effective as they have been against the virus and its variants, we’re hopeful that we’ll have relatively full arenas next season as well.” The league had 171 games cancelled last season because of the pandemic — one of the reasons for revenue projections being missed by about US$1.5 billion — and this season will be at least 150 games below the usual total, with more significant financial losses certain. All teams are scheduled to play 72 games instead of the customary 82, with only about half the league admitting any fans and those that have opened their doors doing so for just a small percentage of normal capacity. “Last season and this season has required a significant investment on the part of the team owners," Silver said. “They accept that. "Players will end up taking a reduction in salary this season because they are partners with the league and teams on revenue. League executives, team executives have all taken haircuts on their salary. But I think when we all step back, we all feel very fortunate to be working under these circumstances and my sense is the players feel the same way." Silver’s news conference was virtual this season for the first time, done over Zoom — like virtually all other league business this year — because of the pandemic and the league’s protocols for health and safety. A year ago at all-star weekend in Chicago, about a month before the NBA’s decision March 11, 2020, to suspend the season following the news that Utah’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, Silver warned there was “a major national, if not global, health crisis” looming with regard to the virus. What Silver said might not have sounded many alarms at that time. Less than a month later, the virus began dominating every aspect of life across the globe — and has continued to since. “One thing we've all come to understand over the last year is that the virus is firmly in charge," Silver said. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Carolyn Barnes lost her uncles, Clarence LaPlante, to COVID-19 on Oct. 23.
A 34-year-old woman from Swift Current is facing charges of second-degree murder and attempted murder after one woman was found dead and another had to be taken to hospital on Thursday. Police were called to the 200 block of Seventh Avenue NW in Swift Current around 11:30 p.m. with reports of an injured woman. Before she was taken to hospital, the woman told police another woman had also been injured. The second woman was found dead inside an apartment nearby, on the 600 block of Chaplin Street. After investigating, police found a third woman, 34-year-old Roxanne Poundmaker, at a residence on the 500 block of Colonel Otter Drive in Swift Current. She was arrested without incident. On Saturday, police said after examining the three scenes, Roxanne Poundmaker was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Chasity Poundmaker and for the attempted murder of Lucinda Poundmaker. Police said all three women were known to each other, but did not say whether or not they are related. Roxanne Poundmaker is to remain in police custody until she appears at the Swift Current provincial court on Monday. The Saskatchewan Coroners Service is to perform an autopsy on the Chasity Poundmaker on Monday in Regina. RCMP said their investigation into the incident is ongoing.
BRANTFORD, Ont. — Walter Gretzky's family thought the end was coming quickly in the middle of February. The father of hockey's greatest player had recently suffered a serious hip injury, and after battling Parkinson's disease and other health issues in recent years, his time — something Walter was always willing to give both friends and strangers — appeared to be running short. "But he had a love for life and he didn't want to leave," Wayne Gretzky said during an emotional eulogy Saturday. "We were 21 days sitting with him and just enjoying life. "We got a chance and opportunity to tell stories." And Walter Gretzky's life was full of them. Known as Canada's hockey dad, Walter Gretzky died Thursday at age 82. His passing prompted an avalanche of tributes for a genuine, authentic person who nurtured Wayne's incredible talents on the family's famed backyard rink in Brantford, but also never forgot where he came from. "He was a remarkable man who loved life, loved family," Wayne Gretzky said. "We'd be a way better world if there was so many more people like my dad. "Very special, we're all hurting." Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the funeral service was limited to family. But hundreds of people — including many kids wearing Gretzky jerseys — gathered outside St. Mark's Anglican Church in this city about 100 kilometres west of Toronto. "A tough time," said Wayne, his voice beginning to crack and tears welling in his eyes. "I'm so proud of the fact that so many people have reached out and given him such great tributes, because he deserves it. "He has the heart of gold." Walter was there every step of the way as Wayne ascended to a greatness that included four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers and becoming the NHL's all-time leader in goals, assists and points. An employee with Bell for more than three decades — and long after his son became the sport's biggest star — Walter remained a loving, blue-caller symbol of devotion. "A deeply humble man," said Rev. Dr. Tim Dobbin, who officiated the funeral broadcast live on TSN and streamed on Sportsnet.ca. "He spoke the truth. Wally's word was his bond." The elder Gretzky stayed out of the limelight at first during Wayne's rise, but especially after suffering a brain aneurysm in 1991 that cost him much of his memory. Still, Walter became a household name on par with the Great One. "(His) grandchildren had never seen my dad before his brain aneurysm," Wayne said before adding playfully: "We were telling them all we were thankful you didn't know him before his brain aneurysm because he was a lot tougher." The son of a Polish mother and Russian father, Walter played minor hockey and junior B, but said later in life he was never good enough to make it professionally. "He came here, his family, as an immigrant," Wayne said. "They came here because they wanted a better life. "I don't think I've ever met a prouder Canadian than my dad." Walter Gretzky is survived by his five children — Wayne, Kim, Keith, Glen and Brent — as well as numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Phyliss, his wife of 45 years, died of lung cancer in 2005 at age 64. "My sister (Kim) was a champ," Wayne, who stressed his father's death wasn't related to the coronavirus, said of Walter's final weeks. "She was beside him each and every minute of the day. The grandkids were wonderful. "My dad and mom, I know, are so proud." Wayne told a couple of stories during his remarks, including how Walter would have his grandchildren collect stray golf balls at a local course for him to autograph for kids. "You guys have to stop grabbing golf balls," Wayne recounted telling them. They were confused. It was under Walter's orders. "I know he wants them for the kids," Wayne said he replied. "But I've got to sign them!" The eldest Gretzky child also shared another family tale about how Walter missed the birth of his youngest, Brent, for one of Wayne's hockey tournaments. "My mom said, 'Walter, we're going to have this baby this weekend,'" Wayne recalled. "And he said, 'It's OK, you can wait until we get back.'" Wayne then added with a smirk: "So, Brent was born on the Saturday." Once father and son arrived home in Brantford, family and neighbours were wondering what Walter had been thinking before one final comment pushed him over the edge. "He was so mad," Wayne said. "He stood and he grabbed the trophy and he goes, 'Yes, but we got the trophy!'" A video tribute towards the end of Saturday's service included pictures from the early days on the backyard rink, Wayne's triumphs, Walter on the ice teaching kids, the Gretzky memorabilia in the family home, and highlights from his son's final games in the NHL. As the casket was about to be led out of the church and into the sunshine, "The Hockey Theme" song made famous on "Hockey Night In Canada" was played. And the moment Walter's funeral procession pulled away from the church — the building's sign read "We Will Miss You Wally" — some of the jersey-clad kids waiting outside tapped their hockey sticks on the pavement in unison. A perfect send off for Canada's hockey dad. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. ___ Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter The Canadian Press
Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has become an icon across Newfoundland and Labrador over the last year. The chief medical officer of health's handling of the province's pandemic response, coupled by the ups and downs of the live COVID-19 briefings since March 2020, have skyrocketed Fitzgerald's popularity among residents from coast to coast. That's led a number of artists and craft enthusiasts to pay homage to Fitzgerald through their own work, as a way to say thank you for helping see the province through such an unprecedented time. During Halloween, a likeness to Fitzgerald became a staple costume. A Facebook fan group boasts over 16,000 members, while more than 20,000 people have signed a petition to have Memorial University's new science building named in Fitzgerald's honour. Robert Power whipped together a batch of Dr. Fitzgerald cookies to show his support for the Newfoundland and Labrador's chief medical officer of health. (CBC) Most recently, Robert Power made crafted his own tribute — in the form of a cookie. "There was something in February about seeing Dr. Fitzgerald there every day trying to get us through this, wearing the red jacket and the scarf with the hearts on it," Power told CBC News. "[It was] such a message of caring she was giving us, and the catch phrase of 'hold fast Newfoundland and Labrador' which still gives me goose bumps when I hear it." And, as it turns out, Fitzgerald is a fan of her cookie likeness. Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage said on Saturday he would step down as the leader of Reform UK, the rebranded Brexit Party he launched two years ago to campaign for what was commonly known as "no deal Brexit". Farage, who as leader of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (UKIP) applied pressure on the government to hold the 2016 EU referendum, said the Brexit Party had helped the Conservatives "come to their senses" and chose Boris Johnson as their leader with a pro-Brexit agenda.