Businesses in Dildo, N.L., were hoping for a tourist boom in 2020 after being featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live! But while the pandemic put a damper on plans for this year, there’s still hope for the future.
Businesses in Dildo, N.L., were hoping for a tourist boom in 2020 after being featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live! But while the pandemic put a damper on plans for this year, there’s still hope for the future.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations would like to see Canada's next governor general come from a First Nation. On Jan. 21, former Governor General Julie Payette stepped down from her position after a workplace review found she presided over a toxic work environment. As the search for a new Queen's representative continues, the FSIN executive is asking the country to appoint the country's first ever First Nations governor general. "When the newcomers came to these lands all those years ago, the first relationship the Queen's subjects formed was with First Nations," wrote FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron in a press release. "As the representative of the Crown, it is important that we use this opportunity to honour the history of that relationship." If this happens, it would be the first time a First Nations person held the title. Since many First Nations across the country signed treaties with the Crown, the Queen has held a special status with some Indigenous people. "We want to reinvigorate the role of the Governor General and the Crown relationship with our Inherent and Treaty Rights holders," said Cameron. "This is a priority for the FSIN." The FSIN isn't the only group asking for a First Nations governor general. Last week, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs also asked for the honour, stating that it would help advance reconciliation. Currently, Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Wagner is fulfilling duties as the governor general until a replacement for Payette can be found.
One of the factors that has made COVID-19 so catastrophic in long-term care homes was lack of paid sick leave for low-wage workers.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands — People arrested during three nights of rioting sparked by the Netherlands' new coronavirus curfew will face swift prosecution, the Dutch justice minister said Tuesday as the nation faced its worst civil unrest in years. Minister Ferd Grapperhaus said rioters would be quickly brought before the courts by public prosecutors and will face possible prison terms if convicted. “They won't get away with it,” he told reporters in The Hague. The rioting, initially triggered by anger over the country's tough coronavirus lockdown, has been increasingly fueled by calls for rioting swirling on social media. The violence has stretched the police and led at times to the deployment of military police. Grapperhaus spoke after a third night of rioting hit towns and cities in the Netherlands, with the most serious clashes and looting of stores in the port city of Rotterdam and the southern cathedral city of Den Bosch. “If you rob people who are struggling, with the help of the government, to keep their head above water, it's totally scandalous,” Grapperhaus told reporters. He stressed that the 9 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. curfew is a necessary measure in the fight against the coronavirus. Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb posted a video message on Twitter, asking rioters: “Does it feel good to wake up with a bag full of stolen stuff next to you?” He also appealed to parents of the young rioters, asking: “Did you miss your son yesterday? Did you ask yourself where he was?” The municipality in Den Bosch designated large parts of the city as risk areas for Tuesday night, fearing a repeat of the violence. Residents in Den Bosch took to the streets Tuesday to help with the cleanup as the city’s mayor said he would investigate authorities’ response to the rioting. A total of 184 people were arrested in Monday night's unrest and police ticketed more than 1,700 for breaching the curfew, a fine of 95 euros ($115). Officers around the country also detained dozens suspected of inciting rioting through social media. Police said rioters threw stones, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at officers. “This criminal violence must stop,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte tweeted. “The riots have nothing to do with protesting or struggling for freedom,” he added. “We must win the battle against the virus together, because that's the only way of getting back our freedom.” The unrest began Saturday night — the first night of the curfew — when youths in the fishing village of Urk torched a coronavirus testing centre. It escalated significantly with violence in the southern city of Eindhoven and the capital, Amsterdam. Gerrit van der Burg, the most senior Dutch public prosecutor, said authorities are “committed to tracking down and prosecuting people who committed crimes. Count on it that they will be dealt with harshly.” The rate of new infections in Netherlands has been decreasing in recent weeks, but the government is keeping up the tough lockdown, citing the slow pace of the decline and fears of new, more transmissible virus variants. The country has registered more than 13,650 confirmed COVID-19 deaths. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic,https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak Mike Corder, The Associated Press
This channel is about going to the lesser known places in our travels and we hope to bring you along! The restaurant is called ADA St in Chicago.
SAINT JOHN • Nearly one quarter of Anglophone South students were absent on the first day of the red phase in Zone 2, according to district superintendent Zoë Watson. Wednesday saw 23 per cent of students absent, up from 14 per cent on Tuesday, following Public Health returning the region to the red phase of COVID-19 recovery. Saint John father Mike Stephen said he plans to keep his son Kohen McKenna home for the rest of the week. McKenna is in Grade 9 at Simonds High School. "(Masks) definitely cut down transmission, but it's not a silver bullet. You can still get (COVID)," he said. "And I just think that we need to do more to try to shrink our bubbles, before something ends up bursting, and we end up in a lockdown like Quebec or Ontario." Up until this week, a switch to the red phase of recovery meant a switch to online learning from home for public school students. That's not the case any more, with the province recently announcing a change in protocol. Stephen called it a sharp change for parents. He said he doesn't understand why high schools can't be doing fully online learning or why students can't decide whether to learn from home or not, since many are already alternating days. Even if protocols are tight in schools, he said being together in schools gives kids the temptation to mingle without six feet of distance and without masks outside the school walls. "The best in-class protections in the world doesn't help when kids walk off the property. And at the end of the day, kids that age think that they're invincible." Kristina MacRae, a Nerepis mother who is immunocompromised, pulled all six of her kids out of school on Wednesday. "How are we supposed to be feeling safe to send our kids if [the provincial government] doesn't even know what they're doing?" she said. "They're just winging it is how I feel." In a letter released to families on Tuesday, Watson said that attending school helps facilitate learning, and students will be under strict health and safety protocols in a supervised environment. "Their social needs can be met, while physical distancing is maintained, masks are used, and proper hygiene is encouraged," the letter states. In the event a parent chooses not to send a child to school, the parent is responsible for the child's education, according to a government directive document issued Wednesday. Teachers are not required to support learning in those cases, the document states, but support to the families would be encouraged. For those attending school, under the red phase of recovery, school personnel will be screened every day. Students and personnel can't enter the building if they have one COVID symptom or more, according to the document. If there is a positive case at a school, then the school is closed for three days, including weekends, and personnel are offered COVID-19 tests. All students, from kindergarten to Grade 12, are required to wear masks while on buses and while at school. However, there are a few exceptions to mask wearing: Kindergarten to Grade 8 students can take off their masks when working silently or eating, and Grade 9 to 12 students can take their mask off when eating. School personnel can take off their masks when eating or when in a closed office or classroom by themselves. All after-school clubs and sports have been cancelled. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
HELSINKI — A new two-party coalition government was sworn in Tuesday in Estonia, led by the first woman prime minister since the Baltic nation regained independence in 1991. The 15-member Cabinet of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas took office after lawmakers in Estonia's parliament approved the government appointed by President Kersti Kaljulaid. Kallas, 43, is a lawyer and former European Parliament member. The centre-right Reform Party that she chairs and and the left-leaning Center Party, which are Estonia’s two biggest political parties, reached a deal on Sunday to form a government. The previous Cabinet, with Center leader Juri Ratas as prime minister, collapsed this month due to a corruption scandal. The two parties each have seven ministers in the Cabinet in addition to Kallas serving as prime minister. The government controls a comfortable majority in the 101-seat Riigikogu. Kallas stressed gender balance in forming the new Cabinet, placing several women in key positions, including naming the Reform Party's Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as finance minister and Eva-Maria Liimets, Estonia’s ambassador to the Czech Republic, as the foreign minister. Kallas' Cabinet has a little over two years to leave its mark in this European Union and NATO member before the next general election set for March 2023. One of the government's immediate priorities is to tackle Estonia’s worsening coronavirus situation and the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic. The Reform Party, a pro-business party espousing liberal economic policies, emerged as the winner of Estonia's 2019 general election under Kallas' lead. However, she was outmanoeuvred by Ratas' Center Party, which formed a three-party coalition with the populist right-wing EKRE party and the conservative Fatherland party. But Ratas’ government, which took office in April 2019, was shaky from the start due to strong rhetoric from the nationalist EKRE, the nation’s third-largest party which runs on an anti-immigration and anti-EU agenda. The EKRE leaders, Mart Helme and his son Martin, brought the government to the brink of collapse at least twice. However, Ratas' government was eventually brought down on Jan. 13 by a corruption scandal involving an official suspected of accepting a private donation for the Center Party in exchange for a political favour on a real estate development at the harbour district of the capital, Tallinn. Estonia, a nation of 1.3 million, is now one of the few countries where both the head of state and the head of government are women. However, that may not necessarily last long as Estonian lawmakers will convene by September to elect a new president. Kaljulaid, who assumed her post in October 2016, hasn't announced whether she will seek reelection to another five year term. Jari Tanner, The Associated Press
POLITIQUE. À l’issue d’une rencontre avec des acteurs des milieux économiques, la députée de Shefford, Andréanne Larouche et son collègue d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien Lemire, par ailleurs vice-président du Comité permanent de l’industrie, des sciences et de la technologie, proposent un fonds propre aux régions. «Je voulais ouvrir un espace de dialogue avec des dirigeants d’organismes économiques, d’entreprises et de municipalités pour échanger sur nos propositions pour la relance», a expliqué Andréanne Larouche au sujet de sa tournée de consultations économiques. Elle a reçu de nombreux témoignages d’entrepreneurs en difficulté selon les bureaux de circonscription des deux élus. «La pénurie de main-d’œuvre est aussi un enjeu qui freine le développement économique de nos régions et qui comporte de nombreuses ramifications. Je pense à la complexité et aux délais en matière d’immigration en lien avec les travailleurs étrangers et aux problématiques de logements qui limitent grandement les possibilités d’attraction de travailleurs», analyse le député d’Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Sébastien Lemire. Sa collègue de Shefford et lui saluent les contributions des centres d’aide aux entreprises (CAE), mais ils préconisent qu’on leur donne «plus de moyens afin qu’ils assurent un soutien de proximité aux entrepreneurs.» En effet, plus de 200 000 PME, soit 20 % des emplois du secteur privé, envisagent sérieusement de mettre la clé sous la porte selon la dernière mise à jour de l’analyse de la fédération canadienne de l’entreprise indépendante. Un fonds de développement par et pour les régions Sébastien Lemire estime que les questions du développement territorial nécessitent des « solutions flexibles adaptées aux régions » et non des approches globales développées à Ottawa. En parlant d’Internet, le bloquiste annonce que le comité de l’industrie a dans ses cartons un rapport sur cet «enjeu fondamental» pour lequel sa circonscription, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a pris 20 ans de retard. «Il faut s’assurer de démocratiser son accès pour tous, même dans les zones moins densément peuplées… il faut sortir de la logique de rentabilité », dit-il en conférence de presse dans un plaidoyer énergique sur l’accès au développement régional. Les deux élus soutiennent «la mise en place d’un fonds de développement par et pour les régions», qui devra être déployé en fonction des besoins spécifiques de celles-ci. Ils déplorent «des improvisations d’Ottawa» même s’ils reconnaissent que les programmes s’ajustent progressivement. Ils prônent «les enjeux identifiés par les régions», comme les incubateurs d’entreprises ou l’innovation territoriale plutôt que «des programmes mur à mur mal adaptés» conçus à partir des mégalopoles uniformes. En cette veille de rentrée parlementaire et en prélude au budget fédéral, Andréanne Larouche envisage de poursuivre ses consultations «afin que les programmes soient les mieux adaptés aux besoins des entrepreneurs.»Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Organizers of a food bank for Black Edmontonians say there will be many families left behind if the service ends in March. Each week, dozens of families of African and Caribbean descent ranging from two to 10 members collect hampers packed with culturally relevant food. Despite demand, organizers had to cap the program at 90 families so staff and volunteers could keep up with collection, packing and distribution. The service was launched in May thanks to the collaboration of multiple Black-led Alberta organizations under the banner of African Diaspora COVID-19 Relief. But the funding and food from donors such as the Edmonton Community Foundation, Islamic Relief Canada, The Ghana Friendship Society and Loblaws, as well as personal donations, will soon run out. "It is a need that needs to be filled," said Emmanuel Onah, youth program manager at the Africa Centre, where the program is coordinated, clients pick up hampers and donations are being accepted. "It's a gaping hole in all of the resources that are currently available." The Liberia Friendship Society of Canada, the Jamaica Association of Northern Alberta and the Black Students Association University of Alberta are also among more than a dozen groups involved that will meet Sunday to determine next steps. Nii Koney, executive director of the Nile Valley Foundation, who rallied the coalition to action, said the program emerged from weekly meetings among Black organizations looking for ways to best respond to the pandemic. Initially they were surprised by all the middle-class community members who needed help. "People are bringing nice cars, they will come and park in the front, they will come with their wife and husband, they will sometimes come, the whole family," Koney said. "So now I know that if we didn't provide these services, it would be a great disservice to the community." Onah said a large part of the appeal comes from offering culturally relevant food tailor-made for each family whether it's injera, an Ethiopian fermented flatbread, or turtle beans, popular in the Caribbean. "The peace of mind you get when you're eating something that you're familiar with or you grew up with and is inline with your culture and your background — that all contributes to overall wellness. That all contributes to mental wellness, especially in the time where we're in a pandemic," said Onah. The initiative also supports local businesses largely by sourcing food from community stores on 118th Avenue and Stony Plain Road.
WHISTLER, B.C. — A cougar has attacked and severely mauled a man in British Columbia.A statement from the Environment Ministry, which oversees the Conservation Officer Service, says the 69-year-old victim is recovering in hospital from serious injuries to his face and hand.The attack occurred Monday near the man's property in the Soo Valley, about 150 kilometres north of Vancouver, between Whistler and Pemberton.The ministry says Whistler RCMP officers were first on the scene and shot and killed a cougar prowling nearby.Conservation officers with a specialized team that investigates predator attacks also responded.The ministry says those officers don't believe there is any ongoing risk to the public and further details could be released soon.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
It was a tough year here on Earth, but 2020 was a bright spot for space exploration. SpaceX sent its futuristic Starship to new heights, three countries launched Mars missions, and robots grabbed debris from the moon and an asteroid. Next year promises more, including a planned launch of the Hubble Space Telescope’s successor. Perhaps it's no surprise then that space themes are having a moment in home decor. When so many of us Earthlings are stuck at home because of the pandemic, space imagery can add a sense of adventure or whimsy to rooms, walls and ceilings. “I’ve done outer space, and starry skies," says New York interior designer Patrice Hoban. "My clients love using stars as a backdrop in nurseries. I’ve also worked with glow-paint to add an extra pop to kids rooms and home theatres.” She sticks tiny glow-in-the-dark stars to the ceiling; the light can last for hours. “It’s the closest thing I’ve found to being in a planetarium,” she says. Rachel Magana, senior visual designer at the sustainable furniture-rental company Fernish, picked up some cosmological decorating ideas from a colleague’s recent nursery project. “Base your colour palette around deep blue tones, then splash in bits of colour like yellow, white or red,” she says. “Or create your own galaxy wall,” she says. “Paint a blue wall, then use some watered-down white paint to splatter it with fine droplets. You may just create some new constellations.” She suggests adding fun, space-agey lamps, and vintage NASA posters. Outer space has inspired designers for decades. In the 1960s, the “space race” between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, along with the development of space age-y, synthetic materials, led to a surge in futuristic furniture like moulded plastic chairs and Sputnik-shaped lighting. These days, you can download artwork directly from NASA: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/, or find it at retailers like Red Bubble, Etsy and Zazzle. Magana also suggests making a letter board with a space-themed quote like Neil Armstrong’s famous “One small step for man” phrase. Much of the astronomy-themed art in the marketplace would be striking in any room. There are lunar graphics on canvas at Target. Tempaper’s got constellation wallpapers, but if you can’t do wallpaper, consider Kenna Sato Designs’ constellation decals for walls or ceilings. Galaxy Lamps has a sphere that looks like a planetoid. Charge it up with the included USB and cycle through 16 colours with three lighting modes. There’s a moon version, too. And at Beautiful Halo, find a collection of rocket-ship ceiling fixtures. German designer Jan Kath has created a rug collection called Spacecrafted inspired by imagery of gas clouds and asteroid nebulae from the Hubble telescope. Studio Greytak, in Missoula, Montana, has designed a Jupiter lamp out of the mineral aragonite, depicting the whirling, turbulent gases of the planet. And there’s the Impact table, where a chunk of desert rose crystals is embedded with cast glass, as though a piece of asteroid had plunged into a pool. Zodiac wall decals and a Milky Way throw rug can be found at Project Nursery. There are hanging mobiles of the planets and of stars and clouds, at both Crate & Kids and Pottery Barn Kids. A glow-in-the-dark duvet cover printed with the solar system is also at PBK, but if you’re ready to really head to the stars, check out Snurk Living’s duvet set. The studio, owned by Dutch designers Peggy van Neer and Erik van Loo, has designed the set photoprinted with a life-size astronaut suit. Creating a night sky on the ceiling of a home theatre seems to be popular; Houzz has hundreds of examples for inspiration. Maydan Architects in Palo Alto, California, designed one for a recent project. “Our client’s grandfather was the owner of multiple movie theatres,” says Mary Maydan. “One of them had a retractable ceiling that enabled guests to experience the starry sky at night. When our client decided to build their home theatre, this installation was actually fulfilling a lifelong dream." The ceiling isn’t retractable, but has an eight-paneled fixture depicting the Milky Way and a shooting star. “It provides very soft light and was intended to be kept on during the screening of the movie and create a magical experience,” says Maydan. ___ Kim Cook writes AP's Right at Home column, which looks at themes in home decor and home products. Follow her at: www.kimcookhome.com Kim Cook, The Associated Press
Officers of the Lennox & Addington (L&A) County Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) responded to the report of a possible break and enter in progress on Richmond Point Lane in Stone Mills Township at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. According to a release from OPP, dated Tuesday, Jan, 26, 2021, a gate had been found open, along with footprints in the snow and a suspicious vehicle on the cottage road. Police arrived on scene and located an individual on private property. OPP say break in tools and stolen property, including an outboard motor, a wood splitter and chain saw were seized. The individual was subsequently arrested and transported to detachment for processing. L&A County OPP have charged Joel Dean, age 31, of Kingston with: - Break and Enter; - Possession of Property Obtained by Crime; - Possession of Break in Instruments; - Mischief; and, - Possession of a Schedule I substance - Methamphetamine. The accused was held for a bail hearing and appeared in the Ontario Court of Justice in Greater Napanee on January 24, 2021. Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
While two-thirds of Canadians believe the new U.S. president's cancellation of a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion is bad for Alberta, most outside that province and Saskatchewan believe it's time to accept the decision and move on, a new poll suggests. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called President Joe Biden's decision to effectively kill the $8 billion US project an insult from the United States to its biggest trading partner and wants Ottawa to slap sanctions against the U.S. However, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Angus Reid Institute, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must balance support for Alberta's economy against national public sentiment that is deeply divided along regional lines. The institute says its latest polling data found that 65 per cent of Canadians say Biden's decision is a "bad thing" for Alberta. At the same time, the majority of respondents in B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada feel it is time to accept the decision and focus instead on other issues affecting the Canada-U.S. relationship. "Despite majorities in each province recognizing the negative consequences the cancellation has for Alberta, and to a lesser extent, Canada as whole, the will to push back and try to reverse this decision is more milquetoast," said the institute's report. The poll found that three out of five Canadians are inclined to accept the pipeline's cancellation. In Quebec, 74 per cent of respondents are of that view. However, on the Prairies, a strong majority — 72 per cent in Alberta, and 67 per cent in Saskatchewan — would like to see the Biden White House undo the cancellation. People in Manitoba are split on the issue. Institute president Shachi Kurl says people in the rest of Canada feel there are other, more pressing issues. "And it's important to note this is not the issue that Canadians want to put first and foremost in terms of how they frame the next four years of Canada-U.S. relations," she said. The polling data also suggests that the Keystone XL issue is viewed through a different lens depending on where in the country respondents are from. Among Albertans, the poll found that 73 per cent see it more as an issue of jobs and the economy, while 27 per cent believe it should be seen as an issue related to climate change and the environment. In Quebec, 63 per cent view the issue more through the lens of the environment and climate change, versus 37 per cent that see it as a jobs and economy issue, the poll suggests. Political party allegiances also seemed to affect how respondents view the issue. "Given the strong support the federal Conservatives have in Alberta and Saskatchewan, it is unsurprising that four in five past Conservative voters would apply pressure to reauthorize Keystone XL. Roughly the same proportion of Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québécois supporters say the opposite," the report said. The view that the cancellation of Keystone XL will hurt Alberta's economy is highest among past Conservative Party of Canada voters, at 87 per cent, a concentration of whom are from Alberta, the poll suggests. By contrast, among past NDP voters, 52 per cent are of that view. The 1,897-kilometre pipeline, first proposed in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of oilsands crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would then connect with the original Keystone that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Emergency Keystone XL debate in Commons The House of Commons held an emergency debate Monday night regarding the scuttling of the pipeline project. Seamus O'Regan, Canada's natural resources minister, argued that while the loss of Keystone XL is a disappointment, the new U.S. administration represents an opportunity to work together with a government aligned with Canada's priorities on clean energy. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole accused the government of not doing enough to advocate for the project that was creating thousands of good-paying jobs. "Canada has been dealt a serious blow…. These are Canadians, thousands of them, being totally forgotten and left behind by this government," he said. The Angus Reid Institute conducted its online survey from Jan. 20 to 24 among a representative randomized sample of 1,559 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. The institute says that for comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error is larger for subsamples by province in the methodology statement.
P.E.I. has no new cases of COVID-19 to report, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in her regular weekly briefing on Tuesday. The Island has had 110 confirmed positive cases since the pandemic began in March. Six cases were still considered active as of Tuesday morning. Morrison said that despite the low number of active cases in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, it is too early to consider a bubble involving just those two provinces in which residents could travel back and forth without self-isolating — a partial Atlantic bubble, as it were. She said non-essential travel off P.E.I. is still strongly discouraged. While Nova Scotia has just 15 active cases, New Brunswick has not been as fortunate. It currently has 348 active cases. We learned that this virus is not easily contained and that half measures are not effective. — Dr. Heather Morrison "While we all yearn for a time when we can travel more freely within Atlantic Canada and elsewhere, now is not the time to leave P.E.I. unless it is absolutely necessary," she said. "We learned that this virus is not easily contained and that half measures are not effective." Hockey team must self-isolate Morrison said anyone who leaves the province — including the Charlottetown Islanders hockey team — must self-isolate for 14 days upon return unless they receive an exemption. Morrison said the team can apply to work-isolate, which means they can go directly back and forth to the rink for games and practices, but must self-isolate at all other times. That would rule out players, coaches or team staff going to school or off-ice jobs. So far, Morrison said, 85 people have been charged for violating public health measures during the pandemic, including eight new charges in the past week. She warned that people will continue to be charged if they fail to self-isolate when required. If a restaurant looks too crowded it likely is. We all have a responsibility to make good choices. Do not enter an establishment if it looks too crowded. - Dr. Heather Morrison Morrison also said there will be additional evening inspections at restaurants to ensure COVID-19 health protocols are being followed. She has heard concerns about crowded restaurants where social distancing is not taking place. "If a restaurant looks too crowded, it likely is," she said. "We all have a responsibility to make good choices. Do not enter an establishment if it looks too crowded." More vaccines next week Morrison said new shipments of the COVID-19 vaccines are due next week, and the province remains on track to have all front-line health-care workers, as well as staff and residents of long-term care facilities, vaccinated by Feb. 16. As of Saturday, a total of 7,117 doses had been administered. The province is now posting vaccine data online showing the breakdown between first and second doses; the dashboard shows that 1,892 Island adults had received both doses as of Jan. 23. Morrison told the briefing that a phone number will be set up next week for people over 80 to call to set up vaccine appointments starting in mid-February. Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, also took part in the briefing. She urged people visiting patients in Island hospitals to not bring food or drinks to their loved ones, and keep their masks on at all times. She also asked that visitors not congregate in waiting rooms after visiting patients. Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
Les Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec (PPAQ) se montrent inquiets devant la Stratégie nationale de production de bois présentée par le ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP), le 16 décembre dernier. Visant une relance économique, le ministre Pierre Dufour entend augmenter la récolte forestière d’ici 2080 de façon significative. Les PPAQ se disent oubliés dans ce plan de relance et estiment que c’est leur propre secteur économique qui en pâtira. Dans son plan stratégique, le Ministère soutient que « le gouvernement du Québec franchit ici une étape charnière qui fera grandement progresser la foresterie québécoise. Il cultivera notre richesse collective à partir du bois en privilégiant une approche axée sur l’augmentation de la productivité des forêts aménagées tout en améliorant les caractéristiques de la matière ligneuse pour favoriser la récolte d’un plus grand volume de bois qui répond aux besoins de l’industrie forestière (...) Cette stratégie s’inscrit d’ailleurs dans le cadre du plan de relance économique du Québec, et ce, en donnant une place prépondérante au secteur forestier pour contribuer à la relance du Québec et de ses régions ». Selon les PPAQ, « cette stratégie (...) ne tient pas compte d’une économie propre au Québec, réellement durable, soit celle du sirop d’érable ». Pour eux, il faut se demander à quel point le Québec tient à son acériculture lorsqu’on envisage de couper deux fois plus de bois. Notons qu’au Québec, ce sont pas moins de 902 municipalités dont le secteur forestier génère d’importantes retombées économiques, représentant 2 % de l’activité économique globale du Québec en 2018, avec un produit intérieur brut (PIB) de 6,5 milliards de dollars (G$) et 60 000 emplois qui en dépendent. On recense 11 300 producteurs et productrices et 7 400 entreprises acéricoles assurant en moyenne 72 % de la production mondiale de sirop d’érable chaque année. L’industrie acéricole constitue également une richesse locale, puisqu’une importante communauté de producteurs acéricoles est établie en Montérégie-Est, soit 39 et 37 dans les MRC de La Vallée-du-Richelieu et de Rouville. À Rougemont, à Richelieu et à Marieville, on compte bon nombre d’érablières et de transformateurs réputés pour leurs produits du temps des sucres, dont Mont Rouge, Broleau, la Cabane Chez Nous, Tartopom (verger biologique et érablière), ou encore l’Érablière Raymond Meunier & Fils. « En tant que producteur du milieu acéricole, je privilégie de préserver nos boisés le plus possible. Cette année, d’ailleurs, je prévois justement reboiser une partie de la plantation d’érables pour la prochaine génération, notamment pour mes trois enfants, que je vois comme ma relève », indique Philippe Meunier, de l’Érablière Raymond Meunier & Fils. L’Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers du Québec (OIFQ) a, quant à lui, accueilli la stratégie du gouvernement avec ouverture, sans toutefois se garder d’émettre quelques doutes quant à la faisabilité du dessein ministériel : « Les objectifs et les moyens de la stratégie sont clairs. Mais pour que cela se concrétise réellement sur le terrain, le MFFP et les utilisateurs du milieu forestier devront collaborer afin de revoir certaines de leurs façons de faire. »Chloé-Anne Touma, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Journal de Chambly
LOS ANGELES — When D Smoke was teaching high schoolers in Southern California, the rapper still pursued his dreams of breaking through as a hip-hop artist while leaning on the encouraging phrase: “There’s no expiration on realness.” D Smoke maintained that mindset as a motivator before he made a splash on Netflix’s music reality TV series “Rhythm + Flow” in 2019. He won the competition, impressing judges Cardi B, T.I. and Chance the Rapper with his ability as a multi-instrumentalist and bilingual rapper who could easily switch from English to Spanish in his rhymes. Last year, D Smoke rode the momentum from the show's success, performing alongside boxer Deontay Wilder before a heavyweight championship bout and releasing his debut album “Black Habits,” which this year earned him a Grammy nomination for best rap album. He’s also up for best new artist against Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, Chika, Noah Cyrus and Kaytranada. It’s been a long road toward Grammy recognition for D Smoke, but the 35-year-old had other milestones along the way. He’s a UCLA graduate who taught Spanish and musical theory at Inglewood High School. He's also penned songs for The Pussycat Dolls, Ginuwine, Joe and Jaheim, some of which he co-wrote with his brother, R&B singer SiR, who is signed to Kendrick Lamar's Top Dawg Entertainment. In a recent interview with The Associated Press, D Smoke talked about the pressure of finding success outside “Rhythm + Flow,” how being a teacher matured his lyrics and his thoughts on why Grammy voters nominated him and other 35-and-up rappers in the best rap album category. _______ AP: You were in your 30s with a decade of teaching under your belt, so did you ever think you were past your prime to pursue a music career? D Smoke: I always tell people that there’s no expiration on realness. People need incredible art. Anytime you spend pursuing whatever level of success and see yourself achieving, it’s time to get better. Always getting better. It didn’t matter if I got a (Grammy nom) when I was 40. It’s just going to be that season. _______ AP: What compelled you to learn Spanish? D Smoke: I went to a middle school that was predominantly Latino and all my friends spoke it. That’s when I told myself that I must be fluent in this. You’re not going to switch languages and I’m left out. I took Spanish one, two and three at Inglewood High. While everybody was doing it to get a grade, I was already like, “I’m learning this.” Then finally, when I went to UCLA, I just kept going. _______ AP: Was rapping in English and Spanish in front of Cardi B — who is also bilingual —- your strategy to win “Rhythm + Flow”? D Smoke: Everything I did on the show was strategic. That’s how you approach a fight with strategy because just being tough or trying to outdo somebody will get you hurt. I’m using a fight metaphor. I knew there were lyricists on the show. I knew they could rap their (explicit) off. But the goal was to distinguish myself. I knew that was going to be memorable. By going into the later rounds, they would be like, “There he goes. That’s the dude who can speak Spanish.” They were going to remember me from that one performance. I knew they were going to remember that until the end. _______ AP: What was the strategy to ride the momentum after the show? D Smoke: We knew that we had a limited window of converting all of these Netflix fans into music fans and people who respect the craft and follow the journey outside of Netflix, because it’s far longer before than what people realize. There was pressure to show that. If you look at the trajectory of artists who come off shows, their biggest success is the show. ...That was our goal to go ahead and transition from the Netflix star that people viewed me as to an artist. _______ AP: In the best rap album category, each Grammy nominee is 35-years-old and up (Nas is the oldest at 47). What are voters trying to say? D Smoke: It opens a conversation of what our culture needs and wants. I think all the things that happened in the past year are really sobering. I think people are requiring, at this moment more than ever, music that speaks to them at a deeper level. _______ AP: Can you elaborate a little more? D Smoke: We need mature voices in rap. We need them to be at the forefront. Of course, we’re going to listen to the kids, because we need to hear them out so they feel understood. But everybody stops to listen to a voice of reason, the voice of experience and wisdom. ...I’m experienced but I’m speaking from a place of when I was 17, acting up and wild. I’m still wild, but I’m smart enough to go about my business a certain way. _______ AP: Did being a high school teacher help the maturity in your music? D Smoke: Absolutely. I was a teacher who got to know my students. You can’t really reach nobody if you’re not concerned about who they are. It’s an exchange. I would ask, “What are you listen to? Put me up on what’s going on.” Some of it I hate, but some I would be surprised and say, “That’s dope.” In that exchange, you learn how music effects people. _______ AP: Is your music influenced by other West Coast rappers like Tupac, Kendrick Lamar and Nipsey Hussle? D Smoke: I for sure borrow from them more than any other West Coast artist. Of course, I must mention Snoop (Dogg). I look up to him so much, because he’s an elder in the game and still as relevant as ever. That’s beautiful. That’s another example of these experienced voices still being present in the culture. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
There’s a small shop that sells healthy lotions, potions and pills on Mill Street. Tucked inside, behind the till and a thick sheet of Plexiglas, sits Essa Mayor Sandie Macdonald. She talks fast and has handy notes about the pandemic and how it will cost each household worth $500,000 another $6.87 per month ($82.64 annually) on their municipal taxes this year. Feeling the pinch of a $680,000 shortfall, Macdonald said staff and council had little choice but to approve a three per cent tax increase on the 2021 budget. “When you take a budget and start off that far behind, it is a challenge,” Macdonald said, from her Naturally For You shop, where she’s down two staff members due to the pandemic. “We tried to take a proactive approach to control our budget expenditures.” Macdonald says the shortfall consists of three things: $180,000 due to lost parks and recreation revenue from lack of rentals; another $250,000 in lost revenue in the planning and economic development office due to shortfalls blamed largely on COVID-19; and another $180,000 lost on bank interest on the town’s investment savings, when interest rates dropped from around seven per cent to a much lower rate. In the 2021 budget, cuts were made to the library’s renovations and staff’s hours, as well as the spraying of calcium only once during the summer to keep dust down on work sites. Simcoe County and neighbouring Springwater Township have announced zero increases on their 2021 budgets. Essa Township — where Statistics Canada says the average household income is $87,543 — will hardly feel the pinch. Yet with the costs of heat, hydro and insurance increasing for not just homes, but the township as well, Macdonald said this isn’t the time to take on loans to cover the cost of the shortfall and possibly rob from next year’s budget. “It’s a needs not wants budget,” agreed Essa CAO Colleen Healey-Dowdall. Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisians are marching on their heavily guarded parliament Tuesday as lawmakers vote on a new government, after a week of youth protests and riots over poverty and lack of jobs that left one young demonstrator dead and hundreds jailed. Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi announced a government reshuffle last week in the midst of the unrest. He promised Tuesday that the new team would concentrate on deep reforms to create jobs and improve living conditions in the North African country, which has been mired in economic crisis deepened by the coronavirus pandemic. But four of his 11 proposed new Cabinet members are facing investigations or suspicions of corruption, which threatens to further undermine Tunisians’ faith in a leadership accused of failing to live up to the promises of the country’s democratic revolution 10 years ago that unleashed the Arab Spring. Security was so tight in the streets around the parliament building Tuesday that several lawmakers were unable to access the grounds, according to independent parliamentary deputy Mabrouk Korchid. More than two dozen human rights and other groups called for a march Tuesday afternoon through central Tunis to the parliament building to demand the release of hundreds of people arrested in this month’s unrest and denounce repressive measures by police. A protester in his 20s died in a hospital Monday in the first apparent fatality amid the unrest, prompting a new outpouring of anger in his hometown of Sbeitla that the army was sent in to quell. His family said he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister during a protest, according to the state news agency. The Interior Ministry said an investigation has been opened. In the parliamentary debate, legislator Ali Hermassi denounced the failure of four successive governments to improve the economy, noting that unemployment has risen, as has inflation, while investment has fallen. He also deplored the handling of the recent protests. “The country needs political and social stability to emerge from the crisis,” he said. The head of one faction, Souhair Maghzaoui, told the prime minister: “If you intend to return to police repression, you are deluding yourself,” referring to heavy-handed tactics under the authoritarian regime thrown out by Tunisia’s 2010-2011 uprising. Meanwhile, President Kais Saied said the government reshuffle is unconstitutional, because the prime minister didn’t follow the procedures for informing the president first. “The Presidency of the Republic is not a mail box that signs decrees and organizes oath-taking ceremonies,” Saied told a security council meeting. He also questioned the wisdom of naming the four proposed ministers who are suspected of conflict of interest or embezzlement. I-Watch, the Tunisian arm of anti-corruption group Transparency International, sent a letter to lawmakers urging them not to approve the four proposed ministers. The president also criticized the reduction of the number of women in the new government from six to four. “Women are not cosmetic powder” but crucial players in the government, he argued. The confidence vote is scheduled at the end of the day, with lawmakers voting on the new members of the government one-by-one. Bouazza Ben Bouazza, The Associated Press
Premier and Liberal Leader Andrew Furey was campaigning in the Big Land on Monday, visiting candidates and groups in Labrador West and Lake Melville. Furey spoke to the media while he was in Labrador City and covered a variety of topics, including concerns Labradorians have with the Medical Transportation Assistance Program (MTAP). Last week NL NDP Leader Alison Coffin said her party would remove the requirement for upfront payment by patients and reimbursement for medical flights, which has been referenced as a barrier by people in the region. When asked by SaltWire how his party would change the program to better meet the needs of Labradorians, Furey said he had met with impacted people while in Labrador West and recognizes there needs to be changes made. The Liberal leader said when he was working as an orthopedic surgeon they had begun offering clinics in the region to cut down on patient travel, but says more needs to be done. “When you hear the stories about a child or a loved one with cancer, obviously you can’t have an oncology clinic in every nook and cranny around our beautiful province, but we’re Canadian and everyone deserves a Canadian standard of medical care,” he said. “That’s part of being Canadian, part of what we’re proud of as Canadians, is that won’t bankrupt you. My government won’t let that happen in the future.” The district was a close loss for the Liberals in the last election, when NDP Jordan Brown beat then Liberal cabinet minister Graham Letto by only two votes. Former Labrador City mayor Wayne Button is representing the Liberals this time around, and Furey said he has full confidence in Button as a representative for the region as a candidate. Investment portal Furey was also asked about InvestNL, an online portal for investors to connect with local entrepreneurs his party had announced earlier in the day. One of the ways out of the global economic crisis is to continue to bring investment to the province, he said, referencing Labrador West and the mining opportunities there an example of what the province has to offer. “There is great interest around the world, but we need to make it easy for foreign investments to come to Newfoundland and Labrador by creating a portal to attract foreign investments to the government,” he said. “It’s a virtual trade desk that will link foreign investors with local entrepreneurs and the appropriate people in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Saint Andrews passed the first reading of its short-term rental bylaw at a special council meeting on Monday. The bylaw was created, said Coun. Andrew Harrison, to develop a permit system to regulate short-term rentals in the town. Short-term rental residential units are full dwelling units (or parts of it) used as accommodation for travellers for no more than 30 days at a time, he said. "The purpose of this bylaw is to help limit negative impacts to long-term rentals and housing affordability, ensure the accommodations meet safety requirements and compliance, neighbour compatibility, support the tourism economy and support equity among all short-term rental accommodation providers," Harrison said. Town clerk Paul Nopper said AirBnBs have "very limited to no regulations at this point." Deputy Mayor Brad Henderson said it's to make sure that when people are visiting Saint Andrews, it's safe. The bylaw mostly covers permit requirements, inspections, responsibilities of the owner and operator, prohibitions and penalties. Saint Andrews resident Joanne Carney said she would like to see a compromise on the bylaw and aims to bring her concerns forward to council. Carney operates a short-term rental space within her home and has also purchased a property for her employees and for short-term rental space. She said if the bylaw is passed, it would make it so that certain zones require a primary resident on the property that houses the short-term rental space. She said she's not so sure that "penalizing" short-term rentals will make these spaces revert to long-term rental spaces or increase the vacancy rate. She said there needs to be a balance between long-term and short-term rentals "I know the councillors, they're open to changes and discussion. They'll definitely hear from people who are threatened to be shut down at the moment." In addition, she said limiting the short-term rental permits (if the primary resident lives there most of the time), doesn't make sense. In some cases, she said owning and operating short-term rentals, helps make living more affordable in Saint Andrews. The councillors discussed having a three-permit limit per individual for short-term rentals with a potential grandfather clause, or an increasing permit fee for individuals; instead of a 50-permit limit for the whole town. CAO Chris Spear said all existing short-term rentals would be included in this 50-permit total. Nopper said the 50-permit limit was based on the town's pre-existing short-term rental numbers and took into consideration council's aim to protect the long-term rentals by limiting the number of short-term rentals. "It limits that so that we don't have AirBnB Inc. coming in and buying up a bunch of short-term rentals," said Coun. Guy Groulx. Coun. Kurt Gumushel was against limiting the number of short-term rentals. Nopper said he would take the discussions and feedback and put it into the second draft of the document. There were also some discussions and clarifications at the meeting between the councillors concerning limiting of guests and permit qualifications. The full bylaw is posted on the town's website, so the public can view it before it goes onto further readings and a public hearing. Nopper said the bylaw could be passed by April 2021 but Mayor Doug Naish said it's subject to change. "It will be done right," said Naish. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
Jenna Russell says her home internet service on Grand Manan can't function while there are more than two devices, including cellphones, running at one time. This creates problems when her son is working at home for his schooling. "Especially during these times, that access is so important for everybody. Whether it's connecting with family, whatever it is, I just think that we all have the right to access," she said. Russell isn't the only one who feels this way on the island. Video calls with grandparents are difficult, staying in touch with work is hard and so are virtual doctors appointments and even paying bills online, according to Grand Manan islanders. Russell said her son, who is in Grade 9, is learning virtually every other day, and it means that sometimes others will have to stop what they're doing in order for him to get proper bandwidth. On Dec. 7, the power went out and so did Russell's wifi. She said it took nine days to get the wifi back on, and she asked Bell if she could get free data during that time to make up for the wait but she said they declined. "They certainly do not want to work together to accommodate anyone." In an email, Bell Aliant spokeswoman Katie Hatfield said Grand Manan is a "unique and challenging area to serve." "We’re looking to work with various levels of government on funding partnerships to help accelerate network enhancements on the Island," she said. Russell said she pays $200 for her high-speed ultra package with Bell – and sometimes more for additional data – and she can't even watch Netflix while other devices are running without it buffering every three minutes. Upon testing her internet speed, Russell said she found she had 0.48 Megabits per second (Mbps) upload speed and 1.86 Mbps download speed. She said that could drop drastically if there's another device being used. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has set standards of all Canadian homes and businesses having access to broadband internet speeds of at least 50 Mbps for downloads and 10 Mbps for uploads. Islander Sam McKenzie-Granger blames the internet for her six-year-old son believing his grandmother didn't love him any more. His grandmother couldn't visit him under the first wave and the family was having a hard time contacting his grandmother because the calls kept dropping and freezing. McKenzie-Granger, who is homeschooling her kids in Grades 4 and 6, said she's given up on online resources. "My internet speeds are virtually nonexistent," she said. She pays $100 for a basic plan with Bell, where she typically gets 1.4 Mbps download speed and 0.48 Mbps upload. Greg Kinghorne, a Grand Manan fisherman, said he needed to purchase a booster for his cellphone because he doesn't receive service in 40 per cent of the island. That means missing calls from work sometimes that could alert him about weather-related postponements. "We're in 2021 here," he said. "We should be having cell coverage." Grand Manan Mayor Dennis Greene said there's been a lot of complaints of about the issue that has existed for 15 to 20 years on the island. He said village council has tried contacting Bell with no success. "I don't think a week goes by that we don't have, you know, a fair number of complaints." He said he doesn't think it will drive people off the island, but it won't help to attract new residents. Although some Grand Manan residents say Bell hasn't been helpful for the most part, some are looking forward to a new Grand Manan-based service. Proximity Fiber, which is a high-speed internet service based in Grand Manan, is a couple steps away from connecting to NB Power's undersea cable, which would increase the service's bandwidth and supercharge its existing service. The connection will enable company Crave Technologies to connect to fibre-optic portions to provide service to Grand Manan, Campobello and Maine. The existing service has covered 600 homes on Grand Manan and is seeking funding to expand to the full Fundy Isles, with help from government funding. Howard Small, CEO of Crave Technologies, said he’s looking to offer baseline packages with internet speeds of 1,000 Mbps download and 1,000 Mbps upload with an option to go even higher. However, he said the company needs more funding to reach everyone on Grand Manan. Right now, Russell doesn't have access to Proximity Fiber, but she says she looks forward to the service when she gets the chance. "I know the whole island will be thrilled when they're able to spread out a bit further, so we're all anxiously awaiting that," she said. "But you know, land only knows when that will come." The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal