Ice forms around a waterfall Lévis, QC.
Ice forms around a waterfall Lévis, QC.
(Leah Mills/Jennifer Gauthier/Reuters - image credit) Donald Trump's actions will take centre stage in a Vancouver courtroom this week as Meng Wanzhou's lawyers try to prove the former U.S. president poisoned extradition proceedings against the Huawei executive. The case should be tossed out because of alleged political interference, Meng's lawyers are expected to argue at the first of three sets of B.C. Supreme Court hearings scheduled to stretch into mid-May. A decision on the extradition request isn't expected until much later this year. The 49-year-old, who is Huawei's chief financial officer, is charged with fraud and conspiracy in New York in relation to allegations she lied to an HSBC banker in Hong Kong in 2013 about Huawei's control of a subsidiary accused of violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The arguments related to the former president concern a statement he made to a Reuters reporter in the weeks after Meng's arrest at Vancouver's airport on Dec. 1, 2018. At the time, Trump said he would "certainly intervene" if he thought it was necessary to help the U.S. reach a trade deal with China. Charter rights argument could be 'decider' The Crown — which represents the U.S. in the proceeding — contends there's no evidence Trump made good on his words and that any possible influence he could have had on the case ended along with his term in office. University of B.C. professor Michael Byers, an expert on international law, says he doubts the defence team will have much success convincing Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes the U.S. Department of Justice has been swayed by political considerations. Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of the telecommunications giant. She is accused of fraud and conspiracy. But he does think they'll have a better shot in the coming weeks with claims Meng's rights were breached on her arrival when Canada Border Services Agency officers questioned her for three hours before RCMP executed a warrant calling for her "immediate arrest." "That three-hour period could well have constituted a violation of her Section 7 rights to security of the person under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. "And so if the extradition judge is to rule that Ms. Meng should be set free, my expectation is that it's that particular element of the case that will be the decider." Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, the man who became a billionaire by turning his global communications giant into a flagship business prized by the Chinese state. Meng's legal team includes lawyers from firms across Canada. And her case is being spearheaded by Vancouver's Richard Peck, of Peck and Company. Strategy to have case thrown out Along with arguments about Trump's role, the allegations related to Meng's treatment by the CBSA are part of a multi-pronged defence strategy to have the proceedings stayed. Meng's lawyers also claim the U.S. misled Canada about the strength of its case and that American prosecutors are reaching far beyond their jurisdiction by trying a Chinese citizen for a conversation that took place in Hong Kong with an executive for an English bank. Meng Wanzhou's lawyers are expected to claim her charter rights were violated during her first few hours in CBSA custody. Holmes will hear submissions about the events surrounding Meng's arrest during the second stretch of hearings, scheduled to begin in mid-March. The defence claims the CBSA conspired with the RCMP and CBSA to have border agents question Meng without a lawyer. They also seized her cellphones and later gave the passcodes to police, in contravention of policy. The defence has accused the RCMP of sending technical information from Meng's electronic devices to the Americans. A senior officer who was in touch with a legal attache for the FBI has refused to testify — and last month, Meng's lawyers announced their intention to try to force the Crown to disclose their communication with him about that decision. 'An irritant' in U.S.-China relationship In court documents filed in advance of this week's hearing, Meng's lawyers cited comments by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about a need to tie a trade deal between the U.S and China to the resolution of Meng's situation and the fate of two Canadians imprisoned in China. Former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor have been accused of spying by the Chinese government in what most observers believe is retaliation for Meng's arrest. Michael Kovrig, left, and Michael Spavor, right, were arrested by China in the wake of charges against Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou. U.S. President Joe Biden has called for their release. The Crown doesn't make any mention of the so-called "two Michaels" in its submissions, but the defence claims the constellation of factors riding on the case has made it extremely difficult for Meng to defend herself without worrying about the impact on others. U.S. President Joe Biden called on China to release Kovrig and Spavor last week following a bilateral meeting with Trudeau, saying "human beings are not bartering chips." Byers believes Biden may decide to bring an end to efforts to extradite Meng in the coming months as he looks to improve the U.S. relationship with China. "It is in the hands of the Biden administration to end this case. And the Biden administration will be in the process now of resetting the relationship between the United States and China. That is a hugely important relationship, for economic reasons, for security reasons. "Those two superpowers need to get along. They need to get things done. And Ms. Meng's presence in Vancouver is an irritant in that relationship." To that end, reports by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters last December claimed Meng was in discussions with the U.S. Department of Justice to bring an end to the case through a deal that would see her admit to some wrongdoing in exchange for a deferred prosecution agreement. In an exclusive interview with CBC's chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any deal would have to be made free of geopolitical considerations. "We follow the law. We follow the facts. "And one of the things that we don't do is have politics or foreign policy interfere in the workings of the Justice Department."
La cinquième édition du salon "stages et emplois" 2021, qui s'est tenue virtuellement, a rassemblé un nombre record d'employeurs. Plusieurs chercheuses et chercheurs de stages et d’emplois de niveaux collégial et universitaire ont profité de cent kiosques virtuels d’entreprises et d’organismes lors du Salon stages et emplois. 1 046 clavardages en une seule journée Les employeurs et les organismes avaient l’occasion d’afficher un nombre illimité de postes permanents, d’offres de stages, d’offres d’emploi à temps partiel et d’été. Ils avaient également la chance de positionner leur marque employeur, de même que des photos, vidéos et coordonnées. « 100 employeurs ont participé au Salon virtuel. Ils ont affiché 500 offres de stages ou d'emplois, pour un total de 870 postes disponibles. Le Salon virtuel a attiré 380 visiteurs uniques, dont 205 provenant du Cégep et 175 de l'UQAT » fait savoir la directrice des Affaires étudiantes et des communications chez Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, madame Kathleen Slobodian. « Au total, 13 040 pages ont été visités (kiosques virtuels et offres d'emplois) sur les 10 jours. Il y a eu 833 clics pour postuler sur une offre d'emploi ou de stage et 1 046 clavardages en une seule journée » poursuit-elle. Une pénurie de main-d’œuvre Le directeur général du collège, monsieur Sylvain Blais, a exprimé sa joie quant à la possibilité pour la relève profiter d’une activité d’une telle envergure malgré la crise sanitaire actuelle. « La région connaît toujours une pénurie de main-d’œuvre importante dans plusieurs domaines où nous offrons une formation de grande qualité, reconnue ici comme ailleurs » a-t-il déclaré. Le Salon virtuel était accessible sur les navigateurs Google Chrome, Firefox et Edge et les chercheuses et chercheurs d’emploi avaient la possibilité d’y accéder via leur ordinateur, tablette ou téléphone intelligent. Pour des questions de sécurité des données, le Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, précise que les données virtuelles sont hébergées au Canada, et, bien sûr, à l’intérieur de serveurs sécuritaires. Une satisfaction atteinte Les organisateurs étaient très satisfaits du déroulement de cette nouvelle édition du salon "stages et emplois" 2021. « Nous avions 100 places disponibles et elles ont toutes été comblées. L'activité s'autofinance à 100 %. Nous pouvons observer que les étudiants ont navigué sur la plateforme virtuelle, ils ont posé leur candidature sur les offres disponibles. Les résultats du sondage de satisfaction aux employeurs et aux étudiants n'étant pas encore compilés, il est difficile de se prononcer sur l'atteinte des objectifs et sur les améliorations à apporter » souligne la directrice des Affaires étudiantes et des communications chez Cégep de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue. « Est-ce que l'événement a répondu aux attentes des employeurs et aux besoins des étudiants? C'est ce que nous saurons prochainement, car c'est la satisfaction des participants qui fait le succès de cette édition virtuelle. Nous espérons pouvoir revenir à un Salon en présentiel en 2022 ou de moins, à une formule hybride » a-t-elle conclu. Moulay Hicham Mouatadid, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
“Later,” by Stephen King (Hard Case Crime) Stephen King gets a lot of credit for creating the monsters under kids’ beds (here’s looking at you, Pennywise), but not enough for this simple fact: The guy gets kids. Their fears, certainly, but also their voices, the way they see the world differently than adults. To a long list that includes Danny Torrance from “The Shining” and Gordie Lachance from “The Body,” we can now add Jamie Conklin, the star of King’s most recent novel, “Later.” Published under the Hard Case Crime imprint, which also distributed “The Colorado Kid” (2005) and “Joyland” (2013) — “Later” is narrated by 22-year-old Jamie, looking back on his formative years. He begins his story at age 6, when he first figured out he could see and talk to the dead. It’s that gift which propels the plot of this slim novel. Encouraged by his mother’s NYPD girlfriend, Liz, Jamie gets tied up in the pursuit of a serial bomber in New York. It’s not giving too much away to say he helps crack the case, but to say what happens after that would spoil all the fun. There’s classic King here for fans. Imagine the carnage on any given day in the Big Apple and then imagine being a young man seeing the mangled dead walking around in the afterlife, with holes in their heads “as big as a dessert plate and surrounded by irregular fangs of bone.” But even amid the gore and escalating tension, King finds moments to make Jamie relatable. As Liz and his mom argue at the scene of a crime, we pop inside Jamie’s head before he screams at them. “One of the worst things about being a kid, maybe the very worst, is how grownups ignore you when they get going" on their own issues, writes King. In the end, the story Jamie narrates to readers climaxes in a thrilling whodunit, while uncovering truths about Jamie’s life that might have been better left buried. For as the novel’s cover declares: “Only the dead have no secrets.” Rob Merrill, The Associated Press
Sundridge may be on the verge of eliminating an algae problem with its lagoons by using ultrasound. Council received a presentation about the cutting-edge technology from Paul Dyrda, the senior operations manager at the Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA). Dyrda says the ultrasound technology, called LG Sonic, works, and he wants council to approve the purchase of the $31,000 equipment. That may happen this month when council debates the presentation. Dyrda says the density and heaviness of the algal blooms at Sundridge's lagoons has “overwhelmed” the wastewater treatment system in the past. “The facilities were not designed to treat water with that amount of algae,” he explains. As a result, Dyrda says, the village's facility failed to meet environmental compliance objectives during warm weather since that's when algae is most active. At one point, Dyrda says, OCWA considered using a floating ball system where enough balls are placed in the water system that they block the sun's ultraviolet rays which, in turn, stops the algae growth. The problem is the cost worked out to be $500,000. OCWA applied for government funding for the floating balls, but the request was rejected. However, around the same time, Dyrda says, OCWA staff learned about the ultrasonic technology, which breaks the algae down at a cellular level and then it dies. OCWA received permission from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks to try the technology on one of the lagoons last summer. “So for two months we had the algae-control device in the middle of one lagoon and compared it to the other lagoon without the device,” Dyrda says. “The difference was dramatic. The difference between the two lagoons was unbelievable and it was very successful.” Dyrda says the ultrasonic technology is so cutting-edge he doesn't believe any other municipality has government approval to use it. Dyrda says the one “caveat” with the technology is it only works on breaking down blue-green algae and green algae, which now plague the village's lagoons. “So there's the potential that you get rid of one algae, but then another type takes its place,” he told council. But, he added, there is no other option, like spending half a million dollars on the floating balls “which may or may not have worked. “This (ultrasonic technology) is the better option of the two,” Dyrda said. He wants council to approve the purchase so the equipment can be installed once the snow is gone. In addition to the $31,000 cost, installation wouldn't exceed $5,000. Dyrda says last summer's pilot project made the village's lagoons compliant with government regulations and said once the LG Sonic system is in place “all the effluent water that's going to leave the lagoons is going to be compliant.” With Dyrda during the presentation was OCWA's business development manager, Ted Smider. “Sundridge is a pioneer in this and I know other parts of OCWA are looking at this particular technology to be used, so you're the first,” Smider said. In response Mayor Lyle Hall said he was sure the village would hear more about the technology in the future and added “hopefully, we'll be the model for other organizations and municipalities.” Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
(CBC - image credit) Carol Henzie says the provincial and federal governments need to do more to protect people like her parents after they were exposed three times to COVID-19 in a Pointe-Claire home for independent seniors. "The people that are supposed to be caring and taking care of our parents and our seniors are exposing them to the virus," said Henzie, citing Feb. 18 as the third time her parents were put at risk. "We're supposed to protecting our seniors, and we're not." Her parents live in Maywood Pointe-Claire and she recently found out that an in-home care worker from a local CLSC tested positive for the disease just a few days after visiting her mother and father. Now her mother has tested positive, and is in quarantine with her husband. They had both been vaccinated earlier in the week and, so far, Henzie said her father is doing just fine. "Neither of us have any symptoms," said Terrence Henzie. "We neither have a cough or cold or sneezing or wheezing. Nothing of the kind." Preliminary data from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec suggests the vaccines are 80 per cent effective after two weeks for health-care workers and after three weeks among the residents of long-term care homes. Carol Henzie said she holds public health accountable for her parents being exposed. She wants to see all health-care workers tested regularly for the disease if they work with seniors. CIUSSS says it is following regulations Hélène Bergeron-Gamache, a spokesperson for the West Island regional health board, said the CIUSSS de l'Ouest-de-l'Île-de-Montréal follows the provincial directives for screening health workers. "We strongly encourage our employees to get tested preventively and on a regular basis," she said in an email. "To facilitate access, mobile screening clinics are located in some of our facilities." Quebec 85-years-old and over lined up for their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine in Laval last week, but most who live in long-term care homes have already been vaccinated. The agency also follows infection prevention and control rules, providing all employees with the appropriate equipment and training they need to safely provide quality care and services, Bergeron-Gamache said. "Remember that, with community transmission still present, no one is safe from contracting the virus," she said. Quebec long-term care homes struggled through pandemic Long-term care homes — in particular CHSLDs, where residents have significant health or mobility issues — were hit hard by COVID-19 last spring as both staff and visitors brought the highly contagious disease into facilities. There has been a chorus of calls for reform since the early days of the pandemic, as its impact on long-term care homes has brought to light many issues with the way both private and public residences are managed. Francine Ducharme, a geriatrics researcher and nursing sciences professor at Université de Montréal, recently helped prepare a report on long-term care for the Royal Society of Canada in 2020 that showed Canadian seniors' homes have allowed staff-to-patient ratios to drop. The homes have also increasingly shifted to lower-paid care aides and personal support workers, who are often given "variable and minimal formal training," according to the report. A separate report by Quebec's ombudsman revealed the majority of the deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the province between March and June 2020 were among long-term residents — 3,890 in all. In some cases, ombudsman Marie Rinfret noted, overworked staff could not meet residents' basic needs such as being fed, changed or comforted as they died.
Community organizations in Timmins have prepared a few events in celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). It is marked annually on March 8. In the past, the Timmins and Area Women in Crisis (TAWC) has hosted a dinner honouring 10 women who have overcome adversity and contributed to the community. This year, the organization is hoping to honour at least 30 women each day starting on March 8. Until March 3, TAWC is accepting nominations of extraordinary women who deserve recognition. The selected women will receive gift boxes with self-care products, all made by local women. “We wanted to make it a little bit extra special,” said Caroline Martel, TAWC’s manager of programs and services. “We wanted to honour women who’ve gone above and beyond during the pandemic … like frontline workers and health workers, teachers. If anyone knows anyone who’s really stepped up this year, we really want to hear their stories and nominate them.” Nomination forms can be found here or by emailing TAWC. Ellevive will host a free virtual meeting with Quebec singer Nathalie Simard on March 8 and 9. Simard will share her personal journey and testimony from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The event is held in partnership with a Sudbury-based Centre Victoria pour femmes, Fem'aide and the Office of Francophone Affairs at Laurentian University. For Ellevive’s and Centre Victoria’s clients, an exclusive activity will be offered on March 10. For another virtual event on March 8, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce has invited Erin Elofson of Pinterest Canada. Elofson is an innovator, project manager and head of the Canada, Australia and New Zealand region at Pinterest, which is a visual discovery engine where users share images and find inspiration and ideas. At the event, she will talk about women in leadership roles, the importance of having a curated digital presence and female parity on governing boards. The event will be held via Zoom from noon till 1 p.m. It costs $25 plus tax for chamber members and $40 for general admission. To register, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Filming a polar bear just inches from its nose, close enough to see its breath fog up the lens, was a career highlight for Jeff Thrasher. The CBC producer is part of the team behind "Arctic Vets," a new show that follows the day-to-day operations at Assiniboine Park Conservancy in Winnipeg."It was breathing warm air onto the lens. I was thinking, 'Wow, there's nothing between me and this polar bear,"' Thrasher said, who filmed the shot using a GoPro camera up in Churchill, Man. The show is also the first time cameras have been allowed in the Winnipeg facility, which houses Arctic animals like seals, polar bears and muskox."I've filmed many, many things in my career and that's right up there," Thrasher said. There are 10 half-hour episodes in the new series that features expeditions to Manitoba's subarctic, emergency animal rescues and daily life at the conservancy. The first episode follows veterinarian Chris Enright to Churchill just as polar bears are starting to migrate up the coast of Hudson Bay. When a bear wanders too close to town, Enright works with the local Polar Bear Alert Team to catch it and lift it by helicopter to a safe distance away. In the same episode, back in Winnipeg, the team trims the hooves of resident 800-pound muskox, Chloe.Although being around Arctic animals is part of Enright's daily life, he hopes the show will help bring southern Canadians a little closer to the North."This is our norm. But it's not the norm for a lot of people, so the show is a good opportunity to tell these stories," he said. "We have herds of caribou that rival migrating animals on the Serengeti, but people in the South don't necessarily know about that. And that's really unfortunate, because there's some incredible wildlife in the North."Enright also hopes the show will urge Canadians to think about protecting the country's Arctic ecosystems, which face the critical threat of climate change."There's a lot of concern with the effects of climate change and over the next 50, 100 years what's going to happen. As southerners, there are things we can do to protect and conserve those ecosystems," he said. The COVID-19 pandemic also hit in the middle of filming, which Enright said prevented the team from travelling into Nunavut.Jackie Enberg, an animal care supervisor and Heather Penner, an animal care professional, are also featured in the show for their work with polar bears."It's not just animal care or vet care, or conservation and research. It's all of it. We all have a great passion to educate and share and help inspire other people to make a difference, whether it's to make changes in your lives or just talk about," Penner said.Enberg said the bears featured in the show were rescued when they were a few years old. "They're here because they could not survive in the wild," Enberg said. "We just ultimately hope people will fall in love with polar bears as much as we have," Penner said. "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday, Feb. 26 at 8:30 p.m. on CBC and CBC Gem. By Emma Tranter in Iqaluit, NunavutThis report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021.---This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version erroneously reported that "Arctic Vets" premiers Friday at 8 p.m. In fact, it airs Friday at 8:30 p.m.
JUNEAU, Alaska — Scientists in Alaska have discovered 10 cases of a new coronavirus strain that researchers have said is more contagious and potentially more effective at evading vaccines. The B.1.429 variant, first discovered in California, was identified in Alaska in early January and has since been detected nine more times, according to a report released on Wednesday by scientists assembled by the state to investigate new strains. At least six groups of B.1.429 cases have been detected statewide this year, the report said. Scientists and public health officials have expressed concerns about multiple new strains of the coronavirus, which they say could prolong the pandemic even as governments scale up their vaccination efforts, KTOO-FM reported. State public health officials also said they have identified two cases of the more contagious B.1.1.7 strain, first discovered in the United Kingdom, along with one case of the P.1 strain, which was first seen in Brazil. The P.1 strain is also more contagious, and vaccines may be less viable against it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designates the P.1 and B.1.1.7 strains as “variants of concern.” The CDC has not yet designated the B.1.429 variant first found in California as a variant of concern. The Associated Press
(Shane Magee/CBC - image credit) Police are warning of poor driving conditions in parts of New Brunswick as a storm rolls through the province Monday. The RCMP said on Twitter that SNC Lavalin is recommending motorists stay off a stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway between Saint-Jacques, near Edmundston, and Lower Woodstock. "Driving conditions are extremely poor," RCMP said. Meanwhile, NB-511, the government of New Brunswick's online road conditions map, is indicating roads are either fully or partly covered in snow in most regions north of Fredericton and Moncton. A 33-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway west of Moncton, from River Glade to Dubee Settlement, is also reported to be covered in snow and icy patches. Other roads south of the Trans-Canada Highway are being reported as bare. The advisories come after Environment Canada issued a snowfall warning for the northern half of New Brunswick Monday. The national weather agency said some parts of the province could see between 15 and 25 centimetres of snow Monday into Tuesday. The heavy snow was expected to spread east across central and northern New Brunswick Monday morning with temperatures rising above 0 C in some places by the afternoon, causing some of the snow to melt. Half of New Brunswick is under a snowfall warning today. Snow is expected to taper to flurries by Tuesday morning, with strong westerly winds bringing in a cold air mass. Areas affected include: The Acadian Peninsula The Bathurst and Chaleur region Campbellton and Restigouche County Edmundston and Madawaska County Grand Falls and Victoria County Kouchibouguac National Park The Miramichi area Mount Carleton Stanley, Doaktown and Blackville areas Woodstock and Carleton County Strong wind gusts expected Tuesday Meanwhile, the Acadian Peninsula, Campbellton and Restigouche County, the Bathurst and Chaleur regions can expect to see northwesterly wind gusts travelling up to 90 km/h Tuesday morning into the evening. "Winds are expected to drop below warning criteria by Wednesday morning," Environment Canada said in a statement. "These strong winds may cause blowing snow over exposed areas giving reduced visibilities."
Les truffes de culture et sauvages pourraient d’ici quelques années devenir une spécialité mauricienne. Des chercheuses, spécialistes, organismes, investisseurs et propriétaires forestiers et terriens flairent aujourd’hui la bonne et belle affaire. La filière s’organise. Un véritable réseau truffier est en train de se structurer en Mauricie, grâce aux efforts concertés de nombreux intervenants qui travaillent en synergie. Parmi eux, Truffes Québec, ArborInnov, la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie (bras de développement des comestibles forestiers du Syndicat des producteurs de bois de la Mauricie), des chercheurs et des propriétaires privés. Truffes Québec espère, dès à présent, implanter chaque année un peu moins d’une dizaine de truffières sur le territoire de la Mauricie. L’organisation veut que la région serve de modèle dans la culture de ce champignon convoité, goûteux, rarissime et coûteux. Pour y parvenir, Truffes Québec travaille de très près avec la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie qui sert de point d’entrée aux exploitants intéressés par la culture des truffes. Ces derniers sont ensuite référés à Truffes Québec qui analyse les projets et leur faisabilité. « On veut avoir des producteurs qui ont une vision et qui ne cherchent pas une rentabilité à court terme. Il y a tout un accompagnement pour faire en sorte que chaque installation soit un succès. En particulier pour la truffe des Appalaches. C’est l’aspect global qu’on travaille avec eux », explique Jean-Pierre Proulx, directeur de Truffes Québec. Intervient alors ArborInnov qui travaille depuis 2009 à valoriser la culture des truffes, à produire des arbres truffiers et à conseiller les producteurs. Des producteurs qui n’ont aucune intention de crier sur tous les toits leur affection pour la truffe et les projets qui se réalisent dans le plus grand secret et sous le couvert de l’anonymat. « On a eu des rencontres, fait des analyses de sols, de faisabilité » précise M. Proulx. Julia (nom d’emprunt) est l’une de celle qui veut avec son conjoint, planter 1 600 arbres truffiers sur sa terre de douze hectares. La truffière en occupera le dixième de sa superficie. « C’est un projet de préretraite. On cherchait une culture à faire sur une petite surface et je voulais avoir une forêt derrière la maison. On va planter des chênes rouges, du pin blanc et des épinettes de Norvège qui tiennent compte de notre type de sol. Les cultures émergentes nous intéressent. Je suis dans l’industrie alimentaire depuis toujours, je vois beaucoup de potentiel de développement. On essaie de limiter nos rêves de grandeurs. Si on compare à ce qui sort en nature, on devrait avoir un rendement qui nous permette d’en vivre comme retraités. Et il n’est pas impossible, si le résultat est bon, qu’on ajoute un autre champ. Il faut être capable de supporter l’investissement », souligne Julia qui se garde bien de nous dire combien elle a investi, et où! « On est en Mauricie », se limite-t-elle à préciser. Julia lance sa truffière en toute discrétion dès le printemps prochain, avant les possibles sécheresses de l’été. « Il va falloir arroser, on n’a pas le choix ». Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie planchent sur des projets porteurs qui pourraient être dévoilés au courant de l’hiver. « Ça fait déjà travailler plein de monde. Quand ça se met à décoller, dans dix ans, c’est une autre affaire », conclut M. Quirion. Combien vaut un kilo de truffes du Québec? On vient de vendre un kilo de truffes des Appalaches pour 3 000 $. Des centaines de milliers de dollars investis dans la truffe en Mauricie Les investissements se multiplient en Mauricie. « On regroupe la cueillette, la transformation, la restauration, le mycotourisme, la recherche et le développement. On bâtit ensemble un plan quinquennal », explique Patrick Lupien, coordonnateur de la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie. La Filière travaille main dans la main avec Truffes Québec et ArborInnov. « Mon rôle est de mobiliser les propriétaires en vue de développer des champs truffiers en Mauricie, de venir ajouter au positionnement de la Mauricie dans le secteur », affirme M. Lupien de la Filière. Ce dernier travaille aussi au développement d’une filière de mycotourisme de la truffe sauvage avec la chercheuse Véronique Cloutier. Truffes Québec et la Filière mycologique de la Mauricie vont travailler de concert avec le club-conseil en agroenvironnement Lavi-Eau-Champ à l’implantation de champs truffiers. Cet automne, près de 200 000 $ ont été investis par des producteurs truffiers truffiers indépendants qui vont lancer leur truffière au printemps 2021. « L’investissement va varier selon les producteurs. Les arbres sont déjà réservés », ajoute Jean-Pierre Proulx. « C’est une excellente nouvelle, qui vient une fois de plus confirmer le rôle central que peut jouer la Mauricie dans la croissance de la mycologique et de la gastronomie au Québec , ajoute Patrick Lupien. Pour des projets qui sont porteurs comme ça, je ne pense pas qu’on ait besoin des gouvernements.» Une foule d’autres variétés pourraient, à terme, être produites en régie agronomique, estime Patrick Lupien de la Filière mycologique, d’autant que les pays européens enregistrent actuellement des baisses de production. Le Québec pourrait se faufiler. « On parle de la truffe sauvage au Québec, comme quand je parlais de champignons il y a douze ans. La truffe suit cette même dynamique. Et elle est réfléchie. Il y a une clientèle nationale et internationale prête à la découvrir », estime M. Lupien. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
Infectious diseases expert Dr. Isaac Bogoch checks in with The Morning Show to answers the latest coronavirus questions.
Tina Fey asked the tough question 10 minutes into the three-hour Golden Globes broadcast Sunday: Could this whole night have been an email? Well, maybe. We wouldn’t have gotten to see the awkwardness of Daniel Kaluuya’s acceptance speech (almost) cut before it began, Don Cheadle giving a tie-dyed sweatshirt clad Jason Sudeikis the wrap-up signal, or Catherine O’Hara’s husband playing her off with his iPhone — a funny bit hampered by bad sound. But we also wouldn’t have gotten to tear up along with Chadwick Boseman’s widow Taylor Simone Ledward or see the sweetness of Mark Ruffalo’s kids standing proudly behind him when he won, or Ethan Hawke’s sitting with him when he didn’t. We also wouldn’t have gotten swept away by Norman Lear’s heartfelt remarks. It helped that Lear’s setup looked professionally produced. Many did not. Celebrities, we’ve all learned over the past year, have bad lighting and shoddy internet connections too, even on an awards show night. The 78th Annual Golden Globes came in limping Sunday, not just because of the strangeness of producing a live, bicoastal show a year into a pandemic, but because in the week leading up to the event, the 87-person organization behind the endeavour, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, was given an unflattering spotlight in a series of exposes in The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. The most stinging revelation was that there are zero Black members in their ranks. Whether or not they would address it was perhaps the biggest question going into the night. Hosts Fey and Amy Poehler said they needed to change. And three members of the HFPA came out on stage to say they intended to. The remoteness of it all allowed them to control the controversy on their own terms, or at least manage it. For the show, it was a silver lining. For the audience, it felt like a punt. In a normal year, every nominee and guest would have been asked about it on the red carpet. All the celebrities who posted that Time’s Up message on their socials would have had to say something. Sunday, there was no one to ask. The HFPA may have just bought themselves another year to get their act together. Although their nominations are occasionally absurd, the ultimate winners often aren’t. “Nomadland” director Chloé Zhao became the first woman to win best director since Barbra Streisand in 1984. Boseman won too. As did “Minari” and Lee Isaac Chung (who also shared an especially sweet moment with his young daughter), even if it was relegated to the foreign language category. Kate Hudson, who proved to be a trouper despite all the fun made of her nomination and film, did not. Unfortunately, as the night wore on, more and more winners found themselves played off by the show, including most of “The Crown.” Worse, the cut off music was bad. The evening had its inspired comedic moments too, most of which came from hosts Fey and Poehler who in their fourth time leading the show seamlessly played off of one another with almost 3,000 miles between them. Though it was easy to forget that they were on different coasts, they were always ready with a well-timed gag acknowledging that they weren’t. They also mocked the weirdness of it all, about halfway through exhaustedly recapping the meagre GIF and meme moments thus far — Cheadle, Tracy Morgan mispronouncing “Soul” as sal and Sudeikis’ hoodie. “Those are the messy things we love about the Globes,” Poehler said. The show has always been touted as a party, boozy, glamourous and unruly with hosts who are welcome to poke fun and occasionally even cross the line. The booziness perhaps has been overstated of late — most are far too savvy to get drunk on camera before their category. Besides, that’s what the after parties are for. But there was a lot lost here, even as the show tried to manufacture moments between the nominees with awkward semi-public five-way conversations before commercial breaks. “This is so weird,” said Lily Collins, to the heads on the five disconnected screens around her. She could have been speaking for all of us. Cutting away to the nominees after a joke or a related win was rarely successful and often stilted, although the later categories seemed to learn from the mistakes of the earlier ones. But it made it even more frustrating that the show failed to use their in-person talent more creatively. Yes, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo got a fun “Barb and Star” moment, as did Maya Rudolph and Kenan Thompson. But they also got Tiffany Haddish to show up and all she got was one quip about Eddie Murphy’s mansions. The NBC tie-ins, too, seemed more shameless than usual. The Golden Globes have in years past been a frivolity that's still a pretty watchable, star-studded show. It occasionally even captured the zeitgeist in surprisingly meaningful ways. Audiences expect the worst and sometimes find it. But there are also grace notes in all the silliness— remember the sea of black to support the newly formed Time’s Up a few years ago and that Oprah speech? And maybe it’s that tension that has kept the Globes audience relatively stable. Whether or not this year will hold up when the numbers come in remains to be seen, but it would be a surprise. And does it matter? It’s not as though anyone involved is planning to relive this experience. “We all know that awards shows are stupid,” Fey said early on. Yes, they are. But maybe it’s just the stupidity we all need after a very tough year. ___ Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Professional rugby league in Canada lasted less than four seasons with the Toronto Wolfpack. The Ottawa Aces have yet to take the field. But there are plans to kick-start the sport at the grassroots level in Canada, in the form of the Canada Co-Operative Championship Rugby League (CCCRL). Organizers hope to eventually establish a 12 -team league with both men's and women's teams with fans literally able to buy into the concept. Sandy Domingos-Shipley, a Toronto native now based in Leeds, England, is looking to help get the project off the ground. "I've got children born and raised here," the mother of three said in an interview. "And I've seen the impact of rugby league from a kid's point of view — how much they really do get involved in community and the good that comes out of the sport from the grassroots level. "And I really want the people in Canada to have a bit of that. I want them to have more of it … We can make rugby league grow in Canada the right way." The Canadian co-op league idea is the brainchild of 37-year-old Chris Coates, an English native who is the founding firector of CCCRL. He has been mulling over the concept for some years now. Coates is coach of the Sheffield Forgers, who play in the Yorkshire Men's League. He also has a hand in the international game as coach of the Lithuania men's team, describing himself as a "diehard expansionist at heart." "I believe that the game really should be for everybody," he said. "And I find it perplexing that so many people love the game but don't want to see it grow outside its (northern England) heartlands." His day job is in the tech world. "I build super-computers for a living." Looking to develop the sport, the league will feature rugby league nines which is akin to rugby union's sevens — a faster, condensed nine-a-side version of the rugby league game. They believe nines is an easier introduction to the game. The idea is to start with a six-team league in 2023, with plans of increasing up to 12 teams — six men's and six women's — with representation from B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec. Divisional competition will be followed by championship play. Domingos-Shipley says the league will also serve as a home for members of the Canadian national teams: the Wolverines (men) and Ravens (women). Players will be paid on a pro-am model. The Canadian Rugby League Association is on board, although not contributing financially. " What's exciting from our point of view is that the initiative is based on the development of grassroots rugby league," said CRLA president Bob Jowett. "We certainly wish them al the best with it and are supportive of the initiative." Domingos-Shipley says the plan calls for the governing body to benefit from some of the profits from the proposed league. Coates says the league will be funded 40 per cent in the form of private equity and 60 per cent by fans. Investors would get an annual return. They have not yet disclosed the minimum investment but say the average fan will be able to afford to get involved. "The thing with a co-operative is it effectively buys brand loyalty," said Coates. "People who invest in something are inclined to want to make that work." "Fans want to be part of growing something and this is the way they can do that," added Domingos-Shipley, who moved to England in 2001. Her passion for rugby league started four years ago when she started following the Wolfpack in England, becoming essentially a super-fan. Coates applauded the expansion to Toronto although he says he saw "risks" with the Wolfpack agreeing to pay visiting teams' travel and accommodation costs. Unable to play at home due to the pandemic, the Wolfpack stood down in July saying it could not afford to play out the remainder of the 2020 Super League season. The club's subsequent bid for reinstatement under new ownership in 2021 was voted down in November. "As a business owner, I couldn't get my head around how we got to the place where we were," said Domingos-Shipley, who runs a consulting company. Coates, meanwhile, was prompted to look for alternate ways to grow the game. In his words, "If you could do it completely differently, how would you do it?" He started talking to other people about the Wolfpack, including Domingos-Shipley, sharing his idea for a co-op league. "I was like 'Right I'm helping you do this. I want this to work,'" said Domingos-Shipley, who is billed as the CCCRL co-founder and director of governance and compliance. Coates also watched tape of the East-West game played at Lamport Stadium in January 2020. "It was good quality stuff," he said. He believes the talent and interest for a domestic league are both there. "The Wolfpack have done fantastic job of growing that market, from nothing. To grow to 10,000 fans in four years from zero fans is a great achievement. But the problem is that it was done in an unsustainable way." Organizers say they are working with "appropriate organizations" to ensure that all financial participation is in line with regulations and expectations. Coates says his group already has some commercial partners "in the pipeline." --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 1, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
(Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press - image credit) While COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on many businesses, it has also created a niche for some new ones, including Pulsar UV. Pulsar UV offers coronavirus testing and health and safety advice to film and TV productions, allowing them to continue making entertainment as the pandemic wears on. Barbara Szeman, an assistant director who's worked on movies such as Suicide Squad and RoboCop (2014), founded the company, along with three other Windsorites with medical and film industry backgrounds. They recognized the need for such services after production shut down last spring. "When the pandemic hit, as for many industries, the entire film industry came to a complete halt, and we honestly just wanted to help our friends get back to work and be part of the solution," she said on Windsor Morning on Monday. In April, she reached out to colleagues and offered them her services. "We actually ended up running entire departments for health and safety on multi-million-dollar productions," she said. The company's clients include major motion pictures with 200 or more people on set. The company can't disclose the names of its clients because of confidentiality agreements, but is currently working with about five productions. "We are constantly taking calls from more productions that are opening up, so we'll be very busy this coming season," she said. They use the polymerase chain reaction or PCR test, considered the most accurate, and will soon introduce rapid testing. The samples are analyzed by diagnostic labs. The company has a doctor that oversees testing. Pulsar UV will soon be offering private asymptomatic testing in Windsor, Szeman said.
Being innovative and doing things differently isn’t new for SmartICE — since the social enterprise began in a basement at Memorial University in 2013, it has to come up with new technologies and found ways to integrate into the northern communities it works in, while bringing traditional Indigenous knowledge into what it does. What SmartICE does is provide data on sea-ice thickness and local ice conditions to 23 Inuit communities in Labrador and the Arctic. The company has a production facility in Nain where it teaches Inuit youth how to build the technology it uses, which has been a great success so far. Now, thanks to a US$500,000 grant from the Climate Change Resilience Fund, SmartICE is developing a new holistic program to provide Inuit youth with the skills to create ice travel safety maps using satellite imagery and Inuit sea-ice terminology. Trevor Bell, the founding director of SmartICE, said the need for the maps had been identified by the communities and will address what is seen by residents as a gap in service and knowledge. Bell said there currently are sea-ice charts created by the federal government for shipping purposes in the Arctic, but they don’t meet the needs of people travelling on sea ice for a number of reasons, so that’s where these maps will come in. The Sikumik Qaujimajjuti (which roughly translates to "tool to know how the ice is") project will train the company’s community operators to make maps at the right temporal and spatial scale using Inuktitut terminology and traditional knowledge of the ice, combined with SmartICE observations and satellite imagery. The satellite imagery already exists, Bell said, and SmartICE will use the same source material as the government, but through a different lens. While it would be possible to train the federal ice analysts to make maps at the right scale for communities, he said, in reality many of those analysts have never been on community sea ice before. “They probably have no idea what it’s like to travel on the ice and therefore it’s not appropriate. The community wouldn’t trust those maps made by somebody else,” Bell said. “When it’s made by one of their own, using their own knowledge, using their own language, using their own observations, that’s something that’s really useful for communities.” Rex Holwell, the SmartICE Northern Production Centre and regional operations lead for Nunatsiavut, will run the program in Nain, and is learning how to make the maps. Holwell said people out on sea ice are using topographical maps on their GPS devices, and these new ice travel safety maps will be a significant improvement. Holwell said the technical skills the youths will learn in the community will be transferable to other work, similar to the program offered at the northern production centre in Nain, and will help them gain more traditional knowledge. “The ice knowledge my grandfather had isn’t necessarily as embedded as it should be in my son, for example,” he said. “I have freezers full of food, we have food storage here in Nain, so that ability, that need, of travelling on the sea ice is not there for the younger generation.” Bell said that gap in knowledge was highlighted by Inuit elders and was part of the impetus for this project. Using Inuit terminology on the maps will also help in that regard, he said, as well as add more nuanced descriptions. In western science there are about 15 words that describe different types of ice, he said, and the terms are designed with the idea of informing a ship captain the easiest route through the ice. In Inuktitut there are up over 75 different terms for ice, depending on the region. “There’s different terminology for different seasons, for freeze up, the dark season, break up, and those words may be a single Inuktitut word but to the people who hear or read it, it describes a feature, tells them what season it’s in, probably tells you what the weather was likely recently or tells you about safety,” he said. “Terminology is so rich and it’s so crucial to strengthen that traditional knowledge and terminology because as Inuit say, when you’re out on the ice that’s what keeps us safe.” Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
Shawinigan – Tous les superhéros accomplissent des miracles, c'est bien connu. Nino Mancuso, le grand patron du Shawicon et son équipe en ont réalisé un également dans les dernières semaines, alors qu'ils ont réussi l'exploit de mettre sur pieds la sixième édition de l'événement, dans tout le contexte que l'on connaît, tout en s'assurant au passage la présence de grandes pointures du milieu du divertissement d'ici et d'ailleurs. Nino Mancuso ne s'en cache pas : l'édition 2021 n'avait rien à voir avec les précédentes. «Ça a été bien, bien, bien différent des autres années!» sourit-il, d'emblée. «Jusqu'en décembre, on n'était pas sûr de ce qu'on ferait. Avec les décisions du gouvernement, c'était difficile de se brancher», exprime-t-il. Non seulement fallait-il avoir le feu vert, mais tout était à faire pour l'organisation. «D'habitude, on se prépare dès le mois de mai ou juin, on avait donc un gros retard en partant dans la préparation et c'est quand même beaucoup de travail», concède le principal intéressé. Cette édition «bien, bien, bien» différente aura tout de même ouvert de belles possibilités à M. Mancuso et son équipe. «Avec la pandémie, on a eu la chance d'avoir des gros noms qu'on n'aurait pas pu avoir sinon. Qu'on pense à Bonnie Wright qui a joué dans Harry Potter ou à la gang de ''Dans une galaxie près de chez vous'' que j'essayais d'avoir depuis la première édition mais dont les acteurs ne pouvaient jamais tous en même temps parce qu'ils étaient sur un tournage, au théâtre. On a profité de cette situation. Ça a été bénéfique.» Nino Mancuso est par ailleurs convaincu d'avoir fait bonne impression auprès des vedettes de cette année et de leurs agents, ce qui, estime-t-il, ne nuira pas dans un futur proche. «C'est quand même compliqué d'atteindre certaines vedettes. J'ai été chanceux, j'ai contacté de grandes compagnies qui m'ont répondu. Tout le monde est super content, les invités ont eu beaucoup de plaisir et les artistes ont adoré la réaction des fans qui ont participé et nous ont suivi en grand nombre. C'était assez fou», se réjouit-il. L'événement se fait une fierté d'avoir été l'un des premiers en son genre à être offert totalement gratuitement aux passionnés du genre. «On a gravi un échelon de plus en tenant quelque chose de numérique. On est bien fiers d'avoir pu l'offrir gratuitement aux gens.» À peine l'édition 2021 terminée, l'organisation planchera logiquement sur la septième présentation de l'événement à pareille date l'an prochain. «On va commencer tranquillement. On est toujours un peu dans l'attente. Chose certaine, il y a des trucs qui vont changer, on va essayer quelque chose de nouveau», a laissé entendre M. Mancuso. En 2020, le Shawicon avait amené plus de 266 000$ en retombées économiques pour la ville de Shawinigan. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
LOS ANGELES — Chloé Zhao became the second woman to win best director at the Golden Globes and the first female winner of Asian descent on a night in which her film “Nomadland” was crowned the top drama film. Zhao, who was among three women nominated in the directing category, was honoured for her work on “Nomadland,” about people who take to the road and move from place to place seeking work for usually low wages. It stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand and includes nonprofessional actors. “I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us,” Zhao said, accepting the directing honour virtually on Sunday night. She singled out real-life nomad Bob Wells, who appears in the movie, for help with her remarks. “This is what he said about compassion,” Zhao said. “Compassion is the breakdown of all the barriers between us. A heart to heart pounding. Your pain is my pain. It’s mingled and shared between us.” The 38-year-old director who lives in Los Angeles is a leading Oscar contender for “Nomadland,” which is in select theatres and streaming on Hulu. “Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together and it gives us a chance to learn from each other and to have more compassion for each other,” Zhao said in her acceptance remarks. “So thank you everyone who made it possible to do what I love.” She joins Barbra Streisand, who won in 1984 for “Yentl,” as the only women to win directing honours at the Globes. Until this year, just five women had been nominated in the category. “Sometimes a first feels like a long time coming. You feel like, it’s about time,” Zhao said in virtual backstage comments. “I’m sure there’s many others before me that deserve the same recognition. If this means more people like me get to live their dreams and do what I do, I’m happy.” Regina King ("One Night in Miami...") and Emerald Fennell ("Promising Young Woman") were the other female director nominees. Zhao also was nominated for best motion picture screenplay and lost to Aaron Sorkin. McDormand received a nod for actress in a motion picture drama, but lost. Born in China, Zhao made her feature directing debut in 2015 with “Songs My Brother Taught Me.” She broke out in 2017 with “The Rider.” Next up for her is the big-budget Marvel film “Eternals,” set for release this fall. Beth Harris, The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Jonathan Suárez's contact was terminated by Major League Soccer's Orlando City following his arrest last week. The 24-year-old, whose full name is Jonathan Suárez Cortes, and brother Rafael Suárez were arrested Feb. 23 and accused of sexually assaulting a woman, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. Major League Soccer suspended the player last week pending an investigation. Jonathan Suárez had been acquired on loan from Mexico's Querétaro last month. Orlando City said in a statement Sunday that Suárez's contract had been terminated “with the defender mutually agreeing to the termination in order to focus on the allegations made against him." ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
(Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada - image credit) A policy that prohibits nurses from making house calls is endangering lives, especially when they cannot be transported to a health centre in timely manner, according to an N.W.T. MLA. "In June 2020, we lost an elder in Deninu Kųę́ [First Nation] who was in medical distress and the local nursing staff were bound by policy or procedure and were not able to respond," Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn said in the Legislative Assembly Friday. The elder was only a few hundred metres from the health centre, said Norn. Community members phoning for a medical emergency must be transported by a friend or RCMP to get the medical attention they need, he said. This resulted in a second death in the community, said Norn. "We lost another resident who could have very well been still with us if there was a swift response to attend to their emergency. There was valuable time lost because of response in transportation of a patient to the health centre." Community health nurses not first responders: minister Health Minister Julie Green replied that "first responders have a different skill set," and the problem lies with getting patients to the health centre. A policy from November 2019 prohibits community health nurses from leaving the health care centre in order to provide emergency services. Green said there is a gap in ambulance services needed to transport people. That responsibility falls under the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, which she said is working on the issue.
RIO DE JANEIRO — On the morning of Feb. 10, a cyclist chugged his way up the curves of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular sport cycling road. A familiar scent wafted in the air. It was the smell of jackfruit, vaguely cloying and ripe with peril. Without warning, one fruit plummeted from the heavily laden canopy of Tijuca National Park. It hit the cyclist on the head, cracking his helmet and sending him sprawling. There had long been stories of the world’s largest tree-borne fruit divebombing passersby. Now it was no longer urban legend, and that was potential trouble for Marisa Furtado and Pedro Lobão, a couple who have taken up the challenge of rehabilitating the fruit’s public image. Jackfruit is abundant during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer, but many Brazilians are loath to eat it. Historically, it has been consumed more by the poor or enslaved; in barbecue-mad Brazil, the idea of fruit substituting for meat is viewed with suspicion. It’s considered an invasive species, even if it arrived here centuries ago. Ecologists disdain it for crowding out native species in 13 federal conservation units across Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, especially Tijuca park, one of the world’s largest urban forests. And now cyclists spreading news of the accident on message groups and Facebook were accusing the fruit of assault. One posted that he had skidded out on jackfruit. Others shared close calls, like a jackfruit exploding so close it splattered a bike’s spokes with shrapnel. Riding under jackfruit, another said, was like Russian roulette. But this isn’t the jackfruit Furtado knows and loves. Furtado, 57, drinks a jackfruit smoothie every day. She dreams of a pilgrimage to the jackfruit’s point of origin, India. Her 2020 Christmas card? A photo of herself beside a whopping, 73-pound jackfruit -- enough to prepare roughly 150 dishes. Its Yuletide message: “May abundance be with you all in 2021”. She and her 54-year-old boyfriend, Lobão, collect unripe jackfruits from trees, process them for sale, donate whatever they can’t unload, and share free recipes. She rattles off entrees -- jackfruit cod, jackfruit lasagna, jackfruit pie, jackfruit tenderloin -- and insists that they are both tasty and nutritious. “History loads the jackfruit with prejudice. Today we hear about the jackfruit that stinks, ... the violent jackfruit, the invasive jackfruit,” Furtado said. “It’s true: Jackfruit adapted very well. So everyone who adapted this well to Brazil should be exterminated?” ___ In the 17th century, the Portuguese transported jackfruit seedlings to Brazil, where it was visual curiosity, and the tree soon reached Rio, according to Rogério Oliveira, an environmental and ecological history specialist. Rio’s forest was getting cleared for timber, charcoal, coffee and sugar cane plantations, said Oliveira, an associate professor at Rio’s Pontifical Catholic University (PUC). The emperor ordered massive reforestation. Jackfruit thrived in the degraded soil and produced gargantuan fruit that crashed to the ground and tumbled downhill, scattering seeds. The trees -- which can reach 80 feet tall -- took root, anchoring the soil and feeding animals. Thirty-four vertebrates in Brazil partake, including agoutis and black capuchin monkeys, according to a paper that journal Tropical Ecology published this month. Endangered golden-headed lion tamarins, too. Population densities are higher where jackfruit is their primary food. That belies potential problems, said Rodolfo Abreu, an ecology professor at Rio’s Federal Rural University. “Instead of favouring diversity of fauna, of amphibians, of insects, you prioritize those who use jackfruit. You simplify the tropical chain,” said Abreu, a biologist who has studied jackfruit’s invasiveness. “Some rare species start to disappear, or become rarer.” To the extent Brazilian humans consume jackfruit, it’s mostly eaten ripe. It tastes like a combination of pear and banana. Unripe jackfruit is used in savory dishes. In India, jackfruit has been a meat alternative for centuries, even called “tree goat” in West Bengal state, says Shree Padre, a farming magazine editor. Once considered a poor person’s crop, cultivation and export have increased, coinciding with global interest in the “superfood,” he said. In Rio’s tony Ipanema neighbourhood, plant-based restaurant Teva’ s top-selling appetizer is BBQ jackfruit tacos, said head chef Daniel Biron. His clientele is often surprised by a fruit normally encountered littering trails in a state of pungent rot. “They’re impacted because they start to open their minds to a universe they didn’t know,” said Biron, 44. “The jackfruit has that capacity.” Furtado and Lobao’s organization is Hand in the Jackfruit ( Mao na Jaca, in Portuguese), a twist on the phrase “foot in the jackfruit,” which means to slip up or go too far. The expression is evocative for anyone who has plunged a Havaiana sandal into decomposing mush, from which seeds protrude like garlic cloves. On a recent day, Furtado and Lobão loaded 139 pounds of seeds into a squeaky shopping cart for delivery to a chef in Babilonia, one of Rio’s hillside favelas. Regina Tchelly, who hails from poor, northeastern Paraiba state, enjoyed jackfruit flesh and roasted seeds as a girl. In 2018, with money tight, she dreamt up a spin on shredded chicken dumplings made from jackfruit. It sold like crazy, said Tchelly, who runs culinary project Favela Organica. Tchelly swapped some recipes, like her jackfruit seed ceviche, for Furtado’s seeds. She says jackfruit could end Brazilian hunger -- a fresh concern after the government ended COVID-19 welfare payments. “It’s a food that’s so abundant, and the jackfruit can bring lots of nutrients to your body and be a source of income,” Tchelly said. ___ During the pandemic, the road into Tijuca park has become an ideal venue for socially-distanced exercise, and so potential jackfruit targets abound. Some cyclists contacted authorities after the accident, demanding action that could include cutting overhead branches or tree removal. “Before, removal of jackfruit trees was an internal issue of the park. But now there are jackfruits threatening lives!” said Raphael Pazos, 46, founder of Rio de Janeiro’s Cycling Safety Commission. “If he hadn’t been wearing a helmet, or if it had fallen on a 4-year-old, it could’ve killed.” By phone, Furtado tried to calm the outcry by reaching out to cyclists, including the one who was struck. He declined AP interview requests. She sought to steer them toward mapping jackfruit trees’ locations, posting signs about their benefits and organizing collection of fruit. Along the road, she said, jackfruits could be snagged using a truck-mounted crane then donated to surrounding communities, with Hand in the Jackfruit holding workshops to teach the sticky, labour-intensive art of processing. She spoke at length with Tijuca park’s co-ordinator, too, and made her case. Furtado acknowledges the importance of diversity, but argues a centuries-old Brazilian resident shouldn’t be cast out of the garden. “It’s an inheritance that needs to be valued, from the social, economic, cultural and environmental points of view,” she posted on Instagram. “Eradicating it would be a huge error and part of the arrogance of those who don’t perceive life is dynamic.” But some scientists disagreed -- at least as far as Tijuca park is concerned. “I’m 100% in the camp of taking it out from the park; it’s exotic, we don’t need it, human livelihoods aren’t depending on it,” said Emilio Bruna, president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. “Outside the park, we can have this conversation.” PUC’s Oliveira said there’s no doubt ecologically that native species should be substituted for jackfruit in Tijuca park. But in urban areas, it's free fruit for people who don’t always have access to it. Further, it’s apparently not as invasive as believed, he said. It becomes hyper-dominant where soil is degraded, but an experiment of his showed seeds didn’t germinate in robust forest. “A good forest has a certain amount of defence against the jackfruit tree,” he said. He said populations should be managed through girdling: slicing off a bark ring, which usually kills a tree in months. Abreu said herbicide injection is more effective, and his models indicate killing 5-10% of mature trees annually is enough to put a given population on the decline. The government’s management plan for Tijuca park says jackfruit eradication should be prioritized; some 2,000 trees were girdled there between 2016 and 2017. It isn’t clear what percentage of the park’s total that represented, Abreu said. ___ On Feb. 21, cyclists from the safety commission convened at Tijuca park’s entrance. Furtado’s efforts had worked -- to some degree. They embraced her proposal to collect and distribute jackfruit to surrounding communities, and decided to present it at the next meeting of the park’s consultative council, where the commission holds a seat. “We didn’t even know an association that did this existed,” Pazos said after the meeting, standing beside his bike. “There’s no way to dislike the idea of giving food to the population.” They supported emergency collection by Hand in the Jackfruit, too, but still favoured girdling all roadside jackfruit trees. He pointed out that another jackfruit had dropped just downhill, smack in the middle of the road. Furtado concedes a few roadside trees could be removed as a last resort if collection or pruning proves impossible, and after careful impact study. She vehemently opposes girdling or herbicide, and believes in management through consumption. “If we eat the jackfruit and their seeds,” she said, “we can contain them.” ___ AP writer Aniruddha Ghosal contributed from New Delhi David Biller, The Associated Press