The two COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, both use new mRNA technology, but they differ on timing for the second shot, as well as storage and transportation requirements.
The two COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, both use new mRNA technology, but they differ on timing for the second shot, as well as storage and transportation requirements.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Local internet company Eh!Tel will be applying for a share of federal money aimed at building up internet through a program called “Rapid Response.” Both Southgate and Melancthon township agreed last week to write letters of support. All rural municipalities have been hearing from residents about the need for more reliable internet over the past year, with so many jobs services pivoting online. The company has projects underway using SWIFT funding in Melancthon in the Horning’s Mills-Redickville areas and in Southgate in the Dromore-Holstein-Varney. The company, based in Holstein, is proposing to put fibre in the ground from Dromore to Dundalk. The route hasn’t been determined, Southgate CAO Dave Milliner told council, but would likely go along County Road 9. Other projects could then be done to take the fibre down sideroads. Eh-Tel has a project in the Badjeros area and has fibre in the ground in Dundalk itself, including the main Flato subdivision site. “Rapid Response Funding” is a federal first come-first serve program with $150M. Applications have since closed and the projects must be completed by mid-October. Being federal, the grant doesn’t use the same mapping as SWIFT, which now has that area marked as served. Another local provider satisfied the municipal-based body that it could supply internet on request. M.T. Fernandes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Dundalk Herald
Bon an mal an, quand le mois de janvier s’installe dans la région de Chibougamau-Chapais, la population se prépare à une période active. C’est que, dans notre beau coin de pays, les gens aiment bouger. Les activités hivernales sont fort nombreuses de la mi-janvier jusqu’à la fin de la semaine de relâche au début du mois de mars et même au-delà. Ces activités génèrent des revenus importants pour certains commerçants. Que ces activités soient des sports mécanisés ou des sports plus physiques, à chaque fin de semaine, il y a une ou des activités. Mais, cette année, la situation sera vraiment très différente. La pandémie aura chamboulé bien des habitudes qui sont ancrées chez les Jamésiens depuis plusieurs décennies et qui apportent leur lot de visiteurs et de retombées qui ne seront pas au rendez-vous cette année. Cette perte s’ajoute à tout ce que la COVID a déjà couté en revenus à la région. Les gens de Tourisme Baie-James sont bien au fait de l’absence de cette manne. Le secteur des festivals et évènements est un pôle majeur pour l’industrie touristique. C'est un des secteurs qui est le plus durement touché actuellement avec l'annulation de la grande majorité des évènements depuis mars 2020 et pour une bonne partie de 2021. Au-delà des consignes sanitaires et du couvre-feu, les évènements et festivals ont besoin de commanditaires pour boucler leur budget. « Pour la plupart, ils sont gérés par des équipes de bénévoles et dépendent de l'appui de plusieurs partenaires qui sont, avec raison, plus réticents à donner leur appui financier et qui le demeureront encore pour une bonne partie de l'année », de mentionner le président de Tourisme Baie-James, Alexandre-Maxim Jacob. « Ce que je souhaite, c'est qu'on puisse retrouver un contexte favorable rapidement avec la campagne de vaccination qui est cours actuellement, que les partenaires répondent présent et que chaque organisation puisse récupérer un maximum de bénévoles pour repartir la machine lorsqu'elles auront le feu vert de la santé publique,» affirme M. Jacob qui siège aussi comme représentant du secteur attrait, évènement et festival. Tourisme Baie-James continue de faire des représentations afin de pouvoir soutenir ses membres et limiter les dégâts causés par la pandémie car plusieurs organisations doivent assumer des couts fixes récurrents avec un revenu quasi inexistant. Tous annulés Quand on fait un rapide tour de la situation des évènements et festivals dans la région, tous ont dû déclarer forfait. Que l’on pense aux quatre randonnées pour les motoneiges antiques, le Super Rallye minoune du Club Auto-neige de Chibougamau, le Défi polaire de Chapais et la randonnée de l’Association des minounes extrêmes de Chibougamau (AMEC) qui se fait en pleine ville et, bien entendu, le Rallye du président du Festival Folifrets, le crosscountry et toutes les autres activités qui y sont reliées lors de la semaine de relance du début mars. Le monde des sports sur glace est aussi touché, que ce soit le patinage artistique, bien sûr le hockey avec les activités du hockey mineur, le tournoi mineur et les tournois pour adultes. Les retombées de toutes ces activités ne peuvent se chiffrer au moment d’écrire ces lignes mais, surement, qu’elles se comptent en milliers de dollars. Renverser la tendance Selon les statistiques, les amateurs de loisirs et de sports d’hiver sont de plus en plus nombreux au Québec et, cette année, notre région a été une des seules au Québec à pouvoir profiter des sports hivernaux puisque le couvert de neige était presque inexistant ailleurs en province, particulièrement dans le monde de la motoneige. La situation sanitaire n’a malheureusement pas pu bénéficier à nos commerçants au maximum, mais il faut prendre la balle au bond et se préparer pour attirer les visiteurs dans les années à venir. Les données des retombées touristiques en hiver pour le Nord-du-Québec ne sont pas disponibles sur les sites gouvernementaux mais, quand on regarde la tendance au Québec, on remarque une augmentation de la fréquentation du tourisme hivernal en provenance du reste de notre province. Dans les mois à venir, le Québec aura le gout de se réinventer tout en encourageant les gens d’ici. Quand ce sera possible, nous aurons une chance incroyable de vendre la plus belle région du Québec : la nôtre.René Martel, Initiative de journalisme local, La Sentinelle
ROCKY MOUNT, Va. — Two Virginia police officers charged in the storming of the U.S. Capitol in Washington earlier this month have been fired, a town official announced Tuesday. Rocky Mount Town Manager James Ervin announced the firings in a statement, but did not provide any additional details on the firing of former Sgt. Thomas “T.J.” Robertson and former Officer Jacob Fracker, The Roanoke Times reported. The town had no precedent to refer to for how to deal with this situation, Ervin wrote. “The events of the past few weeks have been challenging for our town, as they have been for the entire nation. The actions by two have driven our beautiful town into the national spotlight in ways that do not reflect our whole community and the people who call Rocky Mount home.” Ervin said in the statement. Robertson had told the newspaper he and Fracker received letters of termination from the town Friday, offering them the opportunity to resign before the firing took effect. Fracker, reached via text message, declined to comment Tuesday. Federal authorities have charged Robertson, 47, and Fracker, 29, with a misdemeanouroffence of knowingly entering a restricted building without authority to do so to engage in conduct that disrupts government business. They also face a petty offence of engaging in disruptive conduct in the Capitol in order to interfere with a session of Congress. The maximum penalty for the misdemeanour is a year in jail. The maximum penalty for the petty offence is six months. In a selfie Fracker took inside the Capitol Crypt on Jan. 6, Fracker is making an obscene gesture. Robertson is pointing at Fracker while holding a wooden pole. Both officers have repeatedly said they did nothing illegal and did not participate in any of the violence that unfolded Jan. 6. The Associated Press
With the Canadian government one step closer to classifying The Proud Boys a terrorist entity, it changes how the legal system treats its members.
The Safety Patrol at Swan Hills School is working hard to help their classmates get to and from school safely. Each school day, a team of patrollers arrives at the school early in the morning, and a team stays after school in the afternoon to guide pedestrians in safely crossing the street in front of the school. The Swan Hills School has had a Safety Patrol Program for many years, although the program had lapsed for a few years before being revived in 2015. Brenda Kuyek has been the program’s coordinator since it was reinstated and reports that “it has been a wonderful experience to work with the students and the district AMA Coordinator.” The Swan Hills Safety Patrol has achieved great success, earning the Silver Safety Standard award in the 2016 – 2017 school year, the Bronze Safety Standard award in 2017 – 2018, and a Gold Safety Standard award in 2018 – 2019. Unfortunately, the program came to an abrupt end last year due to COVID-19. The Safety Patrol at the Swan Hills School is comprised of students from grades 4, 5, and 6. Several of the current patrollers have participated in the program for three years; these more experienced patrollers are usually recognized and become Lead Patrollers. The Safety Patrol team usually meets every few months to review protocols and practices. Patrollers are usually out at the entrance to the teacher’s parking lot from 8:15 to 8:25 AM and from 3:20 to 3:40 PM. There is almost always an adult supervisor when the patrollers are on duty. The patroller’s weekly schedule is drawn up around student and parent preferences. Generally, the students who arrive at the school early are on the morning shifts, and the students who are picked up by parents or walk home from school are on the afternoon shifts. The School Safety Patrol Program in Alberta is sponsored by the Alberta Motor Association (AMA), with more than 500 schools and 17,000 students enrolled in the program across the province. AMA’s district coordinators ensure that the school Safety Patrol Programs have the appropriate supplies, such as safety vests, signs, pins, and certificates. AMA also funds and provides the training for this program, which usually involves the district coordinator visiting the school in the fall and spring to work with the students. The COVID-19 health restrictions did not allow for onsite training when school started up again this past fall, so a combination of online resources and videos was utilized under the supervision of the school’s program coordinator. The safety of the students in the Safety Patrol is of the utmost importance. The school usually tries to remind parents of their role in keeping students safe at the crosswalk through communications in the school newsletter, school announcements, and notes sent home with students. Sometimes the local RCMP and Peace Officer will make an appearance to show their support and to ensure that motorists are obeying the rules of the road. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Twitter said, with the new product, academic researchers will be able to tap into all the tools released to date on the new API platform, which will enable them to listen to and analyze public conversations. The data will not, however, include tweets from accounts suspended for violations of Twitter rules, which means academics will be unable to use the API to study tweets by former U.S. President Donald Trump, company executives told reporters on Monday.
REGINA — Saskatchewan's social services minister says the province will soon end the practice of social workers and health-care staff informing child-welfare officials when a baby is born to a mother deemed high risk. Lori Carr says the Saskatchewan Party government heard from First Nations groups who want to see an end to so-called birth alerts. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations and other advocates from across Canada say these alerts are disproportionately used against Indigenous mothers and contribute to high numbers of their newborns being taken into care. The final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) called on governments and child-welfare agencies to end the practice. "I do share the concerns. They made it clear that they did not like the practice. They found it insulting," Carr said on Tuesday. "I don't see any reason why we wouldn't change this practice and stop using birth alerts." The Saskatchewan government said 53 of 76 alerts issued last year involved Indigenous women. It said not every report leads to an apprehension. Ministry data shows most of the newborns taken into care from 2016 to 2020, regardless of whether they were the subject of a birth alert, were Indigenous. Of the 98 babies apprehended in 2020 — 60 of whom were Indigenous — 17 of all those children have been returned home, a spokeswoman added. Carr said the practice is to end on Feb. 1. The ministry, she said, will work with community groups to support expectant mothers and ensure hospital staff contact these groups if there are concerns. "We'll just make sure that mother is in contact with their right community-based organization to get the best help at that point in time." "As we move forward, it's just honestly working so closely with those community-based organizations and our health-care professionals to ensure that nobody does fall through the cracks and that they get the right service at the right time." Saskatchewan is the latest province to announce plans to do away with the practice. Following the release of the MMIWG's final report in 2019, the province's former social services minister said newborn apprehensions happened in extreme circumstances and family reunification was always the goal. The government said at the time it would continue with the alerts until an alternative could be found. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2020 Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
The N.W.T. Housing Corporation is introducing a program to help more residents become homeowners. A lease-to-own policy will "support expanding homeownership through either the conversion of our homeownership renting portfolio or through the sale of public housing," the corporation said in a news release. The territorial government said that would mean providing the opportunity for people to purchase a range of 221 homes currently offered for rent. The program will be available to "all income-earning families" who live in detached public housing and can afford to maintain and operate their own home, the corporation said. “We must look for creative ways to address housing needs while creating opportunities for residents to become homeowners where possible,” housing minister Paulie Chinna was quoted as saying. “The units will be in good condition and healthy and safe to occupy. New homeowners will have full access to the N.W.T. Housing Corporation's repair programs, including access to building supplies and services from local housing organizations in communities where they are not available.” The corporation said it was in the process of advising tenants whether they are eligible. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
A group of doctors and advocates are calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to address what they call a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in long-term care homes by bringing the military back for support and embarking on hiring and training drives.
With British star Chris Froome and Ottawa's Michael Woods leading the way this year, Canadian-born co-owner Sylvan Adams has big plans for the Israel Start-Up Nation team. And they go well beyond mere success in the cycling world. In convincing the Giro d'Italia to start the 2018 race with three stages in Israel, the 62-year-old from Montreal showcased his adopted country. "The entire country was on display, for three glorious days … Basically we had hundred of millions of first-time visitors to Israel, via their TV screens, seeing it in an unvarnished way" Adams said. Staging the start of the race in Israel reportedly cost millions, with Adams stepping up to help make it happen. After emigrating to Israel with his wife in late 2015 following a successful career as president and CEO of Iberville Developments, a large real-estate company, Adams had business cards printed up with the title "Self-appointed ambassador at large for Israel.” "And I decided I'm going to devote this chapter of my life to promoting my new country, my adopted country, using sporting and other cultural activities to show what I call the true face of Israel," Adams said in an interview from Spain where his team was in pre-season training. For Adams, Israel is a country open, tolerant, diverse and fiercely democratic. '"And of course we're a safe country. People don't realize it because of the news cycle," he said. "My projects are kind of trying to show the rest of the world this normal Israel." "I'm not blaming the journalists. Good news doesn't sell," he added with a laugh. Adams is spreading his largesse. He helped build a velodrome in Tel Aviv and donated some $39 million for a new emergency care wing at a Tel Aviv hospital. He has also created the Sylvan Adams Sports Institute (SASI) at Tel Aviv University, a facility dedicated to sports science that has partnered with Montreal's McGill University. There is also the Sylvan Adams commuter cycling path network in Tel Aviv. In addition to being co-owner of Israel Start-Up Nation, Adams is also team CEO. He negotiated the deals to bring Woods and Froome into the fold. "I'm very actively involved in the team. It does take up a significant amount of my time," said Adams. Asked if anyone makes money from pro cycling, Adams chuckles. "Not me, that's for sure," he said. "If somebody does, it can't be big money … You'll not get rich in the sport of cycling, sadly. And for me it's quite the opposite. I've put a lot of my of my own personal funds into the bike team. And I'm hoping with success, we'll bring on some more commercial sponsorships." By having Israel rather than a sponsor in the team name, he knows he is missing out on a major source of sponsorship. But he pledges that Israel will always be front and centre. Still, that doesn't stop him from hoping the Israeli government ups its current support of the team. Right now, he gets "very small sponsorship" from the Israeli ministry of tourism. While Adams' cycling team had moments to savour in 2020 — British rider Alex Dowsett won Stage 8 of the Giro while Ireland's Dan Martin took Stage 3 of the Spanish Vuelta (Woods won Stage 7 with his former team) — Adams is looking for significant improvements this season. That's because his team didn't get its WorldTour licence until the last day possible before the 2020 season, buying it from the Katusha-Alpecin team. In essence, last year's squad was built as a lower-tier Pro Continental team. "We had some good riders certainly — Andre Greipel and Dan Martin — so we were a fair team," said Adams. "But this year we're a real WorldTour team. We built the roster because we know we are in the WorldTour. And we built the roster with certain goals in mind. "We're a vastly improved team and we hope to make some noise this season." Adams goes back with Woods, whom he first heard about from Montreal's Paulo Saldanha, now Israel Start-Up Nation's performance manager. A former Ironman triathlete, Saldanha runs a string of training studios under the PowerWatts name. Saldanha was working with another rider, who tipped him off to Woods' potential in 2013. A former elite distance runner, Woods had switched to cycling after a string of foot injuries — breaking his foot for the final time in the fall of 2011. Adams had worked with Saldanha before, telling him to keep him posted if he came across a promising prospect who needed some financial help. They had tried it a few times without much success. Then came Woods. "I get a call from Paulo and he says 'Sylvan, I've just tested this guy and he's the best athlete I've ever tested from an endurance sport, natural physical gifts perspective.'" Adams provided the help anonymously until Saldanha eventually introduced him to Woods, who had been working as a bank teller as well as weekends in a bike shop, as his benefactor. Older than most aspiring pros, Woods was not that attractive a prospect for some. "If it wasn't for Paulo and Sylvan, I wouldn't be a pro cyclist," Woods said. "They took a big chance on me and helped me out when I first started." Adams' message to Woods was simple. You have a job any time with my team, but best you wait until it reaches the top echelon. "The rest is history," said Adams. "He climbed through the ranks at various level of the sport." In September 2019, Adams went to the UCI Road World Cycling Championships in Harrogate, England. As member of the Canadian camp, he rode with the team on their reconnaissance ride before the race. He reiterated his job offer. A year later, Woods opted to leave the Education First Pro Cycling team to join Adams in 2021. Adams is no stranger to digging into his pocket for cycling, backing the Canadian-based SpiderTech team — run by former Canadian star rider Steve Bauer — that eventually ceased operations in 2012. After moving to Israel, he had a chance to get back into the sport by buying into a team that was then called the Israel Cycling Academy. "Instead of being a small player like I was in SpiderTech, well I became the biggest player," he said. "It's worked out really well. I think the team is a great ambassador for the country." Other Canadians on the Israeli team include Ottawa's Alex Cataford, and Montreal's Guillaume Boivin and James Piccoli. There are three other Canadians on the team's developmental squad and more on the team staff including the chief mechanic. "There's a lot of Canadian content on our team … And I'm eager to have our team seen not only as Israel's team but also as Canada's team," said Adams. "I'm here for Canada," he added. But the marquee addition in 2021 is Froome, a four-time Tour de France winner who came over from Team Ineos. "One of the reasons I'm excited about having Chris Froome and having a much better team is everybody pays attention to the winner," Adams said. "So it brings us more positive attention and I'm all for it." Woods also points to the addition of South Africa's Daryl Impey, a two-time winner of the Tour Down Under, and Belgian's Sep Vanmarcke. "We've got a really strong roster," said Woods. "I think we've certainly going to be one of the top teams this year." An avid cyclist who took up the sport at age 41, Adams' masters' resume includes six Canadian titles, four Pan American gold medals, four Maccabiah Games gold medals, two World Championships titles and the Israeli championship. "He's larger than life in many ways. A great guy," said Woods. "Sylvan has done a lot for cycling in Canada. Most of the time in a quiet way," added Quebec's Hugo Houle, who rides for the Astana-Premier Tech team. "But he's definitely a big big helper. I have a lot of respect for what he's doing now with Israel Start-Up Nation. The team's getting really big and really great." Adams remains connected to Canada with one of his kids in Vancouver and another in Montreal. Two others are based in Los Angeles. --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — British Columbia's public safety minister says a Vancouver couple accused of flying to Yukon to get a COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most "despicable" things he's heard in a long time. Mike Farnworth says the alleged actions of former Great Canadian Gaming Corp. CEO Rodney Baker and his wife Ekaterina Baker show a "complete lack of any sort of ethical or moral compass." Tickets filed in a Whitehorse court show the 55-year-old man and his 32-year-old wife were each charged with failing to self-isolate for 14 days and failing to act in a manner consistent with their declarations upon arriving in Yukon. The allegations against them have not been proven in court and the tickets indicate the couple can challenge them. Ekaterina Baker did not immediately respond to calls and emails requesting comment while Rodney Baker did not immediately return a request for comment sent to Great Canadian Gaming, which accepted his resignation Sunday. Farnworth said the couple paid a "pretty high price," with Rodney Baker losing what the minister described as a "$10-million-a-year job." An information circular published by Great Canadian Gaming in March 2020 says Baker earned a total of about $6.7 million in compensation from the company in 2019. The tickets were issued on Thursday under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act and both people face fines of $1,000, plus fees. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
In response to residents’ concerns about construction plans in Small’s Creek Ravine, Metrolinx is meeting with the community in a series of workshops and is also hosting a public online open house on Feb. 3. Metrolinx’s rail corridor expansion plans include expanding the railway from three to four tracks in a segment that runs through Small’s Creek, which is in the Woodbine Avenue to Coxwell Avenue and Gerrard Street East area. The proposed construction would remove 268 trees and other environmental impacts that prompted residents to organize a campaign called Save Small’s Creek. The campaign gathered almost 6,000 signatures in an online petition, from residents across the neighbourhood, eager to see a better construction plan in which a high number of trees would not be removed. Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford is also hosting a stakeholder meeting with the city’s Urban Forestry department this week to determine the steps necessary to minimize tree loss, his office confirmed. Metrolinx will host its virtual open house on Wednesday, Feb. 3 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the Lakeshore East Corridor Expansion Project. Residents can participate by visiting www.metrolinxengage.com/en/lakeshore-east-live-event The open house will feature a presentation from Capital Projects Group executive vice president Stephanie Davies and vice president of pre-construction services Jason Ryan. A question and answer session will follow. For more on the plans for Small’s Creek, please see Beach Metro News’ earlier story at https://www.beachmetro.com/2021/01/04/save-smalls-creek-group-formed-to-protest-metrolinx-plans-to-cut-down-trees-build-new-culvert-for-railway-track-expansion/ Ali Raza, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Beach Metro News
NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — A jersey, puck and stick signed by hockey legend Wayne Gretzky are among Ontario museum items up for auction.The 42-year-old a Guinness World Records Museum in Niagara Falls permanently closed in September.Ripley Auctions says memorabilia up for bids includes artifacts, sculpted characters, displays and exhibits.The online auction is scheduled for Feb. 12.Ripley says the museum featured visits and performances from record holders and people attempting to break records.The museum operated as a franchisee of the Guinness World Records book.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Hudson Bay council approved the cleaning of their four water reservoirs during the previous council meeting. This time, the council has approved a cleaning technique that will not disrupt water distribution with Scantron Robotics will be using a Remote Operated Vehicle machine to both inspect and clean the entire reservoir water system, including tanks, wells, cooling towers, and collection tanks. Town administrator Teresa Parkman said the recommendation is to have the reservoir cleaned every three to five years. Other cleaning techniques that were discussed at council would have distributed water distribution but the ROV will not. With the decision being made ahead of budget season in April, the cleaning costs will be put into the 2021 budget, Parkman said. The project will be put into two phases with the first phase being an inspection of the reservoirs for trouble areas and providing a roadmap for the robotic cleaning process. The water distribution will remain online as the project moves into phase two which is the cleaning and evaluation of the system. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
It has been two years since cowboy Ben Tyner disappeared. The cowboy, who hailed from Wyoming, was working as manager of the Nicola Ranch when he was last seen on Jan. 26, 2019. Two days later his horse was found on Swakum Mountain, with its rider nowhere to be seen. “Ben’s rider-less horse, discovered on a logging road off Highway 97 near Winnie Flats, prompted a large-scale search effort, which spanned multiple days and involved countless police and search and rescue resources,” said Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey, spokesman for the BC RCMP in the Southeast District. “Merritt RCMP was supported early on in its investigation by the BC RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit, who maintains conduct of the still ongoing investigation into Ben Tyner’s disappearance. Today, Ben’s parents continue to suffer with the unexplained loss of their son. Desperate to find answers to the questions they’ve been asking for years, Jennifer and Richard Tyner renew their plea for tips.” Tyner’s family released a video to Youtube asking anyone with information to come forward. “Ben’s disappearance has dramatically affected us,” said Ben’s father, Richard Tyner. “The last two years have been filled with horrendous heartache, continued hope and many, many prayers. Ben is constantly in our daily lives, through tending his horses and cattle and having his dog, Sioux, trail beside us. The working pens on the ranch are called ‘Ben’s pens’ because he built them. His friends stay in touch with us through phone calls and visits. Two scholarships have been started in his name.” Richard Tyner commented on his son’s horsemanship, and the positive qualities he possessed as a person. “Originally from Florida, we brought Ben and his brother to Wyoming at a young age. Ben has been around horses, dogs and cattle since he was born. He excelled at horsemanship and was very skilled in leather making and whip making. But, Ben was not just a cowboy. He was a voracious reader. He loved to experience new places and cultures. He spent time in Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Montana and Idaho. A year was spent importing cattle into Russia. He traveled to Australia to visit friends in 2018. “A team player, Ben was always willing to do what it took to get the job done. He was there to lend a hand whenever someone needed help. He is always going to be a gentle giant with an incredible bear hug that made you feel needed, wanted and so loved. To have to live with Ben’s loss is the most painful, excruciating experience ever,” continued Richard, becoming visibly emotional and fighting back tears. “The loss we feel is immeasurable. On this second anniversary of Ben’s disappearance, we continue to have unanswered questions. We are constantly praying that someone who knows something will come forward because Ben still needs to be found. We know that many local people have continued the search for Ben and for that we are extremely grateful. If anyone knows anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please inform the Major Crimes Unit in Kelowna as soon as possible. As always, your prayers and good wishes truly help us make it through each and every day.” RCMP did not have any new information to share with the public, but stated that the investigation remains open. “The investigation into the disappearance of Ben Tyner continues to be diligently led by the RCMP Southeast District Major Crime Unit,” said O’Donaghey. “To date, numerous investigational avenues have been explored, and in order to protect the ongoing investigation police are unable to share those findings publicly at this time. However, based on those findings, major crime investigators have reason to believe that criminality was involved in Ben Tyner's disappearance, and is the victim of a homicide. “The Tyner family is offering a private reward in the amount of $15,000 for information that leads to the location of their beloved son Ben, and to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for his death. The monetary reward is offered and will be managed solely by the Tyner family, not the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.” Morgan Hampton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Merritt Herald
CALGARY — Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe says backup goaltender Jack Campbell will be out "weeks" with a leg injury. Campbell was hurt late in Toronto's 3-2 win at Calgary on Sunday when Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk landed on him in a goal-mouth scrum. Campbell has a 2-0-0 record with a 2.00 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage so far this season. Michael Hutchinson has been pencilled in to back up starter Frederik Andersen for the Leafs, who were set to finish a two-game series with Calgary on Tuesday night. The Maple Leafs lost goaltender Aaron Dell to the waiver wire last week. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
Huronia Airport's tri-party owners pored over the various options presented by a consultant to keep the asset viable. Trent Gervais, president and CEO of Loomex Group, which was hired to prepare a detailed report around the aviation property, talked Monday evening to the three municipalities that own the 300-acre piece of property in Tiny Township. He said the airport has some crucial positive features, such as room to grow, an approximately 4,000 foot runway that can accommodate small charters, commercial and larger general aviation aircrafts, proximity to cottage country, and low tax, utilities, and fuel costs. Some downsides, as Gervais pointed out, include weak internet access, outdated machinery and equipment, outdated fuel system and lack of a flight school. In the report, he lists a number of ways the airport can be revived as a revenue-generating asset for the area. Increasing communications on various channels can not only bring in tourism and visitors, but also attract a flight school, and open up the space to events. Additional hangar spaces can be added and some of the airport building space can be leased out to other businesses. Another suggestion was to strike a partnership with Tay Township, which is the only North Simcoe municipality currently not sharing in the ownership of the airport. When the floor was opened for questions, Midland's Coun. Jon Main was the first to jump in with a query. "How have you seen the airport industry change in the pandemic and are we close to seeing it return to normal?" he asked. Gervais said it's no secret that COVID-19 has decimated the aviation industry. "Airports hurting the most are those that rely heavily on schedule service," he said, adding some airports have lost 90% of their business. Despite that, it’s still going fairly strong, said Gervais. "We also think it’s a great opportunity that when the general population gets out and moves around, it’s going to take them time to build up the trust to travel abroad," he said. "Domestic travel is a great asset. What can your airport do to attract that potential business to the area?" Tiny Township's Coun. Tony Mintoff said despite the challenges and the hardships COVID-19 has created in every other area of life, the airport's movements were up by 17% over 2019. "Our fuel sales are up 60% over last year," he said. Main asked about another use for the airport. "We have all these extreme weather events that are potentially going to be affecting us, so are the airport's emergency capabilities would be fantastic to be further explored?" he said. Gervais said that could work. "Your airport could be equipped to assist with emergency management," he said. "It could be a small evacuation shelter. It could be a small transportation hub. It could play another role. It's just an asset sitting there." Penetanguishene councillor George Vadeboncoeur wanted to know if the tri-party municipal agreement would be reviewed. Jeff Lees, chief administrative officer for Penetanguishene, said that was one of the suggestions made by Loomex and agreed upon by the three CAOs. Midland's Coun. Bill Gordon wanted to know more about the suggestion around hosting events on the airport property. "I've heard that a couple times now, and as I recall there were at least two events that were proposed and denied," he said. "Has there's been a shift in the mentality now?" Gervais clarified the types of events the report was suggesting. "What we are really encouraging is that the events should be aviation and aerospace related," he said. "They're the types of events we would encourage you to attract to the airport." Mintoff, who is part of the Huronia Airport Commission, added to that. "We've had two significant proposals brought to us," he said. "One was for a concert-type venue. We worked with the proponent, but what happened was that they were asking us to undertake all the liabilities and responsibilities, without any commitment to revenue from that opportunity. "The second opportunity was to host drag races on the airport runway," continued Mintoff. "We worked very much with the proponent to make sure we had the appropriate insurance policies, but found out that these events can create significant damage to the runways. The amount of money we were being offered wouldn't have cleaned it up." The commission, he said, understands the desire of the three host municipalities to generate revenue to offset the deficit. "We feel we have to have the right things that will generate reasonable revenue without exposing municipalities to the liabilities," Mintoff said. Gordon then asked about the airport competing with the Lake Simcoe Regional Airport in Oro-Medonte. "The Lake Simcoe (Regional) Airport is in significant growth mode and it's proven so likely to produce income," he said. "Are we really wise to be competing against our own upper tier of government when our collective tax dollars are promoting their growth?" Gervais said there's plenty of room in the airspace for all the airports. "The Lake Simcoe Regional Airport sits as part of the Southern Ontario Airport Network," he said. "Each one of those airports is defined around the type of business they're in. Although Simcoe won't turn away general aviation traffic, that's not what they're promoting. They're out there promoting the big jet traffic. "Those that are travelling to North Simcoe are going to want to land in North Simcoe," added Gervais. Gordon then asked about divestment. "Why did we choose not to look at divestment as an option?" Gervais said that wasn't part of the mandate. However, the report does include a section about divestiture. Small and medium-sized municipalities may look at selling off airports with aging infrastructures, but there are many advantages and disadvantages to consider, says the report. Selling may be difficult negotiate considering the agreements already in place with hangar owners. Private investors may not want to invest back in the airport. "Another challenge with a private airport structure is managing noise and other environmental externalities generated by airports," says the report. "Seldom, costs of noise pollution are included in the profit and loss sheet of a private airport. Often, politicians spend tax dollars to cover the costs of noise mitigation; this would remain a burden on the municipality, regardless of ownership structure, in order to calm neighbouring voters/taxpayers." As well, the Loomex report says, selling the airport to a private owner would take away municipal control over the activities at the airfield. Midland's Mayor Stewart Strathearn spoke up against divestiture. "If you divest totally of the airport, you'll never get it back," he said. He then asked about the runway capacity to allow larger planes to land. "We have a 4,000-foot runaway, can it accommodate a Dash-8? What would the range of an aircraft like that be?" he said. "If we're talking about a more focused marketing plan, tied into something like cruise ships, then you start to have people who are deposited in our area and may need to go back to, for example, Chicago." Gervais said the strip is equipped for a Dash-8 to land on it. "We'd have to look at what size, but a Dash-8 300, would have 50 to 70 passengers," he added. Strathearn also wanted to know how the Huronia Airport would stand apart from all the other airpotrs in the region that already offer flight school. Gervais' advice was to look for the niche. "There are a lot of international pilots that could be attracted," he said. "Could it be an ultra light flight school? There are a lot of unmanned aircrafts that are reaching potential. I wouldn't suggest attracting just another flight school, but what niche market can you get into that nobody else is doing?" Strathearn then asked about funding. "If this airport were to attract a charter services, what would it do to its status in the hierarchy of airports?" he said. "Would we be eligible for significant federal funding as a consequence?" Gervais said the airport would have to reach a certain threshold for regularly scheduled service for that. "The better you can collaborate as a region and have a solid business plan, the more inclined you are to be able to get some federal and provincial funding," he said. Tim Leitch, Tiny Township's acting CAO and director of public works, explained next steps. "Moving forward on this, we felt that one of the main things to get us going would be a task force made up of three staff members from the ownership groups, an aviation expert, the airport manager, and representation from our councils," he said. "We want to develop a road map for how we're going to move forward to make sure the airport is a sustainable business." The task force, said Leitch, will bring back a report to respective councils to create a consistent plan of action moving forward. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Shannin Metatawabin was raised on the principle of not only thinking about the present but generations into the future as well. “I think as Indigenous people we have a responsibility to our ancestors that we continue the focus of protecting the environment and ensuring there is a world here for the future yet unborn,” he said. “My dad raised me on that. We have to plan work and that we work for those that are not yet here. And clean energy is that opportunity to put into place clean energy projects across Canada, but this has to go hand in hand with the infrastructure in our communities.” Metatawabin, the CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association, spoke as part of a presentation at the Indigenous Clean Energy E-Gathering on Jan. 22. The presentation focused on clean energy as a major economic development-driver for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and peoples. “I think we can’t do anything without access to capital,” Metatawabin said. “If we wait for government, then we’ll be waiting forever. We have more than enough partners in this world and there’s more than enough capital in this world. It’s about aligning our communities to the people that want to help our community.” Metatawabin believes Indigenous people should be taking the lead with clean energy initiatives. Metatawabin also believes it’s key that governments are on board about changing the channel from fossil fuels. “I think we need to give space to renewable energy because that’s our future,” he said. “As Indigenous people we owe it to our ancestors to ensure that we’re leading in this space. And if we can, bring the government along to focus more on this and to jumpstart the investment, the creation of new instruments to attract private sector capital so that we can do more and then focus on our communities.” Chris Henderson, the executive director of Indigenous Clean Energy, said there’s another important reason to proceed with clean energy initiatives. “I believe if we do the right thing for Indigenous clean energy—clean energy for housing, clean energy with clean fuels, clean energy with renewable energy—we will have a huge impact on the health of the country, on the health of Indigenous peoples and communities,” he said. Henderson, a former hospital administrator, said the benefits would be tremendous to having countless clean energy initiatives brought forward. “If we make sure we do energy efficient housing that makes sure that we don’t breathe bad air in homes, that we make sure wood stoves are of a high quality so they’re not putting ash and particulate matter inside the home, that we’re making sure we keep mold in check so that it doesn’t contaminate people and the home, then what we will do is not only improve the health of people but let’s remember the biggest single expenditure in our country is on health care,” Henderson said. Bill Williams, the executive director of the Nunavut Economic Developers Association, believes it only makes sense who should be leading clean energy projects. “Indigenous peoples are the original sustainable developers,” Williams said. “They never take more than they need and they develop with what’s with them and around them in the community.” Williams said listening to Indigenous views on these issues would be prudent. “As a non-Indigenous Canadian, and other non-Indigenous Canadians, I think we can learn way more about sustainable development from Indigenous people if we would just listen,” he said. Dawn Madahbee Leach, the vice-chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, said building capacity is the most important thing that can be done now in terms of clean energy. Madahbee Leach also said the International Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report on Indigenous economic development last year. One of the report’s recommendations was to explore the possibility of building Indigenous centres of excellence. These facilities would lead the way in practices and research, case studies and provide communities with the proper tools to make wise decisions. “We would have a better chance to make informed decisions, to make better partnerships, to really be leaders in this industry because we would be looking at the leading practices and Indigenous businesses involved in clean energy projects and our employees and how to manage these projects,” she said. Madahbee Leach also believes collaboration with others would be extremely beneficial. “We are already building this capacity, but we need to share our progress and our missteps so we can all learn to do better,” she said. “We can share our successes with our Indigenous brothers and sisters globally as well.” Others who spoke at the presentation were Troy Jerome, the president and CEO of SEN’TI Environmental and Indigenous Services, and Hillary Thatcher, a senior director with Canada Infrastructure Bank. Darrell Brown, the chair of the Indigenous Clean Energy Network, moderated the presentation. Windspeaker.com By Sam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com
A prospective COVID-19 vaccine touted as a made-in-Canada response has begun human clinical trials in Toronto, and the company says it's already preparing a follow-up that will target more infectious variants. Providence Therapeutics of Calgary says if all goes well, it could start manufacturing millions of doses of its first prospective vaccine by the end of the year, guaranteeing a Canadian stockpile that wouldn't be subject to global supply pressures or competition. That's if the formulation proves safe and effective, of course. Among the challenges of developing a vaccine amid a raging pandemic is the uncertainty of how more infectious variants now emerging will complicate the COVID battle. Even if successful, by the time Providence Therapeutics releases its vaccine hopeful much of the country could be in the throes of a more infectious virus that does not respond to this formulation, allowed company CEO Brad Sorenson. "We don't believe that this is going to be resolved by a single vaccine," said Sorenson, whose biotech also produces a personalized mRNA-based vaccine against cancer. It's a challenge now facing Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have each said its products appear to respond well to the variant initially identified in the United Kingdom, and to a lesser degree, the variant first detected in South Africa. Moderna said earlier this week it plans to test two booster vaccines aimed at the variant associated with South Africa. Sorenson said Providence is already internally testing a vaccine candidate that targets the variants, and he hoped to begin clinical trials by the end of the year. "We believe that there's going to be a need to be in a position of readiness to be able to respond as these variants are coming up, and to be able to make sure that we have that capacity." That doesn't mean Providence is changing production runs just yet. Sorenson said the immediate focus is to establish the safety and efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed PTX-COVID19-B and designed in the early days of the pandemic last March. It uses messenger RNA technology and focuses on the spike protein located on the surface of a coronavirus that initiates infection, similar to the Pfizer and Moderna products. The trial involves 60 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 25 who will be monitored for 13 months, with the first results expected in February. The subjects are divided into four groups of 15, three of which will get three different doses. The fourth group gets a placebo. Sorenson said immediate pandemic efforts should be focused on the novel coronavirus currently devastating many parts of the country. "It's a matter of capacity. Right now these variants are there, they're concerning, and we're keeping a close eye on it, but that's not predominantly what the needs of the population are," said Sorenson. "Right now the needs of the population are still tied to the primary spike protein virus that's out there and is ravaging around the world." Sorenson said his next vaccine candidate takes a broader approach by attempting to elicit a T-cell response, thereby creating a longer-term vaccine "and cover what we believe would be a lot more variants." "We have to prove it out but we believe that if we are successful that it will allow for a much more durable immunity and a much broader immunity." The other goal is to prepare for large-scale manufacturing in Calgary, if all goes well with the trials and approval process. Sorenson said doses for the Phase 1 trial are being made in Toronto but the plan is to commercially manufacture the completed vaccine through a contract with the Calgary-based Northern RNA Inc. That won't be up and running by the end of the year, Sorenson allowed, so the short-term plan is to send raw materials made in Canada to a plant in the United States that would make the commercial product. Eventually, the whole process would be completed in Canada, he said. "We're building the entire chain within Canada so we're not going to run into a problem where this particular input into the vaccine is unavailable," he said. Much of this also depends on financial support from the federal government, Sorenson added. While the National Research Council of Canada has backed Phase 1 trials, Sorenson said he's awaiting word on further support. He'd also like Ottawa to back Providence's efforts to address the new COVID variants. "They've already recognized the importance of mRNA technology. What they don't realize is the power of mRNA technology to be responsive to these challenges that are coming up," he said. "Hopefully the politicians and the people that cut the cheques and write the policies that give direction to the bureaucrats will hear that and we'll start seeing a more concerted approach that looks at a fuller picture." Pending regulatory approval, Sorenson said a larger, international Phase 2 trial may start in May with seniors, younger subjects and pregnant people, followed by an even broader Phase 3 trial. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press