From a global perspective, there was nothing unique about the recent raid on the U.S. Capitol. Both Republican and Democratic administrations have backed military coups around the world for decades.
The federal government is following through on its commitment to establish a Canada Water Agency (CWA) and improve freshwater management across Canada with the launch of public consultations last month. The announcement was made jointly by Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of environment and climate change Canada and Marie-Claude Bibeau, minister of agriculture and agri-food. Water challenges such as droughts, floods and deteriorating water quality are intensifying, due in large part to climate change, and Canadians are seeing these costly impacts first-hand in communities across the country. “Canadians want a future with cleaner air and cleaner water for their children and grandchildren. Establishing the Canada Water Agency (CWA) will help to identify, better coordinate and address various issues relating to freshwater in Canada,” said Minister Wilkinson in a statement urging Canadians to participate in the consultations. Farmers also need reliable supplies of quality freshwater to produce high quality food to feed Canadians and export around the world and should make their voices heard, added Minister Bibeau. Matthew McCandless is the executive director of International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) in Northwestern Ontario. In July 2020 he coauthored an article in Policy Options with Carolyn Dubois of the Gordon Foundation to promote the development of the CWA as an opportunity to tap into existing innovations to answer fundamental questions about the state of freshwater in Canada and how to protect it. The article was meant to capture some things that could be done across the country and to sort out the federal role and what federal obligations are in terms of things like provincial regulations and the International Boundary Waters Treaty (which covers all waters shared by Canada and the United States), he explained. “Management of the water has largely been under provincial jurisdiction while the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans tends to focus on the Fisheries Act, fisheries habitat and environmental protection,” Mr. McCandless said. “Things like drinking water allocation and wastewater are some of the things that have always been under provincial jurisdiction.” He pointed to the difference in funding between Canada and the US. “If you look at monitoring stations that are already in place on the Great Lakes, there’s a stark difference between how much monitoring is done in the US versus how much is done in Canada. We just don’t have the money to put into our water resources.” He hopes that a CWA can provide a more coordinated and cohesive approach to water monitoring and management. IISD-ELA looks at issues of freshwater using ELA science, both the problems of today and what might become the problems of tomorrow. Phosphorus is a water problem of today, he said, as is climate change. Better ways of cleaning up oil spills in Canada is something they’re working on for the future. Scientists are also doing a lot of research on pharmaceuticals that end up passing through the body and through the sewage plants and into water systems, he said. These are things that might affect fish health and behaviour. “More recently, we’ve been thinking about antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral cleaning products and what those can do to our water. What are the effects on the small organisms in the ecosystems that the bigger ones rely on? In a place like Manitoulin Island there is a lot of tourism and recreational fishing. What would it mean if suddenly, because of these chemicals, recreational fisheries were decimated? These are the future problems and we think that CWA should have a way to look at these emerging threats to freshwater.” We should not only be dealing with things we already know about but also considering future problems that municipalities and small communities might be having in 20 or 30 years. “Right now we don’t really have guidelines for sewage plants treating these things so that’s certainly an opportunity for a water agency. Whether it’s research or monitoring or new policies and guidelines, it’s all important,” Mr. McCandless said. Canada has a large and sparsely populated land base that supports an abundance of water bodies spanning multiple borders and communities. The Great Lakes region alone supports 51 million jobs, or nearly 30 percent of the combined American and Canadian workforces, and one in four Canadians draw their drinking water directly from the Great Lakes. Freshwater issues also affect Inuit, First Nations and Metis communities, and water plays a central role in their well-being and cultural practices. “Through the Canada Water Agency, our government is looking to strengthen collaboration between the federal government, the provinces, territories, Indigenous peoples and other partners to find the best ways to safeguard our freshwater consultations are an important part of this process and I look forward to input from Canadians,” Terry Duguid said in a statement. Mr. Duguid is Parliamentary Secretary to Minister Wilkinson and has been key in the development process. The discussion paper, ‘Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency,’ presents key issues and provides an overview of the federal government’s existing activities to enhance freshwater management, and a virtual national freshwater policy forum is planned for January 27 and 28. A series of regional forums will be held in February that will provide additional opportunities to participate in consultations. The discussion paper and additional information can be found at placespeak.ca. Comments can be submitted until March 1. Lori Thompson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Manitoulin Expositor
The Liberal bus rolled into Grand Falls-Windsor on Wednesday as the leadup to the 2021 provincial election kept moving. In the shadow of that bus and flanked by Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans candidate Debbie Ball and Exploits candidate Rodney Mercer, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey unveiled another part of the Liberal party’s campaign platform. In particular, the Liberals pledged to provide feminine hygiene products in schools at no cost. “There is good evidence that young women will miss school because they don’t have access to feminine care products,” said Furey. “One in seven Canadian young women, or non-binary individuals, will miss school because they do not have access to feminine care products. “That is simply not good enough and this Liberal government intends to make sure that is not a barrier to young women and non-binary individuals from reaching their full potential. That is the commitment we’ve made today.” Before making the announcement, the Liberals consulted with local women’s organizations, and hope this will alleviate the access problems that exist around these products. The move to provide free feminine hygiene products was a part of a larger commitment to work with various community groups, educators and students to improve the health curriculum in the province. Furey said the cost of having these products available in schools would be found within the health-care budget. “The cost will be found within the health-care budget, but the cost of not having them is young women and non-binary individuals missing school is far greater than the cost accrued to the system for this,” he said. Terri Lynn Burry said Wednesday's announcement is an important one for young women in the province. “I think it is amazing and I think it should be done,” said Burry, program director for the Youth 2000 Centre in Grand Falls-Windsor. “We would definitely look at it for the centre.” In her work, Burry is often asked for hygiene products by the girls and families who use the centre. There are times when families can’t afford them and instead go without them, and that’s why the centre has products on hand, she said. Burry said it can be embarrassing for girls to ask for products if they don’t have any on hand, and they often find it difficult. “It is something that should be readily available. It is something that is a necessity and if it was readily available there wouldn’t be such a stigma attached to it sometimes, especially for young children,” she said. “It is new to them and it is embarrassing for some of them.” During the stop, the premier was asked about some health-care issues that pertain to residents in central Newfoundland. Namely, he was questioned about where his government stands with issues such as returning 24-hour emergency services to the hospital in Botwood, as well as supporting the Lionel Kelland Hospice in Grand Falls-Windsor. In both instances, he maintained the government is working toward solutions for both. “We’re aware of the issues and we’re committed to building on the commitments of the past,” said Furey. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
The N.W.T. Housing Corporation has loosened rules for seniors trying to access its housing repair programming. Changes announced on Wednesday remove the need for home insurance and formal land tenure, and the GNWT will now only assess the incomes of seniors who own their homes. “These changes will put an end to situations where seniors cannot access assistance for repairs in smaller communities and allow them to remain in their homes and communities, where they are surrounded by the support of their families and friends,” said housing minister Paulie Chinna. Previously, the territory assessed the income of all income-earners in the household. Now, only the income of the applicant and co-applicant will be considered. Home insurance and land tenure are difficult to get in some communities. From now on, all residents – including seniors – in smaller communities can access home repair programs without either. The N.W.T. Housing Corporation said it would continue to help people to get home insurance and land tenure, to ensure their homes are protected. Residents in Fort Simpson, Fort Smith, Inuvik, Hay River, Norman Wells and Yellowknife are still required to have land tenure and insurance when applying for the major stream of the Contributing Assistance for Repairs and Enhancement program. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Tay council had to defer its excitement around the Waubaushene Pines School property until after a community group presents its thoughts next week. At a recent committee meeting, Coun. Barry Norris shared the adhoc committee's thoughts around the building with the rest of council. The approximate 3.24-hectare property has 110 feet of frontage on Pine Street, about 200 feet along Elm Street on the side and some 325 feet in the back running along Thiffault Street, says the report. The school building has four classrooms on a total area of 6,863 square feet. The report also makes a number of suggestions around future uses for the property if the township goes ahead with the purchase, adding the building would require work from a structural engineer and designer if it is to be assigned as an affordable housing project. Norris asked the staff member to explain why that would be so. Terry Tompkins, manager of building services/chief building official, who was also on the tour taken by the adhoc committee last year, answered the question: "Looking at the various sections of deterioration and the age of the building, to satisfy the building department in regards to permits that would be issued, we would be looking for a structural engineer to go through the building to ensure it's structurally sound and will meet the purpose it will be intended for," he said. "Because it's an assembly occupancy, an architect or engineer is required to do drawings to incorporate changes, which includes accessibility." Another suggestion by the committee was to repurpose the building to be used as a community hub, which incorporates the Waubaushene library. "I am in favour of the site," said Coun. Mary Warnock, who was also on the tour. "I like the location. We have to ensure it's feasible and it's going to meet the needs of the people in that community. "I like the idea of re-purposing. I like the idea of maybe looking at incorporating a library and possibilities of the sale of that property to put toward another facility of some kind." However, Mayor Ted Walker cautioned council about making any decisions since a community group deputation to council next week hopes to make a case in favour of the property. "I would hold off our decisions until we've given that group an opportunity to talk," he said. In an email to MidlandToday, Evelyn Roberts, secretary of the Waubaushene Action Group, confirmed the group's intent to present to council on Jan. 27. "The Waubaushene Action Group wants a multi-use community centre in Waubaushene," she wrote. "Our hamlet has been asking for this for years. We think the Pine Street school is an excellent opportunity because of its central, accessible location for the youth, seniors and residents of Waubaushene. Alternatively, the township could build a new centre in Waubaushene in Bridgeview Park. "We have no schools left in Waubaushene and very few other services, unlike other areas of the township," wrote Roberts, adding the group has collected hundreds of petition signatures. "We believe that the time has come for Waubaushene, and that services should be distributed equitably across the township." Norris said the school board has provided the committee with some additional but confidential information. Now the township has until Feb. 10 to send a letter of interest, which will likely be among at least 14 different agencies also vying for the opportunity, he added. After the Feb. 10 deadline, he said, the parties that have shown an interest will be notified. "I believe it's another 90 days that those organizations have to submit their proposals for costing," said Norris. "When that happens, it is awarded and then the school board proceeds to the province to allow them to put the school on the open market." Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Le vote secret des députés conservateurs sur la demande d’expulsion de leur collègue ontarien du parti est prévu mercredi avant-midi. Il lui est reproché d’avoir accepté le don d’un nationaliste blanc lors de sa campagne pour la direction de la formation politique. Une frange des 121 élus aurait approuvé la demande visant à exclure Derek Sloan comme prévu dans les règlements du parti au sujet d’un membre du caucus, mais la décision ne fait pas l’unanimité. Le chef du parti conservateur, Erin O’Toole, a lancé le processus d’expulsion de son collègue lundi après la publication d’une information selon laquelle il a reçu un don de 131 $ de Paul Fromm, connu comme étant un suprémaciste blanc lié aux causes néonazies. Le don remis sous le nom de Frederick Fromm, a été rendu public par le site d’information PressProgress, à la réputation de gauche. Erin O’Toole a publié une déclaration visant à faire savoir à l’opinion publique qu’il n’y a pas de place pour le racisme au sein du Parti conservateur. Malgré les soutiens que cette justification a engrangés sur les réseaux sociaux, certains élus conservateurs redoutent en privé l’effet d’un précédent majeur sur la collecte des dons. Sloan veut défier O’Toole Dans une interview accordée à la CBC, le député de Hastings–Lennox et Addington a déclaré qu’il prévoyait de lancer une riposte à la rencontre de ce mercredi et qu’il avait contacté des collègues du caucus pour faire valoir ses arguments. Derek Sloan a déjà affirmé qu’il n’était pas au courant de l’origine du don querellé parce que Fromm avait utilisé son nom complet pour cette contribution. Il a expliqué que ses équipes avaient reçu beaucoup de dons individuels et ne pouvaient pas examiner chaque opération en faveur de sa campagne électorale. Le député ontarien a ajouté qu’il ne connaissait pas particulièrement Fromm, mis à part le fait qu’il est lié à des groupes considérés comme racistes. Le chef du parti conservateur a souhaité que le mis en cause soit expulsé du parti « le plus rapidement possible » et qu’il ne puisse pas se présenter aux prochaines élections sous la bannière du Parti conservateur. « Je suis dans un mariage interracial, donc je condamne bien sûr le racisme, je condamne la haine de toute nature », a déclaré M. Sloan pour se défendre. Les libéraux saluent la position de Erin O’Toole sur la question. « Les partis politiques doivent rester vigilants, surtout à la suite de ce que nous avons vu aux États-Unis, face à l’infiltration ou à la présence active d’éléments marginaux, extrémistes, violents, inacceptables ou intolérants », a exhorté le premier ministre Justin Trudeau. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 10:30 a.m. Ontario says there are 2,632 new cases of COVID-19 in the province and 46 more deaths linked to the virus. A technical issue from Tuesday has been resolved, adding 102 cases from Toronto Public Health to the provincial total. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 897 new cases in Toronto, 412 in Peel Region and 245 in York Region. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Chelsea Osborne has dodged more than a few cars in her days walking to work at the Angus Tim Hortons on Mill Street. Osborne said the busy intersection where County Road 90 traffic must slow down to 50 km/h on Mill Street in front of the busy coffee shop can be hazardous to her health. “Pedestrians — myself included — some people are just not paying attention. They’re just going too fast,” she said. The township plans to install red-light cameras in Angus’ community safety zones. “It’s No. 1 of our top concerns,” Essa Township chief administrative officer Colleen Healey-Dowdall said. “Our councillors are bombarded with calls of speeding.” However, the cost of developing photo radar software is prohibitive for a small municipality like Essa, she said. After five years of deliberating how to quell the dangerous traffic on several of its high-traffic roads in Baxter, Thornton and Angus, Essa’s Traffic Advisory Committee has asked Simcoe County for an assist, specifically in the Mill Street area. “The county has stated they are supportive; however, it is a very timely process to apply and be granted approval through the province,” said Krista Pascoe, deputy clerk and accessibility co-ordinator for the township. Pascoe added staff are currently collecting speed data throughout the entire municipality in order to determine which traffic-calming measures will be best utilized in which areas. “We get complaints on all our roads, to tell you the truth,” said Coun. Ron Henderson. “It’s not just Mill Street being considered for chronic speeders.” Centre Street leads into several new subdivisions along the 5th Line and is also a haven for speeders, he said. Henderson agrees with Osborne that the 50 km/h speed limit beginning at the Nottawasaga bridge near the No Frills store and Tim Hortons often catches people off-guard. Osborne said photo radar would be a definite improvement. “They (drivers) won’t be doing 60, 70 or 80 km/h around the corner and slamming on the brakes when they see me,” she said. Cheryl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
BETHEL, Alaska — A fire in an Alaska village burned a plant that served as the community's only source of clean, running water, leaving residents waiting for a delivery of water by plane. Alaska State Troopers said the fire at the water plant in Tuluksak burned from about noon until 4:30 p.m. last Saturday, KYUK-AM reported. Residents of the Alaska Native community northeast of Bethel hauled water from the Tuluksak River with snowmachines while attempting to douse the flames that eventually destroyed the plant. “When I looked out the window, my husband and a few other men were trying to get into the water plant and washeteria. They had to break the door, but they were a little too late," said Tribal Council Secretary Kristy Napoka, who lives next door and works at the plant. Napoka’s husband unsuccessfully attempted to use a hose to stop the blaze before her family brought water from the river, she said. "They started splashing water into the fire, but it didn’t do any good. It just kept getting bigger and worse,” Napoka said. Villagers who did not have potable water saved in their home tanks had the option of hauling water from the nearby Kuskokwim River or awaiting a shipment of bottled water. Cases of donated bottled water were delayed in Bethel because of airport runway closures and thin river ice. Tuluksak’s runway was unusable for some time because of poor weather conditions. The person who usually plows the runway was in Anchorage being treated for COVID-19. Napoka said her family had 20 gallons (76 litres) of drinkable water left to share between nine household members. They used water from the Tuluksak River for dishes and cleaning, but were not planning to drink it, she said. Residents have previously made complaints to the state Legislature about sediment making Tuluksak River water unsafe to drink. The Associated Press
Plans to transform Brampton from a sprawling suburb into a modern, transit city took a significant step forward in December. The release last month of a business case by provincial agency Metrolinx for a bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor along Queen Street offers a glimpse of the city’s exciting future. The lengthy document provides broad ideas for design, cost and justification of the potentially game-changing route. The street is already one of Brampton’s busiest for transit ridership, something a BRT would only increase. Boarding figures for Brampton Transit from fall 2018 show more than 20,000 daily riders on its express route alone. The corridor carries essential workers to and from the job, also ferrying students who live in Brampton to York University. Shoppers use it to reach the Bramalea City Centre and development planned for the corridor holds the promise of completely reshaping what has been an eyesore for decades. City Hall has positioned Queen Street as the road where Brampton meets the future. In 2018, the City of Brampton undertook a major soul-searching project by hiring Vancouver-based urban planner Larry Beasley to supervise the creation of its 2040 Vision. The document, which included input from some 13,000 residents, laid out how Brampton would look in the future if it embraced density, transit and smart growth. It suggested Queen Street could be the heart of that transformation. Density could bring more than just housing, Beasley and his team of visionaries promised. An inspired plan would bring culture and vibrant public life to the sprawling streetscape. Its aging strip malls and cracked sidewalks, devoid of pedestrians, would give way to the new suburbia of the GTA. “The strong westerly and easterly urban anchors for central Queen Street, Downtown and Bramalea, set up the best potential in Brampton to create its own grand boulevard and to host a ‘boulevard lifestyle’ where everything is immediately at hand,” the Vision states. Higher order transit plays a key part in this plan, allowing for sidewalks to be expanded, pushing out cars and integrating people into their surroundings. Instead of vast tracts of potholed parking lots that act as urban barriers, literally forcing residents away from all the spaces in between (driving from one plaza to the next to shop or dine) rapid transit lines fill in all the gaps with rich commercial offerings, boutiques, cafes and intimate sidewalk culture. Dense housing along these corridors acts as the catalyst, as cars are replaced by transit and sprawl is filled in by human activity. The Queen Street Corridor plan aims to support future rapid transit expansion. The City of Brampton took its first step toward the future in 2010 when it introduced Zum services along the route. Zum buses are express vehicles with occasional lane skips, but not fully fledged rapid transit. The total length of the area Metrolinx has considered for its initial investigation of a BRT corridor is 18.5 kilometres through Brampton and a further 5.5 kilometres in Vaughan. Transforming parts of the Queen Street corridor from its current state of barren, industrial and suburban roadways into a dense downtown will have its challenges. In Brampton, 83 percent of residents arrive at work by car, while 14 percent travel by transit. The city’s public transit use is roughly in line with provincial averages, but a rapid transit corridor could see it begin to fulfill its aspirations of shedding its car-dominated suburban past, when developers literally designed areas such as Bramalea, Canada’s first fully planned, post-war satellite community, built by Bramalea Consolidated Developments when the car was king. To transform Queen Street from its role as a commuter thoroughfare for vehicles into a boulevard lined with teeming patios and urban cyclists, its current use by commercial transportation and logistics companies will need to be rethought. Between 8 and 12 percent of the corridor’s traffic is currently medium or heavy trucks. “The relationship between density and higher order transit service is symbiotic,” Brampton Ward 1 and 5 Councillor Rowena Santos told The Pointer through a City spokesperson. “Having sufficient ridership is key to the viability of a rapid transit service, and an efficient and effective mobility solution – such as rapid transit – supports the 2040 Vision for the Queen Street corridor as a higher density mixed use urban boulevard. This type of project goes a long way to cut down on the need for personal automobiles and it accelerates the establishment of healthy and vibrant 20-minute walkable neighbourhoods.” Santos has been Brampton Council’s loudest advocate for smart, active transportation and put words into action when she brought forward a successful motion in 2019 to stop a planned road widening of Williams Parkway, arguing that it did not fit with the 2040 Vision and the goal of getting people out of their cars. Along the Queen Street corridor, roughly half of all trips are made by students. The transit ridership is younger than average and offers potential to grow further in the future, according to Metrolinx. “There is a large market that can be considered ‘untapped’; i.e. who would be likely to take advantage of transit but have not yet adopted regular transit usage,” the report states. The Metrolinx business case proposes several scenarios for how to bring a bus rapid transit route to Queen Street. One suggests a single trunk route BRT corridor for the full length, while two other options involve splitting the route into two sections. The document concludes that combining different options to have several priority buses run along Queen Street on an uninterrupted trunk route would be the best outcome. Metrolinx has made high-level cost calculations, with a proposed construction year of 2023. If the project were to go ahead on schedule, the transit agency expects it to be operational by 2026. Depending on how the project is constructed, the costs would vary. One suggested scenario would see existing traffic lanes converted into separate, painted bus lanes for between $3 million and $5.1 million per kilometre. That option, Metrolinx estimates, would cost roughly $93 million in total. An alternative possibility would be to widen Queen Street for most of its length — estimated at between $15.7 and $26.4 million per kilometre and totalling just over $481 million. With construction potentially just three years away, few answers are available as to who will pay for the infrastructure. Following a theme for the City, Brampton doesn’t seem to have a funding plan. Mayor Patrick Brown has effectively frozen all funding options by the City for major infrastructure projects and other features highlighted in the 2040 Vision, which he has claimed to support. The three straight years of tax freezes he pushed through make it difficult to realize the aspirations of the forward thinking planning document. To the south, Mississauga is more prepared for its rapid transit vision. The City has submitted a federal funding application for its Dundas Street BRT route and added a share of the costs to its 10-year capital plan. The project itself was studied by the City in a 2018 master plan and is now in the midst of an environmental study, the cost of which is being shared by Metrolinx. By comparison, Brampton is kilometres behind. “High level capital and operating costs are provided in the Initial Business Case (IBC), and governance structures are discussed; however, final decisions on funding models have not been made at this time,” Santos said, when asked about the Queen Street BRT. A Metrolinx spokesperson said the preliminary design phase had funding and that “a governance structure is being established between Metrolinx, the City of Brampton and other stakeholders to oversee the preliminary design, preliminary design business case (PDBC), and Transit Project Assessment Process (TPAP) phase.” Like so many projects floated in Brampton, the Queen Street corridor oozes potential. In many ways, it shines through as a possible turning point which could begin to steer Brampton toward a denser, greener and more urban future. But, despite its standout potential, the usual problems raise their heads. Questions about funding have been met with unknowns from City Hall while the mayor has failed to take any leadership on key projects to move Brampton into the future. If construction is to begin on the project by 2023, to deliver rapid transit by 2026, funding will need to be secured — or at least earmarked — in the next two years. Email: email@example.com Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
L’administration Demers-Boyer vient d’annoncer qu’elle reportait les deux échéances de paiement du compte de taxes foncières pour l’année en cours. Cette annonce s’inscrit dans la foulée de la crise sanitaire qui perdure et de ses impacts sur les finances des contribuables. Ainsi, tous les propriétaires lavallois profiteront d’un report de trois mois des échéances traditionnellement prévues à la fin de l’hiver et du printemps. En clair, la date limite pour le paiement du 1er versement (initialement prévue le 18 mars) est reportée au 16 juin 2021. Idem pour le 2e versement dont la date butoir passe du 16 juin au 15 septembre 2021. «Nous savons que la pandémie cause de terribles conséquences à plusieurs familles», a déclaré le 21 janvier par voie de communiqué le vice-président du comité exécutif et maire suppléant, Stéphane Boyer. Cette nouvelle mesure, qui s’ajoute au gel de taxes de 2021, vise à leur offrir «quelques mois de répit pour mieux planifier leur budget en fonction de leur réalité». Élu responsable des dossiers économiques et des finances publiques à l’hôtel de ville, M. Boyer voit également en ce report «un coup de pouce» aux «entrepreneurs qui vivent des problèmes de liquidité en attendant la reprise des activités économiques». Conseiller municipal d’Action Laval, David De Cotis a vivement réagi par voie de courriel dans les 60 minutes suivant la publication du communiqué de la Ville. Celui qui avait suggéré pareille mesure à la séance du conseil du 12 janvier, laquelle proposition devait être débattue le 4 février, ose croire que cela ait pu «encourager l'administration de Marc Demers à réagir rapidement». Le compte de taxes foncières sera expédié aux contribuables le 16 février.Stéphane St-Amour, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
It’s no secret that Moosomin has some of the best recreation facilities in the province, and they continue to grow every year with the rec department always looking ahead to what’s next and what the community needs. Moosomin Rec Director Mike Schwean wanted to hear from the community as he worked to outline future plans and that’s how the community recreation plan was born. The community rec plan outlines the next decade of recreation in Moosomin at three different levels—administration, programming, and facilities. With the goal being to increase convenience and having something to offer for everybody. Schwean says he and Assistant Rec Director Catherine Mannle are always trying to ensure everybody in the community is happy with the facilities and programming, and the best way to find out what people want was to ask them. This led to Schwean and Mannle conducting a questionnaire for anybody in the community to be a part of—Schwean says they got between 300 and 400 responses. They also spoke with individual recreation groups throughout the community to gauge what they were thinking and wanting for the next 10 years in the community. After a year of work, the community rec plan was complete with recommendations from Moosomin residents for what they would like to see in all three key aspects of recreation. The plan was then presented to the Moosomin council on December 16 and the 10-year plan was approved—along with the community rec plan, Schwean conducted a economic impact study to show just how much money recreation in Moosomin generates—it injects $100,822,400 into the community. Administration recommendations: Parks and recreation will develop/purchase and implement online booking software for the various applicable facilities in real time. This includes: Conexus Communiplex, Conexus Convention Centre, Nutrien Sportsplex, Tim Hortons Outdoor Eventplex, all baseball and fastball fields, soccer fields, football fields, rodeo grounds, Borderland Co-op Aquaplex, curling rink (completion date: June 1, 2021/cost estimate: $2,500). Parks and recreation will work to develop and upgrade their presence online to provide increased accessibility and visibility to residents. This includes: web page, Facebook, Instagram (December 31, 2020/$2,500). Parks and recreation will develop office space at the Conexus MCC Centre to allow dialogue/bookings with user groups on site (May, 2021/$2,500). Parks and recreation will develop a job description and entrance strategy for a future “Parks and recreation facility manager” for full-time employment with the Town of Moosomin (May, 2025/$100). Parks and recreation will continue to develop the RECC Committee to become a prominent presence in the community and in doing so will increase local sports, recreation, and tourism events (ongoing/$100). Parks and recreation will continue to work towards naming rights agreements at its facilities and the programs within (ongoing/$100). Programming recommendations: Parks and recreation shall make a focused concentration on the upkeep and improvements to traditional programs at the Communiplex, swimming pool, Bradley Park, curling rink, and Sportsplex (June, 2024/$500). Parks and recreation shall develop community outdoor walking paths. Development would first focus on existing facilities and would then extend to future development projects within the community (June 2021/$5,000). Parks and recreation shall develop community outdoor biking paths (May, 2029/$50,000). Parks and recreation shall work towards increasing department class/programs with regards to exercise and fitness classes (December, 2021/$1,000). Parks and recreation will investigate the possibility of a community off leash dog park (August, 2024/$250). Parks and recreation shall develop outdoor court programs including but not necessarily limited to tennis, pickle ball, and basketball (June, 2024/$5,000). Parks and recreation shall develop indoor court programs including but not necessarily limited to tennis and pickle ball. As well, parks and recreation shall develop a strategy to increase community participation in basketball and volleyball programming at the Convention Centre (December, 2026/$5,000). Facility recommendations: Parks and recreation shall make a focused concentration on upkeep and improvements to traditional and existing facilities. This includes: the Communiplex, swimming pool, Bradley Park, curling rink, and Sportsplex (ongoing/$500). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct a new community fitness centre. In addition, parks and recreation shall also investigate adjoining sport courts (handball, racquetball, etc.) to the fitness centre. Parks and recreation will also conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (June, 2025/$5,000). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct a second indoor skating arena to be used as a secondary facility to the Communiplex. In addition, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (June, 2030/$5,000). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct a new curling rink facility at Bradley Park (June, 2031/$5,000). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to constrict a joint facility involving both a second indoor skating rink along with a new curling rink at Bradley Park. In addition, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (June, 2031/$5,000). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct an indoor swimming pool to replace the existing outdoor pool. In addition, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study with regards to operations of a new facility (December, 2032/$5,000). As a second option to an indoor pool, parks and recreation will conduct a feasibility study to construct an outdoor paddling pool at the existing swimming pool (October, 2026/$5,000). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct community walking paths and community bike paths (ongoing with development/$1,000). Parks and recreation design and conduct a feasibility study to construct an in town golf driving net structure and putting green (February, 2026/$1,000). A key part of the rec plan and hearing from the public is ensuring everybody in the community is happy and has something that fits their recreation needs, which is why Schwean emphasizes having multidimensional facilities. “There were a lot of things that we had heard before,” said Schwean. “I think in general people are happy with the amount of facilities and programs for youth, but more and more older adults are looking to take advantage of facilities and programs. That’s something that we had identified before, that was a big part of the Sportplex to be honest. The fitness activity aspect of it is big in the community and we’re fortunate to have a gym here but that’s something people want more of, whether it’s programs or facilities. That was another big one that came up a lot. Having activities for every demographic is important. As far as facilities go, people understand they’re expensive and I think they were pretty reasonable in those requests. It’s something we have to be diligent with going forward and we have to look at the facilities we have and try to develop multiple purposes for them and then any facility we build going forward has to be multi-purpose as well to run a lot of different things in it. With the Sportsplex, that’s something we tried to do there. “We wanted to make sure that we could do a lot of things and the convention centre is the same. We easily could have built a banquet hall, but it was important to us to build something that could be used for a lot of different things like the convention centre. That’s something that has been front and centre for us, but it’s also something that going forward we want to make sure we continue to do. When we designed the Sportsplex we had never even considered pickleball, somebody in the community came up with that idea so we incorporated it. To have the community input is important because they’ve listed things that we know we can tie into one facility and offer four or five different things. It’s good to hear from the community because it’s almost like putting a puzzle together.” Support from the business sector has always been something Schwean credits for the success of Moosomin’s recreation facilities, and he’s hopeful that will continue to play a major roll as the community rec plan moves forward. “It was important for us when we built the Sportsplex—I think it was $1.2 million and there hasn’t been a lot of government grants for awhile—we looked to the corporate community,” he said. “We were probably half a million in corporate donations for that so that’s a big thing for us going forward. That’s why the economic study we ran was important to us so we could show them there’s community return. “We also had in our community rec plan that we continue to look for naming rights and community sponsors for facilities. I’m pretty confident in saying that Moosomin has done more with community sponsors than any other community in the province. I’m not patting myself on the back, I’m patting the corporate community on the back.” Now that the rec plan is official with input from the community and approval from the town council, everybody is working in unison and Schwean is excited for what’s to come in Moosomin over the next 10 years and beyond. “I think the nicest thing with this is that the town council knows the plan and we’re all on the same page,” he said. “For me it’s easy to say I want to do this and I want to do that, but to have the council on board and understanding what way we’re headed, it’s exciting for me because I know we have their support. “We’re not going to go spend millions of dollars on facilities, most of it is feasibility studies, but at least we can have the opportunity to plan and present to council in the future. Programming and administration are real quick, programming will take a year to three years to progress those things, and facilities are in the long-term.” Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
Regina police are asking residents for information after an armed business robbery in the city's Cathedral area Wednesday morning. Officers were called to the 2200 block of 14th Avenue around 9:15 a.m. CST, following a report of a woman walking into a business with what appeared to be a handgun. After demanding cash, the suspect fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured. Police searched the area, but weren't able to track the woman down. The woman was described to be about 5 feet 6 inches tall and in her 20s. Although her face was mostly covered by a scarf, they said she looked to have dark eyebrows and brown eyes. She was also wearing a puffy jacket and a toque — both dark in colour — at the time of the robbery. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Regina police at 306-777-6500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called Thursday on the United States and Russia to extend a major nuclear arms agreement before it expires in less than two weeks, and to later broaden the pact to include more weapons and China. The New START treaty, signed in 2010 by U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, expires on Feb. 5. It limits each country to no more than 1,550 deployed nuclear warheads and 700 deployed missiles and bombers. It permits sweeping on-site inspections to verify compliance. “We should not end up in a situation with no limitation on nuclear warheads, and New START will expire within days,” Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov signalled on Monday that Moscow is ready to move quickly to keep the pact alive, and U.S. President Joe Biden, who was Vice-President when it was signed, has also spoken in favour of preserving it. But Stoltenberg also underlined that “an extension of the New START is not the end, it’s the beginning of our efforts to further strengthen arms control.” “We need to look at ways to include more weapons systems, systems not covered by the New START, but also to include China because China is now heavily modernizing their nuclear weapons, and not only modernizing but expanding their nuclear capabilities,” he said. Arms control advocates warn that the treaty’s expiry would remove checks on U.S. and Russian nuclear forces, striking a blow to global stability. Canada and European allies in NATO are also concerned about the slow demise of non-proliferation agreements. In 2019, the U.S. and Russia both withdrew from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed in 1987 and banned land-based cruise and ballistic missiles with a range of 500 to 5,500 kilometres (310 to 3,410 miles). Last week, Russia also declared that it would follow the U.S. lead and pull out of the Open Skies Treaty that allows surveillance flights over military facilities to help build trust and transparency between Russia and the West. The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The Supreme Court of Canada will not review a lower-court ruling that was a victory for a conservation officer who refused to euthanize two bear cubs.Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015 after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding a home near Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.Casavant's union filed a grievance on his behalf under its collective agreement, but he reached a settlement with his employer before arbitration was completed.Casavant later argued in court that disciplinary actions should have taken place in accordance with British Columbia's Police Act, given the nature of his employment as a special provincial constable.The B.C. Court of Appeal accepted this view last June and nixed Casavant's firing, prompting the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union to seek a hearing in the Supreme Court.The union appealed to the high court to gain clarity on the role of collective agreements when members with special constable status face discipline.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
With the nadir in civic discourse at last year’s U.S. presidential debates fresh in their minds, high school students from across Ontario are preparing to receive an antidote by competing in a high-minded tournament of ideas. Students on 20 teams from 16 schools are getting acquainted with the ways an “ethics bowl” differs from the debating competitions many of them have previously taken part in, and participants say the exercise holds valuable lessons for those in positions of power, too. In a typical debate, “the way you win isn't necessarily by trying to get to the truth, but rather by rhetorical mastery, or trickery, one-upmanship over your opponent,” Jeffrey Senese, president of the Ontario High School Ethics Bowl, explained to a group of students from Assumption College Catholic High School in Windsor this week. “An ethics bowl is different. We're trying to solve problems, get down to the truth. And so to this end, you can ... concede a point to your opponent and this is a sign of collegiality” that is rewarded in the scoring rubric that judges fill in, said Senese, who also runs outreach for the philosophy department at the University of Toronto. “We’re not looking for mic drop moments,” he added, noting the exercise aims to acknowledge that issues are complicated and nuanced, and frames the topic as the target of attention, not the opponent. In fact, incorporating the other team’s valid arguments into your response to an ethical dilemma is actively encouraged, whereas in many debate formats, “you’d be laughed offstage if you admit your opponent said something that was helpful to furthering the conversation,” Senese said. The university’s Mississauga campus hosted 11 schools at the initial Ontario event last year, but the provincial tournament on Feb. 27 will be virtual. The winning team will move on to a national event, also virtual, which will likely happen in late April. By the end of Senese’s presentation to the assembled Assumption students (including the school’s top tennis player and its reigning stock trade simulation champion), all warmed to the concept once they’d worked out how the competition was being scored. “When you start considering the other side, you become even more open-minded and you realize that not every case is black or white, but it's really focusing on that grey area and where you stand there,” said Gaby Ruggero. Mekhi Quarshie describes last September’s chaotic presidential debate, which saw former president Donald Trump constantly interrupting his challenger Joe Biden and the moderator, as the worst he’d ever seen, but said the style is prevalent elsewhere in society, too. “If one person puts up a very good point, even if we might find some validity within it, we want to just bash it down and contradict it,” Quarshie said. As potential future leaders, the event is “training all of us (that) instead of shooting each other down, to really collaboratively come up with great ideas and strengthen our own ideas,” he said. The idea for ethics bowls emerged out of the United States, and was picked up initially out west in Canada, with the involvement of the universities of Manitoba and British Columbia and B.C.’s Simon Fraser University, among others. “I like the idea of an ethics bowl that puts truth and principles above ideology,” said Assumption College's business teacher Jeremy Bracken, who is coaching the school's ethics bowl team as well as its debate team, finance club and numerous business competitions and public speaking events this year. For Ontario's 2021 competition, judges will include professors and professionals, graduate students and other academics in law, political and social science, history, science and medicine. Teams will be judged on whether they clearly address questions and comments from the moderator and opposing team, stay on topic, consider conflicting viewpoints, and engage with counterpoints raised in respectful dialogue. A moderator will tally the number of judges who give a win to each team, rather than tallying their scores, which are not revealed to participants. The finalists will be asked to wrestle with the real-world question of COVID-19 vaccination, including whether health-care workers should be required to get it or if schools should be allowed to restrict access to only vaccinated students. Other examples of issues to be discussed include free speech versus hate speech, drones as weapons, cultural appropriation, toxic masculinity, the call-out culture, and whether police should be invited to Pride parades. Stephanie Gibson took a team from Toronto’s Humberside Collegiate to last year’s event and will be back this year. The school’s Grade 12 philosophy teacher says the bowl encourages the pursuit of ethical truth and forces students to hold their own ideas to account. It is critical to equip young people with critical thinking skills, Gibson says, especially in the current climate, arguing that her subject should be mandatory starting in elementary school to help students “improve upon the clarity of their thinking, their ability to see through illusion, to try to look at different ideas and entertain them without having to take them in as their own.” Alastair Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
It’s official: 2020 was tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported last week. 2020 matches the 2016 record despite the cooling effects of a La Nina event whereas 2016 began with a strong warming El Nino. The six years beginning in 2015 are the hottest six years and 2011 to 2020 was the warmest decade recorded. 2020 was 0.6°C warmer than the baseline 1981-2010 reference period and 1.25°C above pre-industrial temperatures. Some of the largest annual temperature rises occurred in the Arctic and northern Siberia regions, with temperatures reaching over 6°C higher than the baseline in some areas. There was an unusually active wildfire season in this region, with that released a record 244 megatonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020, more than a third higher than the 2019 record. Arctic sea ice was significantly lower than average during the second half of the year with the lowest extent of sea ice on record for the months of July and October. “2020 stands out for its exceptional warmth in the Arctic and a number of tropical storms in the North Atlantic,” commented Carlo Buontemp, director of C3S. “It is no surprise that the last decade was the warmest on record, and is yet another reminder of the urgency of ambitious emissions reductions to prevent adverse climate impacts in the future.” Concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide continued to rise despite the approximately seven percent reduction of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns around the world. An initial pandemic-related 17 percent reduction in emissions was followed by record high carbon dioxide levels in May. While the overall rise was slightly less than in 2019, scientists warn this should not be cause for complacency. Until net global emissions are reduced to zero, carbon dioxide will continue to accumulate and drive further climate change, said Vincent-Henri Peach, director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. Countries that signed onto the 2015 Paris climate agreement committed to limiting warming by no more than 1.5°C with a goal of less than 2°C. Scientists say this will require countries to commit to a more rapid transition away from fossil fuel dependency by investing in renewable energy. “The extraordinary climate events of 2020 and the data from the C3S show us that we have no time to lose,” said Matthias Petschke of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space. “We must come together as a global community, to ensure a just transition to a net zero future. It will be difficult, but the cost of inaction is too great.” Lori Thompson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Manitoulin Expositor
This pet raccoon wearing Pikachu pajamas chows down on some yummy treats alongside his owner. Cuteness overload!
Removing ice from roads and walkways in winter might be essential for safety, but salt can be damaging to plants and soil. Salt has the same effect on plant roots as salty potato chips do on your lips: It draws water from living cells. Salt can ruin soil structure so it wads up into an airless mass. Not a nice place for plants to grow. And damage from winter salt is sneaky, not manifesting itself until spring or later. Then, new leaves might emerge pale green or yellow or, later in the season, leaves may look scorched or turn their autumn colours early. Stems might die back or be stunted. Older plants can sometimes recover from salt injury, especially if spring and summer rains are abundant. MITIGATE DAMAGE Using less salt can help; highway studies have found that, in de-icing roads, salt was effective in smaller amounts if sprayed as a brine rather than spread as crystals. Maybe it’s time to get out that garden sprayer again. And you can leach out much of the salt by flushing the soil beneath a prized tree or shrub in spring with water -- using 1 gallon per square foot or a 2-inch depth over the course of a few hours. ALTERNATIVES TO SALT Alternative salts -- those other than sodium chloride -- are another possibility. Calcium chloride is a frequently used alternative which, besides being less damaging to plants and soils than sodium chloride, also melts ice faster and is effective at temperatures well below zero degrees Fahrenheit. Sodium chloride, in contrast, loses some of its effectiveness at temperatures above 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Still, calcium chloride does put chloride ion, which plants don’t like, into the soil, and it is more expensive and more corrosive to vehicles than sodium chloride. Chemical (synthetic) fertilizers are all salts, so someone hit upon the idea of using them for de-icing. But besides being more expensive than either sodium chloride or calcium chloride, fertilizers such as potassium chloride or ammonium nitrate are most effective only at temperatures above about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, ammonium nitrate is corrosive to concrete, and both compounds have a high “salt index,” so are apt to burn plants anyway in the amounts used for de-icing. Potassium chloride, of course, also can put excess chloride ion in the soil. A popular, relatively new salt used for de-icing is calcium magnesium acetate, better known as CMA. Produced when limestone and vinegar are brought together, CMA eventually decomposes and is not damaging to plants or soils. It also sticks to the pavement better than salt and does not cause corrosion. CMA does have shortcomings. It’s most effective above 15 degree Fahrenheit (about the same as rock salt). It’s slow to begin working. And it’s a lot more expensive than salt. CMA is better at preventing icing rather than getting rid of ice, so is best applied before ice forms. Yet another de-icing method is to spread something other than salt on the ice; gritty materials such as sawdust, unused kitty litter, wood ash or sand are effective. Still, nothing’s perfect. These materials track indoors unless you take or shake off your shoes at your front door. ADOPT A HOLISTIC APPROACH The best approach to ice is holistic. Use a combination of materials that takes into consideration both the traffic and the plants. If you sprinkle a preventive dusting on the ground before ice forms, you’ll need less salt for shoe and tire traction. And if you’re planning some plantings along the road, driveway or walkway, choose from plants that tolerate salt. Besides plants native to seashores, other salt-tolerant trees and shrubs include silver maple, horsechestnut, honey and black locusts, poplar, junipers, mockorange, lilac, larch and Colorado blue spruce. Lee Reich, The Associated Press
Researchers have said around 52,000 deaths in Europe could be prevented each year if emissions are cut to WHO guidelines. View on euronews