In announcing a planned phone call on Friday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the White House's intended message was clear: Traditional allies are back in favour while despots, dictators and the killers of dissenters are on the outs. The way press secretary Jen Psaki announced the scheduled call with Trudeau was revealing, as it came in response to a question that had nothing at all to do with Canada's prime minister. She was asked about Vladimir Putin. Specifically, she was asked when Biden would speak with the Russian leader. Psaki replied that it wasn't an immediate priority. "[Biden's] first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau," she said. "I would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it's important to rebuild those relationships." U.S. plans to investigate Russia Psaki elaborated on Putin in a separate news conference where she described Russia as "reckless" and "adversarial." She said Biden has tasked the intelligence community with reporting on a variety of alleged Russian transgressions: cyberattacks on U.S. companies, interference in U.S. politics, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Russian-paid bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Yet the goal of rebalancing relationships away from rivals toward like-minded countries has been tested already. Some Canadians, notably Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, want trade retaliation against the U.S. following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day 1 of the new administration. The decision undermines Canada's No. 1 export to the United States: oil. WATCH | The National's report on Keystone XL: Biden's foreign policy ambitions will keep being tested as international relationships undergo unwieldy twists on any given issue due to practical and political considerations. Here is what we already know about the Biden administration's approach to other countries after its first couple of days in office. The moves so far The administration will release a report on suspected Saudi government involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an issue the last administration showed little interest in pursuing. It is also threatening to cancel support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is willing to consider new NATO expansion on Russia's doorstep, into Georgia, and in fact is staunchly supportive of the international military alliance. And Biden has rejoined previous alliances the U.S. was either scheduled to exit (the World Health Organization) or had already left (the Paris climate accord). These activities are intended to signal a dramatic change in foreign policy from Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, who frequently bashed the leaders of democracies and international institutions while simultaneously cultivating friendly relationships with non-democratic leaders in the Middle East, Russia and North Korea. There will be contradictions in Biden's approach — as there were in Trump's. For example, while Trump often had kind words for dictators, he also sanctioned their countries on occasion, including Russia and China. Also, don't count on an ambitious foreign policy from Biden. Early on, the new administration will be busy juggling domestic crises, said Edward Alden, an expert on Canada-U.S. relations. "I think we are going to see an approach to alliances that looks a lot like [Barack] Obama's — engaged, respectful, but not overly ambitious," said Alden, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. "The United States has enormous problems at home, and those are going to take priority for some time." Alden said he does expect some new international initiatives, such as more active co-operation on global vaccine distribution. Biden wants changes on Canada-U.S. pandemic travel On COVID-19, Biden also wants to immediately connect with Canada and Mexico to establish new rules within 14 days for pandemic-related travel safety measures. Alden also expects an attempt to rework and revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, and establish greater co-ordination with other countries in confronting China. For example, Biden has proposed a summit of democracies where countries can share ideas for countering autocracies. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his confirmation hearing this week that the last administration had a point in reorienting policy toward Beijing. "President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Blinken said. "The basic principle was the right one, and I think that's actually helpful to our foreign policy." He got into a testy exchange at that hearing with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Republican who favours a hands-off approach on foreign affairs. When Blinken said he was open to expanding NATO membership to Russia's neighbour Georgia, Paul called that a recipe for war with Russia. Blinken argued the opposite is true. After years of Russian incursions in non-NATO Georgia and Ukraine, recent evidence suggests Russia is most belligerent with countries outside NATO's shield, he said. Keystone XL: The early irritant Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss new travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion that would run south from Alberta to Nebraska. So far, Trudeau has shown little desire to escalate the pipeline issue. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, on the other hand, has demanded retaliatory action, and some trade experts say potential legal avenues do exist. WATCH | Kenny on the fate of Keystone XL: But they're skeptical they will achieve much. Eric Miller of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consulting firm specializing in trade and government affairs, said the best that pipeline-backers can hope for is to sue the U.S. government for financial compensation for the cancelled project. He said the Alberta government and the project's developer, TC Energy, can try suing under the investor-state dispute chapter in the old NAFTA, which will remain in effect for two more years for existing investments. "[But] nothing is going to force the Biden administration to deliver the permit," Miller said. "One has to be clear that there is no world in which Joe Biden [retreats on this]." Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he doubts complaints from Canada will make a difference. He said the most politically effective argument for the pipeline would come from Americans — from the companies and unions that would have serviced the project. The Ohio-based lawyer said challenges under U.S. laws, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, could potentially work, but he cautioned: "They're high hurdles."
The Tahltan Nation and the owners of the Silvertip mine in northern British Columbia, 90 kilometres southwest of Watson Lake, Yukon, have signed an impact and benefit agreement. The Tahltan Central Government says in a release it wants to implement the deal with Coeur Mining immediately. "We have a shared vision of empowering Tahltan workers, entrepreneurs and companies while working together to mitigate the mine's impacts to our Tahltan territory, culture and values," said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan central government. The silver-lead-zinc mine suspended operations almost a year ago because of low lead and zinc prices. At the time, the company said mining would not likely resume until late this year. Terry Smith, senior vice president and chief development officer for Chicago-based Coeur Mining, said the agreement will help with the process of re-starting operations. "[It] lays the foundation for a strong partnership and shared benefits between Coeur Silvertip and the Tahltan Nation by aligning our interests across several key measures of success at Silvertip, including environmental protection, employment and economic opportunities.for surrounding First Nations communities," said Smith. When operations were suspended last year, the mine had more than 160 employees. In its most recent quarterly report, Coeur Silvertip stated it's been drilling on the site to determine the size of the silver-lead-zinc deposit. It's also looking at ways it can expand the capacity of the mill at the site. The mine site is in the traditional territories of both the Tahltan Nation and the Kaska Dena Council which represents a number of Kaska First Nations in Yukon and northern B.C.. The company already has an agreement with the Kaska nations.
Avec les confinements, nous pouvons nous attendre à une augmentation de notre facture énergétique d’environ 30 %.
TIRANA, Albania — Albania on Thursday expelled a Russian diplomat for allegedly not respecting the country’s virus lockdown rules. An Albanian foreign ministry statement declared Alexey Krivosheev “person non grata,” asking him to leave the country within 72 hours. The ministry said that since April last year there were continuous violations from the diplomat. It said Albanian authorities first contacted the ambassador but the diplomat still persisted in breaking pandemic restrictions. “A repeated challenging of the protective rules and steps on the pandemic, and disregarding of the concern of the Albanian state institutions related to that, cannot be justified and tolerated any more,” the statement said. The ministry did not provide details on the alleged violations, or give the post of the diplomat. Albania has set an overnight curfew, mandatory use of masks indoor and outdoors and social distancing. “We hope that such a decision ... at such a very challenging time for the globe, will be well understood from the Russian side as a necessary step to protect the health and security" of everyone in Albania, the ministry statement added. Albania resumed diplomatic ties with Moscow in 1991, 30 years after the country's then-communist regime severed previously close relations with Russia. The Associated Press
Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19, an employee of a Marine Atlantic vessel flagged by officials this week as a possible risk for spreading the virus to crew members and passengers. The MV Blue Puttees, which operates between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., was temporarily pulled out of service for contact tracing Wednesday, after a crew member tested positive for COVID-19. The new case, the second Marine Atlantic employee this week to contract the virus, is a man in his 60s in the Central Health region. The Department of Health says the man is isolating and contract tracing is underway. The department also says it's sharing contact tracing information with authorities in Nova Scotia and advising Marine Atlantic. Health officials would not provide details on the new case, instead deferring to the ferry operator. A spokesperson for Marine Atlantic told CBC the man was part of the same shift as the previously infected employee. Marine Atlantic is adding a boat to the route, with the MV Atlantic Vision entering the schedule departing North Sydney early Thursday evening. The spokesperson said the Blue Puttees is still sidelined. "We will continue to monitor this situation and make any additional operational adjustments as required," the spokesperson said in a statement. Officials are asking passengers who travelled on the Blue Puttees to or from North Sydney or Port aux Basques between Dec. 29 and Jan. 16 to arrange COVID-19 testing. With no new recoveries since Wednesday's update, the province has six active cases, with one person in hospital. In all, 384 people have recovered from the virus, and 77,273 people have been tested. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Over the years, Montreal police have socially and racially profiled people experiencing homelessness, and the number of tickets given to them has skyrocketed as a result, according to a report. Five researchers, including some from Université de Montreal, Université de Sherbrooke and Ottawa University, analyzed more than 50,000 tickets issued to members of the city's homeless population between 2012 and 2019. The tickets all had homeless shelters and centres listed as the address of the person being fined. The researchers found an "alarming" trend, with more than double the amount of fines handed out in 2017 (9,580) compared to 2014 (3,841). The homeless population "receives close to 40 per cent of the fines issued in Montreal," the report's summary says. The report concludes that, in spite of several public declarations from the city and the SPVM in recent years that condemn all forms of profiling, the issue has gotten worse. The number of fines given to people experiencing homelessness in 2018 (8,493) was eight times higher than the total given out in 1994 (1,054). "There's no way we're going to police our way out of homelessness," said Marie-Eve Sylvestre, one of the study's authors and a criminal law professor at the University of Ottawa. "We have to put more social services and social assistance in place." Quebec is nearly two weeks into a four-week overnight curfew that is worrying advocates about its effects on the city's homeless. The body of a 51-year-old man was discovered in a portable toilet last Sunday just steps away from a drop-in centre. Many of the fines analyzed by the research group have to do with a municipal bylaw regarding public intoxication. The report calls for the end of social and racial profiling and makes12 recommendations, including repealing the bylaws used to punish people dealing with homelessness, collecting and reporting ethnic and race-based data and instituting a moratorium on tickets to the homeless. Even without access to such data available, researchers say they were still able to highlight how Indigenous people living on the street are especially targeted. They zeroed in on cases where the person ticketed provided the address of a resource centre for the homeless with a predominantly Indigenous clientele. "We find that four per cent of all of the tickets that were issued were issued to Indigenous people, and among those, 25 per cent were issued to Indigenous women experiencing homelessness," said Sylvestre. "We know that's only the tip of the iceberg, given the limits of our methodology." There are about 13,000 Indigenous people in Montreal. That's less than one percent of the the city's population. In response to the research findings, the First Peoples Justice Center of Montreal (FPJCM) is urging the city to stop ticketing the homeless and defund the SPVM in order to invest in community programs. The group collaborated with the researchers for this study. "Our response at the FPJCM is to ask the City of Montreal and the SPVM to take steps towards true accountability in addressing ongoing forms of systemic racism that Indigenous community members experience on a daily basis," the group said in a statement.
When drug companies like Pfizer and Moderna learned to successfully incorporate messenger RNA technology into a COVID-19 vaccine, experts say they likely opened the door to a significant shift in the future of immunization.The milestone in vaccine development was met with enthusiasm from most, but the seemingly swift pace and novel approach is causing hesitancy in others. Experts say the new technique shouldn't dissuade people from getting the vaccine. While the mRNA method is new to inoculations, the actual technology has been around for decades. The difference now, they say, is scientists have ironed out the kinks to make a useful product."It sounds fancy, mRNA, but there's nothing outlandish about it," said Dr. Earl Brown, a virology and microbiology specialist with the University of Ottawa. "This is the way our cells operate — we live by mRNA."Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were the first inoculations approved for humans to use mRNA, which provides our cells with instructions to make proteins. In the case of COVID vaccines, the injected material shows cells how to make a harmless piece of the coronavirus spike protein, which then teaches our immune system to recognize the virus and fight off a future infection.Scientists made the vaccine by programming genetic material from the spike protein into mRNA, a process that theoretically could work for other viruses."As long as you know how to create those instructions — that genetic code you need to convince your body to create that target — you can design an mRNA vaccine against any antigen," said Nicole Basta, an associate professor of epidemiology at McGill."But the question is whether it will be effective, and whether it will be safe."The development of future mRNA vaccines might be quick, Basta says, but they would need to go through the usual evaluation process and clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. So vaccines for other viruses won't be popping up overnight.Still, Basta adds, there's potential for using mRNA to either improve upon existing vaccines or to develop new ones against other pathogens.Dr. Scott Halperin, a professor at Dalhousie University and the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, sees mRNA vaccines as "evolutionary rather than revolutionary."Part of the reason COVID vaccines came together so quickly was the technology had been developing for years, Halperin said. The global pandemic offered scientists a pressing opportunity — and unprecedented funding and collaboration — to try again for a viable injection.Previous research had been done on creating mRNA vaccines against Zika and other viruses, Halperin added, and there were earlier efforts focused on cancer treatments. Coronavirus-specific research was further sped up by spike protein analysis from SARS and MERS.While the mRNA technology itself is impressive, Halperin says improvements need to be made to create a more temperature-stable product before these types of vaccines and treatments "truly take over.""The logistics of delivering mRNA vaccines right now, we wouldn't want to have to do that for every vaccine we produce," he said, referencing the ultra-cold storage temperature that's currently needed. "But I do think it's an important milestone."Scientists are expected to continue advancing the technology, just as they did recently in solving two confounding problems with mRNA — its fragility and instability.Brown says fragility was resolved by packaging the mRNA in a fat coating, giving it something to help bind onto cells so it wouldn't disintegrate upon injection. The instability was conquered by modifying the uracil component of RNA, one of the four units of its genetic code."The technology application is new, but the science is mature," Brown said. "We've just reached the point at which we can apply it." Traditional vaccines typically contain a killed or weakened virus, Brown said. Those methods are still being used in COVID vaccine development, including by AstraZeneca-Oxford, whose product has not yet been approved in Canada.A benefit to using mRNA is the speed at which a vaccine can be developed or updated once scientists know what to target, Brown says. While experts believe current vaccines will work against recent variants of the COVID virus — including one originating in the U.K. that's more transmissible — Brown says mRNA's adaptability could theoretically come in handy if new strains emerged that necessitated an update. "In six weeks they could produce something," he said. "It would still have to go through Phase 3 trials, but it does give you more flexibility and a big leg up."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
According to the government of Alberta COVID-19 website updates as of January 19, 2021, there are 22 new cases of the novel coronavirus in Cardston County- which brings the county to 109 active cases. To compare, during the same time span there have only been 11 new cases in all of Lethbridge, and only one new case in Lethbridge County. The government of Alberta website does not break down the locations of the cases further. The County of Cardston covers a large area of over 3,000 square kilometres of land, which includes 11 hamlets, 2 towns, 2 villages, many Hutterite colonies, and the Kainai Blood Tribe. According to the government of Alberta website there are 16, 459 people living within these boundaries. While no other detailed records could be found on other municipal websites about where each of these cases are across the county, the blood tribe website specifies that 78 cases are currently found on the kainai reserve, leaving 30 elsewhere in the area. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief medical officer of health, stated Tuesday night that the vaccine had begun to be administered. She says “we started with long-term care and designated supportive living facilities because residents in these locations are the most at risk.” Statistics show that two out of every three Albertans who have died from COVID-19 live in these settings, which is why Albertans over the age of 75 will be candidates to receive the vaccine during one the next batch arrives. According to the Alberta regional dashboard website, approximately 3% of residents in the county fall into this age category and 6% of town residents. Elizabeth Thompson-Christensen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temple City Star
À l’issue du caucus du Bloc québécois en prélude à la rentrée parlementaire, les élus bloquistes entendent se pencher prioritairement sur la gestion de la pandémie, le soutien aux aînés, la hausse des transferts en santé et la promotion de la langue française. La lutte contre la pandémie de COVID-19 et «l’identité québécoise» seront au cœur de l’action des bloquistes à la Chambre des communes alors que les livraisons des doses de vaccin de Pfizer seront interrompues au Québec la semaine prochaine. «Nous allons talonner Justin Trudeau pour qu’il assume sa responsabilité d’approvisionner le Québec en vaccins. Il devra enfin assumer sa responsabilité de gérer les frontières et les quarantaines», a prévenu le chef du Bloc, Yves-François Blanchet, selon un communiqué du bureau d’Andréanne Larouche, députée de Shefford. Ottawa vient de prolonger les restrictions sur les voyages internationaux vers le Canada en provenance de pays autres que les États-Unis jusqu’au 21 février, mais ces mesures demeurent insuffisantes aux yeux du Bloc. Le Québec demande la suspension des vols internationaux et le renforcement du contrôle des quarantaines des voyageurs. Le premier ministre, Justin Trudeau, menace d’imposer de nouvelles mesures «sans préavis» si les Canadiens continuent de voyager sans raison essentielle. Les aînés et votes à distance Le Bloc plaide également pour une hausse durable de 110 $ par mois de la pension de la Sécurité de la vieillesse. «Avec le coût des médicaments et la hausse des prix, notamment de la nourriture et des loyers, plus que jamais, les aînés ont besoin d’une bonification de leur situation financière», a expliqué la députée Andréanne Larouche, porte-parole du Bloc pour les aînés et la condition féminine. Les bloquistes n’oublient pas la question de l’augmentation des transferts en santé alors que le gouvernement fédéral pourrait déposer au printemps son premier budget en deux ans. Toutes ces priorités du Bloc doivent avoir l’approbation de la Chambre dans un contexte où le parlement hybride pourrait être reconduit. Le parti souhaite que le gouvernement obtienne l’unanimité avant de lancer une application sur le vote à distance. «Les libéraux ne peuvent pas changer par simple majorité une règle du jeu aussi fondamentale que la manière dont se tiennent les votes. Ils doivent obtenir l’unanimité. Je leur demande d’enfin faire de véritables efforts pour rallier toute l’opposition en prouvant l’efficacité de l’application et en mettant de côté toute partisanerie préélectorale au profit du bon fonctionnement de la démocratie», a plaidé la députée Andréanne Larouche. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
After months of mounting calls to remove police from the front-line response for people in mental health distress, the City of Toronto is proposing a pilot program that would see mobile crisis support teams dispatched to non-emergency calls in four communities with some of the highest rates of calls like this. If approved early next month, the pilot would allow for a "non-police led response for non-emergency, non-violent calls including those involving persons in crisis and for wellness checks," the city said in a news release. The project would be piloted in three areas of the city: northwest Toronto, northeast Toronto and Downtown East, while a fourth would serve Indigenous communities. The crisis teams themselves would be multidisciplinary, the city says, involving crisis workers with mental health and intervention training, as well as de-escalation, situational awareness and field training. The pilot would also provide follow-up care including case management, mental health counselling, substance use support and referrals to other services that may be required. Move follows multiple deaths of people in crisis at hands of police The proposal comes after a string of deaths of people in crisis at the hands of police across Canada. Those include 26-year-old D'Andre Campbell and 62-year-old Ejaz Choudhry in Brampton, 48-year-old Rodney Levi in New Brunswick and in Toronto, 29-year-old Regis Korchinski-Paquet, whose death in May 2020 saw thousands take to the streets to demand accountability and protest racism in policing. In the case of Korchinski-Paquet, Toronto police have said they were called after reports of an assault involving a knife. In the ensuing minutes, the 29-year-old fell to her death from her family's 24th-floor apartment building. The five officers involved were later cleared of wrongdoing by the province's special investigations unit. Korchinski-Paquet's relatives have said police were called because of a family conflict that left her in distress. Claudette Korchinski-Beals, her mother, has said she asked police to take her daughter to Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to get her help but that instead, she ended up dead. Given the city pilot project is geared only toward "non-emergency" and "non-violent" calls, it's unclear if the new measures would have changed anything for someone in a position like Korchinski-Paquet. Toronto has seen increase in 'person in crisis' calls Currently, Toronto's mobile mental health teams — consisting of a registered nurse and police officer — are mandated only to provide secondary responses. Police officers alone remain the first responders, particularly for calls involving a weapon. A report from the city manager this week notes Toronto police have seen a 32.4 per cent increase in "person in crisis" calls over the past five years. Out of the nearly one million calls officers respond to every year, about 30,000 are mental health calls, Toronto police have told CBC News. However, the report acknowledges, using law enforcement to respond to health-related issues "creates barriers and risks for many Torontonians, particularly Indigenous, Black, and equity-deserving communities." "Systemic discrimination in Toronto has negatively impacted how these communities experience community safety," it says. "Evidence of disproportionate use of force including deadly force, invasive searches, and greater surveillance on Indigenous, Black, and equity-deserving communities has impacted community trust and confidence in a police-led response for those experiencing a health crisis." In the release, Mayor John Tory called the project "a step in the direction" for residents experiencing "a non-violent crisis." The project will go to the city's executive committee for consideration on Jan. 27 and if approved, will be voted on by city council at the Feb. 2-3 meeting.
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Month-after-month, the COVID-19 pandemic creeps along, while many entrepreneurs get creative to stay afloat in an uncertain economy. But the lasting resilience from the visionaries at St. Eugene’s Golf Resort and Casino remains strong. “It operated as a year-round resort until COVID hit,” said Barry Zwueste, St. Eugene’s Golf Resort and Casino chief executive officer (CEO). “Now it is a seasonal resort. We’re opening April 1, 2021, and we’ll open every year on April 1 going forward, and close for Thanksgiving every year. It’s difficult to attract people here year-round. It was a difficult choice to make, but these were the tough choices we needed to make with people.” St. Eugene’s Mission Resort, a former residential school that operated between 1912 and 1970 saw approximately 5,000 Grade 1 to 8 students attend programming near Cranbrook, became known as the St. Eugene Golf Resort and Casino in 2003 thanks to the shared vision of former St. Mary’s Chief Sophie Pierre and Aq’am elder Mary Paul who helped to turn one of the darkest chapters in Canadian history into an opportunity for reclaimation and restoration after the building had been empty and “derelict” for roughly 20 years. The 10-year-long plans to resotre the building into a five-star hotel is valued around $20 million, according to Zwueste. The casino opened in 2001 and the hotel opened in 2002. And in the midst of 2020, St. Eugene’s Mission school commemorated 50 years since the last student left the residential school on June 21, 1970 when it closed. Pierre, who served as the provincial treaty commissioner in B.C. between 2009 and 2015, penned an essay called “Neé Eustache: The Little Girl Who Would be Chief” in “Response, Responsibility, and Renewal: Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation” to explain why the community made the decision to reclaim and renovate the building from a residential school into a resort. She is currently the acting chair on the board for the resort. “Because the industry, and the resort is Indigenous owned, we’ve always made a point of showcasing our communities and our nation. That is the intent of this particular (cultural awareness) program that you’re writing about now,” Pierre explained by phone. “We want to be able to tell these stories from our point of view as opposed to someone else coming around and telling those stories for us. By telling our own stories, we want to make sure that when people come here — there are resorts all over the world…. What makes our resort special is that it’s got the Indigenous history that it does.” Programming at the resort includes cultural awareness training for corporations to embrace Indigenous protocols. Indigenous Culture and Relations Workshop Ktunaxa knowledge holders and elders offer cross cultural training to promote diversity in corporate culture that aims to build relationships with Indigenous communities. The hands-on Indigenous cultural awareness training program offered at St. Eugene’s focuses on the legacies of the past, explores the present and aims to generate self-sufficiency and respectful relationships with First Nations communities in the future. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s final report encourages the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples as a framework for applying polities, standards and operational activities that involve Indigenous people as well as their lands and resources. Upon completion of the workshop, participants will understand the importance of local languages and land acknowledgements, awareness about meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities, how to advocate for Indigenous rights in business as well as to gain an understanding about the importance of indigenous relationships to resources like land, water, air and wildlife. The workshop is designed to support organizations who need to learn how to attract Indigenous employees in business opportunities, build positive relationships with Indigenous employees and how to work effectively with Indigenous governments and businesses to be more effective. It is recommended that groups have between six to 24 people. Each workshop includes an interpretive centre and building tour, cross-cultural workshops, traditional games and Indigenous team-building activities. Prices start at $349 for single hotel occupancy rates, and tailored packages can be customized through the resort’s sales team. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer
German researchers have enabled mice paralyzed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain. Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralyzed because not all of the nerve fibers that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back. But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralyzed mice's nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein.
The federal judge who is hearing both the U.S. Justice Department and state antitrust cases against Google said on Thursday that he wanted the states to begin turning documents over to the search and advertising giant on Feb. 4 as part of preparation for trial. Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the states, led by Colorado, to begin next month to turn over materials they planned to use in the case, rejecting a mid-March date the states has suggested. With regard to the Justice Department case, John Schmidtlein, an attorney for Google, said the material the search engine and software unit of Alphabet Inc had received so far from the government did not include anything provided by Microsoft Corp, a Google rival.
Bernie Sanders won't be the only one needing warm mittens this week. British Columbians are in for the coldest stretch of the year as a winter high pressure zone settles into place across the province. In Metro Vancouver that means clearing skies and sub-zero temperatures beginning Thursday night. Friday is forecast to be clear with a wind chill of –6 C, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, with daytime temperatures rising to 4 C. Friday night into Saturday is set to be the coldest night this season at –3 C to –5 C. Saturday stays sunny until a low-pressure system brings in a wintry mix overnight into Sunday, including a couple of centimetres of snow. The snow will change into rain on Sunday — but the long-range forecast shows a chance of more snow falling next week. Vancouver opening warming sites As part of Vancouver's extreme weather response, the city is opening more shelter space starting Thursday to provide people with a safe place during cold winter months. Directions Youth Services Centre at 1138 Burrard St. can provide overnight accommodation for a small number of youth who are up to 24 years old. Shelter spaces for adults will be available at: Evelyn Saller Centre, 320 Alexander St. Tenth Church, 11 West 10th Ave. Langara YMCA, 282 West 49th Ave Powell Street Getaway, 528 Powell St. More shelter spaces are being added on Saturday at: Vancouver Aquatic Centre, 1050 Beach Ave. Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way. The city says measures are in place at shelters and warming centres to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Alleged street gang associates accused of shooting at police who were pursuing them during a high-speed chase on Onion Lake Cree Nation had appearances in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 20. Crown Prosecutor Oryn Holm from North Battleford, told the court he was opposed to the release of Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, all from Onion Lake Cree Nation. Buffalo and Wolfe have show cause hearings on Feb. 3, and Chief has a hearing on Jan. 28. Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., appeared by CCTV from Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women and the appearances for the rest of the defendants were waived. The Crown agreed to McAlpine’s release. Defence Cameron Schmunk from Legal Aid in North Battleford told the court he was only representing McAlpine that day as duty counsel. She is scheduled to appear again on March 3. The case against Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, was adjourned to Feb. 3. Buffalo, Chief, Weeseekase, Wolfe and McAlpine were all arrested on Jan. 1, 2021. The incident started at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Onion Lake RCMP received a call from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV came into their private yard, drove off and smashed through their fence. RCMP patrolled the area in search of the SUV and found it driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. They followed the SUV down Highway 17 and then onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police saw a long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police. Police continued to pursue the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion Lake Cree Nation high school. Two men, including the driver and a front passenger, jumped out of the SUV and fled on foot into an open field. Police chased the fleeing suspects on foot and additional RCMP officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women. RCMP found the driver, Tyler Wolfe, hiding inside a garbage bin and the passenger in a nearby baseball field. From the SUV, police seized two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions. RCMP say the occupants of the SUV were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial RCMP General Investigation Section took over the investigation. Wolfe, Weeseekase, Chief and Buffalo were charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving. Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon. McAlpine was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. The charges against Wolfe, Weeseekase, McAlpine, Chief and Buffalo haven’t been proven in court. Onion Lake state of emergency Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in January 2020 after a string of drug and gang-related violence threatened the safety of the community, including three murders in as many months. If anyone has any information that could assist investigators, please contact Onion Lake RCMP at 306-344-5550. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster. email@example.com Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Dufferin County Council is asking the Province to reassess the makeup of the conservation authority working group, launched by the Ontario government following the passing of Bill 229. During County Council’s meeting last Thursday (Jan. 14), Amaranth Deputy Mayor Chris Gerrits brought forward a motion requesting that the province revaluate the working group to allow for equal representation from municipalities and conservation authorities. “I found yesterday the list of appointees and I was disappointed to see that it’s primarily CAOs of conservation authorities, with only one representative out of 18 representing municipality,” said Gerrits. The Conservation Authority Working Group was established by the provincial government following the passing of Bill 229, which received Royal Assent on Dec. 8 and saw controversial changes to Schedule 6 of the Conservation Authorities Act (CAA). Prior to its passing, conservation authorities and municipalities said the legislation would limit conservation authorities and streamline the development process. Some revision and amendments were made such as allowing conservation authorities to issues stop orders while concerns such as the Minster of Natural Resources and Forestry having the ability to make decision on appeals and issuing permits without expertise from conservation authorities. Gerrits, speaking with the Free Press, explained his concerns with the majority of appointees on the working group being conservation authorities, with only one representative from municipalities. “My issue with is that it’s supposed to be a working group to sort of advise on proposed changes and the fact is that municipalities are the major source of funding for the Conservation Authority,” said Gerrits. “So the recommendations that come out of the working group have the potential to be adopted by the provincial government, with the implication being that any costs associated with improvements or enhancements or any additional scope, which I don’t think would happen, but it is possible – have direct impact on those municipalities because they’re responsible for those costs.” Discussing the motion, Mulmur Mayor Janet Horner questioned a change in the wording, to have additional municipal representation rather than equal, noting that she too believes that one municipal representative is not enough. With 18 members already part of the conservation authority working group, Gerrits did consider how the working could cause a higher number of group members, but chose to continue to the original working of the motion. With the passing of the motion it will also be sent to the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO), Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks Jeff Yurek, and Hassaan Basil, chair of the conservation authority working group. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
Supporters of the baseless QAnon theory believed that Donald Trump would remain US President to fight against supposed enemies in the "deep state".View on euronews