With meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal
With meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
MONTREAL — Health authorities in Quebec have reported fewer than 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 for four consecutive days — almost two weeks since the imposition of a provincewide curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Premier Francois Legault has suggested the drop in cases may be the result of the curfew, which he said he imposed to reduce COVID-19 transmission, especially to people older than 60. The measure will be in effect, he said, until at least Feb. 8. Health experts say it's too early to know for certain whether the curfew is behind the significant drop in new daily cases. But they differ on whether the drastic measure should start getting some credit. Benoit Masse, professor of public health at Universite de Montreal, said it's "very difficult to know" whether the curfew is working because that measure was one of several restrictions imposed to reduce spread. Primary schools had been closed for an extended winter break and only reopened Jan. 11, he said. High schools, meanwhile, reopened Monday. Government data indicates schools have been tied to more than 20 per cent of non-active outbreaks in the province. Quebecers also got a "rude awakening," Masse said, when earlier this month officials reported more than 3,100 cases in a single day, sparking public warnings from doctors who said hospitals were on the verge of rationing care. Those warnings may have shocked Quebecers into reducing their contacts, Masse explained. "It's certain that also had an enormous impact on Quebec." But, he added, the curfew may have also played a role in shocking Quebecers into reducing their contacts. Roxane Borges Da Silva, a public health professor at Universite de Montreal who was one of the experts calling for a curfew in early January, said the measure may be having the desired effect. She said a new study by researchers at the Aix-Marseille University in France indicates that a partial lockdown coupled with a curfew reduced transmission in that country among people aged 20 to 60. That study, "An Early Assessment of Curfew and Second COVID-19 Lock-down on Virus Propagation in France," which has not yet been peer reviewed, found that the acceleration of viral spread among people older than 60 "decreased notably with curfew measures." But even with the decline in the number of new cases, Masse said it's too early to say whether the trend will continue. It's also too early, he said, to declare victory. Quebec reported 1,502 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 66 more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus, including 10 that occurred in the preceding 24 hours. Health officials said hospitalizations dropped by 33, to 1,467, and 216 people were in intensive care, a rise of four. The majority of the new cases were reported in Montreal and neighbouring regions. Officials reported 629 cases in Montreal, 199 in the Monteregie region and 148 in Laval. No other region in Quebec had more than 100 reported cases Wednesday. Quebec has reported 247,236 COVID-19 infections and 9,208 deaths linked to the virus since the start of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, b2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
Sexsmith considered hiring an energy manager, a position to be shared with other small municipalities in the South Peace. According to the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC), the program would create an energy management plan, promote conservation and save money on energy. The project was proposed by energy consultant Larry Gibson as a possible partnership with Beaverlodge, Hythe, Wembley and the town and municipal district of Spirit River. The cost of having the position was estimated at $11,300 per year for one or two years and there could be MCCAC grant funding available, said CAO Rachel Wueschner. Wueschner said the town hasn’t recently received word from the other municipalities about whether they’ll go forward with the project. Beaverlodge CAO Jeff Johnston said Beaverlodge council has yet to discuss the proposal. Mayor Kate Potter said she thought the project could be positive for the town, but said she recognized most of council was skeptical due to the costs and the town’s tight budget. Coun. Isak Skjaveland’s motion to take no action was carried. Council also amended its Election Bylaw to govern how declared candidates can pay the $100 needed to enter October’s race. In mid-November council approved an election bylaw setting a fee for candidates in future municipal elections. The bylaw previously allowed payment by cash, certified cheque or money order. Wueschner recommended allowing debit and disallowing credit cards because of logistical difficulties, as the town’s debit machine doesn’t take credit cards. Councillors Skjaveland, Dennis Stredulinsky and Bruce Black’s motions to allow debit payments were carried. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Last summer was meant to be filled with festivals for Rick Matharu and his food truck, itself a recent expansion of a fusion diner experience born from a reality cooking show victory. Instead, within a week of the declaration of an emergency lockdown in March, the calls and e-mails cancelling or postponing events came flooding in, while all the fixed costs of running a bustling (but now shuttered) restaurant just west of Toronto Pearson Airport piled up. “We’ve got no money coming in, we’ve got to pay our suppliers, our rent and whatever else there may be, and it was frightening,” said Matharu, chef and owner of Rick’s Good Eats, where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dropped in for a photo op in 2018. Matharu’s ability to weather the COVID-19 storm is an exceptional one, involving a recipe that won a 2012 reality TV show and put his butter chicken lasagne in grocery store freezers across the country. Half of Canada’s restaurants risk closing within six months, according to survey results published by Restaurants Canada in December, while more than a third of all Ontario businesses won’t survive the provincial government’s Boxing Day expansion of restrictions, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Matharu didn’t collect royalties from the President’s Choice Butter Chicken Lasagne he spawned, but he did collect $250,000 in prize money and a loyal following of customers who know him as the winner of the second season of the Food Network’s Recipe to Riches show. So when the business he started after his win was ordered to serve takeout only, he secured an interest-free loan from Ottawa to invest in vacuum-sealing equipment and started selling fresh and frozen versions of his lasagna, naan pizza, mac and cheese, butter chicken sauce and other menu items for pick up. “It was a nice return that brought in a lot of business, so for me, that was a win,” he said. Sales fell 60 per cent when the pandemic first hit, and remain 30 per cent less than a year ago now, plus all that lost catering revenue from the summer, he said. Matharu, who describes his style as Punjabi-Canadian comfort food, also started posting Instagram cooking videos showing people how to cook tandoori chicken and various other recipes. “The only thing I have left to do is pivot, think of new ideas, and accelerate my business, or at least pay my bills to make sure that we're surviving,” he said. Matharu was also able to invest personal funds into web development for online orders for the curbside service, and is thinking about adding delivery across the ci It’s not that Matharu hasn’t been hit by some of the same economic realities facing many small businesses, especially those in hospitality. Rick’s Good Eats employed 22 people before the pandemic, and that’s now down to nine. But after initially needing the maximum wage subsidy on offer, sales in the summer recovered enough that he is only eligible for 30 or 40 per cent (he expects it may dip again once accounting for October onward). He also took two big losses over the summer, when the provincial government gave short notice for changes to limits on social gatherings, including one Thursday announcement of changed protocol when his food truck was lined up to attend seven events that weekend. “You can’t change it on us last minute. We have all this food prepped up, we have all this food bought, we have staffing ready to go,” he said. “What do you want me to do with 50 kilograms of chicken?” Alastair Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Green Leader David Coon is calling on Natural Resources Minister Mike Holland to resign from cabinet because of a letter he wrote to the Energy and Utilities Board. The board is dealing with an application from Irving Oil for an increase in the wholesale prices of fuel oil, gasoline and diesel produced at its Saint John refinery. Coon says any effort to influence the work of the board is an abuse of power. The Opposition Liberals say by sending a letter to encourage a quick review, the minister is interfering in the work of the board. But in a statement, late Wednesday, Premier Blaine Higgs says he won't ask Holland to resign. Higgs says there are significant concerns about the continuity of oil supply and the impacts that the current market and federal regulations will have on the oil refinery, especially during COVID-19, and the minister was acting on behalf of government to support a review. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Wembley has a new Land Use Bylaw (LUB) that drills down into the development process to encourage commercial development, reports mayor Chris Turnmire. The bylaw was formalized following a public hearing in mid-December. Council gave the revamped LUB its final readings and passage after receiving no objections, said Turnmire. Approximately three members of the public joined the hearing through Zoom but none spoke, he said. “The last bylaw was 22 years old and it was due for a review and revision,” Turnmire said. “We have a more thorough bylaw that will be clearer for the public and developers to look at when considering any future development in Wembley.” The reform will go in-depth in describing the development process, making the definitions of zoning areas clearer, he said. Wembley has always had some steady growth, including approximately 9.6 per cent growth in the last census, he said. Statistics Canada reported Wembley had a population of 1,516 in 2016, compared to 1,383 in 2011. “That was exceptional, and if from 2016 we had 1.5 to two per cent growth, council would be very pleased,” he said. Turnmire said all public feedback on the LUB review came before the draft, through an open house held by ISL Engineering in early 2020. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
OTTAWA — Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says Ottawa is working with the provinces to prioritize vaccinating Indigenous people against COVID-19.Miller says that there is a need to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to Indigenous people living both on reserves and in urban centres. He says the government is focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care facilities and essential workers but other vulnerable Indigenous groups will get the COVID-19 vaccine next.In a news release Wednesday, Indigenous Services Canada said there have been 89 COVID-19 cases and nine deaths in long-term care homes in Indigenous communities on reserves.The number of COVID-19 active cases in First Nations communities reached a new all-time high this week with 5,571 reported cases as of Tuesday.The department said COVID-19 vaccine rollouts have already started in 169 Indigenous communities in all provinces and territories except Nova Scotia and P.E.I.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.———This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Overnight, St. Albert had six new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the city. On Tuesday, the province released new COVID-19 data, showing active cases in the city dropping from 173 on Monday to 157 on Tuesday, representing a drop of 16 active cases. Newly diagnosed cases climbed by six, from 1,824 to 1,830 on Tuesday. Recoveries jumped from 1,623 on Monday to 1,645 on Tuesday, representing an increase of 22 cases recovered. In Sturgeon County, active cases sit at 33, while 521 people have recovered from the virus since the pandemic began. Morinville has 22 active cases with 318 people having recovered from COVID-19. Across Alberta, there were 456 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed with 8,200 tests run. The positivity rate sits at 5.6 per cent, which Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said is still a high rate compared to the one- to three-per-cent seen in Alberta in the summer and fall. Hinshaw said the province isn't sure why so few people are getting tested but said it could be because fewer people are feeling ill. Hinshaw encouraged anyone who is feeling symptoms to get tested for COVID-19. There are current 154 active alerts in schools across the province with outbreaks in two schools, representing a total of six per cent of schools. There are 212 total cases linked to schools in the province. Hinshaw said hospitalizations remain high in Alberta with 740 people currently in the hospital and 119 of them in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). "Our health system is still under severe strain,” Hinshaw said. In the past 24 hours, another 17 deaths were reported to Alberta Health. As of Jan. 18, the province has given out 92,315 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
People's Alliance Leader Kris Austin says he's rethinking his role on an all-party COVID-19 committee because of inconsistent pandemic guidelines that he is finding hard to justify to New Brunswickers. Austin said the recent watering down of red-phase restrictions, and the lack of information being provided to opposition party leaders, causes him to question the value of the committee. "That is something that frankly I have thought about," he said. "At what point do you throw up your hands and walk away?" The Alliance leader said he's not ready to quit yet but his support for the committee is "waning." And he said that's in part because it's difficult for opposition parties to both have a role in recommendations and at the same oppose COVID-19 policies they disagree with. "I'm honoured to be on the committee, and to be able to speak and to be a part of the discussion that happens … but at the same time, as opposition parties we have to have the flexibility to speak when we don't agree." He is also questioning whether moving four health zones to the red phase of restrictions this week was necessary. "I think we should have stuck it out in orange for a bit longer and see where we can go from there." Premier Blaine Higgs struck the all-party committee last March, the same week the first case of COVID-19 appeared in New Brunswick. It includes Higgs, key ministers and the leaders of the three opposition parties in the legislature. I was under the understanding that red meant lockdown, that there was no extra lockdown. - Kris Austin, People's Alliance leader Higgs had a minority government at the time and the committee was a way for the government to present a unified public health message to New Brunswickers that would not be undermined by partisan bickering. The premier kept the committee in place even after he won a majority in last September's election and told CBC News he hopes Austin won't break from the consensus. "It's important that we stay together as a team in our cabinet committee," he said. "This is no time after a successful 10 months to have diverse opinions in the public." But Austin said he's increasingly disenchanted with how the body works and is calling for "a real reset of this committee to determine how it's going to be done better." It has no decision-making power but gives feedback and advice on various COVID-19 measures. Only the actual Progressive Conservative cabinet has the power to approve pandemic measures. Higgs says though that the three opposition parties are getting "all the information" that he is given as premier by Public Health officials. "There's nothing new or different from what I'm presented." Consensus not always reached This isn't the first time cracks have appeared in the consensus. Last spring Green Party Leader David Coon broke ranks with Higgs over restrictions on temporary foreign workers that were later rescinded. At the time, Coon complained that the confidentiality oath taken by him and the other party leaders prevented him from discussing publicly what concerns he raised about the decision in the committee. And this week Liberal Leader Roger Melanson said the committee was given little notice of the change to red-phase rules to allow schools to stay open, a shift that Education Minister Dominic Cardy said had been in the works for some time. Austin said he supports schools staying open but questioned why the red-phase rules were being changed now. Consistency is the key to giving New Brunswickers confidence in COVID-19 measures, he said. But now the government is talking for the first time this week about a new, stricter lockdown phase beyond red. "I was under the understanding that red meant lockdown, that there was no extra lockdown. But now red seems to be another version of orange. Schools are remaining open, and yet we're targeting churches and hair salons." Among other rules in the red phase, only drive-in religious services are allowed, salons, gyms and entertainment centres must close, and restaurants are not allowed to provide in-housing dining. Higgs said keeping schools open is the only change to the red rules and described it as "a bridge" between red and orange restrictions. "The challenge becomes that we're all a bit frustrated with where we are now .. and how far do we go to shut this down?" The Alliance leader said he gets calls from New Brunswickers asking him, as a member of the committee, to explain certain decisions, but without "relevant, specific information" it's often hard to justify them. Austin's riding is part of Zone 3, which saw one new case on Tuesday when it was put in the red phase. The zone had a single new case again Wednesday. "People can't grasp that," he said, and it's made more difficult when he isn't even told where in the zone — which stretches from Minto and Chipman all the way to Perth-Andover and Plaster Rock — the cases are located. Higgs says he understands Austin is getting pushback and believes it's a reflection of rising case numbers. "In two weeks time, if this absolutely turns around, everybody's going to be thankful we made the moves we did. And if it doesn't turn around, people are going be saying 'do more.'"
COMMUNAUTÉ. C’est finalement un montant de 40 235 $ qui aura été amassé via Gofundme afin de créer une bourse d’études pour Jacob, le fils de l’urgentologue Karine Dion. «Je suis vraiment émue. Je pensais faire une petite campagne pour mon hôpital, mais c’est tout le Québec qui est solidaire pour aider Jacob et honorer la mémoire Karine», constate avec reconnaissance la Dre Geneviève Simard-Racine qui s’était d’abord fixé un objectif de 10 000 $ à recueillir pour créer une bourse d’études pour le fils de son amie. «Il y a eu aussi le 13 janvier, en soirée, un parcours commémoratif dans l’hôpital de Granby. Nos gens pouvaient se recueillir et déposer une étoile dans un cadre. Il y avait également un livre qui sera remis à David, le conjoint de Karine, où l’on pouvait laisser un mot», rapporte-t-elle. À son tour, la Dre Simard-Racine a invité «les aidants à accepter de se faire aider». Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
OTTAWA — The economy will go in reverse for the first quarter of 2021, the Bank of Canada said Wednesday as it kept its key interest rate on hold, warning the hardest-hit workers will be hammered again on a path to a recovery that rests on the rollout of vaccines.Workers in high-contact service industries will carry the burden of a new round of lockdowns, which the central bank warned will exacerbate the pandemic’s uneven effects on the labour market.The longer restrictions remain in place, the more difficult it may be for these workers to find new jobs since the majority move to a new job but in the same industry. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in his opening remarks at a late-morning news conference that the first-quarter decline could be worse than expected if restrictions are tightened or extended.The central bank kept its key rate on hold at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday, citing near-term weakness and the "protracted nature of the recovery" in its reasoning.The short-term pain is expected to give way to a brighter outlook for the medium-term with vaccines rolling out sooner than the central bank expected.Still, the bank said in its updated economic outlook, a full recovery from COVID-19 will take some time. Nor does the Bank of Canada see inflation returning to its two per cent target until 2023, one year longer than previously forecast, and the bank's key rate is likely to stay low until then.Overall, there is reason to be more optimistic about the economy in the medium-term, but it will still need extraordinary help from governments and the central bank to get there, Macklem said.The bank’s latest monetary policy report, which lays out its expectations for economic growth and inflation, forecast that COVID-19 caused the economy to contract by 5.5 per cent last year.Despite an upswing over the summer and fall that may have spared the country from a worst-case economic scenario, the drive to a recovery will hit a pothole over the first three months of 2021.The bank forecasts real gross domestic product to contract at an annual pace of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, before improving thereafter if severe restrictions start easing in February.The bank expects growth of four per cent overall for 2021, then 4.8 per cent next year, and 2.5 per cent in 2023.Trevin Stratton, chief economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, was more dour on lockdowns, saying the group doesn't expect them to ease until well into March."During this period, we need to provide the right kind of support to individual Canadians and to businesses to get them through the lockdowns, recognizing that neither group is in the same financial position as it was in March 2020," he said in a statement.For the central bank, that help could come through ramping up its bond-buying to force down interest rates, or a small cut to its key policy rate among options Macklem mentioned Wednesday.Keeping the door open to such a "micro" rate change is a shift in tone, as Macklem has previously said the current 0.25 rate is as low as it would go.The bank said the path for the economy will be like riding a roller-coaster as resurgence in COVID-19, or new, more virulent strains, weigh down a recovery in one quarter before leading to strong upswing in the next.Inflation may be equally rocky.Gasoline prices, which have weighed down the consumer price index during the pandemic, will by March be “well above their lows of a year earlier,” the bank’s report said. That should significantly bump inflation, the report said, possibly to two per cent in the second quarter.The bump will even out over the rest of the year. The bank forecasts inflation for 2021 at 1.6 per cent, then 1.7 per cent in 2022 and 2.1 per cent in 2023.Statistics Canada reported Wednesday the annual pace of inflation cooled in December to 0.7 per cent compared with 1.0 per cent in November. The agency also reported that the average last month of Canada's three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures and closely tracked by the Bank of Canada, was 1.57 per cent.The central bank’s lookahead rests on efforts to vaccinate Canadians by the end of the year without any hiccups in that timeline, which would mean broad immunity six months sooner than the bank previously assumed."It's going to be very important that Canada get the vaccines, we get them distributed to Canadians and that Canadians take the vaccine," Macklem said.A shorter timeline for vaccinations should mean less scarring overall for the economy in the form of fewer bankruptcies and fewer workers out of jobs for long stretches, which makes it more difficult for them to get back into the labour force.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the first quarter decline in real gross domestic product was 2.9 per cent.
European leaders described the 46th President's inauguration speech as "inspiring" and said it was time to bring "conviction and common sense" to help rejuvenate their relationship with the US.View on euronews
OTTAWA — The head of the Ontario Medical Association says dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is spreading on social media among all age groups. The association's analysis of more than 65,000 recent online posts in Ontario shows that conspiracy theories about the origin of the novel coronavirus and fears that vaccines are dangerous and untested run particularly rampant among people under the age of 35. Dr. Samantha Hill says any delay to vaccinating Canadians will cost lives, whether it stems from untruths that dissuade people from getting a shot in the arm or current issues slowing down delivery of doses to Canada. Canada's small supply of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech will shrink even more over the next four weeks as the company slows production while upgrading its facility in Belgium. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't doing enough to pressure Pfizer to limit the effect on Canada and is urging him to get company CEO Albert Bourla on the phone right away. A Trudeau spokesman says they will not confirm who Trudeau has spoken to about the matter, and will not negotiate in public. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
CALGARY — The lawyer for a teen charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer says it will likely be a difficult case because of the high level of scrutiny it is already generating. Kaysi Fagan spoke to reporters at the conclusion of a two-day bail hearing Wednesday for her client, who was 17 at the time Sgt. Andrew Harnett was killed on Dec. 31 and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Police have said Harnett was hit and dragged while attempting to stop an SUV after noticing its plates didn't match its registration. They allege the accused youth was driving the vehicle and a 19-year-old man, also charged with first-degree murder, was a passenger. "Certainly any time there's a death, whether it be an officer or a member of the public, certainly it's more difficult. The exposure's greater, the attention is greater, scrutiny is greater," Fagan said. She said the fact that Harnett was a police officer, killed in the line of duty, will add to the divisiveness when it eventually goes to trial. "When the police kill someone it takes a year to investigate it, maybe there's charges laid, maybe there aren't. Here's we've got a first-degree murder charge laid against a youth within 12 hours. So I think it's a bit of a double standard," Fagan said. "Certainly the fact an officer was killed here is concerning to the public and obviously it's going to be very divisive." Youth court Judge Steve Lipton has reserved his decision on bail for the teen suspect until Jan. 28. Crown Prosecutor Doug Taylor is opposed to his release. "The young person ought to be detained for both the safety and the protection of the public, and to maintain confidence in the administration of justice," Taylor said. He told court Tuesday that the Crown will seek an adult sentence for the youth if he's convicted. That would mean life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 10 years. The co-accused in the case, Amir Abdulrahman, is to appear in court on Feb. 4. His lawyer, Balfour Der, has said he intends to seek bail on Feb. 12. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021 — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Conservative MPs today voted to expel Derek Sloan from caucus after the eastern Ontario MP accepted a donation from a notorious white nationalist. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole initiated the ouster earlier this week after news emerged that Paul Fromm — whose ties to white supremacist and neo-Nazi causes have long been documented — had contributed $131 to Sloan's leadership campaign. Sloan fought against the vote, saying he was unaware of the source of the donation because Fromm used his full name, Frederick P. Fromm. Conservatives voted by secret ballot today, with the majority of MPs voting to remove Sloan from their benches. In a statement issued this afternoon, O'Toole called the donation the "last straw." "The Conservative caucus voted to remove Derek Sloan not because of one specific event, but because of a pattern of destructive behaviour involving multiple incidents and disrespect towards the Conservative team for over a year," he said. "These actions have been a consistent distraction from our efforts to grow the party and focus on the work we need to do. Events of the past week were simply the last straw and led to our caucus making the decision it did today." News of Fromm's contribution was first reported by PressProgress, a non-profit news website funded by the left-leaning Broadbent Institute. Sloan, who was elected in 2019 to represent the riding of Hastings—Lennox and Addington, argued his team couldn't vet every donation to his leadership campaign last year. He also accused O'Toole of hypocrisy, pointing out that Fromm was accepted as a member of the party and voted in its 2020 leadership election without raising any red flags with party officials. In a statement to CBC News earlier this week, Conservative Party director of communications Cory Hann said it was Sloan's campaign that sold the party membership to Fromm. He said the party would be revoking Fromm's membership and returning the funds. Controversial player in party Sloan pushed back on that argument, saying new members who signed up for memberships through a leadership campaign website like his were directed to the party's main website. Fromm, who founded the Canadian Association for Free Expression and Citizens for Foreign Aid Reform, has appeared at far-right protests, has spoken regularly on the white nationalist radio show Stormfront and is the subject of a Hamilton police investigation into claims that he shared the New Zealand mosque shooter's manifesto on his organization's website. Sloan has been a polarizing figure in Canadian politics, generating controversy with his socially conservative views on LGBTQ rights. He alarmed members of his own party in April when he posted a message and video on Facebook and Twitter claiming Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam had "failed Canadians" during the pandemic and asking if she works "for Canada or for China." Today's move marks a shift in position for O'Toole. During the leadership race, he took out a Facebook ad to defend Sloan's place in the party. But in recent days, O'Toole has said he wants to build a more inclusive Conservative Party. Just hours before the donation news broke, he released a lengthy statement saying there is "no place for the far right" in the party and pushing back at Liberal attempts to link his party to Trump-style politics. In a Facebook post this afternoon, Sloan — who will now sit in the house as an independent — urged his supporters to keep their party memberships and delegation spots ahead of the Conservative policy convention planned for March. "The CPC belongs to you, the grassroots of the party. I encourage you to use your voice, to stand up, and represent true conservative values with this convention," he wrote. 'They will regret this' In a subsequent Facebook video, Sloan used even more forceful language and took aim at O'Toole and the Conservative Party. He compared his situation to that of Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott — two former Liberal cabinet ministers who were removed from that caucus after breaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin affair. "It shows an absolute cowardice, an absolute failure to address the real issues that animates much of our base," Sloan said. "This was the worst mistake they ever made and they will regret this. I'm positive of it." O'Toole stressed in his own statement that he did not vote to expel Sloan because he's a social conservative. "We have members of Parliament of deep compassion and unmatched character, who like many Canadians, draw strength from their faith," he said. "The Conservative Party is a big tent that is reflective of all Canadians. People of all backgrounds have a place in our party."
Tous les producteurs laitiers recevront une correspondance sur les modalités du deuxième paiement liées à leurs quotas de production, a annoncé la ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Agroalimentaire, Marie-Claude Bibeau. Ils doivent au préalable s’inscrire au Programme de paiement direct auprès de la Commission canadienne du lait avant le 31 mars. Marie-Claude Bibeau a confirmé les paiements lors d’une rencontre avec des producteurs sous gestion de l’offre du Sud-Ouest de la Montérégie au Québec, et notamment de Vaudreuil, Hudson, Rigaud, Magog, Brome et Granby, en compagnie des députés Brenda Shanahan, Peter Schiefke et Lyne Besette des circonscriptions respectives de Châteauguay–Lacolle, de Vaudreuil–Soulanges et de Brome-Missisquoi. «La production laitière est un pilier de nos régions rurales… Nous continuerons à veiller à ce que nos producteurs sous gestion de l’offre disposent des outils nécessaires à leur réussite pour les générations à venir», a plaidé la ministre dans un communiqué. Les versements au titre de l’indemnisation «complète et équitable» des producteurs laitiers estimée à 1,75 milliard de dollars s’étendra sur une période de 4 ans et non plus 8 comme l’avait annoncé Ottawa en 2019. Le gouvernement fédéral a promis le 28 novembre dernier qu’ils recevront 468 millions de dollars en 2020-2021, 469 millions de dollars en 2021-2022 et 468 millions de dollars en 2022-2023. Ces producteurs sont indemnisés à la suite des concessions faites dans le cadre de l’Accord économique et commercial global entre le Canada et l’Union européenne (AECG) et de l’Accord de partenariat transpacifique global et progressiste (PTPGC). Ottawa a annoncé qu’il avait entamé des consultations auprès des représentants des industries du poulet, des œufs, du dindon et des œufs d’incubation sur l’élaboration de programmes de compensation sur dix ans, assortis d’un budget de 691 millions de dollars, que la ministre Bibeau a aussi annoncés en novembre 2020. «Les producteurs de Brome-Missisquoi s’attendent à ce que nous les appuyions, notamment avec les compensations pleines et entières annoncées en novembre. Nous sommes à leur écoute et nous continuons à travailler étroitement avec eux afin de leur offrir les meilleures conditions pour favoriser leur succès», a plaidé Mme Bessette. Entre décembre 2019 et janvier 2020, plus de 10 000 producteurs laitiers ont reçu un paiement en espèces, totalisant 345 millions de dollars. Godlove Kamwa, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
The Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) is a not-for-proft organization that focusses on the proper recycling of electronic products to ensure health and safety is not compromised when dealing with these items. EPRA operates regulated recycling programs across Canada to ensure that end-of-life electronics are handled in a safe, secure, and environmentally-sound manner. Electronic devices cannot be recycled in the same manner as other items, nor can they be thrown in the garbage, due to what is inside electronic items. These devices are filled with resources that can be reused and recycled. Through the EPRA/Recycle My Electronics network of over 2,500 drop-off locations throughout Canada, the program ensures that the resources in electronic devices are safely recovered for reuse, helping to preserve the environment. Drop-off at EPRA/Recycle My Electronics locations is free of charge. EPRA keeps 100,000 metric tonnes of old electronics out of landfills each year with end-of-life electronics being dropped off at authorized collection sites and has diverted approximately 100 million devices from landfills and illegal exports since the program began. Products dropped off at EPRA locations are then sent to audited and approved specialized cyclers for processing. New technology is used to break down old technology and harvest the raw materials that went into them, including glass, plastics, and precious metals like gold and copper. EPRA wants to ensure the substances inside electronic devices are handled responsibility to protect both the environment and the health and safety of the workers handling them. Recovered materials are then put back into the manufacturing supply chain and used to make new products. The Olympic and Paralympic games have been using an increasing amount of metal recovered from end-of-life electronics in their medals. Beginning in Vancouver with 1.5 per cent and then 30 per cent in Rio. The medals for the next games in Tokyo will be made with 100 per cent received metals from end-of-life electronics. When the resources are recycled correctly from electronic devices they can be reused over and over again without losing their properties, in turn helping to reduce the carbon footprint and lessening the dependence on traditional mining for new resources. EPRA/Recycle My Electronics only works with recyclers who have been verified under the national Electronics Recycling Standard (ERS), which was designed by the electronics industry to ensure that end-of-life electronics are managed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. These processors must meet over 150 safety protocols to ensure the safety of their employees and the environment. This means that all EPRA/Recycle My Electronics recyclers are prohibited from exporting electronics or substances of concern to non-OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations. Bring old end-of-life electronics to EPRA-authorized locations helps to: Keep old electronics out of landfills. Prevent them from being illegally exported or handled by irresponsible recyclers. Recover and recycle valuable resources that can be put back into the manufacturing supply chain. Ensure the safe and secure destruction of personal data stored on hardware. Protect health and safety of workers and handlers. With the importance of electronic devices in everyday life, EPRA was to ensure there isn’t piles of these dangerous electronics sitting in landfills and harming the environment. EPRA believes using and enjoying electronics today, also means responsibly recycling them for a cleaner tomorrow. Electronic devices that can be recycled at EPRA drop-off locations: Display devices (televisions, monitors, flat panels, etc). Non-cellular telephones. Home audio/video systems. Desktop computers, portable computers, and computer peripherals. Desktop printers/multi-function devices. Personal/portable audio/video systems. Home theatre in-a-box systems. Vehicle audio/video systems. Countertop microwave ovens. Vide gaming systems and peripherals. Floor-standing photocopiers/multi-function devices. Personal portable GPS and vehicle GPS. External storage drivers and modems. E-book readers. Desktop and portable scanners. EPRA Program Director Gayleen Creelman emphasizes how important it it to take electronic devices to drop-off locations rather than putting them in the blue bin or garage because of the harmful resources that are inside them. “These types of electronics cannot be recycled in the blue bin like regular recyclable products,” said Creelman. “What’s on the inside of electronics can have lasting impacts on the environment if not dealt with in the correct manner. “Instead of having electronics in a landfill negatively effecting the earth, our programs handle them in an environmentally friendly way and can use those resources that are inside them. Not only are we correctly handling and disposing of electronic devices for the environment and keeping them out of landfills, but we’re getting those valuable resources out of them. “If electronics are just thrown into the garbage it becomes a safety risk,” she said. “The glass can break and cause damage, the resources on the inside can cause damage, and it’s waisting important products that can and should be recycled. The resources inside electronic devices like lead can be very dangerous and should be dealt with carefully. Throwing these products in with the regular garbage will likely end up breaking them and having their contents leak which is obviously a major concern.” There are drop-off locations all over Canada, including eight within an 100 kilometre radius of Moosomin. Creelman says there’s an easy to use location finder on their website for anybody in need of dropping off electronics. “On our website (recyclemyelectronics.ca), you can find a list of all the EPRA-authorized drop-off locations near you,” she said. “Also on EPRA.ca there’s a thorough explanations as to who we are and what we do, why the proper recycling of electronic devices is important, there’s a learning hub and activities for children, a list of all the electronic devices that can be recycled through us, FAQs, a step by step explanation of how to wipe your devices before recycling them, and plenty of interactive options like seeing the journey of an end-of-life electronic.” Creelman knows people often forget about old electronics as they pile up in their homes, but EPRA’s program allows for a quick, easy, and free option to get rid of electronic devices and their accompanying electronic equipment. “Everybody has that drawer in their house filled with old junk,” she said. “I’m guilty of it too. Those drawers filled with old electronic devices like cellphones or cords—we recycle the paraphernalia for electronic devices like chargers, headphones, cables, etc.—people let those gather dust in their homes because they don’t know what to do with them. If you take them to our EPRA drop-off locations, we deal with them safely and then they’re not taking up space in your house. Nobody wants to have old monitors sitting around that they have no need for anymore.” Electronic devices can be detrimental to the health of the planet says Creelman, but with today’s technology, the proper recycling of them ensures there are less environmental concerns and that the resources from them can continue to benefit the industry as they’re reused. “When electronics end up in landfills they emit greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and other harmful toxins. Safely and securely recycling electronics ensures the recovery of reusable resources and reduces our carbon footprint by preventing greenhouse gas emissions, but also prevents illegal export and handling by irresponsible recyclers.” Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
CENTRE WELLINGTON – Centre Wellington council has decided to formally give back to the community and are encouraging other public sector employees to do the same. Councillor Steven VanLeeuwen presented a motion to donate a portion of his publicly funded council wages and encouraged the mayor, councillors and public sector employees to donate a portion of their salary or time to a local charity or non-profit. VanLeeuwen explained to council the pandemic is top of mind with this action. “We have a community that is hurting, a community that is also struggling in their jobs,” he said. “In many ways we want to help and as public servants we also have stability in what we’re doing especially in regards to financially.” The motion, which passed unanimously, sees the donation as a way to offset increased demands for assistance from local charitable organizations. Council was on board but some questioned if a motion was truly necessary as many already do this anyway. “I feel like I’m doing what Steven is requesting already and have been for as long as I can remember,” said councillor Kirk McElwain. “Having it as a motion doesn’t really show me a lot of anything new but I certainly appreciate and support the concept.” Councillor Neil Dunsmore supported the motion and noted he liked how it would be forwarded to other area governments and to the province to encourage others to support local organizations. Mayor Kelly Linton said he was unsure it required a motion but said it ultimately couldn’t hurt. “If it is going to help encourage more individuals, councillors and staff to donate then I see it as a positive thing,” Linton said. VanLeeuwen clarified by email the purpose was more to encourage others and start a conversation about giving back. "It is my intent that other government leaders and even public sector employees will join in with the effort to assist their local communities with the issues that have arisen from the effects of Covid-19 and the restrictions," VanLeeuwen said. "Although many of us do this already privately, I do believe that leadership needs to be in the open and not hidden in order to lead and inspire and thus I hope that this can be a rallying cry for those who have had stable income through the pandemic to recognize their obligation to help those suffering." He also noted this is why he didn’t specify a dollar amount as everyone has different funds or methods of giving back. The motion unanimously passed and will be forwarded to the province and area municipalities to further encourage joining in the effort to invest in their communities. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
CALGARY — Increasingly uncomfortable with a shrinking timeline, the world governing body of skiing halted Calgary's pursuit of the world freestyle and snowboard championships next month. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard were working feverishly on plans to host the event Feb. 24 to March 14 at Canada Olympic Park, with the first of roughly 500 athletes due to arrive Feb. 15. Calgary would have been stand-in host city. China was the original site of the 2021 championships doubling as test events for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The logistics of holding an international, multi-disciplinary snow-sport championship amid the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately caused China to give up on it. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard were in fruitful discussions with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services, but the Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) could no longer tolerate the uncertainty with the clock ticking down, said Freestyle Canada chief executive officer Peter Judge. "There was a just an increasing discomfort from the FIS side around the duration it was taking and the uncertainty of what it might look like on the other side," he told The Canadian Press on Wednesday. "We had a good plan, but in this day and age, there's just no certainty. FIS was looking for that certainty." FIS had tentatively scheduled Calgary as world championship host with a "to be confirmed." Athletes would have quarantined upon arrival with regular testing before being able to train in cohorts. "This isn't on the province. It's not their fault," Judge said. "Alberta Health and the authorities are doing their job. Just because we're having an event, there's bigger things in play. "It's disappointing. We thought we could make it all work and get it in and make our international partners comfortable, but at the end of the day, there wasn't that comfort or confidence level." The championship would have included men's and women's freestyle and snowboard big air, halfpipe and slopestyle plus freestyle's moguls and aerials. Ski and snowboard cross and alpine snowboard weren't in the proposal because there isn't enough terrain at COP to include those events. FIS announced earlier this week that the ski and snowboard cross world championships will be held Feb. 11-13 in Idre Fjäll, Sweden, where the Canadian ski cross team is racing World Cups this week. Pandemic postponements and cancellations created an ever-changing international snow sport calendar this winter. World championships in the other freestyle and snowboard disciplines may also be broken up and held at various sites that have been able to host World Cups this season. WinSport's Canada Olympic Park still has an important role to play as a training mecca for Canada's 2022 Olympic team. Athletes who haven't been able to travel and compete elsewhere are using it as a long-term training base. Canadian snowboarders and the freestyle halfpipe and slopestyle teams were there this month before departing for the X Games in Aspen, Colo., going ahead Jan 29-31. The moguls team arrives in Calgary on Thursday before heading to Deer Valley, Utah, in February. The aerials team will eventually end up in Calgary too, Judge said. "Right now, it's about getting as many training days in as we can in February, March, April and getting that mileage in," he said. Freestyle Canada and Canada Snowboard will now try to bring a series of World Cup events to Calgary in December as part of Canadian athletes' preparation for the Winter Olympics. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press