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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."
A trade organization representing Canada's movie theatres is calling on British Columbia health officials to explain why cinemas in the province can only open if they're operating as restaurants or bars.Nuria Bronfman, executive director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada, says COVID-19 guidelines that allow theatres to project sporting events on the big screen, but not movies, "highlights the kind of absurdity of what's happening" in the province.The frustration comes as B.C. leaders have allowed gyms, restaurants and bars to stay open, but forced movie theatres to close last November.Vancouver's Rio Theatre is moving forward with plans to reopen on Saturday by pivoting its business to operate as a bar. The city's Hollywood Theatre made a similar move in December.Those sorts of creative rebrandings were applauded by the province's Health Ministry in a statement on Wednesday that recognized those in "the arts and culture sector who have worked hard to find new ways to reinvent themselves during the pandemic."Bronfman says the trade group takes issue with suggestions that movie theatres should be embracing "ingenuity in order to survive.""Most movie theatres don't have liquor licences, and they are on the verge of shutting their doors forever," she says."All we're asking is to be looked at as an industry, as a sector that has a very low risk of any kind of transmission of the disease."Theatres across Canada have been shuttered for a large part of the pandemic over concerns they are a spreading ground for the virus. But representatives for the industry have argued there's no data that points to cinemas as being a point of transmission.Bronfman says if concerns about airflow are part of the issue, it's unclear why health authorities would deem it safe for people to sit across from each other at a bar, but not inside a theatre with high ceilings.It's equally confusing why showing a Sunday night football game would be allowed, but not a screening of sports favourites "Rudy" or "Friday Night Lights," which are shorter and would provide less theoretical exposure to the virus."We're not getting the answers as to why we can't open," she says."There's a level of frustration and quite frankly desperation."Before they were closed, cinemas across the country had introduced various safety protocols that limited the size of crowds and kept them distanced with assigned seating.However, there were critics of the reopening of movie theatres who questioned whether proper enforcement was in place at multiplexes to prevent people from sitting in groups.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press
Alphabet Inc is shutting down Loon after concluding the business, which offers balloons as an alternative to cell towers, is not commercially viable, Google's parent company said on Thursday. Founded in 2011, Loon aimed to bring connectivity to areas of the world where building cell towers is too expensive or treacherous using balloons the length of tennis courts and solar-powered networking gear. But the wireless carriers which Loon saw as buyers questioned the technical and political viability of the idea.
Alice Hoagland, a beloved figure of the gay rugby movement that her own son, Mark Bingham, helped set in motion shortly before he perished in the 2001 terrorist attacks as one of the heroes of Flight 93, has died. She was 71. Hoagland, a former flight attendant who became a safety activist while carrying on her son’s athletic legacy, died Dec. 22 in her sleep at her home in Los Gallos, California, after battling Addison's disease, according to longtime family friend Amanda Mark. International Gay Rugby — an organization that traces its roots to one team in London in 1995 and now consists of about 90 clubs in more than 20 countries on five continents — held Hoagland in such esteem that one of the prizes at its biennial Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament, or the Bingham Cup, is called the Hoagland Cup. Scott Glaessgen, of Norwalk, Connecticut, a friend of Bingham’s who helped organize New York’s Gotham Knights rugby club, described meeting Hoagland at the first Bingham Cup in 2002 in San Francisco. “Nine months after Mark was killed, and there she is with a never-ending smile on her face, just charming and engaging and happy and proud,” Glaessgen said. “And that resilience and that strength that she just exuded was really inspirational.” Amanda Mark, of Sydney, Australia, praised Hoagland for always fighting for people — and continuing to do so after losing her son by standing up for aviation safety and LGBT rights. “Through the Bingham Cup,” Mark said, “she became the inspiration and the acceptance that a lot of LGBT folks needed when they may have been challenged with their families or friends to be true to themselves.” Bingham, 31 when he died, had played on a champion rugby team at the University of California, Berkeley. He helped organize the gay San Francisco Fog team in 2000 and quickly became its main forward. He was on United Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers commandeered it. He called his mother and told her he loved her. “I only got 3 minutes with him and when I tried to call back, I couldn’t get through,” Hoagland told the Iowa City Press-Citizen in 2019. “As a flight attendant for 20 years, I wanted to tell him to sit down and don’t draw attention to yourself.” But the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Bingham fought back, posthumously winning praise as an openly gay patriot who joined other passengers in foiling the hijackers and causing the plane to crash in rural Pennsylvania instead of its intended target, believed to be the U.S. Capitol. “He grew from a shy, chubby kid into a tall rugby competitor with the ability to amass his energy to face a real enemy in the cockpit of an airplane," Hoagland told the Press-Citizen. Bingham and Hoagland's stories went on to be chronicled in film and screen, including the TV movie “Flight 93," HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and the documentary “The Rugby Player.” Hoagland became an advocate for airline security and for allowing relatives of 9-11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia over claims it played a role in the attacks. “We’re less interested in any kind of financial gain than we are in bringing the truly guilty into court and making our case known,” Hoagland told The Associated Press in 2016. The first Bingham Cup consisted of eight teams and was hosted by its namesake's home team. Today, it is billed as the world’s largest amateur rugby event, and cities bid to host it. It was last held in Amsterdam in 2018 with 74 teams competing. Hoagland was a celebrity at every tournament she attended. Players flocked to meet her and have a photo taken. She always obliged. Jeff Wilson, of International Gay Rugby, recalled in a post on the organization's Facebook page a conversation with Hoagland at the 2012 Bingham Cup in Manchester, England. His mother had recently died. “I asked how she kept on during grief — she said it was a purpose, and a calling and that I would keep going because it drove me,” he wrote. “Her compassion, heart and focus on others touched me in ways that I cannot express.” No memorial service is yet planned. Jeff McMillan, The Associated Press
Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air. The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
OTTAWA — Some questions and answers about what happens when a governor general suddenly leaves office. Who does the job in the meantime? The usual term for a governor general is five years. In the event of the absence, removal, incapacitation or death of a governor general, the chief justice or, if he or she is unavailable, the senior judge of the Supreme Court of Canada assumes the powers of the governor general and holds the title of Administrator of the Government of Canada, until replaced by a new governor general. How is a new one is chosen? By constitutional convention, the governor general is appointed by the Queen on the personal recommendation of the Canadian prime minister. The prime minister has discretion about whether to consult others on the selection. The appointment is made through a commission granted under the Great Seal of Canada. Has a governor general ever left early or died in office? Yes. Roméo LeBlanc stepped down in 1999, before the end of his term, due to health issues. However, the office was not left vacant, with LeBlanc continuing until Adrienne Clarkson was ready to succeed him. Two have died while serving: Lord Tweedsmuir (John Buchan) in 1940 and Georges Vanier in 1967. In each case, the Supreme Court chief justice of the day stepped in to fill the role temporarily. (Sources: Library of Parliament, ourcommons.ca, Supreme Court of Canada, The Canadian Encyclopedia) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020. The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Nothing illustrates the political passions of a television network's audience quite like ratings for a presidential inaugural. The 6.53 million people who watched President Joe Biden take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address on MSNBC Wednesday was a whopping 338% bigger than its audience for Donald Trump's swearing in four years ago, the Nielsen company said. On the flip side, Fox News Channel's audience of 2.74 million for Biden on Wednesday represented a nearly 77% drop from its viewership for Trump in 2017, Nielsen said. A preliminary Nielsen estimate shows Biden's inaugural viewership on the top six networks beat Trump by 4%. Nielsen said it doesn't have a complete estimate for inaugural viewing because it is still counting people who watched on other networks or outside their homes. CNN, with 10 million viewers, easily beat ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and Fox during Biden's big moment, Nielsen said. That's 196% more than watched Trump four years ago. CNN, which has been on a hot streak in the ratings since Biden's victory, also topped all the others for its coverage of the primetime inaugural celebration. MSNBC, meanwhile, said it recorded the highest daytime ratings of the network's nearly 25-year history on Wednesday. ABC had 7.66 million viewers for the oath-taking (up 10% from 2017), NBC had 6.89 million (down 12%) and CBS had 6.07 million (down 13%), Nielsen said. David Bauder, The Associated Press
Michelle Myers’ clean energy journey began back in 2016 when she attended a summit while she was a student in university. And now her Xeni Gwet’in First Nation in British Columbia will soon be reaping the benefits of her participation. While attending a clean energy summit five years ago in Waterloo, Ont., Myers, who was studying at the University of Alberta, was told about a new program offered by the Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE) Social Enterprise. Myers was convinced to join the first cohort for ICE’s 20/20 Catalysts, a national clean energy capacity building program for Indigenous individuals across Canada. Myers and several other current and former participants of the program were featured in a presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 20 during the Indigenous Clean Energy E-Gathering. Program participants discussed the various ventures they are now involved with in their communities. “I was in my third year of university for a Bachelor of Arts in Native Studies with a minor in Environmental Conservation,” Myers recalled of the time she discovered the Catalysts Program. While continuing her education, Myers simultaneously enrolled in the three-month program, which connects participants to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clean energy project mentors. Those in the program learn about clean energy project developments, including information on energy efficiency, solar, wind, hydro, biomass, geothermal as well as on-grid and off-grid ventures. Myers was able to juggle her university studies with her Catalysts learning. “From there I was just immensely inspired by everybody that attended and inspired by the initiative and the directive,” Myers said. Upon graduation, Myers returned to her community and landed various contract jobs. Then, an opportunity to work on her First Nation’s clean energy plan arose. That led to her current responsibilities where she not only oversees clean energy projects in her community but has become the lands and resources manager for Xeni Gwet’in, located in central interior B.C. Her community is an off-grid remote one, which is not connected to the BC Hydro grid and is currently diesel powered. “My home right now is powered by an individual gas generator and I’m currently running off a battery that I charge with my generator at night,” Myers said. But plenty of positive changes are in store for her community. “We’re installing an underground line, extending from our microgrid in our central community to 28 homes,” Myers said. “The underground line idea comes from many years of community engagement around clean energy projects and clean energy development of our community not wanting to see power lines or power poles going right through our valley because we hold the esthetic value of our community and our territory very high.” Myers said Xeni Gwet’in has become a popular tourist destination, as well as a sought-after location for making movies. “We have a lot of opportunities for tourism,” she said. “We have a lot of people that come into our communities and want to utilize our territory for films.” And this helps explain why community members are not keen for many visible changes. “We also have a lot of ceremonial gatherings and traditional spots all the way from the central, middle of the community out to here and beyond that an overhead power line would kind of get in the way of and disturb if we went that route,” she said. George Colgate, the underground distribution line project manager for Xeni Gwet’in, explained there will soon be substantial savings for community members who currently operate their own generators for power. “Running a small generator probably works out to about $2 a kilowatt hour,” he said. “Once this is in, people are going to be paying BC Hydro rates out. That’s the idea. For Tier 2, I think that somewhere around 8-10 cents a kilowatt hour.” Another participant featured in Wednesday’s presentation was Alex Cook, the owner of a start-up business based in Iqaluit. His company has a vision of developing affordable, efficient and resilient housing for rapid deployment to remote Arctic communities. These houses will be partially built with shipping containers. “For as long as I can remember, Nunavut has struggled with a housing crisis,” Cook said. “The housing crisis has gotten so bad that right now across the territory there are people living outside in nothing more than tents and shacks.” With the contacts he made through the Catalysts Program, Cook believes he’ll be able to design Nunavut’s first accessible net zero home. The prototype will be built in his community of Baker Lake this fall. “Our people are strong,” Cook said. “We figured how to live here before. We’ll do it again.” Another program participant is Nathan Kaye, a finance student at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. Kaye is also the co-chair of SevenGen, a virtual youth summit that will be held next month. “What we hope to accomplish there is to get youth to initiate renewable energy products in their communities by providing support, services and funding for those projects,” Kaye said. That summit has expanded and will feature an Indigenous youth mentorship program. Kaye is also involved in a food security initiative with Tsuut’ina Nation. “We built a community garden back in April and May,” he said. “And right now we’re working on building a geothermal greenhouse.” The Indigenous Clean Energy E-Gathering began on Monday and continues until Friday. Windspeaker.com By Sam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com
TORONTO — Television personality Sid Seixeiro is leaving Sportsnet's "Tim & Sid" sports talk show to become the new co-host of "Breakfast Television" on Citytv. Seixeiro will make his final appearance as co-host on the show alongside longtime partner Tim Micallef on Feb. 26. Micallef will continue to host the show, which airs weekdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, with a rotating roster of co-hosts. The "Tim & Sid" show made its debut on Toronto radio station CJCL Sportsnet 590 The Fan on Dec. 12, 2011. He will make his Breakfast Television debut alongside co-host Dina Pugliese on March 10. The program was simulcast on television on The Score (now Sportsnet 360) starting in 2013, then was relaunched on Sportsnet as an afternoon television show in 2015. The show has been simulcast on The Fan since 2019 as its late afternoon drive program. “It’s been a dream to work 20 years in the sports industry, especially alongside Tim Micallef, and express my passion and love for sports on a daily basis,” Seixeiro said in a release. “I’ve always been curious to explore other areas of the business and this was a unique opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.” This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Through an online petition a Vancouver Island teacher is imploring B.C. Premier John Horgan to close the borders of the the province for a month and quarantine travellers in a bid to control the spread of COVID-19 strains. Almost 8,000 others seem to agree with him. A week ago, Christian Stapff – a teacher with School District 84 (Vancouver Island West) – started the petition to close the border to non-essential air, ground and sea traffic in order to contain and stop the spread of the virus, “especially in light of more virulent strains already in B.C.” Stapff used the efficacy of such strict measures in Western Australia as an example to further advocate for provincial border closures. “We implore you to take this action to save the economy and lives not yet lost,” Stapff tells the premier in his petition. Of late calls have been mounting for the province to impose an inter-provincial travel ban after the surge of coronavirus variants in B.C. The premier announced last week that the government was looking into the legalities of imposing such restrictions. But closing off the borders of the province may not be a feasible solution yet said the provincial Ministry of Health in an email statement today. The Ministry of Health told the Mirror that what works elsewhere may not work here. “B.C. is not an island and we have many ports of entry,” said ministry spokesperson Devon Smith. “Questions about inter-provincial travel have come up repeatedly so we are doing due diligence by seeking legal advice in order to put the matter to rest,” said Smith, and added, “Of course we can’t put up walls at our provincial borders and essential travel critical to our economy must safely continue.” The ministry said that they are also considering economic impacts and the practicalities of such a policy, and are reaching out to key sectors of the economy to get feedback. It said that no steps will be taken without thoughtful consultation with communities and businesses affected by these decisions. “As we roll out the vaccine, the bottom line is that public health advice remains the same – now is not a time for non-essential travel.” ALSO READ: Isolating provinces is a bad idea, says Canadian Chamber of Commerce ALSO READ: Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Campbell River Mirror
OTTAWA — Julie Payette resigned as Canada's Governor General Thursday, saying that to protect the integrity of her office and for the good of the country, it was time for her to go. Clouds of controversy have hung over Payette since she took over the post in 2017 but a storm was poised to break out with the imminent release of the results of an investigation into allegations of a toxic workplace at Rideau Hall. Payette apologized for the tensions at Rideau Hall in the last several months, but in a statement announcing her historic resignation — a first for a Governor General — she also suggested she disagreed with the characterizations of her leadership. "We all experience things differently, but we should always strive to do better, and be attentive to one another’s perceptions," she said. "I am a strong believer in the principles of natural justice, due process and the rule of law, and that these principles apply to all equally. Notwithstanding, in respect for the integrity of my viceregal office and for the good of our country and of our democratic institutions, I have come to the conclusion that a new Governor General should be appointed," she continued. "Canadians deserve stability in these uncertain times." She also suggested the move was made for personal reasons, citing her father's declining health. "So it is with sureness and humility, but also with pride over what was accomplished during my tenure as Governor General and in my service to the country for the past 28 years, that I have submitted my resignation," she wrote. In a terse statement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged he had received her resignation. “Every employee in the Government of Canada has the right to work in a safe and healthy environment, and we will always take this very seriously," he said. "Today’s announcement provides an opportunity for new leadership at Rideau Hall to address the workplace concerns raised by employees during the review." Trudeau had previously defended Payette, even as the Privy Council Office hired a third-party investigator to examine allegations of workplace harassment in the office of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General. That came after CBC reports alleged that Payette belittled and publicly humiliated employees, reducing some to tears and prompting some to quit. Payette had welcomed the review at the time, saying she was deeply concerned about the allegations. Payette, a former astronaut, was named to the position in 2017. Her predecessor David Johnston had been selected by the previous Conservative government using an ad hoc committee that was later turned into an official panel on viceregal appointments. But upon forming government in 2015, Trudeau abandoned that approach and moved the selection process inside his office. Payette's appointment was controversial from the outset. Shortly after she took the job, it emerged that she'd been charged with second-degree assault while living in Maryland in 2011. She called the charged unfounded, and it has since been expunged. But as details of that incident emerged, so did revelations that she was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident that same year. The case was closed without charges after a police investigation. Both incidents raised immediate questions about how thoroughly she had been vetted for the job, and accusations she wasn't the right fit for it have dogged her ever since. She did not move into the official residence of Rideau Hall when she took the job, and nearly two years in, still wasn't living there, citing privacy concerns linked to ongoing renovations. The cost of those renovations became one of several issues that dogged her, as questions were raised about whether they were necessary or being done out of preference and at too high a cost to the taxpayer. Instead, Payette based herself in her home province of Quebec, where she has also spent a great deal of time during the COVID-19 pandemic. As reports of how she was allegedly treating her staff emerged, Trudeau expressed his confidence in her abilities, dismissing the idea of replacing her. During an interview on RED FM's The Harjinder Thind Show in Vancouver in September he said she was excellent. "I think on top of the COVID crisis, nobody's looking at any constitutional crises," he said. In the event a Governor General can't carry out the job, is removed, or dies, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada assumes the office's powers as long as necessary. "A recommendation on a replacement will be provided to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and announced in due course, ” Trudeau said. While the Governor General is a largely symbolic position, it does have some constitutional importance, particularly during a minority government such as the one Canada has now. In 2008, former prime minister Stephen Harper asked then-governor general Michaëlle Jean to prorogue Parliament to avoid a non-confidence vote he was expected to lose — a decision that was controversial at the time but in keeping with constitutional tradition. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press
Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases in Rosthern, the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) announced that visitor limitations were put in place at Rosthern Hospital on Jan. 20. Family presence and visitation will be limited to compassionate reasons at the hospital. “The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly. These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health care workers safe. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is asking the public for their support and cooperation in order to contain the spread of the virus,” a media release stated. Compassionate care reasons include, but are not limited to, family or support persons during end-of-life care, major surgery, intensive care/critical care, maternal/pediatrics, long-term care residents whose quality of life or care needs are unmet or those inpatients and outpatients with specific challenges. No other visitors are allowed into Rosthern Hospital at this time and these limitations will remain in place until it is safe to return to the previous level of family presence. “Family members and support people who are permitted must undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility or home. This includes a temperature check and questionnaire.” The family member or support person will be required to perform hand hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility or home and when entering and leaving the patient's or resident’s room. Family members and support people will be required to wear a medical grade mask while inside the facility or home and potentially additional personal protective equipment if required. Family members and support people are not permitted to wait in waiting rooms or other common areas. “The decision to restrict family presence is not taken lightly. These measures are in place to keep you, your loved ones, and health care workers safe. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is asking the public for their support and cooperation in order to contain the spread of the virus,” a media release stated. Compassionate care reasons include, but are not limited to, family or support persons during end-of-life care, major surgery, intensive care/critical care, maternal/pediatrics, long-term care residents whose quality of life or care needs are unmet or those inpatients and outpatients with specific challenges. No other visitors are allowed into Rosthern Hospital at this time and these limitations will remain in place until it is safe to return to the previous level of family presence. “Family members and support people who are permitted must undergo a health screening prior to entering the facility or home. This includes a temperature check and questionnaire.” The family member or support person will be required to perform hand hygiene (hand washing and/or use of hand sanitizer) when entering and leaving the facility or home and when entering and leaving the patient's or resident’s room. Family members and support people will be required to wear a medical grade mask while inside the facility or home and potentially additional personal protective equipment if required. Family members and support people are not permitted to wait in waiting rooms or other common areas. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
Researchers at Ruhr University use designer protein brain injections to regenerate spinal nerves which allow paralyzed mice to walk again.
While the North Shore mountains haven’t had much snowfall over the past week, boarders and skiers can expect a lot more fresh powder on the slopes this weekend. The last seven days has only seen around seven to nine centimetres of snowfall on the local ski hills – Cypress Mountain Ski Resort on Hollyburn Mountain and Mount Seymour haven't had any fresh snow in over 48 hours, while Grouse Mountain recorded 1 cm overnight. But, do not despair, Environment Canada has forecast snow for the local mountains and at sea level in Metro Vancouver Saturday night. Armel Castellan, warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, says all the right ingredients are coming together for a snow event on Saturday evening that’s expected to continue through to Sunday. “This event for Cypress, Seymour, and Grouse is very likely to bring some snow,” he said. “It'll be a great little top-up, whether it's five or 10 centimetres, or quite a bit more, even double that still remains to be seen. “We couldn't honestly tell you now, what it is exactly going to deliver, but all of the ingredients are for sure there that the local mountains will see some snow Saturday night into Sunday.” On top of Saturday and Sunday’s snow predictions, the Metro Vancouver forecast also calls for a 30 per cent chance of flurries on Monday night with a daytime top of 4°C and a low of 0°C at night. Plus, Castellan also said to stay tuned for a possibility of more snow on Tuesday and Wednesday at elevation and sea level, with a 60 per cent chance of flurries or rain showers in the forecast. Temperatures will hover between 4-5°C during the day and drop to a chilly 2-0°C at night over the week. Despite the lack of snow during the past week, Castellan said snowfall for the local mountains this season was so far above average. To date this season, Grouse has had a total of 489 cm, Seymour has recorded 505.5 cm and Cypress Resort has had 415 cm. “We're well above average right now, which is not surprising, because it was very stormy for the better part of five weeks,” he said. “Between the end of the first week of December, all the way through to just last week was just one storm after the other, and for the local mountains, they're high enough that most of that fell as snow.” While the mountains have had a fair amount of snow, he said exceedingly warm temperatures in December had made it difficult for snowfall to reach sea level. “Generally speaking, the snow has been very active at elevation but for us down at sea level, for most of the North Shore, it's been very wet and not the amount of snow that we have typically seen over the three decades that we kind of average back to from 1981 through 2010. “It's been a slow winter for sea level, there's no doubt about that.” He said the low snowfall over the past week on the local mountains coincided with the storms ending. “We've kind of turned off the tap,” he said. “There's been a little bit of rain, but the snow was hinging on storms and if you turn off the storm track, then you're not going to get very much in the way of snow. “It's that magical mix between having storms still populating the Coast but also being cold enough.” Castellan said this weekend's snow event was the result of the “La Niña pattern starting to take hold.” “What we need to happen is that the high pressure system anchors itself further west underneath or south of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska and for the trough [low pressure] to be to the east of that, and that gives us that northwesterly flow. “For the longest time, we've had the trough be too close to us, and it's given us a southwesterly flow. So, finally, we're going to make some of that cold air coming south." He said the cold air coming south wasn't a true Arctic air mass, so there wouldn't be record low temperatures over the next week. "We have just enough cold that when you clash that cold with a Pacific system coming down the coast from the Gulf of Alaska, then you get that mix where finally you can get some snow and the potential for snow at sea level is significantly ramped up compared to anything that comes from the southwest.” While non-essential travel advisories are still in place, Castellan also reminded residents to be prepared for snowy conditions on British Columbia highway passes, including the Coquihalla, Sea to Sky, Okanagan Connector and the Malahat on Vancouver Island. Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in B.C. from Oct. 1 to April 30. These routes are marked with regulatory signs posted on highways throughout the province. Drivers are required to have winter tires when travelling on highways in Northern B.C., the Southern Interior, the South Coast, and areas of Vancouver Island. The province has designated winter tire and chain routes drivers can check before venturing out. Winter or M+S rated tires are mandatory for vehicles on Cypress Bowl Road and the road to Mount Seymour at all times from Oct. 1 to March 31. Winter rated tires are strongly recommended during snowfall events. Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News
It has taken one volunteer to spearhead the effort to develop and open up cross-country and snowshoeing trails in North Grenville. While the municipality has been supportive, Sarah Herring is the driving force behind the Kemptville Winter Trail initiative. "I first heard a few years ago about a new trail being developed in Ottawa and thought, wouldn't it be wonderful to develop something like that here?" said Herring. She had moved to Kemptville in the spring of 2017 and soon after got involved with Friends of Ferguson Forest Centre, and the municipal Active Transportation Committee. "I have a strong appreciation for nature and water in particular; that's what drew me to Kemptville. I'm a boat builder, my husband and I have built three boats," said Herring. She added she grew up cross-country skiing with her dad, but early onset arthritis took her off the trails for a number of years until she was able to get a new hip and now she's hoping to get back out gently. "Sarah got started with the idea of forming a trails group to work collaboratively with the municipality and Ferguson Forest Centre, and I supported it," said Coun. Doreen O'Sullivan, who sits on the same two boards. The land within the Ferguson Forest Centre is mostly Crown land with some municipal land as well, according to O'Sullivan, and there are already a number of walking trails, a dog park and a newly opened toboggan hill within the boundaries of the forest centre. "COVID has changed things quite a bit and we need these trails more than ever now. The curling club is closed, the arena is closed, travel is restricted and snowbirds are staying home. Hence the winter trails are very important to provide to our community; it's a physical and mental health issue, and a safe environment for social contact," said O'Sullivan. The new Kemptville Winter Trails will not be using the established walking trails in Ferguson Forest, but are developing new trails on the 25 acres of land known as the arboretum. "We had permission to start working in Ferguson Forest. Our goal is to start the multi-use trails at the forest centre but expand throughout the municipality. In total we expect to have six kilometres of trails this year and then expand into more of the residential areas, but avoid the snowmobile trails," said Herring. The idea, she said, is to create trails that can be used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skate skiing and fat bikes. "It'll be trial and error in the first year to see what works for everyone and whether it's right for fat bikes or whether we’ll need the trails to be more packed, whether we need a roller as well as the trail groomer," said Herring. This year, Herring says the tails will be groomed for cross-country skiers, and there will be a flat area for snowshoeing, skate skiing and fat bikes. If all goes well, the trails should open by the end of January, when it's hoped more snow will have arrived. Herring started working on the project last year, just before the first pandemic lockdown. One of the first things she did was register the group as a not-for-profit corporation to give it the legitimacy to fundraise. "We've since raised more than $5,000 in the community through a GoFundMe campaign, Facebook and direct approaches to businesses," said Herring. Between corporate and individual donations the group has raised enough money to buy a trail grooming machine, which has just been ordered and is expected to arrive in the next day or two. Herring says they'll still need to secure more funding for operations and are just working through the last hurdle before they can open the trails – namely insurance. "There’s a lot of red tape – getting set up with bank accounts, finding someone who can offer the kind of insurance we need to operate, creating and paying for signage – that kind of thing," said Herring. Although the municipality has been supportive of the initiative, in the end the project has been a volunteer effort. "What we've done as an organization is bringing pieces together, but it's the whole community that’s making this happen," said Herring. Over the past two months, Herring, who is retired from Statistics Canada, says she's put in about 20 hours a week, but hopes the pace will drop off once the trails open. "While Sarah is very determined and I admire her 'get-up-and-go' attitude, she can be impatient with the bureaucracy, and I do appreciate her frustration. I share her passion for the outdoors and support the whole concept," said O’Sullivan, adding that as a cross country skier herself she's thrilled that there are going to be new winter trails in the municipality. O'Sullivan said she has encouraged the group to apply for a municipal community grant to top up their coffers and speed up the opening. The total municipal grant envelope is $125,000. Herring said the group has pulled together an application for about $1,500 to $2,000, which was headed to council. The biggest hurdle right now is insurance, but because the group is incorporated privately, it can't be covered under municipal insurance. "It's been very difficult to find someone who understands what we need and can provide it. There aren't very many insurance companies that do this kind of insurance," said Herring. Meanwhile, O'Sullivan said the municipality is working with the group to try to get them over the last hurdles if they can. She also appreciates the support of local business and individuals who have supported the fundraising initiatives. "This is a great thing for our community, particularly during COVID, people need things to do, and it's going to be a wonderful asset," said O'Sullivan, who also has the backing of Mayor Nancy Peckford. "It was one of the things we heard over and over again from residents when we were campaigning. People wanted to see more recreational options close to home," said Peckford. Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times
Vancouver Island blew past previous highs reporting 47 new COVID-19 cases today (Jan 21.). The previous high was 34 new cases in a day, reported on Jan 12 and 15. Province-wide there were 564 new cases today, for an active total of 62,976. The Vancouver Island region now has over 200 active cases, the highest number since the outbreak began last year. As of Jan 20, there were 15 patients in hospital and 17 confirmed deaths on the Island. While the rest of B.C. has been trending downwards, Vancouver Island’s numbers have steadily risen this month. “Despite our COVID-19 curve trending in the right direction, we continue to have new outbreaks, community clusters and high numbers of new cases. COVID-19 continues to spread widely in our communities,” Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix said in the press release. “Thank you for doing your part and choosing to bend the curve, not the rules.” RELATED: Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday RELATED: Island Health’s daily COVID-19 case count reaches record high Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: email@example.com Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
BATON ROUGE, La. — Julia Letlow, the widow of Republican U.S. Rep.-elect Luke Letlow, described herself as “both full of grief while also having hope for the future" as she registered Thursday to compete for the congressional seat her husband was unable to fill because of his death from COVID-19 complications. After filing her paperwork for the March 20 election, Julia Letlow faced reporters at the same podium where she stood with her husband six months earlier when he signed up for his bid to represent northeast and central Louisiana. This time, she stood alone. She pledged to continue Luke Letlow's vision for the 5th District, defended her own accomplishments and talked of the respect for public service she shared with her husband and wanted to pass along to their two young children. “We don’t always get to choose what happens to us. But we do get to choose how to respond. Today, I choose to continue to move forward. Today, I choose hope,” said Julia Letlow, 39, a Republican who lives in the small town of Start in Richland Parish. Her husband died Dec. 29 at the age of 41, only weeks after winning a runoff election for the congressional seat and days before he was scheduled to be sworn into office. Julia Letlow said she knows the issues of the poverty-plagued district from travelling with her husband during the campaign and because of Luke Letlow's tenure as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, a Republican who stepped down after three terms and endorsed Luke Letlow for the job. Abraham now is supporting Julia Letlow for the seat in the special election. “I wouldn’t have done this without his blessing,” Julia Letlow said of Abraham. Julia Letlow has never run for office “besides sixth-grade president" but said she often had conversations with her husband about the possibility. She dismissed suggestions she was riding her husband's political coattails or trying to capitalize off sympathy to get the congressional job, saying she has her own experience to qualify her for the position. “While Luke and I were a dynamo team and I miss him every day, still you’re your own individual person with your own qualifications and accomplishments in life, and I feel like I am very well qualified to run for this 5th Congressional District seat,” Julia Letlow told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday. “Look at my qualifications. Take a look at my bio. Make your decision there.” She has a career in higher education, with a Ph.D. in communication. She's on leave from her job with the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she works as top assistant to the president for external affairs and community outreach. Six other contenders so far are vying for the congressional seat on the March ballot, including two who ran last fall. One of them, Allen Guillory, an Opelousas Republican, said Wednesday he’s worried about Julia Letlow’s two young children. Guillory said if Julia Letlow wins the congressional seat, “those kids could lose two parents.” Julia Letlow responded that she's running because of 3-year-old Jeremiah and 1-year-old Jacqueline. “I hope to illustrate for them the power of fortitude, resilience and perseverance," she said. Her campaign platform remains similar to her husband's priorities, with a focus on job development, expanded access to broadband internet and support for agriculture industries. She said she intends a bipartisan approach, “while staying true to my conservative ideals and values that I hold dear.” Asked if she thought President Joe Biden was properly elected to the office, Julia Letlow paused. Then, she said she believes Biden “is the legitimate U.S. president." When pressed, she said she does not have the continuing concerns that some Republicans have cited about fraud. She noted those allegations were litigated in many court cases, where no widespread voter fraud was found. “I have faith in our election cycle, I do,” she said. “I have faith in our democracy.” The sprawling 5th District covers all or part of 24 parishes, including the cities of Alexandria and Monroe. It's one of two congressional seats on the March ballot. Voters also will fill the New Orleans-based 2nd District seat, which is open after Democrat Cedric Richmond left the position to work for President Joe Biden’s administration. The signup period for both races wraps up Friday. ___ Follow Melinda Deslatte on Twitter at http://twitter.com/melindadeslatte. Melinda Deslatte, The Associated Press
Peterborough County councillors have agreed to send a request to the province to deploy rapid COVID-19 testing into long-term care facilities across the province to test residents and staff. The motion brought forward by Sherry Senis, deputy mayor of Selwyn Township, will be sent to both the federal and provincial governments and health officials further requesting they commit to vaccinating all long-term care residents, retirement and other congregate senior living facilities by Feb. 15. While the province has already made the Feb. 15 commitment, Senis said council members would be reiterating that commitment by supporting the motion. “Health Canada has yet to approve the rapid COVID testing for widespread use. Once this is done, we ask the province to deploy the testing into long term care facilities. At this time, Fairhaven is on a pilot project for the testing,” she said. During their special virtual council meeting held on Thursday, Senis said the pandemic has put a spotlight on long-term care homes across the province with devastating results for family members. “As of this week, over 3,000 (Ontario long-term care) residents have died, along with 10 staff. Every day we hear about another outbreak in a long-term care home,” she said. “As I’m a board member of Fairhaven, I felt it appropriate to bring forward this motion with the executive director, Lionel Towns supports.” The motion also requests the federal and provincial governments provide sufficient emergency funds to hire adequate staff, provide training and continue to enhance long term care wages, similar to what Quebec has done. “Quebec has done a massive hiring of staff and trained them for their long-term care homes and their numbers have decreased substantially as a result. In Ontario, we should be following suit and pay the staff accordingly,” Senis said. The Peterborough census metropolitan area has the second largest proportion of seniors living in Canada’s 34 census metropolitan areas, she said. “Many of them are vulnerable and cannot speak for themselves. County council represents a large swath in Peterborough County and I feel it would be appropriate for us to support the recommendations and send them forward. We have a voice and I can’t think of a better reason than this to use it,” Senis said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MP Jamie Schmale, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP Phillip Lawrence, federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliot, Premier Doug Ford, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith, Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock MPP Laurie Scott, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini, Long-Term Care Minister Merilee Fullerton, the City of Peterborough, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario and the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus will all receive a copy of the motion. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
On Thursday the province released the updated numbers on COVID-19 cases in youth. The total active cases in youth provincially in all locations are 969, 19 have no known location and 950 have a location reported. The province releases the update on the numbers each Thursday. Currently in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, there are 106 active cases in youth, an increase of 10 from the previous report. Last week there were 266 tests performed across the North Central zone. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 53 active cases in youth. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 53 active cases and North Central 3 has 15 active cases. Cumulative tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 in the North Central zone is 4,925. Provincially there is a 17.5 per cent test positivity rate in youth. There were 2,941 tests performed in total in the province in the last week. The cumulative number of tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 is 63,842. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
On Christmas Day, Jess Lamb needed three injectable vials of naloxone to revive her partner from a fentanyl overdose in their home. The next day, when Patrick Evans experienced an overdose again, it took three nasal sprays and one injection by Lamb to save their life. “I was too scared to call 911 for the second overdose. I didn’t know what would happen to him,” said Lamb on the phone from the couple’s home in Cranbrook. She loses at least one friend a week to the overdose crisis, but Lamb “didn’t want paramedics to show up again and take him without me because of COVID.” The province’s expanded safer supply program is supposed to provide prescription drugs for people — heroin, hydromorphone and others — as an alternative to increasingly poisoned illicit supplies, preventing overdoses and deaths. But for Evans and others, the program has failed to deliver on its promise, advocates say. Evans had been in recovery and not using for over two years when they started using heroin again in the summer. In September, they went to their physician and was prescribed Dilaudid, an oral form of hydromorphone, as an opioid substitute. Like most participants in the program, they crushed and dissolved the pills and injected them. For Evans, safer supply meant being in control of their days and focusing on things beyond their substance use. “When I’ve put one foot in front of the other and tried, navigating substance use disorder is a full-time job,” they said. Lamb used substances including crystal methamphetamine and heroin until 2015 before stopping to only use cannabis. But when Evans began Dilaudid, “the drug of choice was in my house, and it got the best of me,” Lamb said. Under pandemic risk mitigation guidelines announced in March, the province allowed doctors to prescribe alternatives to people at dual risk of COVID-19 and drug overdose. Research from the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2012 estimates as many as 83,000 people in the province are opioid dependent. Between March and December, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions said the number of people being prescribed Dilaudid nearly quadrupled from 677 to 3,348 across the province. And by October, Lamb and Evans were among them. But what they first saw as relief quickly became a source of stress that put their lives at risk. Stigma and a lack of understanding from doctors have made safer supply difficult to obtain and even harder to keep, said Evans and Lamb, putting their lives at risk even as the province touts a growing number of people with access to Dilaudid. The couple said both their doctors were hesitant to begin prescribing alternatives at all and began pressuring them to taper off their doses almost as soon as they started. Evans said the challenges began immediately. “It was barely enough, and she was constantly pressuring me to taper down because she didn’t want to be prescribing narcotics,” said Evans. “We had difficulties at the pharmacy too, and there was just so much stigma.” Lamb said her doctor was worried she would be at fault if Lamb injected a prescribed substance meant to be taken orally and overdosed or developed an embolism as a result of air in the needle. “If I’m getting Dilaudid, that’s reducing my risk of an overdose, not increasing it,” said Lamb. Lamb, who works in harm reduction at Ankors AIDS Outreach Centre and Support Society in Cranbrook, has been advocating for people to get on safer supply since March’s risk mitigation guidance came out. But it has been an uphill battle in her work as well as her personal life, Lamb said — even after provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced in September that safe supply programs would be expanded and registered nurses would be allowed to prescribe drug alternatives. Four months later, there are few details on plans to expand supply, and nurses still can’t prescribe prescription alternatives to illicit drugs. Lamb and Evans said that as it became difficult to access adequate prescribed alternatives under safer supply programs, they began rationing the pills they did have in the late fall. Their prescription supply dwindled, and Evans began turning to the illicit supply, which led to their back-to-back overdoses during the holidays. The couple says their struggles to access and maintain safer supply won’t be alleviated by allowing nurses to prescribe if the stigma and hesitance of doctors and nurses remains. Lamb said substance users and their peers need to be involved in addictions medicine training for doctors and nurses to ensure they understand the gravity of the problem, Lamb said. The colleges representing and regulating nurses, doctors and pharmacists in B.C. have publicly supported the new expansion plan. But Jordan Westfall, president of the Canadian Association for Safer Supply, says physicians’ concerns about prescribing safer options need to be addressed by the college, particularly around any potential disciplinary issues. “Individual doctors can, and they always have been able to, prescribe safer supply. But running into problems with their college, that’s a huge chilling factor,” said Westfall. “So allowing nurses to prescribe too doesn’t address the root cause.” Hydromorphone tablets were initially chosen as the option because of their portability. Now Westfall wants the government to use the Fair PharmaCare program to make injectable alternatives more widely available. That would increase support from the regulatory colleges, he said, by reducing concerns that people are crushing and injecting pills under the current program. A spokesperson for the Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, responsible for rolling out the expanded program, said the plan isn’t complete. But the first cohort of trained nurses are expected to begin prescribing suboxone, an opioid substitute, in February. “This means there will soon be more health-care practitioners available to prevent overdoses, and reach more people and provide more options, especially in underserved areas,” he said in an email. In the last two weeks, both Lamb and Evans have been able to begin accessing opioid substitute treatment through a weekly clinic offered by a visiting doctor. They are now both taking Kadian, a slow-release oral form of morphine, and a reduced dose of Dilaudid, with the intention of transitioning to either methadone or suboxone. While Lamb is grateful to have access to this potential solution, she feels they both had to “play ball” with their doctors to stay on any form of treatment at all. She would have preferred to stay on Dilaudid, because now she worries about how she will get off of Kadian, particularly if methadone or suboxone don’t work for her. And in a place like Cranbrook with limited support and options for accessing health care for substance use, Lamb worries about the people who don’t have the knowledge or the energy to advocate for what they need. Lamb has to call colleagues and contacts in Vancouver to convince her doctor to give her a prescription, she said. “I have to fight for my life,” she said. “When you’re using drugs and trying not to die, you don’t have much time to do other things, and one of those things is advocating for your health care.” Moira Wyton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Tyee