FFL Flash Alerts - Will Latavius Murray rush over 39.5 yards against the Panthers?
FFL Flash Alerts - Will Latavius Murray rush over 39.5 yards against the Panthers?
WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget is quickly emerging as a political battle that could disrupt his efforts to swiftly fill out his administration.Some Republicans are expressing doubt that Neera Tanden could be confirmed by the Senate after she spent years attacking GOP lawmakers on social media — and many panned the choice.Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton claimed Tanden’s rhetoric was “Filled with hate & guided by the woke left.”Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said Tanden's “combative and insulting comments" about Republican senators created “certainly a problematic path." He called her “maybe (Biden's) worst nominee so far" and “radioactive.”Potential Budget Committee Chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was less hostile, telling reporters, “Let's see what happens." Moderate Susan Collins, R-Maine, a target of Tanden's, said, “I do not know her or much about her, but I've heard she's a very prolific user of Twitter.”Such sentiment is notable considering the GOP's general reluctance to criticize President Donald Trump's broadsides on Twitter. But like all of Biden's nominees, Tanden has little margin for error as she faces confirmation in a closely divided Senate.That could be especially daunting for Tanden, the former adviser to Hillary Clinton and the president of the centre-left Center for American Progress, given her history of political combat.Biden's transition team released a litany of praise for Tanden from figures including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.Other Democrats also rushed to defend Tanden's nomination. Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett said Tanden “grew up on welfare and lived in public housing. She experienced first hand the importance of our social programs. Her extraordinary career has been devoted to improving opportunities for working families. She is an excellent choice to lead OMB.”“Neera Tanden is smart, experienced, and qualified for the position of OMB Director,” added Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a member of the party’s progressive wing. “The American people decisively voted for change - Mitch McConnell shouldn’t block us from having a functioning government that gets to work for the people we serve.”On the Senate floor, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said it's impossible to take Republicans' criticism of Tanden seriously.“Honestly, the hypocrisy is astounding. If Republicans are concerned about criticism on Twitter, their complaints are better directed at President Trump,” Schumer said.At OMB, Tanden would be responsible for preparing Biden’s budget submission and would command several hundred budget analysts, economists and policy advisers with deep knowledge of the inner workings of the government.If Democrats should win runoff elections for Georgia’s two GOP-held Senate seats, Tanden’s job would become hugely important because the party would gain a slim majority in the chamber. That would allow them to pass special budget legislation that could roll back Trump’s tax cuts, boost the Affordable Care Act and pursue other spending goals. OMB would have a central role in such legislation.Top Democrats, Biden included, supported anti-deficit packages earlier in their careers, but the party has since changed. Biden was a force behind the establishment of the Obama deficit commission, which was created to win votes of Democratic moderates to pass an increase in the government’s borrowing cap and was chaired by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.Tanden shares a commonly held view among Democratic lawmakers that Republicans usually profess concerns about deficits only when Democrats are in power, pointing to tax cut packages passed in the opening year of Trump’s administration and former President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cut.___Taylor reported from Washington.Zeke Miller And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
LAS VEGAS — The coronavirus pandemic’s widespread impact has reminded Las Vegas officials that they need to diversify their economy beyond tourism.There hasn't been a lack of trying but the need has been laid even more bare thanks to COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.With people afraid to enter hotels and casinos and residency shows postponed till next year, there have been wrenching job and revenue losses. Resort operators themselves have tried to broaden their offerings to all ages on casino and hotel floors. But it's not enough for some.“We've got all our money in one stock,” North Las Vegas City Manager Ryann Juden said.The region has successfully wooed many businesses and real estate developers in the last decade with tax breaks and a relatively cheap cost of living. Between 2010 and 2019, Nevada officials passed a combined $728.7 million in tax breaks for more than 180 companies setting up shop in Clark County. Southern Nevada has also become a distribution hub for online retailer Amazon, baby products maker The Honest Co. and other ventures that don't involve casinos.But there have also been ventures that fizzled. Faraday Future had proposed a 3.4 million-square-foot factory that would build up to 150,000 electric vehicles annually. Lawmakers even passed a $335 million incentive package. Faraday officials broke ground in 2016. But in 2017, the project went nowhere after reports of financial troubles. The company took over an existing facility in California instead.Some analysts say Southern Nevada still doesn't have the assets that some are looking for. Sin City's party image, underperforming schools and a shortage of doctors don't appeal to families.Bob Potts, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said a good jolt in the local economy would be some sort of industrial park south of Las Vegas near the California border.But, “you don’t build those kinds of things overnight," Potts said.The Associated Press
Calgary will start being more aggressive in ensuring compliance with health orders meant to fight the ongoing pandemic. Tom Sampson, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency, said rules have been in place long enough to move from education to enforcement. "It's been eight months since we've been educating Albertans on the benefits of face coverings and social distancing," he said. "Given the alarming rise in these numbers, we need to start a more stringent enforcement program."Sampson said there is clarity on what's expected and clarity on the fines that can be levied. On Sunday, Alberta reported 1,608 new cases of COVID-19, and the count of active cases in Calgary sat at 5,752.Ryan Pleckaitis, the head of Calgary bylaw, said only about one-quarter of his peace officers are currently able to issue tickets, but they are working with the province to expand those numbers. Supt. Ryan Ayliffe says officers will be ticketing those who "flagrantly" violate health orders."We're now at a critical point of society with COVID-19 cases soaring," he said. "The time for education has passed."He said it might not be safe to issue tickets on the spot."For example, during a protest or event where emotions are high, in many instances tickets are issued in the hours or days after the infraction, based on evidence obtained at the time of the event," he said.The news conference follows questions over the handling of recent violations against provincial restrictions limiting crowds — including protests against health measures and Black Friday crowds at Chinook Centre. Ayliffe said "a handful" of tickets have been issued today for the weekend protests, but exact numbers were not available. Those tickets include protest leaders. "We know everyone is struggling right now, and our intent is not to punish but to protect the safety of Calgarians as we work together to this," said Ayliffe.New rules brought in by the province allow the Calgary Police Service to levy $1,000 fines against violators, but police said on the weekend they are focused on education over enforcement at this time.
The new Strathmore municipal building is nearing completion, with the town finding solutions for a few remaining pieces. An update on the project was presented to town council on Nov. 18 by Michael Stamhuis, the town’s special projects manager. The project is now in its “substantial completion” stage, meaning the building and work site are sufficiently completed such that they can now be handed over to, and occupied by, the town. The cost of the building has been updated to total $14.48 million, $130,000 less than the cost projected in mid-October. The final project costs will be more than $400,000 below the funding allocated for the project, reported Stamhuis. A report will be forthcoming presenting suggestions for how this surplus may be allocated. One of the options would be to set aside an amount for any issues that may arise, he said. Some uncertainties remain for the project. “While the project is substantially completed, it is not totally complete; there are some outstanding items,” said Stamhuis, who added these include the installation of audio-visual equipment, signage and furniture. All tenders for furniture and audio-visual equipment have been received, the cost of which is less than the $850,000 allocated for these components. The cost estimate for soft costs and furniture, fixtures and equipment decreased by $21,000, to $2.325 million. The audio-visual equipment was to be stored in a closet within the council chambers, but the consultant said it would generate too much heat to be stored there safely. So, the town is considering either installing a ventilation system for the closet or moving the equipment to the server room. The estimated cost for site servicing and rehabilitation has been revised to $2.599 million, representing a decrease of $16,000 from previous estimates. This reduction is due to a decrease in staff salary allocation (by $6,000) and reconciliation of consultant fees ($10,000). The total cost of the Strathmore Commons and north Kinsmen improvements is $1.675 million, equaling a reduction of $92,000 from prior estimates. The town saved money on soil disposal because the soil from site clearing was used on-site and hauling costs were minimal, resulting in a $92,000 cost reduction. Also during the meeting, a report was presented to council illustrating how the municipal building project resulted in improvements to several of the town’s assets beyond the new building itself. This assessment determined that of the approximately $14.5 million spent on the municipal building project, about $3.1 million can be attributed to Kinsmen Park and other site improvements. As such, about $11.3 million can be attributed to the building itself. According to Strathmore Mayor Pat Fule, this second report gives a more accurate picture of the cost of the new town hall building. “Obviously, some of those assets are tied to the new building, but some of them benefit and are tied to other parts of that project,” he said. The town is planning on having staff move belongings into the new building in late December and begin working there in the new year.Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
Ce sont 20 nouveaux cas qui s’ajoutent au bilan du Bas-Saint-Laurent selon le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux régional, portant le total à 772 cas. Celui-ci déplore également un 17e décès sur le territoire. Le CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent a fourni la répartition des 34 cas pour les 48 dernières heures, dont les 14 cas de la journée de jeudi, et les 20 nouveaux cas actuels. Kamouraska78Rivière-du-Loup191 (+1)Témiscouata51 (+5)Les Basques11Rimouski-Neigette219 (+14)La Mitis32 (+3)La Matanie162 (+9)La Matapédia25 (+1)Inconnu3 (+1)Bas-Saint-Laurent772 (+34)En date du 27 novembre à 10 h, le CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent compte 600 cas rétablis au Bas-Saint-Laurent. Un nouveau décès a été enregistré, pour un total de 17 décès liés au virus. Il n’y a aucune hospitalisation en cours. Enfin, 799 dépistages ont été réalisés le jeudi. Le décès a été confirmé à la Résidence des Sages de Matane. Le résidence enregistre un total de 30 cas, dont 15 résidences et 15 travailleurs, et 3 décès. 10 usagers et 3 travailleurs sont rétablis. Quant au CHSLD de Matane, ce sont 4 résidents et 1 travailleur qui ont reçu un résultat positif à la COVID-19. Au total, il y a 20 cas, dont 14 (+4) résidents et 6 (+1) travailleurs. Finalement, il y aurait un nouveau cas à une unité de l’Hôpital de Rimouski, et la situation est stable à la Résidence Les Bâtisseurs de Matane.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
OTTAWA — Key elements from the federal government's fiscal update, delivered by Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland Monday afternoon:A boatload of borrowing. The federal deficit is sailing toward $381.6 billion this year, but could close in on $400 billion if widespread lockdowns return in the coming weeks, according to the fall economic statement. A big reason for that eye-popping sum is the total cost of Ottawa's response to COVID-19, which amounts to $490.7 billion. That also means more than $8 out of every $10 in federal and provincial support comes from the capital, down from $9 out of every $10 from the July fiscal snapshot.The "Netflix tax." For the first time, Netflix and other foreign streaming giants such as Amazon and Apple TV+ will be subject to sales tax in Canada, according to the fiscal update. The government says GST/HST will apply to all companies that provide digital services — which means Netflix and Airbnb would charge sales tax on subscriptions and reservations north of the border. While the European Union moved to tax digital platforms two years ago, Freeland said Canada is prepared to act "unilaterally if necessary."Work-from-home tax break. Employees working from home with "modest expenses" in 2020 can claim up to $400, based on time spent at the dining-room desk. Canadians can make the claim "without the need to track detailed expenses," and the tax man "will generally not request" confirmation from employers, the economic statement says.Increasing fiscal-stabilization payments. Responding to a call from provinces whose finances have taken a beating, the Liberals say they will increase the maximum payment under a program designed to help provincial governments deal with temporary economic shocks. The cap will go from $60 per resident, set in 1987, to $170 per person and increase with economic growth.Support the troops. The government is also proposing to sign off on an additional $600,000 to top up the Veterans Emergency Fund that would ensure more financial support for veterans whose well-being is at risk "due to an urgent and unexpected situation."All the wage. For businesses, the government wants to bring the wage subsidy back to 75 per cent of company payroll costs and extend the business rent subsidy to mid-March. The Trudeau government had previously extended the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy to the summer, while the adapted business-rent subsidy — revised from a less popular iteration that hinged on landlord participation — was slated only to continue through the end of the year.Clean water for Indigenous communities. The government is pledging to invest $1.5 billion in 2020-21 to work toward lifting all long-term drinking water advisories in Indigenous communities, and $114 million each year after. The Liberals have maintained a years-long pledge to lift all outstanding boil-water advisories for Indigenous residents by March 2021. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said last month that about 95 advisories had been lifted since the party came to power in 2015, but more than 60 remained the last time figures were updated before the pandemic.A $100-billion stimulus. The government plans to spend between $70 billion and $100 billion over the next three years to stimulate the economic recovery from COVID-19. The boon amounts to between three and four per cent of GDP, and will tilt toward a "greener, more innovative" bounce-back, though the details are to be determined.Get retrofit. Ottawa is aiming to dole out $2.6 billion over seven years to help homeowners make their digs more efficient, starting in 2020-21. The cash, channelled through Natural Resources Canada, would take the form of up to 700,000 grants of $5,000 or less to help with projects that could range from energy-efficient heating to solar-panel installations. The upcoming plan, with eligibility retroactive to December 2020, fulfils a Liberal election promise from last year.Cash for families. Looking to boost temporary support for parents, the Liberals plan to provide up to $1,200 per child under six years old for low- and middle-income families that are entitled to the Canada Child Benefit, starting next year. The bump marks an increase of nearly 20 per cent above the benefit's current maximum payment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press
The family income is not what it used to be, and many parents worry about not having enough money for Christmas. Over decades, society has gotten us all to believe that the more presents under the Christmas tree, the happier the holiday will be, and the bigger they are, makes it that much more significant. This philosophy is not the case, and the meaning behind the gifts and family traditions of the holiday season has slowly depleted. Christmas is not about how much money gets spent on gifts, but instead cherishing the holiday time with family and friends. It should not be about the number of gifts given or received but rather the meaning behind the gift itself. People remember the holidays gathered around the table eating a festive meal, playing games, tobogganing or driving around looking at the Christmas lights. When it comes to the gifts, some children forget who gave them what and as time passes, often forget it was even a Christmas gift as there were just too many. Typically, out of all those wrapped presents, there would be a few they would cherish, play with regularly, and the rest would be put in a toy box or closet, never to come out again. As adults, we remember when our Mothers and Grandmothers gifted afghans or quilts, they made, which have often been kept and used for many years. Our grandfathers or fathers would make dollhouses out of wood and toy cars. Or when your children gifted you that clay ashtray or coffee cup, they made in school. Their faces would light up as you opened it. And why, because it was a unique handmade gift just for you. When it comes to the monetary value, these gifts did not cost a lot. The gifts were cherished because they were all homemade ideas that came from the heart and created by those who love us. With that in mind, you can make the holidays less expensive and more meaningful by being creative. The internet is an excellent source for all sorts of do-it-yourself project ideas, which include step-by-step instructions. Another option is to check the local library for books on gift ideas. Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press
Students in grades 7-12 have now moved to online classes until at least Jan. 11, and diploma exams will now be optional for the rest of the school year. Nailah Fuko, a Grade 10 student at Edmonton's W.P. Wagner School, said she found out she'd be back to learned online while scrolling through Instagram. "I came upon this post that was talking about the government saying that we were moving online," Fuko said in an interview on Edmonton AM. "And I was like, 'Oh, this is new.'" Rebecca Boroditsky, a Grade 10 student at Ross Sheppard, said she's not worried about the academic implications of going virtual. Hear the students talk about their next month online: "For the socializing portion, I'm kind of sad," she said. "I've made friends and I won't really get to talk to them anymore until January." Boroditsky said she had been enjoying the quarter system schools brought in instead of the usual two semesters. In quarters, the classes are longer and Boroditsky said she had been liking her ceramics class she's taking. "We have more time to really get into it and do lots of project things, whereas with the shorter classes ... there's less time because you have to designate time to clean up and get set up, and that eats into a good portion of the class if it's shorter," she said. Fuko said she prefers a semester setup. "I think they sped up a lot of the material and it wasn't as easy to learn," she said. One practical difference is that online learning will make it easier to physically distance. Boroditsky said that was much easier in classrooms than in hallways or at lunch. Fuko said her friends are being careful and do care about safety and what's going on with COVID-19. "I definitely think students particularly are very worried and trying to do their best with what the rules are and how to follow the rules," Fuko said.
Hamilton may be eligible for a new program to support patients on the wait list for long-term care and their caregivers, the province announced Friday. The community paramedicine program launched by the Ministry of Long-Term Care last month involves paramedics working outside their traditional roles to help seniors on long-term care wait lists stay at home longer. They can provide assessments and referrals, wellness clinics, home visits and remote monitoring. “Paramedics can mobilize very quickly ... you have this skilled profession that can provide the services that people need especially on the medical side,” said Russell King, chief of paramedic services for Brantford-Brant, one of the first five communities to participate in the program when it launched. On Oct. 30, the province announced up to $5 million to expand existing community paramedicine programs to provide at-home care to patients on long-term care wait lists. On Nov. 27, the province named 29 additional communities that could be eligible, including Hamilton, Halton Region, Norfolk County and Niagara Region. Brantford-Brant is in the process of launching the program. Glen Cunnane, community paramedic supervisor, said the program will also support patients and families who decide not to pursue long-term care due to the spread of COVID-19 in facilities. “There may be a little bit of hesitation there that may lead to more people staying at home,” he said, adding the program is expected to reduce emergency room visits by offering 24-7 access to care. The program is fully funded by the province and will also offer home visits, ongoing monitoring, and referrals to home care and community resources. To be eligible, the City of Hamilton must express interest to the ministry and meet other criteria. That includes the ability for the city’s existing community paramedic program to expand “quickly” to support its target population, having enough advanced care paramedics without compromising emergency services and the support of the LHIN. “The long-term setting right now, there just quite simply is not enough beds for the demand,” said Cunnane. “That demand for admission into long-term care is going to continue to grow at a rate quicker than they’re going to be able to build capacity into the system.” Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
You should expect to see a lot fewer people gathered around the tree this Christmas. According to Ontario Premier Doug Ford and Chatham-Kent Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Colby, celebrating the holidays with people outside your household is a recipe for disaster. “I know many people are looking forward to their traditional family celebrations at this time of year, but to keep your loved ones safe, traditions will have to be adjusted,” said Premier Doug Ford. “We’re asking everyone to please stick to your own household when celebrating. Avoid big holiday parties or large family dinners to help us stop the spread of this deadly virus. By following this public health advice, we can all have a safe and fun holiday season.” Those who live alone are encouraged to celebrate the holidays with only one additional household. As well, any post-secondary students living away from home are asked to consider a self-quarantine for 10 to 14 days before returning home. Dr. David Colby echoed Ford’s message, adding he doesn’t want people looking for loopholes in COVID-19 rules. The 10-person limit isn’t an excuse to invite over friends or relatives if you have a small household. Colby said a household and family members are two separate things. He defined a household as the people you live with. They are the ones who reside at the same address. They are your household and within your own living space. “I think it’s time to get away from rules. I mean, rules are helpful, but whenever there are rules, people are sort of saying, ‘Well, if I do this, can I circumvent the rules?’” said Colby. He added you not only have to look at the letter of the law but the spirit of the rule. “The spirit of the rule is to keep everybody safe,” said Colby. “Rather than worrying about whether the rules are being followed, we all have to ask ourselves, ‘What is the safest course of action for all concerned in this particular scenario?’ We’ve talked about that endlessly.” Additionally, Colby said people travelling from jurisdiction to jurisdiction is a big problem. He said when he does contact tracing, the trails always lead outside of Chatham-Kent. According to Chatham-Kent’s top doctor, smaller household parties mean less risk of catching and spreading the virus. Colby said this is something he has been “hammering away at for the last few weeks”. “There is clear evidence that the more people that you assemble, the higher the risk,” said Colby. “Indoor gatherings are riskier than outdoor gatherings, so having a large number of people, especially people who have travelled from a higher-prevalence jurisdiction, this is potentially a recipe for disaster.”Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says that the pace of improvement in the economy has moderated in recent months with future prospects remaining “extraordinarily uncertain.”In remarks released by the Fed on Monday, Powell said that the increase in new COVID-19 cases both in the United States and abroad was “concerning and could prove challenging for the next few months. A full economic recovery is unlikely until people are confident that it is safe to reengage in a broad range of activities.”Powell said while progress on developing vaccines had been “very positive,” significant challenges remained regarding the timing, production and distribution of the vaccines, and it remained difficult to assess the economic implications of this process with any degree of confidence.Powell's remarks were prepared for a joint appearance he will make on Tuesday with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin before the Senate Banking Committee. The hearing is part of the panel's oversight responsibilities required under the multi-trillion economic support legislation Congress passed in the spring..Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press
Racism and stereotyping against Indigenous patients is widespread in B.C.’s healthcare system according to an independent investigation — which saw 86 per cent of Indigenous respondents reporting they have experienced some form of discrimination in the system. The “In Plain Sight” report, released Nov. 30, found a lack of cultural safety and hundreds of examples of prejudice and racism towards Indigenous people throughout the province’s health care system. The independent investigation was spurred on by reports of a “Price is Right” game being played in B.C. emergency rooms during which staff would guess the blood-alcohol level of patients, however, the investigation found only anecdotal evidence of such activities. “Our detailed examination of those allegations found no evidence of an organized game as originally depicted. Namely with prizes and … occurring throughout emergency rooms across British Columbia. What I did find was anecdotal and episodic evidence of multiple activities that resemble those allegations,” said Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, lead investigator, while reporting the results of the investigation Monday. “Not as a game with that name. Not as widespread as alleged, and in places not just targeting Indigenous people and Indigenous patients.” However, Turpel-Lafond said, the review found a “much more widespread insidious problem.” “Meaning, if there had simply been a game played away from patients, as difficult as that would have been to make that finding, what I found, in fact, was at the point of care there is direct prejudice and racism touching all points of care and impacting Indigenous people in B.C.,” Turpel-Lafond said. “Now, that doesn’t mean every Indigenous person, every First Nations, Metis or Inuit person in B.C. who seeks care at the point of care will experience direct personal racism today, it just means that any Indigenous person could face it because it is that pervasive and entrenched in the system.” “We should all find that conclusion deeply troubling.” The review included input from 9,000 indigenous patients, family members, third-party witnesses, healthcare workers and responses from two online surveys. The report also received direct submissions from 600 people and included 150 interviews with staff and people working within the health-care system. “Examining all of this evidence we found pervasive, interpersonal systemic racism that adversely effects not just patient and family experiences but also long-term health outcomes for Indigenous people in B.C.,” Turpel-Lafond said. According to the report, 52 per cent of Indigenous health care workers that responded experienced some form of racial prejudice. More than one-third of the thousands of non-Indigenous health care workers surveyed in the investigation reported witnessing interpersonal racism or discrimination against patients, family and friends. “Indigenous people consistently told us, and this is confirmed by the health care workers who responded and the cases, that they are subject to negative assumptions. Negative assumptions based on prejudice, based on racism, based on beliefs that should not exist in our healthcare system,” Turpel-Lafond said. “Among the top negative assumptions that are circulating in our healthcare system today is the idea that Indigenous patients and people are less worthy, that they’re alcoholics, that they’re drug-seeking, that they’re bad parents, frequent fliers, non-complaint and incapable of adhering to treatment or medical advice.” The review also examined health-care data of approximately 185,000 First Nations and Métis patients, showing that racism limits access to medical treatment and can negatively affect the health and wellness of Indigenous people. Indigenous women are disproportionately impacted by racism in health care and that racism contributes to Indigenous people being disproportionately affected by the current public health emergencies of COVID-19 and the overdose crisis as well, the report found. A separate data report, which will offer a more in-depth look into the health system’s treatment of Indigenous people, will be released next month. The report makes 24 recommendations to address what it calls a systemic problem, including establishing three new government positions to take the lead on the issue including a B.C. Indigenous health officer, an Indigenous health representative and advocate and an associate deputy minister of Indigenous health. The review recommends that the B.C. government lead apologies for Indigenous-specific racism in the health care system, and direct and implement a comprehensive system-wide approach to addressing the problem. This includes changes in laws, policies and practices to align with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) as required by B.C.’s Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. Among other recommendations, the report calls for government to work with Indigenous organizations to improve the system’s patient complaint processes to address Indigenous-specific racism and for the development of a new approach to cultural safety and humility training for B.C. health-care workers. The report also calls for a new school of Indigenous medicine at the University of British Columbia. The investigation has shed light on the fact that racism runs so rampant in society it has become the “unspoken norm,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs. “We need to use this report as a stepping-stone to change. We need to implement the recommendations and, importantly, we need to raise our voices loud and clear to call out those complicit in allowing racism to endanger and, in some cases, irreparably harm Indigenous lives. You have to go to the hospital sometimes — and it has to be safe for all British Columbians including First Nations,” Phillip said. Find the full report, In Plain Sight, here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/613/2020/11/In-Plain-Sight-Full-Report.pdf A summary version of the report is here:https://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/613/2020/11/In-Plain-Sight-Summary-Report.pdfDale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle
Six teams from the second-tier Betfred Championship have applied to fill the Super League void left by the departure of the financially troubled Toronto Wolfpack.Bradford, Featherstone, Leigh, London, Toulouse and York all met Monday's deadline.Super League, which wants to return to 12 teams in 2021, has said the winning bid will be decided by Dec. 16, although the deadline could be extended.Toronto stood down July 20, saying it could not afford to play out the remainder of the pandemic-affected season. The transatlantic rugby league team's subsequent bid for reinstatement under new ownership in 2021 was rejected Nov. 2.The Wolfpack remain mired in a sea of red ink with players and staff unpaid since June 10. Majority owner David Argyle, unable to fund the franchise, has stepped away. The Toronto-based Australian entrepreneur has said his ownership group poured $30 million into the franchise — with more bills waiting. The London Broncos had a taste of the top-tier Super League in 2019 after edging the Wolfpack 4-2 to win promotion in the Million Pound Game in October 2018 at Lamport Stadium in Toronto. The Broncos were relegated on points difference after a 10-19-0 campaign in their first season."A strong London side opens doors in the media and commercially that Rugby League needs as a national game," Broncos CEO Jason Loubser said in a social media posting to fans.Featherstone Rovers were on the losing end of the 2019 Million Pound Game, beaten 24-6 by the Wolfpack in Toronto. Featherstone CEO Davide Longo says that alone is "the best argument for the 12th (Super League) spot on merit."“We believe we can offer an application as strong as any that highlights Featherstone Rovers as the best example outside of Super League of a club that has maintained a sustainable model whilst still being competitive on the pitch over the past decade," he added in a statement.“Furthermore, the club has developed the stadium, training facilities and off-field infrastructure that is compatible to many Super League sides."The York City Knights can point to their new home, the 8,000-capacity LNER Community Stadium.The Leigh Centurions submitted a 430-page document to support their application.France's Toulouse, which was on top of the Championship when play was suspended in March due to COVID-19, got support for its bid from former player and coach Trent Robinson, currently in charge of the NRL's Sydney Roosters."It's time for rugby league to feel the impact of Toulouse," he said in a video.The Bradford Bulls were once a rugby league powerhouse but were relegated in 2014 after being docked points due to financial problems.Toulouse (5-0-0), Leigh (4-0-0), Featherstone (4-0-0) and London (4-1-0) occupied the top four of the Championship standings when play was suspended. Bradford (2-2-0) was seventh and York (0-4-0) 13th.The Super League currently consists of 10 English teams and France's Catalan Dragons.In other Wolfpack news, the GoFundMe page set up by club officials to help players and staff feeling the pinch of missed paycheques raised 9,964 pounds ($17,265). The goal was 30,000 pounds ($51,990), which would have amounted to about $1,000 per person.Toronto, which began life in the third tier of English rugby league in 2017, was 0-6-0 in its debut Super League campaign when the pandemic hit.\---Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Local businesses are frustrated and exhausted as they weather the storm in Toronto’s second lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. The province announced Nov. 20 that Toronto and Peel were going into its Lockdown/Grey level of its pandemic response framework as of Nov. 23. The regions had seen continuous spikes of cases of COVID-19 since the end of summer, and hospitalizations and ICU admittance had drastically increased. But as the lockdown aims to reduce the spread of the virus, business owners in East Toronto are asking why big box stores are still permitted to remain open. “It’s just another hammer on the head,” Skaut Design owner Inese Korbs said. Her store on Kingston Road sells home decor, furniture, and other design products. Korbs doesn’t have the staff to move her inventory online for customers as a lot of her products are vintage pieces. “It’s another full-time job,” she said. Instead Korbs relies on “virtual visits” where people can phone in via video conference and she’ll walk them through the store. She said before the lockdown, while there were fewer visitors than normal years, individuals were buying more per visit. That came to a grinding halt last week. “The most difficult part is knowing that big box stores are allowed to operate,” Korbs said. “It’s kind of like they have different rules.” Walmart and Costco are some of the bigger chains permitted to open, while Amazon still remains ever popular for online shopping. It’s difficult to compete with bigger chains as it is, let alone if you can’t even stay open, Korbs said. Lita Yiu owns and operates the clothing store Set Me Free on Queen Street East. She expressed the same frustration that Korbs did about big box stores staying open. “If you really want to control the spread, shut down big box stores,” Yiu said. “I’m happy to have one or two customers allowed in the store at a time, we don’t have the same clout as big businesses, we can’t absorb the shock.” Yiu said she and her staff are uploading their inventory on e-commerce platforms online, but between all the clothing, accessories, and gifts, it’s a lot of work. “It’s tedious, it’s time consuming, and you don’t make much money. It’s not the same as walk-in.” However, Yiu and Korbs have been overjoyed by the local community’s support of their businesses. Before the lockdown, both business owners were receiving many local customers who were eager to support their neighbourhood businesses. “People came in, they expressed condolences, supported our store,” Korbs said of the weekend before the lockdown began. “The people in this neighbourhood are very supportive, and they’re going out of their way to help us.” It’s been the case throughout the pandemic, Yiu said. From the beginning to now, local customers have supported her. “They’re amazing,” she said. “They always try to shop local, especially after the first lockdown.” Like many small businesses across Canada, Yiu and Korbs have taken advantage of the federal government COVID-19 supports for businesses. It’s helped them with expenses such as rent and wages, but nothing will recover the loss of revenue in December and the anticipated holiday shopping seasons that so many retail businesses rely on. “The vast majority of small businesses adhere to the restrictions equally if not better than large chains,” Beach Village BIA executive director Anna Sebert said. “Most of the businesses on Queen Street can make a go of it with one or two people in the store at a time.” “Just because there are some bad apples, doesn’t mean all businesses should suffer,” she added. Beaches-East York Councillor Brad Bradford agrees the “rules around some of the closures haven’t always made sense” regarding big box stores, but warns that the virus remains a threat. “There’s no doubt about it, the lockdown is taking a toll on all of us but we have to push through. It’s the only way out of this,” he said. “We’re all seeing the news of the businesses staying open in protest and people rallying against the closures. That’s concerning as it puts us all at risk, especially gathering in the way we’ve seen.” Bradford has received calls from local businesses asking if it is possible to ease up bylaw enforcement to allow some businesses to remain open. “I can understand the way they’re feeling,” he said. “We’re all tired, we’re hurting, but we have to follow the guidelines.” Cases have been among the lowest in the city for the Beach area, an achievement Bradford applauded as the community “is looking out for each other.” He said he’s making efforts to get relief for businesses from the federal and provincial governments. “What we need to focus on is getting the full weight of financial support possible for local businesses,” he said. “We also need clearer, fairer and more evenly applied rules if and when closures continue. City council doesn’t get to make these decisions – but we can elevate the voice of the impact they’re having on our communities and main streets.” Business owners say they understand the severity of the pandemic, and agree with most public health measures, but worry about local businesses in the community – especially restaurants, bars, and cafes. “I feel horrible for the restaurants,” Korbs said. “If they all survive that would be a miracle, their hands and feet are tied.”Ali Raza, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Beach Metro News
Strathmore has moved to make its fire department more diverse and inclusive by hiring a deputy fire chief to a new recruitment position. Laurie VandeSchoot, the town’s new assistant chief of diversity, inclusion and recruiting, was introduced during the regular Strathmore town council meeting on Nov. 18. VandeSchoot is a municipal government, change management and strategic planning specialist with a 28-year career with the City of Calgary who also consults internationally and locally and instructs at Bow Valley College in Calgary. “Laurie is known for building inclusive and high-performance cultures that strengthens communities,” said Judy Unsworth, Strathmore Fire Department deputy chief, during the meeting. VandeSchoot has experience in diversity services, equity solutions, mental health, public participation, strategic planning and sustainable development, said Unsworth. Furthermore, VandeSchoot leads the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) diversity leadership program, chairs the International Fire Chiefs human relations committee, and is the national co-chair of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) national subcommittee on diversity inclusion, among other leadership roles. “Under the direction of chief (Trent) West, I am super excited about what we can do here in Strathmore,” said VandeSchoot. “I’m passionate, as you can tell, about diversity and inclusion – it’s kind of my lifeblood. When we talk about diversity, inclusion and recruitment, diversity and inclusion is our purpose, recruitment is where we start from.” Diversity is about more than numbers, she added. “It’s not just about how many people you have that are different, it’s about that sense of belonging, it’s about that sense of inclusion and how we can create a culture of openness, belonging and wellness.” The hiring of VandeSchoot highlights the importance of welcoming all people to Strathmore’s community and environment, said Strathmore town Councillor Denise Peterson. “It shows that we’re not just saying these things, that we’re actually taking action to embrace inclusion and to break down those barriers that we’ve seen.” Peterson added the position will help develop partnerships with Siksika Nation.Sean Feagan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times
The government unveiled a record deficit of $381 billion in its fiscal update, along with spending plans for more pandemic relief and a huge stimulus plan to jolt the economy post-pandemic.
NAIROBI, Kenya — The fugitive leader of Ethiopia’s defiant Tigray region on Monday called on Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to “stop the madness” and withdraw troops from the region as he asserted that fighting continues “on every front” two days after Abiy declared victory.Debretsion Gebremichael, in a phone interview with The Associated Press, said he remains near the Tigray capital, Mekele, which the Ethiopian army on Saturday said it now controlled. Far from accepting Abiy’s declaration of victory, the Tigray leader asserted that “we are sure we’ll win.”He also accused the Ethiopian forces of carrying out a “genocidal campaign” against the Tigray people. With the Tigray region still cut off a month after the fighting began, no one knows how many people have been killed, and it's difficult to verify the warring sides' claims.Each government regards the other as illegal after Abiy sidelined the once-dominant Tigray People's Liberation Front after taking office in early 2018.The fight is about self-determination of the region of around 6 million people, the Tigray leader said, and it “will continue until the invaders are out.” He asserted that his forces held an undetermined number of “captives” among the Ethiopian forces, including the pilot of a fighter jet that his side claims to have shot down over the weekend.The Tigray leader also asserted that his forces still have several missiles and “we can use them whenever we want,” though he rejected a question about striking at the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, saying the primary aim is to “clear Tigray from the invaders.” He again accused Abiy of collaborating with neighbouring Eritrea in the offensive in Tigray, something the Ethiopian government has denied.As for the idea of talks with the government, something Abiy has repeatedly rejected, the Tigray leader said that “depends on the content” and Ethiopian forces would first have to leave the region.“Civilian casualties are so high,” he said, though he denied having any estimate of the toll. He accused Ethiopian forces of “looting wherever they go.”“The suffering is greater and greater every day,” he said, calling it collective punishment against the Tigray people for their belief in their leaders.The fighting has threatened to destabilize Ethiopia, the linchpin of the strategic Horn of Africa, and its neighbours.Abiy in remarks to lawmakers on Monday asserted that “the defence force has not killed a single person in any city. No nation's military could have shown better competency than us.” But one of his own cabinet ministers, Zadig Abraha, told the AP on Saturday that “we have kept the civilian casualty very low.”U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with Abiy on Monday — the first known time since the fighting began — and reiterated the “grave concern regarding ongoing hostilities and the risks the conflict poses,” a spokesman said. Pompeo also “called for a complete end to the fighting and constructive dialogue to resolve the crisis” and for humanitarian access and protection of civilians, including refugees.U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres received a call from Abiy on Sunday to update him on the situation in the country, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.“The secretary-general once again underscored the need for the full respect for human rights, as well as for humanitarian access for ourselves and our humanitarian partners," Dujarric said. “The secretary-general also said that Ethiopia needed a true reconciliation without discrimination and in a country where every community should feel respected and be part of Ethiopia."Hospitals and health centres in the Tigray region are running “dangerously low” on supplies to care for the wounded, the International Committee of the Red Cross has said. Food is also running low, the result of the region being cut off from outside aid.In a rare report from inside Mekele, the ICRC also said a major hospital in northern Ethiopia, Ayder Referral Hospital, is lacking body bags and some 80% of its patients have trauma injuries.Fears of a widespread humanitarian disaster are growing. The U.N. has been unable to access the Tigray region. Human rights groups and others worry about the atrocities that might emerge once transport and other links are restored.Nearly 1 million people have been displaced, including about 44,000 who fled into Sudan. Camps in Tigray that are home to 96,000 Eritrean refugees have been in the line of fire.“We need first and foremost access” to Tigray, U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi said Sunday, adding that his U.N. colleagues in Addis Ababa are in discussions with the government. Abiy’s government has promised a “humanitarian corridor” managed by itself, but the U.N. has stressed the importance of neutrality.The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission on Monday urged the government to quickly restore basic services and humanitarian aid access to the Tigray region and allow access to independent investigations into “grave human rights violations." It also expressed concern about profiling of ethnic Tigrayans.Cara Anna, The Associated Press
An Ottawa man with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer says he's now in isolation after finding out another patient in his shared hospital room tested positive for COVID-19.Adrian Lloyd, 52, said he was "terrified" when he was told Thursday that someone in his room at The Ottawa Hospital's General campus had contracted the illness.> I haven't lived almost six years fighting pancreatic cancer only to die of a virus. \- Adrian LloydLloyd said he's concerned patients with vulnerable immune systems are being put at unnecessary risk when they're kept in shared rooms.He said he had even expressed concern to his care team that a fellow patient was exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, including a cough that sounded like a "freight train," but was told the cough was related to the patient's cancer. Then the story changed."They said one of the two people who had been next to me over my stay ... had just tested positive for COVID that morning, so then I was exposed, and tested, and immediately moved to a single room," he said.Lloyd said his test came back negative, but he's still being kept in quarantine for another 10 days.Full hospitals, shared roomsHe was admitted to hospital on Nov. 20 to manage symptoms related to his cancer. He said he spent time in both a twin and quad room, and said at one point one of his roommates was allowed to have family visit. Lloyd said he was notified about the positive case on Nov. 26, the same day Ottawa Public Health (OPH) declared an outbreak on his ward at the General campus. According to the OPH website, there have been five cases and one death due to COVID-19 on the ward.It's not surprising that cancer patients are sharing rooms, even during a pandemic, according to Natalie Mehra, executive director of the Ontario Health Coalition."Hospitals are full," said Mehra. "[The Ottawa Hospital] is a very busy hospital. There's not enough capacity there, and that's been a situation for years and years. So people are in shared rooms."According to Mehra, most hospitals are testing patients on admission to try and prevent outbreaks, but COVID-19 has proved difficult to control in health-care institutions. "This is a difficult, terrible thing about this virus ... it's transmitted by asymptomatic people, and that is a huge issue in the transmission of this disease," she said.Still, Mehra said she understands why Lloyd is upset. "What this patient went through sounds like the same kind of nightmare that we're hearing in long-term care homes, where ... they're beside someone who's symptomatic, and it takes days for the person to be tested," she said.'Beat the odds'Lloyd said the nurses and orderlies taking care of him have been exceptional, but he still doesn't think he should have been put in this situation. He said he's worked hard to "beat the odds" during his six-year battle with pancreatic cancer, after originally being told he likely had just two years to live."I haven't lived almost six years fighting pancreatic cancer only to die of a virus," said Lloyd. "Anyone with seriously compromised immune systems should not be put in a situation like this. I mean, mistakes happen, but this was a highly avoidable mistake." The Ottawa Hospital said in an emailed statement Monday afternoon that it doesn't comment on specific cases. It said an outbreak was declared at the General campus, but all appropriate prevention and control protocols are in place."All patients on the unit have been screened, as have any high-risk contacts," the statement reads. Patients with COVID-19 are immediately placed in their "COVID-19 cohort unit," and high-risk contacts are put in isolation, it said.
As the number of cases fluctuates almost daily, it can be challenging to determine whether measures will be decreased or more implemented from one day to the next. As of Friday, November 27, there are 13 active cases in the community. As there are more than 10 cases, it placed the Town of Fox Creek on an enhanced status. As well, Fox Creek also falls under the MD of Greenview, which is also under the enhanced status with 83 cases. In addition to the mandatory face-covering bylaw, CAO Kristen Milne issued a public notice regarding the new health measures for town-owned facilities. Due to being in an enhanced area, as of November 27, entry into the town office and the Community Resource Centre is by appointment only. The Community Resource Centre playroom and Community Hall are also closed until further notice, as are the party rooms. Meeting rooms within the Multiplex will remain open; however, they can’t exceed 25 percent capacity. The Fitness Centre is down to a maximum of six people, and guests must pre-book. Another family favourite is the swimming pool; this area will carry a maximum of 35 people at any given time. All sports areas are closed to the public; however, they can still be utilized if participants are from the same household. In the case of those who live alone, they can socialize with two other persons. The sports facilities include the fieldhouse and arena, are by bookings only. For those who have memberships to the Multiplex, usage is free, and for non-members, the cost is $30 per hour. Lastly, the running track will remain open, but again, those who utilize the track must be from the same family or, if living alone, two others you socialize with regularly. Most retail businesses, such as grocery stores, liquor, and pharmacies, are now limited to 25 percent of the Alberta Fire Code occupancy. Dr. Deena Hinshaw signed the Record of Decision for Order 38-2020 on November 24, 2020, which further defines the new provincial health measures put in effect. It states, subject to sections four and five of the order, a person who resides in a private residence must not permit a person who does not live in that residence to enter or remain in residence. The exemptions that would allow entrance would include housekeeping services, health care, emergency response, childcare, home construction, or renovations, delivery, or real estate needs. Those who live alone are permitted to interact with the same two persons in their social circle and permitted within the home. Under Section two of the order, a social gathering is defined as a group of people who come together to move about freely, mix and interact with each other for social purposes rather than remaining seated or stationary for the gathering duration. With that said, there are to be no indoor social gatherings in any setting unless all persons are from the same household and a maximum of 10 for outdoors. Weddings and funerals may still occur but are restricted to a maximum of ten persons or less. Worship services are also limited to 1/3 of the usual attendance. Starting November 30, students in grades seven to 12 will go back to online learning until January 11, 2021. Those in ECS to grade six will remain in school until the Christmas break and switch to online studies from January 4 to January 11, 2021. All restrictions will remain in place for three weeks as indicated by Premier Kenney, at which time, the Alberta Government and health officials will re-evaluate. To keep up to date on COVID-19 numbers and health updates, please visit www.alberta.ca. Vicki Winger, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Whitecourt Press
Following a lengthy discussion at Chatham-Kent council last week, only one area rated tax charge will be eliminated in the municipality. Chatham-Kent staff recommended that all three charges be eliminated to allow for a more streamlined and simplified approach towards property tax calculations. This would have resulted in all property owners in Chatham-Kent paying equally for the three services through the base levy, regardless of how frequently the service is used in their community. According to Chatham-Kent police Chief Gary Conn, services are offered everywhere in the municipality, whether a community requires the major crime unit, critical incident response team or the drone unit. He clarified that the police service level is the same in rural areas as it is in urban areas. “It’s the same level of service,” said Conn. “It’s not dependent upon area rating. The level of service is dependent upon a totality of variables that are taken into consideration, primarily the nature of the call and the urgency. The level of service does not change whether you reside within a rural area or an urban area.” He added a police cruiser is basically an “office on wheels” that allows officers to do their work while being ready to deploy for a call in short order. However, some councillors noted they see cruisers more often in urban areas than Chatham-Kent’s rural communities. Councillors said the level of proactive policing service wasn’t the same for rural areas. Eliminating area rating for policing would have resulted in a $102.65 annual increase per $100,000 assessment for taxpayers in 16 rural areas. A flat rate would have provided $75.84 in annual savings per $100,000 assessment for taxpayers in the urban areas of Chatham, Wallaceburg, Dresden, Ridgetown, Blenheim and Tilbury. Councillor Amy Finn argued that in an urban setting, your chances of seeing a police car is 20 times greater than seeing one out in the rural areas … “Yes, if someone calls 9-1-1, you quickly send an officer as fast as you can there,” said Finn. “If there’s a suspicious vehicle (in Bothwell or Tilbury), the response time for that call is a lot different than if you see a suspicious vehicle in Chatham.” Council spent nearly an hour and a half debating the topic. In an effort to make it easier on taxpayers, Councillor Melissa Harrigan put forward an amendment that if the recommendations pass, they be phased in over three years. Councillor Harrigan said residents have told her they would like to see additional police visibility, as well as more proactive policing in these areas. “In talking to rural residents about this, a common comment that I receive back is, ‘If we’re going to pay more for police services, you have to promise that we’re going to get more’,” said Harrigan. She said council might be approaching the issue in the wrong way. “Why aren’t we looking at adding services and raising rural rates?” questions Harrigan. “Instead of just kind of finding that equilibrium between geographically rural and geographically urban.” Ultimately, council voted in favour of keeping the area rating charge in place for policing (11-7) and streetlights (10-8) and voted in favour of eliminating it for horticulture (10-8). This means the property tax burden for the municipality’s horticultural services will be evenly spread among taxpayers across Chatham-Kent. At the same time, the costs for policing and streetlights will still be determined by where a specific property is located. The votes for and against were as follows: \- Elimination of area rating for police services, resulting in the inclusion within the base levy. Voting yes were Bondy, Crew, Faas, Hall, Kirkwood-Whyte, B. McGregor and Sulman. Voting no were Authier, Ceccacci, Finn, Harrigan, Latimer, McGrail, C.McGregor, Pinsonneault, Thompson, Wright and Mayor Canniff. Motion defeated 11-7. \- Elimination of area rating for streetlights, resulting in the inclusion within the base levy. Voting yes were Bondy, Crew, Faas, Hall, Harrigan, Kirkwood-Whyte, B. McGregor and Sulman. Voting no were Authier, Ceccacci, Finn, Latimer, McGrail, C. McGregor, Pinsonneault, Thompson, Wright and Mayor Canniff. Motion defeated 10-8. \- Elimination of area rating for horticulture, resulting in the inclusion within the base levy. Voting yes were Bondy, Crew, Faas, Hall, Harrigan, Kirkwood-Whyte, McGrail, B. McGregor, Sulman and Mayor Canniff. Voting no were Authier, Ceccacci, Finn, Latimer, C. McGregor, Pinsonneault, Thompson and Wright. Motion carried 10-8.Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News