Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, the FFL crew explains which players they are thankful for this year, including a running back in Jacksonville.
Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, the FFL crew explains which players they are thankful for this year, including a running back in Jacksonville.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday he and Russian President Vladimir Putin had discussed the possibility of involving other countries in efforts to maintain a ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a Russia-brokered ceasefire on Nov. 10 that halted six weeks of clashes in the mountain enclave, which is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but is mainly populated by ethnic Armenians. Russian peacekeepers have been deployed in the enclave under the ceasefire deal, which locked in Azeri advances.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump pardoned his former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday, ending a yearslong prosecution in the Russia investigation that saw Flynn twice plead guilty to lying to the FBI and then reverse himself before the Justice Department stepped in to dismiss his case.“It is my Great Honor to announce that General Michael T. Flynn has been granted a Full Pardon," Trump tweeted. “Congratulations to @GenFlynn and his wonderful family, I know you will now have a truly fantastic Thanksgiving!”The pardon, in the waning weeks of Trump's single term, is part of a broader effort by Trump to undo the results of a Russia investigation that shadowed his administration and yielded criminal charges against a half-dozen associates. It comes just months after the president commuted the sentence of another associate, Roger Stone, days before he was to report to prison.A Justice Department official said the department was not consulted on the pardon and learned Wednesday of the plan. But the official, who spoke on condition on anonymity to discuss internal deliberations, noted that the president has the legal power to pardon Flynn.The move is likely to energize supporters who have taken up Flynn as a cause celebre and rallied around the retired Army lieutenant general as the victim of what they assert is an unfair prosecution, even though Flynn twice admitted guilt. Trump has repeatedly spoken warmly about Flynn and, in an indication of his personal interest in his fate, asked then-FBI Director James Comey in February 2017 to end a criminal investigation into the national security adviser.In a statement, Flynn’s family thanked Trump “for answering our prayers and the prayers of a nation” by issuing the pardon.Democrats lambasted the pardon as undeserved and unprincipled. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “an act of grave corruption and a brazen abuse of power," while Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, said a “pardon by Trump does not erase” the truth of Flynn's guilty plea, “no matter how Trump and his allies try to suggest otherwise.”“The President’s enablers have constructed an elaborate narrative in which Trump and Flynn are victims and the Constitution is subject to the whims of the president," House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler said in a statement. “Americans soundly rejected this nonsense when they voted out President Trump. ”The pardon is the final step in a case defined by twists and turns. The most dramatic came in May when the Justice Department abruptly moved to dismiss the case, insisting that Flynn should not have been interviewed by the FBI in the first place, only to have U.S. District Justice Emmet Sullivan resist the request and appoint a former judge to argue against the federal government's position and to evaluate whether Flynn should be held in criminal contempt for perjury.That former judge, John Gleeson, called the Justice Department's dismissal request an abuse of power and said its grounds for dropping the case were ever-evolving and “patently pretextual.”As Sullivan declined to immediately dismiss the prosecution, Flynn lawyer Sidney Powell sought to bypass the judge by asking a federal appeals court to direct him to drop the matter. A three-judge panel did exactly that, but the full court overturned that decision and sent case back to Sullivan.At a hearing in September, Powell told Sullivan that she had discussed Flynn's case with Trump but also said she did not want a pardon — presumably because she wanted him to be vindicated in the courts.Powell emerged separately in recent weeks as a public face of Trump's efforts to overturn the results of his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden, but the Trump legal team distanced itself from her after she advanced a series of uncorroborated conspiracy claims.The pardon spares Flynn the possibility of any prison sentence, which Sullivan could potentially have imposed had he ultimately rejected the Justice Department's dismissal request. That request was made after a review of the case by a federal prosecutor from St. Louis who had been specially appointed by Attorney General William Barr.At issue in the prosecution was an FBI interview of Flynn, days after Trump's inauguration, about a conversation he had during the presidential transition period with the then-Russian ambassador.Flynn acknowledged lying during that interview by saying he had not discussed with the diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, sanctions that the outgoing Obama administration had just been imposed on Russia for election interference. During that conversation, Flynn advised that Russia be “even-keeled” in response to the punitive measures, and assured him “we can have a better conversation” about relations between the countries after Trump became president.The conversation alarmed the FBI, which at the time was investigating whether the Trump campaign and Russia had co-ordinated to sway the election. In addition, White House officials were stating publicly that Flynn and Kislyak had not discussed sanctions, which the FBI knew was untrue.Flynn was ousted from his position in February 2017 after news broke that Obama administration officials had warned the White House that Flynn had indeed discussed sanctions with Kislyak and was vulnerable to blackmail. He pleaded guilty months later to a false statement charge.But last May, after years of defending the prosecution, the Justice Department abruptly reversed its position.It asserted the FBI had no basis to interview Flynn about Kislyak and that any statements he made during the interview were not material to the FBI's broader counterintelligence probe. The department also pointed to internal FBI notes showing agents had planned to close out the investigation weeks before interviewing Flynn about Kislyak.Flynn, of Middletown, Rhode Island, was among the first people charged in Mueller's investigation and provided such extensive co-operation that prosecutors did not recommend any prison time, leaving open the possibility of probation.But the morning he was to have been sentenced, after a stern rebuke about his behaviour from Sullivan, Flynn asked for the hearing to be cut short so that he could continue co-operating and earn credit toward a more lenient sentence.After that, he hired new attorneys — including Powell, a conservative commentator and outspoken critic of Mueller's investigation — who took a far more confrontational stance to the government and tried to withdraw his guilty plea.Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
The Trump administration plans to tighten sanctions on Tehran during its final months in power, the top U.S. envoy on Iran said on Wednesday, as he urged President-elect Joe Biden to use the leverage to press for a deal that reduces the regional and nuclear threats posed by the Islamic republic. U.S. Special Envoy for Iran Elliott Abrams, praising Biden's National Security Adviser and nominee for Secretary of State as "terrific people", cautioned against repeating what he saw as former President Barack Obama's mistakes in negotiating the 2015 nuclear deal.
In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of Nov. 25 ...What we are watching in Canada ...The Ontario government is expected to spell out its guidelines today for celebrating the upcoming winter holidays as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.Toronto and Peel Region are currently under the grey or lockdown level in the province's tiered COVID-19 alert system, with those restrictions to stay in place at least until the week of Christmas.Public health measures under the lockdown level include a ban on indoor gatherings except with those in the same household, as well as closing down restaurants for all but takeout and delivery.The province's top doctor said earlier this week it seemed unlikely the situation would improve in those regions enough over 28 days to warrant moving them to the red alert level, which is one level lower.In Alberta, tougher COVID-19 restrictions were announced Tuesday that included limits on social gatherings and less face-to-face class time for students.Premier Jason Kenney said there are to be no indoor gatherings, but people who live alone can have up to two personal contacts.He says students in grades 7 through 12 will transition next week to at-home learning and the school holiday break will be extended from Dec. 18 to Jan. 11.Banquet halls, conference centres and concert venues must also close.Kenney added that anyone who can work from home should do so and masks will be mandatory in workplaces in Edmonton, Calgary and surrounding areas. The measures will be in effect for three weeks and re-evaluated after that.---Also this ...A review of the Catholic archdiocese of Montreal's handling of complaints against a pedophile priest is to be released today.The archdiocese enlisted former Quebec Superior Court justice Pepita Capriolo to examine the church's response to complaints against former priest Brian Boucher. Archbishop Christian Lepine is expected to speak about the report, tabled in September, at a news conference today.Lepine requested the review himself, saying he wanted to establish who knew what in relation to Boucher's crimes.Boucher was sentenced in March 2019 to eight years in prison for abusing two boys after being found guilty in one case and pleading guilty in the other.---What we are watching in the U.S. ...U.S. President Donald Trump says he is not giving up his fight to overturn the election results, even as agencies across the federal government begin to support president-elect Joe Biden’s incoming administration. Career federal officials are opening the doors of agencies to hundreds of transition aides ready to prepare for Biden's Jan. 20 inauguration. And on Tuesday, Trump signed off on allowing Biden to receive the presidential daily brief, the highly classified briefing prepared by the nation’s intelligence community for the government’s most senior leaders. An administration official said logistics on when and where Biden will first receive the briefing were still being worked out.---What we are watching in the rest of the world ...The European Union has committed to be "creative” in the final stages of the Brexit trade negotiations but warned that whatever deal emerges, the United Kingdom will be reduced to “just a valued partner,” far removed from its former membership status. EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said "genuine progress” has been made on several issues. And she said that on the divisive issues of fisheries, governance of any deal and the standards the U.K. must meet to export into the EU, the bloc is “ready to be creative, but we are not ready to put into question the integrity of the single market.”---On this day in 2010 ...Steven Chand, 29, convicted of trying to raise funds for the so-called Toronto 18 terror plotters, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He had been in jail since June 2006 but because of credit for time served, he only had to serve another seven months and 10 days.---In entertainment ...The Weeknd angrily slammed the Grammy Awards, calling them “corrupt” after the Canadian pop star walked away with zero nominations despite having multiple hits this year. The three-time Grammy winner criticized the Recording Academy on Tuesday after he was severely snubbed, despite having one of the year’s biggest albums with “After Hours” and being tapped as the Super Bowl halftime headline performer. He also topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Blinding Lights” and “Heartless.” “The Grammys remain corrupt,” the singer said on Twitter. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.” The harsh words come less than a year after the Recording Academy's ousted CEO accused the group that determines nominations in the top categories of having conflicts of interest and not engaging in a transparent selection process. ---ICYMI ...A researcher from the University of Alberta is being recognized for her innovation that uses the sharp edges on salt crystals to destroy COVID-19 droplets on reusable masks.Ilaria Rubino, a recent PhD graduate, says a solution of mostly salt and water is used to coat the first or middle layer of the mask.As the liquid from the droplets evaporates, she says the salt crystals grow back as spiky weapons, which damage the bacteria or virus within five minutes.Rubino collaborated with a researcher at Georgia State University in Atlanta to advance the project she started five years ago.She is being recognized today with an innovation award from Mitacs, a not-for-profit organization that honours researchers from academic institutions.The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval. Rubino says it could also be used to stop the spread of other infectious illnesses, such as influenza.---This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020 The Canadian Press
The union representing Cape Breton Regional Municipality's career firefighters says a recent spat with a volunteer department has highlighted the need to implement a consultant's report from 2016 that recommended centralizing control over fire calls and amalgamating some rural departments."In our opinion, it's been taking too long," said Dave McLaughlin, president of International Association of Firefighters in Sydney. "This stuff should have been done back in 1995, when the municipality amalgamated."Unionized firefighters recently responded to a couple of calls in the Mira Road volunteer department's area just outside Sydney.That sparked a memo from administration to the union reminding firefighters of a longstanding mutual aid agreement that says Sydney is only to respond to calls in Mira Road's area if the department requests it."The problem with that being that sometimes that request for response could be delayed by several minutes," said McLaughlin.It's also difficult to listen to a dispatch call knowing the career firefighters are on standby and could head out immediately, he said.McLaughlin said under other mutual aid agreements, Sydney firefighters can automatically respond to calls in the South Bar and Grand Lake Road areas.In Sydney River, Sydney firefighters can automatically respond to fire calls and discussions are ongoing when it comes to motor vehicle or major industrial accidents, he said.If CBRM had a truly regional fire service, it would not need a patchwork of mutual aid agreements among its member departments, McLaughlin said.If the Manitou Inc. consultant's report from four years ago had been implemented, there would be no territorial disputes, he said.Mutual frustrationThe Manitou report, as it came to be known, contained 22 specific recommendations, but the main ones were to create a bylaw or regulation giving administration control over all the departments, set service standards and integrate all departments, including reducing the number of departments and fire halls."The inability to move forward collectively on decisions is mutually frustrating and encourages individual departments to withdraw from trying to solve problems collectively," the report said."It's easier to revert to responding to their department's interests rather than engaging in the give-and-take of moving the system forward as a whole. Parochial interests must give way to the common good."The report said a number of steps would have to be taken first, including collecting data and documenting standards and service levels.CBRM's director of regional fire and emergency service, Michael Seth, said he has spent the last year since he was hired getting to know the various departments and trying to understand the implications of the Manitou report."I've reviewed a lot of things and gotten right into the weeds of who does what and who's responsible for what," he said.Seth said CBRM's existing Fire and Emergency Service Registration policy already allows the regional fire service to exert control over all 32 departments.The policy says registered departments are required to conform to regional guidelines and procedures.He said administration is now gathering data that will be used to set service standards for the volunteer and career fire stations."What we're trying to do is put in the evidentiary data so that we can start setting these deployment plans, not only for Mira Road but throughout all of CBRM," said Seth.The newly elected council will be asked to provide direction on that in the near future, he said.MORE TOP STORIES
Once a novel concept in dealership marketing, Black Friday car deals have become as common as the TV deals at your local big-box store. While the savings on new cars aren’t that dramatic — no 70% off fire sales here — they do generally make mid- to late November a good time to buy a car.This year, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on just about everything — Black Friday car deals included.Perhaps the biggest factor is the lack of inventory caused by all the factory shutdowns. There simply aren’t as many 2021 models on dealer lots this year as there were 2020s at this time last year. Moreover, Edmunds market analysts expect inventory to remain low through the end of the year. Depressed supply means it’s a seller’s market, so discounts won’t be nearly as steep as in years past.And what of that 0% financing you might’ve seen advertised a few months ago? Well, we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that, yes, there are fewer 0% offers than the record highs we saw in late spring. In October, such deals made up about 9% of car loans, down from 12.9% in September, according to Edmunds data. But the good news is that this figure is still about 4 percentage points higher than the 2019 norm.So what should you look for? The deal hunters at Edmunds have located five 2020 vehicles in various categories that still offer significant savings this month. We’ve organized them from the highest per cent savings to the lowest. Note that these savings are averages, which means that you can likely improve on the savings with some negotiating and incentives.2020 Chevrolet Bolt EVAverage manufacturer’s suggested price $41,361; average discount $10,364 (25% savings)What our editors say: “The Bolt has surprising interior space for a vehicle that looks small from the outside. And for the 2020 model year, Chevrolet updated the Bolt’s battery pack, increasing its capacity without changing its size. The result is an increase in total range to an impressive 259 miles.”2020 Jeep CherokeeAverage MSRP $32,768; average discount $6,013 (18% savings)What our editors say: “The latest Jeep Cherokee ditches its nontraditional styling for a more familial look based on the bigger Grand Cherokee. The V6 engine is still an option, but there’s a hot turbocharged four-cylinder engine as well. In proper Jeep fashion, the Cherokee remains one of the most capable small SUVs for going off-road.”2020 Chrysler 300Average MSRP $35,587; average discount $6,484 (18% savings)What our editors say: “There is nothing small about the Chrysler 300. It’s a large sedan in nearly every sense of the word, with a spacious upscale interior, a long wheelbase for a smooth ride, and an available V8 engine that has plenty of muscle.”2020 Ford Fusion HybridAverage MSRP $27,090; average discount $4,940 (18% savings)What our editors say: “The current-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid dates all the way back to 2013, but Ford’s continuous tweaks have kept it fresh long past a normal car’s sell-by date. Even though all of its competitors are newer, the 2020 Fusion Hybrid’s long list of strengths helps it remain one of the best choices for a midsize sedan.”2020 Ford F-150Average MSRP $52,385; average discount $7,674 (15% savings)What our editors say: “The 2020 Ford F-150 is a great example of the tough yet modern full-size pickup truck. It has the power to tow and haul at the top of its class, yet it also offers a wide range of luxury and technology features. The combination makes it one of the most versatile trucks available.”EDMUNDS SAYS: Despite the lack of typical Black Friday deals this year, you can still find great vehicles at appealing prices for the holiday season. Just keep in mind that supply limitations may make it harder to find the exact mix of features you’re looking for.___This story was provided to The Associated Press by the automotive website Edmunds. Ronald Montoya is a senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds. Twitter: @ronald_montoya8.Related links:—2020 Chevrolet Bolt review: https://edmu.in/3kgYq9Z—2020 Jeep Cherokee review: https://edmu.in/3eK7wv3—2020 Chrysler 300 review: https://edmu.in/35j2NNS—2020 Ford Fusion Hybrid review: https://edmu.in/35hXs9c—2020 Ford F-150 review: https://edmu.in/2GRwfRyRonald Montoya Of Edmunds, The Associated Press
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues CBC North will keep track of the latest confirmed cases in each territory here, and the latest stories, updated every morning.Nunavut * The total confirmed cases as of Nov. 25 are 155, with 153 active, according to the government's Wednesday news release. Northwest Territories * The Northwest Territories has 15 confirmed cases in total, all of which have since recovered as of Nov. 24, according to the government's latest statistics.Yukon * Total confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Nov. 24 is 38 with 23 recovered and one death.
WASHINGTON — Congress is bracing for President-elect Joe Biden to move beyond the Trump administration’s state-by-state approach to the COVID-19 crisis and build out a national strategy to fight the pandemic and distribute the eventual vaccine.The incoming administration’s approach reflects Democrats’ belief that a more comprehensive plan, some of it outlined in the House’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, is needed to get the pandemic under control. Republicans have resisted big spending but agree additional funding is needed. With the nation on edge but a vaccine in sight, the complicated logistics of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans raise the stakes on the major undertaking.“We have an incredible challenge on our hands,” said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, which is approaching the anniversary of its first reported case of the virus last January.A vaccine can only go so far, Murray warned, without a distribution plan. "A vaccine can sit on a shelf. A vaccination is what we’re talking about,” she said.As Congress weighs a new round of COVID-19 relief, federal officials say doses of the vaccine could begin shipping within a day of Food and Drug Administration approval. Three pharmaceutical manufacturers — Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca — have announced early results. But the rollout faces a patchwork of state plans, a transitioning White House and potential backlash from vaccine skeptics, despite the rising U.S. death toll of nearly 260,000 people.Biden said Tuesday on NBC's “Nightly News with Lester Holt” that his team has started meeting with COVID-19 officials at the White House on how to “get from a vaccine being distributed to a person being able to get vaccinated.”Democrats have been sounding the alarm that the Trump administration’s delay in granting Biden’s team access to transition materials was wasting precious time.States submitted draft vaccination planning documents last month, but not all of them have made full plans public. Private Capitol Hill briefings by officials from Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccine effort, left some lawmakers fuming last week over what they called a lack of co-ordination with Biden’s camp.Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that his department “immediately” started working with Biden’s staff after the General Services Administration formally acknowledged the election results.Azar said he wanted to ensure Biden’s transition would be “in the spirit of looking out for the health and well-being of the American people and, in particular, saving lives through this COVID-19 pandemic.”From the start, the pandemic has challenged and reflected the two parties’ approaches to the public health crisis, with the Trump administration largely outsourcing many decisions to the states and Democrats pressing for a more nationalized approach.In Congress, Republicans largely rejected the $2 trillion-plus House bill from Democrats as excessive. They prefer their own $500 billion Senate effort, saying states and cities can tap funding from previous relief legislation. Senate Democrats blocked that bill twice as insufficient.Biden's campaign called for $25 billion for vaccines to “guarantee it gets to every American, cost-free.” That's similar to the amount included in both the House and the Senate bills, through different strategies, and Congress previously mandated that vaccines be free. With fresh legislation stalled, it’s uncertain if states will have the resources needed once the FDA approves the vaccines.During a conference call this week with governors, Azar and other health officials fielded a range of questions. Governors were seeking guidance on which populations they should prioritize for the vaccine and whether there was a list of pharmacies available to administer the two-dose regimens, according to a readout of the call provided by the office of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington.Blaire Bryant, who oversees health care policy at the National Association of Counties, said a national strategy for communicating vaccine information to the public and the funding to make vaccinations equitable are vital.“We’re in uncharted territory,” she said. “The more information, the more guidance we can get from the federal level, the better.”She said states do have access to previously approved funding, but cash-strapped local governments have been reluctant to draw down the remaining dollars for vaccines. It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul, she said.As Congress debates funding, at least two Republican senators are participating in vaccine trials as a way to build confidence among Americans skeptical of the federal effort.Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement that he hoped his participation “will reassure people about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.”Sen. Steve Daines of Montana, who is participating in the Pfizer trials, asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday to consider the “unique challenges” of distributing the vaccine to remote and rural communities like those in his state.Daines said in a letter to the CDC that it will also be “critical” to ensure access for frontline health care and essential workers, as well as older adults and people with medical conditions.Other lawmakers, though, have brushed off concerns. GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said he expects vaccine distribution will be “well underway” by the time Biden takes office Jan. 20.Murray, as the top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, grew concerned this summer as she said the Trump administration outsourced much of the vaccine distribution planning to the states.She drafted a 19-page paper calling for $25 billion to stand up a vaccination program with supply chains, hired personnel, drive-in clinics and other ways to provide no-cost vaccines. She warned of the Trump administration's “lack of centralized leadership” and “chaotic communication” with the states.Biden and Murray have since talked about her approach, which draws on input from health professionals on Biden’s team. Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a member of Biden's COVID-19 task force, briefed Senate Democrats the week after the election.Murray compared the vaccine effort to sending a man to the moon or fighting a world war. She said it will take all Americans joining to say, “This is a pandemic, and I'm going to do my part to get the country out of it.”___Associated Press writers Candice Choi in New York and Rachel La Corte in Olympia, Wash., contributed to this report.Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
CANSO -- The Canso Area Development Association (CADA) would like to bring a Fisheries Heritage Centre to the Canso waterfront. CADA president Harold Roberts spoke to The Journal about the group’s past year and ideas for the future, including the proposed centre, following CADA’s 11th annual AGM on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at the Canso and Area Library and Resource Centre. The Fisheries Heritage Centre, currently in the preliminary stages of planning, would be an interactive space for sharing the area’s long fishing history. “There is a lot of interest in that,” said Roberts. “This area is the oldest fishing port in the Maritimes dating back to 1604. We really don’t have a way of displaying, in a holistic way, our fisheries heritage.” The centre would highlight the indigenous fisheries, early European fishing and commercial fisheries. “We’ve had ongoing discussions with Parks Canada. We would like to have their support with this heritage centre,” said Roberts, noting that to, “advance this project to another level, we would have to seek out an RFP (Request for Proposals).” The Fisheries Heritage Centre was part of the discussion during the community visioning workshop held on Oct. 21 with Rob LeBlanc from the consulting firm Fathom Studios, regarding community enhancements that could happen through funds earmarked for the former Town of Canso from the sale of the Canso Electric Utility residuals. "Two hundred and eighty surveys were completed and forwarded to Fathom Studios; that shows that there is a lot of interest in how that money would focus on particular projects and initiatives within the former town boundaries,” said Roberts. In other business, CADA has helped several local organizations this past year, including a $250 donation to the Chedabucto Multi-use Trails Association, a donation to the Canso Flying Figures Skating Club to cover registration costs, and support for the Eastern Counties Rate Payers Association. Members of CADA sit on community liaison committees with the Black Point Quarry project and the proposed Maritime Launch Services project. They also work in partnership with MODG Recreation and Public Works to operate the swimming pool in Canso, which due to COVID-19 was not open this past season. They also participate in the Canso and Area Stakeholders Group and the Guysborough and Area Board of Trade. Cape Breton – Canso MP Mike Kelloway joined the AGM by video link.Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
A task force comprised of faith groups, think-tanks and community organizations in Calgary says Quebec's Bill 21 has impacted religious minorities across Canada since it came into law in 2019.The secularism law bans religious symbols, like hijabs and turbans, prohibiting public teachers, lawyers, police officers and civil servants from wearing religious symbols at work, effectively preventing them from working in their chosen fields.Lawyers for the government say it was needed to address unease about religious pluralism and the place of religion in society, but the Canadians it impacts say it violates the constitution and effectively makes them second-class citizens.The I-Care task force study was funded by Think For Actions, Canadian Muslim Research Think Tank and Calgarians Against Racism, Violence and Hate at a cost of $21,000, gathering interviews and opinion from a wide range of residents from minority groups through focus groups.Participants took part in several events held at churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues. The study says they described the bill as hateful and one which targets minority religions. All participants agreed that Bill 21 does not reflect what Canada stands for."It gives the feeling that we are becoming second-class citizens," said Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, chairman of the group Think For Actions, one of more than 50 groups involved in the study."This type of bill increases racism and discrimination by providing futile grounds to white nationalism, neo-nazis, and white supremacists," Zaidi said.He says the findings of the study into the impact of the bill in Alberta were unanimous."It makes you valueless it makes your feel unwanted and it definitely affects us on a personal, psychological and emotional level," Zaidi added, quoting the words of one participant.Zaidi says they discovered the law is also having a psychological impact with minorities feeling under attack and many reporting an impact on their mental health.Findings from the focus groups included questions around defining religious symbols, concerns over Quebec residents having to leave their jobs and move away from their homes as a result of the bill and worries about the possibility of copycat bills in other provinces. The report says many interviewees described discontent and fear for the future including one stating that they believe Bill 21 produces hatred.Calgary city council voted unanimously in September 2019 to formally oppose Bill 21 but some who took part in focus groups said they were still concerned about the possibility of Alberta's provincial government adopting a similar law in the future."This could be a reality tomorrow in our province," said Zaidi, citing concerns about a changing political landscape and more far-right groups and activity in Alberta. "We definitely fear that and that's why we did this study in Calgary."Zaidi says people come to Canada, in many cases, to escape oppression and enjoy freedom of religion and equal rights. He says Bill 21 takes that hope away from many immigrants along with the pride they have in their respective religions.Right now Bill 21 is facing several legal challenges in Quebec, where hearings are still taking place.A test of the constitutionality of the secularism law began earlier this month with tearful testimony from Muslim and Sikh teachers who said the law derailed their careers and made them targets of bigotry.It's facing four different lawsuits that claim it violates the Constitution in a number of different ways.Civil society groups have targeted the law as part of a broader struggle against systemic racism.The court challenge was temporarily suspended last week after a person who had attended the proceedings tested positive for COVID-19.
President Emmanuel Macron has said France will start to ease its strict national lockdown with the reopening of shops. In Spain government is to propose a somewhat different Christmas and New Year celebrations. According to draft proposals authorties plan to limit gatherings to six people in total. View on euronews
Halifax council has unanimously approved three housing projects for funding under Ottawa's Rapid Housing Initiative.Proposals from Adsum House, the North End Community Health Association and the Mi'kmaq Friendship Centre will share the $8.6 million allotted for Halifax.The Mi'kmaq Friendship Centre's project will provide emergency shelter and permanent housing for its urban Indigenous clients at a property it owns at 5853 College St., but it will require a rezoning. The councillor for South End Halifax said during a debate on Tuesday that given what the property has been used for the rezoning is worthwhile."What that site was up until three years ago was a low security halfway house run by Corrections Canada," explained Coun. Waye Mason. "And frankly the building is quite old and they'll be replacing it."Regional council also agreed the three groups should apply for 100 per cent exemption to the municipal property taxes for their sites to ensure the units remain affordable over the next 20 years.Hopes to help other projectsCouncillors were also interested in finding other ways to help the nine other projects that were considered. One of them was proposed by the Elizabeth Fry Society and Cloverdale to convert a commercial building into housing for women involved in the criminal justice system. The proposal said people have to find accommodations to meet bail conditions."It is appalling that we are using the jail in Burnside as a homeless shelter," said Coun. Sam Austin. "There are people sitting in jail because there is nowhere for them to go; that is so utterly wrong."A number of councillors were also interested in the Homes for Heroes proposal to provide 20 to 24 tiny homes for veterans.HRM staff said they will work with all the proposals to find other funding programs.The three that were approved will be submitted to Ottawa on Thursday.MORE TOP STORIES
ASPEN, Colo. — March is Aspen's moneymaking season as spring breakers and families head to the mountains to ski.When the coronavirus pandemic hit, all four Aspen/Snowmass ski mountains shut down, along with nearly everything else in the alpine town, which banks on tourism dollars.Then a funny thing happened: As people became more accustomed to life in masks and began venturing out more, Aspen again became a destination.The small town made people feel safer than in big, crowded cities. Outdoor activities are Aspen's calling card, and the mountains were a perfect place to escape the doldrums of months-long lockdowns.Precautions by local government and businesses — and the conscientiousness of nearly everyone in town — added a layer of comfort.“Aspen and all the other mountain towns in Colorado actually did really well because people want to get out of the metropolitan areas and get to the clean air of the mountains,” said Barclay Dodge, chef and owner of Bosq restaurant in downtown Aspen. “We actually did really well this summer. The town was thriving and, surprisingly, it thrived in a safe manner.”Aspen is known as an outdoor mecca, from hiking, biking and rafting in the warm months to skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. As the pandemic wore on and health officials began encouraging people to get out and exercise, the town became a popular spot once again.Since Aspen has just three ICU beds, residents and the town were extra cautious with the coronavirus. As restrictions started being lifted in Colorado around the end of May, local businesses took a proactive approach to safety.Aspen instituted an indoor mask mandate in late April and created a mandatory mask zone in most of downtown in July. Signs were placed all over downtown to alert locals and tourists to the mandate and encourage social distancing.Security personnel and volunteers gently remind people to wear their masks, and confrontations have been rare. Hikers pull up their masks when crossing paths on the trails.Businesses put limits on the number of customers allowed in at a time, often with an employee at the front door to keep track.Tickets for the gondola at Aspen Mountain can be purchased online and scanned in with a phone QR code. Only members of the same family are allowed to ride the gondola together, and the outdoor eating at the top of the mountain was expanded.The Aspen Ski Company said it also will institute numerous new measures this winter to keep skiers socially distanced and safe.“Everything other than the skiing will be different,” said Jeff Hanle, vice-president of communications for Aspen Snowmass. “There’ll be some things that may make it more convenient and easier to get up the mountain, in addition to keeping your distance and things.”Hotels revamped their procedures during the lockdown and introduced changes when they were allowed to have guests again.Aspen Meadows Resort, on a sprawling property above the Roaring Fork River, began having its cleaning staff leave sanitizer on all surfaces in the rooms for at least 10 minutes before wiping, and cleaned bathroom amenities. Most everything now must be scheduled, including the pool, fitness centre and room cleaning, to ensure social distancing.Breakfast is to-go only and reservations are necessary at the resort's Plato's Restaurant. Masks are required, and there's dirty and clean pen cups at the front desk.“For those that love hospitality, it really was just another pivot to figure out how to operate the business,” Aspen Meadows general manager Jud Hawk said. “It's certainly been one of the biggest challenges of my career."Restaurants in Colorado were allowed to serve at 50% capacity in late May.Dodge installed a new ventilation system inside Bosq and, like many restaurants in town, has an enclosed outdoor seating area. Bosq does temperature checks at the door and sanitizing on all shared surfaces inside. The restaurant is building an enclosed area for outdoor dining for when it reopens for the winter season on Dec. 10.“Winter brings on a whole other set of what — what’s around the corner, is it going to be great?” Dodge said. “We just don’t know.”___Online: Aspen Meadows Resort: https://www.aspenmeadows.com; Bosq Restaurant: http://www.bosqaspen.com.John Marshall, The Associated Press
In an effort to redouble efforts to fight against COVID-19, Bruce Power has launched Be a Light: Beating COVID-19 Together, on Nov. 19. The company has committed $1 million to battle the pandemic and work with public health, county and municipal governments, chambers of commerce, hospitals, local MPs and MPPs, and community organizations within Grey, Bruce and Huron counties. “We are committed to contributing in any way we can to the challenge ahead of us here in the coming weeks,” said James Scongack, executive vice-president corporate affairs and operational services at Bruce Power. Bruce Power has been in constant contact with public health, county wardens, the province, federal MPs, and it is “very clear that COVID fatigue is settling in, in everyone’s lives,” said Scongack. As case numbers continue to rise in Grey Bruce and Huron, Bruce Power is “committed to doing whatever they can to make a positive contribution working in unity with the medical officers of health, our elected officials across the board.” The program is focused on how to beat COVID-19, from what Scongack describes as a “glass half full” perspective. He said there is light at the end of the tunnel and each action carried out, directed at defeating COVID, makes the light a little brighter. The initiative is focused on five main areas. The first area, public awareness, involves engaging community newspapers, radio stations, television and social media to reinforce the message from the health unit on how to stop COVID. This information will become even more critical as winter and the holidays approach. Bruce Power has committed $200,000 to this area, which will begin immediately. The second area, providing protection, will provide thermal monitoring equipment in higher risk or high traffic areas. Scongack describes these monitors as an additional tool in the toolbox and notes that use of this new equipment, in areas of high traffic, prompts members of the public to pause and remember to follow other preventative measures. To date, Bruce Power has provided more than $2 million in PPE, $300,000 of which has been distributed in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties. $150,000 will be directed to this area. The third area of focus is a buy local campaign. Businesses have already faced many challenges because of the restrictions because of the pandemic, and these challenges will only continue to grow as case numbers climb. Bruce Power is making a $50,000 investment to further leverage the Grey-Bruce-Huron Strong platform (www.gbhstrong.com). The fourth area focuses on mental and physical health. Scongack says approximately 30 to 35 per cent of the $1 million will be directed to this part of the program. The company will support local organizations which promote mental and physical health activities and programs through the duration of the campaign. By Nov. 27, an announcement will be made detailing how approximately $50,000 will be spent to create COVID-safe, outdoor community events to take place this winter. Money will also be invested in improving trails and recreation in the area. The final area of focus is lending a helping hand. Bruce Power has reached out to food banks, long-term care facilities and community organizations to support these organizations and individuals during this period of time. Approximately $250,000 will be directed to helping those who need assistance, and money spent in this area should be used to support the local economy. Scongack says time and action is of the essence to respond to the urgent situation Ontario and our communities face. The program is being implemented immediately and said they have “two weeks to hit this hard with a hammer.” Bruce Power hosted a COVID-19 information live event with Dr. Ian Arra of Grey Bruce Health Unit on Nov. 25 at 6:30 p.m. The public was invited to attend, and those not able to view can watch the recorded version at https://www.brucepower.com/events/. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
After 13 years as the host of CBC Montreal's Daybreak, Mike Finnerty has decided it is time to move on. His last show will be Friday, Nov. 27.Here, he explains the reasons behind his departure — and answers some rapid-fire questions that are normally reserved for special in-studio guests.Why are you leaving Daybreak?It is time. I've hosted Daybreak for a total of 13 years, including over the last, eventful decade 2010-2020. That's a lot of time! This is not my chair — it's been my great privilege to keep it warm, but I want to make way for a new voice, another style, a fresh perspective on the city for 2021.Looking back on the job, what did being Daybreak's host mean to you? How did you approach the job every day?I've had a front row-seat as so much has changed in Montreal. The revolt over corruption in the city. The big changes at city hall from Tremblay to Applebaum to Coderre to Plante. The massive student protests. The struggle to come to terms with our modern identity, to make the city a fairer place for all its citizens. The rise in the high-tech sector, the explosion of terrasse culture and now our pulling together in the pandemic.I've met and spoken to SO many Montrealers about all that and more. I'm incredibly fortunate, and incredibly grateful for the opportunity.Most of all, I will never forget the thrill of turning the microphone on every weekday, rain, snow or shine, and saying good morning to Montrealers.What's next for you?This Christmas, you'll find me at Borough Market selling cheese in my second home, London. I need some time to turn the page, and I get a lot of joy from a product that has a history that reaches back through the centuries. I am in awe of the mysteries of fermentation, all the incredible tastes, smells and varieties of cheese.I want to learn more, meet more farmers and cheesemakers. It is a hands-on, physical job, but also one that's really close to people. So I'll don the cheesemonger's apron and see where the next chapter takes me.What's the definitive Montreal food?All the foods! But a sunny day on the terrasse at a Montreal bistro with a platter of nibbly things (cheese included!) is heaven.Favourite interviews or guests?Ellen Gabriel.What are your strategies for waking up early and napping?How can you not love the quiet, intense beauty of the pre-dawn morning? And regarding napping, I cannot be brief on that topic.Something you noticed change in 10 years?Montreal's dynamism ... it faded. It's back.Something that didn't change at all?Sometimes I'll walk down a Montreal back alleyway and see the same young people you might have seen 30 years ago, laughing, playing, hanging out.Favourite Montreal neighbourhood to hang out in?I love Little Italy and the Jean-Talon Market.Cheese recommendations?Go to a cheese shop — ask the cheesemonger: "What's really popping today?" Cheeses are living things. You may have a favourite, but it may not be a great batch. A good cheesemonger will know what will knock your socks off on a given day.Prediction for the next 10 years?Montreal rising and rising.Tune in to 88.5 FM in Montreal Friday morning for Mike Finnerty's final broadcast as host of Daybreak.
A Northwest Territories judge is now considering a decision that may have implications for the way temporary housing programs are run.The case was initiated by the Northwest Territories YWCA. It's appealing a rental office decision that found it improperly evicted a tenant in its transitional housing program and ordered it to pay him $420 in compensation.The money is not the issue. The YWCA is appealing because the rental officer found that the Residential Tenancies Act — which governs all landlord-tenant relations — applies to its transitional housing programs. The rental officer said the YWCA had failed to provide the notice of the eviction required under the Act and failed to get a rental office order authorizing the eviction.The case began when a client in the YWCA's housing program complained to the rental office after he was evicted from his unit in the Simpson House Apartments in Yellowknife. The YWCA leased the unit from Northview Properties. The building is now owned by the Northview Canadian High Yield Residential Fund.The man was notified he was being evicted in September 2019, days after he had a heated argument with his ex-spouse. Other residents overheard her threaten to burn down the building. They reported the threat to Northview.The YWCA says that was the last straw after several complaints from other tenants about loud parties, damage and late night knocks on the man's ground floor apartment window.Just a few days before there had been a fire at another Northview building, the Crestview Manor Apartments. A year earlier, a fire had destroyed the YWCA's Rockhill apartment building.A few days after notifying the man he was being evicted, Northview changed the locks on the apartment unit. It also terminated its lease with the YWCA. Despite the new locks, the man kept returning to his unit until early October, when he was escorted out by the RCMP.In court documents the YWCA says in a previous decision involving the Centre for Northern Families' eviction of a tenant, a rental officer had recognized the Residential Tenancies Act does not apply to transitional housing programs.The YWCA said it needs the flexibility to act fast to ensure the safety and security of its housing clients.The man is arguing that exemptions to Act only apply to programs that involve some kind of service, such as counselling, in addition to housing. They say the transitional housing program is strictly about accommodation.The lawyers were in court to argue their case on Tuesday. Justice Karan Shaner said she will give her decision in writing, but did not say when.
JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesia’s anti-corruption commission said it arrested the country's fisheries minister on Wednesday amid an investigation into exports of lobster larvae.Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Edhy Prabowo was arrested upon arrival at the Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta international airport from a working visit to the United States, the deputy chairman of the Corruption Eradication Commission, Nurul Ghufron, told Kompas TV.“The arrest is related to lobster seed exports,” Ghufron said without elaborating in comments aired on the station.He said investigators were still questioning Prabowo and another announcement would be made later Wednesday.Prabowo earlier this year rolled back a ban on lobster larvae exports put in place by his predecessor. That decision sparked criticism from his predecessor and activists over sustainability concerns.President Joko Widodo said he respected the decision of the anti-corruption commission, known in Indonesia as the KPK, to arrest Prabowo.“I believe the KPK works in a transparent, open and professional manner,” Widodo told reporters. “The government consistently supports corruption eradication efforts."If Prabowo is charged with a crime it could further tarnish Widodo's credibility when it comes to fighting corruption. Two previous members of Widodo's Cabinet have already been sentenced to prison terms in corruption cases.Former Social Affairs Minister Idrus Marham was sentenced to five years in prison for involvement in a bribery case related to a coal-fired power plant project on Sumatra island, while former Youth and Sport Minister Imam Nahrawi was sentenced to seven years after he was found guilty of personally using a National Sports Committee grant.Prabowo is the deputy chairman of the Great Indonesia Movement Party, or Gerindra, formerly a rival to Widodo's party. He joined the Cabinet in October 2019 as part of of an alliance forged after Widodo's election to a second term.Widodo campaigned in part on a pledge to run a clean government in a country that ranked 85th out of 180 countries in the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International.The Associated Press
Leslie Chihuly, the wife and business driver behind glass artist Dale Chihuly, believes these are fighting times, especially for artists. "If we don't have our paintings and art and music and culture and civility, then what do we have?" said the president and chief executive of Chihuly, Inc, who chaired the board of the Seattle Symphony for nine years until 2018. Chihuly, 59, had a chat with Reuters about her personal, professional and philanthropic choices.
Big Brothers and Sisters Kincardine and District have launched two innovative ways to fundraise this year, and replace some of the revenue lost due to events cancelled because of the pandemic. The Festival of Wreaths campaign invited local businesses to create a holiday wreath, register it with Big Brothers and Sisters and display it prominently in their own office window. The sky was the limit when creating the wreath, and businesses were encouraged to decorate with chocolate, gift certificates, decorations and anything else that struck their fancy. The entire collection can be viewed at https://kincardine.bigbrothersbigsisters.ca/festival-of-wreaths-submissions/and a link is available that will direct the public to the businesses who have created a wreath. Approximately 26 wreaths have been submitted, from businesses including Sleepers Bed Gallery, Mackenzie and McCreath Funeral Home, Victoria Park Gallery and Snobelen Farms. Wreaths created by businesses in Ripley are currently on display at Grey Matter Beer Company and The Cooperators. Each wreath has been donated to BBBS, and they will be auctioned off, with funds directed to the organization. The online auction runs from Nov. 26-30. These keepsakes will be available for pick up just in time to deck your own halls. The more wreaths that sell, the more money BBBS will have to support their programs. “This is a very important fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine & District in a critical time of need,” said executive director Yolanda Ritsema. “All proceeds help sustain our core programs in the community. Each participating business will receive a tax deductible receipt for the cost of their wreath.” The agency has also kicked off its holiday giving and recruitment campaign, giving the public the opportunity to give the gift of mentorship. The initiative hopes to raise $5,000 and recruit 10 new big brothers or sisters for its mentorship program. BBBS is very excited to announce that it has partnered with EPCOR this year, who will match donations, dollar for dollar, to a maximum of $5,000. All funds raised remain in this community. The money will be used to ignite the potential of little brothers and sisters and have a positive impact on their emotional competence. It will be used to increase their educational engagement and employment readiness and empower their good mental health and well-being. “This challenging time has changed the landscape of how vital community organizations fundraise and operate,” said Susannah Robinson, EPCOR vice president, Ontario operations. “We are excited to match the generous donations for the Holiday Giving program that will enable Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kincardine & District to continue to invest in our youth and help set them up for success.” Big Brothers Big Sisters is Canada’s leading child and youth mentoring organization and the Kincardine agency is proud to be a part of this movement. It offers life-changing relationships to inspire and empower youth, with the goal of helping youth reach their potential. Besides matches between mentors and mentees, it offers a range of programs serving you who want a mentor. Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent
This column is an opinion from Graham Thomson, an award-winning journalist who has covered Alberta politics for more than 30 years. Premier Jason Kenney declared a public health emergency on Tuesday, with more COVID-related restrictions, but his underlying message remains the same to Albertans: please take personal responsibility or I'll be forced to take drastic action. And this time, I really mean it! Kenney continues to play the role of exasperated parent in the driver's seat telling the mischievous kids in the back seat to stop misbehaving or by golly he's pulling the car over. In, um, three weeks. That's how long he's giving Albertans to obey his latest restrictions or face "stricter measures." Those restrictions are not the temporary, targeted lockdown being advocated by doctors, 341 of whom wrote a third letter to Kenney this week saying, among other things, "The continued rise in COVID-19 infections in Alberta is alarming. We are not on the brink of a health-care system disaster — we are already in it." But Kenney is opposed to a lockdown, preferring instead to issue a list of new restrictions that apply to some but not others. For example, you must wear a mask in indoor workplaces in Calgary and Edmonton regions but not in rural Alberta. Worshippers can still gather together with some restrictions, but not high school students, whose in-class learning will end Nov. 30 and not resume until Jan. 11. In-home gatherings illegal Kenney has declared in-home social gatherings to be illegal, with scofflaws facing a $1,000 fine. He was unclear on how the government will enforce the law, other than trusting police officers to notice if there are more than the usual number of cars parked along a street, indicating someone on the block is having a party. Also, you can't play darts or billiards in a pub, but you can have a drink with friends as long as they are either part of your household bubble or there aren't more than two of them. Again, this is not a blanket restriction for the whole province but for those in the "enhanced" areas of the province. You have to consult a map on the province's website to figure out where those areas are. While other provinces have shut down casinos, Alberta is only shutting down table games while leaving electronic games open. I guess if you want to hold a social gathering, do it in a casino. The restrictions are so confusing, you literally need to print out a list of the new rules and a COVID map of "enhanced" areas of the province to figure out if any of the new rules apply to you, your workplace or your local retail outlets. WATCH | Alberta Premier Jason Kenney announces new COVID-19 restrictions for Alberta Kenney's reluctance to follow other provinces into lockdowns is not surprising. Just a few weeks ago, he took a swipe at other areas of Canada that had imposed strong restrictions to flatten the COVID curve. "We've seen other jurisdictions implement sweeping lockdowns, indiscriminately violating people's rights and destroying livelihoods," said Kenney in early November. "Nobody wants that to happen here in Alberta." And just a few days ago, he said he would not let Alberta become a "police state." Invoking a province-wide mandatory mask rule, as every other province has done, is not exactly turning the rest of Canada into a "police state." Mandatory mask rules have demonstrated how other provinces are applying temporary sweeping restrictions to reduce COVID cases and save lives. But not in Alberta, even though last weekend the province had the highest daily case count in the country. That's including Ontario, which has more than three times Alberta's population. Boxed into a corner Kenney's previous libertarian comments have boxed him into a corner. If he invokes the same restrictions we're seeing in other provinces he, too, will be, by his own words, "indiscriminately violating people's rights and destroying livelihoods." That's why he says he's bringing in the "minimum" requirements to fight COVID. He meant that in terms of the Charter of Rights, where it requires a "minimal impairment" of people's fundamental rights to achieve a policy goal. However, when doctors call for a lockdown, they are not talking about denying people freedoms indefinitely, just long enough to flatten the curve and give everyone a chance to exercise the right to stay healthy and alive. "We're not going to let political pressure or ideological approaches to cause indiscriminate damage to peoples' lives and livelihoods," said Kenney on Tuesday, even as his new restrictions seem to be based in his own ideological, hands-off, trust-people-to-take-personal-responsibility approach to public policy. But you've got to hand it to Kenney for managing to sneak in a few subtle swipes at the doctors who are calling for a temporary lockdown. "I would ask people who have the certainty of a paycheque, particularly a government paycheque, to think for a moment about those individuals whose entire life savings are tied up in businesses," he said. But the doctors who are calling for a lockdown are warning us if we don't help ramp down the number of COVID cases now, everyone will be much worse off in the days to come and the government will be forced to apply massive restrictions in the future. I suppose that's what Kenney is saying, too, in his own way. And, by golly, this time he means it. This column is an opinion. For more information about our commentary section, please read our FAQ.