A night of peaceful protests in Philadelphia late on Tuesday gave way to more unrest and some demonstrators clashed with police after a Black man was killed by police officers in a shooting caught on video. (Oct. 30)
A night of peaceful protests in Philadelphia late on Tuesday gave way to more unrest and some demonstrators clashed with police after a Black man was killed by police officers in a shooting caught on video. (Oct. 30)
Prince Wong was still in her mother's womb when the Chinese government reclaimed control over Hong Kong from the British in the summer of 1997. For her 23rd birthday this year, Wong posted a photo of herself on Instagram wearing a pastel-striped paper hat trimmed with pink pompoms. On a recent day, Wong spun a gold ring on her finger in continuous circles as she spoke quietly about the past year of her life.
MADISON, Wis. — Joe Biden’s victory in battleground Wisconsin was certified Monday following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over President Donald Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results. Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, signed a certificate that completed the process after the canvass report showing Biden as the winner following the recount was approved by the chairwoman of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission. Evers' signature was required by law and is typically a procedural step that receives little attention. “Today I carried out my duty to certify the November 3rd election,” Evers said in a statement. “I want to thank our clerks, election administrators, and poll workers across our state for working tirelessly to ensure we had a safe, fair, and efficient election. Thank you for all your good work.” The action Monday now starts a five-day deadline for Trump to file a lawsuit, which he promised would come no later than Tuesday. Trump is mounting a longshot attempt to overturn the results by disqualifying as many as 238,000 ballots. Trump’s attorneys have alleged without evidence that there was widespread fraud and illegal activity. Biden’s campaign has said the recount showed that Biden won Wisconsin decisively and there was no fraud. Even if Trump were successful in Wisconsin, the state’s 10 Electoral College votes would not be enough to undo Biden’s overall victory as states around the country certify results. Earlier Monday, Arizona officials certified Biden's narrow victory in that state. “There’s no basis at all for any assertion that there was widespread fraud that would have affected the results,” Wisconsin’s Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul said in a statement Monday. He noted that Trump’s recount targeted only the state’s two most populous counties where the majority of Black people live. “I have every confidence that this disgraceful Jim Crow strategy for mass disenfranchisement of voters will fail,” Kaul said. “An election isn’t a game of gotcha.” State law gives the power to confirm the election results to the chair of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission. The position rotates between Republicans and Democrats and is currently held by Ann Jacobs, a Democrat. She signed the canvass statement certifying Biden as the winner over objections from Republicans who wanted to wait until after legal challenges were exhausted. Under state law, the elections staff next sent a certificate to Evers to sign and send to the U.S. administrator of general services — a procedural step since the law says the governor “shall sign” it. Evers did so about an hour after the canvassed results were confirmed. Trump’s legal challenges have failed in other battleground states, including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Two lawsuits from others seeking to disqualify ballots in Wisconsin were filed last week with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which has not taken action. Trump paid $3 million for recounts in Dane and Milwaukee counties, the two largest Democratic counties in Wisconsin, but the recount ended up increasing Biden’s lead by 74 votes. Biden won statewide by nearly 20,700 votes. Trump, during the recount, sought to have ballots discarded where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted. The state elections commission told clerks before the election that they could fill in missing information on the absentee ballot envelopes, a practice that has been in place for at least the past 11 elections and that no court has ever ruled illegal. Trump also challenged any absentee ballot where a voter declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined” under the law, a designation that increased from about 57,000 in 2016 to nearly 216,000 this year due to the pandemic. Such a declaration exempts the voter from having to show a photo identification to cast a ballot, which Trump attorney Christ Troupis called “an open invitation for fraud and abuse.” The conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court this spring ruled that it is up to individual voters to determine whether they are indefinitely confined, in line with guidance from the state elections commission. Trump also sought to discard any absentee ballot where there was not a written application on file and all absentee ballots cast in-person during the two weeks before Election Day. People who vote in-person early fill out a certification envelope that they then place their ballot in and that envelope serves as the written record. But the vast majority of absentee requests these days are made online, with a voter’s name entered into an electronic log with no paper record. Disqualifying all of the ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties that Trump identified during the recount would result in more than 238,000 votes not counting, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The conservative Wisconsin Voters Alliance sued last week seeking to block certification of the results and give the Republican-controlled Legislature the power to appoint presidential electors to cast the state’s 10 Electoral College votes. The Wisconsin Democratic Party previously selected Biden’s 10 electors as prescribed by law. The signing of the canvass statement on Monday confirmed that Biden receives the state's 10 Electoral College votes from those electors. Another lawsuit filed over the weekend by Wisconsin resident Dean Mueller argues that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. ___ This story has been corrected to show the recount increased Biden’s margin by 74 votes, not 87, based on corrected totals issued earlier Monday by Dane County. Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
HURON-PERTH - The main goal of the Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron currently is helping new Canadians navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Gezahgn Wordofa, founder of the association, said they are helping newcomers by getting them to testing centres, even if that means providing rides to Woodstock or London. The association was recently given funding from the federal government through the Red Cross which is allowing them to provide transportation to people who need a ride. “Go get tested… please, if you need us we are here,” said Wordofa. “We have to go get tested. This is very important.” Some newcomers are afraid to get tested because they think COVID is like HIV and there will be a stigma attached to a positive test. “It is not like HIV,” said Wordofa. “African fellows, I’m from Ethiopia, worry because friends might know about their sickness… If they are sick they think HIV is the worst but it’s not HIV. Anybody can get sick with COVID.” For people who want to arrange a ride to get tested the Multicultural Association can be reached at 1-888-910-1583. The association has also been providing masks and teaching people how to wear them. “Some people complain because they don’t have enough masks,” said Wordofa. “They go to shops without masks. Wearing a mask is respectful. If I’m wearing a mask, I respect you. Masks are very important. It doesn’t matter if I am sick or not because it shows respect.” Clinton Springer Sr., a Multicultural Association volunteer, said it’s not only important for newcomers to realize that testing and masking are important, but all Canadians. “They just had a big march in Woodstock and St. Thomas – anti-maskers, that is something which is not just newcomers,” he said. “I think it’s very important to educate all people about the importance of wearing masks. The association supports wearing masks. We support the government mandate of masks. This association supports the restrictions the government put in and now it’s up to us to educate people on the importance of those things.” Springer thinks what the association is doing helping newcomers become part of that Canadian fabric is very important. “They may be newcomers today and Canadians tomorrow,” he said. “It is important we have them in this society. We mend them into this society.” Part of the work the association is doing is helping people who are coming from a different culture with different ethics adapt to being part of Canada. “This organization is about climatization, getting people used to Canadian culture, this is the new Canadian way, let us walk you in,” said Springer. “I call it introducing people to the new Canadian way of life.” He said it’s important for newcomers to understand they have got to adjust to the customs here. “A lot of people say, well back home I used to do this,” he said. “Our education (for newcomers) is like when you go to work for a new company. The company might be a little different than the last one you worked for so you have to adjust and become part of the new company… I’m very blunt when I tell people they are coming into new customs. Some nice people come in with false hopes, false expectations, false dreams… You have people coming to our association with a certain profession. We have doctors who are driving taxis. They have to understand they have to re-train and re-qualify. That is the process here.” The Multicultural Association is starting a youth leadership program to help get the youth more engaged. “The young kids who are coming as newcomers and immigrants who are living here, they are the doctors and lawyers and factory workers – all kinds of workers of tomorrow,” said Springer. “The soil is already here it’s up to us to help till it together.” The association is also looking into doing some empowerment programs for women. “Sometimes you have people coming from countries where some of the females walk behind and in this country, they have got to learn to walk forward,” said Springer. They also want to start a program for men to help males to understand their roles in the home, not as dominant figures but as partners. “Sometimes people come from countries where the man is the dominant force and they have to understand – no, when you come here you are working in partnership with someone,” said Springer. “You aren’t the dominant male and you can’t say I’m from this country, I belong to this country – this woman walks this way. You have to understand the laws.” They hope to get more support locally to help build a community which will be diverse and vibrant. “The support we got from the Red Cross and the federal government is good – our association is very appreciative of that but it is temporary and we need more support,” said Springer. “The more support we get the more services we can provide because we are a growing association. We need the support of Listowel. We need the support of Stratford. We need the support of Woodstock. We need all these communities to come together. We’re Canadians. That’s what we do.”Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
The number of patients with the coronavirus in Manitoba hospitals has tripled in the last month, says Manitoba's chief nursing officer, Lanette Siragusa.
WARSAW, Poland — The prime ministers of Poland and Hungary are meeting Monday to strategize over their threat to veto the European Union’s next budget and massive pandemic aid package that draws a link between bloc funding and members' adherence to democratic standards.Poland and Hungary have been in conflict with the EU for years over their democracy records and fear they may be targeted by the new mechanism that allows funds to be withheld to any of the EU's 27 members that fall short of the bloc's standards.Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is hosting Hungary’s Viktor Orban late Monday for talks on their protest strategy for the Dec. 10-11 EU summit that should approve the bloc’s urgently needed aid package and its 2021-2027 budget, totalling 1.8 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion).It will be the leaders' second meeting on the subject in less than a week.Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday that for her, the rule of law is “the foundation of the European project" and that finding consensus in the summit won't be easy.“We know that we absolutely want to have a result. We also know how difficult that is if all 27 member states can’t agree on that result,” Merkel told a virtual gathering of members of parliaments’ European affairs committees.She said it was up to politicians to come up with results “with which all can live." But she warned that it won't work without compromise “from all sides."Germany is currently holding the EU's rotating presidency and is tasked with finding a compromise that will pave the way for January's scheduled implementation of the financial package.Hoping to mollify the EU's stance, Morawiecki has vowed full transparency of the EU funds spending procedures in Poland.————————Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed.The Associated Press
WALKERTON – Bruce County was recognized for outstanding work in creative marketing and communications with three Hermes Creative Awards in the video category — a gold for the Grassroots Farm: Choosing to Call Bruce County Home video, a gold for the Bruce Peninsula EcoAdventures: Choosing to Call Bruce County Home video and a platinum for the Welcome Home video. The accomplishment was announced by the county late last week, following Thursday’s planning committee meeting. County Coun. Anne Eadie, mayor of Kincardine, urged her fellow committee members to view the videos – they’re short, only a couple of minutes, and showcase the county beautifully. She noted that receiving the awards is quite an accomplishment, since they’re part of a worldwide competition. Together, the videos inform, educate and generate awareness about Bruce County’s innovative entrepreneurs in energy, agriculture and sustainable tourism. Each video features local entrepreneurs telling their story, guiding potential entrepreneurs to explore life and work in Bruce County communities. The videos, created in partnership with video production company Astrodog Media, promote Bruce County as a place to live, visit and do business. “Bruce County economic development staff work tirelessly to ensure Bruce County’s future is bright,” said Warden Mitch Twolan. “It’s an honour that their efforts — and the quality of their work — have been recognized on the international stage.” According to the report by Kara Van Myall, director of planning and development, Hermes Creative Awards is one of the oldest and largest creative competitions in the world, recognizing the best in creativity from top publications, websites, videos, advertising, marketing and communications programs. The Hermes Creative Awards program is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (AMCP). Judges are industry professionals who “look for talent which exceeds a high standard of excellence and serves as a benchmark … the winners of these awards range in size from individuals to businesses to media organizations to Fortune 500 companies.” Van Myall noted in her report that this is the first time Bruce County entered the competition, competing against 6,000 entries from around the world. This was Van Myall’s last committee meeting. She’s accepted the position of CAO of Saugeen Shores. Van Myall was thanked by committee members for her work on behalf of the county and congratulated on her new position.Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
ELMWOOD – A pretty dusting of snow added to the charm of Elmwood’s annual tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 22. Families gathered in the park by the fire hall for the festivities put on by the Elmwood Chamber of Commerce. There were bags of popcorn and cups of hot chocolate, plus treat bags for the children. Mrs. Claus was on hand to make sure everything went well; Santa had to stay home to make sure the elves stayed on task for getting all those toys finished! Mrs. Claus chatted with the children and posed for photos with many of them. Results of the draw were announced – the big winner of $600 was Cathy McFadden of Elmwood; winners of $50 were Isabel Bell of Chesley, Matthew Engel of Walkerton, Ashley Fairminer, Judith Plante of Montreal, Laurine Zurbrigg of Chesley, Ernie Falkiner of Elmwood, Ruth Ann Schlosser of Hanover, Linda Lamont of Elmwood, Mike Thompson of Waterloo, Rene Dancey of Elmwood, Barry Gateman of Elmwood and Linda Ball of Walkerton. As the sky darkened, the crowd sang Christmas songs. And finally came the moment everyone was waiting for – Brockton Mayor Chris Peabody and West Grey Mayor Christine Robinson counted down the final 10 seconds before the lights came on. The already lovely winter park was instantly transformed into a Christmas wonderland.Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
PARIS — French activists fear that a proposed new security law will deprive them of a potent weapon against abuse — cellphone videos of police activity — threatening their efforts to document possible cases of police brutality, especially in impoverished immigrant neighbourhoods.French President Emmanuel Macron’s government is pushing a new security bill that makes it illegal to publish images of police officers with intent to cause them harm, amid other measures. Critics fear the new law could hurt press freedoms and make it more difficult for all citizens to report on police brutality.“I was lucky enough to have videos that protect me,” said Michel Zecler, a Black music producer who was beaten up recently by several French police officers. Videos first published Thursday by French website Loopsider have been seen by over 14 million viewers, resulting in widespread outrage over police actions.Two of the officers are in jail while they are investigated while two others, also under investigation, are out on bail.The draft bill, still being debated in parliament, has prompted protests across the country called by press freedom advocates and civil rights campaigners. Tens of thousands of people marched Saturday in Paris to reject the measure, including families and friends of people killed by police.“For decades, descendants of post-colonial immigration and residents in populous neighbourhoods have denounced police brutality,” Sihame Assbague, an anti-racism activist, told The Associated Press.Videos by the public have helped to show a wider audience that there is a “systemic problem with French police forces, who are abusing, punching, beating, mutilating, killing,” she said.Activists say the bill may have an even greater impact on people other than journalists, especially those of immigrant origin living in neighbourhoods where relationships with the police have long been tense. Images posted online have been key to denouncing cases of officers’ misconduct and racism in recent years, they argue.Assbague expressed fears that, under the proposed law, those who post videos of police abuses online may be put on trial, where they would face up to a year in jail and a 45,000-euro ($53,000) fine.“I tend to believe that a young Arab man from a poor suburb who posts a video of police brutality in his neighbourhood will be more at risk of being found guilty than a journalist who did a video during a protest,” she said.Amal Bentounsi's brother, Amine, was shot in the back and killed by a police officer in 2012. The officer was sentenced to a five-year suspended prison sentence. Along with other families of victims, in March she launched a mobile phone app called Emergency-Police Violence to record abuses and bring cases to court.“Some police officers already have a sense of impunity. ... The only solution now is to make videos,” she told the AP. The app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times.“If we want to improve public confidence in the police, it does not go through hiding the truth,” she added.The proposed law is partly a response to demands from police unions, who say it will provide greater protection for officers.Abdoulaye Kante, a Black police officer with 20 years of experience in Paris and its suburbs, is both a supporter of the proposed law and strongly condemns police brutality and violence against officers.“What people don’t understand is that some individuals are using videos to put the faces of our (police) colleagues on social media so that they are identified, so that they are threatened or to incite hatred,” he said.“The law doesn’t ban journalists or citizens from filming police in action ... It bans these images from being used to harm, physically or psychologically,” he argued. “The lives of officers are important.”A “tiny fraction of the population feeds rage and hatred” against police, Jean-Michel Fauvergue, a former head of elite police forces and a lawmaker in Macron's party who co-authored the bill, said in the National Assembly. “We need to find a solution."Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti has acknowledged that “the intent (to harm) is something that is difficult to define."In an effort to quell criticism, lawmakers from Macron's party announced Monday they would rewrite the criticized article of the bill, which will be debated by the Senate early next year.Activists consider the draft law just the latest of several security measures to extend police powers at the expense of civil liberties. A statement signed by over 30 groups of families and friends of victims of police abuses said since 2005, “all security laws adopted have constantly expanded the legal field allowing police impunity.”Riots in 2005 exposed France’s long-running problems between police and youths in public housing projects with large immigrant populations.In recent years, numerous security laws have been passed following attacks by extremists.Critics noted a hardening of police tactics during protests or while arresting individuals. Hundreds of complaints have been filed against officers during the yellow vest movement against economic injustice, which erupted in 2018 and saw weekends of violent clashes.Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said out of 3 million police operations per year in France, some 9,500 end up on a government website that denounces abuses, which represents 0.3%.France’s human rights ombudsman, Claire Hedon, is among the most prominent critics of the proposed law, which she said involves “significant risks of undermining fundamental rights.”“Our democracy is hit when the population does not trust its police anymore,” she told the National Assembly.___AP writer John Leicester contributed from Le Pecq, France.___Follow all AP stories on racism and police brutality at https://apnews.com/RacialinjusticeSylvie Corbet, The Associated Press
PERTH COUNTY – When Coun. Todd Kasenberg brought forward a motion to Perth County council on Nov. 19 to establish an inclusivity and anti-racism charter and a committee of county staff and community members interested in starting a conversation on actions which could be taken to strengthen inclusivity in the county, he was met with silence from council. “I’ll just say that certainly we’ve been watched through society,” he said. “Changes occurred over the last year which has heightened our attention to inclusivity and diversity and I believe that Perth County is a place where we welcome and value all people and all their contributions but I think there have been occasions where I have felt that has been substandard in our communities, in our county.” Kasenberg was dismayed at the Canada Day parade in Atwood a few years back when a tractor included the Confederate flag and displayed U.S. political paraphernalia. “It just wasn’t appropriate,” he said. “Letters to the Lion’s Club from the community called out the provocative behaviour of the parade participant.” The Lion’s Club struggled with how to proceed because some people say it is a matter of freedom of speech versus community inclusivity standards. “I could tell you that the Lion’s Club at the time, we weren’t prepared,” said Kasenberg. “We weren’t aware and certainly our stand wasn’t solid so I find myself at this time in response to those who have presented to this council and who have petitioned council for action thinking it is at least a small step we can take to begin a discussion. Can I say I know what racism is? Can I say I know what I believe inclusivity requires of us? Not fully.” He knows he is privileged enough that he has not had to face racism but he said he is open to the conversation and to learn about the experiences of people who do face racism in Perth County. “Which is why I think our path forward is to start a committee to evaluate a few things and those few things include the possibility of our county joining an associate which is committed to inclusivity and diversity in communities and also to establish, as other communities in Ontario have, a charter that speaks to inclusivity and diversity and anti-racism,” said Kasenberg. “We’ve heard from our constituents. We have an opportunity to take some action and that action probably is best served at this point by deliberate and thoughtful conversations amongst ourselves and some of those citizens who are interested in this matter. So that’s why I’ve put forward this motion and I so move it.” Warden James Aitcheson asked for a seconder for the motion. Council was silent. None of the other councillors wanted to support, discuss or vote on the motion. “It’s failed,” said Aitcheson. “Todd, that never got a seconder so that will be the end of that discussion. OK, we’ve dealt with that.” Kasenberg was disappointed his colleagues did not want to take what he considers to be small steps towards improving inclusivity and diversity platforms in Perth County. “I believe that through the disinterest shown by the county council to this motion, we risk sending messages that are contrary to who we are – namely, good, hospitable people who are progressive and opportunity-creating for all those of goodwill,” he said. “I find myself wondering how those of minority communities are feeling at the neglect of this motion. This could send unintended signals.” Even with the complete shutdown of his motion by the other councillors, Kasenberg said he will continue personal work and, to the extent possible, political work to ensure that Perth County is a welcoming place for people to work and live. “It is fundamental to my belief in the worth and dignity of all,” he said. “I understand that my motion arose in the aftermath of some constituent criticism of the lack of ability by a lower-tier municipality to act to a private insult in plain sight to the general public. But I can assure – my motion was not intended to irritate a neighbouring municipality, or to call them out for their actions. It was a reaction to what I believe is a general harm that we can express ourselves about – and not a judgment on one of our peers. “Sometimes, we in politics can take things as slights – in this case, that was never the intent. Through this motion, I urged council to study possibilities for actions that will address those who feel unsafe or unwelcome, who feel diminished from being whole.” Melissa Bender raised the issue of a bylaw to deter hate speech and anti-racist action to both the Township of Perth East and Perth County councils. She was disgusted and disappointed as she watched the council ignore Kasenberg’s motion. “It was hard to watch,” she said. “I think it speaks volumes really about the council and the people who are on it. When you have the Region of Waterloo hosting anti-racism town halls, the City of Stratford joining the Coalition of Inclusive Municipalities, and Stratford and the Township of Wellesley petitioning the provincial and federal governments to strengthen laws regarding symbols deemed unacceptable and Perth County can’t even put out an inclusivity statement. It’s pathetic.” Bender said she is deeply grateful to Kasenberg for bringing this issue to council. “I hope the lack of support that he received brings awareness to the character of the other council members in Perth County,” she said. “I hope their blatant disinterest in promoting diversity and inclusivity motivates people to speak up, get involved and run for council when the opportunity arises.” The lack of action from council on what she thought was a simple step has left her shocked and not sure of any future action she might take. “I guess I was hoping that charter Todd was proposing was going to be the solution to what I wanted and I thought that I was going to accept that as a step in the right direction,” she said. “I didn’t think there was going to be a need for anything else. I brought it twice to the Township of Perth East – the Confederate flag specifically and other anti-racism initiatives and I brought it forward to Perth County and Kasenberg… if they are not listening to a member of their council – if anyone has the power to sway them, it would be a member of their council and if they can’t even do it I don’t think I can.” Bender said in one of the letters from constituents she forwarded to both Perth East and Perth County, a resident who is concerned about hate symbols being displayed in Perth East said: “The solution is to elect better members of council or to run yourself.” “I hope this lights a fire,” said Bender. “I think it sheds a light on who is representing you. Maybe it will make people want to run and make change happen because it’s not going to happen with this council. I don’t want to believe that – say there are 10 councillors – I don’t want to believe that 90 per cent of them feel racism doesn’t exist and that 90 per cent of the population feels that racism doesn’t exist.” He doesn’t know what motivated the other councillors to not support the motion, but Coun. Daryl Herlick said he made his decision because he has worked in the agriculture community his entire life and mixed races are employed in that field. He has also worked in construction for the last five years where he also works with mixed cultures and races. “Me, myself – I don’t see racism as an epic issue,” he said. “I don’t believe having a working task force to combat something that isn’t there is necessary.” He said a mission statement is something he was considering bringing back to council to allow the community to know annually that Perth County is an inclusive, antiracist community. “I’ll tell you another thing,” he said. “My cousin is common-law with a Black lady. They have kids who are from mixed-race now. They come and go within the community like nothing. One of my best friends is dating a Filipino. On top of that, one of my best acquaintances on the side right now is the (owner of a) local gas station and he’s from the Pacific rim – Malaysian. He’s involved with the Tavistock community so to have a task force that we’re always trying to combat, you can get to the point where you are making people a poster child who doesn’t even want it. I don’t see colour. Some people do continuously, supposedly, but I don’t see it and to be honest, my community doesn’t. I know nobody that does.” Herlick said hog farmers “use people from all over the world.” “Is there going to be a racist?” he asked. “Of course there is always going to be a goof, of course, there is going to be but that it is epic and huge, I don’t see it. I don’t see it so I can’t support it.” Herlick said creating the committee would have people walking around on tiptoes scared to talk to mixed cultures or races because they might say the wrong thing. “It’s supposedly this epic issue that I don’t even see myself,” he said. “This summer I worked with three Black people off and on for two months straight and they worked with mixed cultures and they were great people.” Reassuring the community that there is no racism in Perth County is something Herlick said he can support. “Twenty years ago when I was in high school there was a couple of Black people and a couple of Asians and we shot the crap and I just don’t know, it’s frustrating to me at times; for me, I just don’t want to be making people uncomfortable,” he said. Herlick repeated that the farming community works with different races, cultures from around the world in sow barns. “The working relationships are great,” he said. “It’s a tough one for me to say we need to have a full-blown working task force because I don’t want to see – I don’t see colour.” “I don’t see colour and I haven’t ever. It’s weird. I don’t know if that’s naturally who I am but I say not because I have too much experience with people who think the same as me including all my family members.” Multicultural Association of Perth-Huron founder Gezahgn Wordofa said there are a lot of people from all around the world living and working in Perth County, but the Multicultural Association has to help many newcomers because they are struggling and there is very little support for them locally. “Nobody is helping us, nobody is supporting us,” said Wordofa. “We need more support because we are struggling. There are a lot of newcomers who need support, who need help.” Wordofa said the Multicultural Association does receive support for its efforts from local grassroots organizations, mostly churches and the Chamber of Commerce, but not much help comes from municipal levels of government. “We are working with church groups here in town,” he said. “We are working with the Salvation Army. Grassroots, many people are helping us.” Many of the people who Wordofa helps who work in Perth County factories are forced to commute from other cities because housing is not affordable. “Some of the newcomers are sleeping in their van,” he said. “Is this India? Is this Africa? We’re in Canada and we’re struggling and the factories are calling us. They need more people. They have a lot of jobs. They are telling us how we are lucky to be in this county but there are not enough affordable houses.” Wordofa said many newcomers to Canada feel forgotten and sometimes they face racism when they are out in the community. “Sometimes they tell us to “go home” when we walk into places like Tim Hortons,” he said. “Our home is here. There are so many people working in the factories. We don’t get support from the council or the city. It is not good. We are struggling. Me, of course, I can defend myself but lots of people don’t speak the language. We need support, we need to work together. There are so many Africans, there are so many multicultural people here, they are working in the factories, in variety stores and gas stations. We are working, paying taxes and other people reject us. We are working in these communities and we ask them for support many times, they reject us.” Clinton Springer Sr., a volunteer with the Multicultural Association, said there is education to be done for everyone. “We want to be educated in the Canadian culture but we also want to educate them on our culture,” he said. “This is an era when people are seeing a lot of stuff in the news, things like Black Lives Matter and people think ‘oh my god I don’t want anyone in Listowel to be into that’ and what they don’t understand is – that is change. If you talk to the young people in Listowel, in Stratford, the younger generation… it’s not us and them, it’s let’s build ‘we’. “Just remember in a few years from now that council might knock at my door to get my vote. So when the councillors who said ‘no, I don’t want it’ is knocking at my door and I open it, they will ask, can I have your support?” Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
TORONTO — Home prices are increasing in Canada’s cottage country as more buyers look to move there full-time, according to a report released Monday by Royal LePage. Prices of single-family recreational homes rose 11.5 per cent to an aggregate of $453,046 in the first nine months of the year, the real estate brokerage said.The data from Royal LePage comes amid an overall uptick in home prices this year, after COVID-19 lockdowns stymied the spring buying season. A rush of demand and a limited supply as the economy reopened this summer and fall meant that home prices were up 15.2 per cent last month in Canada compared to a year ago, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.Royal LePage chief executive Phil Soper says the number of cottages, cabins, chalets and farmhouses on the market have also dwindled amid the increased demand, at least through September.“Inventory levels are the lowest I've seen in 15 years," said Heather FitzGerald, a Royal LePage agent in Moncton, NB, in the report. While local buyers have moved away from cities and closer to nature, FitzGerald also noted an increase in buyers from Ontario and Quebec. Corey Huskilson, another Royal LePage agent quoted in the report and based in Halifax, said buyers from outside of the Maritimes, "who expect to be working remotely for the foreseeable future, are flocking to the area."Real estate agents in 54 per cent of regions told the brokerage that there was a significant increase in buyers looking to work remotely at a cottage as a primary residence. Eric Leger, a Laurentians-based agent, said in the report that Quebec’s lockdown periods “sparked an urgent desire for many city dwellers, in need of more living space, to relocate to the suburbs and cottage country.” Agents in other provinces noted similar trends, with one agent noting that Alberta-based buyers are competing with people across the country for properties in Canmore.“Highway developments have reduced the drive from Saskatoon to 1.5 hours, which makes working remotely more possible for those who still have to go into the office a few days a week," said broker Lou Doderai in the report.The report says retirees have also bid up cottage prices, with agents in 68 per cent of regions saying more retirees are buying cottages this year compared to last year. "Retiring baby boomers have been putting upward pressure on prices and reducing inventory for the last few years. Retirees are now finding themselves competing against remote workers,” said Bob Clarke, an agent in Ontario's Muskoka region, in the report.“The most common question used to be 'is the property West-facing?' Now my clients' biggest concern is internet quality." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.Anita Balakrishnan, The Canadian Press
BRUCE COUNTY – Miguel Pelletier, director of transportation and environmental services, told committee members at last week’s meeting that speeding continues to be a problem on county roads. Local police are reporting an increase in people driving above the posted speed limit. The 50 km/h residential zones are of particular concern, Pelletier said in his report. “There isn’t a single thing that works at all times under all conditions … to get people to slow down,” he said. A combination of tools is usually required to achieve long-term traffic calming. County Coun. Janice Jackson, mayor of South Bruce Peninsula, commented on speeding in Colpoy’s Bay. Pelletier said a flashing speed radar sign didn’t work well there, but centreline flex posts were more effective. The report indicated they were becoming less effective over time. In May, the traffic and environmental services committee had approved a two-year trial for centreline flex posts. One area where the new signs were posted was on Bruce Road 9 in Colpoy’s Bay. Flashing speed radar signs were installed in areas of concern for a one- or two-week period, including Inverhuron, Glammis, Mildmay and Wiarton. Pelletier noted the effect isn’t consistent at every location, indicating other measures will be needed in some areas. The flashing signs become less effective over time in places where people drive on the same road daily. Another measure is reducing the posted speed limit. This was done in Whitechurch, from 70 km/h to 60. It appears lowering the speed limit had little effect, but the flashing speed radar signs did. Public education and police enforcement are other measures discussed in the report. Pelletier’s report outlined the process that’s in place for dealing with speeding. It consists of gathering data on speeds and collisions, engineering analysis to identify solutions, implementing the solutions, and gathering more data to confirm if the solutions are working. The county shares the information with lower-tier municipalities. There is a backlog of approximately 10 areas awaiting investigation to develop traffic calming solutions. These will be addressed in 2021. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
PAISLEY – Nature’s Millworks, located on the banks of the Teeswater River, has become a haven for tourists, local artists and crafters in the Paisley area, but come the end of the month, the doors on this special business will be closing. When Helen and Paul Crysler moved to Paisley from Toronto in 2002, they knew they had their work cut out for them with the old mill they’d purchased two years earlier. And they knew they wanted to be part of the community. The second part was easy. Paul said that within a week, he was on two committees. Both he and Helen have been very active in Paisley and area. They’ve been on the local chamber of commerce. Helen is past president of the community choir. Paul served as president of the Walkerton BIA and is proud to have been a founding board member of the Brockton and Area Family Health Team (five communities, all with new clinics, he noted). Then there’s tourism – founding president of Regional Tourism Ontario District Seven, and chair of the Lake Huron Shoreline Tourism Marketing group. “And other stuff,” said Paul. Community involvement came quite naturally. Said Paul, “All the people we met are completely dedicated to the community and it can’t help but rub off.” The first part was more difficult. The former Paisley City Roller Mills, built in 1885, was huge, and basically derelict. “When we moved in, I thought it would be a 15-year project,” said Paul. “It took a bit longer to fix up the building. We’ve done a huge amount of work.” They did all the refurbishing of the building themselves. That includes living quarters, as well as the retail space on the first floor and the gallery on the second floor where art shows and events are held. In the retail space, everything is based on nature, said Helen. And it’s for sale at discounted prices, because in January, the Cryslers will be moving to British Columbia, to be closer to their family – two daughters and three grandchildren. While they’re eager to get on with the next step in their lives, leaving Paisley won’t be easy. “We got to know the artists and artisans – they’re almost like family,” said the Cryslers. Nature’s Millworks closes its doors Dec. 20, and the Cryslers will be able to get their possessions packed in preparation for the move. Until then – drop in, chat, browse and take in one of the loveliest retail outlets in the area. As for the mill, the building sold last week. The Cryslers declined to comment on what will be going in once they leave, but said a lot of people have wanted assurance the integrity of the building will be maintained. For more information about Nature’s Millworks, located at 4575 Bruce Road 1, Paisley (head west at the GoCo station), visit www.naturesmillworks.com.Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
California's governor said on Monday the state was at a "tipping point" in the COVID-19 pandemic that would soon overwhelm hospitals as political leaders nationwide turn to increasingly aggressive measures to hold back the latest surge. Governor Gavin Newsom said he may clamp new "stay-at-home" orders on California's roughly 40 million residents in the face of infections and hospitalizations that are still rising weeks before emergency vaccines are predicted for release. The governor told reporters discussions were underway among state health officials over the potential stay-at-home order.
GREY-BRUCE – As of Monday, Nov. 23, Grey-Bruce entered the Yellow stage of the Ontario Public Health classification system. The change from Green to Yellow means greater restrictions and enhanced enforcement – including operational restrictions on bars and restaurants, sports and recreational facilities, personal care services, retail spaces and other businesses – an outcome that none of us desires, according to Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health. Arra added that collectively, it is in our control to change our designation back to Green as soon as we can – but it will take an effort from all of us. As of press time, there were 50 active cases of COVID-19 in Grey-Bruce, plus eight probable cases. Most concerning are the 280 high risk contacts associated with active cases. As stated on the health unit’s website, “It takes a tremendous amount of effort to manage this number of high-risk contacts. This number will keep increasing, unless we limit, starting today, our unprotected encounters with all people outside of our own households.” Two people in Grey-Bruce are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Although there are no facilities with COVID-19 outbreaks, as of Nov. 24, Grey Bruce Public Health was working with Bluewater District School Board to address a case of COVID-19 associated with Hillcrest Elementary School in Owen Sound. The bus route associated with this case has been deemed low risk. Public health officials will notify anyone considered at high risk, so they can isolate and be tested. There have been 283 cases to date in Grey-Bruce. Owen Sound has had the highest number – 69, while Southgate in Grey County has had 40 (15 of them active), and Kincardine in Bruce County has had 36 (nine active). All municipalities in the two counties have had at least one case of COVID-19. For detailed information on the Yellow category of the framework, please visit the provincial website. It helps to explain the changes resulting from the change from Green to Yellow. The Grey Bruce Health Unit has fact sheets available to assist the public and businesses in understanding these changes. Stated on the Grey Bruce Health Unit website was the following: “We have been seeing a deeply concerning trend of a significant increase in the number of cases locally, and in the number of close contacts of these cases. These findings are indicative of fatigue related to following public health measures. It is important that we re-focus our energy on the basic measures that can keep us safe – the same ones that got us through the spring first wave.” Those measures include: • Wash your hands frequently. • Watch your distance (ideally two metres or six feet). • Wear your face covering correctly (over nose and mouth). • Avoid crowds. • Arrange for outdoor activities instead of indoors whenever possible. • Stay home if you are sick. • Avoid close contact (unprotected contact within six feet of each other) with those from outside your household. • Avoid travel to areas with higher transmission and minimize non-essential travel. • Be kind, be calm, be safe. • Stay informed.Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
Coast Mountains School District 82 is dealing with a shortage of bus drivers, but some relief could be on the horizon. The shortage is affecting the Terrace area of the school district. Secretary Treasurer Ginger Fuller said that the district was one driver short of the number it needs, and there are no spare drivers. “This is absolutely new to this school year,” she said. “There are lots of other districts in the province that are having issues with busing, whether it’s with a contracted service or with in-house.” CMSD82 contracts all of its transportation services to Diversified Transportation, which also provides services to School District 57 (Prince George), School District 93 (Francophone Education Authority) and Catholic Independent Schools of BC. Fuller attributed the shortage to competition for drivers with the LNG Project in Kitimat, as well as COVID-19. Drivers that show any signs of illness are staying home, and Fuller said the fact that many drivers are older or retired is playing a role. Earlier in the school year, it was possible to combine bus runs without overcrowding because there were fewer students attending class in-person. But with the colder winter weather and more students in class, that option is more difficult now. Fuller said a recent driver illness forced the school district to think outside the box to make sure students from Rosswood made it to class. CMSD used a high school sports bus and a qualified on-call driver to cover the run until the regular driver could return to work, and had a bus on a nearby run pick up some additional students so the sports bus was not overcrowded. “For us it wasn’t an option not to have kids not come to school,” she said. “We took it into our hands to make sure that there was transportation there, outside of our contract.” There could be some relief in December, when another qualified driver is expected to start working. That would mean the school district would have exactly the number of drivers it needs, but still no backup in the event drivers are sick or cannot work.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
The streets of Orangeville will have a festive glow for a little longer this year as the holiday season stretches into January. With the pandemic resulting in the cancellation of traditional Christmas events in the town, such as the Santa Claus Parade, those responsible for the celebrations had to get creative. The result was the Holiday Lights Extravaganza, which officially began on Nov. 22 and includes a number of brilliant light displays around Orangeville, with a digital (GIS) map for self-guided tours. “It’s very much something the community needs,” Coun. Debbie Sherwood said at an October council meeting, when the idea was presented. Orangeville Town Hall, Alexandra Park, the Orangeville Public Library and the Broadway Medians will be boasting light displays to ignite the spirit of the season. Additionally, Alder Recreation Centre, Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre and the Visitor Information Centre will also be part of the Extravaganza. At the Oct. 19 meeting where the idea was presented, members of council shared their approval of the idea, praising the creativity of staff and all involved. “Whatever magic you were able to pull out of whatever bag it was, you’ve done well,” said Coun. Joe Andrews. He noted that this event, as well as having Santa travel around town in the vintage Bickle fire truck, is needed to boost morale at a time when there is so much uncertainty. “We have to come up with different ways to bring our community together,” he said. Along with the bright streetscapes from the town, residents and businesses are also able to add their displays to the map. With no funding required for a parade this year, additional funds were provided for the Extravaganza, including $20,000 each from the Orangeville Business Improvement Area and Orangeville council. Contributions of lights, displays and volunteers were also provided by the Optimist Club of Orangeville. The Holiday Lights Extravaganza will run until Jan. 8, 2021. To add your holiday display to the GIS digital map, visit the map page.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
NEW YORK — General Motors will not be taking a stake in the electric vehicle company Nikola, and the company said Monday that it was scuttling one of its marquee vehicles, an electric and hydrogen-powered pickup, after GM pulled technological support from the project.Shares of Nikola plunged 24%.Nikola on Monday released updated terms between the companies for a supply agreement related to GM's fuel-cell system, replacing an agreement signed in September. That deal would have given GM an 11% stake in Nikola.The early agreement would also have allowed Nikola to use GM’s new battery electric truck underpinnings for its electric and hydrogen-powered pickup called the Badger, and its fuel cell and battery technology as well. That is no longer part of the agreement, essentially gutting Nikola's plans for the Badger.Nikola said Monday that it will begin refunding deposits made by customers who wanted first dibs on that pickup.“In a nutshell, the signing of GM as a partner is a positive but ultimately no ownership/equity stake in Nikola and the billions of R&D potentially now off the table is a major negative blow to the Nikola story," said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “This went from a game changer deal for Nikola to a good supply partnership but nothing to write home about."There were hints that the partnership was going sideways in late September as a deadline for an binding agreement approached. GM said then that negotiations about its $2 billion role were ongoing, sending shares of Nikola sliding.That announcement came just days after Nikola founder and Chairman Trevor Milton resigned after Hindenburg Research, a company that’s betting Nikola stock will drop, accused Nikola of Fraud.Hindenburg said Nikola’s success was an “intricate fraud,” including a video showing a truck rolling downhill to give the impression it was cruising on a highway, and stenciling the words “hydrogen electric” on the side of a vehicle that was actually powered by natural gas.Nikola denies the allegations and called them misleading. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department are reportedly investigating.On Monday, GM spokesman Jim Cain said the revised agreement is more focused. He said the new memorandum of understanding will help Nikola produce its commercial trucks, and help GM commercialize its fuel cell technology.Nikola said Monday that its work on heavy trucks will continue. GM will still be part of a global supply agreement that would integrate GM’s Hydrotec fuel-cell system into Nikola’s commercial semi-trucks.“Heavy trucks remain our core business and we are 100% focused on hitting our development milestones to bring clean hydrogen and battery-electric commercial trucks to market," said CEO Mark Russell.Nikola is based in Phoenix.The Associated Press
KYIV, Ukraine — Hundreds of retirees rallied in the Belarusian capital on Monday against the country's authoritarian leader, as security forces moved in to break up the traditional weekly march. The crowd of retirees in Minsk were demanding that President Alexander Lukashenko resign after he won a sixth term in office in an election the opposition says was rigged. But they ran into police cordons along the march route and broke up into smaller groups that went into different directions. The demonstrators carried red and white umbrellas and flags that have become the symbol of the protests, and chanted “Rat, go away!” “Grandmothers and grandfathers will go all the way to a victory,” one banner read. Mass protests have gripped Belarus, a former Soviet republic in eastern Europe, since official results from the Aug. 9 presidential election gave Lukashenko a landslide victory over his widely popular opponent, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya. She and her supporters refused to recognize the result, saying the vote was riddled with fraud. Authorities have cracked down hard on the largely peaceful demonstrations, the biggest of which attracted up to 200,000 people. Police have used stun grenades, tear gas and truncheons to disperse the rallies. Thousands of people have been detained — and many of them badly beaten — since the protests began, human rights advocates say. Mass detentions, as well as the use of tear gas and stun grenades, continued even as protests have grown smaller this month. On Sunday, police detained 313 people during rallies spanning several cities, including Minsk. The Viasna human rights centre put the number of detainees at 424. At least nine people were detained on Monday, according to Viasna. Footage and photos of the Monday rally posted on social media showed security forces surrounding groups of retirees, preventing the march from continuing. “Don't beat me, son,” another banner carried by demonstrators read. ___ Read all AP stories about the protests in Belarus at https://apnews.com/Belarus. The Associated Press
A new COVID-19 case was confirmed in Whitehorse on Sunday, bringing the territory's current number of active cases to 16.Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley confirmed the latest case in a news release. The territory has now confirmed a total of 46 cases since the pandemic began.The most recent case is still under investigation. The territory also added a new public exposure notification: Baked Café and Bakery on Nov. 21 between 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.Anyone experiencing any symptoms and who was at this location is asked to self-isolate immediately and call the COVID-19 testing and assessment centre at 867-393-3083. People can also drop in at the drive-thru testing centre located at Centennial Motors on the Alaska Highway across from the airport in Whitehorse.People who are now outside of Whitehorse should contact their community health centre.People are considered a "secondary contact" if they were in contact with someone who was at a location listed in the public exposure notices. Those people should also monitor for symptoms but they do not need to self-isolate.Anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms, is asked to self-isolate and arrange for testing immediately: * Fever. * Chills. * Cough. * Difficulty breathing. * Shortness of breath. * Runny nose. * Sore throat. * Loss of sense of taste or smell. * Headache. * Fatigue. * Loss of appetite. * Nausea and vomiting. * Diarrhea. * Muscle aches.Starting Tuesday, the territory is requiring masks in all indoor public places in Yukon.
VAUGHAN, Ont. — A COVID-19 outbreak at a window company in Vaughan, Ont., has sickened 62 people. Public health officials say there are also five probable cases and one under investigation. York Region Public Health says this is the second outbreak at State Windows Corporation's facility. The initial outbreak was declared in May, with 17 people infected by the time it ended in July. The health unit says it inspected the workplace and is still identifying close contacts. It says it is working with the Ministry of Labour, which has launched an investigation. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press