A British beekeeper says post-Brexit regulations are preventing him bringing bees into the UK. The bees are likely to be seized and destroyed. Since the end of the transition period, only queen bees, rather than entire colonies, can be imported.
A British beekeeper says post-Brexit regulations are preventing him bringing bees into the UK. The bees are likely to be seized and destroyed. Since the end of the transition period, only queen bees, rather than entire colonies, can be imported.
Canada added a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to its pandemic-fighting arsenal on Friday, approving Johnson & Johnson's product a week after it was authorized in the United States. That gives Canada four distinct vaccines — along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca — and it adds flexibility to the country's plan to immunize the majority of its residents by September. Health Canada includes a fifth vaccine, Covishield, which is a separate brand name for doses of the AstraZeneca product made at the Serum Institute of India. The U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use on Feb. 27. Canada has already secured 10 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through previous negotiations with the company, with the option to buy another 28 million. The 10 million pre-purchased doses will be delivered before September, but they're not expected to start flowing into Canada until at least April. Here's what we know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT? Johnson & Johnson announced promising results from its Phase 3 clinical trials at the end of January, suggesting its vaccine reduced severe COVID-19 disease by 85 per cent, and prevented 100 per cent of COVID-related hospitalization or death. The vaccine had a 72 per cent efficacy in preventing COVID infections after 28 days in the company's U.S. trials. The efficacy dropped to 66 per cent when averaging in results from other global trials, including a South African study that factored in more transmissible variants of the COVID virus. An FDA report last month said the vaccine was 64 per cent effective in preventing infection in South Africa about a month after the vaccines were administered. Pfizer and Moderna showed 95 per cent efficacy in their respective trials, but those were both tested against previous dominant strains of the virus and didn't account for the variants that have popped up since. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca also had zero hospitalizations and deaths in their trials. The FDA report said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was similarly effective across age, race and people with comorbidities. The agency added that effectiveness appeared to be lower (42.3 per cent after one month) in people over 60 with comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS VACCINE? The potential ease of distribution offered by a one-and-done shot, and its ability to be stored in a regular fridge are among its biggest strengths. Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all require two doses. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine can be stored in a regular fridge for up to three months, the company says. Pfizer's vaccine initially required ultra-cold storage temperatures between -60 C and -80 C, though Health Canada said this week it could be stored in a regular freezer for up to 14 days. Moderna's vaccine can also be stored at regular freezer temperatures while AstraZeneca can be stored in a fridge. WHAT KIND OF VACCINE TECHNOLOGY IS USED? Unlike the mRNA technology used in Pfizer and Moderna's products, Johnson & Johnson is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine similar to AstraZeneca's. That means it uses a different harmless virus, which can't copy itself, as a vector to give our cells the instructions they need to make the coronavirus's spike protein. The immune system recognizes the protein and makes antibodies, which then allow us to fend off attack from the same virus if exposed in the future. WERE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS NOTED? No specific safety concerns were identified in participants of the trials, regardless of age, race and comorbidities. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said in a press conference Friday that almost 20 per cent of participants in the Johnson & Johnson trials were 65 years of age and older, and "no differences in safety or efficacy were seen compared to the younger groups." The FDA said the most common reported side effects were headache and fatigue, followed by muscle aches, nausea and fever. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab's picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a half-hour test spin within Jezero Crater, site of an ancient, long-vanished lake bed and river delta on Mars. Taking directions from mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 meters (13.1 feet) forward, turned about 150 degrees to its left and then drove backward another 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).
Cecilia Carroll has been waiting weeks for her mail-in ballot kit to arrive, and is now worried that, with just days left to send her ballot back in, she won't be able to vote in a provincial election for the first time in her adult life. Carroll, who lives in Torbay, applied three weeks ago to get her special ballot kit so she would be able to vote by mail. As of Friday morning, it hadn't yet shown up. Carroll has called Elections Newfoundland and Labrador twice, and followed up with an email, but has been told it's on its way, and there's nothing else to do but wait for it to show up. But Carroll said living with a disability means there are external factors she's worried about that could prevent her from being able to send her ballot in before the postmark deadline of March 12. "My biggest concern is getting it back in the mail in time. Like, for me, you're dropping it in a community mailbox because you can't go to the post office, so I don't know what time that gets picked up and taken to the post office," Carroll said. There's nothing else I can do. - Cecilia Carroll "I need to have … it back in the mail at least by Wednesday, because then it's not getting picked up until Thursday and then it had to go to the post office to be postmarked for Friday." That's a best-case scenario, at this point, Carroll said; if her community mailbox gets snowed in, and she has to wait for it to be shovelled out, that could mean she can't get her kit sent out in time. "If we have a snowstorm Monday or Tuesday, I'm not gonna be able to get to my mailbox, so I won't be able to vote," Carroll said. "And I can honestly say I've never missed voting in an election since I became old enough to vote." Carroll is worried, too, that she's not alone. Carroll says it can sometimes take days for snow to be cleared from community mailboxes, meaning people living with a physical disability, like her, might not be able to send their ballots by the deadline if there's a storm.(Margaret Boothroyd/Submitted) "I truly believe there will be a lot of people with disabilities who will not be able to vote in this election. I mean, when you go to a polling station, there's someone there to help you if you need help. If you're living alone and you're in the middle of a pandemic, you may not feel comfortable having someone come to your home because you could have underlying health issues and you could risk getting COVID," she said. "I think there will be a lot of people who will just decide not to because it will be easier than trying to go through the process of trying to get somebody to help them, and not everybody is willing to speak up or call and complain or ask questions." 'You shouldn't have to do that' The provincial election was moved to mail-in only last month, after an outbreak of coronavirus variant B117 put the province into Alert Level 5 lockdown less than 12 hours before polls were set to open on Feb. 13. In-person voting had been scrapped just days before that for nearly half of the province's electoral districts, in eastern Newfoundland, due to spiking case numbers and mass resignation of poll station staff. This week, chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk, confirmed he hand-delivered ballot kits to some people in his neighbourhood, including Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie and Liberal candidate Siobhan Coady. For people like Carroll still waiting to see if they'll get a ballot in time, that shows there's something amiss. "Great, if they're delivering them to everyone who hasn't gotten one. No one has said that that's an option. But to me, you shouldn't have to do that. You're supposed to have a process in place that's accessible for everyone, regardless of disability or mobility issues or whatever," she said. "If you're a person with a visual disability, who helps you fill out your ballot? Where's your template to complete that? Or who reads it for you so that you know what's written on it? Those types of things, I don't know what they've been included in the process this time around because it's a mail-in ballot.… There's nothing extra there telling you what to do if you're a person with a disability who needs assistance with voting." Former CBC broadcaster Karl Wells tweeted his thanks to the province's chief electoral officer, Tuesday, after receiving a call from Bruce Chaulk.(Karl Wells/Twitter) Dozens of commenters on social media called the election a "mess," and asked whether they, too, should expect their ballots to be hand delivered. "This is nothing short of showing favouritism to those in the public eye," wrote on commenter on CBC N.L.'s Facebook post. "All citizens must be treated in the same manner. How did he even find those ballots, was he in the mailroom flicking through them, to find people he knows?" wrote another commenter. Indigenous voters, too, are feeling excluded, according to two candidates in Labrador who say Elections NL reneged on a commitment to distribute election materials that had been translated into Newfoundland and Labrador's Indigenous languages, which include Inuktitut, Innu-aimun and Mi'kmaw. Carroll said she worries the thousands of people in the province who live with disabilities may not get to cast a ballot. "Honestly I don't know, but I feel that there's probably way too many people out there, in my heart and soul, who are not gonna vote because it's gonna be too complicated for them to do it," she said. Carroll said she'll keep waiting for the mail-in kit to arrive, in the hopes that nothing else will happen to hinder her vote. "If I don't get it today, I guess I'm back on the phone again. I mean, there's nothing else I can do." Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The Northwest Territories government must do more to eliminate systemic racism, its politicians declared during a session dedicated to the subject at the territorial legislature this week. Members of the N.W.T. Legislative Assembly ended Wednesday’s session by passing a motion requesting that the government, known as the GNWT, review its policies and determine where any racial and cultural bias may exist. Moved by Thebacha MLA Frieda Martselos, the motion requests an examination of policies related to education, health and social services, justice, housing, and government hiring. “This motion is very much in line with my entire life philosophy of improving government for the people we serve. I have been fighting my entire adult life for the betterment of Black, brown, and Indigenous people,” said Martselos, the former chief of the Salt River First Nation. “Racism takes many different forms, especially in government. Gaps in cultural barriers have always been a problem. Affirmative action and the procurement policy are prime examples of bureaucratic systemic racism. This has to change. Only then, we will make a difference.” Premier Caroline Cochrane and her six fellow cabinet members abstained from the vote on Martselos' motion, as is convention for such motions brought to the House by regular MLAs, but said they were in favour of it. The territorial government has about four months to respond to the motion. What that response may look like remains unclear. Some MLAs used Wednesday's themed session to address personal experiences of systemic racism, while others discussed how to make policies more equitable. Steve Norn, the MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh, said action must follow Wednesday's discussion to ensure real change occurs. Deh Cho MLA Ron Bonnetrouge, who seconded Martselos' motion, said he had felt racism first-hand from a range of institutions, describing "lots of racist overtones happening to our people." Lesa Semmler, the Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA, said recent steps in the right direction had still to eliminate many barriers. “It’s very hard, steering this ship in a new direction with the obstacles that we have. We have not enough money from our federal government to correct the past policies that were created to try to eradicate or assimilate Indigenous people, that caused more damage,” Semmler said. “There is much more that needs to be done to correct the damage history has caused to the Indigenous people of this territory.” Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples has been on the 19th Legislative Assembly’s to-do list since this set of MLAs was elected in 2019. That process has moved slowly. In November, a Special Committee on Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs said it was working to begin the process of implementing the declaration. On Wednesday, Premier Caroline Cochrane reinforced the need to adopt the declaration and to “ingrain these principles into our legislation, policies, and institutions.” “We are committed to learning from the mistakes of the past and moving on from colonial and outdated ways of thinking," Cochrane said. "We must embrace the principles of the United Nations declaration and the principles of anti-racism in the way that we approach all of our mandate commitments." Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby questioned how the GNWT is combating racism in hiring practices. She asked whether hiring targets will be implemented for senior levels of management. Finance minister Caroline Wawzonek, who carries responsibility for human resources, said an Indigenous recruitment and retainment framework would in the coming year introduce departmental hiring targets that extend beyond entry-level positions. She said the territory will launch an anti-racism campaign from March 16 to April 21 that “will encourage all GNWT employees to challenge their beliefs and attitudes around racism.” “Systemic racism hides in plain sight," Wawzonek said. “We recognize that, in order to eliminate systemic racism in the N.W.T., we must build a culture of anti-racism within the public service.” The implementation of mandatory cultural awareness training for employees has yet to be completed. The N.W.T.'s affirmative action policy is under review. Health minister Julie Green vowed to address racism in all its forms in the N.W.T.’s health department and health authorities. “Research shows that Indigenous peoples experience a disproportionate amount of negative health and social outcomes in comparison to non-Indigenous people,” Green said. “It is our responsibility as a government to address this inequity directly by making sure that all aspects of the Health and Social Services system are culturally respectful and safe for Indigenous peoples. "This also includes respecting Indigenous understandings of health and wellness and finding ways to accommodate traditional healing in our system.” Green said a cultural safety action plan released in 2019 had so far resulted in 13 cultural safety training sessions involving 225 healthcare or social services workers. The sessions teach people about Indigenous medicine, residential schools and intergenerational impacts, and racism at interpersonal and systemic levels. Green said an N.W.T. cultural safety framework being developed will be reviewed by health and social services staff as well as an Indigenous advisory board. Most of that work, the minister said, will come from a unit of almost entirely Indigenous staff from across the territory. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday she is issuing an executive order mandating that all K-12 public schools provide universal access to in-person learning by the month’s end for students up to fifth grade and by mid-April for older students. The state’s coronavirus case numbers have fallen significantly and Oregon put teachers ahead of older residents in the line for the COVID-19 vaccine — a decision that angered many people age 65 and up. As teachers get vaccinated, Brown has been under tremendous pressure from parents and local elected officials in many counties to reopen schools. Many teachers' unions nationally have balked at returning to in-person learning, putting them at odds with Democratic governors like Brown in some states. In neighbouring Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee has implored educators to return to the classroom, but most students there are in on-line classes and the Seattle teachers' union is defying a district plan to return special education students to schools. Under the Oregon order, students in K-5 must have an in-person learning option by March 29. Students in grades six through 12 must have one by April 19. Students who prefer to remain in online class will also have the option. “The science is very, very clear: with proper safety measures in place, there is a low risk of COVID-19 transmission in school. Oregon parents can be confident about sending their children back to a classroom learning environment," Brown said in a statement, after visiting a Portland school. Brown has previously said about 20% of Oregon public school students were back to in-person learning. Rylee Ahnen, spokesman for the Oregon Education Association, said in a statement teachers support returning to the classroom if it can be done safely. He said educators understand teachers' frustration. “We urge all our local school districts to continue to work in good faith with local educators,” Ahnen said. The union represents 44,000 K-12 teachers across Oregon. Most students in Oregon have been learning online for the better part of a year. Some school districts have returned to part-time in-person learning, mostly at the elementary level. Brown said all but six counties in the state currently meet or exceed the advisory metrics for a return to in-person, hybrid learning for all grade levels. Five of the counties that do not yet meet the guidelines for all grade levels do make the cut-off for a return to elementary school. After those dates, all public schools in Oregon will operate either on a full-day of in-person school or a hybrid model, in which students spend parts of the day or some days each week in a classroom setting and other parts of the day or week online. The approach that districts choose will be dictated by COVID-19 case numbers in their county and local decision-making, officials said. The Salem-Keizer School District, the states's second largest after Portland, announced Friday that it would welcome middle and high school students back to a hybrid model that combines in-person learning and distance learning starting April 13. Elementary students in the district have already been back in class on a hybrid model. Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia welcomed Ottawa's go-ahead for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Friday as health officials geared up for the opening of the first of 10 community inoculation clinics across the province next week. Premier Iain Rankin called the approval of Canada's fourth vaccine a "positive step forward." "As you can see this is a very dynamic situation that is dependent on the federal government's regulatory approval process," Rankin said. "Our vaccine rollout is ramping up as more clinics open and we receive more doses from the federal government." Rankin confirmed that Nova Scotia would be adopting a 16-week interval between first and second shots as recommended by the national panel of vaccine experts, meaning all Nova Scotians who want vaccine will get one shot by the end of June. "We are committed to being ready to getting shots in arms when it is available," the premier said. He added the province's goal remains to achieve full immunity by this fall. Keeping with its aged-based approach to vaccine distribution, Nova Scotia will open community clinics for those 80 and over in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro on Monday. Clinics are also scheduled for Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth on March 15, and Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth on March 22. Frustrations mounted earlier this week when the province's appointment booking web page had to be temporarily taken off-line after traffic was double what had been anticipated. About 48,000 people aged 80 and over in the province are eligible to receive vaccinations. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said booking for new appointments would resume online and by telephone on Monday for those who were born between Jan.1 and April 30. Those with later birthdays will be informed when they can register later this month. "It is early days, and our supply is still limited, but we are on the cusp of rapidly expanding the volume of vaccine we'll get," Strang said. Officials said they would also have more specific details next week on the rollout of the 13,000 doses the province is receiving of the recently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The shipment must be used by April 2 and is targeted for those aged 50 to 64 years. It will be administered starting March 15 at 26 locations. Health officials said that as of Thursday, they had administered 38,676 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 14,395 people having received a booster shot. Meanwhile, the province reported two new cases of COVID-19 Monday in the Halifax area. Health officials said one case involved a close contact of a previously reported infection and the other was under investigation. The province has 31 active reported cases of novel coronavirus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
Saskatoon family doctor Marlys Misfeldt says wait-lists for psychiatric help have been an issue for a long time but recently, several of her referrals have been rejected outright. Dr. Misfeldt told CBC's Saskatoon Morning that she has been working with a patient who has depression and is not improving. "He's not doing well, so I requested a referral from the pooled psychiatry referral system and about three or four weeks later, I got a letter back saying, 'Specialist has decided this referral is not needed and has been cancelled,'" she said. "No discussion with my patient, no discussion with me, just a letter back saying … it is cancelled." She said she has received two or three other letters like this in the past year, where prior to that, she would receive a letter saying her patients were on a wait-list. Misfeldt was trying to access the pooled referral program, which is operated and directed by psychiatrists. The voluntary program includes 22 psychiatrists and the Saskatchewan Health Authority provides one staff member for the program, a triage nurse. Misfeldt said a psychiatrist she spoke to who deals with the pool system told her there are 300 people on that waiting list. Once you get on the waiting list, Misfeldt said it can take nine months to a year to see a psychiatrist. There are eight other psychiatrists who are not part of the program and who can, in theory, accept referrals, but Misfeldt said when she has tried reaching out to them, they've said they're not taking new patients. Global shortage of psychiatrists Psychiatrist Sara Dungavell, who works in Saskatoon and northern Saskatchewan communities, said what happened to Dr. Misfeldt is "not appropriate." "What Dr. Misfeldt got as a response is, frankly, wrong," Dr. Dungavell said. "If you aren't accepting patients or if the wait-list is going to be too long for you to see this person with an adequate amount of urgency, then at least you told the family doctor why you said no. You can't leave this blank." While the number of psychiatrists per capita in Saskatchewan compared to other provinces is low, Dungavell said there's actually a global shortage of psychiatrists. "We can't see people quickly because brains don't heal quickly, so it requires a lot of psychiatrists to provide adequate levels of care for folks, and we're not accepting people just staying in misery and untreated mental illness anymore." Dungavell said efforts have been made to provide more access to psychiatry in Saskatchewan, particularly for those who go to the emergency room. Even that, however, adds to the backlog, because there's no one to take those patients on once they leave the ER. "It's leaving family doctors in the situation of Dr. Misfeldt, where they are doing their absolute best to try and treat their patients but don't have access to the specialists who should be supporting them," she said. Saskatchewan needs to be a place psychiatrists want to work, which means creating a good continuum of care for patients, Dungavell said. "What most of us physicians want is to be able to provide good, quality, efficient care where we're doing what we do best," she said. "We count on community mental health nurses, social workers, on licensed psychiatric nurses and occupational therapists, rec therapists, to help our patients with those other very important areas of life that contribute to their mental health." Dr. Sara Dungavell splits her time between her Saskatoon clinic, where she provides support for members of the LGBT community, and northern Saskatchewan communities, including La Ronge, La Loche and Stony Rapids. (CBC) The north is particularly lacking the kinds of support people need to care for their mental health, Dungavell said. "The more the government actually pays for and supports this full team of people to work with each psychiatrist, the more efficient and effective we can be, the more psychiatrists will want to work here and the more we can stretch the limited resources that is psychiatry." Cancelled referrals uncommon: government, SHA The Saskatchewan Health Authority, the Psychiatry Referral Pool and the Ministry of Health sent a joint statement in response to questions about psychiatric referrals. "The capacity of pooled referral psychiatrists is significantly below the rate of incoming referrals," the statement said, but it's uncommon for psychiatrists to cancel referrals. While the statement said the departments can't comment on specific cases, they will "continue to look into the individual reasons why [cancellations] may occur in certain instances." Alternatives for family physicians include contacting the psychiatrist on call, contacting LINK — a provincial program that connects family physicians with psychiatrists — or contacting a psychiatrist who is not part of the referral pool. The statement said that in situations where a patient has been triaged and recommended for treatment other than psychiatry, "a letter always accompanies the return with information about the review and includes clear guidance on mental health access points as well as the phone number for the intake triage." 'Heartache and grief for the people of our province' Dr. Misfeldt said if this problem doesn't get solved, it will cause "more suicides, more marital breakup, more relationship deterioration, more heartache and grief for the people of our province." She's continuing to work with her patient who was denied access to the pooled referral program but she said it makes her feel "anxious and depressed" to hear about the long waits for psychiatric help. "These people are valuable people to our province and they are not functioning to their best ability and not participating in life." If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, help is available. For an emergency or crisis situation, call 911. You can also contact the Saskatchewan suicide prevention line toll-free, 24/7 by calling 1-833-456-4566, texting 45645, or chatting online. You can contact the Regina mobile crisis services suicide line at 306-525-5333 or Saskatoon mobile crisis line at 306-933-6200.
NEW YORK — With Merrick Garland poised to be confirmed as attorney general as early as next week, one of the first major questions he is likely to encounter is what to do about Rudy Giuliani. A federal probe into the overseas and business dealings of the former New York City mayor and close ally of former President Donald Trump stalled last year over a dispute over investigative tactics as Trump unsuccessfully sought reelection and amid Giuliani’s prominent role in subsequently disputing the results of the contest on Trump’s behalf. But the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan has since returned to the question of bringing a criminal case against Giuliani, focusing at least in part on whether he broke U.S. lobbying laws by failing to register as a foreign agent related to his work, according to one current and one former law enforcement official familiar with the inquiry. The officials weren't authorized to discuss the ongoing case and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The arrival of a new leadership team in Washington is likely to guarantee a fresh look at the investigation. No matter how it unfolds, the probe ensures that a Justice Department looking to move forward after a tumultuous four years will nonetheless have to confront unresolved, and politically charged, questions from the Trump era — not to mention calls from some Democrats to investigate Trump himself. The full scope of the investigation is unclear, but it at least partly involves Giuliani's Ukraine dealings, the officials said. Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, was central to the then-president's efforts to dig up dirt against Democratic rival Joe Biden and to press Ukraine for an investigation into Biden and his son, Hunter — who himself now faces a criminal tax probe by the Justice Department. Giuliani also sought to undermine former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was pushed out on Trump's orders, and met several times with a Ukrainian lawmaker who released edited recordings of Biden in an effort to smear him before the election. The Foreign Agents Registration Act requires people who lobby on behalf of a foreign government or entity to register with the Justice Department. The once-obscure law, aimed at improving transparency, has received a burst of attention in recent years, particularly during an investigation by former special counsel Robert Mueller that revealed an array of foreign influence operations in the U.S. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan pushed last year for a search warrant for records, including some of Giuliani's communications, but officials in the Trump-era Justice Department would not sign off on the request, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation who insisted on anonymity to speak about an ongoing investigation. Officials in the deputy attorney general's office raised concerns about both the scope of the request, which they thought would contain communications that could be covered by legal privilege between Giuliani and Trump, and the method of obtaining the records, three of the people said. The Justice Department requires that applications for search warrants served on lawyers be approved by senior department officials. “They decided it was prudent to put it off until the dust settled, and the dust has settled now,” said Kenneth F. McCallion, a former federal prosecutor who represents Ukrainian clients relevant to the inquiry and has been in contact with federal authorities about the investigation. McCallion declined to identify his clients, saying he had not been authorized to do so. He previously has represented former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Giuliani's attorney Robert J. Costello told The Associated Press he has “heard nothing” from federal prosecutors concerning Giuliani. It is possible that Giuliani could try to argue that his actions were taken at the behest of the president, as his personal attorney, rather than a foreign country, and therefore registration would not be required under federal law. Giuliani wrote in a text message Thursday to the AP that he “never represented a foreign anything before the U.S. government.” "It’s pure political persecution,” he said of the investigation The U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment. McCallion said federal authorities were asking questions concerning a wide range of Giuliani’s international business dealings, and that “everything was on the table” as it pertained to his work in Ukraine. He said the inquiry was not entirely focused on Ukraine, but declined to elaborate. The investigation of Giuliani's lobbying first came to light in October 2019, when The New York Times reported that federal prosecutors were investigating Giuliani's efforts to oust Yovanovitch, who was recalled amid Trump’s bid to solicit dirt from Ukraine to pressure Ukraine into helping his reelection prospects. Federal prosecutors also have investigated Giuliani as part of a criminal case brought against his former associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, Soviet-born business partners from Florida who played key roles in Giuliani’s efforts to launch the Ukrainian corruption investigation against the Bidens. Parnas and Fruman were charged in a scheme to make illegal campaign donations to local and federal politicians in New York, Nevada and other states to try to win support for a new recreational marijuana business. Giuliani has said he had no knowledge of illegal donations and hadn’t seen any evidence that Parnas and Fruman did anything wrong. ___ Tucker and Balsamo reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister contributed to this report from New York. Jim Mustian, Eric Tucker And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Toronto's former police chief has been appointed special adviser to the province for its redevelopment of Ontario Place. The government says Mark Saunders will offer input on plans for the former waterfront theme park in Toronto. The province closed the park to the public in 2012 due to falling revenues and tight finances. The current Progressive Conservative government has said it wants to make the space that first opened in 1971 an impressive attraction. A government news release says Saunders will consult with the City of Toronto, local stakeholders and Indigenous communities. Saunders faced criticism in his tenure as police chief from both the LGBTQ and Black communities over his handling of various cases. He retired from the police force last year, and the search for his permanent replacement is ongoing. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Saskatchewan reported 207 new cases of COVID-19 and two more coronavirus-related deaths Friday. One of the people who died was in the 60 to 69 age group from Regina. The other resident was in the 80 and older age group and was from Saskatoon. There have been a total of 393 known COVID-19-related deaths in the province as of Friday. Of the 29,432 total known cases to date, 1,507 are considered active. The seven-day average of daily new cases in Saskatchewan is 155 — 12.7 new cases per 100,000 population. The new cases Friday are in the following provincial zones: Far northwest, 23. Far north central, two. Far northeast, 13. Northwest, 20. North central, 13. Saskatoon, 45. Central east, 18. Regina, 43. Southwest, two. South central, five. Southeast, five. Ten of the new cases have pending residence information. There are currently 138 people in hospital in the province due to COVID-19, 20 of whom are in intensive care. The province also reported 125 new recoveries in the latest update. There have been 27,532 known recoveries total as of Friday. To date, 589,109 COVID-19 tests have been processed in Saskatchewan, 3,289 of which were processed on Thursday. 2,789 new vaccinations There were 2,789 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered Thursday in Saskatchewan, according to the province. To date, a total of 86,879 shots have been administered. The latest doses were administered in the following provincial zones: Far north central, 22. Northwest, 544. North central, 60. Central east, 120. Southeast, 30. Saskatoon, 850. Regina, 1,163. Health Canada approved the use of the new single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Canada on Friday. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is approved for people 18 years and over. The province says shipment dates and vaccine quantities for Saskatchewan are not yet available. A shipment of the new AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine (15,500 doses) is expected arrive late the week of March 8, according to the province. It will be distributed among Regina, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, and Yorkton. The Moderna vaccine shipment for the week of March 8 is now not expected until the week of March 15, according to the province. (CBC News Graphics) CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
Ce quatrième vaccin approuvé au Canada est homologué pour les adultes de 18 ans et plus en attendant des essais cliniques complémentaires pour l’utilisation chez les enfants selon les hauts responsables de Santé Canada qui ont confirmé la nouvelle. L’autorisation de ce vaccin de Johnson & Johnson approuvé aux États-Unis il y a quelques jours était très attendue au Canada parce qu’il est le seul de la liste canadienne à ne nécessiter qu’une seule dose. De plus, il « peut être réfrigéré pour l’entreposage et le transport à des températures de 2˚ à 8˚ C pour une période d’au moins trois mois, ce qui facilite sa distribution dans tout le pays » selon Santé Canada. Ottawa avait déjà pris les devants en commandant 10 millions de doses de ce vaccin du fabricant Janssen, avec des options pour en acheter 28 millions supplémentaires. Le Canada pourrait recevoir les doses du vaccin de Janssen d’ici le 30 septembre avec une chance d’avoir les premières livraisons dès le deuxième trimestre de l’année selon Approvisionnement Canada. Facile, efficace et rapide Ce vaccin contre la Covid-19 est fabriqué à base de vecteurs viraux comme le vaccin d’Astra Zeneca. Les deux vaccins présentent d’ailleurs de meilleures commodités de manutention et de logistique en raison de leurs simples méthodes de conservation réfrigérée, mais celui de Johnson & Johnson reste différent sur son avantage de l’administration à dose unique. La Food and Drug Administration (FDA) américaine lui attribue un taux d’efficacité de 72 % de façon générale, mais il peut aller jusqu’à 86 % pour les cas graves de Covid-19. Santé Canada a assuré qu’il surveillerait tout effet indésirable qui pourrait survenir après la vaccination et prendra les mesures appropriées, le cas échéant. Ce vaccin de Janssen rejoindra donc ceux d’Astra Zeneca, de Moderna et de Pfizer sur le terrain de la distribution. Si ce dernier fabricant accélérait les livraisons comme il l’a promis, le Canada devrait recevoir au moins 8 millions de doses de vaccin d’ici la fin du mois. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
DRYDEN — The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is asking for the public’s help to identify the person responsible for illegally killing and abandoning a deer pregnant with twin fawns in the Dryden area last month. In a news release issued on Friday, March, 5, the ministry said a pregnant deer was shot and killed in the Victoria Street and Whyte Avenue walking trail sometime between Feb. 18 to 23, 2021. The deer was killed with a carbon arrow with a brass spike glued to the end of it. The poacher then dragged the dead animal through a wooded area before leaving it to spoil 15 metres from the walking path, the release said. Anyone with information that could assist conservation officers in their investigation is asked to call the ministry’s tip line toll-free at 1-877-847-7667 or can contact their local ministry office. Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
A prominent medical journal’s provocative tweet was meant to prompt interest in a podcast on racism. Instead, the Twitter post and the podcast stoked backlash and admonishment from the doctors' group that publishes the journal. The tweet from the Journal of the American Medical Association said in part, “No physician is racist, so how can there be structural racism in health care?" It was promoting a podcast episode featuring two white doctors: a deputy journal editor and a physician who runs a New York City health system. They were discussing how structural racism worsens health outcomes and what health systems can do to address it, JAMA said in an online description. The episode, designed for doctors, was first posted last week and was billed as a discussion for skeptics. It included comments that racism is illegal and a term that should be avoided because it evokes negative feelings. The journal later removed the tweet. Its top editor, Dr. Howard Bauchner, issued an apology Thursday for the tweet and for portions of the podcast. Outcry continued Friday on Twitter. Some called the podcast “cringeworthy? and said physicians who have experienced racism should have been involved. The American Medical Association, which owns and publishes JAMA but has no editorial control over its content, tweeted Thursday that the podcast “was wrong, false and harmful." The association's CEO, Dr. James Madara, said in a statement that “structural racism in health care and our society exists and it is incumbent on all of us to fix it." The AMA’s chief equity officer, Dr. Aletha Maybank, who is Black, called the JAMA tweet and podcast “absolutely appalling.” Dr. Brittani James, a Black Chicago physician who co-founded the Institute for Anti-Racism in Medicine, accused the journal of “whitesplaining racism." Dr. Uche Blackstock of Advancing Health Equity tweeted that, “Yes, physicians can absolutely be racist”’ and that JAMA should not have deleted the tweet. Her group works to confront racism in medicine. A journal spokeswoman said Friday that Bauchner would have no additional comment. ___ Follow AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner at @ LindseyTanner. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Lindsey Tanner, The Associated Press
LONDON — The timing couldn’t be worse for Harry and Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will finally get the chance to tell the story behind their departure from royal duties directly to the public on Sunday, when their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast. But back home in Britain, events have conspired to overshadow the tale of a prince and his American bride. On top of the pandemic and record economic slump, Prince Philip, Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather is now recovering from a heart procedure. CBS announced the program Feb 15. The next day, Philip was admitted to hospital. “Harry and Meghan are hugely popular,’’ Pauline Maclaran, a professor of marketing and author of “Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture,” told The Associated Press. “But I think that some people who might otherwise have supported them will find this just a little bit distasteful, that they’re drawing all this attention to themselves … just at this time when Prince Philip appears to be quite seriously ill.” Though it is the choice of CBS when to air its pre-recorded interview, critics are already lining up to deride it as a brand-building exercise by the pair, who left Britain saying they wanted to live a normal life but have been accused of continuing to use their royal status to open doors and make money. The sit-down with America’s queen of celebrity interviews is a chance for the couple to explain what led them to quit royal life, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. A book about their departure, “Finding Freedom,” also alleges that senior royals had little respect for Meghan, a biracial former actor, and that courtiers treated her badly. Pre-released clips have already shown Harry talking about his fears that history would repeat itself after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash while pursued by paparazzi. In another clip from the interview, Winfrey asks Meghan how she feels about the palace “hearing you speak your truth today?” “I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” the duchess replies. “The firm” is a nickname for the royal family, sometimes used with affection and sometimes with a note of criticism. In another pre-released clip, Meghan told Winfrey how “liberating” it was to have a conversation with the television host without the input of royal minders. Ahead of the broadcast, relations with the palace are increasingly strained. First there was Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to strip Harry and Meghan of the handful of royal patronages they had retained in the one-year trial period following their departure last year. The couple responded with a terse statement promising to live a life of service — a move many in the U.K. saw as disrespectful to the queen, as she usually has the final word. Then on Wednesday, the palace said it was launching a human resources investigation after a newspaper reported that a former aide had accused Meghan of bullying staff in 2018. One of the authors of “Finding Freedom,’’ Omid Scobie, compared the recent commentary about Harry and Meghan in the British media to the Salem Witch Trials, while noting Americans have had more sympathy them. His tweet linked to a discussion on the U.S. television program “The View,’’ including comments from Meghan McCain, a conservative columnist and daughter of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain. “I think we can’t ignore the elephant of the room that there’s probably a racial angle to this,’’ McCain said. “There’s a lot of racism directed at this woman, in a lot of different ways she threatens a lot of people in the patriarchy. ... It just looks like they are bullying her in the press.’’ It was all supposed to be so different. At the time Harry started dating Meghan, the British public seemed smitten with the beautiful young woman who starred for seven seasons on the U.S. television drama “Suits.” When they married in 2018, newspapers were filled with optimistic stories about how the energetic couple would help make the monarchy relevant for a new, multicultural Britain. But less than two years later they decamped to North America. After a brief stay in Canada, the couple settled in Meghan’s home state of California, buying a house in the exclusive Santa Barbara County enclave of Montecito that reportedly cost more than $14 million. Among their neighbours: Oprah Winfrey. Then came deals with Netflix and Spotifiy, reportedly worth millions. The commercial deals and headline-grabbing amounts are uncomfortable for the royal family, which has devoted itself to public service as a justification for its wealth and privilege. The queen, among the richest people in Britain, has spent her life supporting charities, cutting ribbons at hospitals and travelling the world to represent her country. “The main thing that the royal family is so good at is serving the nation, serving the nation and the Commonwealth, basically serving us rather than serving themselves,’’ royal historian Hugo Vickers told ITV News. “And I’m sorry, if you’re sitting in an $11 million mansion in California and making fantastic deals, that is trading in on your royal heritage. And it’s all wrong, frankly.” Others are concerned that the interview will include damaging revelations about the royal family. The royals rarely grant interviews, and when they do the questions are usually narrowly focused on specific issues. For instance, Harry and his brother, William, have tried to remove the stigma from mental health problems by talking about their own struggles after the death of their mother. More free-ranging interviews have often gone badly. Interviews with Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry and William’s parents, around the time of their divorce led to embarrassing revelations about infidelity. More damaging for the palace was the interview Prince Andrew, Harry’s uncle, did with the BBC in 2019. Andrew tried to address rumours about his links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but he was forced to give up royal duties after failing to show empathy for Epstein’s victims. “I think it’s a bigger danger than the Prince Andrew car-crash interview,’’ Maclaran said of the Oprah interview, “because I think that Meghan is going to get a lot of sympathy, particularly from American audiences, about her position being untenable.” Regardless of what’s actually said, the interview is a threat to the stature of the monarchy because it further blurs the line between celebrity and royalty — tarnishing the royal mystique, Maclaran said. Late night chat show host James Corden underscored the threat to the royal brand during a tongue-in-cheek segment with Harry broadcast last week in which Corden suggested the prince and his wife might move into the mansion that provided the backdrop for the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” “If it was good enough for the Fresh Prince, it’s good enough for a real prince,” Corden said. The line put Harry, whose father and brother will be king one day, on the same footing as a TV character who fled west Philadelphia for a posh life in Southern California. Royal watchers wonder what could possibly be next. “It’s just such a mess,” said Penny Junor, who has written several books about the royals, including a biography of Harry. “I don’t think there are going to be any winners in it.” Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
Mourners left flowers and hockey sticks outside the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ont., on Friday. The city is mourning Walter Gretzky, a fixture in the community, who died Thursday at age 82.
The 2021 Pink Shirt Day campaign, organized by the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters, closed the month of February on a positive and encouraging note. Pink Shirt day was celebrated on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, but the organizers say its message of inclusion and diversity is a part of the Boys and Girls Club programs every day of the year. "We are happy to say we have sold over 2,600 shirts this year, surpassing even previous years' sales," said Amanda Guarino, Supervisor, Community Engagement, Boys and Girls Club of Kingston & Area. "This is incredible amid the pandemic and really shows how Kingston is a giving, caring, and supportive community. All pink shirt sales fund our year-round anti-bullying and positive mentoring programs, adding healthy relationship components to our after-school, summer camps, and specific education programs." Guarino said they had over 700 community members interacting with them, and had spread their anti-bullying message to more than 4,000 people in Kingston. “We are especially thankful to our title sponsor, Terra Nova Truss, and the support received from annual partners like Kawartha Credit Union and McDonald’s,” Guarino added. “This allowed us to provide over 270 pink shirts to the children and youth we serve, making our members feel a special sense of belonging to their peers and to the campaign.” Proceeds of pink shirt sales are going straight into anti-bullying and positive mentoring programs for children and youth in Kingston. “On Pink Shirt Day, we ran a workshop with our youth members that had them reflect on their bullying experiences, and even got them to talk about instances when they themselves were unkind to others and what they learned,” said Devin Reynolds, Senior Manager at the West End Hub of the Boys and Girls Club. “We focused our programs with younger children on cyber-bullying, social media, and how to stay safe online,” Reynolds continued. “It really brings our campaign to life to hear kids saying ‘kindness means sticking up for people’ and ‘kindness means not being mean to someone else for liking different things’.” The funds raised will keep programs like these operating and reaching more than 400 children and youth in Kingston after-school everyday, throughout the year. “All of us had an important part in making the campaign have this transformative character,” Guarino said. “Thank you, Kingston, for standing with us against bullying and showing that our community leads with kindness.” “With your support, children are learning and growing into confident, supportive and inclusive leaders,” she said. To watch a brief video on the 2021 Pink Shirt Day campaign and to support year-round anti-bullying programs, please visit www.bgckingston.ca Jessica Foley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
TORONTO — The recent approval of new vaccines will accelerate Ontario's immunization plan, the province said Friday as the man in charge of the rollout expressed optimism all adults could receive the first dose by June 20. The government said under the current plan, seniors aged 75 and older will start getting the shot in April, while everyone 60 and older will receive the first dose by the end of May or early June, if not earlier. Officials made the announcement after Health Canada approved a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. "We've had a seismic shift in our vaccination opportunities and the program to roll it out," said retired general Rick Hillier, the head of the province’s vaccine task force. A spokeswoman for Health Minister Christine Elliott said the timelines would depend on supply. "If we receive more vaccines than currently planned for — as will likely be the case with today’s approval of Johnson & Johnson and increased shipments of Pfizer — we will be able to further accelerate these timelines," Alexandra Hilkene said in an email. She said Hillier's comments about the June 20 timeline were a goal based on the Johnson & Johnson approval. Hillier said the approval of two more vaccines, expected increases in supply and the extension of the interval between first and second doses will allow the province to "crush those timelines really tightly." "... our aim would be to allow the province of Ontario to have a first needle in the arm of every eligible person who wants it by the first day of summer," Hillier said. "Please be patient a little while longer." The province says 113 mass vaccination clinics will start operating this month, with maximum capacity of four million doses per day across public health units, though officials administration will vary based on supply and local considerations. The vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 in Ontario, and across the country, have been among people aged 60 and older. Other risk factors including neighbourhood, existing health conditions and inability to work from home will be prioritized in the second phase of the rollout. A recent report from experts advising Ontario on COVID-19 said a vaccination plan based on age and neighbourhoods hit hardest by the virus could reduce cases by the thousands and prevent deaths. Thirteen public health units will receive additional doses for virus hot spot neighbourhoods during Phase 2. Those health units include Durham; Halton; Hamilton; Niagara; Ottawa; Peel Region; Simcoe Muskoka; Waterloo; Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph; Windsor Essex; York Region; Southwestern and Toronto. Doses will also be offered starting in April to people with specific health conditions like transplant recipients, and to residents and staff in congregate care settings including correctional facilities, shelters and developmental facilities. People with other high-risk conditions including obesity, treatment that suppresses the immune system, and intellectual disabilities will follow the first group, and then people considered at greater risk that include dementia, cancer and diabetes. Essential workers who can't work from home will be offered doses at the end of the second phase, though the timeline is subject to change. The province laid out more details on which essential workers will be eligible to receive their shots first. Vaccinations among that group will start with school staff, first responders, childcare workers, food manufacturing workers and agriculture workers. Then shots will go to workers in retail, manufacturing, social workers, the justice system, financial services, waste management, mining, oil and gas, warehousing and distribution. The union representing correctional workers applauded the news on that members would be included in the second phase of vaccinations. “This is absolutely the right thing to do, and the government deserves credit for ensuring our Corrections members get vaccinated,” Ontario Public Service Employees Union President Warren Thomas said in a statement. “This will go a long way to making our correctional facilities safe, protecting both staff and inmates." Hillier said the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine may be useful in getting shots to people who are difficult to reach, such as migrant farm workers and homeless individuals. Ontario is expecting 194,500 doses of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine next week. Those shots will be administered to residents between the ages of 60 and 64 starting with a pilot project in Toronto, Kingston and Windsor-Essex pharmacies. Officials said the timeline for younger individuals may speed up based on supply of that vaccine. Others criticized the timeline for the rollout as still too slow. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said an April start date for at-risk residents prioritized in the second phase of the rollout is too late. "Where’s the urgency? These folks are at grave risk right now, and getting them their shots is critical to stopping the spread," This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — Tax changes targeting sugary drinks and e-commerce services based outside of B.C. will come into effect on April 1 after being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The B.C. government says the changes include the elimination of the provincial sales tax exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners. The tax will apply to all beverages dispensed through soda fountains or similar equipment, along with all beverages dispensed through vending machines. The government says the move is supported by health professionals. The second tax change will apply to those selling digital software and telecommunication services, who will be required to collect the PST on sales to B.C. customers if they have revenue in the province of more than $10,000. All Canadian sellers of vapour products, such as vape pens, will be required to register to collect the sales tax on all online or mail-order sales to B.C. customers as part of the new measure. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Gillis English’s eventful life is the subject of a podcast called Plain English: Crime to Life. In various episodes, he tells stories about his experiences, including what it was like being behind bars. “Basically I just started sharing from when I was a kid up,” he says during a phone interview from his home in Campbell River, B.C. “For me the bigger part of it is if I can try and share a good message, which is what I want to do now.” English, also known as Little Goat, is Anishinaabe from Northern Ontario, and has spent much of his life being caught in a “revolving door” of foster care homes, young offenders centres and prisons. During that time, he says he had few opportunities to connect to his culture. “When I think of all the foster homes and young offender centres, there was nothing really there to help [to connect] with being Indigenous,” he says. “The system is set up to send us back through. It’s like a revolving door.” It wasn’t until he met Anishinaabe Elder Lloyd Haarala through Correctional Services Canada’s (CSC) Pathways program at the end of a 15-year prison sentence — about a decade ago — that things began to turn around for him. “He’s got a way of putting his arm around you, and asking, ‘How are you doing, my boy?’ and it can just make you feel so safe,” English says. “It makes you want to cry right there on the spot. He’s got a real human touch.” He recalls a teaching he received from Elders during his healing journey that still resonates with him. “We’re born with our whole lives ahead of us and we don’t know how to live at all,” he says. “[With time] we start to learn how to live our lives. As we near the end of our lives … that’s when we’re going to know the most.” In English’s case, it took more than a decade to find the right support. Correctional Investigator of Canada Ivan Zinger says his office has been asking for improvements on behalf of Indigenous inmates for at least that long. “My office has made countless recommendations in the last fifteen years dealing with Indigenous corrections and there’s been very little traction on those recommendations,” Zinger told IndigiNews. “There are some best practices that yield better success in terms of correctional outcome.” This year, Zinger’s office is launching a series of in-depth investigations looking at Indigenous programming in Canada’s prisons — specifically around access to culture and community support. Zinger says his office will soon conduct a review of the Pathways program specifically, with the results set to be released later this year. Pathways is an Elder-driven healing initiative based on the teachings of the Medicine Wheel. It’s only available in some correctional facilities to varying degrees, and is only available for inmates who have “already made a serious commitment to pursue their healing journey,” according to CSC. Access to cultural support is key to support human dignity, individual’s spiritual beliefs and practices, and more consistent rehabilitation. In his latest annual report, Zinger’s investigations revealed that Indigenous inmates at maximum security institutions in Agassiz, B.C., and Edmonton had limited access to cultural programs. “As a general rule, it is critical that programs and services are culturally informed and delivered by Indigenous staff,” the report says. “However, this investigation revealed that Indigenous inmates, though keen to practice their traditions and spirituality, had limited access to these and were rarely able to access their Elders.” Zinger’s recommendations around how to improve things for the vastly overrepresented Indigenous inmate population have been extensive. He says he has asked CSC for more money to be allocated for Indigenous-managed cultural initiatives — such as healing lodges through programs like Pathways — but nothing has been provided. Zinger says Indigenous people are more likely to be at a higher security level where there are fewer programs available, which makes accessibility difficult. They’re also more likely to be put into solitary confinement, be subject to use of force, and to have their parole suspended or revoked, among other things, Zinger says. Another problem with the current programs available is that they don’t reflect the diversity of Indigenous cultures and spiritual beliefs, Zinger says. English echoes this concern — having signed up for many of the programs available, but disappointed at how short, non-specific and surface-level they were. “It’s pretty much, just throw a blanket over us and this will cover everybody,” English says. Zinger says his office has been asking CSC to create a position for a deputy commissioner of Indigenous affairs for more than a decade — someone who could represent Indigenous inmates at an executive level — however this also has not been done. According to CSC, there is already a senior deputy commissioner who is responsible for Indigenous Initiatives, internal investigations, oversight of complaints and grievances and a variety of other pieces across sectors. There’s also a National Indigenous Advisory Committee and a National Elders working group. Many of Zinger’s recommendations have been echoed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. “(CSC) has done little to implement those now widely-accepted recommendations,” Zinger says. “Correctional outcomes are just terrible, overall terrible and continue to remain terrible,” he says. “The over-representation of Indigenous Peoples in the federal penitentiary has gotten worse year after year.” More than 30 percent of Canadian inmates are Indigenous, with those numbers on a trajectory to keep growing. CSC’s director of Indigenous initiatives Marty Maltby says there has been ongoing consultation with Indigenous Peoples on the Pathways program. Maltby says CSC has been working to make the program more viable and sustainable, however the program is run via partnership with Indigenous organizations which means it requires a joint effort. “As always we welcome [Zinger’s] recommendations, we always have room for improvement,” Maltby says. As someone who was within the system for many years, English sees many opportunities for things to improve for Indigenous inmates. If he didn’t discover Pathways, he says, and connect with an Elder, things would have been different for him. “If Pathways wasn’t there for us, we would go out the same way we went in, or worse.” English says, like many other Indigenous people, he was transferred in and out of foster care during childhood. He was first put into the system after his father committed suicide when he was six years old. At the age of twelve, he says he was incarcerated for the first time — and from there he spent his entire teenage life in young offenders facilities. His adopted father, from the Strong Bear Clan, helped to raise him, but when English began getting into trouble, he could no longer care for him, he explains. While he was in a young offenders facility, he did a bit of schooling, but recalls not being given much support. “They keep us there and basically just tried to keep us out of trouble,” English says. Without anyone helping him to focus on his future, English kept on the same destructive path — he says he was given a 15 year prison term in the 1990s after taking part in a violent home robbery in Alberta. The start of his lengthy sentence began in Edmonton at a maximum security prison, and he was eventually transferred to a facility in Drumheller, Alta, he says. During that time, he completed an advanced high school diploma, and “read a lot.” After more transfers, he eventually ended up in Songhees Territory, where he lived in a halfway house from 2007 to 2008. He was sent to William Head Prison to finish his sentence. In 2011, English says he reoffended and was given a two year sentence. He asked the judge to send him to a penitatary, instead of a provincial jail, so that he could have access to Pathways and the Anishinaabe Elder he worked with previously. The judge granted his request and he was sent to Mission Institution. While taking part in Pathways, English says he became a firekeeper and a drum keeper. He helped the Elders to set up their lodge, put tobacco down, and learn how to place medicines out. “They are very good at planting seeds in us,” English says. “They may not take hold right away but they do eventually and they are the kind of things I think about and pray about and even dream about sometimes.” In that space, English says he and his peers were able to deal with their personal issues as they came up, what he calls “shared healing.” “We don’t try to hold each other down. We try to pull each other up. There’s a real sense of brotherhood and love between us,” he says. “I never got to experience that anywhere other than when I was living on the reserve. I miss it so much, I sometimes think I want to go back and sit with everybody again. Sit by the fire and share in a good way.” The Pathways program works because of the Elders, English says. He describes them as a light in an otherwise dark situation. “The Elders make the program,” he says. “They are what holds us together.” English sees a need for the Pathways program to expand, to become more inclusive and allow people to enter at any point in their healing journey. He says CSC gets involved too heavily in the process of who gets to stay in Pathways or not, and he believes that should be left entirely up to the Elders. “I mean we’re going there, some of us, in a really bad way so we’re going to be who we are until we start to heal,” he says. “[For CSC] to push us back out and not allow us to access that help is not right.” English is also now a grandfather, and thinks about how much he missed while he was in the system. “I want to be the best grandfather I can be,” he says. “I want to help break that cycle.” Katłįà (Catherine) Lafferty, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Kim Kardashian on Friday called out those who bully and body- shame others, recalling her embarrassment when she was attacked for gaining 60 pounds during her first pregnancy. In an Instagram stories posting, Kardashian detailed how she had been compared to a killer whale during the later stages of her pregnancy in 2013, and how her figure was contrasted unfavorably to Prince William's wife Kate, who was also pregnant at the time. The cosmetics businesswoman and social media star said she was reminded of those months while watching a recent documentary about Britney Spears, tracing the meteoric rise of the pop star and the media coverage of her mental health breakdown in 2007.