With Matt Di Nicolantonio.
With Matt Di Nicolantonio.
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).
VANCOUVER — Dentists, teachers and bus drivers are among the essential workers who hope to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in British Columbia, as a provincial committee determines who should be prioritized for the shot. BC Teachers' Federation president Teri Mooring says her members should be included in the plan expected to be released by the B.C. Immunization Committee by March 18. Mooring says teachers have put in the second-highest number of COVID-19-related claims to WorkSafeBC, behind only health-care workers, and have faced difficult conditions in schools with some of the most lax mask policies in Canada. The BC Dental Association says dentists and their teams cannot treat patients remotely, they work in very close proximity to the mouth and often use aerosol-generating procedures. Balbir Mann, president of Unifor Local 111, which represents Metro Vancouver bus drivers, says his members should receive the vaccine because passengers come very close when they enter and exit the bus. BC Trucking Association president Dave Earle, meanwhile, says he represents both long-haul truckers and local drivers who return home every night, so he wants to hear from the province about where the COVID-19 hot spots are in the transportation system. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Santé Canada a assoupli les conditions d'entreposage et de transport du vaccin contre la COVID-19 de Pfizer-BioNTech pour faciliter la redistribution locale des doses reçues. Les fioles du vaccin pourront désormais être entreposées ou transportées à des températures entre -25 °C et -15 °C pour une période allant jusqu'à deux semaines. Elles ne peuvent retourner qu'une seule fois aux températures recommandées pour l'entreposage, soit entre -80 °C et -60 °C. Cette décision est prise à la suite d'une soumission effectuée le 25 février par Pfizer-BioNTech qui indiquait un changement des conditions d'entreposage de ses vaccins. Santé Canada a ensuite fait un examen approfondi des données présentées, puis déterminé que le vaccin demeurait stable pour cette période de temps. Il demeure tout de même recommandé de le maintenir dans des conditions extrêmement froides. Par ailleurs, l'autorisation de cette modification concorde avec les décisions prises par d'autres organismes de réglementation étrangers, notamment la Food and Drug Administration des États-Unis. Nicholas Pereira, Initiative de journalisme local, Courrier Laval
LOS ANGELES — Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex has described to Oprah Winfrey how “liberating” it was to have a conversation - let alone a sit-down interview - with the television host without royal minders. “CBS This Morning” aired a clip on Friday of Winfrey speaking to Meghan about a conversation they had before the actor’s wedding to Prince Harry in May 2018. The clip opens with Winfrey describing how she asked for an interview and Meghan recounting how there were others in the room and she wasn’t even supposed to be speaking with Winfrey. “As an adult who lived a really independent life to then go into this construct that is um.. different than I think what people imagine it to be, it’s really liberating to be able to have the right and the privilege in some ways to be able to say yes,” Meghan tells Winfrey. Winfrey’s interview with Meghan and Harry is set to air Sunday night in the United States on CBS and will air in Britain on Monday evening. Despite stepping back from royal duties a year ago and moving to California, there still intense interest in the couple and their relationship with the royal family. When Meghan was asked what was right about doing the interview now, she said it was because of the couple’s newfound freedom. “That we’re on the other side of a lot of, a lot of life experience that’s happened,” Meghan said. And also that we have the ability to make our own choices in a way that I couldn’t have said yes to you then. That wasn’t my choice to make.” The Associated 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.
Un an après le début de l’épidémie de Covid-19, le coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 a fait 68 000 victimes en France. Ce chiffre est-il comparable aux épidémies de grippes qui frappent chaque hiver notre pays ?
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
TORONTO — As expected, Toronto FC will join the Raptors and Blue Jays in Florida for the start of the Major League Soccer season. Toronto will stay in the Orlando area, training at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate some 35 kilometres southwest of Orlando Airport. The team said it can play home matches in both Orlando and Tampa. Orlando City SC plays at Exploria Stadium while the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship play at the 7,500-seat Al Lang Stadium in nearby St. Petersburg, where CF Montreal has held its training camp in the past, The team said its stay in Florida will be contingent upon health and safety regulations as borders reopen in Canada. The Raptors are playing out of Amalie Arena in Tampa while the Blue Jays, who played in Buffalo, N.Y., last season, are holding their first two homestands in nearby Dunedin. TFC finished out the 2020 season in East Hartford, Conn., due to pandemic-related border restrictions. The team played just four games at BMO Field last season. The team is no stranger to ChampionsGate, having held part of its pre-season camp there in past years. A short walk across the hotel golf course leads to training fields. TFC is currently training under the bubble at the club's north Toronto training centre and at BMO Field, whose pitch has underground heating. The team was granted permission to open camp early, on Feb. 17, to prepare for the Canadian Championship final against Hamilton's Forge FC. The winner of that match advances to a two-legged Scotiabank Champions League round-of-16 tie against Mexico's Club Leon. The return leg is April 14. The MLS regular season is slated to kick off April 17. The date and venue of the Canadian Championship final have yet to be announced, although March 20 has been floated. Time is short given the March 22-30 FIFA international window features both World Cup and Olympic qualifying. --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
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
No chemical contaminants were found in Kanesatake’s drinking water, according to a recently released report from Indigenous Services Canada (ISC). The Mohawk Council of Kanesatake disclosed the final study on February 17 on their Facebook page. The report stated that between September and October 2020, 17 sites in and out of the community were selected to have their water tested. “Routine chemical analyses were performed, to screen for the presence of different chemicals in the groundwater,” said Eugene Nicholas, director of Kanesatake’s environmental department in a statement. According to Leslie Michelson, the ISC spokesperson, the water assessment was conducted as a way to determine the presence of selenium, ammonia nitrogen, a variety of phenol compounds and lead that may have a negative impact on the surrounding environment. “In the spring of 2020, the Quebec Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) carried out surface water testing along the Gratton Creek towards Lac Deux-Montagnes,” said Michelson, explaining that those contaminants were found in the surface water. “The ISC testing was conducted in order to determine if there were any possible impacts on the groundwater.” Back in August 2020, an unknown leak was found in Gratton’s creek, a small body of water that flows from the G&R recycling site into the lake. The nature of the spill remains confidential but the Quebec government retracted G&R’s license a few months later in October, due to a breach of environmental regulations. “The question is to see if what they find in the water is related to G&R or not,” said the grand chief of Kanesatake Serge Otsi Simon. The ISC plan to have water testing was developed in collaboration with Kanesatake Health Centre (KHC), which selected a series of private wells, according to the documents. Community members along Etienne Road, Bonspille Road, the northern end of Mountain Road and the western end of Ste. Philomene granted permission to have their water wells sampled. According to KCH spokesperson Robert Bonspiel, the 17 houses were randomly selected within proximity to the creek. However, ISC wouldn’t confirm whether or not those sites followed the water flow from the recycling site. When asked if it was possible that other harmful contaminants that were not tested could be found in tap water, ISC’s response was unclear and didn’t mention the possible report’s oversight. “Based on the results, it is determined that at the time of analysis, there is no direct influence from the Gratton Creek on the groundwater of the sites analyzed,” said Michelson. The analysis comes at a time where the discussion surrounding drinkable water in Onkwehón:we communities has been at the forefront of Canadian media for the past few weeks. A joint collaboration between six media outlets coordinated by the Institute for Investigative Journalism revealed information regarding the water problem in communities across the country - despite the 2015 electoral promise by the Liberals to eliminate all long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations by March 1, 2021. The Liberal’s promise followed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the United Nations’s Human Right to Water recommendations demanding access to clean water in Onkwehón:we communities as a way to restore relationships impaired by years of colonial policies. While the ISC report revealed no toxic elements in Kanesatake, many sources told The Eastern Door that they do not trust their wells and prefer to opt for bottled water. “I haven’t drunk tap water in over 30 years,” said the grand chief. email@example.com Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
Au cœur d’un parcours scolaire qu’il qualifie de difficile, Djordan Lemay s’est découvert une passion pour le dessin. Encouragé par ses parents, le jeune homme originaire de Saint-Côme vit maintenant de son art via le tatouage et, éventuellement, par la création de sculptures de personnages «horrifiants». «Dès l’enfance, je n’écoutais pas souvent le prof et il me surprenait à dessiner», se rappelle-t-il en riant. Rapidement, Djordan Lemay puisera son inspiration dans les personnages issus de l’univers de Marvel et l’imaginaire des films d’horreur dans la création de ses oeuvres. «Ma mère, Chantal Lessard, est peintre. Avec mon père Richard, elle m’a payé des cours de peinture et, un peu plus tard, ma première machine à tatouage», se remémore-t-il reconnaissant. Exerçant son métier de tatoueur depuis une dizaine d’années, la pandémie provoquera chez le résident de Saint-Georges un choc économique et, heureusement, créatif. «Le confinement fut bénéfique pour moi pendant la première vague. Nous avons été forcés à l’arrêt et j’ai dû fermer boutique pour un temps indéterminé. Donc, j’ai dû me réinventer je me suis mis à la sculpture une passion que j’avais déjà, mais que j’ai décidé d’approfondir. Ayant une passion pour les films d’horreur, je me suis mis à sculpter pour le plaisir des personnages d’épouvante», souligne un Djordan Lemay qui aura la bonne idée de diffuser ses créations sur le web. «Rapidement, des gens de partout se sont mis à m’écrire après avoir vu mes sculptures! Mes créations ont attiré des gens de partout du Japon, du Mexique et de Los Angeles m’écrivaient. Plusieurs seraient acheteurs», dit-il en précisant que cet enthousiasme l’amène à penser au développement commercial de ce volet de son art. «Étant moi-même collectionneur d’objets reliés à des personnages de films d’horreur, je cherchais à me procurer des grandeurs nature. Souvent, je n’ai pas trouvé ce que je cherchais. Je me suis rendu compte que je suis loin d’être seul», constate celui qui est à se renseigner sur les droits de licence qui lui permettrait d’exploiter commercialement Freddy Krueger, Annabelle, Chucky ou Pennywise. «Je suis la preuve vivante qu’on peut se réinventer et si je peux être source d’inspiration pour d’autres personnes et montrer le positif dans toute cette pandémie et le confinement, pourquoi pas», conclut le positif Djordan Lemay. Comme quoi, parfois, il y a de la beauté dans l’horreur! Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The provincial government has appointed former Toronto police chief Mark Saunders as a special adviser to help oversee the redevelopment of Ontario Place. In a news release issued Friday, Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, said Saunders's intimate knowledge of the diverse communities in Toronto — and across Ontario — will bring "important perspectives" to the project. "Mr. Saunders will provide guidance and expert advice ... while working closely with the City of Toronto and Indigenous communities, as well as stakeholders and businesses involved in the redevelopment project," the province said in the release. The release says Saunders's senior-level experience in a major organization, and experience in large-scale "transformation change management," will allow him to effectively advise MacLeod and Premier Doug Ford as they make decisions about the future of the 155-acre plot of land. Saunders announced his resignation from the Toronto Police Service on June 8 of last year, and officially stepped down on July 31. In December 2020, he was also appointed to Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine distribution task force. What Ontario Place looked like in the fall of 2019.(Michael Wilson/CBC) Announcement about Ontario Place expected this spring The province accepted bids in 2019 for who would transform Ontario Place into a "year-round" destination. While the provincial government remains tight-lipped about the future of the site, MacLeod has confirmed that the vision does not include casinos or condos, the land will not be sold and the key heritage and recreational features of the site will remain. In Friday's release, MacLeod said the province will be sharing more news in the spring about plans for the redevelopment. "The 50th anniversary of Ontario Place is the perfect time to provide the people of Ontario with a preview of the tremendous plans for the site's future," she said.
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.
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (18,380.96, up 255.24 points.) Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up five cents, or 7.69 per cent, to 70 cents on 27.7 million shares. Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up 93 cents, or 3.46 per cent, to $27.82 on 17.1 million shares. Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 15 cents, or 11.11 per cent, to $1.50 on 13.3 million shares. Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH). Energy. Up 10 cents, or 21.74 per cent, to 56 cents on 13.1 million shares. The Supreme Cannabis Co. Inc. (TSX:FIRE). Health care. Down one cent, or 3.85 per cent, to 25 cents on 11.4 million shares. Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Up 24 cents, or 0.54 per cent, to $44.83 on 11.1 million shares. Companies in the news: Martinrea International Inc. (TSX:MRE). Down $1.50, or 9.9 per cent, to $13.70. Frustrations stemming from COVID-19 travel restrictions boiled over during a conference call Thursday when top executives at auto parts manufacturer Martinrea derided the health measures, saying it's "time to move on" and recognize the "good things happening," despite employee deaths from the novel coronavirus. "Everything is getting better, except for the government policy that we're seeing. It is just absolutely outrageous," said chief financial officer Fred Di Tosto, on the call. Deanna Lorincz, global director of communications and marketing at Martinrea, said Friday that Di Tosto meant "it is time to move on, lessen the restrictions on the border and continue to open up the economy." Ensign Energy Services Inc. (TSX:ESI). Up eight cents, or 6.8 per cent, to $1.26. Drilling company Ensign Energy Services Inc. says oilpatch activity in its Canadian and U.S. operations is staging a slow recovery from a deep slump in 2020. The Calgary-based company says it earned net income of $3.1 million or two cents per share on revenue of $201 million in the last three months of 2020, compared with a net loss of $71.6 million on revenue of $375 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts had expected a net loss of $57.9 million on revenue of $197 million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. Revenue slumped 43 per cent in Canada compared with the same period in 2019, by 52 per cent in the U.S. and by 36 per cent in its international arm, which operates in South America, the Middle East and Australia. Recipe Unlimited Corp. (TSX:RECP). Unchanged at $18.57. Recipe Unlimited Corp. saw system sales fall more than 30 per cent in its most recent quarter as the pandemic continued to cause dining room closures and seating restrictions at its restaurant chains across Canada. The Vaughan, Ont.-based company says system sales in its fourth quarter totalled $611.3 million, down 31.8 per cent from $895.8 million in the same quarter the previous year. Still, the company, which operates brands like Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, St-Hubert and The Keg, saw off-premise system sales for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 27 of $150.4 million, a 66.6 per cent increase compared to $90.3 million in the same period of 2019. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Countless people all over the world have stories of meeting him. This is mine.
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
“During the pandemic, it’s really hard on young people. I think one of the hardest things to deal with in life is uncertainty and there’s just so much uncertainty right now,” said Kelvin Redvers, recent recipient of a Governor General’s award. Redvers and his sister T'áncháy Sarah Judith Redvers were recipients of the Meritorious Service Decoration in February, recognized as co-founders of We Matter, a national non-profit organization that provides support, hope and life promotion for Indigenous youth experiencing hardships. Kelvin Redvers appeared on the weekly virtual town hall held by the First Nations Health Managers Association on March 4 to talk about the measures to protect against the spread of the coronavirus and the impacts they are having on the mental health of Indigenous young people. “Mental health concerns are always something we need to worry about, especially in these times of the pandemic where a lot of youth aren’t able to go to school possibly or aren’t able to visit friends and there’s just a whole lot of stress,” he said. “Dealing with that uncertainty is really hard and I think the perspective I would recommend from the We Matters side is to try to do as many things that can bring you together and even though maybe you can’t have big groups of people, just within a family or within households. Have it become regular, where you do board game night or do activities on the land,” he said. Redvers and his sister launched We Matters in 2016, an online campaign aimed at bringing awareness to struggles faced by Indigenous youth. It’s a resource, Redvers said, he would have appreciated when he was growing up and facing difficulties. The Redvers are Deniniu K’ue First Nation from the Northwest Territories. The website consists of more than 300 two-to-four-minute personal video accounts from people – Indigenous role models like Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew, comedian Ryan McMahon, and actor Andrea Menard – talking about their difficult times and persevering. The website also has toolkits and booklets, specifically geared to Indigenous youth, teachers and support workers. For Indigenous youth, the toolkit provides ways for youth to support themselves and help others if they choose to. “Sometimes it feels like working and talking about mental health is something only for the professionals, and I think we need to get away from that.…Every single person has the ability to talk about mental health and to support folks who maybe need a little bit of support,” said Redvers. “It can be challenging to do that because we’re afraid of saying the wrong thing, we’re afraid of making it worse. But a lot of times by keeping silent that’s actually the worse thing is then youth perhaps feel it’s not okay to talk about when they feel sad.” Marion Crowe, CEO for FNHMA, host and moderator for the hour-long virtual event, said youth sometimes were reluctant to adhere to social distancing because they were sad that events had been cancelled or because they couldn’t see their friends. “It’s so hard to let go of those things and we can’t undermine that,” Redvers said So the trick is, he said, to fill that gap by replacing something lost with something new. And to hang on until it’s their time for vaccinations. Redvers said he understands that some youth are hesitant about getting vaccinated, both because of how they have been treated by the healthcare system and because of history, when Indigenous people were used as test subjects. “What we try to do in conversations is really take in peoples’ fears and not just to dismiss it; to say, ‘No you’re wrong. It’s totally safe,’ but to listen to folks and, ‘Why is it you’re afraid of this?’ and try to have a conversation around it,” he said. Redvers added that “generally most youth are going to be excited to have (the vaccination)” and that he was excited for when it would be his turn. He pointed out that his parents in the NWT had been vaccinated as had one of his sisters, who is a support work in the Yukon. “It just gives me a peace of mind,” he said. Check out We Matter at We Matter (wemattercampaign.org) Windspeaker.com By Shari Narine, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com
Squamish Nation says the rollout of vaccines for its communities on the North Shore and in the Squamish Valley next week is a welcome “relief” for many of its residents. Vancouver Coastal Health and First Nations Health Authority confirmed this week that Squamish Nation will be receiving a first round of doses of COVID-19 vaccines for its community the week of March 8. “I think people are relieved and excited,” said Khelsilem, Dustin Rivers, spokesperson for Squamish Nation. “I know for our elders and a lot of our members who are vulnerable, they have had to really do their best to protect themselves, and to avoid COVID-19, and they are looking forward to having that extra layer of protection.” Khelsilem said the nation was hoping around 600 members would be vaccinated in the first round of doses, but it would depend on the supply they are given. The first community members who will get the vaccine are elders 65+ and those with serious underlying health conditions, including people living with a compromised immune system. Khelsilem said once elders have their appointments booked, Yúustway Health and Wellness will continue booking vaccination appointments based on age, starting with those ages 55-64, then ages 45-54 etc., until all of the vaccine has been used. “We're encouraging people to get the vaccine, but we welcome any members that might have concerns or questions,” he said. “They can talk to their doctor, if they feel that's an option, but they can also talk to our health nurse and our staff to address any concerns that they might have about the vaccine.” He wanted to remind community members that this is only the first of several vaccine shipments to the nation and they are planning on holding clinics in the coming months to vaccinate all nation members who want to receive the vaccine. “We anticipate that most of the community or many community members are going to access it when they have the opportunity too,” Khelsilem said. Yúustway Health and Wellness will be scheduling clients by appointment only for the COVID-19 vaccine at clinics in the Squamish Valley at the Totem Hall, 1380 Stawamus Rd., and on the North Shore at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre, 100 Capilano Rd., West Vancouver. Appointments will begin at Totem Hall on Tuesday (March 9) and the Chief Joe Mathias Centre on Wednesday (March 10). Members unable to attend an on-reserve clinic, Indigenous people ages 65+, can book an appointment close to their residence starting March 8. The nation has listed further details on how to contact clinics and make appointments in a notice on its website. Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News
Nunavut's Department of Environment and the Kivalliq Wildlife Board (KWB) are teaming up to take a closer look at the impacts the road for Meliadine Mine near Rankin Inlet is having on migrating caribou. Mitch Campbell, a wildlife biologist with the government in Arviat, Nunavut, told CBC News the partnership program is still being developed. The goal is "to get a sense of the impacts and then how we might be able to work with the different stakeholders to try and figure out ways of mitigating those impacts," Campbell said. Agnico Eagle, which owns and operates the gold mine, has faced recurring criticism from the government, communities and Inuit organizations on their analysis of impacts to caribou from their mining operations. For example, the Nunavut government and the Kivalliq Inuit Association (KIA) raised concerns about Agnico's caribou monitoring and data analysis in the company's 2019's annual report. The company changed their proposed plans to run two pipelines from Meliadine to Melvin Bay, over 30 kilometres away, after community outcry about impacts to caribou. Protestors set up a blockade outside of Meliadine Mine in March 2020 to protest the mine's operations during COVID-19.(Submitted by Marvin Dion) And at a roundtable meeting held last month to discuss burying those pipelines, Agnico presented a scientific analysis of the mining road's impact on caribou that the government, the KWB and the KIA have roundly criticized. Campbell said Agnico's latest analysis presented at that meeting contradicted the impacts on caribou that community members across the Kivalliq have observed. "This is one of the reasons why the [government of Nunavut] is moving forward with a partner program with the Kivalliq Wildlife Board," he said. "So that we can get a better sense of how to fix those flaws with that original report." Work done by the new partnership will be provided to all stakeholders in order to inform mitigation efforts moving forward, he added. Data sharing tensions But the Kivalliq Wildlife Board and the government of Nunavut have not always seen eye-to-eye on sharing data. Clayton Tartak, research coordinator with the board, said that the government has refused to share information to the Nunavut Impact Review Board's (NIRB) public registry in the past. Tartak told CBC News that at technical hearings about Meadowbank's mining road held in Baker Lake in 2019, the government refused to provide two studies it had done on impacts of the road to migrating caribou. "That's concerning," Tartak said. "The Baker Lake hunters and trappers organization [HTO] asked in 2019 that those reports be shared to the impact review board and to date that hasn't happened." Agnico Eagle's Meliadine gold mine is 25 kilometres north of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut. (Submitted by Agnico Eagle) Interested parties up-to-date: government Casey Lessard, communications manager with Nunavut's Department of Environment, told CBC in an email that the government has "kept interested parties up-to-date on their research." Lessard provided links to two documents — two versions of the same report on seasonal caribou migration around the Meadowbank mine and associated road. The first document, a draft report, was uploaded to the NIRB registry in 2017. The second document was completed in July 2020, Lessard said — nearly a year after the NIRB's technical hearing during which the Baker Lake HTO asked that the report be uploaded to the NIRB registry. Lessard said the second, final document has been uploaded to the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board's website.