Millions of Texas residents are without power amid frigid temperatures. Now, some must also cope with bursting water pipes – the latest effect of a winter storm that has pummeled much of the U.S. (Feb. 17)
Millions of Texas residents are without power amid frigid temperatures. Now, some must also cope with bursting water pipes – the latest effect of a winter storm that has pummeled much of the U.S. (Feb. 17)
A look at some second-leg matches in the Europa League's last 32 taking place on Thursday: AC MILAN-RED STAR BELGRADE (2-2) A meeting of two former European champions is level after the first leg amid controversy over apparent racist abuse aimed at Milan forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic. UEFA appointed an investigator Tuesday to look into the incident after footage published online appeared to show Ibrahimovic being insulted as he sat in the stands. There were no fans allowed in the stadium for the first game, but Red Star had officials and guests in the stands. Milan goes into the game without a win in its last three after losing 3-0 to fierce rival Inter Milan in Serie A on Sunday. NAPOLI-GRANADA (0-2) Spanish club Granada is on the verge of a major upset in its first European competition. Yangel Herrera and Kenedy scored Granada's goals at home against a Napoli team whose season seems to be slipping away. One win from six games in all competitions this month has seen Napoli fall from challenging for the Champions League places in Serie A to clinging on in seventh. ARSENAL-BENFICA (1-1) The Europa League is Arsenal’s last opportunity for a trophy — and might represent the team's only route to qualifying for European competitions next season. Mikel Arteta’s team has dropped to 11th in the Premier League and is nine points off Chelsea in fifth place, which is set to be the sole Europa League qualifying position in the league. Thomas Partey has returned to training with Arsenal after a hamstring injury but it remains to be seen if the midfielder is fit enough to feature in the second leg against Benfica. The game will take place in Athens due to coronavirus travel restrictions. LEICESTER-SLAVIA PRAGUE (0-0) Leicester midfielder James Maddison will miss the match because of a hip injury. Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers does not believe the issue requires surgery but said Maddison is in consultation with specialists. The in-form attacking midfielder, who came off hurt in the Premier League match at Aston Villa on Sunday, missed matches at the end of last season with a hip injury and had an operation in July. “We’re just having to get a specialist’s opinion on it to formulate a plan for his recovery,” Rodgers said. Leicester is in third place in the Premier League and has been one of the surprises of the season. MANCHESTER UNITED-REAL SOCIEDAD (4-0) Edinson Cavani, Donny Van de Beek, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba remain sidelined through injury for United, which is all but assured of progress after a big first-leg win in neutral territory in Turin. A shoulder issue prevents midfielder Hannibal Mejbri from making his first-team debut after a week that has seen fellow 18-year-old Amad Diallo — signed from Atalanta in January — and 17-year-old Shola Shoretire make their first starts in the senior side. “Hannibal was injured in the reserves, he’ll be out for a month,” said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has added 19-year-old Northern Ireland international Ethan Galbraith to United’s Europa League squad. “He was just coming into our squad. Unfortunately for him he’s out.” AJAX-LILLE (2-1) Even without two of its best players, Ajax is on the verge of eliminating the French league leader. Lille was heading for a win in the first leg before Ajax turned the game around with a penalty by Dusan Tadic in the 87th minute and a goal from Brian Brobbey in the 89th. Ajax is without striker Sebastien Haller after he was left off the squad list due to an administrative error. Goalkeeper André Onana was handed a 12-month doping ban this month after testing positive for a banned substance, something he blamed on a mix-up with his wife's medicine. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A lawyer for prospective refugee claimants says a judge was correct in finding an agreement between Ottawa and Washington results in people being imprisoned by U.S. authorities.Lawyer Michael Bossin argued in an appeal hearing today there was sufficient evidence for Federal Court Justice Ann Marie McDonald to conclude the Safe Third Country Agreement leads to the detention of people turned away by Canada.Under the bilateral refugee agreement, which took effect in 2004, Canada and the U.S. recognize each other as safe places to seek protection.It means Canada can turn back a potential refugee who arrives at a land port of entry along the Canada-U.S. border on the basis the person must pursue their claim in the U.S., the country where they first arrived.Canadian refugee advocates have steadfastly fought the asylum agreement, arguing the U.S. is not always a safe country for people fleeing persecution.Government lawyers contend the Federal Court misinterpreted the law when it declared in July the agreement breaches constitutional guarantees of life, liberty and security.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
La fatigue contemporaine peut s’analyser comme une revendication sociale légitime, celle de la prise en compte de nos besoins vitaux.
Shawinigan - Le maire de Shawinigan Michel Angers a confirmé mardi midi, lors de son traditionnel bilan organisé par la Chambre de commerce, qu’il serait officiellement candidat aux élections municipales l'automne prochain. Le principal intéressé avait laissé entendre en novembre dernier qu’il y avait de fortes chances qu’il soit de la course, ce qu’il a officialisé mardi midi, devant les gens d’affaires, réunis sur une plateforme de réunion virtuelle. «J'ai bien réfléchi. Je suis en forme et il y a encore beaucoup de défis, dont la pandémie, pour Shawinigan. J'ai toujours dit que quand je serai dans une zone de confort, je ferai autre chose, mais ce moment n'est pas venu», a-t-il laissé tomber. «Si je n'étais pas prêt à peser à fond sur l'accélérateur, il n'y aurait pas de demi-mesures. C'est pleinement ou ce n'est pas du tout», a indiqué le maire, qui précise avoir pris le temps des Fêtes pour réfléchir à sa position. Se gardant bien de dévoiler l'ensemble de ses idées pour un éventuel quatrième mandat, M. Angers a tout de même assuré vouloir faire de la création d'emploi, de la lutte à la pauvreté et à l'exclusion et de l'augmentation des services offerts à la population quelques unes de ses principales priorités. Malgré le fait que cette campagne se déroulera fort probablement en pandémie, celui qui est maire de Shawinigan depuis 2009 n'entend pas changer une recette gagnante. «J'ai toujours mené des campagnes toujours positives. J'aime les campagnes électorales, j'aime les élections. Bien sûr, les médias sociaux joueront un rôle majeur et important, le porte à porte sera plus difficile à faire, alors on trouvera les moyens, sûrement numériques, de rejoindre les gens. Je trouverai des moyens cet été, en fonction des décisions de la Santé publique, de rencontrer gens et je ferai les ajustements nécessaires.» Si certains croient qu'il pourrait s'agir pour lui d'un dernier mandat au municipal, Michel Angers n'entend pas se consacrer à un autre palier politique dans le futur. «Je pense sincèrement que la plus belle politique est la municipale. J'ai été sollicité à plusieurs reprises pour d'autres paliers et je n'ai pas d'intérêt pour la politique provinciale ou pour la politique fédérale. J'aime que les gens puissent nous interpeller dans la rue. Je suis le capitaine du bateau et je sens que j'ai les coudées franches pour faire du développement économique, du développement social. Cette capacité de pouvoir bouger me nourrit et m'anime. Est-ce que j'ai le goût d'être un matelot dans un bateau plus gros? Probablement pas. Est-ce que j'ai le goût d'être un matelot dans un bateau encore plus gros? Encore moins», souligne-t-il, précisant du même coup qu'il entend se consacrer au bénévolat une fois sa carrière politique derrière lui. Bilan positif, malgré la COVID-19 Lors de son allocution, le maire Angers a relevé que l'économie de sa municipalité s'en est plutôt bien tirée dans la dernière année, malgré la pandémie. Parmi les bons coups, Michel Angers a notamment noté que la Ville a soutenu 158 entreprises en 2020, pour une aide financière de 3,2 millions $, générant du coup 6,8 millions $ en investissements. La mesure a permis de créer 121 emplois et d'en maintenir 116. Le maire sortant a également rappelé que Shawinigan a fait partie d'un projet-pilote l'été dernier qui autorisait les restaurants à utiliser des espaces publics pour agrandir leurs terrasses. Monsieur Angers a aussi souligné la vitalité des secteurs industriels et immobilier, deux domaines en forte expansion à la ville. Ce dernier mise beaucoup sur la Zone d'innovation, ce concept du gouvernement du Québec qui vise à augmenter la commercialisation des innovations, les exportations, les investissements locaux et étrangers et la productivité des entreprises. Le premier magistrat s'est aussi fait une fierté de souligner la croissance démographique de Shawinigan qui, en cinq ans, a connu une croissance de 1,7% de sa population, alors que tous les indicateurs prévoyaient une baisse nette à cet égard sur la période indiquée. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
The opportunity to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic has come to life for some Métis students, thanks to a pilot project that began last fall. Royal Roads University (RRU) Professional and Continuing Studies (PCS) is offering an 18-week culturally inclusive Professional Project Administration (PPA) program to Métis citizens through a partnership with Métis Nation of B.C. (MNBC). “Our first cohort of 15 students will successfully graduate from the PPA Program on Feb. 26,” said Tim Brigham, RRU PCS project lead last week. “We’re implementing feedback from our graduates for the second iteration of the program and hope to enroll up to 22 student participants this April.” Participants in the Oct. 15, 2020 to Feb. 26, 2021 session completed eight online courses through RRU PCS in the pilot program. Content from the program included courses such as: Collective Leadership, Digital Literacy, Microsoft Office Fundamentals, Project Management, Operations Management, Data Management, Proposal Writing and Business Communications. Métis citizens from all over the province are eligible to attend the pilot program. Going forward, each course instructor will be implementing student feedback and amending content to ensure participants are set-up for success in the workplace. The project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre and is valued at $1.3 million. “The purpose of our program is to empower Métis citizens with an online delivery format where participants can upskill or retrain in a program that values their culture,” said Brigham. “My team is constantly working together to ensure there’s continuous improvement applied to the PPA Program across the board. We have welcomed Métis elders and guest speakers during the pilot and offer our instructional team, as well as program participants, cultural workshops while we strive to build a culturally inclusive program and prepare our students for success in the workforce.” Graduates from the first iteration of the program are currently working with a career advisor to practice interviewing skills, revamp their resumes and identify employment opportunities. Support for graduates through the career advisor will be ongoing, and is available to all program participants. The second cohort is scheduled to begin on April 12, 2021 and a session for the third cohort is currently being planned for September of 2021. Métis citizens interested in applying for the program can contact Brigham at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer
ANHCORAGE, Alaska — A highly transmissible coronavirus variant originally traced to Brazil has been discovered in Alaska. The variant was found in a specimen of an Anchorage resident who developed COVID-19 symptoms, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The person had no known travel history. It’s the sixth case of the variant found in five U.S. states, officials said. Dr. Joe McLaughlin, an epidemiologist with the state health department, said there is evidence to suggest the P.1 variant is more transmissible than the original virus and that its mutations also “appear to change the antigenic profile of the virus.” That means it can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated. It’s also troublesome that the person in the Alaska case has no known travel history. “That does make it more concerning,” he told the newspaper. “So we are trying to do a thorough epidemiological investigation to figure out where the person actually got infected from.” The person ate at an Anchorage restaurant with at least one other person in late January and didn’t wear a mask. The infected person developed symptoms four days later and tested positive on Feb. 8 There is at least one person who had close contact with the infected person. The state has had two cases of people with the coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom. “COVID is still circulating,” McLaughlin said, adding that more variant cases will likely be detected even as cases overall continue to decline. “We really want people to continue following all the mitigation strategies,” McLaughlin said. “There’s a reasonably high probability that the infection may have incurred while the person was eating at a restaurant with another person, so we just want to make sure people continue to stay within their social bubbles.” Alaska reported 58 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 55,560. The state has reported 287 deaths. Alaska has administered 232,811 doses of vaccine. Of those, 89,147 have been second doses. Alaska’s total population is about 731,000. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The spirit of cross-border co-operation is lingering as Canada's environment minister talks climate change priorities with presidential envoy John Kerry. Jonathan Wilkinson says he expects Canada and the United States to push each other to reach more ambitious climate targets as they work together over the next few months. Today's conversation follows a virtual meeting Tuesday between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Joe Biden. The two leaders vowed to move "in lockstep" in a shared North American effort to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Biden says their overall shared goal is to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Wilkinson says Canada hopes to set a new target for emissions cuts by 2030 — somewhere between 31 and 40 per cent of 2005 levels — before Biden's April 22 climate summit. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
The County of Grande Prairie voted to contribute up to $104,000 Monday toward the first stage of a new Beaverlodge health complex. The project is currently seeking a P3 partner to supply capital and expertise. Consultancy commenced in April 2020 and will continue through to this fall, said Jeff Johnston, Beaverlodge chief administrative officer (CAO). Costs of that component are expected to be approximately $208,000, according to county administration. The county’s contribution will go toward that; Beaverlodge will supply the remaining $104,000, said Johnston. “This is very important to the west county and even to the county as a whole, because of the amount of emergency room access given to the whole region,” county Coun. Bob Marshall said during Monday’s meeting. “It’s a very worthy project and much needed for the west county,” reeve Leanne Beaupre added. “We’ve been advocating for it for as long as I’ve been on council.” “The relationship with the county, particularly on this project, is integral to the success of realizing a new health complex,” Johnston told Town & Country News. The Town of Beaverlodge established the Mountview Health Complex Committee (MHCC) last spring to pursue hospital replacement utilizing private funds through the company P3 Capital Partners. The health complex would be built on the 22 acres donated to the town by the McFarlane family approximately a decade ago. Once complete, the facility would be leased to Alberta Health Services. Beaverlodge mayor Gary Rycroft is an MHCC member along with town councillors Gena Jones and Judy Kokotilo-Bekkerus. The county appointed two councillors to MHCC, Peter Harris and Bob Marshall. The town issued a RFP titled “Mountview Health Care Campus” to the provincial online resource Alberta Purchasing Connection in January. The RFP is open until March 15. According to county administration, the RFP requests an operator or capital partner to contribute capital and expertise. The private partner would complete a business plan, determine a schedule for to the project and create a plan for operations, according to administration. Depending on the proposal, the developer may then “operate” the building in carrying out maintenance while AHS leases, or Alberta Health may maintain the building, Rycroft told the News in January. Coun. Marshall’s motion to provide half of the consultant costs up to $104,000 from the municipal infrastructure reserve was carried unanimously. After fall 2021 he said the partner and MHCC will move forward with a design. If a partner isn’t found as a result of the RFP, Johnston said the project will be reviewed. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
En dépit de leur forte teneur en graisses, et à condition de ne pas en abuser, les fruits à coque ne font pas grossir. Mais surtout, s’agissant de notre santé, ils ont bien des atouts…
(Scott Neufeld/CBC - image credit) Alberta Health Services has discontinued legal action against a central Alberta cafe owner who operated for weeks in defiance of public health orders intended to curb the spread of COVID-19. With restrictions in-person dining now lifted, AHS is no longer pursuing compliance against the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, a hamlet 70 kilometres northeast of Red Deer. The Whistle Stop has been at the centre of a high-profile legal battle over enforcement and a public debate over the strains that pandemic-related health orders have placed on small business. Cafe owner Christopher Scott had been issued a court order after he refused to close the restaurant's dining room, contravening a ban on in-person dining introduced in December as cases across the province soared. 'No order to enforce' In a statement Wednesday, AHS spokesperson Kerry Williamson said health inspectors no longer need the courts to enforce compliance. "The order was no longer relevant, given the restrictions on dine-in service have been lifted," Williamson said. "There's essentially no order to enforce." Scott still faces two charges under the Public Health Act for contravening an order from a medical officer of health, RCMP said Wednesday. He is scheduled to appear in court in Stettler on April 22. Under the act, a first-time conviction can result in a fine of up to $100,000. Convictions for subsequent offences carry fines of up to $500,000. Scott began serving dine-in customers in late January. For weeks, the cafe operated in contravention of public health restrictions. AHS issued a public health order to Scott on Jan. 22, closing the restaurant to sit-down business. Christopher Scott, the owner of Whistle Stop Cafe, says he wants his concerns about the public health restrictions to become part of the public record. He plans to contest his charges in court. Despite the order and numerous warnings from health inspectors and RCMP, Scott refused to comply. He said opening was the only way to save his ailing business, and urged other struggling restaurants to follow suit. In response, AHS applied for an emergency injunction to force the closure and cease in-person dining. A judge in Red Deer granted the injunction on Feb. 3, citing the potential harm of contravening public health orders. Five days later, the Alberta government relaxed some restrictions. Dining rooms across the province were allowed to reopen. Scott will be reimbursed for some of the costs he incurred during litigation, Williamson said. "AHS agreed to pay costs which are commonly awarded on a discontinuance to cover costs that they have incurred to defend against the application," he said. "AHS will continue to uphold all current public health orders and restrictions, with the goal of protecting the public." Owner 'looking forward' to court battle Scott said he considered trying to continue the legal battle so his concerns about the restrictions — and the role of Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health — would become part of the public record. "AHS hasn't provided me evidence that the restrictions they imposed in the first place were valid in the first place," he said Wednesday. "The order comes from an unelected official who is largely unaccountable for that action and doesn't suffer the consequences of the restrictions that she imposes. Anytime an unelected official can direct the government to infringe on any kind of rights, that's a problem." Scott plans to contest the charges he faces under the Public Health Act and is looking forward to his day in court. He said he doubts that provincial health officials had grounds to enforce the rules they had imposed. More than a dozen other restaurants across the province also opened their dining rooms, risking steep fines to serve patrons. Charges have also been laid against an Edmonton-area pastor whose church continued to hold Sunday services despite enforcement orders from AHS.
CALGARY — The CEO of Crescent Point Energy Corp. says the company is poised to benefit from rising oil prices after two years of transformation through selling assets, cutting debt and reducing costs. The Calgary-based company's move last week to buy producing light oil shale assets in Alberta for $900 million from Royal Dutch Shell reflects that confidence, Craig Bryksa said. "We have built an asset portfolio that is well-positioned to benefit from a rising price environment given our light oil weighting and high netbacks," he said on a Wednesday conference call with analysts to discuss the company's fourth-quarter results. "We expect to generate $375 (million) to $600 million of excess cash flow this year at US$50 to US$60 WTI (West Texas Intermediate) prices." The company plans to devote most of that cash flow to paying down debt, he said, adding that it will evaluate increasing returns to shareholders over time. Shell is to receive $700 million in cash and 50 million Crescent Point shares under the deal and will wind up owning an 8.6 per cent stake in Crescent Point if it closes as expected in April. The companies say the assets are producing around 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from more than 270 wells. About 57 per cent of production is condensate, highly valued as a diluent blended with oilsands bitumen to allow it to flow in a pipeline. Analysts said the company beat their fourth-quarter estimates on production and average selling prices although both measures fell compared with the same period in 2019. "CPG closed the chapter on a highly successful year in its business transformation toward becoming a more sustainable producer generating significant free cash flow, which should be complemented by the upcoming (Shell) acquisition," Desjardins analyst Chris MacCulloch wrote in a report. Crescent Point reported producing 111,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, about 90 per cent crude oil and petroleum liquids, in the fourth quarter, down from 145,000 boe/d in the fourth quarter of 2019. It attributed the drop to capital spending cuts enacted early in 2020 as oil prices fell. It's average realized fourth-quarter oil price was $49.40 per barrel, down from $65.27 in the year-earlier period. It reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $51 million or 10 cents per share, compared with a loss of $932 million or $1.73 per share in the same period of 2019. On Wednesday, it confirmed 2021 production guidance released with the Shell announcement last week of about 134,000 boe/d, as well as a 2021 capital budget of about $600 million (both assuming the deal is closed). That's up from Crescent Point's average output of 121,600 boe/d during 2020 and down from actual 2020 capital spending of $655 million. The company reported net debt of about $2.1 billion at year-end, paid down by over $615 million during the year. It said it also removed about $60 million in budgeted operating expenses in 2020. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:CPG) Dan Healing, The Canadian Press
(Evan Vucci/The Associated Press - image credit) U.S. President Joe Biden has agreed to work with Canada to protect the North's Porcupine caribou herd — marking another shift away from the policies and priorities of Biden's predecessor. In a joint statement issued after their meeting on Tuesday, Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said they "recognized the ecological importance of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge [ANWR]" in Alaska. The refuge is home to the calving grounds of the Porcupine herd. The two leaders also "agreed to work together to help safeguard the Porcupine caribou herd calving grounds that are invaluable to the Gwich'in and Inuvialuit peoples' culture and subsistence," according to the statement. The fate of the refuge on Alaska's North Slope has been the subject of debate for decades. The refuge's remote coastal plain is believed to contain billions of barrels of oil and Republican leaders in the state have long pushed for the area to be opened up to development. Indigenous groups and environmentalists in Canada and the U.S., meanwhile, have fought to maintain its protected status. The Canadian and Yukon governments have also opposed any development there. In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, caribou from the Porcupine Caribou Herd migrate onto the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeast Alaska. President Donald Trump had said he "really didn't care" about opening a portion of the refuge to oil drilling but insisted it be included in 2017 tax legislation at the urging of others. Addressing fellow Republicans in 2018, Trump said a friend told him that every Republican president since Ronald Reagan wanted to get oil drilling approved in the refuge. "I really didn't care about it, and then when I heard that everybody wanted it — for 40 years, they've been trying to get it approved, and I said, 'Make sure you don't lose ANWR,"' Trump said. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Alaska held the first lease sale for the refuge's coastal plain on Jan. 6, and the issuance of leases was not announced publicly until weeks later, on Trump's last full day in office. Temporary moratorium on leasing Biden has opposed drilling in the region, and on his first day in office he announced a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in ANWR. Tuesday's statement from Biden and Trudeau signals a move toward providing permanent protections, which Biden called for during the presidential campaign. In a statement on Wednesday, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm commended Biden and Trudeau for agreeing to cooperate on ANWR. The Yukon First Nation relies on the Porcupine caribou for sustenance, and the herd has spiritual significance to the Gwich'in. Vuntut Gwitchin Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm, testifying in 2019 in Washington before a U.S. congressional subcommittee, on protecting ANWR. Tizya-Tramm commended Biden and Trudeau on Wednesday for agreeing to cooperate on ANWR. "Since 1988, upon our elders' direction, the Gwich'in Nation have worked tirelessly to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; the beating heart of an ancient ecosystem," Tizya-Tramm said in a written statement. "Hai choo' to Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden for making protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge part of a renewed U.S. – Canada Partnership."
(Matthew Mukash - image credit) A community caribou hunt organized in northern Quebec by some Innu hunters from Matimekush-Lac John, near Schefferville, Que., has some Chisasibi tallymen and Cree government officials worried. The hunt happened on lands west of Schefferville and east of Chisasibi, northwest of Brisay, in northern Quebec between the end of January and mid-February. The area is more than 1,800 kilometres northeast of Montreal. About 280 caribou from the Leaf River herd were reportedly harvested by the group, a Cree investigation found, according to Cree Grand Chief Abel Bosum. "We are not against hunting of caribou by the Innu of that community, but only that protocols were not followed, where those people whose trap lines where the hunt took place were not informed beforehand," said Bosum in Cree, adding he was also concerned so many caribou were harvested from a vulnerable herd. We are not against hunting of caribou by the Innu. - Abel Bosum, Cree Nation Grand Chief One of the traplines where the hunt took place is the responsibility of Cree tallyman Bobby Neacappo. He said he was also disappointed in how the hunt was carried out. "I feel that the hunt was not respectful, in the amount of caribou that were taken," said Neacappo in Cree. Tallymen are what Cree land stewards are called. Hunting restrictions in place In 2018, the Cree Nation Government put voluntary limits on the harvesting of the Leaf River herd. The sport hunt on the Leaf River herd has been closed since 2018. The government also banned the Indigenous hunt of the George River caribou herd. Bosum said he is aware of how important the caribou is for Innu people. "We understand there is a need ... the Innu people [have].… [The caribou hunt] that's their way of life, and we respect that and we acknowledge that, " said Bosum, who added that Cree leadership have sent a letter expressing their concerns over the hunt to Réal McKenzie, Chief of Matimekush-Lac John. Caribou near Radisson, Que., in 2019. "We need to maintain that respect among nations and also the respect for our trappers and our tallymen ... who depend on the wildlife," said Bosum, in English. McKenzie did not respond to requests for an interview. The population of the Leaf River herd stands at around 190,000, down from 600,000 20 years ago. The 2020 George River Caribou census estimates the population of the herd to be 8,100 animals, which is up from historic lows in 2018, but drastically down from population highs of 750,000 animals, according to figures from Newfoundland and Labrador. Overlapping territory The area where this recent hunt happened is at the far eastern regions of Cree territory in an area where the Innu say they also traditionally hunted. It is territory that is covered by the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement, signed in 1975, to which the Innu were not signatories. ''There [are] certainly areas that have been considered overlaps between the [James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement] signatories and the Innu," said Bosum, in English. "There's been a number of attempts in the past to try to resolve these overlaps. But nothing has come out of it." Bosum said Cree leadership is also asking for a meeting with Quebec government officials. "To discuss both what happened, but more importantly to see what are the options going forward," said Bosum. Leaf River caribou near the Cree community of Chisasibi on Nov. 16, 2020. Cree officials say conservation efforts are working, but now is not the time to over-harvest. Chisasibi tallyman Bobby Neacappo said in the past, the hunts by the Cree, the Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach and Innu of Matimekush-Lac John in that area, were an "occasion, where people were happy to see each other." "In those days, there was always a leader that the hunting group would listen to. This was always how it was in the past," said Neacappo, in Cree. Neacappo said he didn't want the harvested caribou taken away from the hunters, but to have them stay with hunters from Matimekush-Lac John. "Our community is in the process of addressing this with the Innu community and CNG (Cree Nation Government), and I'll wait for that to happen, because this should not happen again."
(Yvon Theriault/CBC - image credit) If bylaw enforcement follows the trend of other municipalities that have passed anti-idling bylaws, Kitchener likely won't hand out many $75 tickets to drivers for idling their vehicles for more than three minutes. But Gabriella Kalapos, executive director of Clean Air Partnership, says the new bylaw passed by city council on Monday can still be an effective tool to get people to turn off their engines while they sit and wait. "It provides that verification that this is something that is not something to be … encouraged," she said. "Really, one of the key things we found with all of the work that we've done with the municipalities is education is one thing, bylaw is another thing. And education and the bylaw [together], that's the better option." The Toronto-based Clean Air Partnership works with municipalities on improving air quality and climate action projects. Kalapos says in the research the group has done, it found most municipalities do not actively enforce their anti-idling bylaws. Instead, it's largely complaint-based investigations. Because of that, not many people are fined because either the bylaw officer arrives too late or the person drives away before they're found to be contravening the bylaw. Instead, she says it's important for municipalities to educate drivers and focus on the right people. That could mean putting up signs near daycares and schools, near COVID-19 testing sites or grocery stores and talking to drivers who might be sitting and waiting. "A lot of people end up idling, not because they really want to put more up in the air, but they just don't think about it," she said. "We've got a lot on our plate. We've got many other things to consider. Are we just sitting there waiting? We want to listen to the radio. We keep the engine running. We just don't even think about it." Education 'the best tool' Shayne Turner, director of municipal enforcement services for the City of Waterloo, acknowledged the city's bylaw officers hand out about five tickets a year under the bylaw. It's because a bylaw officer has to stand and watch a vehicle idle for three minutes before handing out a ticket. Cambridge communications staff said in the past two years, no tickets have been issued under their anti-idling bylaw, which allows vehicles to idle for just one minute. "Education is likely the best tool to encourage reduced idling," Turner said in an email. "We will be looking at a refreshed education program this spring." Kitchener Coun. Margaret Johnston brought the idling issue to council after she was approached by a resident who was upset about trucks idling near her home and she realized the city didn't have a bylaw. She says for her, the education component of the bylaw is the most important part. "If we can make people think about how their actions are contributing to climate change, that, to me, is the most important piece and to have them think about what those actions mean and change those," she said. Other positive initiatives The new bylaw is also part of Kitchener's community climate action plan. Kalapos says in recent years, her group has seen more municipalities focusing on what they can do to make a difference for climate change, and that's encouraging. She says many municipalities are creating corporate energy plans, which includes determining how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions locally, how to use waste to create energy and how to create net-zero emission plans. Municipalities are also looking at how to reduce emissions with their fleet, be it transit or staff vehicles. "Another area where I'd say municipalities are also improving upon is in green development standards. So improving the sustainability either how much precipitation is dealt with on site or the energy performance of the buildings," she said. "The other one that I find super exciting is we are finally … building up support for building energy retrofits within existing buildings," she added. She noted every municipality has a plan to put a home energy efficiency retrofit financing program in place. "But we haven't been able to make a lot of progress. These programs are quite expensive and they're challenging to deliver," she noted, but added recent funding from the federal government means it may be easier for that kind of program become a reality. "Right now, it's only Toronto that has it in place, but there's going to be more municipalities in the coming years, which is super exciting." Focus remains on climate despite COVID Despite the pandemic taking people's attention away from other matters, including the environment, Kalapos says she's encouraged to see many municipalities haven't completely lost focus on the issue. "I was really worried when COVID hit because I was though, oh, here we go again," she said. Just before the 2008 financial crisis, she noted Al Gore had just come out with his movie, Inconvenient Truth and there was a "really good critical mass of people paying attention to climate." When the financial crisis hit, people were distracted and environmental issues were pushed to the back burner. But this time, she says young people in particular deserve a lot of the credit for driving action on climate change and ensuring it's not forgotten. "I can't say enough about that and that we're seeing some great momentum taking place," she said. "But I think one of the things that happened that COVID made us realize as a humanity, which the financial crisis didn't seem to do to us, was the vulnerability of humanity to nature," Kalapos said. "I think we've kind of gotten a little bit humbled and I think that's helped people realize the implications of what climate impact could mean for society as a whole and that we can and must do better."
COVID vaccinations have begun at local lodges and all other seniors 75 and older can now book a COVID-19 vaccine shot, said Steve Madden, Grande Spirit general manager. Eligibility was expanded to everyone outside lodges born in 1946 or before as of Feb. 24, with availability based on supply. “We’re excited, and it’s good to see the supply catch up to the number of people waiting,” Madden said. He said Grande Spirit is aware of many relieved seniors and families. Seniors’ vaccinations began at Pioneer Lodge in Grande Prairie Wednesday morning, followed by Heritage Lodge and Wild Rose Manor later that day, he said. Vaccinations at Clairmont’s Lakeview facility will take place all today, Madden said. Amisk Court vaccinations are scheduled for March 3, and he said he is hopeful the supply will allow these immunizations to go forward. Residents will be contacted by their care teams, according to Alberta Health Services. All other seniors can book an appointment for a vaccine through AHS, by calling 811 or going to albertahealthservices.ca, though some early registrants Wednesday morning experienced system crashes due to heavy traffic. Beaverlodge resident Eleanor Lord said she began trying to book an appointment 8 a.m. Wednesday morning and at press time hadn’t succeeded. “The online system has crashed and 811 is continuously busy,” Lord said. She said they’ll keep trying, but she’s wondering if vaccines will run out. Family members can book a shot on behalf of seniors but must provide the senior’s Alberta Health Care number and date of birth, according to AHS. The continuation of the vaccine rollout adds seniors to a growing list of eligible recipients. Others include health-care workers in COVID-19 units and emergency departments. Vaccinations of elders began at Horse Lake First Nation this month, chief Ramona Horseman told Town & Country News last week. More than 29,000 long-term care residents have received two doses of vaccine to date, according to the Alberta government. The ongoing first phase of immunizations will be followed by a second possibly beginning in April, depending on vaccine supply. The vaccine will be offered to everyone 65 to 74, First Nations and Métis people 60 to 64, and supportive-living facility staff who haven’t already been immunized, according to the government. They will be followed by everyone 18 to 64 with “high-risk underlying health conditions,” then staff and residents of living facilities like homeless shelters, and then everyone 50 to 64 and indigenous people 35 to 49. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller says allocating COVID-19 vaccine doses for Indigenous people in urban areas through the provinces is faster and more effective than delivery directed from Ottawa. He says he will be working with provinces and territories to ensure they prioritize Indigenous people in their immunization efforts, even as the National Association of Friendship Centres and other advocates call for more direct federal involvement.
(Robert Short/CBC - image credit) Halifax Regional Police say a diner in a McDonald's in Dartmouth was taken to hospital after a vehicle smashed into the restaurant Wednesday afternoon. The vehicle went through the wall and a window of the restaurant, located on Windmill Road near the Burnside business park, around 1:15 p.m. One person in the restaurant was struck and taken to hospital. Const. John MacLeod said he does not know the extent of their injuries, but the victim is expected to recover. In a news release issued Wednesday night, Halifax Regional Police said a 26-year-old Dartmouth man is facing charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving. The man will appear in Dartmouth provincial court at a later date. It didn't take long for a tow truck to take the vehicle away. The driver was arrested. A tow truck was on the scene shortly after the incident and towed away the silver car. An employee at McDonald's told CBC News she was not allowed to comment on the situation. She said the restaurant was closed but would reopen Wednesday evening. MORE TOP STORIES
“Speak, Okinawa,” by Elizabeth Miki Brina (Knopf) Elizabeth Miki Brina’s “Speak, Okinawa” is a masterful memoir in which Brina examines the complex relationship she has with her interracial parents. Brina’s father, white and American, met her mother, who is from the island of Okinawa, while he was stationed there on a US military base. The two settled in the United States, where Brina’s mother spent decades feeling lonely and out of place. Brina grew up feeling close to her father and resenting her mother. Desperate to feel wholly American, she pushed her mother away, embarrassed of her accent and overall inability to truly assimilate. In this investigation of her childhood, Brina begins to see things differently. She looks at life from her mother’s perspective, and now, she starts to understand the depth of her pain, pain she endured from leaving behind all she knew and loved, and also the pain of calling occupied land home. “Speak, Okinawa” is both a mediation on Brina’s own family as well as a powerful history of the United States occupation of Okinawa, where it maintains a massive military presence to this day. Brina’s writing is crisp, captivating and profound. She is vulnerable, raw, and relatable, and her stories will no doubt cause readers to reflect on their relationships with their own parents. As educational as it is entertaining, “Speak, Okinawa” is well worth the read. —- Molly Sprayregen can be reached at her site. Molly Sprayregen, The Associated Press
TERRACE, B.C. — The family of a pregnant Indigenous woman who alleges she was turned away from a northern British Columbia hospital and later gave birth to a stillborn baby says a review of the incident must be made public. Sarah Morrison has alleged she was denied maternity services at Kitimat General Hospital on Jan. 27 and had to travel to another facility 65 kilometres away in Terrace, where she delivered a stillborn infant. Dustin Gaucher, Morrison's uncle, says the results of a review by the Northern Health Authority must be released publicly to prevent it from "hiding the truth," adding that no one in his family including Morrison has been contacted to assist with the probe. Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the review shortly after Morrison's family accused the Kitimat hospital of turning her away and alleged anti-Indigenous racism. Northern Health says in a statement that the findings won't be made public because provincial legislation prohibits release of results and recommendations from quality of care reviews. A spokeswoman for the health authority says the legislation is meant to promote open discussion and full participation with health-care professionals in order to determine if any changes should be made to future practices. Gaucher says if the review results are not released, little will come of it except his family will "relive our trauma." "This review is just that. The people out there want answers, but nobody gets any answers," he said in an interview. Morrison and her partner have filed a statement of claim in B.C. Supreme Court alleging the Northern Health authority, several doctors, Kitimat General Hospital and Mills Memorial Hospital used racial stereotypes and failed to provide emergency care. None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statements of defence have been filed. Northern Health said in a statement on Feb. 12 that it could not comment on the case for privacy reasons, but its board has endorsed a review of allegations of racism in health care at its hospitals. "We do wish to express that the loss of a child is tragic and our hearts go out to the family." Its statement said the review will seek guidance from Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.'s former representative for children and youth, who wrote a report about anti-Indigenous racism in the province's health-care system. Mills Memorial has said the health authority would respond on its behalf. None of the others named in the lawsuit could be reached for comment. (CFTK) This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2021. The Canadian Press
A new podcast recently launched by an Indigenous storyteller focuses on reconnecting with his cultural roots and exploring how it informs his identity. Jeremy Ratt, a former resident of the Columbia Valley, self-identifies as Métis with ancestors that are of both Woods-Cree and Caucasian descent in his newly released Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) - B.C. / Radio Canada podcast entitled Pieces which was announced on Feb. 18, 2021. “I always knew that more Indigenous stories needed to be told and I’m so proud of how Pieces turned out. Podcasting is an intimate and personal medium and really suits the themes of identity and self I explored in Pieces,” said Ratt, the host of Pieces in a recent press release. “The stories are authentic and I feel the podcast will resonate with anyone figuring out who they are in our complex world.” Ratt has released several episodes on the CBC podcast, ranging from cultural reclamation to racism, stereotypes and shame as well as the burdens of intergenerational trauma. He believes these personal stories are a way of sharing his identity with other Canadians and may contribute to his own personal growth in the long-run. The 19-year-old Métis boy focuses on exploring his identity through his platform as a CBC host on a newly published series. Ratt is a self-proclaimed writer and musician with a passion for broadcasting. In fact, Ratt wrote and recorded the intro song that plays at the beginning and end of each episode in his podcast. “I have had the pleasure of working on multiple podcasts at CBC British Columbia that reflect contemporary Canada, we are always on the lookout for interesting stories and diverse voices,” says Shiral Tobin, Director, Journalism and Programming CBC, British Columbia. “When Jeremy first came to us with the idea for Pieces,” we knew it was a story that needed to be told. We are humbled and proud Jeremy trusted CBC British Columbia to help tell this deeply personal story.” Pieces is available online at CBC Listen, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Breanne Massey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Columbia Valley Pioneer