With meteorologist Jessie Uppal.
With meteorologist Jessie Uppal.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
P.E.I. is moving out of red phase pandemic restrictions Thursday morning. The red phase was implemented at midnight Monday in response to a weekend outbreak that saw the number of active cases on the Island reach an all-time high. It included closing schools and non-essential businesses. But extensive testing found no evidence of widespread community transmission, so the red phase will end at midnight Wednesday. P.E.I. will return to circuit breaker restrictions, which were first implemented in late November and have had ongoing modifications. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison outlined the new rules during a briefing Wednesday. Schools will reopen and daycares can operate at full capacity. Households can gather, inside or outside, with up to six other people. Those people should remain consistent. Personal gatherings should be as small as possible. Restaurant dining rooms can reopen. No more than 50 people will be allowed in a dining room, tables limited to six people, and they will close at 10 p.m. Movie theatres, concerts and worship services may resume, with no more than 50 people in attendance. Weddings and funerals may also have up to 50 people, but no receptions are permitted. Gyms, fitness centres, museums and libraries may operate at 50 per cent capacity. Retail stores, craft fairs, and markets can operate at 50 per cent capacity. Entrances and exits must be monitored. Rehearsals and individual team practices are allowed within organized gathering limits but games, tournaments and competitions are not allowed. Personal services may operate on appointment basis, provided masks are worn at all times by everyone. Long-term care homes will have three partners in care and six designated visitors for residents. Pending any further announcements, these restrictions will remain in place until 8 a.m., March 14. More from CBC P.E.I.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today announced more than $518 million in funding for research projects at colleges, universities and hospitals across the country. The funding will finance 102 "state-of-the-art" projects at 35 post-secondary institutions and research hospitals covering a variety of subjects, from vaccine production and climate change to smart cities and Indigenous reconciliation, the Canada Foundation for Innovation said in a news release. Some of the funding will go toward projects aimed at speeding up domestic vaccine production. The Liberal government has faced criticism over what critics say were insufficient efforts to invest in domestic COVID-19 vaccine research and manufacturing capacity early in the pandemic. The Canada Foundation for Innovation will provide the money, which will cover 40 per cent of the costs of eligible infrastructure for each project. The projects being funded include: A public vaccine production program to build and test vaccines, launch startup companies and support existing ones, led by researchers at the University Hospital of Quebec and Laval University ($1.8 million). A project to deploy sensors in the North Atlantic Ocean to collect information about ocean warming and carbon capture, led by researchers at Dalhousie University ($3.5 million). A data analysis study of more than four million pregnant women and children to better understand the effects of medications on expectant mothers and kids, to be led by researchers at the University of Montreal and the pediatric hospital CHU Sainte-Justine ($1.1 million). A 'smart campus' testing lab at Ryerson University to allow researchers to test new smart building, security, lighting, construction and energy efficient technologies ($1.9 million). A digital archive of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation's records, to be built by the University of Manitoba ($2.4 million). Each project was chosen through competitions held by the the CIF's Innovation Fund which take place every two to three years and involve a rigorous review process, the release said. At a press conference today, Innovation, Science and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said the funding will help fund research facilities, lab equipment and research databases. "Our Canadian researchers need these kinds of tools to turn their bold ideas into reality," said Champagne.
SoftBank-backed British fund Greensill Capital is in talks to sell large parts of its business after losing the backing of two asset managers who underpinned parts of its multi-billion dollar supply chain financing model. WHAT IS SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE? Supply chain financing, often also referred to as reverse factoring, is a method by which companies can get cash from banks and funds such as Greensill Capital to pay their suppliers without having to dip into their working capital.
A King Township artist’s work is part of the charge, improving awareness for our province’s “sheroes.” Schomberg’s Giovannina Colalillo has applied her talents to promotional art for the Ontario Federation of Labour. The OFL’s March 8 Project has been supporting women’s organizations across Ontario as they rise, resist, and organize for equality across our province. This year, as the project enters its 11th year, they are honouring this work with the theme: “Sheroes Persist.” According to the organization, it has been an unprecedented past year for everyone around the globe, especially women, who are predominantly front-line workers, and the proverbial grease in more economic engines. The image includes a fist, which represents fighting for the rights of women from all backgrounds. The rose represents the rise from a special poem during the suffrage movement. “Bread and Roses” is a political slogan as well as the name of an associated poem and song. It originated from a speech given by American women’s suffrage activist Helen Todd. A line in that speech about “bread for all, and roses too,” inspired the title of the poem Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim. The poem was first published in The American Magazine in December 1911. The phrase is commonly associated with the successful textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, between January and March 1912, now often referred to as the “Bread and Roses strike.” The slogan pairing bread and roses, appealing for both fair wages and dignified conditions, found resonance as transcending “the sometimes tedious struggles for marginal economic advances” in the “light of labor struggles as based on striving for dignity and respect,” as Robert J. S. Ross wrote in 2013. “I have incorporated a rose in all the posters and pin for the past 11 years. Its like finding Waldo.” She said she’s thrilled with the outcome. “I love working with the Ontario Federation for 11 years,” she said. The reaction so far has been very positive and the images will be released for the International Women’s Day celebrations. Her work also contains something more, a poignant message. “As an illustrator, I create images that deliver a message. I use my art medium to convey messages that are important to me such as anti-racism, women rights, etc.” Colalillo pointed out she recently refused a big illustration project for a vaping company owned by a huge U.S. tobacco company, because she believes these products are not good for one’s health and that they aim their advertising towards young people. “My illustration designs would have had cancer causing health warnings across the top of them. My mother died of cancer at a young age.” Colalillo is continually quoting on various freelance illustration and design projects. She recently quoted on an book illustration project. For more, visit her website at http://www.giovannina.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org Mark Pavilons, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, King Weekly Sentinel
TORONTO — The world's most beloved Beagle is carving out a new kennel in Canada. After debuting "Snoopy in Space" on Apple TV Plus in late 2019, Halifax-headquartered media company WildBrain and its mostly all-Canadian team are now digging deeper into the late Charles M. Schulz's comic strips with the newly launched "The Snoopy Show" and upcoming Peanuts gang specials for the streaming service. Toronto-based showrunner Mark Evestaff says the projects are the first major Peanuts content to come out since "The Peanuts Movie" in 2015, and seemingly the first to be made in Canada. The creators have worked closely with the Schulz family and his Creative Associates company in the U.S. to respect his classic works as the franchise establishes roots on this side of the border. That's why viewers won't see Snoopy and the gang using cellphones, for instance, or look much different than the simple line drawing of the comics. "It was all inspired by going back to the strip and pulling out some stories and then talking about them," he said in an interview. "And then of course, there's artistic licence. "As storytellers ourselves and fans, we want to remain loyal to the world that Mr. Schulz created. Of course we had to fill in some blanks, but it really was, 'How would Mr. Schulz have approached this?' And trying to be faithful to that world and to the characters." WildBrain, formerly DHX Media, became the majority owner of the Peanuts brand in 2017 and took a team to the Creatives Associates headquarters in Santa Rosa, Calif., to discuss ideas and Schulz's wishes for the future of the franchise. "Charles Schulz's office is still there and it's still set up," Evestaff said. "You can still see the worn-out places where he would have drawn these characters. Some of his pen nibs are there and some of the ink is there, and they preserved it. There's a wonderful museum there that's separate, and it was really humbling but very inspirational in terms of making the show." As per Schulz's wishes, the team agreed to stick to tradition and not include modern technology in the Peanuts world of the animated family series. "Snoopy still types on his old typewriter, they still use the old-school wired phones," Evestaff said, noting viewers may also see an old TV here and there. "It also keeps the kids outside all the time, so we didn't even really find any instances where we needed to have some of the other technology." Both "The Snoopy Show," which launched last month, and "Snoopy in Space," which has been renewed for a second season, were developed and produced by WildBrain’s animation studio in Vancouver. The voice artists are based in Toronto and have been recording there during the pandemic. Terry McGurrin voices Snoopy and Rob Tinkler performs his yellow feathered pal Woodstock. To make the characters' sounds, which range from Snoopy's signature "bleah" to Woodstock's high-pitched chirps, McGurrin and Tinkler use "a bit of audio magic" and a lot of physicality that's "pretty weird" to witness in person, Evestaff said with a laugh. "We bring them into the booth and they do ridiculous things with their voices, and then we treat them and play that back," he said. "If you were to walk in, you would certainly be surprised at what you're hearing. They embody these characters, and you see it." Canadian composer Jeff Morrow creates the show's score, staying true to its jazz origins and letting the musicians improvise a bit, which was also done on the original Peanuts specials. "It is something that was important to us, was important to Jeff, and has made a huge difference in the show in terms of just having that free-flow feel in the show that is characteristically Peanuts," said Evestaff. Some of the Canadian creators are based in Los Angeles but jumped at the chance to work the series because it's such a prestigious brand, Evestaff said. In "The Snoopy Show," viewers see the Peanuts world from the perspective of the dynamic dog's overactive imagination and flights of fancy — from his persona as a flying ace, to that of a lawyer and Joe Cool. As per the original Peanuts animation, when Snoopy is pretending to be a flying ace on top of his dog house, viewers never see the bottom of it, so it doesn't ruin the fantasy. Also like the original, the four weather seasons are an important part of the storytelling and design, which made Canada a perfect destination for the creation of such scenes. "Being Canadian, there are lots of nods to hockey and figure skating and winter sports and snow and winter activities that we're proud of, because it's something that we know we can represent and be authentic," Evestaff said. "If someone's taking a hockey shot, whether it's a snap shot or a slapshot, we are going to make sure that we're going to get it right or at least close anyways, but that we know the difference and that we're able to portray that. We feel quite at home with it." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
The District of Taylor is taking the wheel on the North Peace Rural Roads Taskforce, drafting a memorandum of understanding for a new coalition. The taskforce was dissolved in January after the 2020 contract was completed. Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser the municipality is prepared to host a new contract during PRRD’s Feb. 11 board meeting. The MOU outlines a coalition between Taylor, Electoral Area B, and Hudson’s Hope, and has been renamed as such, replacing the taskforce. “Our council wanted to make sure there was a commitment by all of the potential participants, and so this MOU was drafted to pull together an agreement between us that would allow this to go forward,” said Fraser. “We’re hoping the regional board will endorse this MOU so we can proceed forward with this rural roads taskforce.” He added that securing funding for the taskforce has been a challenge for the PRRD. Together, the three will set new contracts and annual funding. The MOU draft estimates that each local government could contribute between $50,000 to $150,000 per year, but must reach consensus on what is being spent and how. “The North Peace Rural Roads has been doing fantastic work and has been returning to the region, as much or more as we’ve been putting into it,” said Fraser. “Our council wanted to see this proceed. Everybody was trying to figure out a way to continue this and make it work.” Hudson’s Hope Mayor Dave Heiberg says the group has always worked from the ground up, adding that its goal remains lobbying for needed road improvements. “One of the things I think that the board should realize is that this is a grassroots-driven organization,” said Heiberg. “It has gained traction, and we want to keep that momentum.” Dawson Creek Mayor Dale Bumstead says he sees the value of the trio continuing the taskforce, but is concerned with optics of the new coalition. “Shouldn’t it be the Peace River Regional District Rural Roads Taskforce? And shouldn’t it have a strategy aimed at that, on behalf of the whole region, not just one segment?” said Bumstead. “I use that as an observation, not as a criticism of the work.” Director Dan Rose pointed out that the PRRD as a whole could still be on the hook for funding, despite the MOU only including Area B. “If we agree to this as a regional district, we also agree to the funding portion of it. If for some reason it falls out of Area B, the rest of us are responsible for it,” said Rose. “Even at the width and breadth it’s at, it’s a function. And we haven’t asked anybody if they want to fund it yet.” He further added that it could be separated by a resolution through the rural budget committee. Electoral Area B Director Karen Goodings says invitations remain open. “We are certainly open to inviting other members of the board should be interested in joining us. I want to thank Taylor for stepping forward and putting together this MOU,” Goodings said. email@example.com Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News
CARDINAL – The fastest growing hockey league in Eastern Ontario has added another team to the league, this time in Cardinal. The South Grenville Sr. Rangers announced it was accepted into the Eastern Ontario Super Hockey League early last week. “We are excited to build on the hockey traditions in our community and continue to showcase local talent of all ages,” the team said in its February 23rd announcement. The EOSHL began play as a four-team league in the 2019-20 season and is for hockey players age 20 and older still looking to play hockey after their junior eligibility is over. The Sr. Rangers’ announcement comes a week after a franchise was announced in Gananoque and four weeks after the North Dundas Sr. Rockets announced it was joining the league. Team officials said they are hoping to build on local rivalries with other communities, and that the makeup of the league is a positive step in that direction. The Sr. Rangers have not announced a general manager or head coach for the 2021-22 season but are actively recruiting those positions. Unlike minor and junior hockey levels, the EOSHL does not have restrictions on territories or team rights to worry about in signing players. This means former Jr. A, B, or C level players, along with those who have experience in the OHL, NCAA, or U SPORTS leagues can play for teams in the league. League president Mitch Gagne said that the EOSHL is looking to add one more team to balance the league to 12 teams total. “We have a few more areas interested and we hope to have all 12 settled by May 1st so we can enjoy an exciting summer of preparing for the fall for a hopeful start to our league,” Gagne said. One area that will not be joining the EOSHL is Morrisburg. Morrisburg Jr. C Lions. Team general manager Kevin Casselman told The Leader that he is not looking at a team for Morrisburg at this time. “I wish the best of luck to the Rangers and Rockets,” Casselman said. The league plans a 24-game regular season beginning this fall. Other teams in the league include Maxville, Alexandria, West Carleton, Frontenac, Smiths Falls, Pontiac (QC), and Cornwall. Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader
European Union rules on company financial information need to be updated to apply the lessons of the collapse of German payments firm Wirecard, the bloc's securities watchdog said on Wednesday. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said in a report in November there were deficiencies in how Germany's securities and accounting watchdogs cooperated regarding Wirecard, the country's biggest accounting scandal. "ESMA considers that the Wirecard case has shown, once again, that timely and effective enforcement of financial information is paramount to ensure investor protection and confidence in capital markets," ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor said in a letter to the EU's financial services chief Mairead McGuinness published on Wednesday.
CALGARY — Waterous Energy Fund says it has prevailed in its takeover of private junior oilsands producer Osum Oil Sands Corp. It says a total of 45.7 million Osum shares, about 34 per cent of the outstanding total and more than 50 per cent of the shares the fund didn't already own, were deposited to its offer of $3 per share by the expiry date. The fund says it intends to buy the remaining shares within four months. Osum leaders reversed their strong opposition to the Waterous deal last month after the initial offer of $2.40 per share was increased by 25 per cent. Waterous, a Calgary investment firm established in 2017 and headed by CEO Adam Waterous, said it bought 45 per cent of the outstanding shares last July from Osum's three largest shareholders. It says five of Osum's directors and four executive officers, including CEO Steve Spence, have voluntarily resigned. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
A Red Deer meat-processing plant at the centre of a COVID-19 outbreak linked to three worker deaths will reopen on Thursday for slaughter operations before resuming cutting room operations on Friday. "Reopening can occur because Olymel management and the regulators are satisfied that employees can return to the plant safely," said Olymel spokesperson Richard Vigneault in a statement. "The company will continue to work with AHS and OHS in order to fight the spread of the coronavirus." The news of the reopening came the same day the union that represents the plant's employees said a third worker's death was linked to the COVID-19 outbreak at the plant. That raised the total number of deaths linked to the outbreak to four, according to the union. The worker has not yet been publicly identified. In an emailed statement Wednesday afternoon, Vigneault confirmed that three plant employees have now died after testing positive. "It's a very sad situation for the family and friends and colleagues, and Olymel is offering its sincere condolences to the families," the statement read in part. "Olymel will remain available for assistance to support the families in this tragedy." Alberta Health has not yet confirmed the worker's death. On Wednesday, a spokesperson with Alberta Health said they had only linked two worker deaths to the outbreak at this time. Deaths linked to outbreak The Olymel outbreak, first declared on Nov. 17, 2020, has been linked to at least 500 cases, and led to the temporary closure of the plant on Feb. 15. The first death, on Jan. 28, was of Darwin Doloque, a 35-year-old permanent resident who immigrated to Canada from the Philippines and was found dead in his home. His death was followed on Feb. 24 by that of Henry De Leon, a 50-year-old who immigrated from the Dominican Republic and had worked at the plant for 15 years. He left behind a wife, two adult children and three grandchildren. The third death linked to the outbreak was a woman in her 60s who has not been publicly identified. It has not been disclosed how she was linked to the outbreak. The outbreak at the Olymel plant is now deadlier than the outbreak at the Cargill meat-processing plant near High River, Alta., the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in Canada. The Cargill outbreak was linked to three fatalities and at least 1,500 cases. Company says it has worked with AHS In the statement, Olymel said it had used the temporary closure to "update and reinforce the many health and safety measures already in place at the plant." The company said teams from AHS, OHS and Environmental Public Health visited the facility on March 1 and 3. AHS made several recommendations at that time. "Alberta Health Services authorities have however specified that the coronavirus is still spreading and that everyone is at risk of contracting it, whether in the community or otherwise," Vigneault said in the statement. "Accordingly, they recommend the utmost vigilance." The company said it had added staff to monitor and enforce health and safety measures, and "further adjusted and enhanced" social distancing protocols, particularly when it came to adding physical space. Health and safety meetings between management and union representatives are scheduled on a daily basis, the company said. 'Action items' were suggested by union before reopening Earlier this week, Hesse called for the Red Deer plant's potential March 3 reopening to be delayed, saying in an open letter that employees do not feel safe after a deadly outbreak of COVID-19. It listed more than 20 "action items" it said should be fulfilled before reopening is considered, in order to regain the confidence of employees and ensure their safety. The letter came after plant manager Rob Ackerblade informed employees on Feb. 28 that if a March 1 inspection by Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Occupational Health and Safety was successful, gradual reopening dates for the Olymel plant could be March 3 for the slaughterhouse and March 4 for the cutting room. The Alberta government confirmed to CBC News on Wednesday that Occupational Health and Safety had toured the facility on March 1, and again with AHS and the union on March 2. "OHS continues to monitor Olymel to ensure safety protocols and measures continue to be used to limit the spread of COVID-19," Joseph Dow said in an emailed statement. According to Dow, AHS made safety recommendations to be implemented before the plant's eventual reopening. The measures recommended by AHS included: Implement capacity limits in lockers rooms and washrooms. Remove reusable dishes in break rooms. Enhance cleaning/disinfecting schedules of washrooms, break rooms and locker rooms. Add more hand sanitizing stations throughout. Increase education plan for staff, including staff training sessions, posters and other visuals.
FREDERICTON — Health officials in New Brunswick are reporting three new cases of COVID-19 today. They involve two people in their 20s in the Fredericton region and both cases are travel-related, as well as a person in their 50s in the Miramichi region which is under investigation. Officials have identified a list of locations in Miramichi where there may have been public exposure, and a mass testing clinic will be held to determine if there has been any further spread in the area. The clinics will be held tomorrow and Friday at the gymnasium of the Dr. Losier Middle School. There are now 37 active cases in the province and three people are hospitalized, including two in intensive care. There have been 28 COVID-19-related deaths in the province since the onset of the pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Collège Boréal’s practical nursing program will be available in Hearst and Kapuskasing earlier than expected. The two-year program is currently available in Sudbury, Timmins and Toronto. Feb.16, the college announced the expansion of the program to all of its seven campuses including Hearst, Kapuskasing, Nipissing and Windsor. Originally, the program was supposed to be available starting September 2022. The decision to advance the program in Hearst, Nipissing and Kapuskasing to September 2021 was made taking into account the ongoing pandemic and the dire need for healthcare professionals in northern communities, said Collège Boréal’s director of Nipissing campus Rachel Quesnel. “We’re answering the call from our communities. Our communities spoke loudly, so we’re just making sure we can help with the dire need for healthcare professionals right now,” she said. “We already had a need for professionals before COVID, so we can understand that with COVID it has precipitated that need.” The program in Windsor will go ahead as initially planned in 2022 in order to undertake renovations and get the labs prepared, Quesnel said. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Classes resumed on March 1 with the Jasper Dance Program following the province’s approval of such activities and owner Nicole Koebel couldn’t be happier. “It’s so nice to see the kids,” the longtime dance instructor said. “It’s such a positive thing to do.” From Monday to Thursday for the next three weeks, young folks from six to 17 will be attending classes at various times in the multipurpose hall at the Activity Centre. In line with health restrictions, Koebel and nine students will keep at least three metres apart while practicing a variety of dance styles. Koebel will also teach a dance class to residents at Alpine Summit Seniors Lodge on March 15 and 29 at 1 p.m. The Jasper Dance Program has been running since 2000. “I teach ballet, hip hop, jazz, musical theatre, world dance, contemporary and lyrical,” Koebel said. And she’s well-versed in this field as Koebel took her first official dance lesson at the age of four in Jasper. “It was highland dancing,” Koebel said. “I remember the class. The teacher kept me behind so I could show everyone a particular routine.” Right off the bat, Koebel tuned into her passion for teaching. When she got home from that class, she ‘taught’ her two-year-old sister, Tamara, the moves she had been shown. “Teaching is my passion - it brings such joy,” she said. “It’s something that’s in my blood. There’s so much to dance.” Her love of dancing was nurtured at home. “My dad loved music,” she said. She and Tamara, who went on to become a professional dancer, danced together for many years. Koebel went on to get a degree in dance education at the University of Calgary. When she returned to Jasper years later in 1996 after working at her full-time job, Koebel taught dance lessons part time. “It just grew - I eventually made that my career focus,” she said. “It was a leap of faith. When you really love something and you pursue it and you're in your element, then good things follow. I’m so blessed to be able to do this.” Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
TORONTO – The provincial government announced new measures meant to make carp fishing more accessible in southern Ontario including along the St. Lawrence River. The new regulations, announced February 24th, allow anglers to use up to three lines when fishing for common carp. “This will help more anglers take advantage of Ontario’s world-class carp fishing opportunities,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski. The regulation changes cover zones 12 through 20 including Lakes Huron, Erie, Ontario, and the Ottawa River. “The St. Lawrence River system and tributaries are well-known as a fishing destination for carp anglers,” said Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. “This new measure will make carp more attractive as a sportfish, which will also help to support local tourism operators who host international clients.” There are a few conditions for anglers to follow if using more than one line. Bait used by anglers must be plant-based or artificial corn. Those shoreline fishing cannot have their lines more than two metres apart. If fishing from a boat, all the lines need to be on board with the angler. The ministry said conditions are to lower the risk of catching non-Carp species of fish, and reduce crowding of anglers at popular shoreline fishing locations. Matt Windle, a research scientist with the St. Lawrence River Institute said that the common carp are an introduced, non-native species of fish originally from Asia. “The fish can cause damage to local aquatic ecosystems by reducing water clarity, uprooting vegetation, and competing with native fish species for food sources,” he said. “Although technically not classified as invasive, they do cause problems for other native fish in the region, and as such I am in favour of the proposed plan to adopt multi-line fishing for this species, with the caveat that there be measures in place to prevent increased bycatch of native species.” The carp fishing season opens this year on May 1st and runs until July 31st. Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader
Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne says the federal government is spending $518 million on efforts to boost Canada’s ability to produce vaccines, among more than 100 research projects receiving new money. He says the funding will help provide Canadian researchers with equipment and shared databases, among other things.
Dr. Heather Morrison says she is glad to have another weapon in her COVID-19 arsenal now that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been approved for use in people under 65. "Every vaccine is good for us and we will use it," she said in a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. In addition to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Canada has also approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said it is up to the provinces and territories to determine who is best placed to get which vaccines, but all are safe and effective in reducing serious illness and death connected to COVID-19. Premier Dennis King said he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a discussion Tuesday that P.E.I. is ready to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. "I confirmed to him that P.E.I. wants to get as many people vaccinated as fast as we possibly can to get through this and that we would gladly be accepting the AstraZeneca vaccine and putting in in the rotation through public health." Morrison said the first shipments of the new vaccine should arrive within the next week. Not recommended for those over 65 The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended against using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people older than 65. Morrison said initially, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be reserved for "younger healthy adults that are front-line essential workers in certain categories." Morrison reiterated that she'd like to see at least 80 per cent of P.E.I.'s adult population — which would be just over 100,000 Islanders — choose to get vaccinated with one of the vaccines. "We know we will have enough vaccine," she said. More from CBC P.E.I.
HALIFAX — A First Nations chief in Nova Scotia has released a letter from Ottawa outlining a plan to have Indigenous fishers participate in moderate livelihood fisheries during the commercial season. In the letter released today by Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack, Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says her department wants to give Indigenous fishers access to commercial fisheries through voluntary buyouts of existing licences. She says her department is prepared to negotiate agreements with Indigenous communities to establish "small-scale" moderate livelihood fisheries during the commercial season in the "near term." Jordan says the fisheries will operate while negotiations continue on how First Nations in Nova Scotia can affirm their treaty rights to fish for a moderate livelihood. She says any moderate livelihood fishing activity must be authorized by her office through licences issued under the Fisheries Act. Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia say a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision affirms the Mi'kmaq treaty right to fish for a "moderate livelihood'' when and where they want — even outside the federally regulated commercial fishing season. That decision was later clarified by the court, however, which said Ottawa could regulate the Mi'kmaq treaty right for conservation and other limited purposes. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
The lawyer for a Nova Scotia man who shot a co-worker with a nail gun argues his client's charter rights would be violated if he is sent to jail, a sentence that's currently required under federal mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. Shawn Wade Hynes was convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon for shooting Nhlanhla Dlamini with a framing nailer at a construction site in Abercrombie, N.S., on Sept. 19, 2018. Dlamini suffered a punctured lung. Hynes was tried and convicted following a trial in Nova Scotia provincial court in Pictou in September 2019. Sentencing has been delayed several times, first to allow the filing of victim impact statements, then because of COVID-19 and finally to advance the constitutional arguments. Those arguments have been complicated by a recent Ontario court ruling which found the mandatory minimum sentences in Ottawa's Safe Streets and Communities Act, which was passed in 2012, violate Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees life, liberty and the security of the person. The act does not allow conditional sentences, such as house arrest, for certain types of offences, including some that result in bodily harm or where a weapon is used. In a sentencing hearing Wednesday morning in Pictou, Crown and defence lawyers in the Hynes case argued how much weight Judge Del Atwood should give to the Ontario decision and to the charter arguments in general. The Ontario case of Cheyenne Sharma is being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. Nhlanhla Dlamini, shown in 2018, was shot with a nail gun by a co-worker. He suffered a punctured lung. (Steve Berry/CBC) In arguing against a custodial sentence for Hynes, lawyer Andrew O'Blenis pointed to his client's character. "He is held in high regard by his employer, friends and family," O'Blenis wrote on behalf of Hynes. "He lives a pro-social, quiet life." O'Blenis said Hynes has suffered a great deal from the attention the case has generated, including allegations of racism. Hynes is white, Dlamini is black. O'Blenis said there have been online threats made against Hynes and his family. The Crown argued that even if Hynes's charter rights are infringed by the mandatory minimum, the infringement is reasonable because of the need for denunciation and deterrence for a crime like this. Crown prosecutor Bill Gorman has asked for a sentence of 12-15 months, followed by probation of up to 18 months. Atwood has reserved his decision until April 23. Because of public interest in the case, that decision may be live-streamed because pandemic restrictions limit the number of people who can be present in the courtroom. MORE TOP STORIES