RuPaul's Drag Race queens Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, Vinegar Strokes and Peppermint reflect on the commercialization of Pride, and if the LGBTQ+ day of protest has lost its meaning.
RuPaul's Drag Race queens Baga Chipz, Blu Hydrangea, Vinegar Strokes and Peppermint reflect on the commercialization of Pride, and if the LGBTQ+ day of protest has lost its meaning.
WASHINGTON — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. It's the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. “I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there," Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate agent who posted a photo on Twitter of herself flashing a peace sign next to a broken Capitol window, told a Dallas-Fort Worth TV station. Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man photographed on the dais in the Senate who was shirtless and wore face paint and a furry hat with horns, has similarly pointed a finger at Trump. Chansley called the FBI the day after the insurrection and told agents he travelled “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021,” authorities wrote in court papers. Chanley’s lawyer unsuccessfully lobbied for a pardon for his client before Trump's term ended, saying Chansley “felt like he was answering the call of our president.” Authorities say that while up on the dais in the Senate chamber, Chansley wrote a threatening note to then-Vice-President Mike Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” Trump is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office. The charge this time is “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” His impeachment lawyer, Butch Bowers, did not respond to call for comment. Opening arguments in the trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the storming of the Capitol say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on. For weeks, Trump rallied his supporters against the election outcome and urged them to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to rage against Biden's win. Trump spoke to the crowd near the White House shortly before they marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” Later he said: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told supporters to walk to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically” make your voices heard. Trump has taken no responsibility for his part in fomenting the violence, saying days after the attack: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” Unlike a criminal trial, where there are strict rules about what is and isn’t evidence, the Senate can consider anything it wishes. And if they can show that Trump’s words made a real impact, all the better, and scholars expect it in the trial. "Bringing in those people's statements is part of proving that it would be at a minimum reasonable for a rational person to expect that if you said and did the things that Trump said and did, then they would be understood in precisely the way these people understood them," said Frank Bowman, a constitutional law expert and law professor at University of Missouri. A retired firefighter from Pennsylvania told a friend that that he travelled to Washington with a group of people and the group listened to Trump's speech and then “followed the President’s instructions” and went to the Capitol, an agent wrote in court papers. That man, Robert Sanford, is accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol Police officers. Another man, Robert Bauer of Kentucky, told FBI agents that “he marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so,” authorities wrote. His cousin, Edward Hemenway, from Virginia, told the FBI that he and Bauer headed toward the Capitol after Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue." More than 130 people as of Friday were facing federal charges; prosecutors have promised that more cases — and more serious charges — are coming. Most of those arrested so far are accused of crimes like unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors this week filed conspiracy charges against three self-described members of a paramilitary group who authorities say plotted the attack. A special group of prosecutors is examining whether to bring sedition charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison, against any of the rioters. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to convict. And while many Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky— have condemned Trump's words, it remains unclear how many would vote to convict him. “While the statements of those people kind of bolsters the House manager's case, I think that President Trump has benefited from a Republican Party that has not been willing to look at evidence,” said Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law who testified before the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's first impeachment hearings in 2019. “They stood by him for the entire first impeachment proceeding, thinking that the phone call with the president of the Ukraine was perfect and I’m sure they will think that was a perfect speech too. There is nothing yet to suggest that they would think otherwise," Gerhardt said. ____ Richer reported from Boston. Alanna Durkin Richer And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie issued a decree concerning Ontario’s state of emergency last week, detailing how the Catholic church is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Bishop Thomas Dowd consulted with three regional public health agencies as well as the church’s College of Consultors, chairs of the diocese’s pastoral regions, and bishops of neighbouring dioceses before writing the decree. Mass services in all churches of the diocese are closed to the public until Feb. 11, but priests are encouraged to celebrate mass for broadcast from within their church, whether online or via FM radio. “I think it’s important for people to see that the building may be closed, but the church is still open. The community is still open, and we are still here to serve,” said Dowd. Many priests in the diocese have already developed online services, he added, and if a church has an FM broadcast system, parishioners are allowed to attend mass from their cars in the parking lot. “It’s a creative way for people to come together. They remain in their cars, and have no contact with each other, so there’s no danger of an infectious event,” he said. “That would allow the services in the church, such as the priest’s sermon, and people would be able to be there and tune in.” Priests who are broadcasting services, whether online or over radio, may be assisted by a small team of people in the organization of the mass as long as the total number of people remains below ten and all public health protocols are respected. All pastors of parishes still have an obligation to celebrate pro populo mass on Sunday. “For all other masses with a scheduled mass intention, the person who requested the mass should be contacted to see if they would prefer to reschedule the mass for that intention,” said the decree. “If the person cannot be contacted or they wish to continue to have it on that day (for example, because it is a special anniversary of the death of a loved one) the mass should still be celebrated, albeit privately.” Other worship services, like celebrations of baptism, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage, blessings and funeral services, are still permitted provided that the limit of ten people is respected along with other health protocols. “Just as there are some exceptions to the law, for us, there are also exceptional circumstances. If someone is ill, for example, and they would like to receive the anointing or what some call last rights, that strikes me as very important,” said Dowd. “By nature, some of the services we’re allowed to do, don’t gather big groups of people, and it is possible to do them in a limited number.” Dowd also included in the decree that the “pastoral care of the people of our diocese must continue despite the stay-at-home order.” Parishes are “exhorted” to continue providing pastoral counselling, catechism, times of fellowship and faith sharing, pastoral visits and outreach, and opportunities to pray together. It’s also important for parishes to “examine their means of communicating with their parishioners (phone lists, email lists, websites) and make sure they are maintained and efficient. “This is not just about providing religious rites. It’s about being in contact and checking on people, paying attention when people are suffering or in particular need,” said Dowd. “There’s physical health – that is protecting ourselves from the virus. There’s mental and emotional health – that’s our connection with people. And there’s our spiritual health. “You know, a lot of people are asking themselves the big questions – like what is the meaning of life and all of this? I don’t expect public health authorities to tackle that one. That’s us.” Faith, he added, is especially important during unprecedented times like these. “I don’t want us to say, oh, we’re closed, so let’s just kind of give up. No – we have to keep up the fight. We’ve got to beat this thing,” he said. “In the future, I hope to write a pastoral letter for our people and make some suggestions about how we can be a part of the solution. How can we continue, not just to practise our faith for ourselves, but to be protagonists in beating this virus?” Dowd, who recently took over the role of Bishop in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, moved to Northern Ontario from Montreal. He served as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Montreal from 2011-2020. While he was there, he took part in creating an online outreach program to help those struggling with mental health questions in the context of the pandemic, and he hopes to continue working to support parishioners in Northern Ontario. He was sit in on a conference call with religious leaders across Canada and federal public health authorities as part of that work. “Speaking personally, I hate this virus. One of my best friends, his father died of COVID-19. I had to do the saddest funeral because almost nobody could be there. This was early on in the pandemic,” he said. “Another one of my friends, her 30-year-old brother, wound up intubated in the hospital for weeks. It’s not just older people – anybody can catch it. Thankfully, he’s better but he’s still suffering health problems. My own brother died last summer, and we had to have a drive-through service.” He understands how tough lockdowns can be, but he also understands the dangers of the virus. “This decree is really our attempt to be good citizens and to respond to the needs of our time. I think this is what Jesus would want us to do.” Instructions on the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday are forthcoming. The decree took effect as of Jan. 16, 2021. Anyone with questions about its implementation is encouraged to contact the Chancellor of the diocese, Father Jean Vézina. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. email@example.com Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
An arts organization in Chatham-Kent is looking for contributions for a unique community project to mark Black History Month. The theme of the project is "celebrating Black lives" and the Thames Art Gallery and ARTspace are seeking submissions from the public for original works of art on the theme. The art can be any media, including painting, drawing and writing. The public submissions will be combined and set up in a pandemic-friendly public display. "What we're having people do is produce a piece of work and then photograph it and then send it to us and we will print it out and then assemble it in the form of a quilt," Phil Vanderwall, curator of the Thames Art Gallery, said on CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Friday. The completed work will be displayed in the window of the ARTspace gallery on King Street in downtown Chatham. "So it's a nice public space," he said. The 'quilt' format of the project allows for community participation while preventing close contact. Both ARTspace and the Thames Art Gallery are closed due to COVID-19. Vanderwall said quilt-making is currently undergoing a bit of a revival. "This seemed like a good opportunity to explore that," he said. Submissions are already coming in and the deadline is Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. The quilt will be unveiled Feb. 5 and will remain on display until Feb 26.
France's top health advisory body on Saturday recommended doubling the time between people being given the first and second COVID-19 vaccinations to six weeks from three in order to increase the number getting inoculated. The gap between the first and second injection in France is currently three weeks for people in retirement homes, who take priority, and four weeks for others such as health workers. The Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) said spacing out the two required vaccinations of the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines would allow the treatment of at least 700,000 more people in the first month.
As a passionate ice fisherman, there isn't much that can keep Ron Estey from his favourite hobby — except maybe this year's ice conditions. "I'm almost 40 years old and I've never seen the ice like this," he said. "It's just been a terrible year for ice production." While some bodies of water "in the back country" may have four to six inches of ice, most waterways still aren't safe, says Estey. "I would definitely use extreme caution anywhere in the southern part of the province right now." Estey is the moderator of the New Brunswick Ice Fishing page on Facebook and has travelled the province and beyond for ice fishing. While he has managed to do some ice fishing already, including last week at Killarney Lake in Fredericton, most of his favourite spots are far from ready. Glancing out his work window aboard the Belleisle Bay ferry, he said many waterways froze for the first time this week. "We haven't had a freeze up in the bay until just this week," said Estey, adding that he could still see open areas on the bay from his vantage point. "The river system is definitely not safe," he said. Estey, who lives in Hammondvale near Sussex, said his threshold for ice fishing is a minimum of four inches (10 cm) of ice. He's been keeping a pretty close eye on the two-week weather forecast and he's hopeful that continuing cold temperatures will mean the ice will be thick enough in a few days. Snowmobilers are also being warned about unsafe conditions. Ross Antworth, the general manager of the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, says the responsibility lies with individual operators to ensure the ice is safe before they venture out. "Snowmobilers are responsible to check ice crossings themselves," he said Friday. "This has always been the case, and with a late start to winter and unseasonably warm temperatures, we would caution anybody, before they put themselves, or their snowmobile, on any ice." With such a late start to the ice season, this isn't exactly a great year to launch a new ice fishing business. But that's exactly what Brett O'Neill has done. O'Neill owns The Shacks, which rents out fishing huts at the Renforth ice fishing village in Rothesay — or it would if there was enough ice. He has three huts that come with everything one would need to give ice fishing a try — holes, poles, bait, and wood for the stove. O'Neill, who operates the business with his girlfriend, Maya Dempsey, is disappointed that the start of his first season is delayed, but he's hopeful that with a few more days of cold temperatures, they will still have two solid months of operations. "I don't know if anybody's out there yet right now. It wouldn't surprise me if people were out there tomorrow or the day after. That wouldn't surprise me one bit … Somebody has to be the tester." Ecological impact The late freezing of waterways could also have an effect on the ecosystem, explained Tommi Linnansaari, a fish ecologist and associate professor at the University of New Brunswick. The normal accumulation of ice and snow provides a more predictable environment for the aquatic world beneath, explained Linnansaari. With a solid ice surface and a decent layer of snow, temperatures are stable and the amount of light is reduced. Linnansaari said aquatic creatures "have evolved through eons of time with conditions where ice cover is the norm." They assume those conditions will continue and they prepare for winter accordingly, often slowing their metabolism and food intake. Warmer temperatures and more light lead them to be more active, thereby expending more energy, he explained. "So there might be repercussions to the energy balance of the fish." Linnansaari likens it to battery life. He said fish have a finite wintertime battery life. "Some may basically run out of battery, so they'll die. That would be the extreme outcome." He said some fish species are more at risk than others, particularly the ones that are "completely inactive" in the winter — species like yellow perch and minnow-type fish. Warmer winter temperatures may also have further implications on the food chain, said Linnansaari. Warmer water temperatures could trigger certain invertebrates to hatch earlier, creating a "temporal mismatch," which means that they may not be available as a food source for species that count on them at critical stages of their development — salmon hatchlings in June, for example. "These are the sorts of things that we don't know yet if they'll manifest, but it's conceivable that that is what is going to happen," he said.
OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it difficult to use secret intelligence in Canada's courts, says the government representative in the upper chamber. Sen. Marc Gold says "a fresh look" at the vexing issue would help highlight possible solutions that could make terrorism and espionage cases unfold more smoothly. "This is not an issue that's going to go away," Gold said in an interview. "There are reasons we are where we are." A former high-ranking U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation official recently spoke out about how the challenges caused delay and frustration in putting handcuffs on Jeffrey Delisle, a Canadian navy officer who was selling secrets to the Russians. Frank Figliuzzi, who was the FBI's head of counter-intelligence, said it fell to him to tell the RCMP about Delisle's betrayal even though the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had been monitoring the sub-lieutenant. CSIS, acting on legal advice, opted to keep its investigation sealed for fear of exposing sources and methods of the intelligence trade in open court. The Liberal government has acknowledged that federal agencies face challenges when attempting to use intelligence in a form that is admissible as evidence. Shortly before being appointed government representative in the Senate, Gold, a constitutional law expert, proposed that a committee delve into the subject. "The fear that sensitive information may ultimately be disclosed may lead our intelligence agencies to decide not to share it with law enforcement, with a corresponding and very real risk to public safety," he told the Senate. "And lest you think this is merely a hypothetical example, you may remember that CSIS chose not to share with the RCMP information it had in the period leading up to the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, which killed 329 people aboard." This "dilemma or conundrum" has led to "very complicated provisions" governing disclosure of evidence, including parallel proceedings in which designated judges of the Federal Court wrestle with the issues while a trial takes place in a different court, Gold noted. It can also mean the use of closed hearings where the affected party — often someone facing criminal charges — is not privy to the intelligence information, as well as the use of amicus curiae, or friends of the court, in certain legal proceedings or security-cleared special advocates in other cases, he said. "These mechanisms have their proponents and their critics, but all stakeholders tend to agree that the intelligence-to-evidence issue has potentially serious impacts on criminal prosecutions for terrorism, administrative proceedings regarding immigration, and on national security and public safety itself." Gold's motion evaporated when Parliament was prorogued last year, but he said in the interview he remains hopeful the Senate national security and defence committee will do a study. "I continue to believe that the issue is one that should be looked at in a serious and comprehensive and non-partisan way." A committee examination would also cast a light on a shadowy topic many know little about, which could help build public support for police and security agencies — something that is critical if they are going to protect Canadians and "the values that define us," Gold said. CSIS, the RCMP and the Department of Justice are working to improve their collaborative approach, Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, said recently. Briefing materials prepared for Blair in late 2019 said work on the question had found that the legal framework was largely sound and that a drastic legislative overhaul to mandates or machinery was not needed. The way forward, instead, consisted of "significant operational reform" at key agencies, complemented by targeted policy and legislative measures. The changes could also involve "significant budgetary considerations," including money for new personnel and advanced information-technology systems, the notes said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Top-seeded tennis stars under strict lockdown at Melbourne's Grand Hotel are smashing balls against the closed curtains of their rooms to maintain their form for the upcoming Australian Open. Players and support staff whose chartered flight landed in Australia last week immediately began two weeks of quarantine to limit the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the year's first Grand Slam tournament, which runs Feb. 8-21. Some are allowed to leave their hotel for limited training, but 72 players are facing stricter quarantine measures after six people on those chartered flights tested positive for COVID-19. Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski, ranked 10th in the world in women's doubles, is in Melbourne. She spoke to CBC's Ottawa Morning. The conversation has been edited for length. What type of quarantine are you under? Unfortunately, I was deemed a close contact as three people tested positive on my flight, so I'm in full isolation where I am not permitted to leave my room for 14 days. On flights where there were no positive cases, players and their teams are allowed to train for about four hours a day, plus one hour of allotted time for nutrition at the venue. So a total of five hours. How did you get the news, and how did you react to it? I got the news via email. For about five minutes I had a full-on mental breakdown, but after talking to my parents and my doubles partner and a couple friends, I calmed down and put things in perspective. The first day was definitely a challenge. I was trying to figure out how to train in the room, and what Tennis Australia and the government would allow us to have in our rooms to help, equipment-wise. It was a whirlwind that first day. We've seen video of the American Coco Gauff slamming tennis balls against curtains in her hotel room to practise. To what extent are you practising? I don't really want to do that. I'm still in a hotel, it's not my property, I'm not going to risk breaking anything. I'm not really sure exactly how much hitting the ball against a mattress or a window can really help you, but sometimes it's just believing something will help, like a placebo effect. I had a stationary bike, but it was a little bit broken and I couldn't fix it, so I'm going to get another bike. They've graciously given us some weights. I've got a kettlebell and some dumbbells to keep up with strength training. You mentioned that players on unaffected flights are allowed to leave their rooms for several hours a day to practise on the tournament grounds. Do you feel that gives them an unfair advantage? Of course they have an advantage, but at the same time, I would not subject anyone else to this. I know it's been extremely tough for Australians because they've been through a very, very tough lockdown for many months. Now things are open and COVID is pretty much non-existent here. I fully respect how they've handled the pandemic. I just hope that everybody can come out of it injury-free, and I'm sure there'll be some adjustments made for us to have priority physio and court time once we get out of it. Since discovering that you were a close contact on the charter flight, have you had another COVID test? Yes. Every day. And every day, the results have been negative. Some of the players have likened the conditions of their hotel quarantine as being like jail, but with Wi-Fi. Australians have been very critical of that reaction. What do you think? I have a huge amount of respect for what Australians have gone through to be living COVID-free right now. So on one hand, I agree with them, and making a comment like that seems quite insensitive. On the flip side, we've technically been working since age seven and eight, dedicating our entire lives to our craft. We were invited to come here. Yes, there were exceptions made for us, but I think most people can agree that the Australian Open and tennis tournaments in general are a huge benefit to the local, national and international tennis community. I won't be making any comments about the conditions, because while they are difficult, there are absolutely worse things that are going on in the world. Have you been vaccinated yet for COVID-19? No. Do you think that athletes should be fast-tracked for vaccinations? That's a hard question. I feel like there are other people that should get vaccinated ahead of us, but if more vaccines were available, then that could be something that's looked at. I've had a couple of people tell me that maybe I should hold off on getting vaccinated even if it is available, just to see how people react. What is your strategy for the next 14 days of quarantine? I'm catching up on some shows and some books that I didn't have time to get to during my preparations before heading over here. I've also got some school courses that I've just started. We've got a bunch of player calls to keep us occupied. There's no real reason to be bored. Dabrowski will team up with Croatia's Mate Pavic in mixed doubles and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in women's doubles.
A Dalhousie University science student has created a homemade spectrometer that lets her lab-from-home during the coronavirus pandemic. In pre-COVID-19 times, Alanna Gravelle juggled a career in the Canadian Navy with her academic work earning a bachelor of engineering at Dalhousie, meaning she often had to complete her studies while aboard HMCS Halifax. While lectures were easy enough to handle remotely, lessons in the laboratory were harder. So she started to create her own spectrometer, using a flashlight, a plastic tube, a box and a smartphone. "What that does is shines a light through a liquid and you're able to determine the concentration of the liquid with the amount of light that gets absorbed or makes it through the liquid," she said in a recent interview with CBC News. The spectrometer, for example, can help show how much calcium is contained in a crushed and diluted multivitamin, or how many proteins are found in a urine sample. The devices have practical uses in the mining and recycling industries. By the summer of 2020, Gravelle's unusual problem had become mainstream. She won the Lloyd & Margaret Cooley Memorial research scholarship for women studying analytical chemistry and polished her rough design so other students could create it at home. A regular smartphone provides the analytical feedback. She realized another benefit: students would use the lab spectrometer without really understanding what happened inside the device. By making their own at-home version, students get a better understanding of what the machine actually does. "It allows you to carry out experiments at home and collect data, and it also allows you to see the working parts of the spectrometer and understand what they do to give you that data," she said. With all of her classes happening online during the pandemic, she said it's an important way to retain the hands-on experience of science. "Being an engineering student online, third year, right now is very difficult." Gravelle worked with chemistry instructor Roderick Chisholm. Usually, he said, everything happens in the lab. "We've had to completely change that." Students joining classes via video from across Canada, China, the Middle East and Europe are embracing Gravelle's MacGyver approach to taking things they find around the house to build the spectrometer. "Everyone can do it at home, make those measurements, so they can actually feel involved, rather than looking at a presentation or video," Chisholm said. Paper microscopes Learning how the device works has been an extra bonus. "The disadvantage of using this in the lab is they are literally black boxes, so the students would put a sample in and magically they get a number related to absorption," he said. Chisholm thinks the homemade spectrometer could also help out at high schools, where students typically share a $750 professional spectrometer. The homemade version costs about $20, plus the smartphone. His Dalhousie colleague Jennifer Van Dommelen has also gotten her biology students tinkering at home on a low-tech microscope. "We use an instrument called Foldscope, which is a portable microscope assembled from heavy-gauge paper, a lens, and a couple of magnets," said Van Dommelen, a senior instructor at the university. "The lens has a 140X magnification and resolution of two microns; the user can adjust lighting and focus and even attach the Foldscope to their phone or tablet to use their device's optical zoom and take photos." Assemble at home Van Dommelen sends her Dalhousie students kits and instructions so they can assemble it at home. "Putting one together is similar to using paper dolls — you detach the components from a single piece of paper, fold where instructed, add the lens and the magnetic couplers and then reassemble everything into a working, focusable microscope," she said. "The kit includes paper slides that students can use to mount their own specimens, but standard glass slides can also be used." She'd been using them for online classes since 2018 and they are crucial now during the pandemic. Chisholm and Van Dommelen both hope to keep the best parts of lab-from-home active after the pandemic. MORE TOP STORIES
Fifteen people — including patient attendants, kitchen staff, maintenance workers and cleaners — have packed their bags and said goodbye to partners, parents and children to move into the Manoir Stanstead seniors' home where they work. Also taking up residence is a bulldog-Shih Tzu mix named Snow White. Last spring, staff did the same thing for a month and managed to keep COVID-19 at bay while maintaining a normal life for the residents. This time around, the decision came after the province announced seniors' homes should serve meals in individual rooms instead of the dining hall. "We just don't think that's human," said Manoir Stanstead assistant director and patient attendant Donna Rolfe. "By us locking in, they can go to the dining room and eat and socialize, which is very important for them." Rolfe says the residence is like "one big family," and forming a communal bubble means they can all enjoy bingo, movie nights, hockey games on TV and more socializing. However, staff members are still wearing masks and keeping a two-metre distance from residents, whenever possible. "They're doing fine," Rolfe said. "They're happy with the dog, of course, but they're also happy we've moved in and they feel loved." The move meant big sacrifices for some people, including patient attendant Angèle Trudel, who has a partner and five children at home. But Trudel said her family was understanding and supported her decision. "We do some FaceTime," she said. "It's not the same as being all together but it's good." And Trudel brought Snow White with her, who enjoys rides around the home on seniors' walkers. Rolfe said the staff and their families understand the importance of what they're doing by moving into the residence. She said thankfully there aren't many COVID-19 cases in Stanstead but in the small town, even one case in the residence could be disastrous. "We got all the support from the families that they will not come in while we're doing this," she said. "They'll FaceTime or call, but they won't come in. So this way we're in our own little bubble and the residents can get out of their rooms, not just four walls." It's the second time the staff at Manoir Stanstead has moved in. "We learned a lot from the last time, so it's going really well this time," Rolfe said. She said she's trying to keep life and routine as normal as possible for the residents and staff, including giving employees privacy in their own rooms when they're off the clock. Rolfe says the staff will move out Feb. 8, regardless of whether the province extends its current restrictions. By Jan. 23, all of the patient attendants at Manoir Stanstead will have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
A New Brunswick RCMP officer committed serious, charter-infringing misconduct by denying a man arrested for impaired driving access to a lawyer, a court decision states. The case involved Pier-Paul Landry, who was convicted of impaired driving, but was initially denied access to a lawyer by the investigating officer on the 2017 case. Landry was acquitted on appeal of the conviction. The decision names RCMP Const. Kalbarczyk as the investigating officer but does not include his first name. The Crown sought leave to appeal the acquittal, leading to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision issued Thursday. Justice Charles LeBlond, who wrote the decision on behalf of the three-judge panel, upheld the acquittal. "[T]he facts of this case expose the police officer's usual practice which prevented Mr. Landry from availing himself of his right to retain and instruct counsel at the scene of his arrest, despite the Supreme Court of Canada's explicit and well-known instructions to that effect, dating back more than thirty-three years, which have been reiterated in several decisions of this Court," LeBlond wrote. He added that his hope is that the "clear signal" the appeal court sent in a previous ruling regarding access to a lawyer, and "reiterates in these reasons will be clearly understood." According to the decision, Landry was stopped at 2:48 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2017, in Inkerman Ferry, a community northeast of Tracadie-Sheila. Kalbarczyk detected alcohol on Landry's breath. Landry admitted he had been drinking. He failed a roadside screening test around 3:10 a.m., leading the officer to arrest him. The decision says Kalbarczyk advised Landry of his rights, which include the right to retain and instruct legal counsel without delay. Landry told the officer he had a lawyer and wanted to speak with him immediately. However, Kalbarczyk refused to allow him to do so until at a police station, which LeBlond wrote was the first breach of Landry's rights. I cannot conceive that the RCMP, with all its resources and means of communicating with its members, would not have alerted its members about how they should conduct themselves - Justice Charles LeBlond "[T]he case law could not be clearer on the issue of when an accused is entitled to avail himself or herself of his or her right to counsel," LeBlond wrote. "The right applies immediately following arrest and reading of constitutional rights, insofar as the circumstances of the case allow. No evidence may be obtained before the right is exercised." The judge said Kalbarczyk should have let Landry use his cellphone instead of the officer threatening to seize the device. At the police station, Landry repeatedly tried to call several lawyers without success. After several more attempts, the officer read Landry what's known as a Prosper warning. It indicates a suspect has changed their mind about contacting legal representation or hasn't clearly responded to the officer about seeking legal representation. It is used before questioning the suspect. But the warning didn't apply, LeBlond wrote, and Landry wasn't aware of the legal significance of the warning. Kalbarczyk testified Landry told him, "I do not waive it, but what do you want me to do?" Instead of allowing Landry to exercise his right within a reasonable time, the decision says the officer told Landry there was nothing more to be done. Four minutes later, Landry was turned over to another person who collected breath samples to determine his blood alcohol level. LeBlond described Kalbarczyk's actions as "very serious Charter infringing misconduct." The officer testified that he followed his usual practice in such circumstances. "I cannot conceive that the RCMP, with all its resources and means of communicating with its members, would not have alerted its members about how they should conduct themselves, especially in light of the fact that the expected conduct was established by Canada's highest court more than thirty years ago," LeBlond wrote. Impaired driving is one of the most frequent criminal offences and one of the most common offences heard by criminal courts, according to Statistics Canada. LeBlond ruled the violations mean evidence of Landry's blood alcohol evidence cannot be used, upholding Landry's acquittal. Const. Hans Ouellette, a spokesperson for RCMP in New Brunswick, responded to a request for comment about the decision by saying the force "respects the decision of the court." Coreen Enos, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Public Safety, said the decision is being reviewed "to determine its implications" and declined further comment.
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Saturday the kingdom was optimistic that it would have "excellent relations" with the new U.S. administration of President Joe Biden and that it would continue to talk with Washington regarding the Iran nuclear deal. Saudi Arabia has built solid, historical relations where it worked with different administrations.
It's getting to be a familiar sight in many of Toronto's inner suburbs: construction crews hard at work adding second floors to post-war bungalows as homeowners try to add more space for growing families. But affordable housing advocates are hoping the city can harness the reno boom to help fill the "missing middle" in the city's housing stock by converting some of those single-family homes into multi-unit dwellings. Builder Peter Lux, of Homes By Lux Inc., started in the home renovation business 16 years ago by adding a second floor to his own home — a post-war bungalow across from Blantyre Park in the Victoria Park and Kingston Road area. "We moved into our bungalow, a young married couple with no children. By the third child we needed more space," said Lux. "I did my own home as my first large project. Then people came to me asking to do theirs." That was in 2005. Now he's renovated many of the houses that ring the park. It's the way much of the housing stock of that era is being renewed and updated for a new generation of Toronto homeowners. "This neighborhood was built in the late '40s and you can imagine at that time there were young families and young kids running around and now we're back to a new cycle with these new families and the parks are filled with kids," Lux told CBC Toronto. One of his first clients was Brian Aucoin who lives a few doors down and bought his home in 1977 for $53,000. "The wartime bungalows are pretty small and we had three boys and obviously we're running out of space," said Aucoin. "Our decision was do we move out of the neighborhood or do we rebuild our house?" While he admits the decision had its costs, Aucoin says his home is worth well over $2 million now. "So it was a fairly good investment," he said. Frank Clayton, a senior research fellow at Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Use, says adding space to existing single-family homes is a good way to revitalize neighbourhoods. "People are buying those bungalows and adding a second story instead of moving to Pickering or something, so I think that's a good move because it keeps families in the city of Toronto." But with bungalows selling for more than $1 million now, before the costs of topping them up, Clayton says they are not in themselves the answer to the so-called missing middle: multi-unit dwellings like stacked townhouses, low-rise apartments and single family homes converted to multiple unit rentals. Philip Kocev, a real estate broker and managing partner at iPro Realty Ltd., says if the city is going to harness the reno boom to build more affordable housing and boost density, it will have to eliminate barriers in the approval process that make it harder to develop multi-unit dwellings. He is a proponent of a city pilot project aimed at finding ways to make it easier to build housing for middle-income earners. Kocev has proposed small-scale projects — triplexes and fourplexes — over the years and says the city's approval processes and fees are barriers for these kinds of projects. "Our lack of planning bylaws that support the missing middle, our bylaws are actually quite antiquated and they really do support single family development versus low rise multi unit residential," he said. Kocev, who has plans for a project in the Dundas Street East and Greenwood Avenue area, says the city treats small developers the same way as construction companies building condominiums. "Once you create more than four units they categorize you the same as a big commercial development, so your committee of adjustment fees are higher. You've got to pay development fees so that makes it really difficult to create missing middle properties." Kocev spoke in support of the proposed pilot project in Beaches-East York that went before Toronto's Planning and Housing Committee this week. If it goes ahead a test project will be built on city-owned land. "It would be good for them to see first-hand what kinds of barriers there are."
If he were alive today, even St. Paul would be texting, Tweeting and firing off emails to get the news out, Pope Francis said on Saturday in his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Social Communication. St. Paul, who lived in the first century of the Christian era, spread the new faith into Europe and Asia Minor and is believed to have written a great part of the New Testament. "Every tool has its value, and that great communicator who was Paul of Tarsus would certainly have made use of email and social messaging," the pope said in the message, titled "Come and See".
As Dustin Ritter picks up his pencil and starts to draw, he immediately breaks into a smile. The portrait artist may not see perfectly, but his pencil lines are clear and purposeful. "I think people are really surprised that I can draw because of my condition and, again, I have to explain how it works for me," he said. "I do have what people call an invisible disability." Ritter said it can take him hours to complete a piece — longer than it would other artists — but his time spent drawing isn't wasted. "I want people to feel as good as I did making it when they get it. And I guess just to explain to them that I enjoyed the process so much because it helped me centre myself." Ritter has a type of macular dystrophy. It's a blind spot in the centre of each eye that affects his perception of details and depth. His ophthalmologist has told him it's not the typical type of macular dystrophy as his eyes don't seem to be getting worse with age. Despite having the blind spot since he was a young child, Ritter has been drawing for as long as he can remember. With his condition, Ritter has to create his artwork differently than others. He can't work with a live model and instead uses reference images that he can hold close to his face to see the details. He said his eye condition is something other people point out more than he notices it himself. "Like, I won't notice that I'm holding my phone right in front of my face until someone says that. And I'm like, 'You don't do that?'" Ritter said with a laugh. "I think you get so used to doing things a certain way that you have your routines." As a teenager, Ritter moved away from drawing, thinking he needed to get a "real job." In 2018, he rediscovered his passion and started drawing again, "just for therapeutic reasons, like wanting to just draw and relax. Now I'm fully addicted to doing it again, and it's been a really good time." Ritter said drawing offers him something to focus on and helps counteract anxiety, but more than that, it offers him a purpose. "Drawing was always a kind of escape for me," Ritter said. "I can put a lot of time into that where other things are more of a challenge and more of a chore." For example, Ritter said cooking can be a struggle as he needs to read ingredient lists or small print. When other things are frustrating, that's when he turns to drawing. Two years and hundreds of commissions later, the 37-year-old has made artwork his career. He has a month-long exhibit up at Bushwakker Brewpub in Regina. For commissions and his latest exhibit, Ritter has been creating custom frames with the help of his dad. They use wood from their family farm, where a 100-year-old barn recently blew over, and they also salvaged pieces from an old grain elevator. On top of doing commissions, Ritter teaches art classes at the Paper Crane Community Art Centre in Regina and tutorials for Ranch Ehrlo Society youth. Ritter also does client-centred murals where he sketches out the mural and the youth help fill it in. "Being a person with a disability, it makes it easier for me to work with someone with a disability because I can kind of empathize with them and realize how scary it is for them to start something," Ritter said. "I think everyone has a fear of starting something because you won't be good at it, right? So if someone else kind of starts it for you and gives you the tools to do it on your own, you can still feel good with the finished product." Ritter credits Bushwakker for good exposure, hopes to continue doing murals and challenging himself to grow as an artist. "Art is kind of like music, where everyone can kind of enjoy it and get some sort of fulfilment out of it," Ritter said. "It's something that drives me to do it more because I feel it does help people who need it."
Canadian food policy analyst and writer Wayne Roberts died on Jan. 20 at the age of 76 after battling leukemia, leaving behind his wife and children, but also a legacy of advocacy rooted in food security. Roberts was highly respected for his work in food policy and his role as manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council from 2000 to 2010 where the Toronto Food Charter was developed under his leadership. But Roberts was not only known and well-respected for his work in food advocacy and sustainability — he was a friend to many. Anan Lololi, executive director of Afri-Can FoodBasket, considered Wayne Roberts a partner in advocating for food security, as well as a dear friend. Lololi says he was encouraged by Roberts' work in food policy and sustainability within his own work in fighting for food justice and food sovereignty. "He is the godfather of good food policy for Canada for the things that he contributed to food policy in Toronto and Canada at large," Lololi said. Roberts worked as a leading member of the City of Toronto's environmental task force and helped develop a number of plans, including the Environmental Plan and Food Charter, which was adopted by city council in the early 2000s. He was also a regular columnist for NOW Magazine focusing on issues of food insecurity, social justice and public health. The magazine named Roberts one of Toronto's leading visionaries of the past 20 years. Roberts was an author of a number of books including Get A Life!, Real Food For A Change, and The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food. Lololi says he remembers Roberts bringing humour and wit to every conversation, casual or professional. He described him as a people person who looked out for low-income folks and diverse communities within Toronto. The pair last got to work together with the Black Creek community of Jane and Finch where they looked into food as medicine, but his legacy will live on for years to come both locally and nationally. "As a person that's so highly respected in food policy development, it was an honour for me to work with him within this community," Lololi said. "He's that type of person who really wants to get to the bottom of what the issue is so he can work with that particular community." Roberts received the Canadian Environment Award for his contributions to sustainable living in 2002 and went on to receive the Canadian Eco-Hero Award in 2008. Tammara Soma, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University says although she was not related to Roberts, his death hit her "very, very hard." Soma says Roberts was a "superhero" of hers. Originally from Indonesia, when Soma first came to Canada as an undergraduate student, she distinctly remembers meeting Roberts for the first time. He was dressed in a carrot costume handing out carrots at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. From that moment on, Soma says, Roberts offered his help and mentorship — something he would commonly do for anyone who wanted to take part in the food movement. Soma, one of the founding members of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, says Roberts' efforts in helping give a voice to the youth in particular has made him a hero to many, not only her. "He's a pollinator...he's like this beautiful dandelion, it just spreads everywhere, his positivity, his passion, his power," she said. "I will always be fully indebted to him because of that." Joe Mihevc, former Toronto city councillor, says one of his fondest memories of Roberts was his involvement in Toronto's re-integration of chickens in the city. Mihevc said during the last meeting of the Toronto Urban Hen project, he pulled a prank on Roberts by giving him two chickens. "The joy of that story is just the look on his face and I think it's the only egg that has ever been laid at city hall," he said. Mike Schreiner, Guelph MPP and Green Party of Ontario leader, said Roberts' influence on Toronto's local food scene was paramount. "When someone in Toronto goes to a farmers' market or they harvest from a community garden or they see that their local grocery store has more local food in it — Wayne played a vital role in making that happen," he said. Former Green Party leader Jim Harris said Roberts taught him a special lesson in life. "As he was dying, he and I would laugh a lot as we always did — and he and I coined the term 'radical happiest'," Harris said. "Living with joy I think is the greatest lesson that I've learned from Wayne."
MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19 on vacation is what's driving demands by the Quebec premier for Ottawa to ban non-essential flights to the country. Premier Francois Legault repeated once again this week that his government believes it was vacationing Quebecers during spring break in 2020 who brought the virus home, allowing it to spread earlier and more widely in the province than elsewhere in Canada. Legal experts say a ban on non-essential travel would violate the mobility rights guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states, "Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada." The question, experts say, is whether a ban can be justified. "The Constitution is very clear that Canadians have the right to enter and leave Canada," Johanne Poirier, a McGill University law professor who specializes in Canadian federalism, said in a recent interview. But like other rights, she said, it can be limited — if the limitation is justified, reasonable and proportionate. And given the worldwide pandemic, the courts might offer the government more flexibility, she said. "These would not be cases where the courts would be extremely taxing or demanding on the government," she said. "But the government would still have to justify it, because there's no doubt that there's a violation of rights." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday his government is considering new measures that would "significantly impede" Canadians' ability to return to the country. Forcing returning travellers to quarantine in a hotel — at their expense and under police surveillance — is also on the table, he said. Trudeau said earlier in the week he wouldn't close the border to Canadians because the Constitution protects their right to enter the country. The prime minister, however, has restricted access to the country to foreigners since the start of the pandemic. Michael Bryant, head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said forcing people to quarantine at a government-supervised location would be justified if the state has data showing current health orders around travel aren't working. But Bryant said in a recent interview he hasn't seen evidence the rules are failing. "I don't think that they have that data." Canadians who return from abroad are required to isolate at home for two weeks and violators risk heavy fines and jail time. A September ruling in Newfoundland and Labrador offers an idea of how the courts would interpret the legality of travel bans, Poirier said. A judge in that province affirmed the government's ban on interprovincial travel to limit the spread of COVID-19, despite arguments the order violated charter rights. "I think the courts would be very reluctant in the short term to stand in the way of a government that wanted to ban travel," she said. As of Thursday, there were five cases in Quebec of the new COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the U.K. Four of those cases — detected in December — were related to travel to that country. Officials have said the source of the fifth case remains unknown. Bryant said he doesn't believe fears of new COVID-19 variants justify added restrictions on mobility rights, especially if more proportionate responses — such as increased testing of people arriving in the country — are available. Meanwhile, data from the federal government indicates travellers are being exposed to COVID-19 as they fly back to the country. Since Jan. 6, passengers on 164 international flights arriving in Canada have been exposed COVID-19 while flying, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Thirty-two of those flights have been to Montreal and one to Quebec City. But Montreal-based airline Air Transat said travel has been associated with relatively few cases of COVID-19. "And yet, even with travel accounting for only one per cent of COVID-19 cases, there has been an enormous amount of attention dedicated to it over the last few weeks," Air Transat spokeswoman Debbie Cabana wrote in an email. "Perhaps part of that attention should be redirected to the factors that contribute to 99 per cent of COVID-19 infections." If the government wants to ban travel, Cabana said, it should ban it — and give airlines financial support. "You cannot ask a company fighting for survival to continue to operate while taking away its customers." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
Yulia Navalnaya was taking part in a protest to demand the release of her husband when she was taken into a police vehicle.
British ministers are to discuss on Monday further tightening travel restrictions, the BBC reported on Saturday, adding that people arriving in the country could be required to quarantine in hotels. Prime Minister Boris Johnson told a news conference on Friday that the UK may need to implement further measures to protect its borders from new variants of COVID-19. Britain's current restrictions ban most international travel while new rules introduced earlier in January require a negative coronavirus test before departure for most people arriving, as well as a period of quarantine.
After a lengthy career as a drug and alcohol counsellor, followed by a stint as a shuttle driver at a diamond mine, you might expect Allyn Rohatyn to go gently into retirement. Not this 77-year-old. Rohatyn decided it was time to go back to his sewing roots and open a business. Last October, he opened Allyn Rohatyn Upholstery in Hay River's Caribou Centre. Rohatyn does all kinds of work, from fixing furniture to repairing skidoo seats. He got his start as a sewer when he was five years old, growing up on a farm in Saskatchewan, creating little things like tea towels on his mom's old pedal-powered sewing machine. One of his first creations was a pair of pants he made for his sister out of flour bags. They were a little short for her, with the hem landing about 15 centimetres below the knee. "She said, 'you didn't make the legs long enough.' And I said, 'well I made them for you when you ride your bike so you don't get your pant legs caught in them, they're called pedal pushers.' She had a good laugh about that." Unconventional career path Rohatyn had his first upholstery shop in Bienfait, Saskatchewan, from 1965 to 1975. Around 1980, after "alcohol got a grip on my life and everything fell apart," he went to rehab. Afterwards he got a degree in social work, majoring in alcohol and drug studies at the University of Regina, which led to a career as a drug and alcohol counsellor. In 2006, he came North, taking another job as a counsellor. The job took him all over the North, to places like Fort Simpson, Wrigley and Fort Providence. But he never lost his passion for sewing and sewing machines. After he retired, he said that he needed something to do with his time. "I know some fellas that talk about retiring when they're 65 and I keep insisting to them that, you better have something in your mind that you want to do to keep yourself occupied, because you'll be going downhill quick," he says. But Rohatyn didn't get back into the sewing business quite yet. He fulfilled a long-time dream of working at a mine in the territories when he got a job as a shuttle driver at the Ekati mine. In 2016, however, he suffered a major heart attack. Uses same machine he learned on as a boy He says it was one of the things that inspired him to get back in the upholstery business and open his own shop. Customers can see about four different sewing machines in his shop but he owns 17 of them. He keeps the others at home. He collects them, restores them and then either uses them or gives them away. One of the sewing machines he uses is the same machine he learned on as a boy. He was 12 when his first boss' wife gave him the machine after her husband had died. That machine is more than 80 years old now. "Yep, that's the machine, the one that I use everyday. I have a couple other ones that are industrial machines, I just like to use the one that I learned to sew with." Rohatyn says with a little bit of care and maintenance, the machine still works great to this day, and it's his main work horse in the shop. Never know where business will come from He says his most notable creation so far has been for a dairy farmer whose cows would have their udders so full of milk, they were almost dragging on the ground. "He came in one day to my little shop and he asked me if I could make him a bra for his dairy cows. I thought he was trying to pull my leg. "We went out to his dairy farm, and I measured them all up, and I went back to my shop and I made up this bag with a bra-like feature to it, and a belt that went over top of the cow. Went back out and we put it on the cow, and uh, I think even the cow was happy. "Later on, he asked me if I could make about 20 more of them!"
Less gas, more green. That is the motto behind the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative, a federal program that recently awarded $800,000 toward green energy projects in Inuvik — one of the biggest consumers of diesel in the north. The money was awarded to Grant Sullivan, president of Nihtat Energy Ltd., a Gwich'in development corporation. Sullivan said he is hopeful to put the money to use this summer. "The Gwich'in Tribal Council supports innovative energy projects developed by our own Gwich'in participants, like Grant Sullivan, for the benefit of our communities," Gwich'in Tribal Council Grand Chief Ken Smith said. Two solar projects slated The new funding is set aside to pursue solar projects in the Beaufort Delta region, according to the federal press release. The projects include a 2021 solar project at the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility, with funds to help with implementation and training, and planning for a grid-connected solar farm in Inuvik, slated to start in 2021 and be completed by 2022. Nihtat Energy Ltd. has a history of green initiatives and collaborations in the north. Last year, the company teamed up with The North West Company to install 640 solar energy panels on the roof of the Inuvik Northern store, saving approximately $60,000 in electricity expenses annually. The announcement comes four months after the federal government also pledged $8 million for eight clean energy projects in the territories.