Nisga’a Nation declared a state of local emergency on Nov. 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases and an exposure in the Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School community. Six school aged children have tested positive for the virus. Other positive cases are linked to two family gatherings in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh). As of Dec. 2, Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) has confirmed 32 positive COVID-19 tests. “We are all in this together,” said Eva Clayton, Nisga’a Lisims president in a media release. “We must follow all provincial and Nisga’a health orders to ensure we stop further spread of this serious virus.” Until Dec. 10, entrance to Gitlaxt’aamiks will only be allowed from 8:00 a.m. to midnight — security personnel are monitoring the entrance to the village and patrolling the village from midnight to 7:00 a.m. According to a Nov. 26 Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government communique, family gatherings and house-parties are prohibited and all offices, churches, and the recreation centre are closed. Masks are mandatory in the village and visitors to Gitlaxt’aamiks are prohibited. The communique states that the majority of COVID-19 cases in the Nass Valley are in Gitlaxt’aamiks and that house parties continue to be a concern. READ MORE: Students at Nisga’a school test positive for COVID-19 “We are meeting regularly and undertaking comprehensive COVID-19 management action,” said Brandi Trudell-Davis, NVHA chief executive officer in the Nov. 26 release. “We look to our Nation, communities, families and individuals to actively take precautionary measures to stop the spread. We are all in this together and and it is the only way we will all get through this.” NVHA is working with the Northern Health Authority to monitor and trace COVID-19 cases.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
BROCK: The Township of Brock is continuing its battle against a proposed supportive housing development in Beaverton. At a meeting on Monday, November 23rd, councillors voted to pass an interim control bylaw “to prohibit the establishment of Supportive Housing and Modular Construction, including Manufactured Dwelling Houses, for a period of twelve (12) months, in order to allow for the appropriate completion of further research and consultation.” The supportive housing project is being spearheaded by the Region of Durham, and was announced earlier this year as an expedited development project. According to the Region of Durham, the project is expected to include about 50 units, and will be designed as an apartment building for “single, bachelor-style living only.” The facility is also expected to offer “supports and wrap-around services to residents in the north and the greater Durham community.” But the project has been controversial within the Brock community, with several local residents and councillors recently speaking out against it. Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble stressed the importance of establishing this bylaw measure. “This is really just an important step in better preparing for the future of Brock Township, and making sure we do our due diligence in terms of the planning study, to make sure any supportive housing projects we choose to move forward with are done in a way that is setting them up for success,” she said. Ward 1 Councillor Michael Jubb also supported passing the bylaw. “This is a new reality of life that’s upon us, and it’s very important right now we get this right,” he said. But Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell was concerned about the potential legal ramifications of the bylaw. “It’ll have a real financial impact on our taxpayers if it turns into a legal battle, so I can’t support this,” she stated. Regional Councillor Ted Smith said negotiations between the township and the Region of Durham will continue on this development. Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer called this new bylaw “good forward looking planning.” Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper
TORONTO — Three promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates may have spurred optimism from investors, but Royal Bank of Canada's chief executive is warning the country is not rid of its pandemic troubles yet.Dave McKay told analysts Wednesday that the economy could still suffer some blows as the globe grapples with uncertainty around how soon people will be injected with Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca's vaccines. "The economy has rebounded well to date," he said on a call to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter earnings."But given the emergence of the second wave of COVID-19 in our core markets, we expect economic growth to slip over the next couple of quarters and project Canadian economic growth to end 2020 down over 5 per cent."McKay projected that economic growth could rebound by between 4 and 5 per cent, but likely not until 2021.His outlook is less rosy than some of his banking counterparts, who said on Tuesday they were cautiously optimistic about the economy's future.Bank of Nova Scotia chief executive Brian Porter said the economy was looking up because government relief programs had pushed retail spending back to pre-pandemic levels, helped housing market growth and triggered a recovery in auto sales."There’s good reason to be optimistic about the associated economic recovery accelerating as 2021 progresses,” BMO Financial Group chief executive Darryl White added.McKay's warnings come even as his bank beat analyst expectations and managed to report higher fourth-quarter profits than those prior to the pandemic.The bank said it earned nearly $3.25 billion or $2.23 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from nearly $3.21 billion or $2.18 per diluted share a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, RBC says it earned $2.27 per diluted share for its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $2.22 per diluted share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $2.05 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.Revenue totalled $11.09 billion, down from $11.37 billion in the same quarter last year.RBC's successes were largely due to its ability to use gains in its capital markets business to offset lower interest rates, client deposit revenue and. results in its personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses. Looking at its full year, the bank's personal and commercial banking sector saw earnings slip by 21 per cent and in wealth management they fell by 13 per cent, but RBC saw growth in the insurance and investor services areas.Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, the bank was keen to keep spending in line as much as possible. Expenses fell 4 per cent year over year and in most areas remained "relatively flat or down from last year," McKay said.The bank also took the quarter as a chance to ease up on the amount of money it reserves to cover bad loans.After putting away $1.11 billion in the second quarter and $675 million in the third quarter, McKay said the bank only had to dedicate $427 million for provisions for credit losses in the latest quarter.That was down from $499 million a year ago and followed a strategy also being used at Scotiabank and BMO, which announced Tuesday that they too had reduced their provisions for credit losses.The wind down signals that some government relief programs and billions in loan deferrals and fee abatements from banks have worked to mitigate risks associated with the pandemic.RBC said it had offered deferrals on more than $90 billion of loans and seen long-term interest rates edge up, but McKay feels short-term interest rates will remain low for "an extended period."When combined with elevated levels of fiscal stimulus, the rates provide a buffer for customers to manage risk, but he indicated that won't help everyone."While the majority of clients have returned to making payments on their loans, some will experience further difficulties with the effects of the second wave," McKay said.Predicting how significant an impact the second wave and fiscal stimulus will have on the ability of Canadians to deal with financial troubles is tough, said National Bank of Canada when it too released earnings on Wednesday.The bank said its profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31 amounted to $492 million or $1.36 per diluted share, down from a profit of $604 million or $1.67 per diluted share a year ago.Revenue hit $2 billion in the quarter, up from $1.91 billion in the same quarter last year."It is not possible to predict the full impacts that this pandemic will have on the global economy, financial markets and the bank," National said in a release. "The actual impacts will depend on future events that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with any certainty, including the extent, severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the effectiveness of actions and measures taken by governments, monetary authorities and regulators over the long term."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:RY, TSX:BNS, TSX:BMO, TSX:NA)Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
Quebec is tightening the health guidelines for stores and malls for the holiday shopping season in an attempt to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault said Wednesday she wants Quebecers to be able to shop for loved ones in a safe environment.The measures include: * A maximum capacity of customers based on floor space available to customers. The capacity must be displayed at the front of the store or shopping mall. * Signs about distancing rules to ensure compliance while shopping and waiting in line. * Clear markings so that shoppers can more easily navigate the store.Guilbault acknowledged that many shopping venues already have these measures in place. But she said those that don't risk being fined up to $6,000 or closed altogether.She said police and workplace safety inspectors would increase their presence in shopping districts during the holiday period.The province reported a record 1,514 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic, along with 43 deaths.Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said earlier this week that shopping malls have not been a major driver of COVID-19 outbreaks but he said stricter guidelines would ensure that remains the case.
Two local organizations are encouraging area residents to help keep the Christmas spirit alive in Haliburton this festive season. The Haliburton and District Lions Club is teaming up with the Haliburton Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) to host an impromptu month-long Christmas tree decoration party on Highland St. From now until Dec. 25, local residents are invited to bring their favourite Christmas ornament and hang it on the town tree, located outside the Village Barn on Highland Street. The event has been put forward as a way for people to tap into the Christmas magic a little differently this year, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forcing popular celebrations such as the Santa Claus parade and Festival of Trees to be cancelled. “It’s been a tough year, and I think people are looking for a sense of festivity and community with the Christmas season upon us,” said Angelica Ingram, administrator of the Haliburton BIA. “Our town is small, and we do a lot of community-oriented things, and people are starting to notice the absence of that.” She added, “We’re trying to do something here to make people feel connected. We’re trying to encourage people to be a part of the community. I think people are tired of being isolated, and just tired of not seeing their neighbours, friends and family on the main street.” With the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit reporting only four active COVID-19 cases in the area, and the region remaining in the ‘Green’ zone of the Ontario government’s coronavirus response framework, Ingram believes local residents can feel safe participating in the event providing they follow the recognized safety protocols and practice social distancing. The tree, donated by local businessman Kim Emmerson and set up by volunteer members of the Dysart Fire Department last week, already boasts about a half dozen Christmas decorations, although there’s room for much more says Jim Frost, a long-time member of the local Lions Club. Having spent several years organizing the town’s Santa Claus parade, Jim was determined to find another way to celebrate the Christmas season in style. In the end, it was his wife Marilyn who came up with the idea to decorate the town tree. “I saw something on TV one day, where another community was doing something similar and I thought ‘what a great idea’,” Marilyn said. “I’ve always felt that tree should have something else on it. This is now a great way to get people into town, and get kids involved.”Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
Dysart et al council has signed off on a memorandum of understanding that will allow the Haliburton County Snowmobile Association (HCSA) to operate on the local trail this winter season, providing the organization comes to a separate agreement with the principal landowners along the site. In what turned out to be a hearty debate amongst council members, a recorded vote saw a majority of the municipality’s elected officials approve the HCSA’s request to amend an existing agreement that will, essentially, transfer a portion of the off-season liability from the snowmobile club to the town should an accident occur. Ward 4 Coun. John Smith was the sole vote against the request. He pointed to issues that Dysart’s legal counsel and insurance provider had with the wording of the new agreement as the main reason he voted to turn the application down. “I’m not trying to prohibit snowmobiling, but as our solicitor has pointed out, and as our insurance company has pointed out, these proposed changes put forth by the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, (and presented by local associations), are transferring risk from snowmobiling clubs to municipalities. That is liability from snowmobilers onto taxpayers,” Coun. Smith said. He continued, “For us to proceed with this when our solicitor has written us a letter, and our insurance company have written a letter expressing their concerns over the agreement, and for us to adopt our own casual interpretation of those risks … It’s a concern, for me, that we would appear to dismiss these risks so casually.” Earlier in the meeting, Jeff Iles, Dysart’s director of planning and land information, informed council that the town’s lawyer said it was “not inherently a negative thing” that the snowmobile association was looking to limit its responsibility in the event an injury or damages occur during the late spring, summer and early months of fall, when there’s no snow on the ground. Mayor Andrea Roberts said she understands completely why the snowmobile club would want to initiate such a change. “Why would the snowmobile club want to be responsible if somebody is trespassing on property, or a tree falls, or somebody is hiking on (the trail). I see why they’re asking for this change,” Mayor Roberts said. Coun. Smith did not concur with the mayor’s opinion, pointing to other municipalities and organizations, such as the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and the Grand River Conservation Authority, who have refused to sign off on their own snowmobile club’s requests. “I remain supportive of snowmobiling in general, but to take these risks on behalf of our taxpayers in the face of professional advice to the contrary… We’re being too casual about this. We need to better understand the potential consequences of putting in place an agreement like this prior to passing the motion that is before us.” While council voted in favour of the new agreement, they did include a clause that staff will continue to consult with legal representation and their insurance company on this file moving forward. It was suggested, by Ward 2 Coun. Larry Clarke, that the municipality simply up their liability coverage with their insurer to cover any potential lawsuit. “It may cost us a few extra dollars, but snowmobile associations bring huge amounts of business to this community, which is so important for our economic health,” Coun. Clarke stated. Although Dysart council signed off on the agreement, the HCSA will still need to negotiate an agreement with Fleming College before its members can use the trail. Should council, at a future date, decide it wants to go back on this agreement, it will need to provide 60 days written notice to both the HCSA and Fleming College.Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
The Terrace RCMP have arrested Kenton David Fast Tuesday, Dec. 1, according to a media release. According to a Dec. 1 media release, police are were searching for Fast, who was unlawfully at large. Police said they could not share why Fast is at large. To report a crime, or have information regarding an ongoing investigation, call Terrace RCMP at (250) 638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
The Orangeville Public Library has followed the trend of finding creative solutions to Christmas in 2020, — new ways to bring their usual festive activities to children in the community. Beginning on Dec. 4, children young and old will be able to tune in every Friday and enjoy a recording of Santa reading around the fireplace. Videos will be posted to the Orangeville Public Library’s YouTube channel at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4, 11, 18, and on Christmas Day. Additionally, the library will extend the festive fun through holiday-themed story time craft kits for families to enjoy together at home. These kits will be available for pickup from the Mill Street branch beginning on Dec. 4, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Stories with Santa program has been a favourite at the library over the years, with one aspect of it being Santa’s annual gift of literacy. This facet of the festivities will not be forgotten with the virtual event. Beginning on Dec. 18, children will be able to pick up a wrapped picture book at the Mill Street Library. There is a limit of one book per child, and quantities are limited. Additional virtual programming is available online during the closures via the library’s YouTube channel. Notifications are available by subscribing to the channel. For more information visit www.orangevillelibrary.ca.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
A Windsor elementary school outbreak with 49 cases set the "precedent" for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in the province, according to one expert.Biostatistician Ryan Imgrund, who is based in Newmarket, Ont., and works with a number of public health units across the province, told CBC Radio's Windsor Morning that the outbreak at Frank W. Begley Public Elementary School set the example of what should be done. "At the time that they found those cases, Windsor was not one of those super danger zones like Toronto, Peel and some other areas like that," Imgrund said. "So I don't think it was expected by anyone that a school that is in a lower-risk area would find up to 50 cases ... I think Begley set the precedent for the whole entire province what we should be doing." After three staff members tested positive for the disease, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit dismissed the entire school on Nov. 17 and advised everyone to get tested. COVID-19 testing was prioritized for the entire school population, with a temporary testing site set up in the school's gymnasium. Overall, 40 students and nine staff members have tested positive. In the same week that Begley was declared an outbreak, W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School also went into outbreak and dismissed all students after two positive cases. Testing was prioritized for all members of this group, with a temporary testing site set up in the school, and seven people were confirmed positive. Despite this, and the fact that Begley is the largest school outbreak in the province, Windsor was not included in the launch of an asymptomatic testing pilot project announced last week. Ontario Education Minister Stephen Lecce said Thursday that the pilot is available for students and staff in the province's COVID-19 hotspots of Toronto, Peel, York and Ottawa. "Right now, the next four weeks are targeting the highest-risk regions," he said at the time. "We're following the advice of public health. If they determine, they provide a recommendation it should be expanded or we should augment the list, of course we will continue to follow that direction and implement it swiftly."Lecce told reporters that 99.85 per cent of students in the Windsor-Essex region remain COVID-free, and he and his staff are in contact with school board and public health officials to keep transmission down.Though Begley remains closed, superintendent of education at the Greater Essex County District School Board Sharon Pyke told CBC News Wednesday that the board is working with the health unit and hopes to announce a reopening date this week. A letter sent out to parents in regards to the outbreak had asked them to have their child tested, even if they were asymptomatic. When asked whether she'd like to see asymptomatic testing in schools available in the region, Pyke said it might be best to spare our resources. "I think that if we can keep on top of doing our self-assessments, I think that we perhaps may be better served in terms of our resources in our area, we want to make sure that we're able to test the people that need to be tested," she said."So do I agree? Any kind of preventative measure is good for anyone so of course I want the best for students, I want the best for our staff. I just want to make sure that they're allocated in the right space and the right spot." An investigation by the local health unit is still ongoing to determine how COVID-19 transmission was so widespread in Begley.
Waterloo Region council will vote Dec. 2 on whether to get rid of the five child-care centres it operates. Parents and advocates say the move would harm quality of care and leave hundreds of children in the lurch. Tania Gonzalez said her son Marcus has been well cared for since going to Christopher Children's Centre in Cambridge in mid-2019, when he was an infant. Caretakers at the centre recognized when Marcus was behind on his speech and made her aware of it. Marcus started talking around March, said Gonzalez, just before the province declared a state of emergency and closed all child-care centres. When Marcus returned to Christopher in July, they “lost all the progress,” Gonzalez said. “Not for lack of trying at home, but again, we ... don't specialize in children's development,” she said, adding, since returning to Christopher, Marcus is using easily up to 50 words. “It's not just a daycare. It's not just a babysitter. It's a whole system looking out for my kids.” Tania Resendes said her kids Leo, three, and Matteo, one, really love seeing their teachers at Christopher. Matteo, who has hearing loss, could only speak around three words when he started out and saw a “significant difference” within a month of being at the centre, using over 12 words. Resendes said parents should have “options,” and believes it would be hard to find care of the same calibre in a private daycare system, especially for children with special needs. She said she has tried calling around to child-care centres, but it has been hard to find available spots during the pandemic, when child-care centres are operating at a around 70 per cent capacity. “The prospect of closing or off-loading child-care centres during a pandemic is absolutely shameful,” Carolyn Ferns, policy co-ordinator at the Ontario Coalition of Better Child Care (OCBCC) stated in a media release. “The regionally-operated child-care centres play an important role in the child-care system in the Region of Waterloo. “High-quality, public child-care centres are a benchmark for decent wages, pensions, and benefits for educators who are predominantly women.” With the closures, the region would lose around $2.2 million in fees from parents and would free up $4.3 million in provincial financing earmarked for child care, a consultation review found. Closure would also, it found, require the region to immediately shell out up to $6.4 million in severance pay as the region is projected to be $25 million in the red. CUPE Local 1883, which represents workers in each of the five child-care centres, said the move would leave parents, caretakers and the children in the cold. “Hundreds of working families in the region are already at their breaking point during this brutal pandemic,” says Noelle Fletcher, president of the local. “Losing public child-care spaces due to closures or off-loading them to the community will result in a destabilization of care. “Many parents and caregivers may have to quit their jobs and rely on unlicensed, private care with exorbitant fees or be placed on lengthy wait lists in community-based centres.” Staff recommend eliminating Cambridge Children’s Centre, Kitchener’s Edith MacIntosh Children’s Centre, Kinsmen Children’s Centre and Christopher Children’s Centre, both in Cambridge, by mid-2021. Elmira Children’s Centre is recommended to be closed at a future date. As a result, around 250 children would lose support and 62 full-time staff would be permanently laid off. In 2015, council voted against the closure of all five centres amid public pressure. This time, Resendes said, parents were given too little time to prepare. “From the moment that we found out to when it's going to vote, we've been given three weeks to try and advocate, do our research ... and figure out exactly what's going on.” The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. Dec. 2 and will be livestreamed. Call 519-575-4400 to leave feedback.Swikar Oli, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cambridge Times
Discovery+ will be available on Jan. 4 in the United States where it will include 55,000 episodes from channels in the Discovery portfolio, which include HGTV, Food Network and Animal Planet. The service will be free for up to 12 months for new and existing Verizon customers, depending on their plan. People who aren’t eligible for the free trial can subscribe to the service for $4.99 per month with ads, or $6.99 per month ad-free.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Australia's economy grew by 3.3% in the third quarter, rebounding from its first recession in nearly three decades as it recovered from pandemic-related shocks, according to figures released Wednesday.Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters the country still has a lot of ground to make up from the coronavirus downturn.“Australia’s recession may be over, but Australia’s economic recovery is not,” he said.Despite the latest quarterly rise, the economy contracted at a 3.8% annual pace. That's after GDP fell by 0.3% in the first quarter and then by a record 7% in the second quarter.“But the Australian economy has demonstrated its remarkable resilience and Australia is as well positioned as any other nation on Earth," Frydenberg said. “Today’s national accounts represent a major step forward in Australia’s economic recovery.”Before this year, Australia had managed to avoid a recession for 28 years. The economy grew even during the global financial crisis thanks to strong demand for Australia's mineral exports and a robust domestic sector.The better-than-expected figures were encouraging, economists said.“The rebound in Q3 GDP reversed around 40% of the decline during the first half of the year and we expect output to return to pre-virus levels by mid-2021," Ben Udy of Capital Economics said in a commentary.Now on top of the pandemic, Australia is enduring a spate of rocky relations with China, its biggest trading partner.Frydenberg said the situation with China is “very serious” but his government is focusing on striking deals with other countries in Asia and beyond.“We have great produce, and we have great services, and we have great resource sectors, and I’m very optimistic about the opportunities for our exporters around the world," he said.Australia's relationship with China worsened this week after a Chinese official tweeted a fake image of a grinning Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to a child’s throat.Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the image “repugnant” and demanded an apology from the Chinese government. But China has not backed down.The post took aim at alleged abuses by elite Australian soldiers during the conflict in Afghanistan.Tensions have been growing this year since the Australian government called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the pandemic. China has imposed tariffs and other restrictions on a number of Australian exports.Nick Perry, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Latest on President-elect Joe Biden (all times local):9:25 a.m.President-elect Joe Biden says he won’t immediately lift tariffs placed by President Donald Trump on many imports from China or break Trump’s initial trade deal.Biden says he wants to maximize his leverage in future talks with the United States' geopolitical rival.Speaking to New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, Biden said, “I’m not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs.” Biden adds in Friedman's column published Wednesday: “I’m not going to prejudice my options.”Under Trump, the U.S. and China engaged in a yearlong trade war that has been largely frozen since a Phase One deal was reached in January. While some industries have benefited from Trump’s protectionist policies, the policies have been largely panned by the business community and most experts — and most of the cost of tariffs has been borne by American businesses and consumers.Biden tells Friedman an early priority after his January swearing-in will be to restore relationships with allies to strengthen his negotiating position with China. Biden says key to talks with China is “leverage” and in his view "we don’t have it yet.”___HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT-ELECT JOE BIDEN'S TRANSITION TO THE WHITE HOUSE:President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet picks are quickly running into the political reality of a narrowly controlled Senate that will leave the new Democratic administration dependent on rival Republicans to get anything done.Read more:— Ron Klain brings decades of DC experience to Biden White House— Trump threatens defence veto over social media protections— Disputing Trump, Barr says no widespread election fraud— Senate GOP leader sticking with partisan COVID-19 relief planThe Associated Press
Here’s a collection curated by The Associated Press’ entertainment journalists of what’s arriving on TV, streaming services and music platforms this week.MOVIES— Film history fans will get a meal out of David Fincher’s “Mank,” about “Citizen Kane” screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz who is masterfully played by Gary Oldman. Shot in gorgeous black and white, “Mank” transports you into the depression era studio system, Upton Sinclair’s bid for governor, William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies’s elegant parties and to that bungalow in Victorville where the first draft of the classic Orson Welles film was composed. Available on Netflix on Friday, “Mank” is one of the year’s very best films and both a tribute to and searing critique of Hollywood’s golden age. Amanda Seyfried, as Davies, is one of the great performances of the year.— Another film full of excellent performances is “Sound of Metal,” starring Riz Ahmed as a punk metal drummer who experiences sudden severe hearing loss. The film, which is captioned in English, dives into the world of the deaf community with Ruben (Ahmed) in a way you’ve never seen or heard before. It’s the directorial debut of Darius Marder (a writer on “The Place Beyond the Pines”), who assembled an crack team of sound mixers and editors to create a unique auditory experience to simulate what Ruben is going through as he loses his hearing entirely.— If $30 was a little steep for your tastes to rent the new live-action “Mulan,” it’ll finally be free for Disney+ subscribers Friday. From director Niki Caro, this adaptation of the Chinese folk tale about a young woman who disguises herself as a man and takes her father’s place in the army, is breathtakingly beautiful, from the stunning landscapes to the colorful costumes. Although it may fall short on the kind of intoxicating story magic that the Disney label signifies, it is worth a watch and may just inspire some curious young viewers to delve into more Asian cinema classics. Also, if you find yourself missing the songs and Eddie Murphy, the animated 1998 version is also available on the service.— AP Film Writer Lindsey BahrMUSIC— A house is not a home during the holiday season if Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is not blasting – daily! During a normal, non-pandemic year, Carey and her Christmas craziness would be on a holiday tour, bringing joy to fans and lambs in-person. Because live shows aren’t really a thing in 2020, she’s launching a holiday TV special on Apple TV+ on Friday. “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” will includes a mix of musical performances and dancing with amination. Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg, Tiffany Haddish, Misty Copeland and Carey’s 9-year-old twins, son Moroccan and daughter Monroe, will make special appearances.— Shawn Mendes released his debut album in 2015 and he’s dropping his fourth effort Friday. “Wonder” continues to showcase Mendes’ growth as a singer, songwriter and performer. The album features the singles “Wonder” and “Monster” with Justin Bieber, which debuted in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot chart this week. Along with the album is the Netflix documentary called “Shawn Mendes: In Wonder,” which is available for streaming and follows Mendes’ rise and journey over the last few years.— Christmas came early when Carrie Underwood released her first holiday album in September, and on Thursday she’ll debut a musical TV special to accompany the album. On HBO Max’s “My Gift: A Christmas Special from Carrie Underwood” — conducted by award-winning musical director Rickey Minor — the country superstar is backed by a live orchestra, choir and her band. John Legend makes a special appearance and viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at Underwood’s 5-year-old son, Isaiah, recording his vocals for their version of “Little Drummer Boy.”— AP Music Editor Mesfin FekaduTELEVISION— “Selena: The Series” is described by Netflix as a coming-of-age drama that follows Selena Quintanilla from talented youngster to musical phenom, aided by her family. A breakthrough star in male-dominated Tejano music, the singer was just shy of her 24th birthday in 1995 when she was fatally shot by a former business associate. The two-part series debuts Friday with Christian Serratos (“The Walking Dead”) as Selena and Gabriel Chavarria (“East Los Angeles’) and Ricardo Chavira (“Desperate Housewives”) among the cast members.— The 11th and final season of the Showtime dramady “Shameless” debuts 9 p.m. EST Sunday, weaving the pandemic, urban gentrification and personal pressures into the lives of the Gallaghers of Chicago’s South Side. Aging patriarch Frank (William H. Macy) is facing the toll of longtime alcohol and drug abuse, while and Ian and Mickey (Cameron Monaghan, Noel Fisher) struggle as newlyweds. Deb (Emma Kenney) stands ready to give her all to single motherhood and Carl (Ethan Cutkosky) feels the same about his nascent law enforcement career.— Two respected veterans are behind “A Suitable Boy,” a limited series directed by filmmaker Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding,” “The Namesake”) and written by Andrew Davies (“Pride and Prejudice,” “House of Cards”). An adaptation of Vikram Seth’s 1,300-plus page novel of the same name, the 1950s, India-set drama revolves around a university student who’s shaping her identity as the newly independent country does the same. The all-Indian lead cast includes Tabu (“The Namesake,” “Life of Pi”) and Tanya Maniktala. The series debuts Monday, Dec. 7, on Acorn TV.— AP Television Writer Lynn Elber___Catch up on AP’s entertainment coverage here: https://apnews.com/apf-entertainment.The Associated Press
Legendary wrestler Pat Patterson has died at the age of 79, World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.The Montreal native, whose birth name was Pierre Clermont, devoted decades of his life to wrestling, with an in-ring career that spanned from 1958 to 1984. After making his debut on regional fight cards in Quebec, he moved to the U.S. in the early 1960s. In 1979, he became WWE's first Intercontinental champion.After announcing his in-ring retirement in 1984, he worked as a colour analyst and in various roles behind the scenes with the head of the company, Vince McMahon. The promotion was then called the World Wrestling Federation.In 2016, Patterson published his autobiography, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE, in collaboration with author Bertrand Hébert. Patterson's sexual orientation was widely known in wrestling circles, but he announced it publicly in 2014.Known as "le Rêve du Québec" for his exploits in the ring, he also became known for thinking of creative ways of ending wrestling matches. He came up with the concept of the Royal Rumble, an elimination match that traditionally features 30 wrestlers and has gone on to become one of WWE's most popular events. In WWE's statement, Patterson's career is described as being ''synonymous with making history.""From the Intercontinental Title to the Royal Rumble Match and beyond, his name will forever be revered in WWE lore," read the statement.Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.
Arthur Schafer, Founding Director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba, explores the ethics behind the prioritization on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine first.
NORTH DURHAM/KAWARTHA: Local communities continue to report a number of active COVID-19 cases. On Sunday, November 29th, the Durham Region Health Department reported the highest number of new cases of the virus in the region, at 130. As of press time, the Durham Region Health Department is reporting Uxbridge continues to have the highest number of active cases in North Durham, with five people listed in isolation. The Durham District School Board reports three cases have been confirmed at Uxbridge public school, with two classes listed in isolation. The Uxbridge community has had 131 confirmed cases to date, with 105 listed as resolved and 21 deaths. Scugog currently has one case listed in isolation, and 28 resolved cases. Brock Township also has one case in isolation, and 20 resolved cases. Meanwhile, the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health unit is reporting Kawartha Lakes currently has six unresolved cases of the virus, 174 resolved cases, and 32 deaths.Dan Cearns, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Standard Newspaper
Lakefield resident Brant Dunford decided to paint a powerful image on a paddle because he wanted to contribute to the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project and to keep the conversation alive about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. “The idea to paint this portrait came to me when I was doing another drawing on the paddle. I changed my mind, basically erased what I had and got inspired to do the portrait. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Dunford. The paddle depicts an Indigenous girl with a bloodied hand across her face. It’s a strong image that’s used to show the blood shed of Indigenous woman, while at the same time bringing awareness of MMIWG to the forefront. Dunford says the paddle was purchased at a local store. He says in order for him to paint the paddle he had to sand the surface. “From start to finish, it took me the better part of two days,” he says. Dunford, a father of two and the great-grandson of the late Chief Moses Marsden of Alderville First Nation, says he likes to paint as a hobby and says he has a lot of time to do other work. “During the pandemic I find myself doing more paintings,” he says. He said he has painted a few other paddles with different images and says he plans on doing another one to bring awareness to MMIWG. The auction to bid on the paddle began Dec 1 and continues to Dec. 3. Details about the auction are listed on the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project Facebook page. Stephanie Doughty, organizer, says the project is going strong. She expects there to be a large turnout to bid on the paddle as the art is very well done. She says there was a sneak peak on Nov. 15 where many posted comments on the beauty of the artwork and showed interest in bidding before the auction began.Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week
McNab/Braeside’s $10-million 2021 budget, set to be passed on Dec. 15, is still “very fluid,” according to township treasurer Kelly Coughlin. She cannot comment on whether taxpayers will pay more taxes in 2021. “I don’t want to give taxpayers the impression that there will be no increase. There are some items that need to be finalized in the coming weeks, that could change the numbers,” Coughlin said in a phone interview Dec. 1. Mayor Tom Peckett, however, said he is confident that there will be “almost no increase in money required from the taxpayers” in an interview Nov. 26. “There’s a little bit of tweaking but I fully expect (the 2021 budget) to be passed on Dec. 15,” he said. “It’s almost equal to last year’s budget.” The first draft of the township’s 2021 budget proposed a 9.59 per cent tax levy increase over this year, with a big chunk of spending set aside for the roads department. “Once it’s passed, we’ll explain how we got there. I can’t really quantify (it yet),” he said. The pandemic has impacted next year’s budget. Expediting the systems required to stream public meetings online will be part of expenses next year. The mayor talked about moving into a new township building in January this year, “getting the kinks out of (the building)” and tackling one of the priorities for council: being able to stream online. “It was always on council’s agenda to get it done. With COVID-19, it’s taking a bit longer than we would have liked to. It’s been a work in progress for us,” Peckett said. “That’s why it’s (included) in the budget. We’re getting there,” he said. He cannot disclose how much updating the systems will cost. Coughlin said that the biggest consequence that the pandemic had on the township’s budget is on recreation programs. “We have to reimagine our programming because of the restrictions on the number (of participants). It impacts indoor programming, and there will be an impact on the revenue side of the things,” she said. “Staff is trying to adjust the operating budgets. We still want to have money available to provide programming to the ratepayers. On the Dec. 15 budget, I will be providing a comprehensive report summarizing the key things included in the budget,” Coughlin added. The treasurer stressed that there have been changes since their last council meeting. “The overall budget is a little over $10 million, that’s what it currently is. That is subject to change. Everything will be finalized on Dec. 15,” she said. Asked if taxpayers can expect any surprises in the budget next year, the mayor said “not for me there isn’t (a surprise). It’s the same as usual, there’s always an increase in fuel cost and labour cost. It’s pretty well the usual.” A notice is posted on the township’s website about the upcoming meeting: “Notice is hereby given that the Council of the Township of McNab/Braeside intends to consider passing a Bylaw to adopt the 2021 Operating and Capital budgets in accordance with Section 290 of the Municipal Act, 2001 at the Regular Meeting of Council to be held on Dec. 15, 2021 at 7 p.m. at the Township Council Chambers, 2473 Russett Dr.”Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
ENHYPEN, “BORDER : DAY ONE” (Belift Lab)With a speed and preparedness that would put to shame the world’s largest corporations, K-pop entertainment agencies continue to perfect the formula for success, launching multiple hit songs and albums with multiple acts.Next up is septet ENHYPEN. Following their participation in the 2020 reality TV show “I-LAND,” BELIFT LAB — a joint venture between BTS’ management BIG HIT and CJ ENM — is launching them into the stratosphere with a six-track debut album called “BORDER : DAY ONE.”The album introduces the seven-member group to the world with lyrics expressing anticipation, longing and the desire to connect. “Given-Taken” is a harp pop dramatic fantasy constructed around a hip-hop beat and “Let Me In (20 CUBE)” brings in a sexy, slow reggae rhythm wrapped around a captivating electric guitar.“10 Months” feeds a confident piano crescendo into a sort of a reverb pop and underwater effects and “Flicker” follows a dreamy drum bass infused with the charisma of a rake watching his next mark. “Intro : Walk the Line" and “Outro : Cross the Line" are mainly creative exercises meant to bookmark and flesh out the high concept release.It’s clear some sort of alchemy is turning voices and faces into gold overnight. Perhaps lucky No. 7 is real after all.Cristina Jaleru, The Associated Press