Megan Thee Stallion suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but is expected to make a full recovery. In a note posted on Instagram on Wednesday, the rising rapper said she’s “lucky to be alive.”
Megan Thee Stallion suffered multiple gunshot wounds, but is expected to make a full recovery. In a note posted on Instagram on Wednesday, the rising rapper said she’s “lucky to be alive.”
AGRICULTURE. Une campagne de sensibilisation aux réalités du milieu agricole bat son plein en Montérégie. Cette initiative publique, lancée au printemps dernier sous la thématique Notre campagne, un milieu de vie à partager entre dans sa seconde phase. Elle doit aborder plusieurs thématiques, dont celles de la santé des sols, des odeurs, du partage de la route et des bruits générés par les activités agricoles. La MRC de la Haute-Yamaska participe à ce projet, de même que douze autres MRC partenaires de la Montérégie, la Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie et l’agglomération de Longueuil. «Plusieurs outils de communication ont été développés, portés par le réseau des municipalités afin de déboulonner les croyances, atténuer les contrariétés et aborder les enjeux liés au travail agricole. Cette campagne vise à favoriser le vivre ensemble et le dialogue entre les producteurs agricoles et les résidents de la zone agricole en Montérégie», précise Joëlle Jetté, porte-parole de la Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie. Avec l’étalement urbain, les secteurs résidentiels se rapprochent inéluctablement des campagnes. Et les irritants se multiplient. Les municipalités en sont conscientes et cherchent à les désamorcer. «La vie a changé. Les agriculteurs de la Montérégie souhaitent dialoguer avec leurs voisins. Résider dans un milieu agricole nécessite parfois de la patience, mais l’agriculture locale nous garantit un approvisionnement en quantité suffisante de produits frais et de qualité supérieure», explique Jérémie Letellier, président de l’UPA de la Montérégie. «L’agriculture est un secteur innovant, à la recherche de solutions en matière d’agroenvironnement et de lutte aux changements climatiques. Il était temps, surtout en Montérégie, de faire le point», ajoute Mme Jetté. «Les commentaires sont très positifs. Quand on parle des réalités et des contraintes des agriculteurs, les gens apprécient.» L’agriculture, ma voisine! Chaque MRC a en main son Plan de développement de la zone agricole (PDZA). L’enjeu de la cohabitation avait souvent été soulevé par le secteur municipal. «La Montérégie est le garde-manger du Québec. Quand on veut privilégier les circuits courts, l’agriculture de proximité, cela veut dire, l’agriculture, ma voisine. Il faut comprendre ce que ça implique que de vivre dans un territoire agricole», affirme Joëlle Jetté de l’UPA. La première phase de la campagne lancée au printemps. Le projet avait l’été dernier rejoint avec succès les enfants dans plusieurs camps de jour. L’initiative a permis de sensibiliser près de 700 enfants aux réalités du monde agricole. Au total, 36 activités ont eu lieu dans 27 municipalités de la Montérégie. Il est probable que l’expérience soit reconduite l’an prochain. La campagne se poursuit jusqu’au mois d’octobre 2021. Les questions entourant la gestion de l’eau et des pesticides seront abordées au cours des prochains mois. Boris Chassagne, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix du Sud
Le conseil de la MRC du Domaine-du-Roy a entériné un premier projet de partage de services. En partenariat avec les cinq municipalités, la MRC mettra en place un service de mise en commun de l’inspection municipale. Le partage des services fait partie des batailles que souhaite mener le préfet de la MRC du Domaine-du-Roy, Yanick Baillargeon. « On ne peut pas continuer comme ça sans rien faire, parce que les coûts augmentent et qu’on a de la difficulté à trouver de la main-d’oeuvre, dit-il. On doit essayer des partages de services, même si le changement dérange ». Plusieurs municipalités partagent déjà des services entre elles. C’est le cas avec le service des loisirs entre Chambord, Lac-Bouchette, Saint-François-de-Sales et Saint-André. Saint-Félicien et La Doré partagent aussi des services en lien avec l’eau potable. D’autres regroupements sont possibles, estime le préfet. « Les cinq municipalités du sud de la MRC (Chambord, Lac-Bouchette. Saint-François-de-Sales, Saint-André et Sainte-Hedwidge) se sont concertées pour mettre en place un service d’inspection commun et, comme la MRC a aussi des besoins, nous avons décidé de lancer un premier projet de regroupement de services », explique-t-il. Ainsi, le conseil de la MRC a entériné la mise en place d’un service d’inspection en bâtiment et en environnement pour 2021. « Je pense que ça va ouvrir la voie à d’autres regroupements, mais il faut commencer par un projet concret », remarque Yanick Baillargeon. 83 000 dollars pour le sentier Ouiatchouan Lors de la séance du conseil de la MRC, tenue la semaine dernière, les élus ont aussi accepté de céder l’aide financière confirmée par le ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur de 83 000 $ à la Corporation de gestion du sentier pédestre Ouiatchouan, gestionnaire du sentier et détentrice des droits de passage. Cette somme servira à la mise à niveau et à l’amélioration du sentier, ainsi qu’à la mise en oeuvre du projet « Sentier Ouiatchouan : L’aventure pour tous ! ». « Il y a quelques années, il n’y avait plus d’organisation pour s’occuper du sentier Ouiatchouan et la MRC avait fait des démarches pour développer le sentier, explique le préfet. Avec le renouvellement de l’implication bénévole et la mobilisation, on a pris la décision de céder les montants reçus pour développer le sentier à la Corporation. » Un sentier de quad entre La Doré et La Tuque La construction de la ligne de transmission Chamouchouane-Bout-de-l’Île a créé un réseau de sentiers en pleine forêt, et au lieu de les détruire comme il était prévu par Hydro-Québec, la MRC et la municipalité de La Doré comptent en faire un sentier de quad. Le conseil de la MRC a donc passé une résolution pour demander au ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs de permettre l’utilisation des ponts forestiers pour le tracé d’un sentier entre La Doré et le Relais 22, sur le territoire de La Tuque, à plus d’une centaine de kilomètres.Guillaume Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
VANCOUVER — A weekend of Environment Canada warnings about snow over the south coast of British Columbia produced very little of the white stuff and all warnings except the one covering Metro Vancouver have now been lifted. But the weather office says up to five centimetres of snow is still likely for higher elevations of North and West Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam and Maple Ridge. Other areas of the Lower Mainland can expected to see rain or occasional sleet through the day, but little or no snow on the ground. Environment Canada had been calling for as much as 15 centimetres in some south coast regions by Monday morning. Parts of eastern Vancouver Island, higher areas of Greater Vancouver and the eastern Fraser Valley reported modest accumulations over the weekend. Snow also covered highways leading into the southern Interior early Monday, but no warnings or advisories were posted. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) has made the decision to pull the ice out of the Beaver Valley Community Centre (BVCC) arena for the remainder of the season. “The ice at the BVCC will be removed for the 2020/21 season. This was a difficult decision for staff to make as we know how important local arenas are to the community,” said Ryan Gibbons, director of community services for TBM. “However, the driving force behind the decision was the extension of the provincial shutdown and the unknown of what a re-opening would look like and when that may happen,” he continued. BVCC was originally closed on March 16 when TBM declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ice surface, which is usually open to the public near the end of September, was installed at the beginning of November. The facility had been available for use by local minor league teams and the Beaver Valley Skating Club with a number of new COVID-19 protocols. Throughout this time the rink was not open to the public or to private rentals. The arena was open from Nov. 2 to the first province-wide shutdown on Dec. 26. Gibbons explained once the ice has been removed, the town does not intend to re-install the ice surface until next season. “Staff will not be re-installing the ice if the shutdown restrictions are lifted. Instead, the focus will shift onto the upcoming 2021/22 ice season while working with the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit and user groups to ensure all protocols are put in place for a safe re-opening in the fall,” Gibbons added. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Bev Priestman has named six uncapped players in her first roster as coach of the Canadian women's team. The 34-year-old Priestman, who took over the team in November after Kenneth Heiner-Moller stepped down to take a coaching job in his native Denmark, has named a 29-player squad for a two-week camp ahead of next month's SheBelieves Cup in Orlando. The roster will be reduced to 23 for the four-team tournament, scheduled for Feb. 18-24 at Exploria Stadium The Canadian women, tied for eighth with Brazil in the FIFA rankings, are taking part with the top-ranked U.S., No. 10 Japan and Brazil. Potential debutantes includes goalkeeper Rylee Foster (Liverpool FC), defenders Bianca St-Georges (Chicago Red Stars) and Jade Rose (Super REX Ontario), midfielders Samantha Chang (University of South Carolina) and Jordyn Listro (Orlando Pride), and forward Evelyne Viens (Paris FC). Rose, who turns 18 on Feb. 12, has attended two senior camps but has yet to earn a cap. All but Viens worked with Priestman in her previous role as Canadian youth coach. It's the first time Canada Soccer has summoned Viens, a prolific goal-scorer at the University of South Florida who is currently on loan to Paris FC from Sky Blue FC of the NWSL. Veterans include captain Christine Sinclair (296 caps), Diana Matheson (206 caps), Sophie Schmidt (199 caps), and Desiree Scott (157 caps). Goalkeeper Erin McLeod (118 caps) earns her first call-up since returning from injury in 2019. The 37-year-old Sinclair goes into the Florida tournament with a world-record 186 international goals to her credit. “The pre-competition camp is designed to provide any players not in season with the chance to get in valuable preparation heading into the SheBelieves Cup,” Priestman said in a statement. “It also provides us with an opportunity to see where players are ahead of selecting our final 23-player roster for the SheBelieves Cup." Priestman has a good handle on Canada's young talent. From 2013 to 2018, she helped develop talent for the Canadian women's program and served as an assistant coach under John Herdman, whom she had also worked with in New Zealand. She left in August 2018 to return home, serving as Phil Neville's No. 2 with the English women's team and English youth coach. Eleven of the players on the Canadian camp roster are currently with teams in Europe with five playing in England, five in France and one in Sweden. There are 11 players from the NWSL, five from U.S. colleges and two from the developmental Super REX Ontario program. The Canadian women have not played since March 10, when they wrapped up play at a tournament in France with a 2-2 tie with Brazil. A Canadian camp scheduled for England in October was called off on the advice of medical experts due to the pandemic. All four teams at the SheBelieves Cup have qualified for the Tokyo Games with Canada finishing runner-up to the Americans at the CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying Championship last February. And all four made the knockout phase of the 2019 World Cup in France. The U.S. won the tournament while Canada, Brazil and Japan were eliminated in the round of 16. The defending champion Americans have won the SheBelieves Cup three times. France won in 2017 and England in 2019. CANADA Goalkeepers: Rylee Foster, Liverpool FC (England); Stephanie Labbe, FC Rosengard (Sweden); Erin McLeod, Orlando Pride (NWSL); Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC (NWSL). Defenders: Kadeisha Buchanan, Olympique Lyonnais (France); Vanessa Gilles, FC Girondins de Bordeaux (France); Jade Rose, Super REX Ontario; Shelina Zadorsky, Tottenham Hotspur (England); Gabrielle Carle, Florida State University; Allysha Chapman, Houston Dash (NWSL); Ashley Lawrence, Paris Saint-Germain (France); Bianca St-Georges, Chicago Red Stars (NWSL); Jayde Riviere, University of Michigan. Midfielders: Samantha Chang, University of South Carolina; Jessie Fleming, Chelsea FC (England); Julia Grosso, University of Texas; Jordyn Listro|, Orlando Pride (NWSL); Diana Matheson, FC Kansas City (NWSL); Quinn, OL Reign FC (NWSL); Sophie Schmidt, Houston Dash (NWSL); Desiree Scott, FC Kansas City (NWSL). Forwards: Janine Beckie, Manchester City (England); Jordyn Huitema, Paris Saint-Germain; Adriana Leon, West Ham United (England); Nichelle Prince, Houston Dash (NWSL); Deanne Rose, University of Florida; Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns; Olivia Smith, Super REX Ontario; Evelyne Viens, Paris FC (France). --- Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan, 25, 2021 Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
ATHENS, Greece — Greece signed a 2.3 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) deal with France on Monday to purchase 18 Rafale fighter jets, as tensions remain high with neighbour Turkey. Florence Parly, the French defence minister, signed the agreement in Athens to deliver 12 used and six new aircraft built by Dassault Aviation over two years, starting in July. France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades. Tension spiked again last summer when a Turkish exploration mission in disputed waters triggered a dangerous military buildup. Greece and Turkey have agreed to restart talks aimed at resolving the dispute peacefully. Senior diplomats from the two countries met in Istanbul on Monday to resume the process that had been interrupted for nearly five years. But Athens says it will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its military following years of cuts because of the country's financial crisis. France and the United States are in competition to provide the Greek navy with new frigates, while Greece's government recently approved plans to co-operate with Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems to create a new military flight academy in southern Greece. “The upgrade in the capabilities of the Hellenic Air Force by means of both the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and the new state-of-the-art training centre is critical for Greece to present a credible deterrence,” Michael Tanchum, a senior fellow at the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, told The Associated Press. “It also provides Athens an enhanced ability to exercise more strategic autonomy when EU and NATO frameworks are deemed inadequate, making Greece more of a player in its own right.” Starting in May, mandatory national service in the Greek Armed Forces will be increased from nine to 12 months to boost the number of people serving in uniform. Parly, who also met Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced that France would join two Greek military exercises later this year, participating with Rafale jets from the French air force. ___ Follow Derek Gatopoulos at https://twitter.com/dgatopoulos Derek Gatopoulos, The Associated Press
After much discussion, the Township of McMurrich/Monteith will remain in the regional fire training program. The Township received 16 letters from residents on Jan. 18, relating to concerns of not entering into the shared fire training agreement. Here are some key quotes from the discussion: “My concern is that I will not be able to get my people trained anymore or be able to get them certified; as a result, I won’t have firefighters to meet what we need to do in our municipality,” said McMurrich/Monteith’s fire chief John Ross. “I do not have the manpower to take on a single-family dwelling, so the automatic aid has been a huge plus for us, along with everything else that comes with it: the training, the bulk purchasing … the collaboration with the other departments. Leaving just the training has such a huge fallout.” “The contract is the problem, not the trainer — I’ve never had a problem with the trainer so to be clear on that, it’s the contract,” said Coun. Alfred Bielke. “The only way I know we’re going to get the service we require is to enter into this agreement because, right now, we’re being told we can’t get the training. We don’t have the personnel to even fight a fire in our own township … we’re putting our people at risk, we’re putting their homes at risk and we’re putting lives at risk, so the only way to get this back is to rescind the motion we defeated and put it back on the table,” said Coun. Dan O’Halloran. “For the authors of our letters, and the people that are listening, this agreement (is) a prelude to the regional fire training and regional fire department …” said Coun. Lynn Zemnicky. “I just want people who are listening to realize that the previous council jumped on board to chip in on this equipment, (the) ice and fire rescue boats … they were thousands of dollars; one is housed in, I believe, Kearney and the other in Magnetawan. If you fall into Bear, Doe or Buck Lake, I hope you can stay treading water until it comes all the way from Magnetawan. That’s where your taxpayer money is sitting.” “Our stations are going to stay our own and be operated by our council and our fire chiefs. Purchases will still be done through our council and not through the region …” said Reeve Angela Freisen. “If we opt out of this, we’re losing the automatic aid and, as Chief Ross said, we don’t have enough personnel to handle our own fires, (and) we’re going to lose the benefit of group purchasing.” “I would like to see council agree to continue with the training and take an active part in the working out of the funding model over the (next three) years, but in the meantime, our fire department doesn’t suffer,” said Ross. McMurrich/Monteith council directed staff to notify the six municipalities participating in the regional firefighter training agreement that the following should be added to the draft agreement. The funding model will be discussed within three months of signing; the proposed allowance be submitted by invoice, not automatic payment, and all cost increases must be decided by unanimous vote of all the municipalities. Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined Monday to take up the case of former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence after being convicted in a corruption case. The high court's decision not to hear Silver's appeal is another sharp blow to the Manhattan Democrat, who was once one of the three most powerful state officials. Silver was ousted as speaker in 2015 and was convicted later that year. His original conviction was overturned on appeal, but he was convicted again in 2018. Part of that conviction was then tossed out on another appeal, leading to yet another sentencing in July. Silver, 76, began serving his sentence in August. In the part of the case that survived the appeal process, Silver was convicted in a scheme that involved favours and business traded between two real estate developers and a law firm. Silver supported legislation that benefited the developers. The developers then referred certain tax business to a law firm that paid Silver fees. Two justices, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, said they would have heard Silver's case. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that President Donald Trump was considering clemency for Silver, but ultimately no pardon or sentence reduction was granted. Silver has been serving time at the federal prison in Otisville, about 80 miles (130 kilometres) from New York City. Before his conviction, Silver was a giant in New York politics. First elected to the Assembly in 1977, he became speaker in 1994, holding that position for more than two decades. For nearly half that time, during the administration of Republican Gov. George Pataki, he was the most powerful Democrat in the state. Silver's lawyers had asked the court to consider allowing him to serve his sentence at home because of the risk of contracting COVID-19 and dying in prison. But District Judge Valerie Caproni said issuing a sentence without prison time was inappropriate because Silver was guilty of “corruption, pure and simple.” The Associated Press
The Brock University Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute lecture series has returned. In its 14th year, the series highlights cutting-edge research from grape and wine industry experts. This year’s series will feature speakers from across the institute’s network of researchers, scientists, fellows and professional affiliates. Lectures will cover topics including consumer insights and preferences in the local and provincial wine industry, the use of augmented reality in wine marketing, research on cold hardiness and vineyard pests, and grapevine virus research and certification. “Although this has been a challenging year for everyone, the institute has still produced a great deal of critical research with applications for grape growers and winemakers across Canada,” Debbie Inglis, scientist and institute director, said in a news release. “Our lecture series puts that research directly into the hands of the industry, providing tailored, real-world solutions to industry priorities from vine to glass.” The free lectures, which are open to the public, began Jan. 20 and will take place remotely via livestream every week until Mar. 31. Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review
Local police and town authorities are warning the public about the dangers of thin ice after four teens fell into a pond on the weekend. The incident happened on a pond at the Vollmer Culture and Recreation Complex on Sunday, just after 2 p.m. Police said the teens went out to play hockey, but shortly after getting on the ice, it broke apart. One of the group members ended up under the water, according to Const. Terry Seguin. "They were all scared," he said. "You're just getting ready to go out and have a little fun and you don't expect the ice to give way underneath you." Police say a parent who was standing on shore called 911, and paramedics assessed the teens for any injuries or hypothermia. The group member who was submerged was sent to hospital for further assessment. Seguin said people should never go out on ice without first telling someone where they'll be. Having that parent on shore gave the teens a chance to contact emergency services immediately, rather than if or when they managed to scramble out of the water. 'It is very, very terrifying' Ice needs to be at least 10 centimetres thick to be considered safe, said Seguin. Thickness can also vary in different places and it can be difficult to know just how much ice there is without chopping a hole to be sure, he added. Regardless, police say it hasn't been cold enough — for long enough — for any ice to be safe. "It takes a good two, three weeks for sure, at least, of sub-zero temperatures, to develop a thickness of ice that can be considered safe," Seguin explained. Lakeshore is also cautioning residents to stay off of ice in the municipality. Mayor Tom Bain said in a news release that retention ponds in the municipality are not safe for skating. The news release added that several of the ponds in the area have pumps that are set to automatically turn on and off depending on conditions in Lakeshore's drainage system. As a result, ice on the ponds doesn't get very thick. For his part, Seguin said a fall into freezing water decades ago taught him just how much of a shock it can be. "I can speak from experience. It ... instantaneously takes your breath away and it is very, very terrifying," he said. "The key is, keep your wits about you and get out of the ice as quick as possible and get help as quick as you can."
LOGEMENT. À l’exemple de Queen’s Park, Québec solidaire demande au gouvernement québécois de suspendre à nouveau les évictions résidentielles pour toute la durée de l'état d'urgence sanitaire. «Pendant que le Québec a les deux pieds dans la deuxième vague et que les mesures de confinement sont plus strictes que jamais avec l'imposition du couvre-feu, les évictions de locataires se poursuivent de plus belle sans que la CAQ bouge le petit doigt. Même le gouvernement conservateur de Doug Ford a compris l'importance de maintenir les personnes chez elles durant ces temps particuliers et a annoncé un nouveau moratoire contre les évictions pour la durée de la situation d'urgence. Qu'attend le gouvernement Legault pour faire de même?», s'interroge Andrés Fontecilla, le porte-parole solidaire en matière de logement tout en rappelant que le moratoire a été levé en juillet dernier par la ministre de l'Habitation, Andrée Laforest. «Comme c'était le cas en mars dernier, la flambée des cas de COVID-19 se conjugue à une grave crise du logement. Le gouvernement de la CAQ sait très bien que la loi actuelle fait défaut et qu'il doit colmater les brèches qui permettent les expulsions abusives, notamment les rénovictions. Nous allons continuer de veiller au grain afin que la loi soit revue et corrigée, mais en attendant ces changements, il est urgent de décréter un nouveau moratoire sur les évictions. Personne ne doit se retrouver à la rue en plein couvre-feu», martèle Andrés Fontecilla, le député de Laurier-Dorion. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The township of Muskoka Lakes published its new plan for how it wants to organize and upgrade the community throughout the next four years, with plans to focus on protecting the environment, boosting the township’s economy, upgrading infrastructure and more. Mayor Phil Harding said he is “very excited” to move forward as a township with the finished plan, made public on Wednesday, Jan. 13. “It really is the focus of Muskoka Lakes for the next four years,” he said. The plan is divided into four pillars organizing the goals council decided on throughout 2020 with consultation from the public. Some of the goals are short-term, being set in motion this year, while others are for down the line, in 2022 and 2023. Here are the standout goals in the strategic plan: The township is looking at its official plan to consider development restrictions, and a mandatory septic inspection program, as part of its strategic plan to preserve and protect the environment. Harding said during public consultations, many expressed concern about overdevelopment taking place in Muskoka Lakes affecting water quality and shorelines: the clear-cutting of trees and run-off from hardscaping projects, for example. Council and staff started developing their Community Improvement Plan for Port Carling and Bala and plan to make it a key project in 2021. “We want to try and build a year-round economy,” Harding said. “We need to understand what limitations businesses are having: why is it just seasonal?" He noted COVID-19 has been a challenge for businesses in 2020 but added more people are up in Muskoka Lakes during the fall and winter. One of the short-term goals listed for 2021 for strengthening Muskoka Lakes’ economy is assessing the challenges with broadband and internet connectivity in the township and working to expand internet access for everyone. In November, council discussed an effort to request the Ontario Energy Board reduce or remove the “egregious” charges broadband providers pay in rural Ontario communities like theirs to attach fibre-optic broadband to hydro poles. Internet connectivity became a pronounced issue in several rural Ontario communities throughout the pandemic. The township is working on new master plans for its recreation, parks, trails and facilities: the plan indicates it wants to implement the recommendations it forms in the plans in 2023. He added council and staff are working on a master plan for their fire services. In a previous plan, they considered closing down some of their 10 stations in the township and upgrading the remaining stations, which could have ATVs or fire boats, an idea Harding might consider for this master plan. The final pillar indicates the township wants to forge better relationships with all levels of government. Harding said his relationships with other mayors in the district and the province, including MPP Norm Miller and Premier Doug Ford, have improved since council took office in October 2018. The strategic plan is also for the next term of council that will take over late 2022. He said building good relationships now will help them down the line. Zahraa Hmood is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering the municipalities of Muskoka Lakes, Lake of Bays and Georgian Bay. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Zahraa Hmood, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
Hérouxville – La municipalité d'Hérouxville souhaite mieux encadrer les hébergements de type Air BnB parce que l'initiative nuit considérablement aux hébergements plus traditionnels qui se trouvent dans sa localité, estime le maire Bernard Thompson. Celui qui est aussi préfet de la MRC de Mékinac espère être en mesure d'amener une réglementation qui pourrait stabiliser la situation, tel un changement d'usage ou un changement de zonage. «C'est difficile parce qu'il y a des gens qui font déjà de l'hébergement. Il y a beaucoup de lacs chez nous. On voudrait une politique en ce sens qui soit égale entre les municipalités», explique-t-il. Déjà, une pareille idée a fait l'objet d'une consultation à l'Assemblée nationale, le projet de loi 67, dont l'article 81 vise à mieux encadrer l'hébergement touristique. «C'est une question aussi de voir si on donne le droit que des chambres de résidences soient louées, pas seulement quand les gens sont absents», ajoute M. Thompson. Cette volonté d'aller de l'avant réside dans le fait que des plaintes commencent à être enregistrées à la municipalité envers ce type de commerce. «C'est que trop souvent, malheureusement, les gens qui louent des AirBnB amènent certaines habitudes de vie qui dérangent la dynamique du voisinage», concède le maire, qui assure cependant ne pas nécessairement vouloir éliminer ce type de commerce. «Oui on doit en avoir, mais jusqu'à combien pour qu'il y ait un équilibre?», questionne-t-il. Questionnées à ce sujet, d'autres municipalités de la MRC de Mékinac confirmaient ne pas avoir, pour l'instant du moins, constaté de problématiques quant aux locations d'hébergements non-traditionnels, mais chacune d'elles assurait qu'elle serait à l'écoute des préoccupations du préfet. Il en va de même à la Fédération québécoise des municipalités, qui a participé aux discussions dans le cadre du projet de loi 67. «S'il y a des préoccupations qui sont soumises à notre attention, nous serons à l'écoute pour aider les municipalité, mais pour l'instant, il n'y a pas d'offensive envers les AirBnB chez nos membres», souligne Francis Martel, conseiller en relations avec les médias à la direction des communications de la FQM. Une consultation devrait avoir lieu entre différentes municipalités de la région en février ou en mars, mais il est trop tôt pour l'instant pour déterminer quelle forme elle prendra.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was grilled by Opposition leader Erin O’Toole in the first question period in the house since before Christmas. O’Toole criticized Trudeau for not protecting the thousands of jobs related to the Keystone XL pipeline project, an accusation Trudeau said is “simply not the case,” while highlighting his efforts and communication with President Joe Biden.
Niagara Falls Transit has elected to revert to its pre-pandemic winter schedule. The city said in a press release in order to provide the best level of service to riders given provincial restrictions, it will return to regular winter city and WEGO service, minus 30-minute peak services, on day routes. Changes take effect Monday. On Jan. 18, in an attempt to comply with the state of emergency orders issued by the province, Niagara Falls Transit preemptively adjusted its hours of operation to reflect the average business closure of 8 p.m.; however, it acknowledged that it could have been stranding essential service workers. The city issued an apology on its website for any inconvenience it caused transit users. Sean Vanderklis is a Niagara-based reporter for the Niagara Falls Review. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach him via email: email@example.com Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara Falls Review
Trois-Rivières – À l'issue du deuxième tour du camp de sélection de Star Académie dimanche soir, étape où 10 candidats seraient éliminés, trois des cinq représentants de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec ont évité le couperet, alors que Rosalie Ayotte (Saint-Tite), Frédérique Beaulieu (Trois-Rivières) et William Cloutier (Victoriaville) passent à la prochaine étape. Toutefois, tout n'est pas terminé pour Benjamin Gendron (Trois-Rivières) et Allyson Pétrin (Drummondville) puisque ces derniers auront l'occasion d'être «sauvés» par le public qui devra s'exprimer sur les réseaux sociaux afin que leurs parcours ne prenne pas fin. Tout au long de la séance de sélection dimanche soir, les artistes de la région nous ont offert des moments empreints de sensibilité. Que l'on pense à William, dont la copine attend un enfant à la mi-février, ce qui, au dire du jeune homme de Victoriaville, ajoutait au «facteur stress», mais il soutenait qu'elle l'encourageait tout de même à poursuivre l'aventure. Alors qu'il avait impressionné les profs lors du premier tour du camp de sélection, William a cette fois eu droit à nouveau à des éloges de Gregory Charles. «Peu importe ce qui arrive, tu ne peux pas faire autre chose», a-t-il lancé, faisant référence au futur métier de l'artiste. Ce dernier a d'ailleurs avoué entretenir des doutes «comme tout artiste, mais il est temps que ça arrête.» Rosalie a présenté l'une de ses compositions dans un moment touchant où elle a évoqué la difficulté de vivre avec ses troubles obsessionnels compulsifs. Frédérique a, une fois de plus, séduit par sa confiance en elle et son talent. Allyson a interprété une version très sensible de sa chanson «De l'amour pis du brandy», en blaguant que ce n'était pas de la crème glacée qu'elle mangeait dans une peine d'amour, mais plutôt l'alcool doré. Benjamin a connu une soirée plus difficile, lui qui s'est trompé dans ses paroles en interprétant «Crystel» de Philippe Brach. «Qu'est-ce qui s'est passé?», a demandé Gregory Charles, qui a constaté le faux pas. Charles a alors avoué l'incident. «J'ai l'impression que tu es celui qui croit le moins qu'il a rapport ici», lui a lancé le coach. Le candidat de 18 ans a cependant réussi à se relever de cette situation, soulignant qu'il avait «deux-trois trucs à régler». «Si moi je n'y crois pas, qui y croira?», a-t-il mentionné, sourire en coin. Deux candidats sur les 10 à avoir été placés sur la voie d'évitement pourront donc être rapatriés à l'issue du vote du public, reste maintenant à savoir si ces deux artistes proviendront de la Mauricie et du Centre-du-Québec.Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
Cars lined the parking lot of a central Alberta restaurant this weekend, which opened for dine-in service, defying an Alberta Health Services closure order issued to the business on Friday. The Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, about 70 kilometres northeast of Red Deer, operates a restaurant, convenience store, gas station and campground. The diner was also operating as a drive-in theatre during the pandemic, until it was shut down by Alberta Health Services in April. Owner Christopher Scott said the public health measures intended to curb the spread of COVID-19 have gone on too long. He said health officials have mismanaged the health crisis and small businesses have suffered the consequences. Watching his bank account shrink was the final straw, he said. He is nearly broke and his family business was at risk of folding. "Go ahead and fine me," Scott told CBC News on Sunday. "You've destroyed my business already, my whole savings is gone — it's in this business — so fine me. You can't get blood from a stone." Scott has been warned that the next round of enforcement will mean additional closure orders, fines and orders to appear in court. But he is not deterred. "Enough is enough," he said. "There comes a point when we can no longer sit and back say we're going to follow these rules blindly." Scott is not alone in defiance of the public health restrictions. Businesses across the province including hair salons, tattoo parlours and restaurants, have contravened the health orders, risking enforcement orders and steep fines. As of Sunday, the Whistle Stop had not been issued any fines but Alberta public health officials said they are continuing to monitor the business, with assistance from Bashaw RCMP. Last week, personal and wellness services were allowed to reopen by appointment as public health restrictions introduced in November were extended for most Alberta businesses. Restaurants remain limited to takeout, delivery or curbside pickup only. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, said last week that frontline health-care remains strained by the pandemic and no additional measures will be eased while hospitalization numbers remain high. Businesses that contravene the restrictions are subject to fines of $1,000 per ticketed offence and up to $100,000 through the courts. RCMP Cpl. Teri-Ann Bakker said enforcement is a last resort. "The RCMP's focus remains on education and collaborating with members of the public who may not be following public health measures set out by public health authorities," she said. Scott said he has received an outpouring of support from across Alberta, including donations and a pledge to cover the business's legal costs if they are fined. He said customers are "flocking" to the diner from across the province. "We're operating at 50 per cent capacity right now and we're full from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., all day," he said. "We're going to keep going, we're going to make this place bigger." Brittany Fillion, who dined at the Whistle Stop on Sunday, said the risk of a fine was worth it to support a struggling local business. She said the restaurant was maintaining distance between customers and she felt safe enjoying the meal there. "They're following all the regulations, except for keeping businesses closed," Fillion said from the diner's parking lot on Sunday. "They're trying to make a living and we support that."
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska held the enviable position of having the highest rate of coronavirus vaccinations per capita in the nation as of last week, the state's top health official said. Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink said last Thursday that the progress was the result of community efforts to quickly distribute vaccinations and additional allotments for federal agencies within the state, KTOO-FM reported. Zink told the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce that Alaska receives more doses of vaccine because of allowances above the state’s share for the Department of Defence, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Indian Health Service. “We have the highest veterans per capita population. We have a large military presence. And we have a large Indigenous population with over 229 sovereign tribes,” Zink said. “And so, because of those reasons, we did get some additional vaccine in the state via those federal partnerships.” The allotment for the Indian Health Service, which works with tribal entities to deliver health care to Alaska Native residents, could have been subtracted from the state’s share of the federal supply, but ultimately was allowed to be added, Zink said. “That’s been transformational for Alaska, that decision for Operation Warp Speed,” Zink said of the Trump administration's name for the national vaccine distribution initiative. More than 14,000 people had received both required doses of a vaccine cycle as of last Thursday, while more than 67,000 people had received at least one of the shots in the series. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The Associated Press
COVID-19. Les plus récentes données sur l'évolution de la COVID-19, au Québec, font état de 1 457 nouveaux cas pour la journée d'hier, pour un nombre total de 253 633 personnes infectées. Parmi celles-ci, 227 215 sont rétablies. Elles font également état de 41 nouveaux décès, pour un total de 9 478. De ces 41 décès, 12 sont survenus dans les 24 dernières heures, 26 entre le 17 et le 22 janvier, 2 avant le 17 janvier et 1 à une date inconnue. Le nombre total d'hospitalisations a diminué de 56 par rapport à la veille, avec un cumul de 1 327. Parmi celles-ci, le nombre de personnes se trouvant aux soins intensifs a augmenté de 3, pour un total actuel de 219. Les prélèvements réalisés le 22 janvier s'élèvent à 33 719, pour un total de 5 646 660. Au cours des 7 derniers jours (depuis le 16 janvier), ce sont 72 396 personnes qui ont été vaccinées, pour une moyenne quotidienne de 10 342 personnes vaccinées.Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
OTTAWA — The federal New Democrats say new rules to close a gender wage gap in federally regulated workplaces will take too long to make a difference. The government's pay equity regulations require the likes of banks and telecommunications companies to put plans in place to meet the new rules. The rules would give companies three years to craft and implement plans, and provide more time for those who face a larger hit to their bottom line. NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen, the critic for women and gender equality, says she is concerned that the wording of the regulations mean some women could be waiting up to a decade before pay equity becomes a reality in their workplace. Mathyssen calls the long timeline "unacceptable," and says she hopes prodding the Liberals in Parliament will push the government to close the gap more quickly. The Liberals passed pay equity legislation in 2018 and wrapped consultations on draft regulations this month. Labour Minister Filomena Tassi's office says the government is on track to publish the final regulations before the summer, at which time the government will unveil the exact date the rules will come into force. The government points to the pandemic as the reason for some uncertainty about the coming-into-force date, but adds the rules should take effect later this year. The government estimates achieving pay equity will cost federally regulated private sector employers $1.95 billion over 10 years. On average in Canada, women earn 12 per cent less than men, the third-largest gender pay gap among G7 countries and the seventh largest in the OECD. Mathyssen says if the Liberals had insisted in 2018 that the regulations should come into effect imminently, "women in federally regulated workplaces now would have pay equity." "You can have a bit of time, but these extended periods being so long, some women will have to wait up to eight (years)," she says. Mathyssen says she worries that the longer it takes for the gap to close, the more it may affect how much women receive in parental and retirement benefits. Both are based on earnings, so earning less than men now means they'll receive less in retirement. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press