The Raptors managed to win only once on a four-game road swing but Pascal Siakam is rounding into form, Chris Boucher is providing much-needed consistency at centre and even Stanley Johnson is having a glow-up.
The Raptors managed to win only once on a four-game road swing but Pascal Siakam is rounding into form, Chris Boucher is providing much-needed consistency at centre and even Stanley Johnson is having a glow-up.
WASHINGTON — It's a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause. Members of the ex-presidents club pose together for pictures. They smile and pat each other on the back while milling around historic events, or sit somberly side by side at VIP funerals. They take on special projects together. They rarely criticize one another and tend to offer even fewer harsh words about their White House successors. Like so many other presidential traditions, however, this is one Trump seems likely to flout. Now that he's left office, it's hard to see him embracing the stately, exclusive club of living former presidents. “He kind of laughed at the very notion that he would be accepted in the presidents club,” said Kate Andersen Brower, who interviewed Trump in 2019 for her book “Team of Five: The Presidents’ Club in the Age of Trump." “He was like, ‘I don’t think I’ll be accepted.'” It's equally clear that the club's other members don't much want him — at least for now. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton recorded a three-minute video from Arlington National Cemetery after President Joe Biden's inauguration this week, praising peaceful presidential succession as a core of American democracy. The segment included no mention of Trump by name, but stood as a stark rebuke of his behaviour since losing November's election. “I think the fact that the three of us are standing here, talking about a peaceful transfer of power, speaks to the institutional integrity of our country,” Bush said. Obama called inaugurations “a reminder that we can have fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other’s common humanity, and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us." Trump spent months making baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him through fraud and eventually helped incite a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He left the White House without attending Biden’s swearing-in, the first president to skip his successor's inauguration in 152 years. Obama, Bush and Clinton recorded their video after accompanying Biden to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider following the inauguration. They also taped a video urging Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Only 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, who has limited his public events because of the pandemic, and Trump, who had already flown to post-presidential life in Florida, weren't there. Jeffrey Engel, founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said Trump isn't a good fit for the ex-presidents club "because he’s temperamentally different.” “People within the club historically have been respected by ensuing presidents. Even Richard Nixon was respected by Bill Clinton and by Ronald Reagan and so on, for his foreign policy," Engel said. "I’m not sure I see a whole lot of people calling up Trump for his strategic advice.” Former presidents are occasionally called upon for big tasks. George H.W. Bush and Clinton teamed up in 2005 to launch a campaign urging Americans to help the victims of the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami. When Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast, Bush, father of the then-current president George W. Bush, called on Clinton to boost Katrina fundraising relief efforts. When the elder Bush died in 2018, Clinton wrote, “His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life," high praise considering this was the man he ousted from the White House after a bruising 1992 campaign — making Bush the only one-term president of the last three decades except for Trump. Obama tapped Clinton and the younger President Bush to boost fundraising efforts for Haiti after its devastating 2010 earthquake. George W. Bush also became good friends with former first lady Michelle Obama, and cameras caught him slipping a cough drop to her as they sat together at Arizona Sen. John McCain’s funeral. Usually presidents extend the same respect to their predecessors while still in office, regardless of party. In 1971, three years before he resigned in disgrace, Richard Nixon went to Texas to participate in the dedication of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidential library. When Nixon’s library was completed in 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush attended with former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Trump's break with tradition began even before his presidency did. After his election win in November 2016, Obama hosted Trump at the White House promising to “do everything we can to help you succeed.” Trump responded, “I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future” — but that never happened. Instead, Trump falsely accused Obama of having wiretapped him and spent four years savaging his predecessor's record. Current and former presidents sometimes loathed each other, and criticizing their successors isn’t unheard of. Carter criticized the policies of the Republican administrations that followed his, Obama chided Trump while campaigning for Biden and also criticized George W. Bush’s policies — though Obama was usually careful not to name his predecessor. Theodore Roosevelt tried to unseat his successor, fellow Republican William Howard Taft, by founding his own “Bull Moose” party and running for president again against him. Still, presidential reverence for former presidents dates back even further. The nation’s second president, John Adams, was concerned enough about tarnishing the legacy of his predecessor that he retained George Washington’s Cabinet appointments. Trump may have time to build his relationship with his predecessors. He told Brower that he “could see himself becoming friendly with Bill Clinton again," noting that the pair used to golf together. But the odds of becoming the traditional president in retirement that he never was while in office remain long. “I think Trump has taken it too far," Brower said. "I don’t think that these former presidents will welcome him at any point.” Will Weissert And Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
VICTORIA — British Columbia's oldest residents will be able to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccinations starting in March after the most vulnerable groups have been immunized under a plan announced Friday as the premier joined health officials in urging residents to remain committed to reducing transmission of the virus. Premier John Horgan said "unprecedented hardship" and grief have continued a year after the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Canada, though the rollout of a vaccine strategy means more than 110,000 people have been vaccinated in the province so far. "We have a long, long way to go," he said, adding public health guidelines including wearing a mask and physical distancing must be followed while the mass vaccine campaign begins in April. B.C. reported 508 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and nine more deaths, pushing the death toll in the province to 1,128. There were 4,479 active infections, including 315 people in hospital. The province is aiming to immunize 4.3 million residents aged 18 and over by the end of September. People who register for the plan will get a reminder to book appointments when eligible, but provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said timelines for vaccination will depend on available doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines as others are expected to be approved by the federal government. Residents of long-term care homes, health-care workers who look after them, as well as essential visitors are among those who are currently being vaccinated. They will be followed in February and March by more residents of Indigenous communities, those who are 80 and over and Indigenous seniors over 65. Seniors aged 75 to 79 are expected to be vaccinated starting in April as part of the pre-registration strategy that will then move on to younger people in five-year age groupings. Those in the 70-to-74 age group will follow, along with people with severe health conditions that put them at high risk for infection. Henry said vulnerable populations include people who have had an organ transplant, patients with specific cancers and respiratory conditions including severe asthma, and pregnant women with significant heart disease. Second doses will be administered about 35 days later as part of the plan, which will be rolled out in 172 communities across the province. Henry said vaccines will be given in facilities including school gyms, arenas and mobile clinics, as well as home visits for those who are unable to attend a clinic as B.C. calls on volunteers for support. Everyone who is vaccinated will get a record of their immunization and a reminder of their second dose, about 35 days after the first shot. While people with chronic illnesses have called for early vaccination, Henry said scientific evidence from around the world supports the province's age-based approach because older populations are at much higher risk of infection and death from COVID-19. "We know that adults older than 60 have at least a five times increased risk of hospitalization and death compared with those less than 45 years of age and, in particular, people over 80 have double the mortality risk of even those in the 60 to 65-year age group." The message is the same for essential workers, such as grocery-store employees, as well as police and correctional officers, Henry said, adding the approval of more vaccines may mean the province's plan could be revised to vaccinate those groups between April and June. Youth who are 17 and under will not be vaccinated because the current vaccines have not been approved for them, she said, adding everyone who is eligible should get immunized in order to create so-called community immunity to protect as many people as possible from getting infected. Health officials are seeking guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization about whether people who have received one of the vaccines could get a different one for their second dose in case of a shortage, but that would happen only as a last resort due to lack of data on such a plan, Henry said. Residents should put off any plans to travel internationally this summer, but trips within the province could happen, but not in the large groups that led to outbreaks in regions including the Okanagan last year, she said. On Friday, British Columbia also announced people with ongoing COVID-19 symptoms — sometimes referred to as long haulers — will now have access to treatment at three clinics where specialists are working to understand how best to manage the condition. Dr. Adeera Levin, lead of the new Interdisciplinary COVID-19 Care Network, said in a statement it's believed to be the only such group in Canada focusing on research to understand the long-term effects for people who have not recovered. One of the clinics at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver has so far seen 160 post-COVID-19 patients after they were discharged from hospital or referred by their doctor. — By Camille Bains in Vancouver This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the first Canadian case of COVID-19 was in British Columbia.
The NBC Sports Network, which is best known for its coverage of the NHL and English Premier League, will be going away at the end of the year. NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua announced the channel's shutdown on Friday in an internal memo to staff. “At the conclusion of 2021, we have decided that the best strategic next step for our Sports Group and the entire Company is to wind down NBCSN completely,” Bevacqua said in the memo. NBCSN is available in 80.1 million homes, according to Nielsen's latest estimate, which is less than ESPN (83.1 million) and FS1 (80.2 million). The channel was launched by Comcast in 1995 as the Outdoor Life Network. It was best known for carrying the Tour de France until it acquired the NHL in 2005. It changed its name to Versus in 2006 and then to NBC Sports Network six years later after Comcast bought NBC Universal in 2011. Bevacqua said in the memo that Stanley Cup playoff games and NASCAR races would be moving to USA Network this year. USA Network, which is available in 85.6 million homes, had already been airing early-round playoff games since 2012. “This will make USA Network an extraordinarily powerful platform in the media marketplace, and gives our sports programming a significant audience boost,” Bevacqua said. “We believe that the power of this offering is the best long-term strategy for our Sports Group, our partners, and our Company.” The news of NBCSN shutting down also comes during a time when many of NBC Sports Group’s most valuable sports properties are coming up for renewal. This is the last season of a 10-year deal with the NHL and negotiations for the EPL rights, beginning with the 2022-23 season, are ongoing. Many have predicted that the next rights deal with the NHL will include multiple networks with former broadcast partners ESPN and Fox Sports expected to be in the mix. NBC's current deal averages $200 million per season. Premier League deals are usually for three years, but NBC secured a six-year package in 2015 by paying nearly $1 billion. NASCAR, which has its races from July through November on NBC and NBCSN, has a deal through 2024. IndyCar's contract, which includes the Indianapolis 500 on NBC, expires at the end of this year. The sanctioning body said in a statement that NBC “has always been a transparent partner, and we were aware of this upcoming strategy shift." Tag Garson, Wasserman’s senior vice-president of properties, said TNT and TBS have already proved it's possible to have a cable channel that does a good job of meshing entertainment programming with sports. “NBC has done a great job with hockey and soccer that it would be hard for anyone to walk away from that,” he said. “How many windows can your fit sports programming into at USA? That’s where the internal discussions are going to be and understanding the right balance to have between sports and entertainment.” NBC could also put additional events on its Peacock streaming service, which debuted last year. There are 175 Premier League games airing on Peacock this season. Joe Reedy, The Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The former top editor of The New York Daily News has been tapped as the next executive editor of The Providence Journal. David Ng succeeds Alan Rosenberg, who retired in December 2020 after more than four decades working at Rhode Island's largest paper. The 62-year-old said he hopes to continue the Journal's mission of serving as the “town square for its citizens” to gather to “share our stories and to exchange ideas and debate our opinions.” Lisa Strattan, a vice-president of news at Gannett, which owns the Journal, said Ng's “drive to win" and commitment to diversity and inclusion will elevate the Journal's coverage. Ng also previously served as associate managing editor at The New York Post, a former senior news editor at Newsday on Long Island and an assistant managing editor at The Star-Ledger in New Jersey. The Providence Journal is considered the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the country and has won four Pulitzer Prizes. Ng starts Jan. 28. The Associated Press
The Prince Edward Island government is looking for input on a proposed Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, after calls the last few years to create additional protections for TFWs. The federal Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs when qualified Canadians are not available. In P.E.I., many of those jobs are in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. The legislation would allow the government to do things like recover illegal fees charged to workers, and impose penalties for employers who violate the legislation. "This just adds a new level of protection for those most vulnerable workers who could be subject to certain abuses that other workers may not experience," said Patricia McPhail, director of labour and industrial relations with the province. "There's things like employers or recruiters charging inappropriate fees for recruiting temporary foreign workers for work in the province. In addition to that, there's proposed rules around providing these temporary foreign workers with contracts and information about their rights in the language that they speak." Important to economy The province says the economy relies on TFWs. "Temporary foreign workers play a very important role in helping address the labour shortage," said Minister of Economic Growth Matthew MacKay in a written release Friday. "It's our responsibility as government and Islanders to ensure temporary foreign workers are safe and have a positive work experience as they contribute to the success of our province." Feedback on the proposal will be accepted through the province's website until Feb. 12. Officials hope to receive feedback from employers, organizations and the general public, McPhail said. If the legislation is passed, officials said it will likely be another year before the act could become law. More from CBC P.E.I.
The daughter of a man killed Sunday says her father could make friends with anyone — even whoever took his life. Dion William McCallum, 49, was shot in his home in west Edmonton early Sunday morning. Police say they do not believe McCallum was the intended target. His death has left daughter Jaye Campiou and her family heartbroken. "He didn't deserve that, he was too nice of a guy," she said Thursday from her home on Alexander First Nation. "He really would have made his way and made himself friends with that person. And I just want them to know that my dad's probably not even mad at you. I mean, he probably already forgives you. "And he just — he just wants you to do right." McCallum — better known to friends and family as Sonny — moved to Edmonton several years ago from his home at Île-à-la-Crosse, Sask., to be closer to his children. Campiou said even before the move he would make every effort to be there for her and her three siblings. 'Every single year he would make it to every one of our graduations, every one of our school plays, every one of our birthdays," she said. "Even if he didn't have the money for it. He would hitchhike, he was that kind of guy who would make it happen." Campiou said her father loved children and was always excited to see new babies and play with kids. He had a six-year-old son, Campiou's half-brother, and had welcomed his first grandson a little under three years ago. "He was just a really big people person and kids were his soft spot." McCallum worked as a bush firefighter when he was younger. He would be gone for months at a time but came back to share stories of his adventures, Campiou said. A stroke two years ago diminished his ability to work. He took to odd jobs like fixing up vehicles. "He could fix the vehicle just by listening to it," Campiou said. "He was very big into cars." Campiou, who works in health care, limited visits with her father, who had diabetes, during the pandemic. But true to his sociable nature, McCallum stayed in contact with her, as well as friends and family, through virtual meets. "It really hurts because I really, really miss him," Campiou said. "And I told him that the safest place for him during this pandemic would be inside." The family is hoping to bring his body back to Saskatchewan, a task made more difficult by COVID-19. "We're trying our best to make it work with the limited amount of resources that we have and the family that we have," Campiou said. A GoFundMe has been set up to help raise money for funeral costs. Trend in firearms crime Police found McCallum inside a home after being called to an address near 105th Avenue and 157th Street around 6:15 a.m on Sunday. He died in hospital. An autopsy determined he died from a gunshot wound. McCallum was not known to police. Police are asking anyone with surveillance video, such as doorbell cameras or dashcam video, to contact investigators. Edmonton police Staff Sgt. Brenda Dalziel said Wednesday McCallum's death is part of a concerning trend in firearms crime. She said Edmonton police investigated 158 shooting events in 2020, 10 of which were fatal. In July, Coun. Sarah Hamilton asked city officials to take a closer look at the root causes behind the consistent high rate of crime. "I don't want to say gun crime is new to the city but we have definitely seen an increase in it this year," she said Friday, adding that police would likely say the causes are complex. "But helping us understand what's going on can maybe help us understand how we could affect it."
Calgary's intensive care units remain under intense pressure, even as overall COVID-19 case counts, transmission rates and hospitalization numbers drop. This week, the city's four adult intensive care units are filled with more COVID patients than they've seen since the start of the pandemic. According to Alberta Health Services, that number peaked at 55 on Wednesday. As of Friday afternoon, there were 50 COVID patients in Calgary ICUs. "Every night that I've been on call, we are barely squeaking by with enough beds," said Dr. Selena Au, intensive care specialist working at the Peter Lougheed Centre, South Health Campus and Rockyview General Hospital. According to Au, they're coping by sending the most stable ICU patients to other city hospitals to make room when there are no beds left. "So even though the numbers look lower from a daily COVID case rate, I think the hospital as well as the ICUs in particular — we're still running full steam right now and just barely getting by." Patients are also routinely being double bunked in in ICU rooms that have the proper space and equipment. And those who would have previously been deemed sick enough to be admitted to intensive care are being kept on the wards longer. "Patients have to be sicker before they get an ICU bed.… So it's a lot of heavy lifting from our ward hospital doctors as well." Long stays in ICU The pressure on Calgary's ICUs is driven in part by an unusually long length of stay in the ICU for COVID-19 patients, according to Au, who says some patients require critical care for two to three weeks. "Some of the patients that we have right now are actually fairly young and without any previous medical history. And we really want to make sure that we give any possible chance for survival," she said. "Many of those patients are very sick and just hanging on. It's a long stay and journey for these patients that get admitted. And so there's many admissions and they're frequent, but there's very few discharges … to balance it out." According to Alberta Health Services, Calgary's intensive care units have been operating at between 86 and 90 per cent capacity all week, including 30 ICU beds that were added in late November and early December to address the surging COVID-19 cases. "No additional critical care spaces have been added — or required — since then, and no additional ICU surge beds are planned to open this week," an AHS spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CBC News. "Clinicians continue to monitor and evaluate the situation." When it comes to overall capacity, AHS says Calgary's hospitals are operating at between 101 per cent and 108 per cent. Dr. Daniel Niven, an intensive care specialist at Peter Lougheed Centre, says the ICU there is close to full nearly every day but care teams are managing for now. "We're pushing our limits, for sure," said Niven who notes Calgary's intensive care units were running close to capacity before the pandemic. He said extra staff continue to be on the unit to manage the extra patients. "We're still seeing a fairly steady pressure with regard to COVID admissions on a daily basis. So it remains very busy and at a … high capacity, still stretched compared to what we would normally be." What Niven is watching for now is the potential impact of the more highly transmissible coronavirus variants. Twelve cases of the variant first discovered in the U.K. and three of the variant first identified in South Africa have now been found in the province. Health officials have said all are travel-related and there is no evidence of community transmission. "If those variants were to take hold and start to transmit within the community — especially to a great degree like what we're seeing in the U.K. — then that would be very concerning, just because of how efficient they do transmit and the fact that we're already functioning at a very stretched capacity. "So it would make it additionally challenging to manage what could be a much larger patient load."
The Ontario government is kicking off a new social media campaign with actors, singers, athletes, and business owners who are all asking you to remain at home. Meanwhile, data tracking mobility in the city continues to show progress. Matthew Bingley reports.
The RM of Edenwold will go a little longer yet without a permanent chief administrative officer in place, following the retirement of Kim McIvor. A possible replacement candidate for McIvor was preparing for a move to the area in December but for family reasons was not able to make the move.For now that leaves Karen Zaharia, the RM’s assistant administrator, as acting CAO, with Jedlic also assisting with some of the CAO duties on a temporary basis. “We had initiated a search to replace (McIvor) last summer and into the fall,” Jedlic said. “We had a number of excellent candidates and ultimately one we worked with over a period of time who surely would have been an excellent candidate for the RM of Edenwold.” Due to personal circumstances, that candidate withdrew during late stages of the search process. That forced the RM of re-initiate the search process. While the CAO search continues, Reeve Mitchell Huber has also assisted with administration duties in the interim. The CAO opening has been posted by Boyden Canada, an executive search firm. Job requirements include having a Rural Class A certificate in Local Government Administration or a relevant professional degree, along with 10 years of related municipal government experience. Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
PITTSBURGH — The son of a couple killed in a Pittsburgh synagogue attack that killed 11 worshippers is suing the National Rifle Association, arguing the group’s inflammatory rhetoric led to the violence. Marc Simon, the son of Sylvan and Bernice Simon, filed the wrongful death lawsuit Thursday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court against the NRA, the gun maker Colt’s Manufacturing Co., and accused shooter, Robert Bowers, news outlets reported. Colt manufactured the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle allegedly used by Bowers. A fourth defendant is the unknown business that sold Bowers the gun. Bowers is charged with killing 11 congregants at the Tree of Life synagogue in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history. Police said the former truck driver expressed hatred of Jews during and after the October 2018 rampage. “Bowers was not born fearing and hating Jews,” the suit claims. “The gun lobby taught him to do that.” Bowers has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The plaintiff argues gun lobbyists like the NRA radicalized people with “mendacious white supremacist conspiracy theories.” The lawsuit also says Colt could have prevented the AR-15 from “bump firing,” or using a modification that allows the rifle to fire more rapidly. An NRA spokesperson declined comment on the lawsuit. The group filed for bankruptcy last week, and the claims against them in Simon’s lawsuit will be stayed as a result of the group’s reorganizing. Colt did not respond to request for comment. Besides a wrongful death claim, the complaint accuses Colt of product liability and says the gun is more akin to a military-style weapon than a civilian product. The Associated Press
OTTAWA — A group of large businesses in Banff National Park is proposing a rapid COVID-19 testing project meant to help reopen the economy safely. Yannis Karlos, the head of the group, said rapid testing can guarantee the safety of the community while allowing the return to a semblance of normality in a place heavily dependent on tourism. "We're just looking for options to take a different approach to ensure that our community remains safe," said Karlos, who owns a distillery and restaurant in Banff, Alta. "Back in March, our community basically fully shut down and we had an extremely high level of unemployment," he said. Karlos said the group of businesses that represent 5,300 employees would cover the costs of deploying COVID-19 rapid tests if the Alberta government will supply them. "The way we envision it is becoming a public-private partnership, so we're looking for some assistance from the municipality as well as from the province," he said. Town of Banff spokesman Jason Darrah said the municipality will support the project. "We want to support however possible, such as offering facilities for doing it," he said. Sandy White, the co-founder of a coalition of academics, medical professionals and business leaders called Rapid Test and Trace Canada, which is working with the businesses in Banff, said millions of rapid tests already bought and distributed by the federal government are sitting in warehouses across Canada because provincial governments are either unable or unwilling to deploy them. "The overall mismanagement of this file in particular, to say nothing of vaccines and everything else, has been depressingly indicative of Canada's response to this thing," he said. White, who himself owns two inns in Banff, said other countries have responded to the pandemic more efficiently than Canada using rapid tests and other measures to reopened their economies safely. "We are drowning in this situation and we've had a year to get all these wonderful things in place and we could be Taiwan or South Korea or Australia or New Zealand but we're not," he said. "That's very frustrating." White said the 90-day rapid-testing project proposed for Banff would aim to test as many of the town's roughly 8,800 residents as possible within the first two days. After that, the program would test between five and 10 per cent of residents every day. "We are quite confident that with a strategy like that, we can eradicate COVID within the community," he said. Banff had close to 200 active cases of COVID-19 at the end of November, when the economy had reopened and tourists were in town. "The goal really is to be able to safely reopen the economy and encourage tourists to come back to town," he said, noting local jobs depend on tourism. He said the program could also be used as a "test case" to prove that a rapid-testing strategy can work to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. White said his organization is speaking with several groups across the country, including universities and Indigenous communities, to prepare rapid-testing project proposals. "It would be us advising and assisting in setting up pilots and executing on them with the government really just providing testing services in the form of the tests and maybe some basic guidance," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
VICTORIA — The federal economic development minister says business leaders in British Columbia want to work with a new development agency aiming to help them endure the COVID-19 pandemic and plan for the future. Melanie Joly said she's heard from entrepreneurs and business owners across B.C. about the support for a home-based economic development agency, including during an online forum Friday with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. Joly said the promised B.C.-based agency will provide targeted economic support and relief in the form of loans, subsidies and advice about federal programs. "People want to be able to have access to levers to survive the economic crisis and the pandemic, but at the same time people want to talk about the future and want to be optimistic as the vaccinations roll out," she said in a phone interview. Joly said she's heard in panel discussions with business leaders that they're concerned about the distance between Ottawa and B.C. as entrepreneurs argue for an agency that is closer to home. "There's a feeling of disconnection towards the federal government," she said. "That has created sometimes frustration on the part of people in B.C. We need to increase our impact, our footprint. We need to make sure that people trust the fact that the federal government is there for them." Joly, who is also the minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, said B.C. entrepreneurs have told her the province's economy was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic and they need help now to get them through. Last December's federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year, she said, adding the budget for the new B.C. agency has not been set and there's no date yet for an opening date. "I always have a sense of urgency in life," Joly said after her meeting with the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade. "I'm a very impatient person, so the team and I are working extremely hard to make sure we can launch this new B.C. agency but we need to make sure we do things right." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press
BARRIE, Ont. — An outbreak in a long-term care home in Barrie, Ont., has resulted in more than two dozen deaths after a yet-to-be-identified variant of COVID-19 was detected at the facility. The coronavirus has sickened 122 residents and 81 staff at Roberta Place -- which has 137 beds -- since the outbreak began earlier this month, public health officials said Friday. The number of deaths reported at the facility climbed from 19 to 27 between Thursday and Friday. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit said it has given the COVID-19 vaccine to all eligible residents and staff at a nearby retirement home "in an effort to protect them against what is highly likely a variant of the virus." Immunization of residents at other long-term care and retirement homes throughout the region will also begin this weekend, it said. The unit said its supply of the vaccine is "extremely low and uncertain" due to the shipment delays of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. “Barrie has become ground zero for what is likely a COVID-19 variant of concern, which has spread rapidly throughout Roberta Place," the region's medical officer of health said in a written statement. Dr. Charles Gardner said they are concerned that the virus variant will spread into the community and other long-term care and retirement homes. The unusually rapid spread of the virus at the nursing home prompted officials to test for variants of COVID-19. In the coming days, officials are expected to confirm which specific variant –strains from the U.K., South Africa or Brazil – was detected at the home during initial testing. Researchers have yet to determine whether any of the new variants are more deadly, but the U.K. strain is known to spread much faster. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
CHORLEY, England — Separated from Chorley by 109 places in the English football pyramid, Wolverhampton didn't only manage a single goal in its 1-0 win. The Premier League millionaires also only managed a single shot — the goal — against the part-timers from the sixth tier. Vitinha's 35-yard, swerving strike in the 12th-minute moved Nuno Espírito Santo’s side into the round of 16 in the FA Cup on Friday night. It was spectacular but actually a rare moment of quality from the visitors to this tiny stadium in a former mill town in northern England. Contrast that with the attacking threat from the minnows. Incredibly, John Ruddy from Wolves was the busier of the two goalkeepers — facing five shots on target, including tipping over a header from Andy Halls, who is a personal trainer in his day job. And it was Wolves having to hang on to avoid being forced into extra team by a disciplined Chorley side that belied its lowly status. No wonder manager Jamie Vermiglio wasn't just savoring his chance to take on a Premier League side. A primary school headmaster in his day job, Vermiglio felt far from outclassed by his Wolves counterpart. “I thought were were fantastic — I feel really proud, of course I do,” Vermiglio said. "But I feel disappointed as well and I never thought I would come off the field feeling the way I feel. “It’s a strange emotion because I feel we have just taken a Premier League team all the way. We were in a game right until the last minute.” It says a lot about the breadth of English football that the last non-league side remaining in the FA Cup could prove more than a match to a Wolves side that reached the Europa League last-16 last season. “Credit to Chorley," Nuno said. "They are in the lower divisions but they were organized and had a good striker that fights and was strong in the duels and created problems. “I felt the scenario was created for a surprise to happen. We spoke about that but the boys were professional and achieved what we wanted. I have been on the other side and played in the lower divisions against big teams, so I know what it meant for Chorley." This was not a significantly weakened Wolves side, with the starting lineup featuring Fabio Silva — the team’s 40 million euro record-signing. “I thought we were the better team in the second half,” Chorley forward Connor Hall said. “We had them on the ropes for 10-15 minutes so we can be proud of ourselves. They showed us respect bringing a strong side and we didn’t do ourselves any harm. It is mad. In a couple of days time we will look back with pride.” Being live on television across Britain and around the world could certainly help some of the players. “Most of them could step up a level,” Vermiglio said. “There’s no way we could preform like that consistently at that level week in, week out.” Chorley isn't even top of National League North. It is only ninth in the 22-team standings. “Cup games get a little bit of something else out of you," Vermiglio said. “They are just 11 people coming up against 11 people and if you are that organized you can stay in a game of football and that’s what we have done.” The pandemic meant the only fans who got to glimpse this array of Premier League talent were those who perched onto walls next to houses packed into streets around the tiny stadium with one stand. Neither the fans nor the team know when they will be back in action at Victory Park, with the league suspended due to a tightening of coronavirus restrictions nationally. Warnings to players to social distance — and not finding a way past Wolves, perhaps — meant this game did not end with the club posting a video of the players singing the Adele ballad “Someone Like You.” That has been the soundtrack to a cup run that saw Chorley eliminate professional league sides Wigan, Peterborough and Derby to get this far and earn around 500,000 pounds ($685,000) — vital income as the club feels the financial impact of the pandemic. For a community also suffering through lockdowns, the inspiring progress of the town's team has lifted spirits. “Up and down the country people are struggling and it’s no different in Chorley,” Vermiglio said. "Those players in there have given them something to look forward to and that makes me immensely proud.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Rob Harris, The Associated Press
Nearly 10 years after four Black teens were accosted by police on their way to a neighbourhood mentorship program in Toronto, two of the officers involved have been found guilty of misconduct. In a Toronto Police professional misconduct hearing decision released Friday, Const. Sharnil Pais and Const. Adam Lourenco were found guilty of unlawful arrest. Lourenco was also found guilty of one count of discreditable conduct. The charges stem from the arrest of three 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old on Neptune Drive in the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood in November 2011. Lourenco and Pais drove up in an unmarked van, stopped the teens and asked them for identification — a practice known as "carding," which is now banned in many situations. In an interview with CBC News in 2016, one of the complainants said he asked the officers if he and his friends were under arrest. The answer was no and the teen proceeded to try to leave. "That's when Officer Lourenco decided to single me out and physically attacked me. He grabbed me. Then isolated me. He swore at me and said a lot of provocative things to try to aggravate me and I didn't respond," the complainant said. Neither he nor the others involved can be identified because they were underage at the time of the incident. Since then, one of the four teens dropped out of the proceedings, while another, Yohannes Brhanu, was killed in a 2018 homicide that remains unsolved. WATCH | Surveillance footage captures arrest of four teens on Neptune Drive Video footage from Toronto Community Housing captured the minutes that followed, showing one of the officers hitting the teen. When the teen's twin and two friends approach to stop the officer, the officer draws a gun and points it at them, the video shows. When Lourenco tried to arrest one of the young men, one yelled, "F--k you," and spat in Lourenco's face, Pais told a hearing in 2018, adding he thought the teens would "attack." The complainant denies spitting at the officer. All four of the teens were arrested and charged, and later strip-searched at a police station. The charges were eventually withdrawn. While Lourenco was found guilty of two of the charges against him, he was found not guilty of one other count of discreditable conduct. In a statement, a lawyer for the complainants, Jeff Carolin, said his clients were "disappointed" that the hearing officer "did not find any indications of racially biased actions on the part of any of the parties." "In my opinion, this is part of a broader pattern, which demonstrates that justice in cases involving systemic racism is not easily found inside courtrooms," the statement said. Nevertheless, he said, the facts of the case speak to the "trends as to how systemic anti-Black racism and unconscious bias manifest in individual encounters with police." As for his clients' reaction to the decision: "They were in general disappointed in the outcome," Carolin said, adding they strongly believe race was a factor in the case. "I think overall their reaction was ... 'this doesn't feel like vindication." For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
The auditor general of Canada has a "clean" opinion of the Northwest Territories government's 2018-19 financial statements. "This means that the information in the statements is reliable," said auditor general Karen Hogan. Hogan appeared remotely before the territorial government's Standing Committee on Government Operations on Friday for a belated review of the government's 2018-19 public accounts. The review was supposed to take place in May 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hogan made two observations during her video presentation. The first had to do with public-private partnerships, also known as P3s. The new Stanton Territorial Hospital — which has had a significant impact on the government's finances — came into being through a public-private partnership. P3s are "usually large and complex," said Hogan. "It is therefore important to have accurate reporting of costs for informed decision making." She noted that auditors found public-private partnerships were recorded accurately, with one exception, and that correcting it resulted in a $30-million increase to both tangible capital assets and liabilities presented in the 2017-18 financial statements. Hogan's second observation had to do with the recording of certain revolving funds' revenues and expenses. Revolving funds can be continuously replenished to help ensure certain government operations. A recording correction resulted in a $34-million increase in both the revenues and expenses presented in 2017-18, said Hogan. "It wasn't an error in that revenues were forgotten or expenses were forgotten, it was just the way they were presented," she said. Gov't has 'limited flexibility' to raise money The public accounts are the annual financial statements of the government and include information on assets, liabilities, net debt and the accumulated surplus or deficit. Each year the auditor general of Canada audits the territory's consolidated financial statements and gives its opinion on whether the statements are a fair and accurate reflection of the government's financial position. The auditor general also looks at noteworthy transactions to ensure that they fall within the government's powers. The 2019 public accounts show that the N.W.T. government had revenues of about $2.4 billion and had expenses of about $2.03 billion, leaving an operating surplus of about $4 million, Julie Mujcin, N.W.T.'s comptroller general, told the committee. Although the government had an operating surplus, it has "limited flexibility" to raise money, as well as "vulnerabilities" related to its revenue sources, "which requires a need for careful fiscal management," said Mujcin. She said the government's finances in 2018-19 were affected in part by the opening of the new Stanton Territorial Hospital, as well as wage increases under government workers' collective agreement. The comptroller general also noted public agencies' challenges in completing audits and reports within the legislated timeframes. Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson noted that the public accounts under review were based on a budget approved by the previous legislative assembly. He also said that many revenue projections from that time were "inaccurate" because, among other factors, "COVID obviously messed up a lot of this."
The RM of Edenwold has cut a $120,000 cheque to the Town of Balgonie as the town purchased a new pumper truck for its fire department. RM reeve Mitchell Huber said the $120,000 has come out of budgeted funds from 2019 and 2020 to support fire department equipment purchases. Huber added being able to support a fire department who is a mutual aid partner helps the whole area. “Balgonie had come to us asking for our support in purchasing another truck and we approved supporting a percentage of that truck’s cost,” Huber said. The cheque has already been sent to Balgonie, whose mayor Frank Thauberger was happy to see an aging pumper truck replaced. The truck, which is scheduled to arrive this summer, cost $363,000. Balgonie covered $243,000 of the cost from reserves, as council and administration had been setting money aside over a number of years for its replacement. “Every time you are dealing with a major purchase, you have to look at all the variables on it,” Thauberger said. “Right now, it feels good. We weren’t anticipating any money from the RM but now that it’s come through, we are very thankful for their support. It makes our budget look a lot better too. It’s very important to have good equipment for your fire department. We were running with an old truck that needed to be replaced and was having problems.” Keith Borkowsky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Quad Town Forum
Though the pandemic has cancelled his daily commute to work, Verdun resident Patrick Lavery still tries to get in 15,000 steps a day. "With the pandemic and working from home I was very sedentary," he said. "There were days I didn't leave the house at all and I put on a lot of weight, probably about 20 pounds." So back in September, Lavery decided to take on a 100-day challenge to walk about 10 kilometres a day. He wears a fitness tracker on his wrist to count his steps and log his daily activity level. "In the evening, I'll look at my watch and say, OK, this is how many steps I need to hit to reach my goal," Lavery said. "I'll head out and get that goal." It turns out Lavery may be on the right track, as a recent study, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, shows Fitbits do help people lose weight. People with the popular wearable fitness trackers sit less and are more active, the study found. Mickaël Ringeval, a PhD student in management sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal, is the lead author of the study. Ringeval said to make wearing a Fitbit effective, it's important to set goals — for example 10,000 steps a day — and stick to them. Ringeval said wearing the watch and setting a goal proved to be more efficient than receiving a reminder from a physician to stay active. Ringeval's findings are based on a meta-analysis of 37 clinical trials from around the world, reviewing the activity level of some 4,000 adults from 2007 to the summer of 2019. The study looked at Fitbits, since they are the most popular fitness trackers on the market. The research also found that people with chronic illness benefited the most from these devices. But the devices aren't a magic bullet for laziness, Ringeval warned, as people still have to be determined to reach that daily step goal. As for Lavery, he said being able to keep track of his activity level is just the motivation he needed to lose 30 pounds in four months. "It helps me stay on track and lets me quantify how I'm doing," he said. "I can see my results ever day."
A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday: SPAIN Real Madrid will visit Alavés without isolating coach Zinedine Zidane after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Assistant coach David Bettoni, who said Zidane was “feeling fine,” will be on the touchline at Mendizorroza Stadium. Madrid is winless in three games across all competitions. It drew 0-0 at Osasuna in the Spanish league, followed by a 2-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup semifinals and a shock 2-1 loss at third-tier Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey. Madrid will be without captain Sergio Ramos and other players due to injury. Madrid can ill afford another setback as it is already seven points behind league leaders Atlético Madrid. Also Saturday, Villarreal visits last-place Huesca seeking a win that would lift it ahead of Barcelona and into third place. Fifth-place Sevilla can also overtake Barcelona with a home victory over Cádiz, while sixth-place Real Sociedad hosts Real Betis. ENGLAND Manchester City, which is second in the Premier League, plays away in the fourth round of the FA Cup against a Cheltenham side sitting sixth in the fourth division. Sheffield United has won as many games in the FA Cup as the last-place team has in the Premier League this season — one. Chris Wilder’s struggling side faces third-tier opposition when Plymouth visits Bramall Lane. The FA Cup holders are also in action on Saturday with Arsenal taking on Southampton. Arsenal could hand a debut to Mat Ryan after the goalkeeper joined on loan from Brighton. Danny Ings is back in contention for Southampton. The striker, who recently recovered from a hamstring injury, has been in isolation after testing positive for coronavirus and missed the last two matches. ITALY Roma is in turmoil entering its game against Spezia in Serie A. The Giallorossi were beaten 3-0 by Lazio in last week’s league derby and then lost 4-2 to Spezia in the Italian Cup on Tuesday. On Friday, the Cup defeat result was changed to a 3-0 loss by the league judge due to an impermissible sixth substitution that Roma used. Also Friday, embattled Roma coach Paulo Fonseca announced that captain Edin Dzeko was being left out for the Spezia rematch — apparently due to tension with Fonseca. Newly signed Mario Mandzukic could make his AC Milan debut when the Serie A leader hosts Atalanta. Second-place Inter Milan visits relegation-threatened Udinese and Fiorentina hosts Crotone. FRANCE Arkadiusz Milik could make his Marseille debut away to Monaco in the French league after joining on loan from Italian club Napoli. The Poland striker signed on an 18-month deal late Thursday night. He scored 48 goals in four seasons for Napoli but did not play for the Italian club during this campaign. Marseille needs his goals since it has slipped down to sixth place following consecutive home defeats. But fourth-place Monaco is in fine form having won four of its last five matches. In the other game, seventh-place Lens looks to follow up its midweek win at Marseille when it hosts struggling Nice. GERMANY Hertha Berlin fans fed up with their team’s Bundesliga form are holding a protest against the club’s management before the game against fellow struggler Werder Bremen. Hertha had been expected to challenge for European qualification thanks to investment of around $450 million from Lars Windhorst since June 2019. But Bruno Labbadia’s side has only one win in its last seven games and Hertha is just two points above the relegation zone after its worst first half to the season since it was relegated in the 2009-10 campaign. Labbadia steered the team away from relegation after his appointment as Hertha’s fourth coach of last season. Bremen is just a point above Hertha. Leipzig expects to pressure league leader Bayern Munich with a win at lowly Mainz. Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg meet in a duel between two of the league’s best defences. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press