When will COVID-19 vaccinations be available to the general public? Global’s Laura Casella turns to Dr. Mitch to find out what we can expect.
When will COVID-19 vaccinations be available to the general public? Global’s Laura Casella turns to Dr. Mitch to find out what we can expect.
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took their oaths of office on Wednesday using Bibles that are laden with personal meaning, writing new chapters in a long-running American tradition — and one that appears nowhere in the law. The Constitution does not require the use of a specific text for swearing-in ceremonies and specifies only the wording of the president’s oath. That wording does not include the phrase “so help me God,” but every modern president has appended it to their oaths and most have chosen symbolically significant Bibles for their inaugurations. That includes Biden, who used the same family Bible he has used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as senator from Delaware. The book, several inches thick, and which his late son Beau also used when swearing in as Delaware attorney general, has been a “family heirloom” since 1893 and “every important date is in there,” Biden told late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert last month. “Why is your Bible bigger than mine? Do you have more Jesus than I do?” quipped Colbert, who like Biden is a practicing Catholic. Biden’s use of his family Bible underscores the prominent role his faith has played in his personal and professional lives — and will continue to do so as he becomes the second Catholic president in U.S. history. He follows in a tradition of many other presidents who used family-owned scriptures to take their oaths, including Ronald Reagan and Franklin D. Roosevelt, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Some have had their Bibles opened to personally relevant passages during their ceremonies. Bill Clinton, for example, chose Isaiah 58:12 — which urges the devout to be a “repairer of the breach” — for his second inauguration after a first term marked by political schisms with conservatives. Others took their oaths on closed Bibles, like John F. Kennedy, the first Catholic president, who in 1961 used his family’s century-old tome with a large cross on the front, similar to Biden’s. The tradition of using a Bible dates as far back as the presidency itself, with the holy book used by George Washington later appearing on exhibit at the Smithsonian on loan from the Masonic lodge that provided it in 1789. Washington’s Bible was later used for the oaths by Warren G. Harding, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush. But not every president has used a Bible. Theodore Roosevelt took his 1901 oath without one after the death of William McKinley, while John Quincy Adams used a law book in 1825, according to his own account. Some have employed multiple Bibles during their ceremonies: Both Barack Obama and Donald Trump chose to use, along with others, the copy that Abraham Lincoln was sworn in on in 1861. Harris did the same for her vice-presidential oath, using a Bible owned by a close family friend and one that belonged to the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Harris has spoken of her admiration of Marshall, a fellow Howard University graduate and trailblazer in government as the high court’s first African American justice. “When I raise my right hand and take the oath of office tomorrow, I carry with me two heroes who’d speak up for the voiceless and help those in need,” Harris tweeted Tuesday, referring to Marshall and friend Regina Shelton, whose Bible she swore on when becoming attorney general of California and later senator. Harris, who attended both Baptist and Hindu services as a child, worships in the Baptist faith as an adult. While U.S. lawmakers have typically used Bibles for their oaths, some have chosen alternatives that reflect their religious diversity. Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, the first Muslim elected to Congress, in 2007 used a Qur’an that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, prompting objections from some Christian conservatives. Jefferson’s Qur’an made a return in 2019 at the oath for Michigan Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., chose a Hebrew Bible in 2005 to reflect her Jewish faith. Newly elected Georgia Democratic Sen. Jon Ossoff, who is also Jewish and who swears in Wednesday, used Hebrew scripture belonging to Rabbi Jacob Rothschild, an ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. Former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, opted for the Bhagavad Gita in 2013 after becoming the first Hindu elected to Congress. And Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., the only member of the current Congress who identifies as “religiously unaffiliated,” took her oath on the Constitution in 2018. ___ Associated Press religion coverage receives support from the Lilly Endowment through The Conversation U.S. The AP is solely responsible for this content. Elana Schor, The Associated Press
La démocratie a besoin d’être réformée et ce n’est pas seulement en changeant de dirigeant que l’on y arrivera. Il faut aussi repenser le système qu’il défend.
In the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak that has already killed four residents, a family member of a resident at Amberwood Suites said staff there did everything they possibly could have to protect residents’ lives. Linda Vlach is the daughter of 94-year-old Amberwood resident Gertrude Phillips, who is doing well right now after coming through her own bout with the virus and having to isolate herself. Vlach said she credits her mom's survival with the intense level of care at the home. "I felt really that Amberwood did everything they possibly could,” she said. “Once it was found out there were positive cases in the building, they just flat out ordered in all the PPE (personal protective equipment) they would need.” Vlach said rolling PPE carts were set up outside each suite so that staff and care givers could get fresh equipment every time they went into a room. Vlach said she is not worried for her mom's safety. She said Amberwood has been especially careful about the virus right from the beginning, and that with so many people being asymptomatic, it was the kind of thing that could have happened anywhere. Public Health Sudbury and Districts (PHSD) revealed earlier this month that an outbreak was discovered at the home Jan. 5. As several days passed, PHSD revealed that five staff members and 33 residents of the home were also infected. Several of those who tested positive were transferred to Health Sciences North. Several others were put into self-isolation in their suites. On Jan. 15, PHSD reported one resident had died. On Jan. 18, PHSD reported two more residents had died. Then on Jan. 19, PHSD reported a fourth Amberwood resident had died. Vlach said her mother was one of the residents who had tested positive and was put into isolation. It was an uncertain time for her family, but her mother seemed to adjust well, she said. "Well she is very much a social creature. She is one of the gals that likes to be out for everything, the exercises, or the bingos or anything that was going on. She was always there early, with bells on," Vlach said. "It was almost bizarre for my mom to hear she had tested positive. So we all braced ourselves and expected the worst, maybe. Then for her to have no symptoms; you know she is just baffled by it. At her age, she is diabetic. She has a heart condition. She just managed to be asymptomatic and come through it all." Vlach said as much as residents had to endure complete isolation, she said it has also been difficult for the staff at Amberwood. "I think it has been very hard on the staff,” she said. “I think for them it has been devastating. I think it is very hard really on the staff not just to have lost people they probably feel were friends, I think it is very hard on them going to work everyday to have to worry about COVID itself.” She said that the lockdown has changed the entire atmosphere at the home, but it is something that is so necessary. "It has changed dramatically the way the building functions, you know, as far as people not being able to get together, to people not being able to leave or to go out to things they would normally go out to," Vlach said. She added that she is the only family caregiver that was approved for her mother, as per provincial rules. She had to undergo in-house training and COVID-19 testing for that role. Although there are five siblings in her family, Vlach is the only child allowed to actually go and see her mother on a daily basis. "Yes, they have closed off any visitation in the suites themselves. For family members to go in they were able to visit on the outside patio as long as the weather allowed, or the inside private dining room. And those spaces were sanitized and controlled as far as how many people were allowed in," she explained. That is no longer allowed, but Vlach said her mom is still able to use the phone to stay in contact with family members. "She has plenty of activities in her suite. She has always kept herself busy and with lots to do. She has DVDs and music and digital photo screens, and reading. Once she realized the building was in lockdown and isolation in the suites, she just settled in and made herself comfortable. We have a big family too so we all keep in touch with her, with lots of phone calls and things that perk her day up." In the meantime, the lockdown continues, said Vlach. She said staff and management at the home are doing all they can to make things comfortable, but there's no mistaking the seriousness of the situation. A screener is posted at the main door. Masking is mandatory. Things have even changed at meal time, said Vlach. No one sits four to a table. People sit alone and eat by themselves. "Yes, it's hard, but they felt it was important, and it certainly increased the workload on the staff," said Vlach. "I don't have any concerns. It is certainly so unfortunate that this happened in the building, this outbreak. People lost their lives. That's so tragic. This is devastating for the families," said Vlach. "But today if you ask my mom, she will say, I couldn't be in a better place. I feel safe here." Len Gillis, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
OTTAWA — The economy will go in reverse for the first quarter of 2021, the Bank of Canada said Wednesday as it kept its key interest rate on hold, warning the hardest-hit workers will be hammered again on a path to a recovery that rests on the rollout of vaccines.Workers in high-contact service industries will carry the burden of a new round of lockdowns, which the central bank warned will exacerbate the pandemic’s uneven effects on the labour market.The longer restrictions remain in place, the more difficult it may be for these workers to find new jobs since the majority move to a new job but in the same industry. Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said in his opening remarks at a late-morning news conference that the first-quarter decline could be worse than expected if restrictions are tightened or extended.The central bank kept its key rate on hold at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday, citing near-term weakness and the "protracted nature of the recovery" in its reasoning.The short-term pain is expected to give way to a brighter outlook for the medium-term with vaccines rolling out sooner than the central bank expected.Still, the bank said in its updated economic outlook, a full recovery from COVID-19 will take some time. Nor does the Bank of Canada see inflation returning to its two per cent target until 2023, one year longer than previously forecast, and the bank's key rate is likely to stay low until then.Overall, there is reason to be more optimistic about the economy in the medium-term, but it will still need extraordinary help from governments and the central bank to get there, Macklem said.The bank’s latest monetary policy report, which lays out its expectations for economic growth and inflation, forecast that COVID-19 caused the economy to contract by 5.5 per cent last year.Despite an upswing over the summer and fall that may have spared the country from a worst-case economic scenario, the drive to a recovery will hit a pothole over the first three months of 2021.The bank forecasts real gross domestic product to contract at an annual pace of 2.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2021, before improving thereafter if severe restrictions start easing in February.The bank expects growth of four per cent overall for 2021, then 4.8 per cent next year, and 2.5 per cent in 2023.Trevin Stratton, chief economist at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, was more dour on lockdowns, saying the group doesn't expect them to ease until well into March."During this period, we need to provide the right kind of support to individual Canadians and to businesses to get them through the lockdowns, recognizing that neither group is in the same financial position as it was in March 2020," he said in a statement.For the central bank, that help could come through ramping up its bond-buying to force down interest rates, or a small cut to its key policy rate among options Macklem mentioned Wednesday.Keeping the door open to such a "micro" rate change is a shift in tone, as Macklem has previously said the current 0.25 rate is as low as it would go.The bank said the path for the economy will be like riding a roller-coaster as resurgence in COVID-19, or new, more virulent strains, weigh down a recovery in one quarter before leading to strong upswing in the next.Inflation may be equally rocky.Gasoline prices, which have weighed down the consumer price index during the pandemic, will by March be “well above their lows of a year earlier,” the bank’s report said. That should significantly bump inflation, the report said, possibly to two per cent in the second quarter.The bump will even out over the rest of the year. The bank forecasts inflation for 2021 at 1.6 per cent, then 1.7 per cent in 2022 and 2.1 per cent in 2023.Statistics Canada reported Wednesday the annual pace of inflation cooled in December to 0.7 per cent compared with 1.0 per cent in November. The agency also reported that the average last month of Canada's three measures for core inflation, which are considered better gauges of underlying price pressures and closely tracked by the Bank of Canada, was 1.57 per cent.The central bank’s lookahead rests on efforts to vaccinate Canadians by the end of the year without any hiccups in that timeline, which would mean broad immunity six months sooner than the bank previously assumed."It's going to be very important that Canada get the vaccines, we get them distributed to Canadians and that Canadians take the vaccine," Macklem said.A shorter timeline for vaccinations should mean less scarring overall for the economy in the form of fewer bankruptcies and fewer workers out of jobs for long stretches, which makes it more difficult for them to get back into the labour force.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the first quarter decline in real gross domestic product was 2.9 per cent.
CENTRE WELLINGTON – Centre Wellington council has decided to formally give back to the community and are encouraging other public sector employees to do the same. Councillor Steven VanLeeuwen presented a motion to donate a portion of his publicly funded council wages and encouraged the mayor, councillors and public sector employees to donate a portion of their salary or time to a local charity or non-profit. VanLeeuwen explained to council the pandemic is top of mind with this action. “We have a community that is hurting, a community that is also struggling in their jobs,” he said. “In many ways we want to help and as public servants we also have stability in what we’re doing especially in regards to financially.” The motion, which passed unanimously, sees the donation as a way to offset increased demands for assistance from local charitable organizations. Council was on board but some questioned if a motion was truly necessary as many already do this anyway. “I feel like I’m doing what Steven is requesting already and have been for as long as I can remember,” said councillor Kirk McElwain. “Having it as a motion doesn’t really show me a lot of anything new but I certainly appreciate and support the concept.” Councillor Neil Dunsmore supported the motion and noted he liked how it would be forwarded to other area governments and to the province to encourage others to support local organizations. Mayor Kelly Linton said he was unsure it required a motion but said it ultimately couldn’t hurt. “If it is going to help encourage more individuals, councillors and staff to donate then I see it as a positive thing,” Linton said. VanLeeuwen clarified by email the purpose was more to encourage others and start a conversation about giving back. "It is my intent that other government leaders and even public sector employees will join in with the effort to assist their local communities with the issues that have arisen from the effects of Covid-19 and the restrictions," VanLeeuwen said. "Although many of us do this already privately, I do believe that leadership needs to be in the open and not hidden in order to lead and inspire and thus I hope that this can be a rallying cry for those who have had stable income through the pandemic to recognize their obligation to help those suffering." He also noted this is why he didn’t specify a dollar amount as everyone has different funds or methods of giving back. The motion unanimously passed and will be forwarded to the province and area municipalities to further encourage joining in the effort to invest in their communities. Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com
Après l’annonce d’une aide financière de Québec pour lancer les travaux du chantier de construction du Port de Contrecoeur, la semaine dernière, on apprend maintenant l’identité des entreprises qualifiées en vue de décrocher ce lucratif contrat. Trois consortiums se feront la lutte dans le cadre d’un appel d’offres. Par voie de communiqué, l'Administration portuaire de Montréal (APM) a annoncé, mercredi, que trois consortiums ont été retenus à la suite d’un appel de qualification. Les trois groupes s’identifient sous les noms Ancre Contrecoeur, CAP Contrecoeur et Kiewit-Pomerleau. Derrière Ancre Contrecoeur, on retrouve un partenariat des entreprises Dragados Canada et AECOM Consultants. Sous CAP Contrecoeur, ce sont Eurovia Québec Grands projets, Janin Atlas, Soletanche Bachy International, VINCI Infrastructure Canada, GHD Consultants, COWI North America et CH2M Hill Canada qui se sont associées. Finalement, le groupe Kiewit-Pomerleau est composé des entreprises Construction Kiewit et Pomerleau ainsi que CIMA+, Englobe, Hatch et Solmatech. D’après le communiqué de l’APM, cinq dossiers ont été reçus et trois ont été retenus. Ces consortiums seront donc invités à participer à l’appel d’offres pour la conception et la construction du futur terminal de Contrecoeur. En entrevue à La Presse Canadienne, la vice-présidente affaires publiques de l'APM, Sophie Roux, a affirmé que l'appel d'offres devrait être lancé «dans les prochains mois» sans pouvoir donner plus de précision. La semaine dernière, le ministre des Transports, François Bonnardel, et la ministre responsable de la région de Montréal, Chantal Rouleau, ont dévoilé une aide financière de 55 millions $ pour appuyer la phase de démarrage du projet. Le chantier n’a cependant pas encore obtenu le feu vert du ministère fédéral de l'Environnement, alors que des inquiétudes persistent au sujet de l'impact sur certaines espèces menacées, dont le chevalier cuivré. Dans l’éventualité où l'APM reçoit l'approbation nécessaire, les travaux devraient débuter dès l'automne, avait fait savoir le président-directeur général Martin Imbleau. Sophie Roux a réitéré, mercredi, que les démarches progressent dans le but de lancer les travaux dès que le gouvernement fédéral donnera son accord final. «On est sur un échéancier critique, a-t-elle soutenu. Nous savons qu'avec nos installations portuaires en manutention de conteneurs sur l'île de Montréal, nous opérons à quasi pleine capacité présentement.» L'APM plaide donc l'urgence d'agir pour bonifier sa capacité d'accueil de conteneurs. À la fin de l'ensemble des travaux, que l'on prévoit pour 2024, le terminal devrait être en mesure d'accueillir 1,15 million de conteneurs afin de permettre au port de Montréal de poursuivre sa croissance. D'après les projections du gouvernement, le terminal devrait permettre la création de 1000 emplois lorsqu'il sera en pleine opération. La facture totale du projet est estimée entre 750 millions $ et 950 millions $.Ugo Giguère, Initiative de journalisme local, La Presse Canadienne
WASHINGTON — Three new senators were sworn into office Wednesday after President Joe Biden's inauguration, securing the majority for Democrats in the Senate and across a unified government to tackle the new president's agenda at a time of unprecedented national challenges. In a first vote, the Senate confirmed Biden's nominee for Director of National Intelligence, Avril Haines. Senators worked into the evening and overcame some Republican opposition to approve his first Cabinet member, in what's traditionally a show of good faith on Inauguration Day to confirm at least some nominees for a new president's administration. Haines, a former CIA deputy director, will become a core member of Biden’s security team, overseeing the agencies that make up the nation’s intelligence community. She was confirmed 84-10. The new Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., urged colleagues to turn the spirit of the new president’s call for unity into action. “President Biden, we heard you loud and clear,” Schumer said in his first speech as majority leader. “We have a lengthy agenda. And we need to get it done together.” Vice-President Kamala Harris drew applause as she entered the chamber to deliver the oath of office to the new Democratic senators — Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla — just hours after taking her own oath at the Capitol alongside Biden. The three Democrats join a Senate narrowly split 50-50 between the parties, but giving Democrats the majority with Harris able to cast the tie-breaking vote. Ossoff, a former congressional aide and investigative journalist, and Warnock, a pastor from the late Martin Luther King Jr.'s church in Atlanta, won run-off elections in Georgia this month, defeating two Republicans. Padilla was tapped by California’s governor to finish the remainder of Harris’ term. “Today, America is turning over a new leaf. We are turning the page on the last four years, we’re going to reunite the country, defeat COVID-19, rush economic relief to the people,” Ossoff told reporters earlier at the Capitol. “That’s what they sent us here to do.” Taken together, their arrival gives Democrats for the first time in a decade control of the Senate, the House and the White House, as Biden faces the unparalleled challenges of the COVID-19 crisis and its economic fallout, and the nation's painful political divisions from the deadly Jan. 6 siege of the Capitol by a mob loyal to Donald Trump. Congress is being called on to consider Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID recovery package, to distribute vaccines and shore up an economy as more than 400,000 Americans have died from the virus. At the same time, the Senate is about to launch an impeachment trial of Trump, charged by the House of inciting the insurrection at the Capitol as rioters tried to interrupt the Electoral College tally and overturn Biden’s election. The Senate will need to confirm other Biden Cabinet nominees. To “restore the soul” of the country, Biden said in his inaugural speech, requires “unity.” Yet as Washington looks to turn the page from Trump to the Biden administration, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not relinquishing power without a fight. Haines' nomination was temporarily blocked by Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Okla., as he sought information about the CIA's enhanced interrogation program. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is holding back the Homeland Security nominee Alejandro Mayorkas over Biden's proposed immigration changes. And McConnell is refusing to enter a power-sharing agreement with Senate Democrats unless they meet his demands, chiefly to preserve the Senate filibuster — the procedural tool often used by the minority party to block bills under rules that require 60 votes to advance legislation. McConnell, in his first speech as the minority party leader, said the election results with narrow Democratic control of the House and Senate showed that Americans “intentionally entrusted both political parties with significant power.” The Republican leader said he looked forward working with the new president “wherever possible.” At her first White House briefing, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Biden’s desire to have his Cabinet confirmed and in place is “front and centre for the president,” and she said he was hoping to have his national security nominees in place Thursday or Friday. Psaki said the president will be “quite involved” in negotiations over the COVID relief package, but left the details of the upcoming impeachment trial to Congress. The Senate can “multitask,” she said. That’s a tall order for a Senate under normal circumstances, but even more so now in the post-Trump era, with Republicans badly split between their loyalties to the defeated president and wealthy donors who are distancing themselves from Republicans who back Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to soon transmit to the Senate the House-passed article of impeachment against Trump, charged with incitement of insurrection, a step that will launch the Senate impeachment trial. Meantime, the power-sharing talks between Schumer and McConnell have hit a stalemate. It’s an arcane fight McConnell has inserted into what has traditionally been a more routine organizing resolution over committee assignments and staffing resources, but a power play by the outgoing Republican leader grabbing at tools that can be used to block Biden’s agenda. Progressive and liberal Democrats are eager to do away with the filibuster to more quickly advance Biden’s priorities, but not all rank-and-file Senate Democrats are on board. Schumer has not agreed to any changes but McConnell is taking no chances. For now, it will take unanimous consent among senators to toggle between conducting votes on legislative business and serving as jurors in the impeachment trial. The House last week impeached Trump for having sent the mob to the Capitol to “fight like hell” during the tally of Electoral College votes to overturn Biden’s election. __ Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report. Lisa Mascaro, The Associated Press
Wembley has a new Land Use Bylaw (LUB) that drills down into the development process to encourage commercial development, reports mayor Chris Turnmire. The bylaw was formalized following a public hearing in mid-December. Council gave the revamped LUB its final readings and passage after receiving no objections, said Turnmire. Approximately three members of the public joined the hearing through Zoom but none spoke, he said. “The last bylaw was 22 years old and it was due for a review and revision,” Turnmire said. “We have a more thorough bylaw that will be clearer for the public and developers to look at when considering any future development in Wembley.” The reform will go in-depth in describing the development process, making the definitions of zoning areas clearer, he said. Wembley has always had some steady growth, including approximately 9.6 per cent growth in the last census, he said. Statistics Canada reported Wembley had a population of 1,516 in 2016, compared to 1,383 in 2011. “That was exceptional, and if from 2016 we had 1.5 to two per cent growth, council would be very pleased,” he said. Turnmire said all public feedback on the LUB review came before the draft, through an open house held by ISL Engineering in early 2020. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Ontario's police watchdog cleared an officer of wrongdoing in the shooting death of a man west of Toronto on Wednesday, saying there were no reasonable grounds to lay charges in the incident that took place last year. The Special Investigations Unit noted, however, that there were legitimate questions about the Peel Regional Police officer's conduct on the evening that Jamal Francique was shot in the head in Mississauga, Ont.Joseph Martino, the director of the Special Investigations Unit, said in a report that the officer told investigators he feared for his life when Francique drove at him during a botched arrest."Confronted by a vehicle that the subject officer had reason to believe was intentionally being driven in his direction, the officer's decision to disable its operating mind by shooting in the direction of the driver was not devoid of logic," Martino wrote.There were, however, aspects of the officer's conduct that raised questions, Martino said. "One may question, for example, the wisdom of the (subject officer) placing himself in the vicinity of a vehicle whose driver was evidently attempting to flee from police," Martino wrote. "There are those who would also take issue with shooting at a moving vehicle when the prospect of stopping the vehicle in its tracks is low and the risk of contributing to a dangerous situation on the roadway is real. On the other hand, one must be mindful of the fluid and dynamic nature of the incident."Police were investigating Francique for allegedly dealing drugs and possessing a firearm, the SIU said.Officers were unable to confirm if Francique had a gun or was dealing drugs, but decided to arrest him for allegedly breaching bail conditions, the SIU said.On Jan. 7, 2020, several plainclothes officers and their unmarked cars gathered near Francique's home in Mississauga, Ont., where they waited for him to get into his car.Around 5:45 p.m., the SIU said, Francique got into an Acura TSX and began to drive, but one officer was late blocking him in the driveway.A second unmarked police car came behind Francique and tried to hem him in, the SIU said, while other officers got out of the cars and rushed to the area, guns pointed at the young man. Francique accelerated toward a grassy area, the SIU said, and struck one car while one officer jumped out of the way. At that point another officer on foot fired his gun four times as Francique drove towards him, the SIU said. The Acura came to a halt 30 metres away after it hit a home. The SIU said officers did not approach the car for fears of a gun — which was later found in Francique's satchel — and waited until tactical officers arrived more than two hours later at 8:05 p.m.The tactical team then approached with a shield and smashed the rear windows."Mr. Francique was seated in the driver’s seat in obvious and acute medical distress," the SIU wrote. "He had suffered a gunshot wound to the left side of the head."Francique was taken to St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and died three days later.Knia Singh, a lawyer representing Francique's family, criticized the SIU."The SIU has failed to serve Ontario's diverse community in a way that fosters confidence in the process," Singh said. "The public perception from affected communities, lawyers, and human rights organizations, is that the SIU is heavily biased in favour of police."- with files from John Chidley-Hill.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
New Brunswick Public Health reported 21 new cases on Wednesday, with new cases in five of the province's seven zones, and declared an outbreak at a special care home in Edmundston. The department will not hold a COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, but in a news release it noted a positive case has been confirmed at the Manoir Belle Vue special care home in Zone 4. Residents were tested on Tuesday, and members of the provincial rapid outbreak management team, known as PROMPT, were at the home to help the residents and staff. The 21 cases announced Wednesday break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, six cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 20 to 29 two people 30 to 39 an individual 40 to 49 an individual 50 to 59 Saint John region), Zone 2, two cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 30 to 39 Fredericton region, Zone 3, one case: an individual 20 to 29 Edmundston region, Zone 4, 11 cases: three people 20 to 29 two people 40 to 49 three people 50 to 59 an individual 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 an individual 80 to 89 Campbellton region, Zone 5, one case: an individual 19 or under All of these people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick since the pandemic began is now 1,025, and 694 people have recovered. There have been 13 deaths, and the number of active cases is now 317. Two patients are hospitalized with one in intensive care. As of Wednesday, 177,680 tests have been conducted, including 1,646 tests since Tuesday's report. Four of the province's seven zones are now in the red phase of recovery — including Moncton, Fredericton, Saint John and Edmundston — with the remaining three in orange. Elsipogtog First Nation to follow modified recovery plan Elsipogtog leaders have unveiled a modified red-phase recovery program specific to the First Nation, which is in the Moncton region, Zone 1. In a statement posted on its Facebook page, the Elsipogtog First Nation Band said that "with lessons learned from past measures," the Chief, council and COVID response team want to ensure a "safe pandemic response, while minimizing the mental health strain on vulnerable community members, much due to our unique challenges/situation." Under the modified recovery plan, the Elsipogtog School will remain open four days a week, from Monday to Thursday. Retail businesses may remain open if they implement health and safety guidelines. They will be subject to "random inspections." Close-contact services such as salons and barbers will close. Gaming centres will be permitted to operate at reduced hours, with reduced capacity and under strict health and safety guidelines. Essential workers will be allowed to enter the community, but cannot visit and must leave the community immediately after work. Visitors are not permitted to enter the community. The modified plan took effect on Wednesday, the statement said. Riverview school confirms case, school to close Riverview High School will close for three days as of Thursday following a confirmed case at the school. In a letter sent to parents Wednesday evening, the Anglophone East School District said that classes will be conducted via distance learning, and that it would contact families on Sunday to share plans for the following week. In the meantime, the district said, it is working with Public Health to identify any students or staff who might have been in contact with the virus. Under the new red-phase rules, schools must close for three days to allow for contact tracing following a confirmed case. Shannex Parkland reports new case at Tucker Hall Testing results at Shannex Parkland Saint John have confirmed one new positive case at its Tucker Hall nursing home. In a statement posted Tuesday night on its website, Shannex noted that not all results for resident and employee testing conducted Tuesday at Tucker Hall had been returned by Public Health, but that one new positive employee case had been identified. The number of active cases at Tucker Hall is 14 residents and 10 employees, the statement said, noting that retesting will take place again later this week for all residents and employees. Positive case closes Edmundston region school, daycare A positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed at École Saint-Jacques in Saint-Jacques, Public Health has confirmed. The school community has been notified and all students and staff are required to self-isolate until further notice to allow for contact tracing and testing of school staff, the department said in a news release Wednesday. As the school is located in Zone 4, which is in the red phase, it will be closed to students for three days. The child-care centre, Halte Scolaire École Saint-Jacques, located within the school, will also be closed for three days. Comedy festival goes virtual and expands The HubCap Comedy Festival will move to a virtual format in light of new red phase restrictions that took effect Wednesday. Going virtual will also allow the festival to expand its roster of comedians, "which would have been impossible given current Covid-19 travel limitations," festival president Marshall Button said in a news release. The revised lineup includes comedians from Atlantic Canada and across the country, with a new schedule of five shows set for Feb. 4, 5 and 6 (English-language shows) and Feb. 5 and 6 (French-language shows). Tickets purchased for the originally scheduled live shows will be refunded, with an option to convert purchases into virtual show tickets. Virtual show tickets are $25, with various package options also available at hubcapcomedyfestival.ca. Province marks pandemic milestones Zones 1, 2 and 3 moved back to the red phase on Wednesday, the day after total case number for the pandemic in the province surpassed the 1,000 mark, and a 13th death was recorded. "We have never been in a situation like this since the pandemic began," Premier Blaine Higgs said Tuesday. "I cannot stress enough that this is a critical moment. ... Stay home as much as you possibly can and avoid interacting with people outside your household bubble." The Edmundston region, Zone 4, went back to red earlier in the week, and the remaining three zones stayed orange, Landfill reduced hours because of COVID-19 In an effort to reduce contact between staff and clients, the Fundy Regional Service commission said it's Crane Mountain Landfill will be closed on Saturdays as long as the region remains in red. "Saturday operations bring high volumes of single vehicles into the Public Drop Off area, with an average of 300 vehicles over four hours," said spokesperson Brenda MacCallum. "This results in close contact between members of the public and staff." The landfill will remain open Monday to Friday for public dropoffs. Edith Cavell School students to remain home Edith Cavell School students will continue to learn from home for the rest of the week after more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at the school last week. "The situation will be reassessed on the weekend to determine what next week will look like," said an email sent to parents. "You will be informed as soon as a decision is made on whether we will continue with Distance Learning, or if we will be returning to the building next week." In the past week nine schools have reported cases of COVID-19. On Tuesday, École Régionale Saint-Basile in Saint-Basile and Élémentaire Sacré-Coeur in Grand Falls both announced positive cases and that they would close because of them. In the Anglophone South School District, Princess Elizabeth School in Saint John school announced a positive case on Tuesday. The same district already had cases at four other schools: Quispamsis Middle School and Kennebecasis Valley High School, also in Quispamsis, Belleisle Elementary School in Springfield and Millidgeville North School in Saint John. Two schools in the Anglophone East School District, Riverview East School and Caledonia Regional High School in Hillsborough, also have cases. Hair stylists close in red zones Many New Brunswick hair stylists have been forced to close down again after half the province moved back into the red phase Wednesday. Zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 — the Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Edmundston regions, respectively — are all in red, and under the red rules, personal service businesses must close. Adam Donnelly, a hair stylist in Saint John, says he expected the news, but it was still difficult to hear. "I mean, orange hasn't been the best for business anyway, so unfortunately, you know, we kind of expected this," said Donnelly. Still, Donnelly said he believes moving into red was the right thing to do. Donnelly said he felt safe going to work, even during the orange phase, because of the stringent public health practices at his salon, many of which were in place before the pandemic anyway. "Our sanitation protocols within this industry have always been high because it is a high touch industry," said Donnelly. While many people may consider a hair cut or colour a fairly frivolous undertaking, Donnelly said this isn't the case for everyone. "For a lot of people, it is their resource to feel better," said Donnelly. "I mean, we all know when you look your best, you feel your best." Sitting in the chair is also a way for people to connect and talk about their joys and sorrows. Donnelly said he's used to such chats after 14 years in the business, but the subjects have changed recently. "You know, people are almost struggling to find something to talk about because everybody's just been home," he said. "But people are also offloading a lot of their, you know, their personal woes and the issues that they're going through. And, you know, I do have a personal connection with a lot of my clients. Some of them have been with me for well over a decade." Donnelly said he tries to steer the conversation away from COVID. "I try to change that conversation when they're sitting in my chair as much as I possibly can, try to focus on other things, try to, you know, turn the conversation around, because I want them to sit in my chair and have a positive experience and, you know, leave feeling uplifted." Other businesses also have to close or make changes to their operating procedures, including restaurants, which may not offer in-house dining in the red phase. But unlike restaurants, which can still offer takeout, the red phase doesn't leave Donnelly with options. So no outdoor haircuts. "I will not be doing a haircut. I will not even offer so much as advice to people on what they should be doing to do their own haircut, their own hair colours at home. We don't advise that at all." Donnelly said clients were anxious about coming back into the salon after the closure last spring, but the stylists learned from the pandemic experience and plan to hit the ground running when the zone goes orange again. Public exposure warnings Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flights: Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Moncton region: Goodlife Fitness Centre, 175 Ivan Rand Dr. E., on Jan. 13 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
European leaders described the 46th President's inauguration speech as "inspiring" and said it was time to bring "conviction and common sense" to help rejuvenate their relationship with the US.View on euronews
MANCHESTER, England — Bernardo Silva finally broke Aston Villa’s resistance by scoring off Manchester City’s 36th effort at goal before Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty sealed a 2-0 victory on Wednesday that extended the winning run of the Premier League’s form team to six matches. An end-to-end match in which City lost Kevin De Bruyne and Kyle Walker to injuries looked to be heading for a draw, despite the home team’s dominance, when Silva received a pass from Rodri and smashed home a shot from the edge of the area in the 79th minute. The goal was contentious because Rodri was returning from an offside position when he dispossessed Villa defender Tyrone Mings before releasing Silva. No offside was given, though, with the officials seemingly feeling a new phase of play had started when Mings controlled the ball on his chest before being picked off by Rodri. Villa manager Dean Smith was sent off for protesting against the awarding of a goal he described as “farcical” and “pathetic.” “I said to the fourth official, David Coote, ‘Did you get juggling balls for Christmas?’" Smith said, explaining when he was shown a red card by referee Jonathan Moss. “I don’t think any other manager would get sent off for that.” Gundogan wrapped up the win in the 90th minute by converting a spot kick after Matty Cash raised his hand to block a goalbound header from Gabriel Jesus. City moved above Leicester to the top of the league, although Manchester United can reclaim first place by beating Fulham later Wednesday. It was Villa’s first league match since Jan. 1, after which there was a coronavirus outbreak in the squad that led to the training ground being closed. Villa reported that nine players contracted COVID-19 in that period but Smith was able to field a full-strength lineup against City, with the squad only back in training since Sunday. Villa, however, was on the back foot for the entire match, which was played in driving rain, only holding on thanks to a series of last-ditch blocks and some fine goalkeeping from Emi Martinez. City is in its best form of the season, having won nine straight games in all competitions. Pep Guardiola's team in unbeaten in 15. “No one else has won five, six in a row but it’s still the first leg of the season," Guardiola said. "A lot of games to do but the important thing is that the feeling is good.” Walker was substituted with an apparent leg muscle injury in the 27th minute, while De Bruyne hobbled off in the 59th shortly after being fouled by Jack Grealish. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s hand-picked chief of U.S. international broadcasting has quit amid a burgeoning staff revolt and growing calls for his resignation. Michael Pack resigned as the chief executive office of the U.S. Agency for Global Media just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday. The agency runs the Voice of America and sister networks. Pack had created a furor when he took over the agency last year and fired the boards of all the outlets under his control along with the leadership of the individual broadcast networks. The actions were criticized as threatening the broadcasters' prized editorial independence. Biden had been expected to make major changes to the agency's structure and management but Pack’s early departure signalled those may be coming sooner rather than later. Though many presidential appointees resign when a new administration comes in, Pack was not required to so. His position was created by Congress is not limited by the length of a particular administration. In resigning, Pack cited the incoming administration’s desire for new leadership at the agency. “I serve at the pleasure of not one particular president, but the office of the president itself,” Pack said in a resignation letter sent to staffers. “The new administration has requested my resignation, and that is why I have tendered it as of 2PM today.” The letter said that "a great amount of much-needed reform was achieved in the past eight months, some of this work is outlined in a series of recently-released agency statements.” Yet those statements were seen by many, including Republican and Democratic lawmakers and a significant number of employees, as being antithetical to the agency's mandate to provide international audiences with unbiased, uncensored and nonpolitical information. VOA was founded during World War II and its congressional charter requires it to present independent news and information to international audiences. Pack is a conservative filmmaker and former associate of Trump’s onetime political strategist Steve Bannon. Pack’s moves raised fears that he intended to turn venerable U.S. media outlets into pro-Trump propaganda machines. His actions had done little to dissuade those concerns and had attracted a large amount of criticism from supporters of the agency's mission. Indeed, just on Tuesday he appointed new conservative members to the boards of Radio Free Asia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks. Only last week, Pack attracted new criticism when one his top aides demoted a VOA White House reporter after she asked a question of then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. That reassignment prompted a new round of criticism and demands for VOA chief Robert Reilly to resign. In addition to Republican criticism, the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Robert Menendez. D-N.J., demanded changes in leadership. Biden’s team had made clear it was not pleased with Pack's record on the job and had sent numerous signals that he should go. Pack’s appointments to specific networks and boards of directors may be more difficult for the Biden administration to rescind without congressional action. Some appointees now enjoy federal employment protections. Transition officials said last week they were looking into ways that legislation could be amended or replaced to make dismissals of certain personnel easier. Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
Seniors living at a Regina care home say their hopes were raised about getting their first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — only to see their prospects for inoculation quickly dashed after names were randomly drawn out of a basket. The incident at Qu'Appelle House in Regina has the Saskatchewan NDP accusing the provincial government of badly planning and executing the vaccine rollout, while the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says health workers thought quickly on their feet to avoid wasting any doses. "There are several families and residents quite upset [regarding] the vaccine administration that happened here," said Bev Desautels, the home's director of care. Independent residents left out Qu'Appelle House is a care home affiliated with the Anglican Diocese of Qu'Appelle and inspected and monitored by the SHA. It is not listed among the Saskatchewan long-term care homes dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19. Desautels said she requested enough vaccine doses to inoculate all residents and staff at the facility, as well as the 15 seniors who live in an attached independent living wing. "They are not under our care," Desautels said of the "independent suite residents," who are all above the age of 85. "However, they share meals, activities, mingling with the care residents. They are expected to follow the same guidelines as the folks whose care we are responsible for." Late Monday morning — the date of vaccination — public health nurses told Desautels they were instructed to not administer the vaccine to the independent living residents, Desautels said. She passed on the news. Harold Olson, who lives in an independent suite, said residents had been notified earlier in the day that everybody would be vaccinated. "And then we were notified again at 11:30 that the nurses were not going to do the suite residents. Everybody got pretty deflated," Olson said. 'I waited and waited and waited all afternoon ... and nobody came.' - Jeanne Tweten, 98 Wendell Lindstron, another suite resident, said he has congested lungs and worries about his health should he contract COVID-19. "It was so disappointing for me because we were supposed to get the vaccine," he said. Jeanne Tweten, 98, said a visiting home care nurse informed her Monday morning about the vaccination plans. "So I waited and waited and waited all afternoon. Not that I can go anywhere because I'm in isolation, but still I waited," she said. "And nobody came." Director of care didn't want to choose between residents Desautels, the home's director of care, said nurses from the SHA did have the Pfizer vaccines on hand "but their hands were tied." Scott Livingstone, the health authority's CEO, said during a COVID-19 news conference on Tuesday that while the independent living residents are considered priority vaccine recipients under the first phase of Saskatchewan's vaccine rollout, they were not scheduled to be inoculated on Monday. The patients and staff at Qu'Appelle House were, he added. When there proved to be extra doses available, staff "thinking on the ground" inoculated six of the 15 suite residents. "We can't take it back, with the Pfizer product, and we didn't want to waste it," Livingstone said, referring to the strict refrigeration requirements of the Pfizer vaccine. Desautels said nurses "milked every last drop of vaccine." "They asked me to choose six of the 15 independent residents to receive the vaccine. I was not about to choose six of my folks. I decided to put their names in a basket and had the visiting nurses draw out the names. Those were the folks who received the vaccine." Janet Craig, resident Jeanne Tweten's daughter, said staff did all they could to have vaccinations in place. "It really broke their heart to have to put names in a hat. My mother didn't get [the vaccine]." Neither did Wendell Lindstron. But Harold Olson did. "I am one of the fortunate ones," Olson said. "Now, to me, when we have to have a lottery to do stuff like this, I don't think that's right." SHA to review incident Olson, Lindstrom, Tweten and Craig all spoke about their experiences during a news conference hosted Tuesday by the Saskatchewan NDP. The party's leader, Ryan Meili, acknowledged some factors, including vaccine supply, are outside the control of the provincial government. "Organizing the delivery on the ground isn't one of them," Meili said, adding that the Qu'Appelle House episode shows "a lack of foresight and lack of communication from this government." Livingstone said the SHA will review the incident in detail. Premier Scott Moe, speaking during the same news conference Tuesday, said he was not familiar with what happened at Qu'Appelle House but stressed that "we do not have enough vaccines to vaccinate everyone at this point in time." Olson said he wishes the health department would come back to the home and give shots to the other nine suite residents. Desautels said early Wednesday morning she had not heard from the province about whether that will happen CBC News reached out to the SHA for an update. "Based on available supplies, we anticipate administering to the rest of the residents at Qu'Appelle House in February," an SHA spokesperson said.
OTTAWA — The head of the Ontario Medical Association says dangerous misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines is spreading on social media among all age groups. The association's analysis of more than 65,000 recent online posts in Ontario shows that conspiracy theories about the origin of the novel coronavirus and fears that vaccines are dangerous and untested run particularly rampant among people under the age of 35. Dr. Samantha Hill says any delay to vaccinating Canadians will cost lives, whether it stems from untruths that dissuade people from getting a shot in the arm or current issues slowing down delivery of doses to Canada. Canada's small supply of vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech will shrink even more over the next four weeks as the company slows production while upgrading its facility in Belgium. Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn't doing enough to pressure Pfizer to limit the effect on Canada and is urging him to get company CEO Albert Bourla on the phone right away. A Trudeau spokesman says they will not confirm who Trudeau has spoken to about the matter, and will not negotiate in public. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021. Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press
COMMUNAUTÉ. C’est finalement un montant de 40 235 $ qui aura été amassé via Gofundme afin de créer une bourse d’études pour Jacob, le fils de l’urgentologue Karine Dion. «Je suis vraiment émue. Je pensais faire une petite campagne pour mon hôpital, mais c’est tout le Québec qui est solidaire pour aider Jacob et honorer la mémoire Karine», constate avec reconnaissance la Dre Geneviève Simard-Racine qui s’était d’abord fixé un objectif de 10 000 $ à recueillir pour créer une bourse d’études pour le fils de son amie. «Il y a eu aussi le 13 janvier, en soirée, un parcours commémoratif dans l’hôpital de Granby. Nos gens pouvaient se recueillir et déposer une étoile dans un cadre. Il y avait également un livre qui sera remis à David, le conjoint de Karine, où l’on pouvait laisser un mot», rapporte-t-elle. À son tour, la Dre Simard-Racine a invité «les aidants à accepter de se faire aider». Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
OTTAWA — A majority of Conservative MPs have voted to remove Derek Sloan from the party's caucus, according to sources not authorized to speak publicly about caucus business. The vote follows revelations Sloan accepted a donation to his leadership campaign from a white nationalist. Party leader Erin O'Toole initiated the caucus removal process late Monday after news of the donation surfaced. Sloan did not dispute he received the money but has said he was unaware of it, and it was unfair to expect him to scrutinize the backgrounds of all donors. Sloan was first elected to the Ontario riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington in 2019 and unsuccessfully ran for leadership of the party last year. His socially conservative views have been a thorn in the party's side and O'Toole had faced pressure for months to kick him out to prove the Tories are the moderate party the leader claims. More Coming... The Canadian Press
Calgary– Before President Biden was even inaugurated, TC Energy let it be known they would be stopping work on the Keystone XL pipeline. In recent days, it has been widely expected that Biden would use an executive order in his first days in office to rescind the Presidential Permit for the pipeline. Approving that pipeline was one of outgoing-President Donald Trump’s first acts after he took office. Once Alberta announced it would contribute $1.5 billion to begin construction, plus billions more in load guarantees, one of the first acts of construction was the building of a 2.2 kilometre section of pipe that actually crossed the Canada-U.S. border, ensuring there would already be pipe in the ground if there were further difficulties. Work on several pumping stations has already begun, including at least one completion, and 145 kilometres of pipe are in the ground in Alberta. Major construction in southwest Saskatchewan was supposed to take place this year. In a press release the morning of Jan. 20, inauguration day, TC Energy “announced it is disappointed with the expected action to revoke the existing Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The decision would overturn an unprecedented, comprehensive regulatory process that lasted more than a decade and repeatedly concluded the pipeline would transport much needed energy in an environmentally responsible way while enhancing North American energy security. “The action would directly lead to the layoff of thousands of union workers and negatively impact ground-breaking industry commitments to use new renewable energy as well as historic equity partnerships with Indigenous communities. The release continued, “TC Energy will review the decision, assess its implications, and consider its options. However, as a result of the expected revocation of the Presidential Permit, advancement of the project will be suspended. The company will cease capitalizing costs, including interest during construction, effective Jan. 20, 2021, being the date of the decision, and will evaluate the carrying value of its investment in the pipeline, net of project recoveries. Absent intervening actions, these steps could result in a substantative, predominantly non-cash after-tax charge to earnings in first quarter 2021. TC Energy will also modify its previously announced financing plans as it would no longer expect to issue hybrid securities or common shares under its dividend reinvestment plan to partially fund the project. “Our base business continues to perform very well and, aside from Keystone XL, we are advancing $25 billion of secured capital projects along with a robust portfolio of other similarly high quality opportunities under development,” said François Poirier, TC Energy’s president and chief executive officer. “These initiatives are expected to generate growth in earnings and cash flow per share and support annual dividend increases of eight to ten per cent in 2021 and five to seven per cent thereafter.” The release concluded, “While today’s news is very disappointing, TC Energy is thankful to its customers, American and Canadian workers, our partners the Government of Alberta and Natural Law Energy, labor organizations, industry, the Government of Canada and the countless supporters of this important energy infrastructure project.” Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
CALGARY — The lawyer for a teen charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary police officer says it will likely be a difficult case because of the high level of scrutiny it is already generating. Kaysi Fagan spoke to reporters at the conclusion of a two-day bail hearing Wednesday for her client, who was 17 at the time Sgt. Andrew Harnett was killed on Dec. 31 and cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. Police have said Harnett was hit and dragged while attempting to stop an SUV after noticing its plates didn't match its registration. They allege the accused youth was driving the vehicle and a 19-year-old man, also charged with first-degree murder, was a passenger. "Certainly any time there's a death, whether it be an officer or a member of the public, certainly it's more difficult. The exposure's greater, the attention is greater, scrutiny is greater," Fagan said. She said the fact that Harnett was a police officer, killed in the line of duty, will add to the divisiveness when it eventually goes to trial. "When the police kill someone it takes a year to investigate it, maybe there's charges laid, maybe there aren't. Here's we've got a first-degree murder charge laid against a youth within 12 hours. So I think it's a bit of a double standard," Fagan said. "Certainly the fact an officer was killed here is concerning to the public and obviously it's going to be very divisive." Youth court Judge Steve Lipton has reserved his decision on bail for the teen suspect until Jan. 28. Crown Prosecutor Doug Taylor is opposed to his release. "The young person ought to be detained for both the safety and the protection of the public, and to maintain confidence in the administration of justice," Taylor said. He told court Tuesday that the Crown will seek an adult sentence for the youth if he's convicted. That would mean life in prison with no eligibility of parole for 10 years. The co-accused in the case, Amir Abdulrahman, is to appear in court on Feb. 4. His lawyer, Balfour Der, has said he intends to seek bail on Feb. 12. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021 — Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Sexsmith considered hiring an energy manager, a position to be shared with other small municipalities in the South Peace. According to the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC), the program would create an energy management plan, promote conservation and save money on energy. The project was proposed by energy consultant Larry Gibson as a possible partnership with Beaverlodge, Hythe, Wembley and the town and municipal district of Spirit River. The cost of having the position was estimated at $11,300 per year for one or two years and there could be MCCAC grant funding available, said CAO Rachel Wueschner. Wueschner said the town hasn’t recently received word from the other municipalities about whether they’ll go forward with the project. Beaverlodge CAO Jeff Johnston said Beaverlodge council has yet to discuss the proposal. Mayor Kate Potter said she thought the project could be positive for the town, but said she recognized most of council was skeptical due to the costs and the town’s tight budget. Coun. Isak Skjaveland’s motion to take no action was carried. Council also amended its Election Bylaw to govern how declared candidates can pay the $100 needed to enter October’s race. In mid-November council approved an election bylaw setting a fee for candidates in future municipal elections. The bylaw previously allowed payment by cash, certified cheque or money order. Wueschner recommended allowing debit and disallowing credit cards because of logistical difficulties, as the town’s debit machine doesn’t take credit cards. Councillors Skjaveland, Dennis Stredulinsky and Bruce Black’s motions to allow debit payments were carried. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News