COVID-19 has meant turning Remembrance Day into a virtual event for many who would normally attend parades and commemorations across Canada.
COVID-19 has meant turning Remembrance Day into a virtual event for many who would normally attend parades and commemorations across Canada.
Toronto poet and children's writer Dennis Lee is among the winners of this year's Writers' Trust career honours. The Writers' Trust of Canada doled out $25,000 apiece to four well-versed wordsmiths on Wednesday for their continued contributions to Canadian literature. Lee was named the winner of the Matt Cohen Award for a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer. His achievements include co-founding the independent publishing company House of Anansi Press in 1967, and penning the 1974 children's classic "Alligator Pie." Also recognized on Wednesday was Kerri Sakamoto, the Toronto-based author of three novels exploring the experience of Japanese-Canadians, who won the Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award honouring a mid-career writer for their contributions to fiction. Queen's University professor Armand Garnet Ruffo, who draws from his Ojibwe heritage in his genre-spanning works, won the Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize recognizing a mid-career poet for mastery of the form. The $25,000 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People went to Montreal-based Marianne Dubuc, a French-language author and illustrator whose picture books have been published in more than 25 languages. Organizers say the Writers' Trust Awards has given out a total of more than $300,000 to Canadian writers this year between its prizes for individual works, career achievements and emerging talent. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020. The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Three promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates may have spurred optimism from investors, but Royal Bank of Canada's chief executive is warning the country is not rid of its pandemic troubles yet.Dave McKay told analysts Wednesday that the economy could still suffer some blows as the globe grapples with uncertainty around how soon people will be injected with Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca's vaccines. "The economy has rebounded well to date," he said on a call to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter earnings."But given the emergence of the second wave of COVID-19 in our core markets, we expect economic growth to slip over the next couple of quarters and project Canadian economic growth to end 2020 down over 5 per cent."McKay projected that economic growth could rebound by between 4 and 5 per cent, but likely not until 2021.His outlook is less rosy than some of his banking counterparts, who said on Tuesday they were cautiously optimistic about the economy's future.Bank of Nova Scotia chief executive Brian Porter said the economy was looking up because government relief programs had pushed retail spending back to pre-pandemic levels, helped housing market growth and triggered a recovery in auto sales."There’s good reason to be optimistic about the associated economic recovery accelerating as 2021 progresses,” BMO Financial Group chief executive Darryl White added.McKay's warnings come even as his bank beat analyst expectations and managed to report higher fourth-quarter profits than those prior to the pandemic.The bank said it earned nearly $3.25 billion or $2.23 per diluted share for the quarter ended Oct. 31, up from nearly $3.21 billion or $2.18 per diluted share a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, RBC says it earned $2.27 per diluted share for its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $2.22 per diluted share a year ago.Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of $2.05 per share, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.Revenue totalled $11.09 billion, down from $11.37 billion in the same quarter last year.RBC's successes were largely due to its ability to use gains in its capital markets business to offset lower interest rates, client deposit revenue and. results in its personal and commercial banking and wealth management businesses. Looking at its full year, the bank's personal and commercial banking sector saw earnings slip by 21 per cent and in wealth management they fell by 13 per cent, but RBC saw growth in the insurance and investor services areas.Given the uncertainty of the pandemic, the bank was keen to keep spending in line as much as possible. Expenses fell 4 per cent year over year and in most areas remained "relatively flat or down from last year," McKay said.The bank also took the quarter as a chance to ease up on the amount of money it reserves to cover bad loans.After putting away $1.11 billion in the second quarter and $675 million in the third quarter, McKay said the bank only had to dedicate $427 million for provisions for credit losses in the latest quarter.That was down from $499 million a year ago and followed a strategy also being used at Scotiabank and BMO, which announced Tuesday that they too had reduced their provisions for credit losses.The wind down signals that some government relief programs and billions in loan deferrals and fee abatements from banks have worked to mitigate risks associated with the pandemic.RBC said it had offered deferrals on more than $90 billion of loans and seen long-term interest rates edge up, but McKay feels short-term interest rates will remain low for "an extended period."When combined with elevated levels of fiscal stimulus, the rates provide a buffer for customers to manage risk, but he indicated that won't help everyone."While the majority of clients have returned to making payments on their loans, some will experience further difficulties with the effects of the second wave," McKay said.Predicting how significant an impact the second wave and fiscal stimulus will have on the ability of Canadians to deal with financial troubles is tough, said National Bank of Canada when it too released earnings on Wednesday.The bank said its profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31 amounted to $492 million or $1.36 per diluted share, down from a profit of $604 million or $1.67 per diluted share a year ago.Revenue hit $2 billion in the quarter, up from $1.91 billion in the same quarter last year."It is not possible to predict the full impacts that this pandemic will have on the global economy, financial markets and the bank," National said in a release. "The actual impacts will depend on future events that are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with any certainty, including the extent, severity and duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the effectiveness of actions and measures taken by governments, monetary authorities and regulators over the long term."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:RY, TSX:BNS, TSX:BMO, TSX:NA)Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
Sherbrooke — Alors que les mesures pour accroître l’autonomie alimentaire fusent depuis quelques mois, les agriculteurs urbains comme Agropol se sentent bien souvent oubliés. Ils ont beau « penser en dehors de la boîte », mais la boîte, elle, ne s’agrandit pas tellement, constatent-ils. « En tant qu’agriculteur urbain, on ne tombe pas dans la chaise de l’agriculteur traditionnel. On n’a pas nécessairement droit à de l’aide ou à la reconnaissance de tout ça. On n’est pas non plus un restaurant, donc on ne va pas avoir les subventions gouvernementales qui permettent de couvrir le loyer actuellement. On tombe vraiment entre deux chaises, c’est quelque chose avec lequel on vit depuis deux ans et demi. On apprend à voir ça venir et à le dévier d’une façon ou d’une autre et à essayer d’être inventif », confie Samuel Sigouin, copropriétaire d’Agropol, cette ferme urbaine qui cultive verticalement des pousses biologiques et qui se spécialise aussi dans la transformation alimentaire. Difficile par exemple de profiter des incitatifs d’expansion pour les productions serricoles annoncés vendredi dernier, même s’ils doivent contrôler l’environnement de leur culture, puisqu’un bâtiment ou milieu fermé ne fait pas partie des dépenses admissibles. Difficile aussi d’aller chercher une aide auprès de la Financière agricole, qui a refusé leurs demandes pour différents motifs, indique-t-il. « On se bat souvent pour des niaiseries. Et les jeunes entrepreneurs, on n’est pas non plus toujours pris au sérieux. On se fait demander une fois sur deux si on fait pousser du cannabis parce qu’on fait de la culture intérieure », témoigne M. Sigouin. L’entrepreneur déplore également l’absence de soutien de la Ville de Sherbrooke, qui n’offre ni programme d’accompagnement ni subventions pour ce genre de projets. La municipalité a bien un PDZA (Plan de développement de la zone agricole), mais il ne couvre que la région périurbaine. À quand donc un plan d’agriculture urbaine à Sherbrooke, comme l’ont fait Québec, Longueuil, et même la MRC de Rimouski-Neigette ? Gabrielle Rondeau-Leclaire, présidente de REVE Nourricier (Réseau d’espaces verts éducatif et nourricier), pose la question. « Il y a une effervescence à Sherbrooke et j’ai confiance que l’agriculture urbaine pourrait prendre sa place, plaide-t-elle. Le problème c’est qu’on n’a vraiment pas de soutien concret du côté municipal. On n’a pas non plus de structure qui encadre l’agriculture urbaine en ce moment. En mon sens à moi, parmi les gens qui constituent la relève agricole de demain, la plupart habitent en ville. Les gens qui ont les étoiles dans les yeux et toute la gang d’étudiants qui sont à l’université, qu’on le veuille ou non, ils vivent en ville. Et tous ces gens-là n’ont pas vraiment de contact avec l’agriculture ou même avec la source de leur alimentation. Je pense que c’est en faisant de l’agriculture urbaine qu’on vient éduquer la population et qu’on vient éventuellement créer de la relève », dit Mme Rondeau-Leclaire. « Nouvelle ère » L’élue municipale Nicole Bergeron, présidente du Comité consultatif agricole de la Ville de Sherbrooke, démontre une grande ouverture devant ce genre de projets à Sherbrooke. Mais avec un PDZA qui vient à peine d’être lancé (mars 2018) et des élections dans moins d’un an, il faudra fort probablement attendre le prochain mandat pour un véritable plan d’agriculture urbaine, dit-elle. « En temps de pandémie plus que jamais, on demande aux gens d’être créatifs, innovants, et de sortir des sentiers battus. On a tous des défis pour dire comment on peut arriver à faire en sorte d’aider un entrepreneur qui, avec son projet, est un peu différent de ce qu’on a l’habitude de voir. [...] Ça, il faut le faire d’une façon concertée et faire le tour du dossier avec les différents partenaires qui peuvent aider une entreprise », commente-t-elle sans ne pouvoir cibler précisément le cas d’Agropol. Celle-ci assure également que « Sherbrooke sera là » en ce qui concerne le développement du secteur serricole enclenché par le gouvernement à l’aide d’un investissement de 112 M$. « On est dans une nouvelle ère et il faut s’adapter. On peut penser qu’on aura une réflexion plus globale à faire pour voir comment on peut atteindre une plus grande autonomie alimentaire [...] Il y aura sûrement bientôt plusieurs projets qui seront présentés. En amont, on va réfléchir où on souhaite le faire, comment et avec qui. » Même que Mme Bergeron n’exclut pas de rendre le zonage plus flexible à l’endroit de projets d’agriculture urbaine. Une stratégie à venir Le ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation indique de son côté « travailler ardemment à ce que les producteurs agricoles urbains trouvent leur place à l’intérieur des mesures du Ministère » et mentionne que les agriculteurs urbains sont considérés au même titre que les agriculteurs ruraux en ce qui a trait aux programmes et initiatives bonifiés dans les dernières semaines. On affirme également qu’une deuxième stratégie de soutien à l’agriculture urbaine est en cours d’élaboration. Celle-ci s’intéressera, comme la première, à l’agriculture urbaine commerciale, communautaire et citoyenne, promet-on. La première stratégie du genre, instaurée par l’ex-ministre Pierre Paradis sous le gouvernement Couillard, est venue à échéance en 2019. Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
Transit users won't be able to use a credit card or debit card at fare gates for a second day as TransLink investigates suspicious activity on its online network.The transit authority said Wednesday morning that some of its online services are still down after it disabled them Tuesday "out of an abundance of caution."It said "suspicious network activity" affected some of its information technology systems Tuesday morning. Riders also won't be able to use their credit or debit card at Compass Card vending machines during the outage.TransLink says riders can still use cash at vending machines and will have staff on site to help customers with trouble buying fares. The transit provider says stored value may take longer than usual to load onto a Compass Card. It has also disabled its Trip Planner tool and says riders can use Google Trip Planner in the meantime."We apologize to our customers for this inconvenience," the company said in a statement. TransLink says all other transit services are operating regularly.
Finding people to blame during a pandemic goes back to biblical times, but a Dalhousie University professor hopes that a study of shaming during the COVID-19 pandemic can be a start to breaking the historical cycle."There is always someone who is shunned, someone who is shamed, someone who is made to feel marginalized, and that's been an unfortunate consequence of quarantine for thousands of years," International Development Studies Prof. Robert Huish told Island Morning host Mitch Cormier."It usually comes down to some people feel that, "We're abiding by the rules. You've become ill over here, so obviously you weren't. So thereby the suffering that we're doing, the adjustments that we're making to our life, you're not respecting it.'"Last weekend on P.E.I. the name of a student who tested positive for COVID-19 was posted on social media, which prompted Premier Dennis King and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison to come out in their defence.Who belongs in the bubble?Huish points out that viruses have no morality, respect no rules, and there is no such thing as a perfect system of quarantine.This is particularly true in modern society, when international interconnection makes completely closing off a geographic area impossible, he said.In the case of the Atlantic bubble, that has led to the stigmatization of people with licence plates from outside the region, including damage to vehicles. Essential workers moving in and out of the bubble have also been targeted."We want to understand what perceptions people are associating with the Atlantic bubble. Who fits into the bubble and who doesn't," said Huish."It's not just about putting a border around an area and saying that's safe from a pandemic. It's really about the behaviour within the bubble that matters. That also means being really kind to each other."Pandemic 'leaves nobody behind'Huish is looking for people who have been the targets of pandemic shaming to tell their stories. He does not imagine that relaying those stories will change attitudes for this pandemic, but hopes it might for the next one."Something as globally inclusive as a pandemic leaves nobody out. It leaves nobody behind," said Huish."What we're trying to do by getting the stories from people who've experienced being targeted by bullying or shaming, that we can get to the sort of level as a society for education and policy that makes it more inclusive next time down the road."'Weird social complexities'Huish cautions the arrival of a vaccine, expected early in the new year, could paradoxically be a difficult time.In the beginning there will not be enough vaccine for everyone, and the federal government has already said certain groups will be prioritized for getting it. Canadians need to think carefully about how the rollout is handled, Huish said."Allowing people to be vaccinated and then suddenly free of any of the ordinances that the rest of society is following, that could build huge resentment, stigmatization, and all sorts of weird social complexities that we may not see coming," he said.People need to be emotionally prepared for staying in some level of lockdown with physical distancing probably well into the summer, he added.Huish is starting his study in Nova Scotia, but hopes to expand it across Atlantic Canada and eventually across the country.More from CBC P.E.I.
Quebec is tightening the health guidelines for stores and malls for the holiday shopping season in an attempt to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.Deputy Premier Geneviève Guilbault said Wednesday she wants Quebecers to be able to shop for loved ones in a safe environment.The measures include: * A maximum capacity of customers based on floor space available to customers. The capacity must be displayed at the front of the store or shopping mall. * Signs about distancing rules to ensure compliance while shopping and waiting in line. * Clear markings so that shoppers can more easily navigate the store.Guilbault acknowledged that many shopping venues already have these measures in place. But she said those that don't risk being fined up to $6,000 or closed altogether.She said police and workplace safety inspectors would increase their presence in shopping districts during the holiday period.The province reported a record 1,514 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily total since the start of the pandemic, along with 43 deaths.Dr. Horacio Arruda, the province's public health director, said earlier this week that shopping malls have not been a major driver of COVID-19 outbreaks but he said stricter guidelines would ensure that remains the case.
The Montello Family decorates for the upcoming holiday season by creating a parody to Warren G and Nate Dogg's "Regulators". Enjoy!
TORONTO — Sun Life Financial Inc. says its president and chief executive will retire next year.The Toronto-based insurance company says Dean Connor, 64, will depart Sun Life on Aug. 6.The company's current executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Kevin Strain, will take over Connor's presidential duties on Dec. 15.He will become chief executive when Connor retires and will continue working as chief financial officer until the company names a replacement in the first half of 2021.Strain joined Sun Life in 2002 as part of the acquisition of insurance company Clarica. He became CFO in 2017.Strain launched Sun Life Global Investments Asset Management and expanded the company's footprint to Vietnam and Malaysia, before climbing the company's executive ranks.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020Companies in this story: (TSX:SLF)The Canadian Press
Job cuts within Nav Canada, the company that owns and operates Canada's civil air navigation service, could lead to as many as one in five controllers in central Newfoundland out of work, according to Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame MP Scott Simms.The private company warned air traffic controllers job cuts were coming through a confidential memo last week, in which Nav Canada reported a $518 million drop in revenue compared to its budget due to COVID-19.Simms said he's heard from several of the estimated 200 controllers in areas like Gander, where Nav Canada serves as an important employer in the region."They're very worried for several reasons. They don't know at this point what will unfold," Simms told CBC Newfoundland Morning Wednesday. "As far as we know it's around 40 positions. That includes most of the air traffic controllers."Simms said job losses could also go beyond air traffic controllers, saying local flight service specialists and IT workers could also be facing cuts."These aren't small jobs by any stretch of the imagination," he said. "These are high-paying jobs, highly skilled. And right now the question has to be asked, where does one go from here?"He said a loss of jobs in the air traffic sector could bring similar effects to the economy as the drop seen in the oil and gas sector, comparing workers in both fields as highly skilled but not necessarily in demand right now."It's going to be hard for the town of Gander first and foremost," Simms said. "Then you're looking at other places around the area that also involve people who work at the centre … Appleton, Glenwood, Benton and throughout central really."Simms said COVID-19 has not only impacted those currently in the air traffic industry, but those looking to enter it as well. Most air traffic training has been either cancelled or put on hold due to the pandemic, with workers needed once air traffic returns to pre-COVID-19 numbers."There are a lot of young people getting into this business, and these are lifelong careers that support families throughout central Newfoundland," he said."This is an essential, essential service. What Gander does, it looks after North Atlantic air traffic all over. So to say it's an essential service is an understatement. It guides us through basically what is [coming] from Europe over to North America."Lost jobs a provincial issue, Gander mayor saysGander Mayor Percy Farwell said although the impact of lost work may be felt most in Gander, the cuts could have a ripple effect across the province."It should be a major concern to the province," Farwell said. "It's millions of dollars in salary we're talking about that could be eliminated."He said the lack of training impacts the ability to bring in new workers, and may affect the industry's recovery when things return to normal."Because they have big numbers and they have a fair amount of attrition and so on, there's almost a continual state of training and new people into that workforce," he said."My fear is with the reductions that they've had to make now, the situation they're creating for themselves is that once air traffic does resume, they're not going to be positioned to respond to it and to provide services to ensure the safety of that traffic," he said."It's not something you can just throw a switch on and when the traffic returns you can just call over to the job bank."Simms said he wants to meet with the Minister responsible on Wednesday to voice his concerns, but hopes Gander and other Newfoundland locations will remain a priority for Nav Canada, becoming a "centrepiece for aviation" in the North Atlantic."In this particular case, there are two centres here: there's Moncton and Gander. And I hope they decide not to do a centralization where a lot of these positions get moved to Moncton," he said."I may be putting the cart before the horse...[but] you gotta jump on this stuff right away."Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
MONTREAL — Garda World Security Corp. has raised its hostile takeover offer for British security firm G4S to 3.68 billion pounds or about C$6.3 billion.Under the proposal, Garda says it will pay 235 pence in cash for each G4S share, up from its earlier offer of 190 pence announced in September that amounted to about 2.97 billion pounds.Montreal-based Garda also reduced the level of acceptances needed to a simple majority from 90 per cent.Garda called it a final offer and set a deadline of Dec. 16 for shareholders to accept the bid.The move follows a rival proposal by Allied Universal Security Services for G4S of "at least" 210 pence per share that the G4S board rejected on the basis that it was highly conditional and at 210 pence undervalued the company and its prospects.G4S has more than 533,000 employees in 85 countries, including more than 9,000 in Canada. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2020.The Canadian Press
Following the province’s daily COVID Measures update on Dec 1, 2020, Big Lakes County has been upgraded to Enhanced Status. As the Towns of Swan Hills and High Prairie are within Big Lakes County; both communities have also been upgraded to Enhanced Status. This means, effective immediately and until at least December 15th, the following protocols must be followed along with all previous COVID social distancing measures. The following measures went into effect across Alberta on Nov 24, 2020: • No indoor social gatherings in any setting • Outdoor gatherings have a maximum attendance of 10 • Weddings and funeral services have a maximum attendance of 10, with no receptions permitted • No festivals or events • Working from home should be considered, where possible • Grades 7-12 will be doing at-home learning between November 30, 2020 to January 11, 2021 • ECS-Grade 6 at-home learning after break until January 11, 2021 The following measures for Enhanced Status regions now also apply to Swan Hills: • Places of worship must operate at one-third capacity with mandatory masking in place • Restricted access to some businesses and facilities Swan Hills currently has one active case of COVID-19. Detailed information about the restrictions to some businesses and facilities can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx.Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Clasine van Adrichem had been enjoying her time with friends knitting mini-scarves for the plush toys of Mr. PG, the mascot of Prince George, B.C., which were to be given away during the World Women's Curling Championship in the city in March.But when the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, so were her weekly gatherings with her pals. As the province reopened in the summer, van Adrichem came up with a bigger project to reconnect with her friends: to make a gigantic scarf for the eight metre-tall Mr. PG statue itself.Van Adrichem and nine other women — ranging in age from 67 to 92 — congregated weekly in Prince George's Lheidli T'enneh Memorial Park to weave the 13-metre long accessory for the city's landmark, which celebrated its 60th birthday in May.On Monday, Mr. PG finally got to put it on. Each member of the team knitted two to three squares, with a total of 25 making up the final scarf. The squares are different colours that represent local organizations and sports teams."Each square probably took close to 10 hours," van Adrichem told Carolina de Ryk, host of CBC's Daybreak North. The weekly knitting sessions in the park were a lifesaver for Sally McLean, who felt isolated at home and didn't get much social support for the first three months of the pandemic."We talked about the weather, and we talked about each other's families and how everybody was doing," McLean said. "We just supported one another in that way as we continued to knit."The women normally make mittens, toques, scarves and sweaters for families in need and give much of their time to support local charities. Van Adrichem hopes Mr. PG's scarf will serve as a reminder to Prince George residents about the importance of giving."There are so many here in the city who need support," she said. "We hope that people will be generous and provide people with something they really need, whether it be food or clothing, at this time of year."Members of the public now have a chance to own a human-size replica of Mr. PG's scarf hand-knitted by van Adrichem, McLean and their teammates. To be in the running, the City of Prince George is encouraging people to comment on its social media channels, stating which nonprofit organizations they've donated to, by Dec. 21.Tap the link below to listen to Clasine van Adrichem and Sally McLean's interview on Daybreak North:Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
LOS ANGELES — Native American tribes and advocates are condemning “Big Sky,” a Montana-set ABC drama, for ignoring the history of violence inflicted on Indigenous women and instead making whites the crime victims.They also have assailed the network and the show's producers for failing to respond to their complaints, which they first made known in a Nov. 17 letter. On Tuesday, the makers of “Big Sky” broke their silence.“After meaningful conversations with representatives of the Indigenous community, our eyes have been opened to the outsized number of Native American and Indigenous women who go missing and are murdered each year, a sad and shocking fact," the executive producers said in a statement to The Associated Press.“We are grateful for this education and are working with Indigenous groups to help bring attention to this important issue,” according to the statement. The producers include David E. Kelley ("Big Little Lies," “The Undoing”) and novelist C.J. Box, whose 2013 book “The Highway” was adapted for the series.Created by Kelley, “Big Sky” stars Katheryn Winnick and Kylie Bunbury as private detectives searching for two white sisters on a road trip who go missing and turn out to be part of a pattern of abductions.With a disproportionate number of American Indians among Montana’s missing and murdered girls and women, the fictional approach represents “at best, cultural insensitivity, and at worst, appropriation,” said the signers, including the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council that represents all of Montana’s tribal nations.“I’m not at all surprised that they’re doing this because Hollywood’s been appropriating our trauma and our lived experience for years and years and years,” said Georgina Lightning, an actor and longtime activist. “And we’ve always cried about it. We’ve always called it out. But nobody ever cared. Nobody ever listened and nobody cared.”In the November letter, ABC was asked to consider adding an on-screen message steering viewers to information about the entrenched peril facing Indigenous women in North America. They cited “Somebody's Daughter,” a documentary detailing the murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls crisis, as it's known to those fighting the scourge.“This is such an easy fix for ABC to make,” the film's director, Rain, said in a statement. “Indigenous leaders are reaching out to ally and inform, to open a dialogue. They’re not asking for ‘Big Sky’ to be taken off the air,” he said, but instead be used to inform.When no response was forthcoming, the coalition took its effort public and enlisted support from other tribal organizations, including Canada’s Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Association.“Two-thirds of this country doesn’t even know that Native Americans still exist," said Tom Rodgers, president of the Global Indigenous Council and a co-signer of the letter to ABC. “We thought, what a teachable moment.”In response to the producers' statement, a skeptical Rodgers said Tuesday he hadn't heard from anyone connected with the show and called for further details, including which Indigenous partners were being consulted.While more than 5,000 Indigenous women were reported missing in 2016 in the U.S., reporting by The Associated Press has shown the number is difficult to determine because some cases go unreported, others aren’t well-documented, and a comprehensive government database to track the cases is lacking.Advocates, including some lawmakers representing Native Americans, also link the long-standing problem to inadequate resources, indifference and a jurisdictional maze. The rise of the MeToo movement helped give the issue political heft, but Hollywood has lagged in paying heed.While Lightning said she was “a little bit shocked” when she saw a Native American tragedy mirrored in a story but without Native American characters, her years working in Los Angeles meant she wasn’t surprised. Now living in Alberta, she’s in the Canadian miniseries “Trickster,” about a dysfunctional Native family.“There's such resistance” to change in Hollywood, she said. "When you’re used to being one of the good old boys... there's no way they think they’re going to have to conform to the rest of society. It’s such an arrogance.”Native Americans are used to being routinely ignored by American popular culture, registering barely a blip on TV as they're usually seen on only one or two shows, such as Paramount Network's “Yellowstone.” A University of California, Los Angeles, study released this year found that Indigenous actors were cast in six of 1,816 broadcast and cable series roles for the 2018-19 season.But being slighted on the crucial issue raised by “Big Sky” is too bitter a pill to accept, said Rodgers, a Blackfeet Nation member whose Global Indigenous Council, an advocacy group for Indigenous peoples worldwide, helped organize the outreach to ABC.“The one thing we won’t be anymore is ignored. We’re not going to be made invisible, we will not be erased," he said.____Lynn Elber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and is on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber.___This story has been corrected to use the accurate pronoun for filmmaker Rain.Lynn Elber, The Associated Press
Two seniors in Windsor-Essex have died due to COVID-19, the local health unit reported Wednesday.The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said the two deaths were a man in his 90s who was living in a long-term care home and a woman in her 80s."We have lost 82 people to COVID-19," health unit CEO Theresa Marentette said, adding that 56 deaths have occurred in retirement and long-term care homes.There were 41 newly diagnosed cases announced Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total to 3,740. About 11 per cent — 410 cases — are currently active.Fifteen people are in hospital, with two in the intensive care unit.Of the 41 cases announced across the region, 13 are close contacts of a confirmed case, one is community acquired and 27 are still under investigation. There are 18 outbreaks in the community, including seven at workplaces. * Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in a Leamington place of worship. * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector.Two community outbreaks are still active: one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.There are five long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak: * Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh with one staff case. * Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case. * Chartwell Royal Oak Residence in Kingsville with one staff case. * Riverside place in Windsor with 17 resident cases and three staff cases. * Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases.
HALIFAX – Boylston residents won’t be rocking Netflix around-the-clock anytime soon, but they and about 1,000 other rural residents of Antigonish and Guysborough counties are set for unexpected upgrades to high-speed Internet by 2023 – adding to communities announced by Develop Nova Scotia in September. “They’re getting new coverage as a result of scope expansions,” Braedon Clark, a Develop Nova Scotia official, told the The Journal in an email last week. “The number of homes and businesses to be connected is 1,342.” The upgrades now include: Southside Antigonish Harbour, Monks Head, Kenzieville (Keppoch Mountain, Addington Forks, Ohio, Hillcrest, Ashdale, Pinevale, South Salt Springs, Beech Hill), Fairmont, Pleasant Valley, Caledonia Mills (Lower Springfield, Roman Valley), Brierly Brook (James River), Mulgrave (Aulds Cove, Pirate Harbour, Middle Melford, Hadleyville), and Guysborough (Boylston, North Riverside, Manchester, Glenkeen). Other rural communities scheduled for scope expansion along the Eastern Shore include: Musquodoboit Harbour (Lower West Jeddore, Quinlan Dr., Ostrea Lake Rd., Anderson Rd., Innis Cove, West Petpeswick), Lake Charlotte (Clam Bay, Upper Lakeville, Ship Harbour, DeBaies Cove, Southwest Cove, Little Harbour, Clam Harbour, Clam Bay), Goffs (Old Guysborough Rd., Devon), and Chezzetcook (Lawrencetown, Leslie Rd.). The new $24-million initiative through the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust (with an additional $9 million from other levels of government and the private sector) will connect 6,700 homes and businesses across the province with high-speed Internet at speeds higher than Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) targets by late 2023. “These scope expansions will reduce the number of remaining unserved or underserved homes and businesses by over half,” said a Develop Nova Scotia press release on Nov. 23. “Preparatory and engineering work will begin immediately on the contract extensions.” It’s not clear whether the scope expansions are part of a planned connection program or an ad hoc response to areas overlooked during the second round of high-speed rural Internet enhancements in the fall. “They (the communities) were identified as still needing connection after our Round 2 announcement in September,” Clark said. According to Develop Nova Scotia, since the first round began in February, more than 21,000 of a targeted 81,500 homes and businesses now have networks in place to provide new or improved high-speed Internet. It also says projects are being completed about 50 per cent faster than industry standards. So far, the Nova Scotia Internet Funding Trust, other levels of government and the private sector have invested about $263 million the initiative with a goal of hooking up 97 per cent of rural communities in the province with high-speed Internet by summer 2022.Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
As IndigiNews’s education reporter covering news across Vancouver Island, I’m following all of the latest developments. Every month, I’ll bring you a roundup of what you need to know about what’s relevant to Indigenous students, teachers, parents and families. COVID-19 exposures this month were reported at the following schools across the Island according to Island Health: That’s it for now! If you have news or information that you want to share, email me: email@example.com.Catherine Lafferty, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Rotaract Haliburton Highlands is organizing a special festive scavenger hunt for local youth over the Christmas period. Starting this Saturday (Dec. 5), participants will have to scour the downtown area for hidden clues to complete the challenge. In total, 12 local businesses have signed up to play a part in the community scavenger hunt. Speaking to the Echo, Rotaract member Vivian Collings said the local club wanted to “do something a little special” this holiday season to help spread the Christmas cheer and put smiles on people’s faces. “We’re going to be handing out activity sheets at the Rotary Drive-Thru Christmas Party this weekend that explain what businesses participants will need to go to, and will also include Haliburton trivia and a colouring page,” Collings said. “As a group, we’re going to go around town and put up pictures of Christmas characters in the windows of participating businesses. Kids will then have to write down what character they find in which business.” Participants that successfully complete all three stages will be entered into a draw with a chance to win a prize. “We’ll have prizes for different ages groups,” Vivian said. “Right now, we have some outdoor games and activities, we have a kite, and some craft kits. Then we’ll also have some stuffed animals for younger children as well.” Rotaract is still a relatively new concept here in Haliburton. The local group was launched in January, and received their official charter from Rotary International in February. At present, the club boasts around 35 members. Rotaract Haliburton Highlands has close ties with the Rotary Club of Haliburton. As Vivian explains, “Rotaract is basically Rotary, just for younger adults.” The club is made up of individuals between the ages of 18 and 30, although allowances are made on a case-by-case basis for people who want to join, but are outside of that age bracket. “We formed the group because we wanted to help out our community in any way that is needed,” Collings said. “There’s a big social component too – being able to build more connections with other people in our age group. We found there’s a big gap between high-school age people in our community and Rotarians – there really wasn’t any other group in town [servicing] people our age, so we started one.” There are currently 10,698 registered Rotaract clubs in 180 countries. The local scavenger hunt is being offered at no cost to anyone wanting to participate. Activity kits will be handed out at the Rotary Drive-Thru Christmas Party this Saturday, and will be available for pick-up at Century 21, located at 191 Highland St. To be eligible for a prize, completed activity sheets should be dropped off at Century 21, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.Mike Baker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Haliburton County Echo
The Orangeville Public Library has followed the trend of finding creative solutions to Christmas in 2020, — new ways to bring their usual festive activities to children in the community. Beginning on Dec. 4, children young and old will be able to tune in every Friday and enjoy a recording of Santa reading around the fireplace. Videos will be posted to the Orangeville Public Library’s YouTube channel at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4, 11, 18, and on Christmas Day. Additionally, the library will extend the festive fun through holiday-themed story time craft kits for families to enjoy together at home. These kits will be available for pickup from the Mill Street branch beginning on Dec. 4, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Stories with Santa program has been a favourite at the library over the years, with one aspect of it being Santa’s annual gift of literacy. This facet of the festivities will not be forgotten with the virtual event. Beginning on Dec. 18, children will be able to pick up a wrapped picture book at the Mill Street Library. There is a limit of one book per child, and quantities are limited. Additional virtual programming is available online during the closures via the library’s YouTube channel. Notifications are available by subscribing to the channel. For more information visit www.orangevillelibrary.ca.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
A special all-party committee of the P.E.I. legislature is urging the provincial government to begin "immediate negotiations" with the federal government seeking support for a universal basic income guarantee for the province.But such a program would come with a significant price tag, estimated at $260 million per year — almost $100 million more than the current budget for the entire P.E.I. Department of Social Development and Housing.Providing all Prince Edward Islanders with access to a guaranteed basic income would "ensure every Islander, no matter their circumstance, can live with basic health and dignity," MLA Trish Altass told the legislature Tuesday.Altass served as chair of the Special Committee on Poverty in P.E.I., which has held 24 meetings since Sept. 2019, canvassing local advocacy groups and national experts on how to measure and address poverty in the province, and on how to set up parameters for a basic guaranteed income.In 2016, members of the previous legislative assembly provided unanimous support for a Green motion calling on the federal government to support a basic income pilot project on P.E.I.Since that time, the idea has been picked up by politicians of different political stripes at every level of government. But this report marks the first time anyone has laid out how a guaranteed income might work, and what a program might cost.Proposal now in government's handsWith the adoption of the committee's report in the legislature Tuesday, its work is concluded. It's now up to the government under Premier Dennis King to decide what to do with the committee's 16 recommendations.Ottawa has so far been unwilling to provide financial support for either a basic income pilot for P.E.I. or for similar proposals in other parts of the country.If that remains the case, then the committee's recommendation is that P.E.I. go it alone, providing its own funding for a three-year pilot encompassing up to 4,200 randomly selected Islanders, at an estimated cost of $19 million to $26 million per year.Under the proposed parameters, participating Islanders would be guaranteed an annual income of $18,260 for a single adult and $25,747 for a family of two.That figure is 85 per cent of the threshold determined by Statistics Canada for P.E.I., meant as an indicator of how much it costs a low-income family in the province to purchase basic necessities.The report says any provincial pilot should run at least three years and be evaluated by an arms-length, third-party agency, with a second group of Islanders who aren't part of the pilot also followed for comparison purposes.The committee has made it clear that, ultimately, a fully funded basic income guarantee for the entire province, which would require federal support, would be preferable to a pilot program.Cancelled pilot could leave participants worse offDrawing on the experiences of other communities like Hamilton, Ont., where basic income pilots were cancelled before they had run their course, the committee decided there were risks associated with starting a pilot here."If the project is not renewed, or even cut during the middle of the project, then people with low income are left in a potentially vulnerable place, even more so than before the start of the project," the report states.However, MLAs on the committee believe a basic income guarantee for all of P.E.I. cost-shared with the federal government could serve as a pilot for the rest of the country.The report estimates more than 50,000 P.E.I. residents would qualify for such a program — almost a third of the population. Eligibility would be based on the previous year's tax return. How it could workAny additional earnings beyond the basic income level would clawed back by a proposed 50 cents for every dollar earned for those in the program.For those under 65, the basic income would replace social assistance, although the report notes that the province would still require some sort of income support program to provide benefits in the short-term.For seniors, basic income benefits would be reduced dollar-for-dollar against Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement and spousal allowance benefits.The report says Canada Child Benefit levels are high enough that basic incomes would not have to be increased for families of more than two people.With Employment Insurance, basic incomes would top up earnings if EI benefits were below the basic income level.Living wage pegged at $19.30The committee was also tasked by the legislature at coming up with a living wage for Island residents, which it pegged at $19.30 per hour, based on a report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.As per the CCPA report, the committee said $19.30 is the level "at which a household can meet its basic needs once government transfers have been added to the family's income and deductions have been subtracted."The committee said the living wage needed to support a family on P.E.I could be lowered if government were to provide additional supports for childcare, housing, or public transportation.The current minimum wage on P.E.I. is $12.85 per hour, rising to $13 on Apr.1, 2021.Province needs feds, says premierWhile the committee's report passed without opposition in the legislature Tuesday, no MLA other than the committee's chair took up the invitation to speak to the report.The Green Party included a commitment to a basic income guarantee in its 2019 election platform, but the governing PCs did not. Nor did the third-party Liberals.The premier has spoken in support of a basic income guarantee but also suggested the province couldn't proceed without federal backing."Our government is very committed to working on a basic income guarantee," King told the legislature on July 11, 2019."I believe very much that this is a good idea and I believe very much that Prince Edward Island is the perfect spot to start this but we need the federal government to partner with us."More from CBC P.E.I.
Nisga’a Nation declared a state of local emergency on Nov. 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases and an exposure in the Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School community. Six school aged children have tested positive for the virus. Other positive cases are linked to two family gatherings in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh). As of Dec. 2, Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) has confirmed 32 positive COVID-19 tests. “We are all in this together,” said Eva Clayton, Nisga’a Lisims president in a media release. “We must follow all provincial and Nisga’a health orders to ensure we stop further spread of this serious virus.” Until Dec. 10, entrance to Gitlaxt’aamiks will only be allowed from 8:00 a.m. to midnight — security personnel are monitoring the entrance to the village and patrolling the village from midnight to 7:00 a.m. According to a Nov. 26 Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government communique, family gatherings and house-parties are prohibited and all offices, churches, and the recreation centre are closed. Masks are mandatory in the village and visitors to Gitlaxt’aamiks are prohibited. The communique states that the majority of COVID-19 cases in the Nass Valley are in Gitlaxt’aamiks and that house parties continue to be a concern. READ MORE: Students at Nisga’a school test positive for COVID-19 “We are meeting regularly and undertaking comprehensive COVID-19 management action,” said Brandi Trudell-Davis, NVHA chief executive officer in the Nov. 26 release. “We look to our Nation, communities, families and individuals to actively take precautionary measures to stop the spread. We are all in this together and and it is the only way we will all get through this.” NVHA is working with the Northern Health Authority to monitor and trace COVID-19 cases.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News