Former Republican and senior advisor for the Lincoln Project Tom Nichols talks to Adrienne Arsenault about how the Republican Party should handle U.S. President Donald Trump in the last days of his presidency and his legacy going forward.
Former Republican and senior advisor for the Lincoln Project Tom Nichols talks to Adrienne Arsenault about how the Republican Party should handle U.S. President Donald Trump in the last days of his presidency and his legacy going forward.
WINGHAM – The Wingham Columbus Centre needs help, General Manager of the centre, Susan Doig said in a letter to council in November. “Most of the 2020 bookings are just a rental, off-site drop off or a takeout meal. We have no way to generate the revenue in this pandemic, with the restrictions put on our limits to using our inside spaces,” she said in the letter. Doig wrote the letter to open a discussion with council to see “what could be done,” specifically regarding their semi-annual payment that helps to cover the cost of utilities and pay down the North Huron Wescast Community Centre deficit. “Usually, I count on the revenue from the Christmas season to help make our December payment, but this year is an exception to that rule.” She added, “We have been trying to plan different take-out options and have upped the game on the homemade soups and TV-style dinners, but that isn’t nearly enough business to come up with $16,554.50.” According to a report presented to council on Jan. 11, “Upon receipt of the letter, staff met with the General Manager of the Wingham Columbus Centre to discuss the situation and gather more information.” In late December, a second meeting was held with Doig, Coun. Palmer and the North Huron director of recreation and community services. Similar to the other local facilities, the Wingham Columbus Centre has pursued various opportunities to generate revenue and mitigate costs. These opportunities include: -Application for the received 75 per cent wage subsidy for the 12-week period it was available. They were able to secure an interest-free loan from the government. The funding received was used to pay the first installment (in June 2020) for utility costs as per the agreement with North Huron. -They investigated the rent subsidy program through the government. The group found they were not eligible for the funding because the wording in their lease agreement does not indicate they are paying for “utilities” or the “lease” of the facility. -The heat/air settings in the facility were lowered to reduce costs. -Decreased cleaning staff hours as a result of there being no rentals -Have been communicating with their MPP and MP with respect to financial support being needed. -Monitoring government websites and investigating new funding programs announced that support COVID-19 recovery. -They have also been holding monthly Fish Fry’s (pickup only) and organized additional luncheon/supper meals (pickup only) as fundraisers.” The Wingham Columbus Centre’s lease agreement requires an annual financial contribution of $41,800. The commitment has three sections, $19,300 goes towards utility costs, $10,000 to the payment on the overall deficit of the community complex and $12,500 towards a pledge made by “each of the Knights personally,” for the construction of the facility. The Knights have indicated that they will be able to make good on their annual pledge payment. “After a lengthy discussion the agenda item was deferred until the Feb. 1 council meeting to allow for council to be circulated with a copy of the current agreement and potential deferral payment options,” Carson Lamb, clerk of North Huron, said in an email. Additionally, the North Huron Wescast Community Complex was broken into last month, as reported by Wingham Advance Times. $180 cash was stolen and a canvas bag from one of the offices was taken. OPP are actively investigating this incident. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Lance White is retired now. He has lived in Fort Liard for about 28 years. He hasn't spoken to anyone since the hamlet entered a containment order on Saturday, but he thinks the right steps are being taken. Three people in Fort Liard have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since Friday. More cases are expected to follow. “It is what it is, so you just have to deal with it," White told Cabin Radio by phone on Sunday. “You don’t see many people walking around at the best of times. I notice the utter silence, lack of vehicles driving about. “But everybody, I would suggest, is taking this very seriously.” Under Dr. Kami Kandola's containment order, gatherings are banned for two weeks in Fort Liard and non-essential businesses and facilitates must close. Non-essential travel in and out of Fort Liard is “strongly discouraged,” the chief public health officer said, but not formally prohibited. Everyone must wear masks in public indoor spaces unless an exception is granted. Lucy Sanspariel works as a teaching assistant at Fort Liard's Echo Dene School, which has closed for the time being with students learning from home. She described worrying about trips to get supplies. “I have two small ones here with me so it’s kind-of scary for me to go out the door, but I have no choice. It’s kind-of hard to go to the store,” said Sanspariel. She thinks more supports like grocery delivery may be needed in the community, especially for Elders and those who are the most vulnerable. Currently, curbside pickup is available. Fort Liard resident Christine Abela thinks the GNWT has taken positive steps to keep her community safe since the cluster of infections began. However, she worries about barriers preventing people from obtaining and understanding the public health information being distributed. Abela says residents who are the most vulnerable – such as those who have limited internet access, no radio contact, low literacy rates and language barriers – may not be getting the information they need. “I think that’s a little bit where the disconnect is,” she said. As an example, Abela described circumstances in which people appeared unclear what was expected of them during isolation. Some 50 people have been asked to isolate by public health officials in a bid to contain what threatens to become an outbreak. “If you’re leaving the health centre and you are unsure about what those instructions are for isolation, then that’s where I think the message is being lost,” Abela said. “I do think, on a macro scale, things are being taken care of. But it seems there’s a lack of understanding by decision-makers … on what is necessary to convey that information.” While word-of-mouth is usually important in the hamlet, rumours and misinformation are being spread, she said. At the moment, the CBC's transmitter in Fort Liard is understood to be out of service. CKLB is broadcasting, while a community radio station on the 95.1 FM frequency recently reentered service. On Sunday, the community station's staff were hoping to receive messages in South Slavey to broadcast locally. Asked on Sunday what steps the territorial government was taking to ensure clear, easily understood information was being provided, Premier Caroline Cochrane said radio, the news media, social media and posters were at the heart of her government's strategy. Minister Shane Thompson, the MLA for Nahendeh, said his office was working with local leadership to answer questions residents may have and share information, both on Facebook and in person. He urged residents to use 8-1-1, the COVID-19 hotline, as a resource. There remain no public exposure advisories related to the three Fort Liard cases. Dr. Kandola said on Sunday there appeared to be no exposure risk in public places along the first patient’s travel route from Hay River, where they had been isolating before returning to Fort Liard. Vaccinations are set to take place in the hamlet on Thursday and Friday this week, a scheduled that remains unchanged. Territorial medical director Dr. AnneMarie Pegg said only inclement weather would stop those vaccination dates going ahead. Anyone isolating in Fort Liard this week must wait for the vaccination team to return. Pegg said her team would try to ensure that happens sooner than currently scheduled so a second opportunity can be provided. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
July 2008: TC Energy Corp. — then called TransCanada Corp. — and ConocoPhillips, joint owners of the Keystone Pipeline, propose a major extension to the network. The expansion, dubbed Keystone XL, would carry hundreds of thousands of barrels of oilsands bitumen from Alberta to Texas. 2009: As the U.S. State Department wades through comments based on an environmental assessment of the project, TransCanada starts visiting landowners potentially affected by the pipeline. Opposition emerges in Nebraska. June 2009: TransCanada announces it will buy ConocoPhillips's stake in Keystone. March 2010: The National Energy Board approves TransCanada’s application for Keystone XL, though the OK comes with 22 conditions regarding safety, environmental protection and landowner rights. April 2010: The U.S. State Department releases a draft environmental impact statement saying Keystone XL would have a limited effect on the environment. June-July 2010: Opposition to Keystone XL begins mounting in the United States. Legislators write to then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton calling for greater environmental oversight; scientists begin speaking out against the project; and the Environmental Protection Agency questions the need for the pipeline extension. July 2010: The State Department extends its review of Keystone, saying federal agencies need more time to weigh in before a final environmental impact assessment can be released. March 2011: The State Department announces a further delay in its environmental assessment. Aug. 26, 2011: The State Department releases its final environmental assessment, which reiterates that the pipeline would have a limited environmental impact. August-September 2011: Protesters stage a two-week campaign of civil disobedience at the White House to speak out against Keystone XL. Police arrest approximately 1,000 people, including actors Margot Kidder and Daryl Hannah as well as Canadian activist Naomi Klein. Sept. 26, 2011: At a demonstration on Parliament Hill, police arrest 117 of 400 protesters. Nov. 10, 2011: The State Department says TransCanada must reroute Keystone XL to avoid an ecologically sensitive region of Nebraska. Nov. 14, 2011: TransCanada agrees to reroute the line. December 2011: U.S. legislators pass a bill with a provision saying President Barack Obama must make a decision on the pipeline’s future in the next 60 days. Jan. 18, 2012: Obama rejects Keystone, saying the timeline imposed by the December bill did not leave enough time to review the new route. Obama said TransCanada was free to submit another application. Feb. 27, 2012: TransCanada says it will build the southern leg of Keystone XL, from Cushing, Okla., to the Gulf Coast, as a separate project with a price tag of $2.3 billion. This is not subject to presidential permission, since it did not cross an international border. April 18, 2012: TransCanada submits a new route to officials in Nebraska for approval. May 4, 2012: TransCanada files a new application with the State Department for the northern part of Keystone XL. Jan. 22, 2013: Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approves TransCanada’s proposed new route for Keystone XL, sending the project back to the State Department for review. January 2013: Pipeline opponents file a lawsuit against the Nebraska government claiming the state law used to review the new route is unconstitutional. Jan. 31, 2014: The State Department says in a report that Keystone XL would produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than transporting oil to the Gulf of Mexico by rail. Feb. 19, 2014: A Nebraska judge rules that the law that allowed the governor to approve Keystone XL over the objections of landowners was unconstitutional. Nebraska said it would appeal. April 18, 2014: The State Department suspends the regulatory process indefinitely, citing uncertainty about the court case in Nebraska. Nov. 4, 2014: TransCanada says the costs of Keystone XL have grown to US$8 billion from US$5.4 billion. November-December 2014: Midterm elections turn control of the U.S. Congress over to Republicans, who say they’ll make acceptance of Keystone XL a top priority. But Obama adopts an increasingly negative tone. Jan. 9, 2015: At the Nebraska Supreme Court, by the narrowest of margins, a panel of seven judges strikes down the lower-court decision. Jan. 29, 2015: The U.S. Senate approves a bill to build Keystone XL, but the White House says Obama would veto it. Feb. 24, 2015: Obama vetoes the bill. June 30, 2015: TransCanada writes to then-secretary of state John Kerry and other U.S. officials saying the State Department should include recent climate change policy announcements by the Alberta and federal governments in its review of Keystone XL. Nov. 2, 2015: TransCanada asks the U.S. government to temporarily suspend its application. Nov. 4, 2015: The U.S. government rejects that request. Nov. 6, 2015: The Obama administration rejects TransCanada’s application to build the Keystone XL pipeline. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling says he is disappointed, but continues to believe the project is in the best interests of both Canada and the U.S. Jan. 6, 2016: TransCanada files notice to launch a claim under Chapter 11 of the North American Free Trade Agreement, alleging the U.S. government breached its legal commitments under NAFTA. The company also files a lawsuit in U.S. Federal Court in Texas arguing that Obama exceeded his powers by denying construction of the project. May 26, 2016: Republican presidential contender Donald Trump says he would approve Keystone XL if elected, a pledge he repeats several times during the campaign. Nov. 8, 2016: Trump is elected president. Jan. 24, 2017: Trump signs an executive order that he says approves Keystone XL, but suggests the United States intends to renegotiate the terms of the project. He also signs an order requiring American pipelines to be built with U.S. steel. Nov. 9, 2018: A U.S. federal judge blocks the pipeline's construction to allow more time to study the potential environmental impact. March 29, 2019: Trump issues a new presidential permit in an effort to speed up development of the pipeline May 3, 2019: TransCanada changes its name to TC Energy. March 31, 2020: Alberta agrees to invest $1.5 billion in Keystone XL, followed by a $6 billion loan guarantee in 2021. April 7, 2020: Construction begins, despite calls from Indigenous groups and environmentalists to pause their efforts. May 18, 2020: Joe Biden, then the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, vows to scrap Keystone XL if elected, but doesn't set out a timeline for doing so. Nov. 3, 2020: Biden is elected president. Jan. 17, 2021: Transition documents show Biden plans to cancel Keystone XL on the first day of his presidency. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 18, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX: TRP) The Canadian Press
Timo Werner was the headline signing in Chelsea’s $300 million off-season spending spree, a player whose pace and composure in front of goal would supposedly help transform the team into a Premier League title contender. So how has it got to the point where, four months into his time in London, the Germany international has endured his longest scoring drought in nearly five years, is no closer to finding his best role in the team, and was the third and final striker called upon by manager Frank Lampard in a desperate bid to break the deadlock in Chelsea’s most recent game? Werner’s brief appearance as a substitute in the 1-0 win over Fulham on Saturday was a snapshot into the problems of a player who looks bereft of confidence midway through his first season in English soccer. With Chelsea toiling at 0-0 against opponents down to 10 men at Craven Cottage, Werner was finally sent on as a substitute in the 75th minute. By then, Lampard, who started Olivier Giroud as the sole striker, had already brought on another striker in Tammy Abraham. Werner played like someone with one goal to his name in the last two months for club and country, particularly when he was played through on goal deep in injury time and handed the perfect chance to add a second goal for Chelsea. With only the goalkeeper to beat, Werner opened up his body and sent his finish wide. His body language, after that miss and moments later after the final whistle, spoke of an unhappy player, and he was consoled by Lampard as the teams left the field. “Being hard on himself isn't a problem. I hope he feels my support,” Lampard said. “The only way through a patch where things aren't quite going for you is to train and train, keep your attitude right, stay positive.” That must be hard for Werner. Since Nov. 14, the only goal he has scored in all competitions for Chelsea was a tap-in against fourth-division club Morecambe in a third-round match in the FA Cup. That came on Jan. 10 and ended his longest scoring drought — 13 games — since the end of the 2015-16 season, his final weeks at Stuttgart before he joined Leipzig. In four seasons at Leipzig, he never went more than five games without scoring and netted 35 times for club and country in the 2019-20 campaign, his last at the club. While Werner chiefly operated as a sole striker at Leipzig with the license to drift out wide or to drop into the No. 10 position, he has mostly been used on the left wing since his move to Chelsea for $68 million as Lampard dealt with injury issues to his wide midfielders. He has looked lost out wide in some matches, unable to use his pace against opponents often set up in a deep block against Chelsea. It’s no surprise that Werner’s best display of the season was at home against Southampton, when Werner played as a central striker and made the most of the high line to score two well-taken individual goals and set up another for Kai Havertz, another German who has struggled since his off-season switch to Chelsea. It was presumed Chelsea’s ideal front three this season would be Werner up front, flanked by wingers Hakim Ziyech — another of the new signings — and Christian Pulisic, but Lampard has rarely had that luxury. Even when he did, like in the 3-1 loss to Manchester City this month, it didn’t work out well. Lampard suggested recently that Werner, who has only four goals in the Premier League so far, may not have had as many games as he’d like as the sole striker because he didn’t press enough from the front. “It’s normal for Timo and others who came in the forward areas for us to take some time to get used to what my idea is, what their teammates’ idea is, because we haven’t had working time on the pitch,” Lampard said. Yet Werner said in his introductory media conference in September that he’d had a lot of conversations with Lampard — and been sent videos from the coach — about Chelsea’s style of play, and that he joined with the feeling that “the system he wants to play will fit me very well.” That doesn’t appear to be the case. And, when Chelsea heads to Leicester for a Premier League game on Tuesday, it's not obvious whether Werner will be starting on the left, up front, or if he'll be back on the bench. “When you're a top player, as Timo has shown he is, all eyes are on and it becomes magnified," Lampard said. "But the basics are the same and my job is to tell him that." ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Steve Douglas is at https://twitter.com/sdouglas80 Steve Douglas, The Associated Press
GREY-BRUCE – The Saugeen Field Naturalists conducted their 44th annual Hanover-Walkerton Christmas Bird Count on Dec. 19, 2020. According to the group’s newsletter, this activity has become one of the largest citizen science projects in the world. The 2020 count was a bit different from past years, due to the pandemic. It didn’t end with a dinner the day after the field outing, but instead with one via Zoom. Care was taken to ensure distancing for everyone’s safety. Gerard McNaughton said the Walkerton-Hanover area count identified 44 species this year including one new species, an osprey. “The actual number of field participants was down as several long-time counters bowed out of this year’s count but once things return to normal I’m sure they will be back,” said McNaughton. He said the weather was a bit blustery, starting out with cloudy skies in the morning and little wind, and shifting to snow showers and limited visibility at times by mid-day, making finding birds harder as the day went on. Most groups said the birds were hunkered down and that most feeders were empty for the first time in years, making for a difficult day. McNaughton said, “As always, several quality birds were observed including a first-ever osprey found by Joy Albright just outside Walkerton. Presumably, the same bird was seen just before count week started but not since, so that was a great find for count day. Several winter finches also put in appearances to help bolster overall numbers.” The overall summary is as follows: Mute swan - 7 Canada goose – 1,339 Mallard - 383 Common goldeneye - 19 Common merganser - 50 Sharp-shinned hawk - 3 Cooper’s hawk - 2 Red tailed hawk - 12 Rough legged hawk - 9 Bald eagle - 11 Osprey - 1 Ruffed grouse - 2 Wild turkey - 132 Ring-billed gull - 428 Herring gull - 121 Great black-backed gull - 2 Rock dove - 439 Mourning dove - 105 Eastern screech owl - 7 Belted kingfisher - 2 Red-bellied woodpecker - 6 Downy woodpecker - 34 Hairy woodpecker - 13 Pileated woodpecker - 3 Northern shrike - 4 Blue jay - 100 American crow – 1,083 Common raven - 3 Black-capped chickadee - 344 Red-breasted nuthatch - 27 White-breasted nuthatch - 32 Brown creeper - 10 European starling – 1,117 American tree sparrow - 51 Dark-eyed junco - 348 Snow bunting - 300 Northern cardinal - 39 Purple finch - 2 House finch - 108 Common redpoll - 164 Pine siskin - 71 American goldfinch - 334 Evening grosbeak - 1 House sparrow - 136 Total was 44 species, 7,405 individuals. Accipiter Sp. - 1 Hawk Sp. - 1 Gull Sp. - 83 Woodpecker Sp. - 1 Two additional species were recorded during the count week period. The hooded merganser and pine grosbeak were both seen in the three days leading up to the count; nothing was reported in the three days after count day. “The next count will take place on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021 so mark your calendars now,” said McNaughton. “Let’s hope that everything is back to normal by then and that we’re able to get together to swap stories from the field. Until then, the best of health and happiness to everyone and good birding.” The Christmas Bird Count began over a century ago. Winter hike All indoor activities of the Saugeen Field Naturalists have been cancelled because of COVID-19, but outdoor activities continue. The next one is Jan. 16 – the Winter Nature Hike. The location will be the Murray Tract, the less-well-know part of the Kinghurst Nature Reserve, at 1:30 p.m. Participants must register (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
BRUCE COUNTY – Among the items on the agenda for the Jan. 14 meeting of Bruce County Council is a closed meeting investigator’s report dated Dec. 31, 2020. According to the staff report in the posted agenda, executive committee members were advised on Oct. 1, 2020 that a closed meeting complaint had been received and forwarded to the county’s closed meeting investigator, Aird & Berlis. The complaint was about executive committee closed meetings held on Sept. 8, 2016; March 2, 2017; April 6, 2017; May 4, 2017; Sept. 7, 2017; and Nov. 2, 2017. The county received a response to the investigation on Dec. 31, 2020. Cost of the investigation is $9,830.44. The investigation concluded that the committee contravened the Municipal Act 2001, the procedure bylaw and the closed meeting procedures regarding the meetings set out in the complaint. The investigator made specific note that the committee was not permitted to proceed in camera on the six occasions listed, did not provide a sufficient post-closed meeting report on four of those occasions, and conducted an improper vote at the Nov. 2, 2017 meeting. This is the third recent closed meeting investigation. The investigator stated in her recommendations that the county has “made changes in its policies, practices and procedures and has taken other steps to enhance accountability and transparency as a result. …” Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
BLUEWATER DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD – The report presented by Andrew Low, financial services, to the Bluewater District School Board’s business committee Jan. 5 demonstrates “the board’s ability to be flexible in the face of uncertainty.” The report stated the budget was done in the summer, on a “business as usual” basis before school started. But business was far from usual, due to the pandemic. Impacts of COVID-19, as outlined in the report, included decreased enrolment for both elementary and secondary students. About 400 fewer than expected elementary students registered for in-person or remote school, and 80 fewer secondary students. This isn’t a local phenomenon, but has been felt province-wide. Many of the elementary students were in the younger (JK) age group, where school attendance isn’t mandatory. This resulted in reduced funding. The province has reduced the impact with stabilization funding. Personal protective equipment and an increased need for cleaning supplies had no financial impact – it’s supplied centrally at no cost to the board. The introduction of remote schools meant an increased need for technology, administrative support and temporary classroom teachers. Costs were offset through Priority and Partnership Funding (PPF), as were costs associated with enhanced protocol for school transportation, special education and increased custodial hours. The pandemic meant a decrease in community education and permit revenues, and an increase in costs due to higher absenteeism, partly offset by PPF funding. Revised estimates indicate a negative financial impact due to COVID-19 of about $10 million, offset by response funding of $8 million. Uncertainty continues about COVID-19 and potential funding gaps, which could require the board to draw on contingency reserves. This creates the need for “budgeting conservatively.” However, the board’s financial position remains strong for 2020-2021, according to the report, with a projected contribution to contingency reserves of approximately $3 million. As stated in the report, “The board’s focus to ensure student achievement and well-being remains our highest priority.” Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
WASHINGTON — As the rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol, many of the police officers had to decide on their own how to fight them off. There was no direction. No plan. And no top leadership. One cop ran from one side of the building to another, fighting hand-to-hand against rioters. Another decided to respond to any calls of officers in distress and spent three hours helping cops who had been immobilized by bear spray or other chemicals. Three officers were able to handcuff one rioter. But a crowd swarmed the group and took the arrested man away with the handcuffs still on. Interviews with four members of the U.S. Capitol Police who were overrun by rioters on Jan. 6 show just how quickly the command structure collapsed as throngs of people, egged on by President Donald Trump, set upon the Capitol. The officers spoke on condition of anonymity because the department has threatened to suspend anyone who speaks to the media. “We were on our own,” one of the officers told The Associated Press. “Totally on our own.” The officers who spoke to the AP said they were given next to no warning by leadership on the morning of Jan. 6 about what would become a growing force of thousands of rioters, many better armed than the officers themselves were. And once the riot began, they were given no instructions by the department’s leaders on how to stop the mob or rescue lawmakers who had barricaded themselves inside. There were only enough officers for a routine day. Three officers told the AP they did not hear Chief Steven Sund on the radio the entire afternoon. It turned out he was sheltering with Vice-President Mike Pence in a secure location for some of the siege. Sund resigned the next day. His assistant chief, Yogananda Pittman, who is now interim chief, was heard over the radio telling the force to “lock the building down,” with no further instructions, two officers said. One specific order came from Lt. Tarik Johnson, who told officers not to use deadly force outside the building as the rioters descended, the officers recounted. The order almost certainly prevented deaths and more chaos, but it meant officers didn’t pull their weapons and were fighting back with fists and batons. Johnson has been suspended after being captured on video wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while moving through crowds of rioters. Johnson told colleagues he wore the hat as a tactic to gain the crowd’s confidence as he tried to reach other officers who were pinned down by rioters, one of the officers said. A video of the incident obtained by the Wall Street Journal shows Johnson asking rioters for help in getting his colleagues. Johnson, who could not be reached for comment, was heard by an officer on the radio repeatedly asking, “Does anybody have a plan?” ___ The Capitol Police has more than 2,300 staff and a budget that’s grown rapidly over the last two decades to roughly $500 million, making it larger than many major metro police departments. Minneapolis, for example, has 840 officers and a $176 million budget. Despite plenty of online warnings of a possible insurrection and ample resources and time to prepare, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration on Jan. 6. They rejected offers of support from the Pentagon three days before the siege, according to senior defence officials and two people familiar with the matter. And during the riot, they turned down an offer by the Justice Department to have FBI agents come in as reinforcements. The officials spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to discuss the decision-making process. The riot left five people dead, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was hit in the head by a fire extinguisher. Another officer died in an apparent suicide after the attack. The attack has forced a reckoning among law enforcement agencies. Federal watchdogs launched a sweeping review of how the FBI, the Pentagon and other agencies responded to the riot, including whether there were failures in information sharing and other preparations that left the historic symbol of democracy vulnerable to assault. Top decision-makers have offered differing explanations for why they didn't have enough personnel. Sund told The Washington Post that he was worried about the possibility for violence and wanted to bring in the National Guard, but the House and Senate sergeants at arms refused his request. To bring in the Guard, the sergeants at arms would have had to ask congressional leaders. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, said congressional leaders had not been informed of any request for the National Guard before the day of the riot. The office of Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, declined to comment. It's not clear why the threat was not taken more seriously. John Donohue, a 32-year veteran of the New York Police Department who advises the Capitol Police on intelligence matters, sent a memo on Jan. 3 warning of the potential for an attack on Congress from the pro-Trump crowd, according to two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the memo first reported by The Washington Post. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal memo. Donohue was well-versed in the extremist threat. At a congressional hearing in July, before he starting advising the Capitol Police, Donohue told lawmakers the federal government needed a system to better monitor social media for domestic extremists. “America is at a crossroads," he said in his testimony. “The intersection of constitutional rights and legitimate law enforcement has never been more at risk by domestic actors as it is now as seditionists actively promote a revolution.” Tens of thousands of National Guard members have now been called to secure the Capitol in advance of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for Capitol Police did not respond to questions Friday. ___ For major events, the Capitol Police normally holds meetings to brief officers on their responsibilities and plans in case of an emergency. Three of the officers interviewed by the AP said there were no meetings on or before Jan. 6. It’s also unclear whether the department held over its overnight shift or called in more officers early to help those who would be on duty that day. “During the 4th of July concerts and the Memorial Day concerts, we don’t have people come up and say, ‘We’re going to seize the Capitol,‘” one officer said. “But yet, you bring everybody in, you meet before. That never happened for this event.” Another officer said he was only told that morning to pick up a riot helmet. He said he had training on dealing with large crowds, but not on how to handle a riot. “We were under the impression it was just going to be a lot of yelling, cursing,” he said. As Trump called on his supporters to go to the Capitol, telling them to “fight like hell,” members of the House and Senate were inside the building to certify Biden’s victory over Trump in the Electoral College. Crowds of Trump supporters, many of them linked to far-right or white supremacist groups, began gathering on both sides of the Capitol. An officer working the western front of the building, which faces the White House and where risers were set up for the inauguration, quickly realized that the crowds were not peaceful. The rioters began breaking down short fences and systematically clipping off “Area Closed” signs, the officer said. Videos from the event show the crowd climbing the walls on the western side and eventually breaching the building. One officer listed the various weapons used to hit him and people near him: batons, flagpoles, sections of fencing, batteries, rubber bullets and canisters of bear spray that went further than the chemicals the officers themselves had. Some of the rioters showed their badges from other law enforcement agencies, claiming they were on the side of the Capitol Police, the officer said. Most of the insurrectionists left without being arrested, which officers who spoke to the AP say was because it was next to impossible to arrest them given how badly the force was outnumbered. That was underscored by the rioters taking away a man who officers had tried to arrest inside the Capitol. “The group came and snatched him and took him away in cuffs,” one officer said. “Outside of shooting people, what are you supposed to do?” ___ Merchant reported from Houston. Nomaan Merchant And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit reported Monday the lowest daily increase in COVID-19 cases since late November. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with WECHU, said the health unit doesn't believe the increase of 35 new cases is related to an intentional delay in test results, but noted there have been big swings in the numbers in recent days. "At this point, I don't have any official notification from the labs about any planned delays in reporting," he said during his daily briefing. "But it is possible due to the high volume, test results are prioritized in a different way, leading to day-to-day fluctuations in our daily case counts." On Saturday, the health unit reported 87 new cases, while there were 270 on Sunday. There are 2,673 active cases in the region, out of a cumulative total of 11,057. Ahmed said he remains cautiously optimistic about the numbers, and noted that taken as an average, the recent numbers still show improvement. Over the past seven days, there has been 177.4 daily reported cases, on average. "I would take that as a good sign for us moving in the right direction," he said. The sharp decline comes after the region saw a weekly decrease in a few key indicators such as case rates and test positivity. But Windsor-Essex is not out of the woods, Ahmed said Friday, and remains one of the regions of Ontario most badly affected by the virus. The last time the health unit reported a daily case count lower than Monday's total was on Nov. 29, when there was an increase of 26 cases. Across Ontario, 40,300 test samples were processed over the past 24 hours, which is lower than many recent days, when that number topped 70,000. Ahmed said the number of people tested fluctuates every day locally, but he doesn't have any reason to believe that the number has gone down in recent days. 1 new death as vaccinations continue in seniors' homes On Monday, the health unit also reported the region's 256th COVID-19 death, a woman in her 90s who was a resident of a seniors' home. Ahmed said vaccinations are continuing at retirement residences this week. While the health unit previously said the initial round of vaccinations could be complete by this early week, Ahmed said it's looking more like Thursday, barring any issues. Vaccinations at the homes are rolling out with varying levels of support from the health unit. Ahmed said some homes don't have the nursing capacity to administer the vaccine to residents themselves. "We are supporting them as quickly as possible," he said. 48 outbreaks active There are currently 48 active coronavirus outbreaks across the region and 119 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. Three outbreaks are active at Windsor Regional Hospital, two on the Ouellette campus and one on a unit of the Met Campus. One community setting, Assisted Living Southwestern Ontario, has been in outbreak since Jan. 3. Outbreaks are active at 23 workplaces: Five in Leamington's agricultural sector. Four in Kingsville's agricultural sector. Four in Windsor's health care and social assistance sector. One in Leamington's health care and social assistance sector. One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. One in Windsor's food and beverage service sector. One in Windsor's manufacturing sector. One in a personal service setting in LaSalle. Three in public administration settings in Windsor. One in a retail setting in Essex. One in Essex's finance and insurance sector. There are 21 active outbreaks at long-term care and retirement facilities: Chartwell Leamington in Leamington with one staff case. Regency Park in Windsor with two resident cases and one staff case. Richmond Terrace in Amherstburg with two staff cases. Chartwell Royal Marquis, with one resident case and one staff case. Harrow Woods Retirement Home, with five resident cases and two staff cases. Seasons Retirement Home in Amherstburg, with three staff cases. Devonshire Retirement Residence in Windsor, with 31 resident cases and four staff cases. Chartwell Royal Oak in Kingsville, with three staff cases. Rosewood Erie Glen in Leamington, with 30 resident cases and four staff cases. Chateau Park in Windsor with four staff cases. Leamington Mennonite Home with seven staff cases. Augustine Villas in Kingsville, with 51 resident and 14 staff cases. Sunrise Assisted Living of Windsor, with 11 resident cases and eight staff cases. Huron Lodge in Windsor, with 44 resident cases and 26 staff cases. Sun Parlor Home in Leamington, one resident case and 10 staff cases. Banwell Gardens Care Centre in Windsor, with 115 resident cases and 53 staff cases. The Shoreview at Riverside in Windsor, with 28 resident cases and 11 staff cases. Extendicare Tecumseh, with 83 resident cases and 57 staff cases. Berkshire Care Centre in Windsor, with 94 resident and 60 staff cases. The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, with 150 resident cases and 122 staff cases. Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh, with 53 resident cases and 25 staff cases. Cases in Chatham-Kent, Sarnia In Lambton County, officials reported two new COVID-19 deaths and 31 one new cases on Monday. There have been 1,647 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. Chatham-Kent saw 46 new cases over the past three days, bringing its total to 1,017, and one additional death. Chatham-Kent does not update its figures on Saturdays and Sundays.
Two phone apps are aiming to spark Cree and Dene language revitalization in Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) First Nations. Slated for release by the end of January, the MLTC initiative will be targeted for residents of Clearwater River Dene Nation (CRDN) and Canoe Lake Cree First Nation. More versions of the app will be developed for local language variants in MLTC's remaining communities by June, a Friday news release said. "Something like this was needed in our communities," said Abby Janvier, who led the Dene project with residents of CRDN and La Loche. The app teaches its users basic vocabulary that's tailored to their communities, Janvier said. Her community's app features words and phrases under 22 categories that include animals, clothing and common phrases. A typical entry also includes a photo, an English version of the word or phrase and an audio pronunciation in Cree or Dene. Janvier says the recorded component helps to communicate unique sounds that aren't shared with English. "Because our language is taught orally traditionally ... it's hard to teach it just with the written piece of it," she said. The applications use LifeSpark App Builder — a tool that developer Kevin Waddell says has its origins in Cumberland House in the early 2000s. Waddell was working as a computer teacher at the time and noticed many students couldn't speak their language. "That bothered me. I wanted to use my skills to help them learn their language again," he said. Waddell eventually developed the technology as a phone app, allowing other communities to use the tool for their own language needs. It's primarily geared toward Indigenous peoples, he said. Waddell's work has received interest from other groups in Africa and Australia looking to revitalize their languages. Roughly two decades since he began, Waddell said he's pleased to see his work reach students like the ones he worked with in Cumberland House. There are plans for local versions of the app in English River First Nation, Buffalo River Dene Nation, Birch Narrows Dene Nation, Flying Dust First Nation, Waterhen Lake First Nation, Makwa Sahgaiehcan First Nation and Ministikwan Lake Cree Nation. That's encouraging for Gwen Cubbon, who oversaw the Cree project. She's excited the community's unique blend of Michif, Cree, French and English is represented in the app and that other communities will have the same opportunity. "It's a sense of pride that it's our own," Cubbon said. Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
When asked about the delay in Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine delivery to Ontario, as the company faces worldwide delays, the province's Health Minister and Deputy Premier Christine Elliott said Monday it's known the next two shipments will contain 20 per cent fewer followed by 80 per cent fewer vaccines. She said in late-February to early-March, Ontario will receive larger doses of vaccines coming in.
BROCKTON – There’ll soon be a new outdoor recreation option for area residents – the skating trail in Lobies Park. The exact date the trail will be open for use – probably sometime this week – depends on the weather. However, Mark Coleman, Brockton’s director of community services, said with colder, more seasonal weather expected later this month, people should get at least a month or more of use out of the trail. The idea for the trail emerged when the municipality was looking for more outdoor recreation opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding was provided by Bruce Power. The concept has proved popular in other areas, although it’s relatively new around here. Coleman said the trail will be supervised to ensure safety, and public health protocols including those regarding numbers of users will be strictly adhered to. Users will have to register ahead of time. The trail will be open during specific daytime and evening hours. For the latter, lights are being installed. It should provide an active, new way to enjoy one of the area’s loveliest parks. People are urged to use the trail only when it’s open, for reasons of safety. Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times
MANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus infections in the Philippines have surged past 500,000 in a new bleak milestone with the government facing criticism for failing to immediately launch a vaccination program amid a global scramble for COVID-19 vaccines. The Department of Health reported 1,895 new infections Sunday, bringing confirmed coronavirus cases in the country to 500,577, the second highest in Southeast Asia. There have been at least 9,895 deaths. The Philippines has been negotiating with seven Western and Chinese companies to secure 148 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine but the effort has been fraught with uncertainties and confusion. About 50,000 doses from China-based Sinovac Biotech Ltd. may arrive later next month followed by much larger shipments, according to the government, but concerns have been raised over its efficacy. President Rodrigo Duterte says securing the vaccines has been difficult because wealthy nations have secured massive doses for their citizens first. Duterte’s elite guards have acknowledged they have been inoculated with a still-unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine partly to ensure that they would not infect the 75-year-old president. Duterte’s spokesman and other officials have denied the president himself was vaccinated. A flurry of criticism has followed the illegal vaccinations, but few details have been released, including which vaccine was used and how the guards obtained it. Some senators moved to investigate, but Duterte ordered his guards not to appear before the Senate. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: — Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed Monday to get the pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympics this summer with ample coronavirus protection. In a speech opening a new parliament session, Suga said his government will revise laws to make anti-virus measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its virus caseload manageable with non-binding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing and for people to stay home. But recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes toward the anti-virus measures, and doubts are growing as more-contagious variants spread while people wait for vaccines and the Olympics draw closer. The health ministry also reported Monday that three people who have no record of recent overseas travel had tested positive for the new, more easily transmitted coronavirus variant first reported in Britain, suggesting that it is making its way in Japan. Suga said his government aims to start vaccinations as early as late February. Japan has confirmed more than 330,000 infections and 4,500 deaths from COVID-19, numbers that have surged recently though they are still far smaller than many other countries of its size. — A Chinese province grappling with a spike in coronavirus cases is reinstating tight restrictions on weddings, funerals and other family gatherings, threatening violators with criminal charges. The notice from the high court in Hebei province did not give specifics, but said all types of social gatherings were now being regulated to prevent further spread of the virus. Hebei has had one of China’s most serious outbreaks in months that comes amid measures to curb the further spread during February’s Lunar New Year holiday. Authorities have called on citizens not to travel, ordered schools closed a week early and conducted testing on a massive scale. Hebei recorded another 54 cases over the previous 24 hours, the National Health Commission said on Monday, while the northern province of Jilin reported 30 cases and Heilongjiang further north reported seven. Beijing had two new cases and most buildings and housing compounds now require proof of a negative coronavirus test for entry. — Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has unveiled a new 15 billion ringgit ($3.7 billion) stimulus to bolster consumption, with the economy expected to reel from a second coronavirus lockdown and an emergency declaration. Muhyiddin obtained royal consent last week to declare a coronavirus emergency, slammed by critics as a desperate bid to cling to power amid defections from his ruling coalition. The emergency, expected to last until Aug. 1, doesn’t involve any curfew or military intervention but suspends Parliament, halts any election and gives Muhyiddin’s government absolute power, including in introducing new laws. It came at the same time as millions in Kuala Lumpur and several high-risk states were placed under a two-week lockdown to halt a surge in coronavirus cases. Muhyiddin on Monday acknowledged concerns over the emergency but repeated that it was only aimed at curbing the coronavirus. He said the economic impact from the lockdown will be manageable because more activities are being allowed this time. He said the stimulus will provide more funds to battle the pandemic and support livelihoods and businesses. A businessman has filed a lawsuit challenging the emergency declaration and the opposition plans to appeal to the king to rescind his support. Malaysia has recorded more than 158,000 coronavirus cases, including 601 deaths. — Nepal’s health ministry says the country's first cases of the new, more infectious coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom have been confirmed in three people who arrived from the U.K. The ministry said Monday that samples from six people who arrived in Nepal last week were sent to a laboratory in Hong Kong with the help of the World Health Organization. Three of the people — two men and a woman — tested positive for the new variant, it said. Two have recovered and one is still sick, the ministry said. Nepal has recorded 267,322 coronavirus cases, including 1,959 deaths. The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Federal Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole pushed back against attempts to link his party to Trump-style politics on Sunday, saying there is "no place for the far right" in the Tories while accusing the Liberals of divisive dirty tricks.In a statement Sunday, O'Toole asserted his own views on such issues as abortion, gay rights and reconciliation with Indigenous people in Canada while insisting that his party is not beholden to right-wing extremists and hatemongers. "The Conservatives are a moderate, pragmatic, mainstream party — as old as Confederation — that sits squarely in the centre of Canadian politics," O'Toole said."My singular focus is to get Canada's economy back on track as quickly as possible to create jobs and secure a strong future for all Canadians. There is no place for the far right in our party."The unusual statement follows the riot on Capitol Hill, which U.S. President Donald Trump has been accused of inciting and which has since been held up as proof of the dangers posed by right-wing extremists to Western democracy.It also comes on the heels of a Liberal Party fundraising letter sent to members last week that accused the Conservatives under O'Toole of "continuing a worrisome pattern of divisive politics and catering to the extreme right."As one example, it cited the motto used by O'Toole's leadership campaign: "Take back Canada."It also referenced a photo that has been circulating of Conservative deputy leader Candice Bergen wearing a hat with Trump's slogan, "Make America Great Again," and a since-deleted Tory website alleging the Liberals want to rig the next election.O'Toole on Sunday condemned the Capitol Hill attack as "horrifying," and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism by touting his party's support for free and fair elections, the peaceful transfer of power and accountable government.To that end, he lashed out at the Liberals, referencing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to prorogue Parliament last summer as hurting accountability, before turning the tables on the governing party and accusing them of using U.S.-style politics."If the Liberals want to label me as 'far right,' they are welcome to try," O'Toole said. "Canadians are smart and they will see this as an attempt to mislead people and import some of the fear and division we have witnessed in the United States."Former Conservative strategist Tim Powers, who is now chairman of Summa Strategies, believes O'Toole's team saw a "gathering storm" and felt the need to act to prevent the Liberals from painting the Conservatives as beholden to Trumpism.Such action was especially important ahead of what could be an extremely divisive week down in the U.S., where there are fears that Trump supporters and far-right actors will respond to Joe Biden's inauguration as president with violence.Powers suggested it is also the latest act in O'Toole's effort to introduce himself to Canadians and redefine the Conservatives ahead of the next federal election, both of which have been made more difficult by COVID-19.And when Conservatives in caucus make statements or otherwise act counter to his stated positions, Powers said O'Toole will need to "crush them and take them out" to prove his convictions.Shuvaloy Majumdar, who served as a policy director in Stephen Harper's government, welcomed O'Toole's statement while also speaking of the threat that events in the U.S. could pose to the Tories in Canada — particularly if the Liberals try to link them.O'Toole was accused during last year's Conservative leadership race of courting social conservatives who oppose abortion, among other issues. That raises questions about the degree to which he may anger the party's base by taking more progressive positions.But Majumdar suggested many of the populist elements left the Tories for Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada and that O'Toole is seeking to appeal to more voters by taking a broader view on social issues while sticking to the party's core economic positions.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 17, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version misquoted Shuvaloy Majumdar saying many social conservatives had left for the People's Party of Canada. He actually said many of the populist elements had left.
The P.E.I. government will issue a tender for the design of a 30-unit social housing development for seniors in Charlottetown later this month, according to a news release issued Monday. The development announced for Beach Grove Road is part of a commitment in the province's 2020-21 capital budget to build 100 government-owned affordable housing units. "Island seniors have helped shape the province we know and love," Housing Minister Ernie Hudson was quoted as saying in the news release. "It is our responsibility to offer safe, accessible and affordable homes that support our seniors to age in place." The Opposition Green Party has been after the government to build more social housing of its own, rather than relying on providing vouchers to subsidize rent at privately owned units. Rising rents over the last few years have priced many low-income Islanders out of the market, and the supply remains limited. Island seniors eligible for housing supports will pay 25 per cent of their gross annual household income for a unit in the new development. The provincial government hopes construction can begin in the fall. Before work gets underway, however, the province will need the City of Charlottetown to rezone the land from institutional to residential. The province said the development will be a net-zero ready building, designed to be energy efficient. More from CBC P.E.I.
The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) is "alarmed" over the alleged treatment of two elderly patients in Prince Albert's Victoria Hospital. FSIN Vice-Chief David Pratt is calling for more First Nations health supports after hearing "very disturbing" concerns from the families of two patients. One is an older adult woman who he says received rude and unprofessional treatment from staff members; the other is an 88-year-old man who Pratt says doesn't speak English and has been treated in isolation. Pratt said the woman preferred to remain anonymous because she feared sharing her concerns would lead to worse treatment. "Our elderly patients are too scared to speak out against poor treatment or can’t speak out at all because no one speaks the same language as them,” he said. In a prepared statement on Friday, Pratt called on the provincial government to "do something about all of the complaints that come in regarding First Nations patients at this hospital." He said the concerns illustrate the need for care from Indigenous doctors and nurses, in addition to translation and patient support services. The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) is aware of some of the concerns, noted Andrew McLetchie, vice-president for integrated northern health. In a prepared statement, he said the SHA "reached out to ensure the patient has the supports they require" and that he encourages anyone with concerns to contact the quality of care co-ordinators. "(SHA) is committed to providing the best possible care experience and we are always concerned when this does not occur," he said in the statement. For patients who don't speak English, he said SHA supports include staff members and partner organizations. He said the SHA arranges for family members to be present to support patient communication. If there are barriers to that service, he pointed patients and families to the SHA First Nations and Metis Health Services. He said work is ongoing on cultural responsiveness training and workforce representation, among other strategies, and First Nations and Métis communities "will continue to be an important component across all our initiatives, including the (Prince Albert) Victoria redevelopment project." Pratt said a language barrier contributes to the challenges facing Elders who may only speak Cree or Dene. While families would usually accompany them to hospital visits, many are unable to provide supports to Elders because of the pandemic. "These elderly patients need the help of translators and patient support services to understand what is happening to them and to be informed of the type of care they are receiving." Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
For the last four years, the Dr. Hugh Twomey Health Care Centre in Botwood has been without 24-hour emergency services. Just prior to the 2019 provincial election, then-premier Dwight Ball pledged to bring those services back to the hospital in the fall of 2020 once a protective care unit was finished. According to Exploits MHA Pleaman Forsey, the time has come for the Liberal government to come through on its promises. “We are left with a commitment from the Liberal minister of health to review the service after the long-term care facility was finished in Botwood,” Forsey said in a prepared statement this week. “That’s not good enough.” The provincial government stripped the hospital of the service in 2016 in a move by Central Health to reduce its operating budget. An analysis completed by the Department of Health in 2018 indicated patient data supported the decision. Forsey recently sent an email to Central Health about the issue and was told the new health unit is expected to be in use by the end of this month. “This creates added stress to the residents of the Exploits district,” Forsey said of not having 24-hour emergency services. The provincial government's department of health and community services said in a statement the work on the protective unit was nearing completion and the matter of returning to 24-hour service will be looked at when it is done. "Following the completion of construction, the demand and the staffing will be examined to see whether or not there is a need to change the way emergency services are provided to the people in Botwood," wrote a spokesperson for the department. On several occasions since Ball pledged the return of 24-hour emergency services, the Botwood council has written to Gander MHA John Haggie, the minister of health and community services, regarding the status of emergency services at the hospital. Botwood Mayor Scott Sceviour said responses the town has received have not indicated if or when any announcement will be made about the return of regular emergency services. At the time, the town was caught off guard by the decision to alter the emergency services at the hospital. It was expected to help save money, but the mayor says little money has been saved by the decision. “There was no justification for it,” he said. “It was a surprise to all of us.” Now that the area MHA has brought the issue to the forefront again, Sceviour said the town will write to Premier Andrew Furey about the commitments of his predecessor and bring him up to speed on the situation. Botwood is scheduled to have a council meeting this week, where the issue will be on the agenda. “We are going to hold this government to the promise,” said Sceviour. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
The provincial government released its list of communities receiving charitable gaming grants for the last half of 2020. More than $1.3 million will be given to local communities from Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming for the fundraising done from July to September 2020 in communities across the province. Groups raising money through “licensed charitable gaming” like bingo, raffles, Monte Carlo events, etc. receive 25 per cent of their net proceeds back in the form of the charitable gaming grant, explained David Morris, Manager, a spokesperson with Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming. Numbers released in the Jan. 14 press release quantified the grants by areas of the province with the North Battleford and the surrounding area receiving $141,175; Humboldt and the surrounding area receiving $57,629, and Yorkton and the surrounding area receiving $56,187. While these numbers are only for the third quarter of 2020, Morris said numbers have been impacted by COVID-19 as local events and bingo halls have been shut down. “Many raffles take place in conjunction with sporting events and many sporting events have been cancelled. That’s impacted the number of raffles. If you go to a hockey game, often the team has a raffle and there are no games so there are no raffles.” Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority are proud to support local organizations that fundraise using the charitable gaming program, said Jim Reiter, the minister responsible, in the press release. “The charitable gaming grant program provides extra dollars that help these groups deliver their services in a variety of important sectors including public service, emergency services, health care and recreation.” Local organizations are eligible for the grant program following the filing of their charitable gaming reports. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
The U.S. Capitol complex was shut down for about an hour on Monday out of an abundance of caution after a small fire broke out nearby, underscoring security jitters days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. The Capitol Police in a statement said the lockdown was lifted and the fire nearby was contained. The lockdown follows the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, some calling for the death of Republican Vice President Mike Pence as he presided over the certification of Democrat Biden's November election victory.
BRUCE COUNTY – Mark Paoli, land use planning manager, presented a report to the planning and development committee in December recommending changes to the current fee schedule. The changes will be phased in within one year. At the November meeting, the committee passed recommendations arising from the development fees final report by StrategyCorp that included recovery of all activity costs and appropriate overhead; four new fees (general inquiries, pre-consultations, studies over five hours, and pit/quarry Official Plan amendments); deposit for peer reviews; and resume increasing fees annually by the Consumer Price Index in 2022. The recommendations included that the matter return to the committee in December for approval. The committee approved the following amendments: • Allow for a flat fee for one or two minor variances in the same application, and add to it a separate flat fee that is 30 per cent higher for cases of three or more minor variances in the same application. • For multiple consents, reduce the price of each additional lot in the same application to 50 per cent, after the first one. • Segment fees for major county Official Plan amendment and minor county Official Plan amendment, based on whether it requires more than three technical studies or not. For major amendments, increase the new base fee by eight per cent for each additional technical study required over the threshold of three studies. Paoli’s report stated there’s more involved than greater transparency and ensuring fees fully reflect costs. Fees should “also recognize ‘bulk rate’ savings that come from economies of scale in multi-unit applications, to the benefit of the developer-user. Passing on the savings of economies of scale will accurately reflect actual costs, to the benefit of both the county and the user.” Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times