PM Justin Trudeau didn't stand a chance against President Donald Trump who captured Canadians' attention across the nation.
PM Justin Trudeau didn't stand a chance against President Donald Trump who captured Canadians' attention across the nation.
CHICAGO — Amid the American flags and Trump 2020 posters at the U.S. Capitol during last week's insurrection were far more sinister symbols: A man walking the halls of Congress carrying a Confederate flag. Banners proclaiming white supremacy and anti-government extremism. A makeshift noose and gallows ominously erected outside. In many ways this hate-filled display was the culmination of many others over the past few years, including the deadly 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that gathered extremist factions from across the country under a single banner. “These displays of white supremacy are not new,” said Lecia Brooks, chief of staff of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Now it’s just reached a fever pitch.” Extremist groups, including the pro-Trump, far-right, anti-government Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters, a loose anti-government network that's part of the militia movement, were among those descending on the halls of power on Jan. 6. The hateful imagery included an anti-Semitic “Camp Auschwitz” sweatshirt created years ago by white supremacists, who sold them on the now-defunct website Aryanwear, said Aryeh Tuchman, associate director for the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism. Also among the rioters were members of Groyper Army, a loose network of white nationalists, the white supremacist New Jersey European Heritage Association, and the far-right extremist Proud Boys, along with other known white supremacists, Tuchman said. While not all the anti-government groups were explicitly white supremacist, Tuchman said many support white supremacist beliefs. “Anyone who flies a Confederate flag, even if they claim it’s about heritage and not hate, we need to understand that it is a symbol of white supremacy,” Tuchman said. Brooks said it was also important to note the demographics of the riotous crowd, which was overwhelmingly white. Within that context, even more traditional symbols of American patriotism, like the American flag, or political preference, like Trump 2020 signs, served to give the symbols of hate a pass. “You can wrap yourself in the American flag and call yourself a patriot and say you’re acting on behalf of the country, that you’re serving to protect the country. … But what America were you standing up for?" she asked. “One that continues to support and advance white supremacy? Or one that welcomes and embraces a multiracial, inclusive democracy? That’s the difference.” The proliferation of white supremacist symbolism has a long history, with two clear peaks in the civil rights efforts following Reconstruction and during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Brooks said. Now, as the U.S. reckons with systemic racism following the police killing of George Floyd, she said Confederate symbols have been displayed more prominently, including at smaller-scale white supremacist rallies and by counterprotesters carrying Confederate flags at Black Lives Matter gatherings across the country. “This is a response, and it’s not a new response,” Brooks said. “Every time there is progress in asserting civil rights, there’s a backlash. Confederate iconography is a means to reassert white supremacy when it is thought to be threatened.” Confederate flags and white supremacist symbols were also present at the 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly after a car mowed into counterprotesters. The rally, which left one counterprotester dead, brought several neo-Nazi, white supremacist and related groups together, much like the Capitol insurrection, Brooks said. “This merging of groups you see in Charlottesville and that you saw at the Capitol last week doesn’t usually happen,” she said. “But they’re desperate. They are convinced that they’re this grave minority that is being threatened and needs to stick together and rally under the moniker of hatred.” Karen Cox, a historian of the American South and Confederate symbols, said the phenomenon echoes the so-called “Lost Cause” mythology, the pseudo-historical ideology that the cause of the Confederacy during the Civil War was just and heroic — an assertion that lives on in the hearts of many who tote the Confederate flag today. She said for many extremists, including those present at the Capitol insurrection, President Donald Trump’s election loss has become a new “Lost Cause" of sorts. “This is their new ‘Lost Cause' and a continuation of the original ‘Lost Cause,'” she said. “They’ve lost, but they hold onto that (Confederate) flag to show that they still feel justified." “Same thing here. ‘We lost this election, but our cause was just.’ And as long as they still hold onto this ‘Lost Cause,' these symbols aren’t going away.” “We are 150 years after the Civil War and people are still waving that flag,” Cox added. “This has been here for so long, it’s going to take a long time to go away — if it can.” As rioters besieged Capitol Hill, demonstrations flared at statehouses across the country. An internal FBI bulletin has warned of plans for armed protests at all 50 state capitals and in Washington D.C., in the days leading up to President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. Brooks said she worries the rampage at the Capitol and proliferation of white supremacist symbols will encourage similar actions at state capitals. “The insurrection last week helped embolden and radicalize people in such a way that it’s going to be even more threatening," she said. "This risk of an insurrection like this happening again is hanging over us.” Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland was inside the Capitol building as the violent mob made its way inside. Raskin, who is Jewish, chairs the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in Congress and has sat through multiple hearings about the dangers of violent white supremacy. He said he was shocked by the “open manifestations of pro-racist and pro-Nazi ideology.” “This massive attack on the Capitol and invasion of the Congress would be shocking and criminal enough even if these people had no racist or anti-Semitic intent at all,” he said. “But when you add in the elements of violent white extremism, you can see how profoundly dangerous this is to the future of our country.” Tuchman said he is encouraged by the disgust many Americans have expressed and hopes it will make such symbols less publicly acceptable. But he said these images hold a power that may continue to menace the nation's democracy. “Images can encapsulate the beliefs of extremist movements,” he said. “They can popularize them. ... Symbols can be the entryway into extremism and radicalization.” — Fernando and Nasir are members of the Associated Press’ Race and Ethnicity team. Follow Fernando on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christinetfern. Follow Nasir on Twitter at https://twitter.com/noreensnasir. Christine Fernando And Noreen Nasir, The Associated Press
James Harden is heading to Brooklyn, joining old teammate Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to give the Nets a potent trio featuring some of the NBA's highest scorers. The Nets acquired the three-time scoring champion from the Houston Rockets in a deal that became official on Thursday, a move Harden has sought for weeks. Harden is the centerpiece of a deal that also involved Cleveland and grew to a fourth team when Indiana, made a separate deal with Houston. The Nets will be able to trot out a lineup of three players capable of scoring 25 or more points on any night in a collection of firepower to rival any Big Three in recent years. “It’s an amazing move for Brooklyn. Obviously, they got better — way better," said two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee. But they paid a massive price to do it. The Nets sent Caris LeVert and Rodions Kurucs to Houston, along with 2022, 2024 and 2026 first-round picks and the right to swap first-round picks in 2021, 2023, 202 and 2027. The Nets also sent centre Jarrett Allen and forward Taurean Prince to Cleveland. The Rockets also are trading LeVert to Indiana for Oladipo, a person with knowledge of the situation said. The Nets are loading up for a title run with three of the highest-paid players in the league. All are under contract through 2022-23, with Harden and Durant both set to earn more than $40 million in each of the next two seasons. In the meantime, the Nets were short-handed for their game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden, where coach Steve Nash declined to discuss Harden but did confirm that the players the Nets were trading were not in the building during their 116-109 victory. Off to a 7-6 start in his rookie season as coach, now the former point guard and two-time NBA MVP will have to mould an offence that keeps the ball moving with three players worthy of having it in their hands. “It’s a simple game but it becomes complicated when you put different personalities and players on the floor," Nash said. “Our group’s done a really good job being unselfish this year and trying to move the ball and work together, so I’ve been proud of that.” The blockbuster deal provides a needed boost amid a period of drama for both franchises. It was struck less than 24 hours after Harden seemed to deliver a farewell address of sorts following the Rockets’ loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, and just before Irving was set to miss a fifth straight game during a personal absence from the Nets. Harden, who has cycled through Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook as teammates in recent seasons, didn't think much of the roster the Rockets had around him this season. “We’re just not good enough. ... I love this city. I literally have done everything that I can,” Harden said Tuesday night. “I mean, this situation is crazy. It’s something that I don’t think can be fixed.” It couldn't, and now he's gone. Brooklyn expects Harden to leave all that behind him and that his transition to the Nets will be smooth. He should be much happier in Brooklyn, having teamed with Durant in Oklahoma City when they were younger and remaining close still. “It was fun,” Durant said of their time together, declining to say much more with the trade still not completed. It was obvious the end for Harden in Houston was nearing Wednesday, when the Rockets told him they didn’t want him at practice after his inflammatory comments about the team. “We felt it was best for James and best for the group for him not to come to practice,” first-year coach Stephen Silas said. About two hours later, ESPN and The Athletic first reported that Harden was being moved. The disgruntled superstar, who was unable to get the Rockets past the Western Conference finals, had remained quiet through months of reports that he was unhappy in Houston. Silas called the drama surrounding Harden an “all-around messed up situation." The Nets were ready to swoop in, after a shaky defence during the early season proved their best chance to beat teams might be to outscore them. They can certainly do that now. Durant is averaging 29.4 points in his first season back from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, and Irving was scoring 27.1 per game before leaving the team last week. Harden, who appears to be out of shape after joining the Rockets after training camp began, is averaging 24.8 points this season after three straight seasons above 30, culminating in MVP honours in 2018. The Rockets are 3-6 and only Minnesota has a worse record in the Western Conference. The team is clearly in disarray, and new arrival John Wall called the situation “rocky.” Harden won each of the last three scoring titles by notable margins — 2.3 points over Anthony Davis in 2017-18, 8.1 points over Paul George in 2018-19 and 3.8 points over Bradley Beal last season. His average so far this season ranked 18th in the NBA, well off his usual pace. It could pick back up again in Brooklyn, where Nash's assistant running the offence is Mike D'Antoni, Harden's coach during his best seasons in Houston. D'Antoni didn't return after last season and it quickly became clear Harden wanted out, too. He was a no-show when camp opened and was later fined $50,000 for conduct detrimental to the league after attending an indoor event without a mask in violation of the NBA's health and safety protocols. ___ AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds and Sports Writers Tom Withers and Noah Trister contributed to this report. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Brian Mahoney And Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press
ATHENS, Greece — Police have used tear gas to disperse crowds at a rally in Athens organized to protest plans to set up a state security division at university campuses. Mass gatherings are banned under current lockdown rules imposed because of the pandemic, but members and supporters of student and left-wing groups joined a rally Thursday near parliament in central Athens. Greece’s centre-right government scrapped a decades-old ban on police entering university grounds, arguing the measure had been frequently exploited to organize violent protests and even criminal activity. The government plans to set up a campus police division and limit entrance to university grounds to students, academic staff, employees and guests. Under the proposed changes, university entrance requirements will also be amended and time limits will be set for the completion of degree courses. Free access to university areas is seen by many Greeks as an important source of political dissent and which allowed resistance to be developed against authoritarian regimes in the past. The main left-wing opposition party, Syriza, is backing the education protests and has described the proposed reforms as undemocratic and aimed at making universities “sterile and unfree.” The Associated Press
An Alberta MLA, chastised for travelling to Mexico over the holidays and publicly criticized for alleged absenteeism in his constituency, has been ousted from Premier Jason Kenney's UCP caucus. Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn has been removed from caucus and will be barred from running for the UCP ever again, Kenney announced on Facebook Thursday morning. "I have made the decision to remove Pat Rehn from the UCP Caucus, effective immediately," Kenney wrote. "He will not be permitted to run for a future UCP nomination." Rehn will now sit as an independent MLA. "The most important job of an MLA is to represent his or her constituents," Kenney wrote. "It has become clear that Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn has failed to do so. "He has made no meaningful effort to work in his constituency, or properly to represent his hard-working constituents. "I have repeatedly asked Mr. Rehn to be more present in his constituency. He has ignored calls from me, UCP caucus leadership, and his constituents to do so." Calls for resignation The announcement from Kenney comes amid widespread calls for Rehn's resignation. Rehn was one of six UCP MLAs who travelled outside of Canada over the holidays. As punishment, Kenney had previously stripped him of his legislative committee positions. The travel scandal, however, released a wave of backlash against the rookie MLA. Handmade signs critical of Rehn popped up in High Prairie and Slave Lake. Earlier this month, Slave Lake town council called for Rehn to resign in a scathing public missive that accused him of missing or arriving ill-prepared for meetings and placing his personal business interests over constituency work. High Prairie town council voted unanimously last week to send a letter to Rehn addressing his lack of presence in the region. Rehn relieved, plans to oppose some COVID-19 restrictions In a Facebook message posted late Thursday, Rehn thanked Kenney and the party for the opportunity to run and "stand up for a free enterprise Alberta." But he looks forward to the added political freedom of sitting as an independent and said he plans to be more vocal about his concerns with certain COVID-19 health restrictions. "I was disappointed, but to be frank, also relieved," Rehn wrote about the decision to remove him. "There are some advantages of not being tied to a party, however, I will now be able to express my opposition of some of the lockdown measures, such as closing gyms and businesses," he wrote. "I believe strongly that measures must be taken to prevent COVID-19 spread, but also recognize the long-lasting effects caused by the lockdown itself." Rehn said he still still part of some "large projects in the works" and feels optimistic about the months ahead. "I am optimistic this region will see great growth as we move forward, put 2020 behind us, and start fresh in 2021." 'Uphill battle' to win back confidence Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman said Kenney's decision to remove Rehn from the caucus is a good first step, but he repeated his calls for Rehn to resign his seat and force a byelection. "He's lost the support of the people of this region; he's lost the support of the elected leaders in this region and now lost the support of his own party and the government he works with," Warman said. "I don't know what a stronger message you could get as an MLA." High Prairie council sent a letter to Rehn yesterday outlining their concerns with Rehn's performance. Councillors decided not to call for Rehn's resignation since they hadn't raised concerns with him previously and wanted to give him a chance to improve. Mayor Brian Panasiuk isn't sure what Rehn's removal from caucus will mean for his town. He says the MLA has a lot of work to do to earn back confidence. "There are some serious concerns out there, and it's going to be a bit of an uphill battle for him," Panasiuk said. "But I think it's possible if he does what he's been paid to do." In his statement, Kenney said the province is in contact with local government officials in the Slave Lake constituency. "Alberta government Ministers and I will be meeting with Lesser Slave Lake constituents in the weeks to come to ensure that they have direct access to their government, and to help them address important local issues," Kenney wrote. Earlier this week, Rehn's expense claims for the first two quarters of 2020 came to light. The claims suggested he spent very little time in his constituency. The MLA claimed per diems for meals purchased in Edmonton for all but two days in May, most of June and every day in July. The legislature sat for five days in April and five days in May due to the pandemic. Sittings were more regular in June and July but Rehn even claimed meal per diems on weekends in July. In total, his per diem claims totalled $4,488 for the first two quarters of 2020-21 fiscal year. Claims for the third quarter, which ended on Dec. 31, will be posted at the end of January.
OTTAWA — The federal government is promising to provide financial aid to Canada's only Second World War museum in Europe, which has been battered by COVID-19. Following months of discussions, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced on Thursday that Ottawa will provide up to $500,000 over the next two years to cover some of the Juno Beach Centre's expenses and help it weather the pandemic. The commitment is on top of the $500,000 that Ottawa already provides each year to the privately run museum, which was built in 2003 on the beach where Canadians went ashore on D-Day. "The role that Canadians played — at Juno Beach, through Normandy and across Europe during the Second World War — is a vitally important part of our history," MacAulay said in a statement. "I've seen the great work that the Juno Beach Centre does in passing on the stories of those who fought and died, and I’m glad that we’re able to provide them with the support they need to make it through this pandemic.” The Juno Beach Centre, which has increasingly relied on ticket revenue and gift shop sales to make ends meet, was already facing financial pressures before the pandemic. That was because Walmart cancelled a longtime sponsorship and the federal government's annual contribution has remained unchanged since the museum opened, even as costs had grown over the years. The museum did get a boost in 2019 as Canadians marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day, when thousands of Canadian soldiers went ashore with their British and American allies on June 6, 1944, to begin liberating Europe from Nazi Germany. Museum officials had hoped for an influx of visitors in 2020 as the world marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, but that was before COVID-19 killed international travel and forced the centre to close for months. Juno Beach Centre Association president Don Cooper welcomed the federal assistance, saying in a statement that the loss of visitors "has strained our budget significantly." "We have been communicating with the minister's office regularly and they have been very responsive to our current challenges," Cooper added. "The funding announced today is a demonstration of our shared commitment to commemorating the men and women who served Canada during the Second World War." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2020. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court says that when a person's car has been impounded and they file for bankruptcy, the car does not have to be immediately returned. In an opinion announced Thursday, Justice Samuel Alito wrote for a unanimous eight-justice court that “mere retention" of a debtor's property by a creditor does not violate the law. The case involved several people whose cars were impounded by the city of Chicago who then filed for bankruptcy and hoped to get their vehicles back. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote separately and singled out the situation of George Peake, whose 2007 Lincoln MKZ was impounded in 2018 for unpaid parking and red-light tickets. Sotomayor noted the “far too common” situation Peake found himself in. "Drivers in low-income communities across the country face similar vicious cycles," she wrote, where a driver is fined an amount he cannot pay and that creates a spiral of late fees to where the vehicle is impounded. Without reliable transportation to work, bankruptcy may follow. Sotomayor said that despite the court's ruling, bankruptcy courts are not powerless to facilitate the return of vehicles. And she said Congress could pass legislation that helps speed vehicles' return. Only eight justices participated in the case because it was argued in October, after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and before Justice Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the court. The case is City of Chicago v. Fulton, 19-357. The Associated Press
The Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) will be receiving the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine much sooner than anticipated as cases among its membership continues to increase. As of 4 p.m. Jan. 13, emergency operations centre (EOC) director Brittany Cleminson said 26 members had tested positive, with nurses from Three Corners Health Society conducting more than 100 tests. “For context, we understand that there are approximately 77 cases in the Cariboo Chilcotin health coverage area, with that, we anticipate that we may receive some additional positive cases over the next few days,” Cleminson said. On behalf of the WLFN EOC, Cleminson said she was excited to announce WLFN has received a commitment from Interior Health (IH) to supply the first dose of the Moderna vaccine to WLFN elders in the Williams Lake area. “Plans are currently in motion to prepare the vaccine delivery and distribution,” Cleminson said, expressing gratitude to IH medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema and IH executive director Lisa Zetes-Zanatta. “This could occur as quickly next week.” WLFN Chief Willie Sellars said by IH stepping-up it will alleviate a lot of pressure on not only leadership and EOC staff but their community. “It really is encouraging to hear,” Sellars said, noting WLFN has been lobbying hard for vaccinations for a while. “Because of our location and not being remote, it has been very challenging to get uptake on our asks but with the outbreak, it has expedited the delivery,” he said. The WLFN community of Sugar Cane is located fewer than 10 kilometres south of Williams Lake where a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Jan. 13 at Cariboo Memorial Hospital. If the vaccination process had not been expedited, Sellars said WLFN would likely not have been eligible to receive the vaccine until March. “To take care of our elders and those with immune-compromised systems is definitely at the top of our priority considering what is going on in community,” Sellars said. “I think the response from Interior Health is right on the money — let’s get these people vaccinated and put them out of harm’s way.” Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
What was once a dream has come true for staff at Caledon Meals on Wheels: Their very own kitchen has been developed and now open to all their clients in the community. Caledon Meals on Wheels’ (CMOW’s) mission in Caledon is to provide not only healthy and readily available meals, but education on nutrition and a variety of different initiatives including hot and frozen meals, and grocery and wellness programs. The organization has a long list of values, including client and community focus, accessibility, collaboration, innovation, quality, accountability and sustainability. CMOW has proved to be more than just meals for the community. As of January 11, a new chapter has begun with the opening of their very first kitchen, which has been secured in the newly renovated kitchen at the Albion Bolton Community Center. “It’s been a dream of ours for such a very long time to open our own kitchen, but never seemed to within our reach. It was much easier to work with our outside suppliers like the Vera Davis Centre and Caesars Banquet Hall to prepare our meals since they were already in the business and had the expertise and experience,” said Executive Director Christine Sevigny. As the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, CMOW, along with several other organizations, were forced to make necessary changes to adapt to safety measures for themselves and the community. Some of these included changes with their suppliers. “We were left with two options: look for another supplier under challenging circumstances or open our own. We explored all options, hoping to find a great supplier like we have in Lord Dufferin for our Orangeville clients, but when that didn’t work out, we kept coming back to our dream of opening our own kitchen,” said Sevigny. With the help and support from the Town of Caledon, Region of Peel and Brampton Caledon Community Foundation, the team at CMOW has been able to put in new necessary appliances. CMOW has also hired an experienced team to run the group, who all bring their own skills to provide nutritious and delicious meals. Staff at CMOW have been working to prepare for the opening of their very own kitchen this past year and are excited to get delicious meals out into the community. “Having our own kitchen gives us more control over the menu and the price of the meals. We want to make sure our clients are getting nutrition, taste and quality at an affordable price. Because we are a charitable organization, we have some wiggle room, we don’t need to make a profit on our meals, and we can also utilize volunteers.” says Kim Pridham, Client and Volunteer Services Supervisor. The kitchen is located in the Albion Bolton Community Centre at 150 Queen Street S, in Bolton. To learn more about Caledon Meals on Wheels programs please visit cmow.org or call (905) 857-7651. Alyssa Parkhill, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Caledon Citizen
NEW YORK — Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang officially entered the race for mayor of New York City on Thursday, joining a crowded Democratic primary field that includes longtime elected officials and veterans of the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio, who is barred by the city charter from seeking a third term. “It is here in New York City that my passion for uplifting people, for wanting to move our country forward, got started,” Yang said at a campaign launch that was streamed on YouTube because of the coronavirus pandemic. “And now that we are facing this historic crisis I am aiming to unleash and channel that energy for a human-centred economy right here in New York, my home!" Yang’s proposal for a universal basic income won him a national following during the 2020 Democratic primary campaign before he dropped out of the race in February. He brings high name recognition to the mayoral race but has no record of involvement in local politics. More than two dozen people have filed with the city's Campaign Finance Board to run in the June 22 Democratic mayoral primary, which for the first time in city history will be determined by ranked choice voting, a system that lets voters rank candidates in order of preference. The contenders include City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, banker Ray McGuire, former city sanitation commissioner Kathryn Garcia and former U.S. housing secretary Shaun Donovan. Yang has lived in New York City since attending law school at Columbia University in the 1990s but has spent much of the coronavirus pandemic at his family’s weekend home about 85 miles (136 kilometres) north of the city in New Paltz, New York. Critics pounced when Yang explained his absence from the city by asking a New York Times reporter, “Can you imagine trying to have two kids on virtual school in a two-bedroom apartment, and then trying to do work yourself?” Fellow mayoral candidate Dianne Morales, a former non-profit executive, tweeted: “I spent all of 2020 in NYC, living with THREE generations under one roof, AND running a campaign from home.” Wherever the candidates are physically located, the mayoral campaign has so far been conducted largely via Zoom and other online platforms because of the pandemic. The winner of the Democratic primary will be the strong favourite in the November general election because Democrats outnumber Republicans in the city by a wide margin. Republicans who have said they are considering running include Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa. Karen Matthews, The Associated Press
Global News Washington bureau chief Jackson Proskow provides an update on the Trump impeachment process as the U.S. awaits the Senate trial and Inauguration Day.
MANITOUWADGE, ONT., – A 47-year-old man has been charged with impaired driving following a single motor vehicle collision on Highway 614 on Wednesday afternoon. Ontario Provincial Police were dispatched just before 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 13, after receiving reports of a collision north of Wabikoba Road, according to a news release issued by police on Thursday. A pickup truck travelling southbound on Highway 614 crossed the northbound lane and entered the east ditch hitting a rock-cut, police say. The driver was transported to a local hospital for further treatment of minor injuries. Clayton Barstad, 47, of Manitouwadge, Ont., was charged with operating a conveyance with a blood alcohol concentration that was equal to or exceeded 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. OPP is reminding the public motorists who drive impaired by alcohol or drugs are subject to driver’s licence suspensions, fines, vehicle impoundments, criminal records and increased insurance costs. If you see suspected impaired driving, the public is encouraged to call 911.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source
Ottawa Redblacks kicker Lewis Ward has signed a one-year contract extension with the CFL team. Ward, the league's rookie of the year in 2018, signed an extension for the 2021 season, the Redblacks said Thursday. He hit 43 of 50 field-goal attempts in 2019 and made nine of 11 converts. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The country's biggest civil service union says it will contest a decision that would see government workers pay tax on money they receive as part of a settlement reached over long-standing problems with their paycheques.The federal government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) reached a deal last summer to compensate the union's 140,000 members affected by failures in the Phoenix pay system.The agreement would see workers paid up to $2,500 in general damages for four years of pay problems including delays, overpayments, underpayments or lack of pay.A letter provided to PSAC by the Treasury Board Secretariat says the Canada Revenue Agency has concluded those payments are taxable.The union says the letter is not a formal tax ruling and will dispute it on the basis that the CRA has determined that other specific damages in the settlement are non-taxable.Treasury Board also announced Thursday that it has launched a new claims process to compensate current and former employees who experienced severe personal or financial impacts as a result of issues with the Phoenix pay system.The new process was called for as part of a separate agreement reached in June 2019 with other unions to compensate approximately 121,000 current and 25,000 former employees.This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
As the rest of the world was shutting down to stave off COVID-19, U.S. star Anne Hathaway found herself starting up a whole new movie project - a rom-com heist caper set in the pandemic still raging around her. "I don't think either of us quite know how we pulled it off," Hathaway told Reuters as she sat down with her co-star Chiwetel Ejiofor to talk about "Locked Down", the result of their labours that started streaming on HBO Max on Thursday. The film tells the story of a couple on the verge of breaking up, until coronavirus restrictions leave them stuck together in London.
New York's attorney general sued the New York Police Department on Thursday, calling the rough treatment of protesters against racial injustice last spring part of a longstanding pattern of abuse that stemmed from inadequate training, supervision and discipline. Attorney General Letitia James' lawsuit includes dozens of examples of alleged misconduct during the spring demonstrations in the wake of George Floyd’s police killing, including the use of pepper spray and batons on protesters, trapping demonstrators with a technique called kettling and arresting medics and legal observers. "We found a pattern of deeply concerning and unlawful practices that the NYPD utilized in response to these largely peaceful protests,” James said at a news conference announcing the lawsuit. James, a Democrat, was tasked by Gov. Andrew Cuomo with investigating whether NYPD officers used excessive force to quell unrest and enforce Mayor Bill de Blasio’s nightly curfew. She issued a preliminary report in July that cited a “clear breakdown of trust between police and the public.” She is seeking reforms including the appointment of a monitor to oversee the NYPD’s policing tactics at future protests and a court order declaring that the policies and practices the department used during the protests were unlawful. The NYPD did not immediately comment on the lawsuit. James' lawsuit is the second major legal action to stem from the NYPD’s handling of the protests. In October, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society sued the city on behalf of protesters who say they were assaulted and abused by police. A civil rights organization and a city watchdog agency have also criticized the department’s actions. Human Rights Watch issued a report in November citing evidence that police planned an aggressive crackdown on protesters on June 4 in the Bronx. In December, the city’s inspector general found that the NYPD was caught off guard by the size of the protests and resorted to aggressive disorder control methods that stoked tensions and stifled free speech. Michael R. Sisak, The Associated Press
Medicine Hat was blasted with strong winds Wednesday, causing commotion and destruction around the city and its surrounding areas. Environment Canada issued a wind warning just after 10 a.m. that gave word of gusts up to 110 km/h, and as high as 140 km/h in wind-prone areas. A semi truck driving on the Trans-Canada Highway near Medicine Hat tipped over around 11 a.m., with emergency crews arriving shortly after. The driver of the semi was taken to Medicine Hat Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Medicine Hat Fire Department. The fire department responded to a number of calls on top of the flipped semi, including a number of downed power lines in the city. Acting platoon chief Ryan Pinter says it is important to stay safe during intense wind. “It’s important to be cautious of winds,” he said. “Wind is flipping vehicles over, so it’s important to be aware of your situation and your surroundings.” With the downed power lines, the city was dealing with a couple thousand homes without power. The city reported outages for 2,890 customers in the city. Outages were mostly in or near Crescent Heights. By 2 p.m., the city was reporting that power had been restored to Hatters, but the wind was making it difficult to repair damaged infrastructure.Mo Cranker, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News
Canadian forward Tyler Pasher is back in Major League Soccer, signing with the Houston Dynamo from the USL Championship's Indy Eleven. The 26-year-old from Elmira, Ont., scored 23 goals and added six assists in 50 appearances for Indy Eleven -- the sixth-most in the USL Championship since 2019. Pasher, with 10 goals and two assists in 15 appearances, was named to the 2020 USL Championship All-League team following an abbreviated 16-game season. “Tyler is a player we’ve been tracking closely over the last year and we are pleased the timing was right to add him to our roster,” Matt Jordan, Houston's senior vice-president and GM, said in a statement. “His ability to take players on and put up numbers, along with being naturally left-footed, make him a good fit for our group and system.” A former Canadian youth international, Pasher has yet to earn a senior cap but was called into camp in both 2015 and 2017. "Tyler is a relentless worker on both sides of the ball and he fits really well into our game model,” Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos said. “We feel that we added a player who is going to be successful and going to contribute in the attacking third." Pasher spent seven years with Newcastle United as an academy and reserve player before returning to Canada in 2010 for two seasons with Toronto FC’s academy. He wore the captain's armband after coming off the bench in July 2012 as an 18-year-old in a TFC friendly against Liverpool. He went on to play for Finland's PS Kemi in 2013 and Michigan's Lansing United, in the National Premier Soccer League, in 2014. He signed with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (2015) and Swope Park Rangers (2016). The five-foot-nine 150-pounder made his MLS debut with Sporting Kansas City, Swope’s parent club, in 2017. He signed with Indy Eleven following the 2017 season. Houston now has 24 players under contract for the 2021 MLS season. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2021. The Canadian Press
A 23-year-old man from Sipekne'katik First Nation is dead following a single-vehicle accident Wednesday in Indian Brook, N.S. RCMP were called to Hollywood Drive in Indian Brook around 2:47 p.m., according to a police news release. A car had crashed into a utility pole and the driver had been ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The road was closed for several hours while police investigated. MORE TOP STORIES
Toronto -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a Stay-at-Home Order beginning on Thursday. “Everyone must stay home and only go out for essential trips,” he said at a news conference on Tuesday afternoon. “When possible, please work from home,” he said, pointing out this was what was happening in April during the first wave of the pandemic but is no longer the case despite the closure of non-essential businesses. As part of the new measures, outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are further restricted to a limit of five people with limited exceptions. As well, people are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when people can't physically distance more than two metres. All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery. Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey. Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said enforcement of the rules will be strict including penalties which may include up to a year in jail. As part of these provisions by-law officers can also lay fines and disperse crowds outside of greater than five people, she said. The premier said the province is entering its second state of emergency which will last “at least” 28 days. Acknowledging Ontarians are sick of COVID and the existing restrictions, he said one-third of Ontarians are not following public health guidelines. “I know the stay-at-home order is a drastic measure which we don’t take lightly,” he added. “Everyone stay home. Bad actors who are caught, they will be fined.” Noting he did not believe in curfews like the one brought in in Quebec, the premier said he was counting on the people of Ontario to comply with this order. “I believe in the people of Ontario,” he said. “Everyone has been working together. The last thing I’ve ever believed in was having a curfew that when you pull out of your driveway the police are chasing you.” People will have the freedom to leave their homes, but all gatherings are prohibited, he said. “If you need to walk your dog, walk your dog,” he said. “All we are asking is for co-operation from the people of Ontario. Please stay home.” As part of the measures, schools in the hardest hit areas, including Windsor/Essex, Peel, Toronto, Hamilton and York will be closed for in-person learning until February 10. In other areas recommendations will be made on January 20. Schools in northern Ontario which are already open will remain open. New guidelines are in place for in-person learning, including mask wearing for students from Grade 1-3 and requirements for wearing masks outdoors. As well, there will be enhanced screening protocols and expanded targeted testing in schools. He pointed out one issue is when younger people go out with their friends, don’t wear a mask and then come home which can pass the virus on to their parents. In turn it gets passed on to the grandparents who can end up in the hospital and may die from the disease. “If you love your grandparents and I know you do, please follow the process,” Premier Ford said. Premier Ford promised to come down “like an 800-lb gorilla” on big box stores, noting they are not adhering to the guidelines for 50 per cent capacity which were already in place. He said these measures are in place because projections show the number of COVID cases, including the new UK variant, are increasing rapidly in the province. ICU occupancy by COVID-19 patients is now over 400 beds and is projected to be as high as 1,000 beds by early February which has the potential to overwhelm Ontario's hospitals. The number of COVID-19-related deaths continues to rise and is expected to double from 50 to 100 deaths per day between now and the end of February. The health care system is at the brink of collapse with levels of COVID-19 unseen before. “There will soon be some really dark days ahead,” he said. However, the premier said the people of Ontario have the spirt to get through the worst days to come. Noting the province has close to 15 million people, he said it is important to work together. “Stay home, safe lives, protect our health care system,” he said. The premier said it was important to get through the next few months as Ontario anticipates a massive vaccine rollout in April, May and June. So far 130,000 doses have been administered in Ontario. He said the province has been pushing the federal government to increase dosages so more people can be vaccinated sooner. Deputy Premier Christine Elliot pointed out 5,000 people have died in the province from COVID and 41 died on Monday. “We must change our mobility patterns,” he said. “You must stay home as much as possible.” Employees who can work from home must do so, she added. The province will also be increasing testing, including rapid testing.Debbi Christinck, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader
WASHINGTON — His place in the history books rewritten, President Donald Trump endured his second impeachment largely alone and silent. For more than four years, Trump has dominated the national discourse like no one before him. Yet when his legacy was set in stone on Wednesday, he was stunningly left on the sidelines. Trump now stands with no equal, the only president to be charged twice with a high crime or misdemeanour, a new coda for a term defined by a deepening of the nation's divides, his failures during the worst pandemic in a century and his refusal to accept defeat at the ballot box. Trump kept out of sight in a nearly empty White House as impeachment proceedings played out at the heavily fortified U.S. Capitol. There, the damage from last week’s riots provided a visible reminder of the insurrection that the president was accused of inciting. Abandoned by some in his own party, Trump could do nothing but watch history unfold on television. The suspension of his Twitter account deprived Trump of his most potent means to keep Republicans in line, giving a sense that Trump had been defanged and, for the first time, his hold on his adopted party was in question. He was finally heard from hours after the vote, in a subdued video that condemned the insurrection at the Capitol and warned his supporters from engaging in any further violence. It was a message that was largely missing one week earlier, when rioters marching in Trump’s name descended on the Capitol to try to prevent Congress from certifying Biden’s victory. “I want to be very clear: I unequivocally condemn the violence that we saw last week," said Trump. He added that “no true supporter” of his “could ever endorse political violence.” But that message, partially motivated to warn off legal exposure for sparking the riot, ran contrary to what Trump has said throughout his term, including when he urged his supporters to “fight” for him last week. Trump said not a word about his impeachment in the video, though he complained about the ban on his social media. And later Wednesday, he asked allies if he had gone too far with the video, wondering if it might upset some of his supporters. Four White House officials and Republicans close to the West Wing discussed Trump’s private conversations on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to do so publicly. With only a week left in Trump's term, there were no bellicose messages from the White House fighting the proceedings on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue and no organized legal response. Some congressional Republicans did defend the president during House debate in impeachment, their words carrying across the same space violated by rioters one week earlier during a siege of the citadel of democracy that left five dead. In the end, 10 Republicans voted to impeach. It was a marked change from Trump’s first impeachment. That December 2019 vote in the House, which made Trump only the third president ever impeached, played out along partisan lines. The charges then were that he had used the powers of the office to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political foe, Joe Biden, now the president-elect. At that time, the White House was criticized for failing to create the kind of robust “war room” that President Bill Clinton mobilized during his own impeachment fight. Nonetheless, Trump allies did mount their own pushback campaign. There were lawyers, White House messaging meetings, and a media blitz run by allies on conservative television, radio and websites. Trump was acquitted in 2020 by the GOP-controlled Senate and his approval ratings were undamaged. But this time, as some members of his own party recoiled and accused him of committing impeachable offences, Trump was isolated and quiet. A presidency centred on the bombastic declaration “I alone can fix it” seemed to be ending with a whimper. The third-ranking Republican in the House, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, said there had “never been a greater betrayal” by a president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told colleagues in a letter that he had not decided how he would vote in an impeachment trial. For the first time, Trump’s future seemed in doubt, and what was once unthinkable — that enough Republican senators would defy him and vote to remove him from office — seemed at least possible, if unlikely. But there was no effort from the White House to line up votes in the president’s defence. The team around Trump is hollowed out, with the White House counsel’s office not drawing up a legal defence plan and the legislative affairs team largely abandoned. Trump leaned on Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to push Republican senators to oppose removal. Graham’s spokesman said the senator was making the calls of his own volition. Trump and his allies believed that the president’s sturdy popularity with the lawmakers’ GOP constituents would deter them from voting against him. The president was livid with perceived disloyalty from McConnell and Cheney and has been deeply frustrated that he could not hit back with his Twitter account, which has kept Republicans in line for years. He also has turned on his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who touted election conspiracy theories and whom many in the president's orbit believe shoulders some of the blame for both impeachments. Trump had grown irritated at Giuliani's lavish spending, which included a request to be paid $20,000 a day, and told aides to stop paying him. Trump watched much of the day's proceedings on TV from the White House residence and his private dining area off the Oval Office. A short time before he was impeached, Trump was in the White House East Room presenting the National Medal of Arts to singers Toby Keith and Ricky Skaggs as well as former Associated Press photographer Nick Ut. His paramount concern, beyond his legacy, was what a second impeachment could do to his immediate political and financial future. The loss of his Twitter account and fundraising lists could complicate Trump's efforts to remain a GOP kingmaker and potentially run again in 2024. Moreover, Trump seethed at the blows being dealt to his business, including the withdrawal of a PGA tournament from one of his golf courses and the decision by New York City to cease dealings with his company. There's the possibility that if the Senate were to convict him, he also could be barred from seeking election again, dashing any hopes of another presidential campaign. A White House spokesman did not respond to questions about whether anyone in the building was trying to defend Trump, who was now the subject of half of the presidential impeachments in the nation's history. One campaign adviser, Jason Miller, argued Democrats’ efforts will serve to galvanize the Republican base behind Trump and end up harming Biden. He blamed the Democrats’ swift pace for the silence, saying there wasn’t “time for mounting a traditional response operation.” But he pledged that “the real battle will be the Senate where there’ll be a more traditional pushback effort.” The reminders of the Capitol siege were everywhere as the House moved toward the impeachment roll call. Some of the Capitol’s doors were broken and windows were shattered. A barricade had gone up around outside the building and there were new checkpoints. Hundreds of members of the National Guard patrolled the hallways, even sleeping on the marble floors of the same rotunda that once housed Abraham Lincoln’s casket. And now the Capitol is the site of more history, adding to the chapter that features Clinton, impeached 21 years ago for lying under oath about sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and Andrew Johnson, impeached 151 years ago for defying Congress on Reconstruction. Another entry is for Richard Nixon, who avoided impeachment by resigning during the Watergate investigation. But Trump, the only one impeached twice, will once more be alone. ___ Lemire reported from New York. Jonathan Lemire, Jill Colvin And Zeke Miller, The Associated Press