A prisoner has been found guilty of murdering one of Britain's worst paedophiles, Richard Huckle.
A prisoner has been found guilty of murdering one of Britain's worst paedophiles, Richard Huckle.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed a flagship election reform bill on Wednesday that would update voting procedures and require states to turn over the task of redrawing congressional districts to independent commissions. The legislation, numbered "H.R. 1" for the importance Democrats attach to it, "is designed to restore the voices of Americans who felt left out and locked out for too long," its original sponsor, Representative John Sarbanes, said in remarks outside the U.S. Capitol before the vote. The bill is one of many the House Democrats are voting on early in the Congress on a number of priorities, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, policing and the environment.
A man who runs an airsoft gun supply business on P.E.I. says he will have to close his shop if the federal government's Bill C-21 on firearms passes. Andrew Hardy runs Andy's Airsoft, which sells airsoft guns, a type of replica gun used in the competitive team shooting sport called airsoft. Airsoft guns are similar to paintball guns, but instead shoot small plastic or biodegradable pellets. Often, they are designed to look like genuine firearms. "Ninety per cent of airsoft guns look like some form of real gun or other, and that's what the bill bans," Hardy told host Mitch Cormier on Island Morning. "So essentially, airsoft will be banned in Canada. There's really only one or two models that don't look like real guns and they're not very popular. So it'll kill my store." Hardy is part of an airsoft group on P.E.I. that he said has between 130 and 140 members. He said he and others involved in the sport are trying to educate politicians about how the proposed bill will affect them. Talk to us. Don't just ban us outright without even giving us a chance to show our say. — Andrew Hardy, owner of Andy's Airsoft "A lot of the politicians we talked to have never even heard of airsoft, don't know what it's really for. They don't realize that we play it as a sport," said Hardy. Andrew Hardy says a lot of politicians he's spoken with don't know about the airsoft sport or the people who play it. (Submitted by Andrew Hardy) "There's thousands of players all over Canada and hundreds of stores, lots of people ... getting into it." A written statement to CBC News from the federal Department of Justice said that only airsoft guns that "exactly resemble a regulated firearm" are affected by the bill. "Expanding the prohibition on replica firearms to also include airguns that exactly resemble a regulated firearm would address a gap in the law and protect public safety," the statement reads in part. Charlottetown Liberal MP Sean Casey told Cormier there are good reasons to include replica firearms in Bill C-21, but he believes, after speaking with Hardy, that the bill as it stands goes too far. MP says bill 'overreaches' "The problem with replica guns is that when the police see one of these, it's impossible to differentiate between a replica gun and the actual gun, and they have to treat the situation as if it is an actual gun," said Casey. "It isn't just the military-style assault replicas that are being banned by this bill; it's anything that resembles a firearm … An airsoft replica of a hunting rifle is banned, and that's wrong and that's overreaching," he said. Hardy said he doesn't sell airsoft guns to anyone under 18. The airsoft game uses small biodegradable pellets.(Joe Pavia/CBC) When he sells one, he said he goes over the safety issues with his customers, and explains that it's a federal offence to scare the public with it. He also encourages people to keep the airsoft gun in its box or hidden away unless it's in use. "As long as it's not being seen — like, if you're in the Walmart parking lot and you got it in the backseat, of course, that can cause concern," said Hardy. "You just want to always make sure it's in a box or in the case, unless you're on the paintball field, out to play." Seller wants to 'keep playing our sport' Hardy would like to see the federal government amend the bill. "Amend it just to give airsoft a little hole, a little place to live so that we can keep playing our sport," he said. "Talk to us. Don't just ban us outright without even giving us a chance to [have] our say." Casey said the bill was introduced into Parliament on second reading on Feb. 26, and if it passes, it will go to committee for a detailed study. "It's at that stage where people like Andrew Hardy and those in the airsoft business will have an opportunity to come before the public safety committee to lay out their concerns, to suggest changes to make the bill better," said Casey. "And quite frankly, I hope that their input will result in some common-sense changes to the bill." More from CBC P.E.I.
Most kids are introduced to probability math by rolling dice over and over on a desk or floor. But Maureen Richardson’s Grade 3 class will learn the likelihood of rolling snake eyes (hint: it’s low) by programming a small hand-held device to display numbers on a screen at the push of a button. “Instead of just going and getting a bag of dice ... we can code a dice or coin flipper,” she said. “They’re learning code, but we’re using it as a tool to help us with our math.” Richardson, a teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Elementary School in Waterdown, is using code to teach her Grade 3 class everything from probability and temperature to spelling to social-emotional skills. Thanks to Microsoft and Fair Chance Learning, a Canadian company working to bring technology to classrooms, Richardson has a class set of micro:bits, which are minicomputers “the size of a child’s palm” — about $25 each — that she uses to teach kids the basics of coding. “When they get a device in front of them, their eyes light up,” she said. “They’re excited about it.” Richardson uses block coding, a language in which Lego-like bricks are connected to create commands. “You just sort of click and drag the code that you need over into the workspace and that’s how they write their code,” she said. “It’s very simple.” In the fall, Richardson introduced the class to coding through a simple activity: programing the micro:bit to “write” letters in the device’s 25 LED lights. “When you start the program, it will then spell their name based on the blocks they put it in the order,” she said. “It’s just teaching them that each of these little blocks connect together.” Once they mastered the device’s functions, the students could practise spelling other words using the device. Other activities include programming the micro:bit, which has a temperature sensor, to act as a thermometer, coding happy — or sad — faces to express emotion and using the built-in accelerometer as a step-counter to measure physical activity. “We know that’s what’s ahead for them, that coding will be part of their jobs in the future,” said Richardson, who has two daughters in post-secondary STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs. “Knowing what their career path is like, I thought, ‘You might as well start introducing them now.’” Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
The Healthy School Foods Program has adjusted its menu this term to offer items more familiar to Island students. “Some families loved the old menu,” said Katelyn McLean, the registered dietitian who has been leading the program. “But maybe the menu items were a bit too unfamiliar, especially in rural areas.” As a food literacy initiative, last semester’s pay-what-you-can lunch menu included items intended to introduce students to new ingredients and foods such as butter chicken, hummus or taco bowls. Some of the lesser known items discouraged some students from ordering the meals rather than trying new foods, according to Ms MacLean. Through talking with parents and students, she has witnessed, the definition of familiar food varies greatly in the province. “When we were developing the new menu and asking some students what they thought, we tried chili with a roll. One of the students had never heard of chili before. This student was in Grade 6.” Ms MacLean explained that the menu will continue to offer foods that are new to some. Providing hot, healthy foods daily even if they are familiar is still a component of food literacy. The pay-what-you-can model continues to ensure equitable access to healthy food for all students. This may be even more crucial as families deal with economic fallout from the pandemic. Ms MacLean didn’t have specific numbers but families paying the full price of $5 for a meal is less than projected. “There are a lot of factors going into that. One being we launched this program in the middle of a pandemic,” she said. Overall the program has been well received. Local vendors had served more than 235,000 meals to Island students by the program’s 24th week running in February. Jayme Brown, Marlee Howlett and Lauren Howlett, Grade 7 students at Souris Regional School have all tried the lunches. They say the program is something that should definitely continue. “It’s great to have a reasonable price for lunches that are good quality,” said Marlee who knows not everyone in her school can afford a cafeteria meal every day. “Some of it is amazing; for the most part it is really good,” Lauren said. Occasionally Lauren has skipped items that didn’t personally appeal to her. “There was a stir-fry I just wouldn’t eat,” she said. The group, however, loves items such as pulled pork and potatoes or spaghetti. They all noted the menu appears to have improved over time. Ms MacLean said that could be attributed to vendors getting used to the flow of things or to the work necessary to come up with a new menu and with Canada’s Smartest Kitchen. Canada’s Smartest Kitchen helped Ms MacLean and her team to thoroughly review what students would like and helped to refine recipe instructions right down to the weights of each ingredient. Jack Kristinsin is in Grade 3 at Souris Regional. After finishing a meal he approved of (carrots, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy) he said he likes the lunches most of the time because he gets a nice hot meal rather than a sandwich that gets “squished” in his lunch box. Just as his peers said, Jack doesn’t like all of the meals. Chloe LaBrech, in Grade 12, says she likes the convenience of pre-ordering online. She doesn’t have to rush in the morning to make a lunch and cafeteria food can be expensive. Ms MacLean sees improving food literacy and maximizing the program’s potential as a marathon of work rather than a sprint. “It’s something that will evolve.” Ms MacLean looks forward to reviewing Island schools’ curriculum and identifying gaps that could be filled. Right now Food Literacy items are learned in science, health, home economics and cooking classes. “I think we’ve already done a good job of incorporating nutrition information and the Canada Food Guide information into the curriculum,” she said. Other areas of Food Literacy could likely use some attention, Ms MacLean said. “Where does our food come from, how do you grow it? How do you prepare it? How does a potato get from the ground to our plate?” She expects Island students could gain a better understanding of answers to these questions. Right now various local food vendors make and deliver the hot meals to most Island schools. However a non-profit has been developed and its board is looking to hire and organize staff to prepare and deliver the meals possibly by September. Ms MacLean said a variety of models may work in tandem next year. Some vendors may continue to provide the meals alongside the non-profits. Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic
TORONTO — CBS All Access will be renamed Paramount Plus on Thursday, which brings heaps of new streaming programming to its U.S. subscribers, but not Canadian customers.A representative for ViacomCBS says while American audiences will have access to a library of Paramount films on the platform, as well as TV series from Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Showtime and Comedy Central, none of those options will be available north of the border.Instead, the Canadian rebrand to Paramount Plus is little more than a logo change, at least for now.Michelle Alban, vice president of communications for the Canadian market at ViacomCBS, said programming announcements are expected at an undetermined future date.It's another twist in the increasingly complex world of streaming rights for Canadian viewers.Last week, ViacomCBS executives pulled out all the stops for the revamp and rename of the U.S. streaming platform. More than 50 new productions were announced for the streaming service in the coming years. They include original series based on popular Paramount films, among them "Fatal Attraction," "Flashdance" and "The Italian Job." But whether those shows wind up on Paramount Plus in Canada is still unclear.Several years ago, leadership at ViacomCBS began selling off licensing rights to its marquee CBS All Access original series, including "Star Trek: Discovery" and "Star Trek: Picard."Those shows went to Canadian broadcaster Bell Media who first aired them on traditional TV channels before they appeared on Crave, its own streaming platform. Others were acquired by fellow streamers.That left CBS All Access with the leftovers of its own service in Canada, a handful of less memorable shows such as a remake of "The Twilight Zone" and "Why Women Kill."With its new life under the Paramount Plus brand, the streaming platform's future is still to be charted in Canada.For now, Paramount Plus will be absent of Hollywood movies and largely house older TV series, such as "Beverly Hills 90210," "Taxi," "The Brady Bunch" and "I Love Lucy," and a live feed of CBS News.A commercial-free subscription to Paramount Plus will remain at its current price of $5.99 a month in Canada.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. David Friend, The Canadian Press
A civic by-election to fill the seat vacated by former Richmond councillor Kelly Greene will cost $716,504. Greene, who was elected to the provincial legislature as a member of the governing NDP by winning the Richmond-Steveston MLA seat last fall, vacated her council seat late last year. The estimated cost is higher than the 2018 general election mainly because of a mail-in voting provision. That adds another $150,000, while a further $55,000 covers pandemic-related costs—particularly cleaning supplies. “The fact that we only have one vacancy, and it’s only for about a year, doesn’t mean that it’s of lesser importance and for that reason I don’t think we should compromise anything for the integrity of the by-election,” said Coun. Chak Au, who was in favour of the proposal. “We all find the cost distasteful,” added Coun. Linda McPhail, who also voted in favour of the proposed by-election despite its cost. City staff also presented a scaled-down option that would have cost $540,000. But it failed to include a mail-in voting option. Only people who have a physical disability that affects their ability to vote, or people who will be away from Richmond during the entire voting period, would be able to vote by mail. Councillors disagreed on the projected cost at a February finance committee meeting. In response to queries, city staff confirmed that legislation dictates the availability of advance voting as well as a sufficient number of voting places. In a report to council, staff said they will aim to spend less than the budgeted amount, but that “sufficient funding must be in place to ensure for the integrity of the election,” as well as for the health and safety of all people involved. Coun. Carol Day was in support of referring staff to take another look at possibly bringing the budget down. “I agree that the election is important,” she said. “Our hands are tied behind our back—we have to have one. But I just don’t think voter turnout’s going to be that great, and the smart thing to do is to take a step backwards on this one, and then let’s run a full 100 per cent effective election in 2022.” While Coun. Harold Steves and Coun. Michael Wolfe were in support of the referral motion, the rest of council was opposed and the main motion, including its cost, passed. The current targeted date for an election is May 29. Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
SoftBank-backed British fund Greensill Capital is in talks to sell large parts of its business after losing the backing of two asset managers who underpinned parts of its multi-billion dollar supply chain financing model. WHAT IS SUPPLY CHAIN FINANCE? Supply chain financing, often also referred to as reverse factoring, is a method by which companies can get cash from banks and funds such as Greensill Capital to pay their suppliers without having to dip into their working capital.
An investigation is underway after a woman died and a man suffered life-threatening injuries in a head-on crash in North Vancouver last night. The two-car collision, which police believe involved a drunk driver, happened just before midnight Tuesday (March 2) at Low Level Road, west of the Neptune Cargill Overpass. Sgt. Peter DeVries, spokesman for North Vancouver RCMP, said officers received a call just after 11 p.m. from BC Emergency Health Services alerting them to the crash. He said RCMP officers arrived to what appeared to be a head-on collision and District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services were on scene extinguishing a fire that had started up in one of the vehicles. A woman and a man were travelling together eastbound in one vehicle when a westbound vehicle, an Audi, driven by a man, appears to have crossed the centre line, according to DeVries. He said the details of how the crash occurred were still being determined. “Unfortunately, the female died as a result of the collision and she was initially brought to a local hospital [Lions Gate Hospital], but she was soon after pronounced dead,” he said. “The male occupant in the same vehicle was brought to VGH for serious injuries and remains in critical condition. We're not sure at this point whether or not the person will survive.” DeVries said the male who was driving the Audi was taken to LGH with serious but non-life threatening injuries. He said the driver of the Audi is now being investigated for dangerous driving and refusal to provide a breath sample. “It looks like this is going to be an impaired driving investigation,” DeVries said. “We do believe alcohol was involved, but we're still in the very early stages of the investigation. "As the investigation continues, officers will work to uncover all available evidence pointing to the cause of this collision." DeVries said it had been "a very sad morning." "We know that this woman’s family and friends are grieving today, that in the coming days and weeks, they will be faced with the difficult task of coping with a tragic loss," he said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with them." Low Level Road was closed this morning (March 3) between East 3rd Street and St. Andrews Avenue due to the police investigation, but has since reopened. Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News
Madeline experiences her first encounter with a battery-powered Dachshund toy dog. Priceless!
The couple said they were "so happy" to support the Influence Mentoring program.
Dr. Heather Morrison says she is glad to have another weapon in her COVID-19 arsenal now that the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has been approved for use in people under 65. "Every vaccine is good for us and we will use it," she said in a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. In addition to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Canada has also approved vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said it is up to the provinces and territories to determine who is best placed to get which vaccines, but all are safe and effective in reducing serious illness and death connected to COVID-19. Premier Dennis King said he told Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a discussion Tuesday that P.E.I. is ready to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. "I confirmed to him that P.E.I. wants to get as many people vaccinated as fast as we possibly can to get through this and that we would gladly be accepting the AstraZeneca vaccine and putting in in the rotation through public health." Morrison said the first shipments of the new vaccine should arrive within the next week. Not recommended for those over 65 The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended against using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people older than 65. Morrison said initially, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be reserved for "younger healthy adults that are front-line essential workers in certain categories." Morrison reiterated that she'd like to see at least 80 per cent of P.E.I.'s adult population — which would be just over 100,000 Islanders — choose to get vaccinated with one of the vaccines. "We know we will have enough vaccine," she said. More from CBC P.E.I.
SNC-Lavalin told the city in January that its work on extending the Trillium Line was almost four months behind schedule, which — if not rectified — means the rail expansion likely wouldn't be complete until early 2023, CBC News has learned. This week, senior managers with the city's rail office have indicated that the contractor on the $1.6-billion Trillium Line project has been experiencing schedule "challenges" and "pressures," adding that the city is working with the company to try to fix the issues. But neither Michael Morgan, the city's rail director, nor John Manconi, the city's general manager of transportation, have publicly described the scope of SNC-Lavalin's reported delays, despite knowing about them since January. In a 500-plus page schedule update report to the city dated Jan. 15, 2021, SNC-Lavalin stated that "the analysis indicates 116 days of delay" to the scheduled substantial completion date. Construction is ongoing at the Carleton University Trillium Line station. The contractor told the city in January that it was 116 days behind schedule, which could push the rail system reopening into 2023.(City of Ottawa) According to the city's contract with TransitNEXT, a subsidiary of SNC-Lavalin, the Trillium Line is supposed to reach substantial completion on Aug. 10, 2022. The city would still require more time before opening the system to the public, but it was always expected that the the Trillium Line, which serves Carleton University, would be operating in time for the start of the school year. Based solely on the contractor's current predictions, the rail line wouldn't be open until the start of 2023. The Trillium Line project is not officially delayed at this point. No LRT2 update for months Until this week, there has not been an official update on the O-Train extension program in almost four months. The last report was the third-quarter update that was released electronically in November 2020. An update to the December meeting of council's finance and economic development committee was withdrawn. Nor was there any update to the committee at its next meeting in February, although the city's rail office would have been in receipt of SNC-Lavalin's updated schedule. The first update of the LRT situation was Monday of this week. In a memo to councillors, Morgan wrote: "The Trillium Line team has indicated schedule impacts which are now under review. The City is working with TransitNEXT to confirm whether the delays will be fully realized and to confirm if the delays can be reasonably mitigated. The handover of the system is still scheduled for 2022." Ottawa rail construction director Michael Morgan, shown here in a 2019 photo, told councillors late Tuesday that the city is doing its own analysis of the Trillium Line schedule.(CBC) In the same memo, Morgan indicated that the East-West Connectors — the consortium building extending the Confederation Line — has had "schedule pressures," but that they have been "resolved." According to the contract, the scheduled substantial completion date for the eastern extension of the Confederation Line is Nov. 26, 2024 and for the western extension, May 25, 2025. Late-night FEDco report It wasn't until Tuesday at almost 10 p.m. that Morgan gave councillors an in-person update on the LRT Phase 2 progress. It followed an 11-hour joint-meeting of the finance and community and protective services committees. The first item at the FEDco meeting — chaired by Mayor Jim Watson — was an in-camera session to hear an update on the city's ongoing legal dispute with the contractor of the first phase of the Confederation Line. WATCH | Rail director says SNC-Lavalin previously disclosed delays: Morgan told councillors that the city doesn't just accept SNC-Lavalin's timeline, and has its own scheduling experts studying the projections. The city's believes the project could be behind as little as 40 days but, said Morgan, that analysis has "many qualifications and assumptions." He said he'd provide an update to the construction schedule in a month or two. Mayor Watson asked whether the section between Bayview to South Keys stations could operate before the entire line was open if the Trillium Line was delayed for "legitimate reasons." "We haven't contemplated it at this point," said Morgan, adding his team would look into the possibility. In a statement emailed to CBC, a spokesperson for SNC-Lavalin said the Trillium Line expansion project was deemed an essential service during the pandemic. "The impacts related to manufacturing and the supply chain have been significant for our project as well as construction projects across the province," they said. The company will try to mitigate schedule delays wherever it can, according to the email.
OTTAWA — Efforts to boost Canada's ability to produce vaccines are among over 100 research projects receiving new federal money. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $518 million Wednesday he says will support the work of nearly 1,000 researchers. The projects receiving the cash also include ocean sensors to track climate change and setting up a digital archive to house records related to residential schools. The vaccine-related funding will be directed to the researchers from the Universite Laval-affiliated hospitals in Quebec City. Their aim is to create a public vaccine production program that will help develop and test vaccines and launch related startup companies. Frustration that Canada is reliant on foreign manufacturers to access the COVID-19 vaccine has led to calls to boost Canada's domestic capabilities. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
Humber- Bay of Islands Independent candidate Eddie Joyce has fired back at Placentia- St. Mary’s Liberal candidate Sherry Gambin-Walsh for comments made in a recent article published in The Shoreline. The Shoreline had asked Gambin-Walsh how two political scandals in which she was invovled may affect her campaign. The first was the complaint she filed against Joyce, then the Liberal Minister of Municipal Affairs, in 2018, in which she accused him of bullying and harassment. Commissioner for legislative standards Bruce Chaulk (who has recently been thrust into the spotlight in his role as Chief Electoral Officer for the current election) filed a report which found Joyce to have indeed broken government’s code of conduct. Following the harassment complaints, Joyce was removed from the Liberal caucus by then premier Dwight Ball. Joyce would go on to run as an Independent in the 2019 election, and win the seat which he formerly held as a Liberal. Gambin-Walsh was also re-elected in the 2019 election, but then, just over a year later, was removed from cabinet in April 2020 as the RCMP launched a criminal investigation into allegations that she leaked cabinet documents. She was swiftly removed from her position as Minister of Service NL though she remained MHA of the district. In September, the RCMP announced that Gambin-Walsh broke cabinet confidentially by leaking information to a senior police officer in the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary but that she would not be charged criminally. Premier Andrew Furey however did not appoint her to cabinet. Gambin-Walsh said while she was fully prepared to answer questions on the door about the RCMP investigation, constituents were more interested to hear about the Joyce situation. “The 2018 situation with MHA Joyce, that got a bit of attention, and people were very curious and did ask me a fair bit about that. They are interested in bullying and harassment though. And they’re happy that I spoke up against it,” said Gambin-Walsh during the initial interview. Joyce, who still denies the allegations of bullying, took exception to the comments, and said that Gambin-Walsh was highlighting one scandal over another. “This was a police investigation about where she leaked cabinet documents about stuff that was happening in cabinet, which broke her oath, which undermined the whole cabinet process and all of her colleagues,” said Joyce. He also challenged Gambin-Walsh on her commitment to a project in the district, specifically the long-awaited Placentia swimming pool. “She should be talking about why she’s not supporting the swimming pool,” said Joyce. In 2015, the provincial government announced a $30 million program for four significant community projects through amendments to the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement. One of those projects was a pool for Placentia, for which the local Lions Club had been fundraising for a number of years. The pool was to be built as an extension on the Unity PARC Arena. Joyce said the cost for that pool is now estimated to be about $9 million, and criticized Gambin-Walsh, and the provincial government, for not making the project a priority. “She’s not supporting it, the provincial government is not supporting it; the town council are supporting it, the federal government have committed that they will,” said Joyce. The last funding announcement came in 2018, when the province announced joint funding of $7.8 million ($3.6 million in provincial, up to $2.6 million federally, and $1.6 million municipally) this time for a fitness centre, which would incorporate the swimming pool. Gambin-Walsh, meanwhile, in the initial interview with The Shoreline, said that she acknowledged residents’ concerns about the increased cost of the fitness centre. She also, when asked her thoughts on Premier Andrew Furey’s leadership capabilities, noted his commitment to healthy living and that the Placentia centre would become an example of that commitment. Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
OTTAWA — Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing anti-Semitism concerns ahead of a public conversation between NDP MP Niki Ashton and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.The heads of the Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs and the Board of Deputies of British Jews say Corbyn is "toxic" and that the planned livestream talk between him and Ashton risks pulling New Democrats in a direction "antithetical" to Canadian values.Corbyn was booted from the British Labour party in October amid accusations he had weakened efforts to stamp out anti-Semitism.The party has been grappling with allegations anti-Semitism was allowed to fester under Corbyn, a longtime supporter of Palestinians and a critic of Israel who led the party for almost five years from 2015. Ashton has been promoting the March 20 chat, which will be hosted by Progressive International, an organization launched in 2018 by U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Canadian author Naomi Klein and other progressive politicians and activists.Ashton and the NDP did not respond immediately to requests for comment.This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021.—With a file from The Associated Press The Canadian Press
CHARLOTTETOWN — Health officials in Prince Edward Island say there is no evidence of widespread community transmission and the health orders that closed schools and most non-essential businesses for three days will end at midnight Wednesday. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison told reporters that health officials haven't identified the source of an outbreak on the Island. But, she said, officials believe "there is a link" between the cluster of cases in Summerside and Charlottetown that led them to impose a three-day lockdown. "All new cases detected over the weekend are linked to other cases and close contacts or to travel outside of the province," Morrison said. "We are not seeing unlinked cases and there is no evidence of widespread community transmission." Premier Dennis King said the 11,000 COVID-19 tests conducted since the weekend provide confidence restrictions can be eased. "These are decisions we are comfortable in making because of the information we have gained through the testing," King said Wednesday. "We encourage Islanders to remain extremely vigilant and to continue to practise public health protocols, not just for your own safety but for the safety of all Islanders," he added. Morrison reported one new case of COVID-19 Wednesday, involving a woman in her 20s who is a close contact of a previously reported case. The woman has mild symptoms and is self-isolating. Morrison said results from about 800 tests are still pending, so there may be more positive cases. There are 22 active reported cases in the province — the highest number since the start of the pandemic. She said the three-day modified red alert gave officials time to determine the extent of the outbreak and to interrupt the chain of transmission. Starting Thursday, the province returns to the circuit-breaker measures announced last Saturday, which will remain in place until 8 a.m. on March 14. Each household can identify up to six consistent individuals to gather with. Organized gatherings are limited to 50 people and include concerts, worship services, movie theatre viewings, weddings and funerals. Fitness facilities, museums, libraries and retail stores can operate at up to 50 per cent of standard operating capacity. Morrison said the province expects to get the first shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the next week. King said he spoke to the prime minister Tuesday and told him P.E.I. will gladly accept the newly approved vaccine. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy's office and a political blogger have agreed to settle a lawsuit over access to Dunleavy's news conferences. Under terms of the agreement, the governor's office agreed to pay $65,000 in attorneys' fees and costs. Jeff Landfield, who owns The Alaska Landmine website, said his attorneys will receive the full amount. Landfield sued in December, alleging he was improperly excluded from Dunleavy media events. Settlement terms were disclosed Tuesday along with a filing by state attorneys seeking to dismiss the case, the Anchorage Daily News reported. The dismissal request also was signed by an attorney for Landfield. Under the agreement, Landfield would get “the same access” at gubernatorial press conferences as other members of the media. There was no admission of liability or wrongdoing, and Dunleavy's office and Landfield will work to "issue a joint public statement regarding the amicable nature of this settlement.” U.S. District Court Judge Joshua Kindred in January granted an injunction requiring Dunleavy to invite Landfield to news conferences. The state appealed, but the settlement would render that moot. The parties have asked Kindred to sign off on the dismissal request. Dunleavy's press office in a tweet said the matter had been "settled to the mutual satisfaction of both parties. We are happy to say this amicable settlement will put this dispute behind us.” The Associated Press
ST. MARY’S – The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s is balking at a proposal that would hike the annual fee it pays to the Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) by 40 per cent, said the community’s Chief Administrative Officer Marvin MacDonald. The response follows the Municipality of the District of Guysborough’s objection last week to a possible request from ECRL for more money to maintain operations there. In an interview, MacDonald said St. Mary’s pays ECRL, which operates nine branches in eastern Nova Scotia, about $17,000 a year for the Sherbrooke location. Now, he said, it wants “around $24,000” starting in the next fiscal year, which begins April 1. What’s more, he said, it’s not clear whether ECRL will restore the hours of operation at the branch to 25 per week, from the reduced COVID-19 level of 15, once the crisis is over. “We have concerns around the costs for the library services and the hours of operation,” he said. “We already contribute to the Eastern Counties Regional Library just under $17,000 dollars a year. We own the building; we provide the heat and electricity, and the maintenance for the library. They are talking about jumping us up to $24,000 a year.” He added: “Prior to COVID, we were getting 25 hours of service. That’s been reduced, and that’s understandable. Now, we’re concerned that those hours will be cut even more… in the next budget … in the next fiscal year.” In an email, ECRL CEO Laura Emery said, “We’re working on a media release regarding our funding in the 2021-2022 budget and will release that as soon as it is ready.” But, according to documents she supplied, the annual “cost of geographic service” in St. Mary’s is higher than the district’s annual contribution – the former amounting to just less than $25,000 a year. “The Municipality of the District of St. Mary’s annual contribution is put toward the annual fixed staffing costs for the Sherbrooke Branch Library,” she added in the email. “There is one Library Assistant based at the Sherbrooke Branch Library.” The ECRL said the problem is not restricted to St. Mary’s. Its documents state that in 2020-21, the cost of service to the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, County of Richmond and Town of Port Hawkesbury also outstripped local government contributions. But MacDonald said St. Mary’s is also perplexed about the way ECRL – whose major funding (73 per cent) comes from the provincial government – allocates the money it receives. “What they are getting from the province, they are using for head office expenses and the cost of supplying the books,” he said. “So, none of that money from the provincial government is going towards the actual operation … the people on the ground running the library service.” A detailed budget breakdown from Emery shows that – for the fiscal year ending March 31 – ECRL’s bottom line was expected to be neutral: revenues and expenses were each pegged at $1,283,522 (up from $1,136,736 the previous year). Revenues included provincial contributions of: $811,800 (operating grant); $46,800 (equity grant); $93,500 (French grant); and $80,000 (on-demand, or Innovation Fund, grant). Municipal contributions amounted to $231,900, while other sources were $19,522. General expenses of $1,200,088 included: $749,530 for payroll; $118,555 for library materials; $115,074 for building and janitorial costs; $82,000 for “innovation projects”; $27,000 for board and staff travel, training and occupational health and safety; and $22,573 for professional services and memberships The documents also include a number of “efficiency statistics” related to ECRL’s operations. In 2018-19, for example, ECRL’s 27-member staff (all nine branches) registered among the lowest in expenses per hour ($61.99) among the province’s nine public library systems. It also posted the fourth-greatest number of hours open. MacDonald said that St. Mary’s staff and council members – one of whom, Everett Baker (District 7), sits on ECRL’s board – became aware of the library’s budget arguments, rationale and priorities in January. “We saw their agendas, and have been having a lot of behind-the-scenes discussions with them since then,” he said. “We’ve been getting correspondence at our staff level from their staff level … We know they think we’re not paying our fair share. Our position is that we are.” The Sherbrooke branch occupies the former Royal Bank building in the community’s downtown area. According to the ECRL’s website, “The building was donated to the District of St. Mary’s in 1994 and was renovated by the municipality through the N.S. Department of Education and Culture’s Library Capital Funding program.” MacDonald said neither St. Mary’s staff nor council has received an official letter from the ECRL on the matter. As a result, he said, “Council has not decided to send a letter [to ECRL] yet. It is up to council if they want to send a letter of concern or if they just want to pay the money. Council has to make a decision on that. That is yet to be determined.” Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Un projet de location d’espaces commerciaux se dessine dans l’ancienne usine d’Agropur de Chambord. Des promoteurs du Lac-Saint-Jean ont déposé une offre afin d’acquérir le complexe fermé depuis une vingtaine d’années. L’usine désaffectée, fermée depuis 2002 et située en bordure de la route 169 dans la petite municipalité jeannoise, serait convertie en espaces locatifs commerciaux qui pourraient accueillir différents types d’entreprises. Le projet prendrait une forme semblable à celui du Complexe BC de Saint-Prime, a expliqué en entrevue le maire de Chambord, Luc Chiasson. Des entrepreneurs y ont transformé l’ancienne usine des Industries Tanguay en condominium d’affaires, après avoir acquis le bâtiment en 2015. Les élus de Chambord ont adopté, lundi soir, lors de la séance du conseil municipal, une modification réglementaire au schéma d’aménagement de la MRC du Domaine-du-Roy afin de permettre divers usages commerciaux demandés par le groupe de promoteurs privés intéressés par le terrain zoné industriel. « On a décidé d’aller de l’avant là-dessus, puisque ça peut prendre quand même plusieurs mois, a indiqué le maire Chiasson, au sujet des étapes administratives liées à de telles modifications. Et dans le cas, par exemple, où le projet n’irait pas de l’avant, ça rouvre plusieurs possibilités pour d’autres personnes. » Le site pourrait être utilisé pour des commerces reliés à l’automobile, à la vente ou encore à la location d’équipements, peut-on lire dans la résolution qui vise à offrir un « éventail de possibilités locatives ». La vente de machinerie lourde, de matériaux de construction, des bureaux de vente de chalets préfabriqués et de maisons, l’offre de services agricoles ou animaliers, de services de construction, de transport par camion, d’entreposage et d’entretien, de services routiers ou encore du commerce de gros seraient également permis dans les installations, parmi les nombreuses possibilités d’usages ajoutées. Les promoteurs préfèrent demeurer discrets et ne pas prendre la parole publiquement en attente des développements du projet, a-t-on indiqué au Quotidien. Une promesse d’achat et d’autres acheteurs potentiels Une autre étape du projet pourrait être franchie prochainement, alors qu’une promesse d’achat a été acceptée par le propriétaire de l’ancienne usine d’Agropur, Bélanger Métal, une entreprise qui oeuvrait dans la récupération de métaux à Trois-Rivières. Cette offre est toutefois conditionnelle, notamment, aux résultats de tests de contamination des sols, dont l’analyse est en cours, a précisé le courtier immobilier Rémi Leclerc, qui est en charge du dossier. Il a espoir qu’une transaction pourra être conclue d’ici juin. « Ils sont avancés, ils ont vérifié pour le financement », a-t-il indiqué, en parlant des promoteurs au cœur du projet, qui sont des membres d’une même famille. L’ancienne usine suscite de l’intérêt depuis sa mise en vente, il y a un an et demi. Une dizaine de visites ont eu lieu, dont de promoteurs de l’extérieur de la région. D’autres acheteurs potentiels sont également prêts à aller de l’avant si la présente promesse d’achat tombe à l’eau, mentionne M. Leclerc. Vols et vandalisme sur le site Cet intérêt est lié au bas prix du complexe, qui intrigue plusieurs acheteurs. Le site industriel désaffecté est à vendre au coût de 399 000 $, sous l’évaluation municipale de 463 500 $. Un prix qui s’explique par l’état du bâtiment. « C’est sûr que c’est une usine qui vaut 15 ou 20 M$, mais là, il n’y a rien dedans, laisse tomber Rémi Leclerc. L’électrique ; tout est arraché. Il n’y a plus rien, tout est cassé, tout est fini. » Des vols et du vandalisme ont défiguré l’intérieur du complexe industriel, au cours des dernières années, a expliqué le courtier immobilier, depuis que Bélanger Métal a cessé d’utiliser les lieux pour ses activités de traitement des métaux. Bélanger Métal a d’ailleurs cessé ses opérations dans le domaine à Trois-Rivières en 2019, en vendant ses actifs à AIM. Son président, Guy Bélanger, est aujourd’hui à la retraite. La Sûreté du Québec confirme de son côté que des dossiers pour des introductions par effraction, vols de cuivre et méfaits ont été ouverts dans les dernières années dans ce secteur industriel à Chambord. Plusieurs projets depuis 20 ans Le maire de Chambord, Luc Chiasson, espère que cette fois-ci sera la bonne, alors que les projets se sont succédé, depuis une vingtaine d’années, pour le site, sans jamais se concrétiser et donner un second souffle à l’ancienne usine d’Agropur. « On a eu en décembre notre cadeau de Noël avec la réouverture de Norbord, c’est sûr que si on avait une autre réouverture de ce côté-là, ça serait vraiment une très belle nouvelle », a souligné celui qui compte d’ailleurs solliciter un deuxième mandat lors des élections municipales à l’automne. Myriam Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien