With Kevin MacKay.
With Kevin MacKay.
Le 7 septembre dernier, un chauffard fauche une dame d’origine chinoise à Brossard. Même si le Service de police de Longueuil (SPVL) assure que l’homicide n’a aucun lien avec l’origine de la victime, le doute court parmi la communauté chinoise de la Rive-Sud. « Il y a une perte du sens de sécurité », confie la directrice générale du centre sino-Québec, Xixi Li. « Les enfants doivent faire attention quand ils marchent sur le trottoir, assure-t-elle. Les gens craignent de sortir durant la soirée. » D’habitude discrets, les membres de la communauté chinoise ne cherchent « pas de provocation avec les autres », mentionne pourtant Mme Li. « Je n’ai jamais vécu une situation comme ça. J’ai toujours pensé que j’étais une Québécoise ou une Canadienne, mais dans ce moment, je suis Chinoise. C’est plate. » Informé de ce sentiment, le relationniste du SPVL Ghislain Vallières se dit « surpris », car il indique n’avoir constaté aucune hausse d’agressions à caractère racial envers les Asiatiques. Il compte cependant « demander une plus grande vigilance » de la part du corps policier. Pourtant, depuis le début de la pandémie, la hausse d’agressions se constate bel et bien un peu partout au Québec, selon les administratrices du groupe d’entraide contre le racisme envers les Asiatiques au Québec. Julie Tran, l’une des fondatrices du groupe et résidente de l’Outaouais, dit avoir remarqué un « changement drastique » depuis le début de la crise de la COVID-19. « On ne se sent pas en sécurité d’aller dans une épicerie non asiatique, parce qu’on craint de subir des agressions verbales, soit en région, soit à Montréal. Donc il y a un changement flagrant dans nos vies quotidiennes pour éviter de vivre ces agressions-là, parce qu’on a des appréhensions. » Un chauffeur qui refuse l’entrée à bord à une dame asiatique, une autre femme qui dit avoir reçu des crachats aux visages, un citoyen qui pique une colère sans raison : les témoignages recueillis par le groupe d’entraide sont nombreux et variés. « Ça s’est calmé durant le déconfinement, mais on voit ça encore et encore », ajoute Sarah-Le Côté, une des gestionnaires du groupe fondé en mars dernier. Elle confie avoir reçu le témoignage d’une dame qui, tentant de vendre sa propriété en région, avait écrit une mise en garde aux potentiels acheteurs asiatiques en raison du mauvais traitement qu’elle subissait autour d’elle. « Mon frère travaille à l’hôpital. Quand il entrait dans la chambre des patients, on demandait : “Êtes-vous le coronavirus ?” » raconte une autre membre du groupe, Laura Luu. Selon elle, il ne s’agit que de la « pointe de l’iceberg », car les personnes d’origine asiatique ne sont « pas du tout du genre à rapporter à la police ». Encourager la dénonciation « [Les générations précédentes] ne croient pas qu’on peut combattre le racisme, explique Mme Luu. C’est vraiment une façon de penser de nos parents, une génération qui dit que non, on ne peut rien faire, que ce n’est pas grave alors, qu’il faut laisser passer. Mais notre génération, parce qu’on est nés et élevés ici avec la culture québécoise, croit qu’on a des droits et qu’on pourrait être un peu plus vocaux. On est québécois aussi. » Elle espère que la pandémie saura déclencher une prise de conscience chez la nouvelle génération de Québécois d’origine asiatique. « On essaye de défaire ce mauvais apprentissage, parce que ça nous blesse. Il y a les micro-agressions, on peut l’endurer, mais avec la pandémie, il y a des agressions physiques. C’est devenu plus violent, il faut qu’on réagisse. On ne peut pas laisser passer ça. » Porter plainte à la police constitue une solution, mais Laura Luu invite aussi les parents à discuter de racisme avec leurs enfants, à la manière de la communauté noire dans laquelle « tes parents t’apprennent à dire que si jamais on t’agresse, si on te dit quoique ce soit, ce n’est pas correct, tu réponds ». À Brossard, même si « la solidarité manque », Xixi Li confie avoir reçu des appels et des messages de soutien de la part d’autres Québécois. « Ça nous fait très chaud au cœur. C’est très important pour nous d’avoir une vie harmonieuse avec les autres communautés. » Ces agressions ne semblent d’ailleurs pas généralisées au Québec. Jen Yang, résidente de Québec, indique n’avoir jamais ressenti de discrimination de la part d’autres Québécois. « Je n’ai jamais entendu mes amis chinois parler de ça. Les problèmes de la communauté chinoise sont les mêmes que les autres personnes. » À Drummondville également, dans la « très petite communauté » chinoise, le principal problème vient de la chute des revenus pour les petites entreprises, dit Diane Huang, propriétaire d’un motel. « On va passer à travers », souffle-t-elle. L’organisme Project 1907, qui collige les cas de racisme anti-asiatique partout au Canada, rapporte plus de 600 incidents durant les six premiers mois de la pandémie, dont le tiers impliquant de la violence physique.Jean-Louis Bordeleau, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
La situation sanitaire de l’Alberta va de mal en pis. La province a fait une demande officielle auprès d’Ottawa et de la Croix-Rouge cette semaine afin de fournir des hôpitaux temporaires de campagne et d’éviter la saturation des services de santé. En ce vendredi 4 décembre, l’ambiance est plutôt morose et le moral en berne dans la province des Prairies. L’Alberta continue d’atteindre des records inquiétants, avec 18 243 cas actifs : 533 personnes sont actuellement hospitalisées, dont 99 en soins intensifs, et la maladie a pour le moment fait 590 morts dans la province. Vendredi soir, la médecin en chef de la province, la Dre Deena Hinshaw ne cachait pas son inquiétude dans un tweet : « Il s’agit d’une sombre étape qui devrait nous concerner tous. » Un plan de contingence a été annoncé afin d’éviter que les services de santé ne soient saturés. Pourtant, voilà neuf jours, lors de l’annonce sur l’état d’urgence, Jason Kenney avait indiqué pour la seconde fois que, « si ces mesures ne sont pas couronnées de succès, il sera nécessaire d’en instaurer des plus restrictives ». Comment l’Alberta est-elle arrivée à un point si critique ? « Pour être bien franche, je capote ! J’ai dû arrêter de regarder les points de presse et de lire trop souvent les nouvelles. Je ne comprends pas pourquoi on en est rendus là, alors que tout allait si bien avant octobre », exprime Isabelle Déchène Guay, 46 ans, mère de deux enfants et originaire du Québec. Gestion insatisfaisante Cette Franco-Albertaine d’adoption depuis 20 ans déplore et s’inquiète des décisions prises par le gouvernement en place. « Je ne suis vraiment pas contente de la façon dont le gouvernement Kenney gère la situation. Il est évident qu’il faut se reconfiner et fermer les entreprises, mais il ne veut pas. Pour moi, c’est comme si l’économie valait plus qu’une vie humaine. Je trouve cela déplorable », s’insurge-t-elle. Aujourd’hui, le fossé concernant la pertinence des décisions prises par la province en matière de santé se creuse entre le gouvernement et la population. « Jason Kenney s’obstine à ne faire que des petits pas et à ne pas écouter les conseils des experts. Ce n’est pas comme si lui et le ministre de la Santé, Tyler Shandro, avaient étudié dans le domaine de la santé », ajoute-t-elle. En attendant, les chiffres continuent de grimper. Selon le site de la province, la ville de Calgary enregistre 6666 cas actifs. Quant à Edmonton, elle a déjà passé la barre des 8578 cas. « La situation en Alberta va continuer de s’aggraver, car les restrictions actuelles sont inadéquates », prévient avec certitude le Dr Noël Gibney, ancien urgentiste de l’Alberta et coprésident du comité consultatif de la COVID-19, formé avec l’Association du personnel médical de la zone d’Edmonton. Le Dr Gibney avait déjà vu le coup venir, comme il l’avait partagé au Devoir début novembre, sur la nécessité urgente de confiner à l’instar du Manitoba. Plan de contingence De leur côté, Jason Kenney et son gouvernement sont en train de préparer un plan de contingence au cas où la situation s’aggraverait. En conférence de presse, mercredi, le premier ministre a assuré que l’Alberta n’avait pas encore besoin de l’aide de la Croix-Rouge. Ce plan de contingence ne serait donc qu’une précaution. Or, selon un document interne obtenu par CBC, l’Alberta prévoyait depuis plus d’une semaine la mise en place de ces hôpitaux temporaires, capables d’accueillir une capacité de 750 personnes. Sur les médias sociaux, les commentaires de mécontentement ont fusé après que M. Kenney a pris la parole sur sa page Facebook afin de répondre aux questions des Albertains. On peut y lire : « Hier, Jason Kenney a réagi aux nouvelles concernant les hôpitaux débordés et les infections record de la COVID en spéculant sur les délais de disponibilité des vaccins. En d’autres termes, il parie que Justin Trudeau viendra à son secours. Il joue avec nos vies. » Restrictions Depuis le 24 novembre, l’Alberta est en état d’urgence. Les rassemblements intérieurs ne sont plus autorisés, y compris sur les lieux de travail. Le télétravail est encouragé. Les salles de réception, les centres de congrès et les salles de spectacles restent fermés. Le port du masque est obligatoire à Edmonton, à Calgary et dans les environs. Les élèves du secondaire (de la 7e à la 12e année) suivent leurs cours à distance de la maison. Le non-respect de ces nouvelles mesures entraîne des amendes allant de 1000 à 100 000 dollars.Hélène Lequitte, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
WASHINGTON — One leading candidate for agriculture secretary hails from Cleveland, has the backing of progressives and has worked for years to boost food stamp programs. Another is a former senator from farm-state North Dakota who has championed production agriculture and boasts of a voting record squarely in the middle. Three other possible selections have similarly varied backgrounds — one helped write and implement federal regulations for organic foods, another is California’s agriculture secretary and represented wine grape growers, and a third has spent his career ensuring protections for farm workers. President-elect Joe Biden’s choices for secretary of agriculture are as diverse as the department of 100,000 employees that she or he would represent — and is especially critical this year as USDA provides extra aid for the hungry and oversees food production amid the pandemic. For Biden, the emerging choice between Rep. Marcia Fudge of Ohio, former Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and several other potential candidates seems like another test of his vision for the Democratic Party — a contest between urban and rural and liberals and moderates, with the pick potentially placing an added emphasis on anti-hunger programs, farm subsidies or worker protections. Besides Fudge and Heitkamp, other candidates mentioned for the post — and who have been pushed by some advocacy groups — are Kathleen Merrigan, deputy agriculture secretary under President Barack Obama and one of the architects of federal organic rules; Karen Ross, California’s agriculture secretary, former USDA chief of staff and a former longtime president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers; and Arturo Rodriguez, the former president of the United Farm Workers. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, who served as Obama’s agriculture secretary for eight years, is also being considered. “This isn’t like the secretary of defence where you’re a hawk or a dove,” says Eric Kessler, a Democrat who has long worked around agriculture policy and has been holding private calls with other influencers to speak with some of the possible candidates. “The Department of Agriculture is a massive enterprise that is led by a manager who is dependent on a diverse team of people." And as Biden has said he wants his Cabinet to reflect the country's diversity, Kessler says the decisions on USDA and other agencies will “be driven by lots of factors, not just the individual's specific resume.” The agriculture post has been closely watched as all but two agriculture secretaries in the last 120 years have been white men. If chosen, Fudge would be the first Black woman to lead a department that has for years reckoned with a history of discriminating against both Black people and women. Under Obama, the department paid out more than a billion dollars in a settlement with Black farmers and a smaller amount to female farmers, along with Hispanics and Native Americans who had repeatedly been denied farm loans over many decades. Fudge enjoys the strong backing of South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the No. 3 House Democrat who gave Biden a key nod of support in the primaries. Biden has said he wants a diverse Cabinet, and some Black leaders have said he needs to do more to achieve that. Clyburn has aggressively pushed Fudge for the post, saying Biden should pick someone who “understands the other side of agriculture ... It’s one thing to grow food, but another to dispense it, and nobody would be better at that than Marcia Fudge.? As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, Fudge has fiercely advocated for food stamps and other federal programs that help urban areas stem hunger and grow food. Beyond Clyburn, she has the backing of progressive groups who hope she could turn the department’s focus. In a joint letter to Biden, several of those groups said Fudge "has long been an ally to farmers, food-chain workers, consumers and rural communities.’’ Some unions have also backed her as she has pushed for worker protections in meatpacking plants during the pandemic. Heitkamp is a favourite of farm groups that have worked closely with her and of Democrats who want to improve their outreach to rural areas. But she has also been a strong supporter of food aid programs, having represented swaths of rural poverty until her reelection defeat in 2018. And her family relied on food stamps intermittently when she was growing up as one of seven children from a town of 90 people in the state. Farm programs — billions of dollars in subsidies for commodity crops and grants for rural infrastructure, among other benefits — and food aid for the poor have long been welded together in Washington. Lawmakers of both parties who support one piece have traditionally supported the other, creating a compact that has held firm amid growing partisanship. Though they have different backgrounds, Fudge and Heitkamp have helped craft and voted for several multibillion-dollar farm bills that supported both sectors. "Agriculture is one place that in a post-Trump world the secretary will play a very important role in bringing different perspectives and parties together,” said Matt Paul, a longtime aide to Vilsack who worked at USDA with him. “There’s really not a choice. You’ve got to do both.” While Vilsack, Merrigan and Ross all have significant leadership experience at USDA, Rodriguez would be an unusual pick as his experience mostly centres on the labour sector. But he has the backing of Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, who wrote in an op-ed this week that appointing him as the first Latino secretary of agriculture “would finally give Latinos real power in the agricultural industry, the industry that our labour has held up for so long.” Heitkamp would have one big advantage over all the other candidates: an easy path to confirmation in the Republican-led Senate, where she was well liked and often worked across the aisle. She already has the backing of West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a fellow moderate Democrat who joined her in supporting some of Trump’s nominees four years ago. “You won't find a better person thant Heidi Heitkamp,” Manchin said in a statement, adding that she would make a “tremendous” agriculture secretary. And at least two Republican senators have praised her as well — Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who tweeted this week about her ability “to get things done," and Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts, who is retiring at the end of the year. Roberts said last month that Biden “couldn’t make a finer choice” than Heitkamp. “She’s easy to work with,” he said. “I don’t think she’s that partisan, but she knows agriculture.” ___ Associated Press writers Matthew Daly and Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report. Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
VANCOUVER — It appears the Vancouver Canucks have cut ties with anthem singer Mark Donnelly over his plan to sing at a rally to protest COVID-19 restrictions.Donnelly confirmed to the Vancouver Sun that he planned to sing "O Canada" Saturday at the downtown Vancouver protest.That caused the Canucks to issue a statement distancing the NHL team from Donnelly.Team owner Franceso Aquilini took it a step further, tweeting: “Hey Vancouver Sun change the headline to ‘Former Canucks anthem singer,'" followed by the hashtag wearamask.Donnelly has been performing the anthem at Canucks games since 2001. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.The Canadian Press
Listen to the voice of Dr. Ethlyn Trapp. That’s the message the family of the renowned doctor and patron of the arts has for District of West Vancouver's mayor and council as they prepare to vote on a new plan for Klee Wyck Park, which would see the historic house and art studio on the site demolished. The plan, which council will vote on at next Monday’s general meeting, is to enhance the 6.2-acre park that borders the Capilano River, at 200 Keith Rd., which has deteriorated over the years so it can be enjoyed and explored by the community. Trapp bought the property in 1942 and was the last owner of the site, which has a history dating back to 1925, and gifted it to the district in 1960. Klee Wyck is now one of a few remaining examples of "rustic" estate properties in West Vancouver that pre-date the Lions Gate Bridge construction. It was Trapp's home until 1972 when she passed, and then, for many years, it was a much-loved community site utilized for the arts. The property is named in honour of Trapp's close friendship with artist Emily Carr. Klee Wyck, or "laughing one," was the nickname given to Carr by an Indigenous community she worked with in Ucluelet. The site was “deeded to the district for purposes of a park, nursery garden, playground or other public recreation,” according to a report prepared for council. However, Rosina Smith, who is married to Raymond Smith, a great-nephew of Trapp, said the new plan goes against Trapp's final wishes, and the family is hoping the council will consider their views. “We feel that it’s necessary to adhere to the 1960 agreement Dr. Trapp entered into with the district that clearly stated that both the premises and the land should be ‘kept, developed, and maintained, in perpetuity,' ” said Smith, speaking on behalf of the family. “When Aunt Et gifted it to the district, she hoped that it would be something that would be embraced and enjoyed by all community members, not looked at or considered a burden. “We want to ensure that her legacy is honoured. That really is our only intent.” Smith, who lives in Calgary, said she and her husband were unaware of the site’s neglect until early 2019, and the family was involved in some consultations with the district, but her "comments weren't considered." Now, the family wants to have a complete building assessment conducted by an expert to identify whether preservation or demolition is the best course of action and to find out how much preservation would cost before the district moves ahead with its plans. Smith said the family had even offered to pay for the assessment but was denied by the district. The main house and studio continued to be a place for arts and culture until 2013. It holds special meaning for many artists and community members who have emotional ties to the properties. At the time, programs and groups which utilized the buildings were moved over to new facilities in the Ambleside area, including the Silk Purse and Music Box on Argyle Avenue. The council report highlights the main house and studio were closed as public art spaces because of their condition but has received criticism from the public for allowing the site to deteriorate. “The main house is uninhabitable in its current condition, and the district has no lifecycle cost provision for this structure,” it states. “The studio, located to the southwest of the main house, is also in poor condition and no longer in use.” After a short-term site-use review, district staff decided that demolishing the main house and studio was the most feasible action and is recommending that to council. The district said the house deteriorated to its current state because, before 2015, councils of the day allocated funding to the best of their ability on a priority basis. "In 2015, the District set up a systematic program for asset management. At the time, analysis of the assets and their condition identified a significant shortfall in what the district had been investing in asset maintenance over the years, resulting in many assets being in poor condition. The house at Klee Wyck falls into this category," said the district. However, Smith said the family feels very strongly that without assets on the property, "there’s no means by which Klee Wyck can be self-sustaining and without that sustainability have no confidence that the district can steward the property.” "The future of Klee Wyck is in the incapable hands of a district whose history demonstrates a lack of stewardship of their assets. Klee Wyck needs to be managed and directed by an external entity who will commit to stewarding the land and premises in perpetuity," said Smith. The report says the district has $150,000 reserved to support the short-term plan, but an additional $170,000 will be required to complete the site enhancement. Staff said the site will remain as a local park, and maintenance costs will continue to be included in the annual parks operation budget. On top of demolishing the main building and studio, staff’s short-term recommendations for the park include providing basic landscaping to improve and enhance the site, removing four greenhouses, creating pathways through the gardens, consultations with the community about urban agriculture and community gardens, and a review to connect the site to the Capilano Pacific Trail. The staff report also recommends installing interpretive signage to commemorate the story and history of Trapp. Smith, who describes Trapp as a “remarkable woman who left an indelible stamp on West Vancouver and in Canada,” said it is easy to see what the right thing to do is to keep her legacy intact. She said she has fond memories of visiting the site when it was beautiful and bustling with art students. “We know what it could look like – we’ve seen it with the palms and all the beautiful flowers and the home whose walls were lined with Emily Carr’s [paintings], and that was the vision, and that was the legacy that Aunt Et left to her beloved West Vancouver,” said Smith. Trapp was a medical researcher and patron of the arts who opened her own practice specializing in radiology and was the first woman to hold office in the Canadian Medical Association as president of the BC Medical Association in 1946. Among her many distinctions, she was awarded the Medal of Service of the Order of Canada in 1968. “She was a humanitarian, a philanthropist, and a physician – someone we should look up to and emulate,” said Smith. “All we need to do is listen to that voice to do what’s right for all stakeholders.” Elisia Seeber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Shore News
An Edmonton man who was convicted for manslaughter in the deaths of an elderly couple has had his sentence increased by five years. Edward Roberts, 35, was serving a 15-year sentence for the deaths of Joao Nascimento, 93, and Maria Nascimento, 81 after he admitted to stabbing them to death in a random attack in September 2016. Roberts was originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder, but he instead pleaded guilty in November 2018 to two counts of manslaughter and break and enter. Last year, Roberts was sentenced to 15 years in jail for each manslaughter count and 10 years for break and enter to be served concurrently. On Friday, a three-judge panel ordered the 15-year sentence to increase on each count of manslaughter to 20 years, which was the sentence length the Crown asked for during the trial. "We are of the view an increase in sentence is warranted to properly serve the aims of deterrence and denunciation and to reflect Roberts' moral culpability," the Court of Appeal of Alberta's decision said on Friday. "We are limited to the sentence sought by the Crown below. The appeal is allowed and the sentences on each count of manslaughter are increased to 20 years, to be served concurrently." The Crown appealed the original sentence, arguing that the sentencing judge characterized the crimes as a single event and that a 20-year sentence would better reflect the loss of two lives. Roberts had confessed to breaking into Nascimentos' Queen Mary Park home and stabbing the couple while in a psychotic state. He was intoxicated by drugs and alcohol, and had binged on crystal meth in the week leading up to the killings. At the time of the Nascimentos' death, Roberts thought he was destined to become a king and believed he had to kill everyone in a house to achieve that goal. Expert consensus diagnosed Roberts with amphetamine, alcohol, cannabis and cocaine use disorders, according to the decision. They also confirmed a history of substance-induced psychosis from cannabis and methamphetamine. During the Court of Appeal hearing in September, Roberts said he had reason to believe his life was in danger and he was in a psychotic state at the time. "It wasn't exactly the drugs that led to that state of mind," Roberts said during the hearing. "It was more of an energy." Stacey Purser, Roberts' defence lawyer, argued at the Court of Appeal hearing that Roberts' psychosis lowered his moral culpability, and that he was acting under the direction of various voices telling him to kill or be killed.
Ahuntsic-Cartierville - Mohamed Lotfi s’est vu remettre, dans le cadre des Prix du Québec il y a un mois, le Prix Guy-Mauffette, soit une reconnaissance du travail qu’il a réalisé pendant plus de 30 ans à la prison de Bordeaux en produisant l’émission de radio Souverains anonymes. Journaldesvoisins.com s’est entretenu récemment avec le journaliste, comédien, réalisateur et animateur radio. Lorsque la ministre de la Culture et de Communications, Nathalie Roy, lui a téléphoné pour lui annoncer qu’il était le lauréat de la plus haute distinction attribuée par le gouvernement du Québec pour souligner la contribution d’une personne à l’excellence de la radio, de la télévision, de la presse écrite ou des médias numériques, Mohamed Lotfi a accueilli la nouvelle avec une certaine stupéfaction. Un hommage à la radio communautaire Sa surprise était aussi teintée de joie pour son ami et complice de longue date Michel Mongeau, qui est décédé le 11 novembre, une semaine après que Mohamed Lotfi ait reçu son prix. Le lauréat tient donc à partager l’honneur avec Michel Mongeau qui avait constitué le dossier soumis en 2016, mais aussi à faire rayonner cette reconnaissance sur la radio communautaire. Plus qu’une reconnaissance pour son œuvre personnelle, Mohamed Lotfi y voit un « hommage à une façon différente de communiquer et d’informer ». Il s’agit donc par extension d’un hommage mérité à la radio communautaire, sans qui le projet des Souverains anonymes n’aurait jamais trouvé d’antenne. Il espère ainsi que son prix contribuera à faire tomber les préjugés sur la radio communautaire qui contribue à donner voix à des gens qu’on n’entendrait pas autrement, comme il a cherché à défaire les préjugés sur les prisonniers en faisant résonner leur parole hors des murs de l’établissement de détention. Une parole qui rend souverain Ayant pu côtoyer de près les hommes qui vivent derrière les barreaux, le journaliste estime que c’est une erreur trop commune que de réduire les prisonniers à leurs crimes, de les dévaloriser comme personnes. Par un travail d’orfèvre, Mohamed Lotfi cherche plutôt à faire ressortir le meilleur de chacun. Questionné sur cette approche singulière, au sujet de laquelle il s’était déjà confié au JDV, il se lance dans une envolée lyrique qui traduit bien sa fougue et sa passion : En libérant la parole des détenus, Mohamed Lotfi souhaite donc avant tout leur rendre une part d’humanité qui est trop souvent réduite au silence lorsque les portes de la prison se referment sur eux. Retirer le droit de parole à des personnes qui sont déjà privées de liberté reviendrait en quelque sorte à renier les fondements du droit de cité, un principe qui veut que tous et toutes aient voix au chapitre dans une société. Libérer l’imaginaire Plus qu’un simple exercice de communication ou de création avec les prisonniers, le travail de Mohamed Lotfi avec les Souverains anonymes invite à repenser la conception qu’on se fait de l’institution carcérale. Selon lui, il est essentiel de libérer notre imaginaire collectif d’une vision de la prison comme un lieu fermé sur lieu même, un archétype hérité de l’époque du bagne qui enferme les personnes incarcérées dans un rôle muet, en retrait de la société. C’est qu’en définitive, la prison n’est, aux yeux de Mohamed Lotfi, qu’un lieu de passage pour des gens qui ont commis une faute face à la société. Exclure leur parole comme détenus, c’est les priver de la possibilité de se réhabiliter et d’espérer un jour que leur identité de criminel s’efface pour leur permettre de revêtir celle de citoyen à part entière. De la radio au théâtre L’adage veut qu’il soit plus facile de sortir le gars de la prison que de sortir la prison du gars. Mohamed Lofti l’a appris à ses dépens lorsqu’il a décidé, l’an dernier, de remiser son micro, après 30 ans à l’antenne avec les Souverains anonymes. Il a donc décidé de retourner travailler à mi-temps pour offrir des ateliers de théâtre aux prisonniers, un projet qu’il menait déjà en parallèle à l’émission de radio depuis plusieurs années. Initié au théâtre à l’âge de 16 ans, Mohamed Lotfi dit avoir découvert dans l’art dramatique un formidable outil de liberté et de communication dont il souhaite faire profiter les détenus. La radio pour adoucir le confinement En attendant de pouvoir réintégrer son théâtre à Bordeaux — la plupart des activités étant suspendues dans la prison en raison de la pandémie de COVID-19 qui a fait des ravages dans l’établissement —, Mohamed Lotfi a repris du service à CIBL, où il a notamment diffusé, au plus fort de la crise en avril, des messages de solidarité adressés par diverses personnalités publiques aux détenus en confinement. Sans se porter à la défense de l’administration carcérale, Mohamed Lotfi dit tenir à « corriger une certaine perception » de la prison de Bordeaux qui n’est pas, selon lui, l’établissement délabré, surpeuplé et violent que décrivent souvent les journalistes. Conscient que certaines situations méritent d’être dénoncées, celui qui se considère comme un témoin privilégié de la réalité à Bordeaux se dit néanmoins soucieux de ne pas encourager un « réflexe victimaire » chez les détenus qui ont selon lui tendance à se plaindre de leur situation, à tort ou à raison. La prison dans notre cour, les détenus dans notre cœur S’il poursuit son œuvre auprès des détenus de Bordeaux, ce n’est certainement pas par amour de l’institution carcérale, qu’il dit espérer un jour voir disparaître dans sa forme punitive et recluse traditionnelle pour devenir un lieu de réhabilitation plus ouvert sur la société moderne. S’il continue, c’est qu’il a à cœur avant tout de donner un visage et une voix à la figure du prisonnier anonyme, pour qu’on le reconnaisse comme appartenant à notre monde, et non comme appartenant à un monde qui nous est étranger. Ceci est presque littéralement vrai pour certains habitants de l’arrondissement qui sont les voisins immédiats de l’établissement de détention, mais c’est une vérité qui vaut pour tout le monde, précise Mohamed Lotfi. Et bien qu’on en ait parfois peur, comme on a généralement peur de ce que l’on ne connaît pas, la prison est tout sauf un monde étranger qui ne nous ressemble pas. Invité à suggérer une œuvre parmi les innombrables œuvres disponibles dans les archives des Souverains anonymes, Mohamed Lotfi recommande le court métrage Je voudrais voir la mer. Mettant en vedette le regretté Michel Mongeau qui y tient le rôle d’un détenu qui reçoit la visite de son frère, un ex-détenu joué par le Souverain Jean-Hubert Voltaire, le court métrage propose un revirement des rôles qui porte à réfléchir sur la résilience, la gratitude et le pardon en contexte carcéral.Simon Van Vliet, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal des voisins
A palliative care facility in St. Albert met an act of vandalism with a renewed spirit of giving after Christmas trees and memorial plaques were damaged this week. On Sunday, the St. Albert Sturgeon Hospice Association (SASHA) lit trees on the hillside outside of the the Foyer Lacombe palliative care facility. Community members were invited to tune in online or participate in a drive-by viewing. "We certainly had tears in our eyes and what a tender gentle moment ... to see all those lights coming on outside the room where my mother died," recalled donor Sharon Ryan, whose mom spent her final days there last summer. A day or two later, vandals struck — damaging memorial plaques and several trees while stripping lights off others. But Ryan said what should have felt like a punch in the gut sparked the opposite reaction. "We just rolled our eyes, and we rolled up our sleeves and we got to work immediately to rebuild those light displays," said Ryan, who has also founded an advocacy group for seniors. "It was just such an automatic reaction — nobody's going to hold us back." Joheanna Buisman, president of SASHA, said she was saddened by the incident — especially because the lights were meant to honour loved ones and caregivers. But she said the overwhelming support from the community, which included $25,000 in donations for end-of-life-care, only grew after the incident. "I can't believe the outpouring," said Buisman. "People reaching out and saying 'could we do something for you, can we help you, can we help pay for the lights, can we give you lights, can we help string lights'." Support has included donations from local business owners to buy new lights for the trees. RCMP have no leads but want to hear from anyone with information.
JUNEAU, Alaska — A recount Friday affirmed a win by Democrat Liz Snyder over Republican House Minority Leader Lance Pruitt for an Anchorage House seat, though her margin of victory narrowed slightly. Results certified Monday showed Snyder had defeated Pruitt by 13 votes. But Friday’s recount showed an 11-vote margin of victory, with 4,574 for Snyder and 4,563 for Pruitt. This year’s election was a rematch from 2018, when Snyder lost to Pruitt. The recount was not requested by Pruitt but by 11 others identified in their petition as voters in the Anchorage House district. State law allows a defeated candidate or 10 qualified voters who believe a mistake was made in the ballot count to request a recount. Pruitt by text message Friday said the encouragement he had received “led me to believe that there was no one better to request this recount than those who kept reaching out asking how they could help. I am humbled by their continued and unwavering support!” Two attorneys representing the recount request group, Joe Geldhof and Stacey Stone, attended the recount in Juneau, as did Snyder and Holly Wells, an attorney for Snyder. The hand count was conducted by members of a bipartisan review board, said Tiffany Montemayor, a spokesperson for the state Division of Elections. More than 9,000 votes were cast in the race. Absentee ballots went through the recount process twice after the tallies during the initial recount were off from the certified results. Pruitt ultimately picked up an absentee vote and Snyder lost one in the final recount. Snyder said the goal “was making sure all valid votes got counted, and it feels like that was achieved.” Stone described the process as smooth and said she was pleased with it. She cited concern, however, with polling location changes ahead of the election, “which we believe may have impacted the vote, and we're investigating that now.” An issue of concern is whether there was any voter disenfranchisement, Stone said. Gail Fenumiai, Division of Elections director, said notice was given of polling location changes, including flagging changes on the division website. Neither the House nor the Senate has organized ahead of the next regular session, which starts in January. In Alaska, the chambers don’t necessarily organize along party lines. Personalities and policy positions can also factor in. Separately, Montemayor said an audit of a statewide ballot measure that narrowly passed last month would begin Monday. The audit was sought by Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer, who oversees elections. Meyer has said the audit is intended to help put to rest questions some have raised about the validity of election results tied to the vote tabulation equipment the state uses. The measure, which would end party primaries and institute ranked-choice voting for general elections, passed with 174,032 votes, compared to 170,251 no votes, according to the certified results. Meyer has said he believes the measure passed fairly. A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the measure has been filed. Cori Mills, a chief assistant attorney general with the Department of Law, said Friday's recount “verified that the voting equipment is accurate and the results, all the results, can be trusted.” Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press
Le Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux du Bas-Saint-Laurent annonce un ajout de 37 nouveaux cas au bilan régional, portant le total à 880 cas. Cas par MRC : Kamouraska79Rivière-du-Loup197 (+1)Témiscouata53Les Basques11Rimouski-Neigette292 (+22)La Mitis42 (+2)La Matanie173 (+6)La Matapédia27 (+1)Inconnu6 (+3)Bas-Saint-Laurent*880 (+37)Le CISSS du Bas-Saint-Laurent compte 670 cas rétablis au Bas-Saint-Laurent en date d’aujourd’hui. 1067 dépistages ont été réalisés pendant la journée de mardi. Un nouveau décès est enregistré, pour un total de 20 décès depuis le début de la pandémie. Une hospitalisation en lien avec la COVID-19 est actuellement en cours. La situation de l’éclosion du CHSLD de Matane s’est envenimée hier, avec six nouveaux cas déclarés ainsi qu’un nouveau décès. Au total, 28 infections ont été comptabilisées, dont 18 résidents et 10 travailleurs dont 4 décès. À la Résidence des Sages de Matane, un nouveau travailleur de la santé a reçu un résultat positif en lien avec l’éclosion. La majorité des résidences et des travailleurs ont contracté la COVID-19, précisément 31 cas, dont 15 résidents et 16 travailleurs. 4 travailleurs sont rétablis. La situation à la Résidence Les Bâtisseurs de Matane demeure toujours stable. La santé publique juge que 58 résidents et 19 travailleurs sont désormais rétablis.Claudie Arseneault, Initiative de journalisme local, Mon Matane
Recent developments: * Ottawa reported 48 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. * Western Quebec saw 47 new cases, plus two new deaths. What's the latest?Ottawa reported 48 of the province's record-setting 1,859 newly confirmed cases on Saturday. Meanwhile, western Quebec saw 47 more cases and two more deaths. The region has reported 3.687 cases and 85 deaths since the start of the pandemic.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases in the community on Friday, a top official said, adding 43 more people to the region's list of confirmed positive cases.How many cases are there?As of Saturday, 8,701 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in Ottawa. There are 384 known active cases, 7,938 resolved cases and 379 deaths linked to COVID-19.Public health officials have reported more than 14,400 COVID-19 cases across eastern Ontario and western Quebec, including more than 12,900 resolved cases.Ninety people have died of COVID-19 elsewhere in eastern Ontario, along with 85 in western Quebec. CBC Ottawa is profiling those who've died of COVID-19. If you'd like to share your loved one's story, please get in touch.What can I do?Both Ontario and Quebec are telling people to limit close contact only to those they live with, or one other home if people live alone, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.Ontario says this will apply through December's holidays, with people who live away from home such as post-secondary students asked to reduce close contacts for 10 to 14 days before going back.Travel from one region to another is discouraged throughout the Outaouais.Ontario says people shouldn't travel to a lower-level region from a higher one and some lower-level health units want residents to stay put to curb the spread.Ottawa is currently in the orange zone of Ontario's five-colour pandemic scale, which allows organized gatherings and restaurants, gyms and theatres to bring people inside.The city's medical officer of health said on CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning Thursday the COVID-19 decline has stabilized and Ottawa won't be moving to yellow on Ontario's pandemic scale next week.Three other eastern Ontario health units are under yellow zone restrictions: * The Eastern Ontario Health Unit. * Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health. * Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.That means restaurant hours, table limits and rules around capacity fall somewhere between those in place in Ottawa and the rest of eastern Ontario, which is currently green, the lowest level.In Gatineau and the surrounding area, which is one of Quebec's red zones, health officials are asking residents not to leave home unless it's essential.There is no indoor dining at restaurants and gyms, cinemas and performing arts venues are all closed.The rest of western Quebec is orange, which allows private gatherings of up to six people and organized ones up to 25 — more in seated venues.Its rules won't be loosened until mid-January at the earliest.What about schools?There have been about 200 schools in the wider Ottawa-Gatineau region with a confirmed case of COVID-19:Few have had outbreaks, which are declared by a health unit in Ontario when there's a reasonable chance someone who has tested positive caught COVID-19 during a school activity.Distancing and isolatingThe novel coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes, breathes or speaks onto someone or something. These droplets can hang in the air.People can be contagious without symptoms.This means people should take precautions such as staying home when sick, keeping hands and frequently touched surfaces clean, socializing outdoors as much as possible and maintaining distance from anyone they don't live with — even with a mask on.Ontario has abandoned its concept of social circles.Masks are mandatory in indoor public settings in Ontario and Quebec and should be worn outdoors when people can't distance from others. Three-layer non-medical masks with a filter are recommended.Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, as should those who've been ordered to do so by their local public health unit. The duration depends on the circumstances in both Ontario and Quebec.Anyone who has travelled recently outside Canada must go straight home and stay there for 14 days.Health Canada recommends older adults and people with underlying medical conditions and/or weakened immune systems stay home as much as possible. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?COVID-19 can range from a cold-like illness to a severe lung infection, with common symptoms including fever, a cough, vomiting and the loss of taste or smell. Less common symptoms include chills, headaches and pink eye. Children can develop a rash.If you have severe symptoms, call 911.Mental health can also be affected by the pandemic and resources are available to help.Where to get testedIn eastern Ontario:Anyone seeking a test should book an appointment.Ontario recommends only getting tested if you have symptoms, or if you've been told to by your health unit or the province.People without symptoms, but who are part of the province's targeted testing strategy, can make an appointment at select pharmacies.Ottawa has nine permanent test sites, with mobile sites wherever demand is particularly high.Local city councillor Mathieu Fleury says Vanier is getting a COVID-19 test site.Kingston's test site is at the Beechgrove Complex. The area's other site is in Napanee.People can arrange a test in Bancroft and Picton by calling the centre or Belleville and Trenton online.The Eastern Ontario Health Unit has sites in Alexandria, Cornwall, Hawkesbury, Limoges, Rockland and Winchester. The Limoges site closes Dec. 11 and reopens in Casselman Dec. 14.The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark health unit has permanent sites in Almonte, Brockville, Kemptville and Smiths Falls and a mobile test site visiting smaller communities.Renfrew County residents should call their family doctor or 1-844-727-6404 for a test or with questions, COVID-19-related or not. Test clinic locations are posted weekly.In western Quebec:Tests are strongly recommended for people with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone with symptoms.Outaouais residents can make an appointment in Gatineau seven days a week at 135 blvd. Saint-Raymond or 617 avenue Buckingham.They can now check the approximate wait time for the Saint-Raymond site.There are recurring clinics by appointment in communities such as Gracefield, Val-des-Monts and Fort-Coulonge.Call 1-877-644-4545 with questions, including if walk-in testing is available nearby.First Nations, Inuit and Métis:Akwesasne had its most known COVID-19 cases of the pandemic in November. Its council is asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel and its curfew from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. is back.Akwesasne schools and its Tsi Snaihne Child Care Centre are temporarily closed to in-person learning. It has a COVID-19 test site available by appointment only.Anyone returning to the community on the Canadian side of the international border who's been farther than 160 kilometres away — or visited Montreal — for non-essential reasons is asked to self-isolate for 14 days.The Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte had its first confirmed case last month.People in Pikwakanagan can book a COVID-19 test by calling 613-625-2259. Anyone in Tyendinaga who's interested in a test can call 613-967-3603.Inuit in Ottawa can call the Akausivik Inuit Family Health Team at 613-740-0999 for service, including testing, in Inuktitut or English on weekdays.For more information
Ottawa's light rail contractors will demolish two Highway 174 bridges this weekend so they can build Montreal station in the highway's median and start laying tracks out to Orléans.That will mean traffic will not be able to travel on Montreal Road under Highway 174 from 8 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. on Monday, and detours will be in place. A shuttle will be available every five minutes for pedestrians.Highway 174's eastbound on-ramp from northbound Jeanne d'Arc Boulevard will close overnight Saturday, while the westbound on-ramp from southbound Champlain Street will close overnight Tuesday, Dec. 8.The big, year-end goal for the east-end LRT work has been to dismantle these bridges.Over the coming days, the decks will be chipped away, the girders and beams of the old bridge taken down, and the piers removed. In all, 1,456 cubic metres of concrete and 160 metric tonnes of steel will be taken down.Station construction to begin next yearMotorists will have noticed how crews with Kiewit and Vinci Group have been busy this year near that Montreal Road interchange. They've widened the highway, built seven new ramps, and moved traffic onto two new, outer bridges.In future, a "flyover" bridge will take trains from Blair station into the highway's median and out to Trim station. Construction of those tracks and Montreal station itself will begin next year, the mayor said."So we're going at a really fast clip folks, to make sure that these projects are ready," said Jim Watson at a rainy news event Friday afternoon.The $4.66 billion Stage 2 of light rail is set to open in stages. This five-station, 12-kilometre eastern extension of the electric Confederation Line, from Blair station to Trim, is scheduled to be finished by 2024.The western extension from Tunney's to Moodie, with its 11 stations, is set to open last in 2025. Kiewit and Vinci Group have been relocating sewers, culverts and other utilities, preparing for the cut-and-cover tunnel along Byron Avenue and a second tunnel under Connaught Avenue.The southern, diesel Trillium Line extension to Riverside South and the Ottawa International Airport is being built by SNC-Lavalin and is scheduled to open first, in 2022.
Oman's foreign minister said on Saturday the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East had discussed with his country the possibility of Washington designating Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi movement as a terrorist group. "Yes, that was raised," Sayyed Badr Al Busaidi told a Bahrain summit in response to a question on whether the potential blacklisting had been broached by David Schenker during a recent visit to Muscat. Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters last month that U.S. President Donald Trump's administration had threatened to blacklist the Houthi movement, which has been battling a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen since 2015.
There isn't a hint of overstatement when Mark McCarthy calls 2020 a lost year for the Canadian tourism industry."Everyone is on survival mode," said McCarthy, whose family-owned tourism company in St. John's did a fraction of its usual business this past summer after premiers in the Atlantic provinces created a regional bubble that excluded visitors from the rest of the country.McCarthy and Joe Urie, co-owner of the Jasper Tour Company in Alberta, spoke to CBC's The House about the common challenges their industry faces because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and whether the aid package included in this week's fiscal update provides enough of a booster shot to inoculate them against another round of economic lockdowns.Tourism employs 750,000 people in Canada, accounts for 2 per cent of GDP and supports many rural and Indigenous communities.Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland acknowledged the sector took a particularly heavy blow from the prolonged economic lockdown, from politicians at all levels urging people to stay home and from travel restrictions that remain in place in many parts of the country."We know that businesses in tourism, hospitality, travel, arts and culture have been particularly hard-hit. So we are creating a new stream of support for those businesses that need it most … that have lost revenue as people stay home to fight the spread of the virus," Freeland said in French while presenting Monday's economic update.WATCH: Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland delivers fiscal updateThe government created a program offering guaranteed loans and reduced interest rates to the tourism sector and other hard-hit industries. It also moved this week to earmark 25 per cent of its Regional Relief and Recovery Fund for local tourism businesses. That works out to more than $500 million through June.McCarthy and Urie have never met, but they face the same daunting challenges in keeping their businesses afloat and their people employed.McCarthy's company typically runs 50 escorted tours around Newfoundland and Labrador during the peak season from May to October. Its customers are mostly Canadian, its tours employ local guides and its spinoff business helps to support local restaurants, shops and car rental firms."However, after March, when everything closed down, basically we had no season at all," McCarthy said. "We ended up with less than one per cent of revenue for the year."Urie takes groups of up to 14 people on tours in and around Jasper National Park that focus on Indigenous history and culture. Unlike McCarthy, he relies heavily on international travellers."And of course, with the borders closed, that pretty much zeroed us out," Urie told The House. "And, like Newfoundland being closed, the Canadian federal government closed the national parks and the national historic sites across the country. So we didn't even have — for almost a three-month period of time — Albertans coming into the park."The near-collapse of tourism made it impossible for many companies to keep all of their employees on the payroll. With no tourists, with no money coming in, federal programs like the wage subsidy were of limited use to these firms.Do more, industry tells OttawaThe Tourism Industry Association of Canada said it's encouraged by the support targeting the industry in this week's fiscal update, but warned that more needs to be done if these companies are to survive."Tourism businesses have been facing months of reduced or no revenue — and without certainty of support, including timing, they cannot plan for their financial future," said the association's acting CEO Vince Accardi in a statement. "We look forward to continued work with the government to ensure these supports get to those who have been hardest hit, on the right terms and as soon as possible."Urie said Indigenous companies face additional burdens."A lot of Indigenous tourism businesses have a really hard time applying for these programs. There's a lot of financial institutions that won't touch you if your business is on a reserve," he said. "You know, it's really, really difficult."No recovery until 2022, says UrieUrie estimates it will take until at least 2022 — perhaps longer — for tourism to rebound, despite reports that vaccines will be available in Canada in the coming months. He said that's made him reluctant to apply for the federal business loans.McCarthy has similar concerns about the plight of his partners in small communities around Newfoundland and Labrador who might be attracted by the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA), which provides interest-free loans of up to $60,000. A third of a CEBA loan will be forgiven if the balance is paid off by the end of 2022."And unless we can get opened up in 2021, I think that the payback period could be difficult for a lot of these operators," he said. "So I think it's a real concern for people who are just availing of the loans ... because they're in survival mode."As their interview with The House ended, Urie and McCarthy exchanged information. "I just went on your site and had a look, Joe. It's great!" McCarthy said as he and Urie briefly chatted about the value of private tours and engaging more with local guides."We're on the same page," Urie replied.On the same page — and in the same boat, as they look ahead to an uncertain future for Canada's tourism industry.