Visibility was low as wind and rain blow across Burlington, Ontario.
Visibility was low as wind and rain blow across Burlington, Ontario.
MILTON, Ga. — In a black face mask and cap, activist Garrett Bess walked up driveway after driveway of million-dollar homes in suburban Atlanta on a recent afternoon, placing a flyer in each door, ringing the bell and stepping away to make a socially distanced pitch to vote for the conservative candidates in Georgia's pivotal U.S. Senate runoff elections.Bess' group, Heritage Action for America, plans to knock on half a million doors before the state's two Jan. 5 contests that will determine whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate.“Everyone in Georgia knows the candidates,” said Janae Stracke, a colleague of Bess’ who also canvassed the subdivision. "There’s not a lot of convincing to do. They’ve made up their mind. It’s mostly knowing when to vote, how to vote, encouraging them to vote.”This election season, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditional get-out-the-vote efforts where campaign workers go door to door to encourage people to cast ballots. With people staying at home and limiting contact with outsiders, an extended conversation with a campaign worker who shows up uninvited may actually encourage people to vote for someone else.But it's a sign of how important the two Senate elections are that both parties and independent advocacy groups are going all in on their in-person get-out-the-vote efforts.After the GOP lost the presidential election in Georgia for the first time in 28 years, conservatives are urging Republicans to get more aggressive with their turnout efforts in the state to match the outreach of former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.After Abrams lost the 2018 governor's race, she devoted herself to voter outreach, convinced that the state was a genuine battleground if Democrats galvanized young voters, minorities and people moving in from other states. She raised millions of dollars to organize and register hundreds of thousands of voters in the state — efforts credited with helping Democrat Joe Biden win Georgia.Republicans have to catch up, Republican operative Karl Rove told Fox News.“Let’s not kid ourselves: This is a real race,” said Rove, who is leading fundraising efforts for the runoffs.The National Republican Senatorial Committee expects to have 1,000 staffers on the ground in Georgia. For comparison, the Republican National Committee had a total of 3,000 paid field staff across the whole country during the presidential race.Democrats carry their own baggage into the runoff. In many parts of the country, they limited face-to-face campaigning ahead of the Nov. 3 election because of the pandemic, arguing that was the responsible thing to do. But that decision was second-guessed in places such as Florida.The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee plans to spend millions on voter registration and turnout efforts.Outside groups are also hitting the ground, and the in-person appeals will be supplemented with a fusillade of phone calls, text messages, mailers and ads aimed at boosting turnout for the races pitting Republican Sen. David Perdue against Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler against Democrat Raphael Warnock.Turnout tends to drop precipitously in runoff contests in Georgia. And activists fear there might be even more of a falloff this time, when the excitement of the Trump-Biden race is over. So getting voters to come back to the polls becomes more of a focus than “trying to find new voters or win over voters who voted for your opponent,” said Charles Bullock, an expert on Southern politics at the University of Georgia.Historically, that drop-off has disproportionately affected Democrats, so the party faces strong headwinds heading into January. The Republican candidate has beaten the Democrat in seven out of eight runoff elections since 1992, including two U.S. Senate races.Democrats have reason for optimism after Biden's win, but his margin of victory was tiny — less than 13,000 votes of nearly 5 million cast — and it’s been 20 years since the state elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.But groups whose efforts tend to favour Democrats are charged. On Friday, representatives of the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America went door to door in a neighbourhood just outside Atlanta encouraging people to vote for Ossoff and Warnock.“If we don't get those two seats in Congress, everything we did to flip Georgia blue is not going to help us,” Phyllis Morrow told a couple that pulled over in their car.The African Methodist Episcopal Church in Georgia, which has more than 150,000 parishioners in the state, is asking members to call eligible voters in their congregations, encourage them to vote early and assist with rides if they need help getting to the polls on Jan. 5.Bishop Reginald T. Jackson said Black voters are excited and “realize the eyes of the nation are on Georgia.”"They know people are going to be looking to see whether or not Blacks turn out,” he said.The New Georgia Project, a group founded by Abrams, will try to register some of the estimated 35,000 people who have finished their felony sentences and can requalify to vote as well as some of the estimated 23,000 people who are turning 18 before the runoff, Executive Director Nse Ufot said.Ufot said the group also aims to knock on 1 million doors before the runoff, up from 500,000 before the general election, and is training volunteers to take coronavirus precautions.In Milton, Bess and Stracke were in friendly territory. The affluent, mostly white city about 30 miles (50 kilometres) north of Atlanta showed strong support for President Donald Trump in the November election. The neighbourhood they canvassed last week featured manicured lawns and spacious homes set back from the street.“Oh, you have no problem here,” Holly McCormick, 73, told Bess after he rang her doorbell. The flyers he carried warned that Georgia was the country’s “last line of defence from a socialist takeover.”McCormick called the outcome of the presidential race “rigged” though there is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election, and she said Trump’s claims of illegal votes made her more energized to vote for Perdue and Loeffler in January.“We have to hold the Senate,” she said.___Associated Press writer Jeff Amy in Atlanta contributed to this report.Sudhin Thanawala, The Associated Press
Kneehill County councillors heard a presentation from a non-profit society that aims to educate kids about finances and business during their regular meeting Nov. 24. Reeve Jerry Wittstock and Coun. Debbie Penner attended the meeting virtually, with Deputy Reeve Faye McGhee chairing the meeting. Junior Achievement, represented by staff member Melanie Willerth, made a presentation to council with three goals in mind, she said: raising awareness of the organization, recruiting volunteers and funding opportunities. Willerth stated the organization offers courses in host schools intended to teach student about finances and business. She provided a summary for councillors listing programs such as More Than Money, Our Business World, A Business of Our Own, Dollars With Sense, Stronger Together, Economics for Success, Investment Strategies and World of Choices. Willerth noted three communities within Kneehill County currently have Junior Achievement programming including Linden, Trochu and Three Hills. The 16 programs are offered to about 400 students. She noted the organization would like to get more awareness of the programs’ value, all of which are offered free of charge to schools, and ideally recruit more volunteer instructors. She explained the programs are offered to students by community members who are knowledgeable about business, and would include one night a week for about 16 weeks. Junior Achievement is a non-profit society which is always happy to see more sponsorship stated Willerth, who added that sponsors are always recognized on program materials. Deputy Reeve McGhee asked about the organization's structure and funding. Willerth answered Junior Achievement has a board of directors and relies heavily on fundraising, with some funds coming from communities and some from the provincial government. The business sector also supports the program she noted. Reeve Wittstock asked how much it costs to offer the programs in Kneehill County. Willerth answered that courses include expenses such as materials and volunteer training, adding up to about $200 to $250 per course. Coun. Penner stated her kids participated in Junior Achievement programming and learned valuable skills like budgeting. She asked if courses are currently accepting, and Willerth answered that there are still courses registering for December and also next year. Coun. Glen Keiver asked if all of the courses must be completed or in a specific order, to which Willerth answered no, they are all stand-alone courses developed for certain school grades. Deputy Reeve McGhee stated she also had kids who completed Junior Achievement courses. After Willerth completed her presentation, councillors discussed the Junior Achievement program. Reeve Wittstock asked if Kneehill County has funded this group in the past. County Chief Administrative Officer Mike Haugen stated in the current year Kneehill County has budgeted $3,000 for the Junior Achievement program, and it has been funded in the past as well. Wittstock noted that should pretty much cover the local programs compared to the figure Willerth gave of about $200 per program. “I would say that’s $200 of well-spent money,” said Deputy Reeve McGhee in support of the program. Penner added she also supports the program but hears that they have trouble finding volunteer speakers to help. Coun. Ken King asked that since Kneehill County is currently funding the group, is the county being credited for its support, and also wondered if Willerth knows Kneehill County is currently funding the program. CAO Haugen stated he will follow-up with Willerth to clarify those details. The presentation was accepted for information.Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, East Central Alberta Review
As COVID-19 progresses into the holiday season, there is an overwhelming urgency to support individuals, families and children throughout the community. The Salvation Army has served Trenton and surrounding areas for over 100 years, but this year due to circumstances beyond their control, the Salvation Army is unable to operate their annual Christmas Food Hampers program. Owner of Smylie’s Independent in Trenton John Smylie explained that the Christmas Food Hampers program is a great annual initiative that typically supports from 380-450 families in the community. This has posed a challenge for families seeking support during the holiday season in the Trenton community and surrounding areas. Thankfully, At the Crossroads Church didn’t skip a beat in finding a solution. At the Crossroads Church in downtown Trenton has stepped up this year and filled the gap in the community, undertaking the local Christmas Food Hampers operation. “Normally, the Salvation Army would have their kettles,” explained At the Crossroads Chruch program coordinator Allen Robinson. “So, this is part of our fundraising to support the Christmas Food Hampers. All the money stays local and goes towards supporting families in the community during Christmas time.” On Thursday, November 26th at Smylie’s Independent, At the Crossroads Church launched their fundraising operations and is inviting residents to support the Christmas Food Hampers campaign. “COVID-19 makes what we’re doing much more difficult, from our perspective, in order to keep everybody safe,” explained Smylie. “The Trenton Salvation Army left a gap in the community this year, and the At the Crossroads Church has stepped forward to provide this great program for our community.” John Smylie and Mayor Jim Harrison made the first official donations at Smylie’s Independent, and afterwards At the Crossroads Church then stopped by The Treasure Chest, a local consignment and thrift store in support of the Trenton Christan School Society, to collect a generous donation of $2575.11 for the Christmas Food Hampers. Christmas Food Hampers provide families in need with the requirements to make a Christmas dinner for four and are distributed on the Sunday before Christmas. At the Crossroads Church is encouraging residents to consider donating one of the donation boxes located at Smylie’s Independent and Metro in Trenton. Donation boxes will also be onsite at Freshco in Trenton all day on December 11th and 12th. Residents looking for more information on how to participate can visit atthecrossroads.ca/ministries/christmas-hampers or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
Le Témiscouata souhaite se présenter comme une destination de choix pour mener des études professionnelles, collégiales ou dans le cadre de la formation aux adultes. Afin d’attirer des étudiants et de les inciter à rester dans cette sous-région du Bas-Saint-Laurent, la campagne Espace Campus a été officiellement lancée, ce jeudi 26 novembre. Car même si le Témiscouata est une zone rurale dont la municipalité la plus peuplée, Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, ne dépasse pas les 5000 habitants, il est possible d’y étudier. En effet, il existe depuis trois ans un centre d’études collégiales à Cabano, lequel donne quatre cours en présence (sciences humaines, tremplin DEC, techniques d’éducation spécialisée et soins infirmiers pour infirmière auxiliaire) et deux à distance (techniques juridiques et techniques de bureautique), pour un total de 57 élèves. Quant au Centre de formation professionnelle (CFP) du Fleuve-et-des-Lacs, il offre 13 options de formation, avec notamment plusieurs programmes en foresterie et en acériculture. Environ 200 étudiants y sont inscrits. « On veut consolider et développer les institutions d’enseignement postsecondaires professionnel et collégial et de formation aux adultes sur notre territoire, explique l’agente de développement Virginie Beauregard-Bouchard, de la SADC du Témiscouata. À plus long terme, on veut permettre aux entreprises de notre territoire d’avoir accès à un bassin de main-d’œuvre. » Le tout nouveau site web d’Espace Campus rassemble toutes les informations dont pourrait avoir besoin un étudiant qui veut aller vivre au Témiscouata, avec une mise en page qui facilite la navigation. On y retrouve notamment la description des programmes d’études, mais aussi toutes les activités sportives et culturelles qu’on peut faire dans la région en dehors de l’école. Un accompagnement de A à Z On explique aussi sur le site web toutes les étapes qu’un étudiant étranger doit suivre pour mener à bien son inscription, et comment obtenir des bourses ou aides financières. On y détaille même les ressources d’aide du Témiscouata et les emplois que l’on peut occuper pendant ses études ou à la suite de celles-ci. Une employée, Roxanne Morin, aura pour tâche de répondre aux questions des intéressés et de les aider dans leur cheminement. Par la suite, la campagne va se poursuivre sur les réseaux sociaux et par le biais de vidéos. Les commerçants témiscouatains vont également participer à l’attraction des étudiants : plusieurs offrent d’ores et déjà des rabais pour cette clientèle, et un autocollant dans leur vitrine permet de les identifier. Le directeur adjoint du CFP, Luc Soucy, entend « créer un sentiment d’appartenance » chez les nouveaux venus en organisant régulièrement des rassemblements lorsque ce sera à nouveau possible. En effet, la manière dont le CFP est organisé, avec des antennes à Dégelis, Cabano, Pohénégamook et même dans la MRC voisine des Basques, complique la tâche quand vient le temps de mettre en place une vie étudiante dynamique. Mais le Témiscouata a bien d’autres atouts : la proximité du personnel enseignant, un coût de la vie moins élevé qu’en ville, et une superbe nature. Du côté du Centre d’études collégiales, on se fixe un objectif modeste pour la première année d’Espace Campus : la directrice Édith St-Amand vise l’arrivée de quatre nouveaux étudiants attirés par ce biais. Parallèlement, les établissements d’enseignement vont poursuivre leurs missions à l’international (notamment en France) pour recruter des étudiants.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
Paralympian and world champion Maude Jacques has announced her retirement from the Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball team.Jacques first cracked the national team lineup and helped Canada capture a gold medal on home soil at the 2014 IWBF Women’s World Championship in Toronto.She also represented Canada at the London Paralympic Games, and helped her team earn a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, which have been postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The Sherbrooke, Que. native competed at the inaugural IWBF under-25 Women’s World Championship, which was held in St. Catharines, Ont. She was an all-star at the 2015 edition of the tournament in Beijing.“Sometimes tough decisions have to be made, and I knew retiring would never be easy because basketball has been a part of my identity for so long," Jacques said in a release. "But I leave the team with my head held high and I am proud of everything that I have accomplished. I wish Team Canada the best for Tokyo 2021.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
LONDON, Ont. — An outbreak that prompted a London, Ont., hospital to stop new admissions at its medical wards has expanded to some of its surgical units.Middlesex-London Health Unit has ordered a pause to all visitations at University Hospital.Only visitors for dying patients are allowed.London Health Sciences Centre did not say whether the newly affected surgical units will remain open.The health network had said that new medical patients at University Hospital will be transferred to Victoria Hospital.As of Thursday, there were two deaths, 21 patients, 23 staff cases linked to the outbreak.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
The Pentagon's acting defence secretary has made a rare visit to Somalia, a conflict-plagued nation in the Horn of Africa where American forces have been assisting in the fight against al-Qaida affiliate al-Shabab.In a brief statement, the Pentagon said Christopher Miller, who was installed as acting defence secretary Nov. 9 when President Donald Trump fired Mark Esper, met Friday with U.S. troops in Mogadishu, the capital, to express appreciation for their work and to reiterate the U.S. commitment to combating extremist groups.Just hours after Miller's visit, the Somali government announced that a suicide bombing in Mogadishu killed at least seven people, and the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group claimed responsibility.Trump is expected to order a withdrawal of most or all of the 700 U.S. troops based in Somalia before he leaves office Jan. 20.Miller has been in the Middle East and parts of north Africa this week on his first international trip as acting defence secretary. Miller, who previously headed the National Counterterrorism Center, has not been nominated by Trump for Senate confirmation as Pentagon chief.Associated Press, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. says it was exploring the future of its Toronto stadium before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but the virus has caused it to put those plans on hold."Prior to the pandemic, we were exploring options for the stadium but through this year our primary focus has been keeping our customers connected and keeping our employees safe, so there is no update on the Rogers Centre to share at this time," said the telecommunications company's spokesperson Andrew Garas in a statement to The Canadian Press.His remarks come after the Globe and Mail reported Friday that Rogers and Brookfield Asset Management Inc., were looking to tear down the stadium as part of a larger development project. The two companies would build a new stadium half the size on the southern part of the current site and use the remaining land for residential towers, office buildings, stores and public space, the Globe said, citing unnamed sources.Brookfield declined to comment on the matter. The Globe also reported that Rogers and Brookfield were exploring the possibility of building a stadium along the waterfront if the development plan falls through on a slice of land called Quayside, where Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs once hoped to construct a tech-savvy neighbourhood."The news this morning was the first Waterfront Toronto has heard of the Quayside site as a potential new home for the Blue Jays," said Andrew Tumilty, a spokesperson for Waterfront Toronto, the agency overseeing the development of the city's lakefront.Such a plan would need "extensive scrutiny" and require the organization to consider existing, approved precinct plans, as well as the size and shape of the site, he said in an email.The Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome, opened in 1989 and seats more than 53,000.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX: RCI. B, TSX: BAM)The Canadian Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — The Walt Disney Co. announced plans to lay off 4,000 more workers in its theme parks division in California and Florida due to the COVID-19 pandemic's effect on the industry.The announcement by the company was made in a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing earlier this week, saying 32,000 employees will be terminated in the first half of fiscal year 2021, which began last month. In late September, the company had already announced plans to terminate 28,000 theme park workers.In the SEC document filed on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, the company said it also put 37,000 employees not scheduled for termination on furlough as a result of the pandemic.“Due to the current climate, including COVID-19 impacts, and changing environment in which we are operating, the company has generated efficiencies in its staffing, including limiting hiring to critical business roles, furloughs and reductions-in-force,” the document said.The company also said they may make more cuts in spending such as reducing film and television content investments and additional furloughs and layoffs.In Florida, the company has been limiting attendance at its parks and changing protocols to allow for social distancing by limiting characters' meet and greets.The company has not specified the number of workers that would be affected in its Orlando theme parks.Disney’s parks closed in March as the pandemic started spreading in the U.S. The Florida parks reopened in the summer, but the California parks have yet to reopen pending state and local government approvals.The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Vaccines are now a bright spot of hope on the COVID-19 pandemic horizon. But much about them, and their rollout in Canada, remains up in the air. Here’s what we know so far:What are the leading candidates?Manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca have all filed applications to have their vaccine candidates approved in Canada. Under a “rolling submission" process, producers hand over data — from animal tests, for example — as it comes rather than as a complete package.That information includes how the vaccine candidates perform in different demographic groups and data about possible harms and risks.Dr. Supriya Sharma, chief medical adviser at Health Canada, says final data packages for some vaccines are expected as soon as the next few days, and that the vaccine being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech could get the green light next month.Why don’t we know when they’ll be distributed?The Liberal government says the first vaccine shipments should start to roll off tarmacs and port terminals early next year, bound initially for priority groups, including seniors in long-term care homes and front-line workers. But much about the deployment process has yet to be announced.Canada has struck purchasing deals with five pharmaceutical manufacturers, and agreements in principle with two more, paving the way for at least 194 million vaccine doses if all their products are eventually approved. But remaining question marks include which vaccines will pass muster and when and how details of provincial allocations from Ottawa will be nailed down.Meanwhile, the country's limited manufacturing capacity has curtailed domestic vaccine production options and resulted in greater dependence on vaccines made in foreign countries, which tend to prioritize their own citizens.What are the logistical hurdles?Distributing a vaccine poses massive logistical challenges. The unprecedented process involves providing up to two doses of a vaccine — which the leading candidates require instead of just one — to nearly 38 million Canadians spread across a vast country within several months. Ottawa is taking the lead on procurement and overall distribution, but on-the-ground delivery will be handled by the provinces, creating a complex deployment chain.Some vaccines are easier to move around than others. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be transported and stored at -70 C to remain effective, which would slow its rollout, though Ottawa has already purchased some cold storage for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The Moderna vaccine candidate also requires freezing but not at the same temperature as the Pfizer candidate.AstraZeneca's vaccine is even less finicky about storage temperature but the company said Thursday that promising results from its clinical trials need further validation.Meanwhile the government is trying to contract transport companies for vaccine shipments. On Friday, Trudeau named Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, who commanded NATO troops in Iraq, to head up the Canadian military's role in co-ordinating logistics and lead the vaccine's eventual rollout across the country.Experts believe more than half of Canadians will be inoculated by September “if all goes well,” Trudeau said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Randy Van Horlick, 71, was sentenced to six months in jail followed by two years of supervised probation for attacking two nurses at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont Hospital in Moncton in March 2019Judge Yvette Finn said the aggravating factor was Van Horlick's lack of remorse for what he did.Reading from her notes, Finn highlighted Van Horlick's statement at a sentencing hearing earlier in the month, when he maintained that he would not have assaulted Poirier if she'd done her job properly and that she was lucky he didn't kill her. "He is still angry about the position he was put in," said Finn.Nurse manager was first victimFinn read the facts of the case that included a blow-by-blow account of the assault against Poirier.She was a nurse manager at the Dumont Hospital when Van Horlick stuck his head into her office.Within minutes he had her by the hair and was striking her in the face and temple as well as twisting her arm. The injuries she suffered have left lasting effects.Reading from Poirier's victim impact statement, Finn said the nurse now has chronic neck and arm pain, and her brain injury stops her from following conversations and leaves her feeling, "even stupid at times."Poirier wrote that she may not be able to return to her position as a nurse manager.Teresa Thibeault was working as a licensed nurse practitioner the afternoon of the assault. She heard her colleague screaming and, following the cries for help, entered Poirier's office to find her on her knees, with Van Horlick holding her by the neck, punching her in her face. Three times she intervened, and her wrist was twisted and injured in the struggle. Thibeault was off work for six months after the attack.Van Horlick's backgroundThe pre-sentence report said Van Horlick was born in Vancouver and moved to Acadieville in 2012 with his wife.The report said she had epilepsy and health issues when the two married 21 years ago.Van Horlick refused to go into details about his family or background but did talk about the stress he felt being his wife's primary caregiver for such a long time.She has since died, and the report said he has had a hard time accepting that she is gone.Finn said stress and fear of losing his wife were explanations for what Van Horlick did, but they shouldn't influence her decision on sentencing."I find in this circumstance there are few mitigating factors,"Defence sought community sentenceThe crown had previously asked that Van Horlick serve three to six months in incarceration, while the defense asked the sentence be served in the community.Finn said her decision to send Van Horlick to prison for six months was to act as a "denunciation and deterrence" for him and others.As the hearing ended, Finn said to Van Horlick, "Just let it go."He shook his head no and was led from the court into custody.Nurses reactAfterward, Poirier said she didn't have much to say other than she was glad it's over.Thibeault said, "It's a little bit disappointing."She said she was hoping for a longer jail term. Notice of civil suitThe Crown had asked for restitution, but Finn said the victims would have to go to civil court for compensation.Papers filed with the court of Queen's Bench show that Natasha Poirier did just that in August. The notice of claim asks that Van Horlick be held responsible for Poirier's income loss and the loss of future earnings, among other costs.VanHorlick filed a notice of intent to defend in September.
The case of a Fredericton woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man found dead in Wilmot Park was adjourned Friday until the new year. In the meantime, twenty-one-year-old Angela April Walsh is to undergo an independent psychological assessment to determine if she can be found criminally responsible for her actions. Walsh, also known as Ali Morningstar, is charged in the death of 31-year-old Clark Ernest Green, whose body was found in the Fredericton park the morning of April 15.She was arrested May 25, along with Zachary David Murphy, who is also charged with first-degree murder.Walsh made a short court appearance via teleconference call from the New Brunswick Women's Correctional Centre in Miramichi, where she is being held. A psychological report on Walsh has already been done by the Restigouche Hospital Centre, but her lawyer wants a separate independent report. "We want this person to have the benefit of her full mental health history," TJ Burke told provincial court.Crown prosecutor Rodney Jordan took no issue with the extension.Walsh's case was already delayed once so the independent assessment could be done, but the psychiatrist assigned to Walsh, Dr. Julian Gojer, was working on the high-profile quadruple murder trial of Matthew Raymond. Walsh's case will be back in court on Jan. 29, 2021. She is also charged with theft from Walmart, breaching an undertaking, and fraud under $5,000. Proceedings of those charges have also been delayed until January.
Marketing students at Burnett secondary are giving back to their community. Inspired by the sacrifices and generosity of frontline workers, they were tasked with contributing through three goals: reinforcing the government’s COVID-19 safety guidelines, starting a non-profit fundraiser to give back to frontline organizations and workers, and developing a project to create or revitalize community spirit. “Normally the marketing classes would run a school store as part of their experiential learning experience, but with COVID it just wasn’t possible,” says marketing teacher Chris Lee. “As an alternative, I changed this component to be more of a social non-profit pop-up venture format.” The students developed a mechanical hand sanitizer that uses a gravity-enabled foot pump. A virtual social gathering focused on a pre-recorded talent show as well as an online gaming tournament aimed at bringing people together. “In terms of the actual concepts regarding sales and marketing, the students really go through the entire gambit,” says Lee. “They learn to develop, source, cost, market, sell and provide customer feedback wherever applicable.” They also raised funds for the Richmond Hospital and Vancouver Covenant House through several initiatives. Student-designed Burnett clothing and tote bags were sold online, as well as a “pandemic kit” including masks, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes. The last fundraising item was glass poster art, which was inspired by an online trend fusing art with music. Customized pieces of glass art capture favourite songs or artists designed to look like a Spotify music player. “All of these projects really focus on experiential, hands-on learning,” says Lee. “Given our limited time with the students in this new 10-week quarter system, the projects were designed to be like a pressure cooker, where basic entrepreneurial and marketing skills would be developed in a very short period of time. It is my personal belief that such an environment challenges students to learn in a very active way, while reinforcing what they’ve learned in class lessons.”Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
REGINA — The Saskatchewan government has inked a $100-million cushion into its mid-year financial forecast for any pandemic-related revenue shortfalls as the province deals with a spike in infections. The Ministry of Finance says that buffer is on top of $160 million left in a $200-million contingency fund to cover expenses tied to COVID-19. About $40 million was spent helping school divisions prepare for the resumption of in-class learning in the fall. Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said Friday the total $260-million buffer will give the government spending room to pay for unexpected costs in the remaining months of the 2020-21 fiscal year."We're going to be there for our health system, for whatever it takes, and there is no way to say what the magic number will be," she told a news conference. She said no decision has been made as to whether more will be spent to support businesses struggling because of restrictions brought in to try to stem the spread of COVID-19."Those conversations are taking place as we speak. Right now the restrictions are on for three weeks. There will be an impact. How much of an impact ... nothing has been designed or decided."The Finance Ministry attributes a rise in revenue at its mid-year forecast to be in part from $443 million more from Ottawa to help the province deal with the pandemic. How much federal cash has been spent varies from program to program, said Harpauer. "We will be spending it and it will be allocated accordingly as the year unfolds."Opposition NDP economy and jobs critic Aleana Young said the government should make available $18 million in unspent money that was for small business emergency grants during the spring shutdown of non-essential services. "I'm curious, as a small-business owner, why that money was left on the table when we have heard and I do know how stressful this has been for small businesses across the province," she said. "But when you're sitting on $260 million in a pandemic, my question would be do they know something we don't know? Why are you keeping this money in reserve instead of spending it now, when it could actually do some good?"Young added that the holiday season isn't going to be business as usual for restaurateurs and retailers.The province is projecting revenue of $14.2 billion and expenses of $16.2 billion, leaving a deficit of $2 billion. The financial hole is slightly lower than what was forecast in August, before the October provincial election, and is down about $380 million from the spring budget. The update includes $133 million in Saskatchewan Party election promises. Premier Scott Moe campaigned on eliminating the deficit by 2024-25 without raising taxes or major spending cuts.The ministry is also projecting non-renewable resource revenues to be better than imagined in the spring. The West Texas Intermediate oil price is forecast to be US$38 per barrel, up from $30. The government highlighted how Saskatchewan's economy has done well throughout the pandemic compared with other provinces and emphasized that last month's provincial unemployment rate was the lowest in Canada. "Our recovery has been relatively strong," said Harpauer.However, she said she is concerned about what impact the spread of the virus will have on consumer confidence, as well as trade with other jurisdictions also battling the pandemic.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante can now add "author" to her resume with the publication of a graphic novel in which she recounts her entry into politics and takes subtle digs at the sexism she's encountered along the way.'"Okay, Universe: Chronicles of a Woman in Politics," tells the story of Simone Simoneau — modelled on Plante — a young community organizer who decides to take the plunge into politics by running for a seat on city council.Published in both English and French and co-authored by illustrator Delphie Cote-Lacroix, the book follows the initially hesitant Simoneau as she learns to fundraise, knock on doors and recruit volunteers.Plante, 46, said she began to toy with the idea of publishing a book after she won the mayoralty in 2017. Writing a typical political autobiography didn't appeal, she said."For me the graphic novel format was always what I wanted," she said in a recent interview at her publisher's offices."I think it’s accessible, it can be fun, and I love graphic novels myself."The book is based on Plante's own sketches and anecdotes she began jotting down in 2013, during her first run for a seat on city council. Four years later, she became the first woman elected mayor of Montreal after her surprise defeat of experienced incumbent Denis Coderre.While the writing and drawings were initially a form of self-care to help her "stay balanced," she said she eventually came to see that her story might inspire others, especially young girls."I wanted to show, and maybe tell, people it’s OK not to have all the keys and codes to do something you think would be a good thing to do or you believe in," she said."Just go for it."She began working with Cote-Lacroix on evenings and weekends, taking about two years to finalize the story and illustrations.Plante said that, much like her character in the book, she had been looking for a new challenge before her entry into politics. Then she received a phone call from left-wing municipal party Projet Montreal, which was looking to diversify its slate of candidates.In the book, Plante doesn't shy away from the challenges faced by women who put themselves in the public eye. At one point, one of her character's posters is defaced by sexist graffiti. In another, her character's husband gets effusive praise for helping to care for the couple's children — something the book points out is a given for female political spouses. While the book "won't change sexism," Plante said she hopes it will help highlight the double standards women face.Three years into her mandate, Plante has had a bumpy year, marked by a global pandemic that has devastated the city's economy and criticism over her administration's failure to implement its big visions for affordable housing and transportation. She has also faced anger over what some have described as an anti-car agenda, which includes building bike lanes, eliminating parking spots and temporarily closing some streets to vehicle traffic to create "sanitary corridors." At times, that criticism has escalated to the level of death threats.While some criticism is to be expected, Plante attributes much of the public anger directed her way to the anxiety wrought by the pandemic."Not to minimize their actions of being very aggressive, violent or doing death threats, but I like to hope in the future, when people are less stressed and in a better position, things will calm down," she said.She also faced criticism earlier this year over her novel itself, with some high-profile commentators questioning her decision to "draw cartoons" as the city was embroiled in the COVID-19 crisis.Plante dismissed this as unfounded, especially since she says the writing process wrapped up in late 2019."People were just kind of trashing the book (without) even reading it, which I thought was sad, because it wasn’t about the content, it was about criticizing the author," she said. However, she did push back the book's publication for a few months when the pandemic's second wave began.Plante said she would still recommend politics to young people who want to make a difference, even as she acknowledges it's a "tough" career that comes with unusual levels of public exposure. "But hopefully people see in the book, the love that you get from your volunteers, it's a community, it’s people working together," she said."It’s worth it."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.Morgan Lowrie, The Canadian Press
A bail hearing Friday morning for Adam Skelly, a BBQ shop owner facing lots of legal trouble for defying the Toronto health measures COVID-19 lockdown orders currently in effect in Toronto. Mark Carcasole has more
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit La capitale fédérale compte 55 nouvelles infections à la COVID-19, vendredi. Jeudi, Santé publique Ottawa (SPO) rapportait pour la première fois depuis la mi-septembre qu’Ottawa était passée sous la barre des 300 cas actifs. Toutefois, ce nombre a presque été atteint à nouveau au cours de la dernière journée, puisque le dernier bilan des autorités sanitaires fait état de 293 cas actifs du coronavirus connus à Ottawa. Des Ottaviens qui sont atteints du virus, 21 sont actuellement à l’hôpital, dont trois qui sont à l’unité des soins intensifs. SPO rapporte un décès survenu dans la capitale, jeudi. Selon le bilan quotidien de SPO publié vendredi, 21 éclosions sont actuellement en cours dans des établissements de soins de la santé, sept dans les services de garde d’enfants et établissements éducatifs, et deux au sein de la communauté. COVID-19: un lourd bilan pour finir la semaine, en Ontario La santé publique a fait état d’un nombre record de 1 855 cas de COVID-19, vendredi. Le bilan total depuis le début de la pandémie grimpe donc à un peu plus de 111 000 infections en Ontario. La moyenne sur sept jours atteint donc un nouveau sommet de 1 489 cas quotidiens, soit 72 par semaine par tranche de 100 000 habitants. La province déplore également le décès de 20 Ontariens aux mains du coronavirus. En tout, 3 267 personnes atteintes de la COVID-19 ont perdu la vie en Ontario, dont 2 283 résidents de foyers de soins de longue durée et huit employés de ces établissements. Au cours de la dernière journée, la province a enregistré un autre record important: 58 000 tests complétés en une journée. Jeudi, le Groupe pour le concensus en matière de modélisation et de conseils scientifiques a fait le point sur les projections relatives à la COVID-19 en Ontario. Les experts ont constaté que les « indicateurs clés de la pandémie se stabilisent dans certaines régions, mais les répercussions de la pandémie varient encore beaucoup d'une région à l'autre ». Par ailleurs, ils ont aussi fait savoir que la mortalité des résidents des foyers de soins de longue durée continue d’augmenter, tout comme le taux d’occupation des unités de soins intensifs. Quel que soit le scénario, il y aura 200 patients aux soins intensifs en décembre, prévoient-ils. Jeudi, 541 personnes ayant contracté le virus étaient hospitalisées, dont 151 patients aux soins intensifs. Parmi ceux-ci, 101 étaient sous respirateur. Le Groupe d’experts a aussi noté qu’il est difficile de déterminer s’il existe actuellement un revirement dans la croissance des cas. Le taux de guérison en province était de 84,8 % selon le dernier bilan de la santé publique. Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
A federal judge has reversed a decision turfing Thunderchild First Nation Coun. Michael Linklater. A Thunderchild appeal tribunal panel ousted Linklater for failing to live on the reserve — a move he said violated his Charter rights. In a Wednesday decision, Justice Sébastien Grammond revoked the tribunal panel's call because it didn't consider Charter concerns over Linklater's residency requirements. Applying the Charter to a First Nation's laws is "controversial," but the two also aren't in "complete isolation" from each other, Grammond said. Instead of making any "general pronouncements" on the issue, he aimed to send the matter back to the panel. He said it will have to consider the case again, if the residents who initially raised concerns want to pursue the matter. He also didn't grant Linklater's request to have the court order a vote on residency requirements, because the court doesn't "have a general power to call elections or referenda in (a) First Nation," his decision stated. Linklater said he is unaware of when another tribunal panel will be held, and called the decision "a win." He said the issues raised over his residency were valid, but the matter continues to be an ongoing question in other First Nations. Thunderchild's chief of operations, Winston Walkingbear, did not respond to requests for comment by press time. Grammond's decision noted the First Nation's government supported Linklater’s position. Linklater filed an application for judicial review in August after the tribunal panel pushed him off council for failing to meet residency requirements. In an interview at the time, he also suggested creating a council position to represent off-reserve members. Linklater, who lives in Saskatoon, argued a lack of housing on the First Nation prevents him from living there. In his decision, Grammond noted there's a 400-person wait list for a home on the First Nation. Jonathan Jimmy was one of two band members to raise concerns over the issue to the panel. In August, he said Linklater violated a rule requiring any councillors to move to the First Nation within 30 days of being elected. "If you want to be a leader of Thunderchild, you need to live in Thunderchild," Jimmy said at the time. In September, the First Nation almost held a vote replacing Linklater, but a federal judge halted the process a few days before it went ahead. Linklater was formerly a basketball player with the Saskatchewan Rattlers until he retired in 2019. He was elected to office in 2018 and said he looks forward continuing the role at the First Nation's next council meeting. "I've spoken to the rest of the leadership and there's no hard feelings."Nick Pearce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The StarPhoenix
OTTAWA — Champion ice-dancers Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Olympic champion swimmer Mark Tewksbury were among 114 athletes, artists, scholars and community leaders named to the Order of Canada.Gov. Gen. Julie Payette's office announced the new honourees Friday morning.Others in the group include Indigenous writer Thomas King, winemaker John Peller, dancer and choreographer Elizabeth Langley, geriatrician Roger Wong, Cree elder Doreen Spence, sports academic Dr. Sandra Kirby, wheelchair basketball coach Tim Frick and ex-politicians Bill Graham and Allan Rock.Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018.They're being honoured for their athletic excellence and for inspiring a new generation of figure skaters."Feeling all wrapped up in emotion ... Upon learning about being invested into the Order of Canada, I couldn’t help but think that as a kid, I would have never known to dream so big," Virtue posted on Twitter."I am humbled by this honour."Tewksbury, who is being named to the top companion rank, won gold in the 100-metre backstroke at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.The 52-year-old Calgary native came out publicly as gay in 1998 and has been an advocate of LGBTQ rights as well as a prominent member of Canada's Olympic movement, serving as chef de mission of the 2012 London Olympic team.He is being honoured for athletic excellence and sport leadership, and for championing human rights.Kirby, a rower at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, is being honoured for her research on athlete harassment and her advocacy for equity, inclusion and safety in sport. Frick coached Canada's women's wheelchair basketball team to three straight Paralympic gold medals from 1992-2000 and four straight world championship gold medals from 1994-2006.He is being honoured for his expertise in coaching and for his contributions to the advancement of parasports in Canada.The Order of Canada is one of the country's highest civilian honours.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
The union that speaks for jail workers says that COVID-19 is now in all of the Saskatchewan correctional centres.Saskatoon is the hardest hit, with 76 inmates and 15 staff testing positive for the virus as of Friday. That number is expected to rise as more test results come in, said Glenn Billingsley, a labour relations officer with the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees Union (SGEU).Other positive cases include two staff at the Regina jail, one at the Prince Albert Correctional Centre, one at the Paul Dojack Centre, one at Kilburn Hall and one at a Prince Albert youth residence, he said.The Saskatoon jail is not accepting new inmates. People arrested in Saskatoon and remanded will be sent to a jail in another city.Billingsley said he isn't sure how long this will last."That direction could change on any given notice depending on the staff infection rate, as well as the inmate infection rate at all of those centres," he said.Staff at provincial court in Saskatoon on Friday worked with the new reality.Four of the five men arrested in the city Thursday were released this morning — one with an explicit warning from prosecutor Aaron Martens.The man is facing an assault allegation along with six other charges."This is a consent release but only on the narrowest of margins," Martens said."This is because of COVID-19 at the jail."On Thursday, SGEU proposed that the government give jail staff "optional accommodation" so that workers need not return to their households between shifts.It believes this could help prevent transmission of the virus into the community.The government said no."We're extremely disappointed in the government's reaction," Billingsley said."Transmission of the virus causes more stresses and more economic hardship on this province and the economy than simply supplying optional accommodation for our correction workers."What's yours? CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.