With Jaclyn Whittal.
With Jaclyn Whittal.
(NBC/The Associated Press, NBC/Reuters - image credit) Schitt's Creek won the Golden Globe for best television comedy on Sunday, shortly after star Catherine O'Hara captured the award for best actress for her portrayal of Moira Rose. Dan Levy — who co-created the show with his father, Eugene Levy — accepted the award remotely and paid homage to the Canadian cast and crew. "The incredible work you all did over these past six seasons have taken us to places we never thought possible, and we are so grateful to all of you for it," he said. "Thank you to the CBC and Pop TV for making the active choice to keep this show on the air and give it the time and space it needed to grow." The show topped fellow nominees Ted Lasso, The Great, The Flight Attendant and Emily in Paris. "This acknowledgement is a lovely vote of confidence in the messages Schitt's Creek has come to stand for: the idea that inclusion can bring about growth and love to a community," Dan Levy said. "In the spirit of inclusion, I hope that this time next year, the ceremony reflects the true breadth and diversity of the film and television being made today because there is so much more to be celebrated." Earlier, O'Hara thanked Eugene and Dan Levy for creating "an inspiring, funny, beautiful family love story in which they let me wear 100 wigs and speak like an alien." "Thank you CBC for making this show in Canada," she said. Eugene Levy, Dan Levy and Annie Murphy were each nominated for acting awards as well. Jason Sudeikis bested Eugene Levy for best actor in a television series for his role in Ted Lasso, John Boyega won the award for best supporting actor for his role in Small Axe over Dan Levy and Gillian Anderson's turn on The Crown earned her best supporting actress over Murphy. Schitt's Creek, which aired on CBC and Pop TV, ended its sixth and final season last April. The Ontario-shot show swept the comedy category at the Emmy Awards last fall. Nomadland wins 2 awards, Boseman honoured posthumously Nomadland won best drama film while its director, Chloé Zhao, became the first woman of Asian descent to win best director at the Golden Globes. The film follows a woman, played by Frances McDormand, who leaves her small town to join a group of wanderers in the American West. Accepting the best picture award, Zhao paid tribute to all those who have been on difficult journeys, quoting a line from the film: "We don't say goodbye, we say see you down the road." Meanwhile, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm won best movie, musical or comedy, while star Sacha Baron Cohen won best actor for his portrayal of the fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. In a major surprise, the Globe for best actress in a drama film went to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Day played the legendary jazz and blues singer in the biopic directed by Lee Daniels. A tearful and overwhelmed Day spoke through tears as she said she was "in the presence of giants," naming her fellow nominees Viola Davis, Carey Mulligan, Vanessa Kirby and Frances McDormand. Six months after his death at age 43, Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe for best actor in a dramatic film for his final role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Boseman's widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, accepted the award for her late husband, saying "he would thank God, he would thank his parents, he would thank his ancestors for their guidance and their sacrifices." Through tears, Ledward added: "I don't have his words, but we have to take all the moments to celebrate those we love." In the Netflix film, Boseman plays an ambitious trumpeter named Levee who aims to launch himself with his own updated version of the songs of Ma Rainey, the powerhouse blues singer played by Viola Davis. Boseman, who starred in the Marvel blockbuster "Black Panther," died in August after privately battling colon cancer for four years. Netflix, which came in with a commanding 42 nominations, won the top TV awards. The Crown, as expected, took best drama series, along with acting wins for Anderson, Josh O'Connor and Emma Corrin. O'Connor and Corrin portrayed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, respectively. The Queen's Gambit, another Netflix show, won best limited series or TV movie and star Anya Taylor-Joy won best actress in a limited series. Jodie Foster, meanwhile, won her first Golden Globe in nearly three decades. Foster won the Globe for best supporting actress in a film for her role in The Mauritanian. Jane Fonda accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award, praising the "community of storytellers" for their vital role in troubled times, and calling for greater diversity in Hollywood. The 83-year-old actor and activist, star of Barbarella, Klute, Coming Home, On Golden Pond and 9 to 5, received the Globes' version of a lifetime achievement award, one of the few honorees to accept a Globe in person in Beverly Hills. The DeMille award honours "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment." Previous winners include Walt Disney, Judy Garland, John Wayne, Sidney Poitier, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks and Fonda's father Henry Fonda. The Fondas become the first parent and child to both receive the DeMille award. Norman Lear accepted the Carol Burnett Award on Sunday at the Golden Globes for his storied career in television, saying he "could not feel more blessed." The 98-year-old still-working television legend, creator of All in the Family, The Jeffersons and One Day at a Time, is the third winner of the award that honours "outstanding contributions to television on or off the screen." Hosts on different coasts Earlier, co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler began the pandemic-era award show by delivering a split-screen opening from separate coasts. With Poehler at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., and Fey in New York's Rainbow Room, the two did an initial gag where Fey reached out through the screen and stroked Poehler's hair. Golden Globes hosts Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler, opened the show from New York and Beverly Hills, Calif., respectively. When attendees would normally be streaming down the red carpet on Sunday evening, many stars were instead posing virtually. Regina King, resplendent in a dazzling dress, stood before her yawning dog. Carey Mulligan, nominated for Promising Young Woman, said from a London hotel room that she was wearing heels for the first time in more than a year. Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the tender Korean-American family drama Minari (a movie the HFPA was criticized for ruling ineligible for its top award because of its non-English dialogue), accepted the award for best foreign language film while his young daughter embraced him. "She's the reason I made this film," said Chung. "Minari is about a family. It's a family trying to learn a language of its own. It goes deeper than any American language and any foreign language. It's a language of the heart. I'm trying to learn it myself and to pass it on," said Chung. Other awards included Pixar's Soul for best animated film; Rosumund Pike took best actress in a comedy or musical film for I Care a Lot; and Aaron Sorkin won for best screenplay for Trial of the Chicago 7. The film, a favourite to win best drama film at the Globes, was sold to Netflix by Paramount Pictures last summer due to the pandemic. "Netflix saved our lives," said Sorkin. Issues in lead-up to show On a night when the organization that gives out the Golden Globes is facing condemnation for having no Black voting members, the night's first award went to a Black actor, with Daniel Kaluuya winning best supporting actor in a film for his work in Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya's acceptance speech could not be heard from his location at first, and he jokingly shouted, "You did me dirty!" once the audio was restored. Kaluuya didn't mention the issue directly in his acceptance, though he praised the man he played to win the award, Blank Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was was killed in an FBI raid in 1969. The Globes, normally a loose-and-boozy party that serves as the kickoff for Hollywood's awards season, has been beset with problems beyond the coronavirus leading up to this year's ceremony. They include a revelation in the Los Angeles Times that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which gives out the awards, has no Black voting members in the group. LISTEN | Why the Golden Globes' shady reputation persists: Fey took a shot at the organization in the show opening, explaining to the two small live audiences made up of first responders and essential workers that "the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is made up of around 90 no Black journalists." This year, none of the most acclaimed Black-led films — Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, One Night in Miami, Judas and the Black Messiah and Da 5 Bloods — were nominated for the Globes' best picture award. With the HFPA potentially fighting for its Hollywood life, Sunday's Globes were part apology tour. Within the first half hour of the NBC telecast, members of the press association also appeared on stage to pledge change. "We recognize we have our own work to do," said vice president Helen Hoehne. "We must have Black journalists in our organization."
(Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse/The Associated Press - image credit) Health Canada's approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Serum Institute of India's version to prevent COVID-19 in adults follows similar green lights from regulators in the United Kingdom, Europe Union, Mexico and India. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, called ChAdOx1, was approved for use in Canada on Friday following clinical trials in the United Kingdom and Brazil that showed a 62.1 per cent efficacy in reducing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 cases among those given the vaccine. Experts have said any vaccine with an efficacy rate of over 50 per cent could help stop outbreaks. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said the key number across all of the clinical trials for those who received AstraZeneca's product was zero — no deaths, no hospitalizations for serious COVID-19 and no deaths because of an adverse effect of the vaccine. "I think Canada is hungry for vaccines," Sharma said in a briefing. "We're putting more on the buffet table to be used." Specifically, 64 of 5,258 in the vaccination group got COVID-19 with symptoms compared with people in the control group given injections (154 of 5,210 got COVID-19 with symptoms). Dr. Susy Hota, medical director of infection prevention and control at Toronto's University Health Network, called it a positive move to have AstraZeneca's vaccines added to Canada's options. "Even though the final efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine appears lower than what we have with the mRNA vaccines, it's still reasonably good," Hota said. "What we need to be focusing on is trying to get as many people as possible vaccinated so we can prevent the harms from this." Canada has an agreement with AstraZeneca to buy 20 million doses as well as between 1.9 million and 3.2 million doses through the global vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX. WATCH | AstraZeneca vaccine overview: Canada will also receive 2 million doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the government announced Friday. Here's a look at some common questions about the vaccine, how it works, in whom and how it could be rolled out. What's different about this shot? The Oxford-AstraZeneca is cheaper and easier to handle than the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which need to be stored at ultracold temperatures to protect the fragile genetic material. AstraZeneca says its vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (2 to 8 C) for at least six months. (Moderna's product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures for 30 days after thawing.) The ease of handling could make it easier to administer AstraZeneca's vaccine in rural and remote areas of Canada and the world. "There are definitely some advantages to having multiple vaccine candidates available to get to as many Canadians as possible," Hota said. Sharma said while the product monograph notes that evidence for people over age 65 is limited, real-world data from countries already using AstraZeneca's vaccine suggest it is safe and effective among older age groups. "We have real-world evidence from Scotland and the U.K. for people that have been dosed that would have been over 80 and that has shown significant drop in hospitalizations," Sharma said, based on a preprint. Data from clinical trials is more limited compared with in real-world settings that reflect people from different age groups, medical conditions and other factors. How does it work? Vaccines work by training our immune system to recognize an invader. The first two vaccines to protect against COVID-19 that were approved for use in Canada deliver RNA that encodes the spike protein on the surface of the pandemic coronavirus. Health-care workers Diego Feitosa Ferreira, right, and Clemilton Lopes de Oliveira travel on a boat in the state of Amazonas in Brazil, on Feb. 12, to vaccinate residents with the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The product can be stored at refrigeration temperatures, which facilitates its use in remote areas. In contrast, the AstraZeneca vaccine packs the genetic information for the spike protein in the shell of a virus that causes the common cold in chimpanzees. Vaccine makers altered the adenovirus so it can't grow in humans. Viral vector vaccines mimic viral infection more closely than some other kinds of vaccines. One disadvantage of viral vectors is that if a person has immunity toward a particular vector, the vaccine won't work as well. But people are unlikely to have been exposed to a chimpanzee adenovirus. AstraZeneca is working on reformulating its vaccine to address more transmissible variants of coronavirus. How and where could it be used? Virologist Eric Arts at Western University in London, Ont., said vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, which is also under review by Health Canada, and Russian Sputnik-V vaccines all have some similarities. "I do like the fact that AstraZeneca has decided to continue trials, to work with the Russians on the Sputnik-V vaccine combination," said Arts, who holds the Canada Research Chair in HIV pathogenesis and viral control. Boxes with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at St. Mary's Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. Health Canada says the vaccine is given by two separate injections of 0.5 millilitres each into the muscle of the arm. "The reason why I'm encouraged by it is I think there might be greater opportunity to administer those vaccines in low- to middle-income countries. We need that. I think our high-income countries have somewhat ignored the situation that is more significant globally." Researchers reported on Feb. 2 in the journal Lancet that in a Phase 3 clinical trial involving about 20,000 people in Russia, the two-dose Sputnik-V vaccine was about 91 per cent effective and appears to prevent inoculated individuals from becoming severely ill with COVID-19. WATCH | Performance of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine so far: There were 16 COVID-19 cases in the vaccine group (0.1 per cent or 16/14,964) and 62 cases (1.3 per cent or [62/4,902) in the control group. No serious adverse events were associated with vaccination. Most adverse events were mild, such as flu-like symptoms, pain at injection site and weakness or low energy. Arts and other scientists acknowledged the speed and lack of transparency of the Russian vaccination program. But British scientists Ian Jones and Polly Roy wrote in an accompanying commentary that the results are clear and add another vaccine option to reduce the incidence of COVID-19.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Spacewalking astronauts ventured out Sunday to install support frames for new, high-efficiency solar panels arriving at the International Space Station later this year. NASA's Kate Rubins and Victor Glover put the first set of mounting brackets and struts together, then bolted them into place next to the station's oldest and most degraded solar wings. But the work took longer than expected, and they barely got started on the second set before calling it quits. Rubins will finish the job during a second spacewalk later this week. The spacewalkers had to lug out the hundreds of pounds of mounting brackets and struts in 8-foot (2.5-meter) duffle-style bags. The equipment was so big and awkward that it had to be taken apart like furniture, just to get through the hatch. Some of the attachment locations required extra turns of the power drill and still weren't snug enough, as indicated by black lines. The astronauts had to use a ratchet wrench to deal with the more stubborn bolts, which slowed them down. At one point, they were two hours behind. “Whoever painted this black line painted outside the lines a little bit," Glover said at one particularly troublesome spot. “We’ll work on our kindergarten skills over here,” Mission Control replied, urging him to move on. With more people and experiments flying on the space station, more power will be needed to keep everything running, according to NASA. The six new solar panels — to be delivered in pairs by SpaceX over the coming year or so — should boost the station’s electrical capability by as much as 30%. Rubins and Glover tackled the struts for the first two solar panels, due to launch in June. Their spacewalk ended up lasting seven hours, a bit longer than planned. “Really appreciate your hard work. I know there were a lot of challenges,” Mission Control radioed. The eight solar panels up there now are 12 to 20 years old — most of them past their design lifetime and deteriorating. Each panel is 112 feet (34 metres) long by 39 feet (12 metres) wide. Tip to tip counting the centre framework, each pair stretches 240 feet (73 metres), longer than a Boeing 777's wingspan. Boeing is supplying the new roll-up panels, about half the size of the old ones but just as powerful thanks to the latest solar cell technology. They’ll be placed at an angle above the old ones, which will continue to operate. A prototype was tested at the space station in 2017. Rubins' helmet featured a new high-definition camera that provided stunning views, particularly those showing the vivid blue Earth 270 miles (435 kilometres) below. “Pretty fantastic," observed Mission Control. Sunday’s spacewalk was the third for infectious disease specialist Rubins and Navy pilot Glover — both of whom could end up flying to the moon. They’re among 18 astronauts newly assigned to NASA’s Artemis moon-landing program. The next moonwalkers will come from this group. Last week, Vice-President Kamala Harris put in a congratulatory call to Glover, the first African American astronaut to live full time at the space station. NASA released the video exchange Saturday. “The history making that you are doing, we are so proud of you,” Harris said. Like other firsts, Glover replied, it won't be the last. “We want to make sure that we can continue to do new things,” he said. Rubins will float back out Friday with Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to wrap up the solar panel prep work, and to vent and relocate ammonia coolant hoses. Glover and Noguchi were among four astronauts arriving via SpaceX in November. Rubins launched from Kazakhstan in October alongside two Russians. They’re all scheduled to return to Earth this spring. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content. Marcia Dunn, The Associated Press
British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce an extra 1.65 billion pounds ($2.30 billion) to fund the country's fast vaccination rollout as part of his annual budget statement on Wednesday, the finance ministry said. "Protecting ourselves against the virus means we will be able to lift restrictions, reopen our economy and focus our attention on creating jobs and stimulating growth," Sunak said in a statement. Britain has so far given a first vaccination more than 20 million people, or more than one in three adults, Europe's fastest vaccination rollout.
At their regular meeting on Wednesday, Rocanville Town Council made the decision to slash the prices of lots in Cameron Crescent by 50 per cent, in a bid to incentivize buyers. The subdivision on the east side of Rocanville consists of 22 lots, of which four have been sold, leaving 18 available lots. Council decided that cutting the cost of the lots by 50 per cent would help buyers looking to build a home secure a loan. The lots on Cameron Crescent vary in size and price, and once purchased, must be built on within two years. Mayor Ron Reed says he hopes the discount helps buyers and prospective home owners who are interested in the land. “If it’s more enticing to get the land, then it’s easier for them to move forward,” he says. Town moving toward restructuring of recreation There was discussion at the meeting Wednesday about restructuring how the town’s recreation facilities are managed. Currently each facility in the town has a board that manages that facility, but the town wants to move toward having the rec director oversee the facilities, with the boards in place for input and fundraising. Council sat down with Rec Director Andrea Logan on Wednesday to discuss some of the changes. “The rec director would be a rec manager overall and oversee all the boards, and rather than the boards managing the rec director,” said Mayor Ron Reed after the meeting. “We would keep the boards as far as input from each different group. But then they would report their needs and wants to the rec director and then the rec director would make the final decision on overall rec decisions.” Reed says the new model would likely start with the pool and the rink, and then be applied to other town facilities as the town transitions its facilities to the new model of management. Reed said the rec director could look after things like scheduling and potentially staffing, leaving the boards free to focus more on things like fundraising instead of the overall management duties of the facilities. “They would be more like a fundraising board versus a managing or an administrative board where they do everything on their own underneath the rec director,” says Reed. Outdoor rink, dog park, walking paths, and new pool discussed In sitting down with Rec Director Andrea Logan on Wednesday, the town and Logan also discussed a few major recreation projects, both short-term and long-term, as well as securing grant money for the projects. First on the agenda was Rocanville’s indoor swimming pool. Logan said the pool is in need of some major renos and repairs, including a new liner, new decking, a dehumidifier and air exchange system. She asked council if she should start applying for grants for these projects, and said the pool board has talked about whether the town should be looking at a whole new pool at some point. She said the importance of having an indoor pool is big for Rocanville, as it is one of the main thing that sets their town’s rec facilities apart. No other town in the area has a public indoor pool, and most have outdoor pools. Councillor Owen Wilson pointed out that a new pool would be a very big, major long-term goal, and that the town should be applying for grants now for repairs in order to keep the current pool operational for as long as possible. Logan suggested that councillors do a walk through of the facility with her one evening to review all of the work that needs to be done, and a date was set for that to be done. The town also discussed their plans for a walking path and dog park, which would be developed in a copse of trees on the east side of town behind the former Grainger’s Excavating location. Logan said she will begin applying for grants for things like benches and dog bag stations for that area and council figured it was a project that could be completed fairly quickly once the weather is warmer. A location for a permanent outdoor rink was also discussed with council favoring an area behind the curling rink. The plan is to level and area and have boards up by next winter so that the rink can be used, and Logan said she would apply for grants for that project as well. Ice plant to be shut off at rink The ice plant at the rink will be shut off sometime within the next week in order to save money on rink costs due to very little activity taking place in the rink because of Covid-19. The rink will continue to operate with natural ice for as long as possible until the weather turns and the ice begins to melt. Goulden thanked for years of service on library board Council passed a motion to purchase a gift for Deenie Goulden in recognition of her long-time service as the town rep on the library board. Goulden has been doing the job since 2006, first as the town’s rep during her time on council, and then as a member at large afterwards. As per town policy, the town’s library rep would be paid to attend the library meetings, however Goulden has never been paid for her work, nor asked to be paid. Council decided to purchase a $500 gift card to thank her for her service. Reduced rent for dental office, playschool extended Council passed a motion to extend a reduced rental rate for the playschool and dental office for six more months. The playschool dental office, which are located in town facilities, have had their rent reduced by 50 per cent to alleviate the effects of Covid-19, and it was decided to review that rate at the end of 2020. Council made the decision to extend the reduced rate for six more months and then review it again at that time. Letter of thanks After the town created some outdoor winter walking paths around the ball diamonds in Rocanville, council received a letter of thanks for a family that was thrilled with the paths, saying they have been using them often and enjoying being able to take their dogs out on the paths. Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
Most years across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, the spring and summer are filled with rodeo events over the weekend. In 2020, rodeos all across Canada were cancelled due to Covid-19. For the first time in over 100 years, the Calgary Stampede was cancelled as a result of the pandemic, but for the time being it’s set to take place in 2021. Along with the Stampede, other rodeos could be back this year too. The Canadian Cowboys Association is Canada’s largest semi-pro and pro rodeo association and has been around since 1963, promoting rodeos—it consists of 900 members. It sanctions events across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia—including seven major events and five optional, novice, and junior events per year—and draws over 850,000 spectators from the Western U.S., Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and all over Canada. In 2020, it had to cancel its entire slate of events—the Canadian Cowboys Association sanctions over 50 rodeo events in prairie communities. Every fall it hosts its Championship Finals in Swift Current and has thousands of spectators. The unknowns around what comes next with the pandemic and provincial guidelines will mean nothing is set in stone, but the Canadian Cowboys Association is preparing as if there will be a season and remains hopeful events can run, even if they’re at a lesser extent. “We’re being hopeful that rodeos will happen this year and what we’re looking at is if rodeos will be able to run as outdoor events with spectators,” said Lenora Bells of the Canadian Cowboys Association. “With the rodeos that are indoors, we’re looking at the possibility of switching them to outdoors so that they can have spectators. “This is all of course only if the Covid-19 guidelines will allow us to hold these outdoors. We’re being cautiously optimistic. We’ve been in touch with our rodeo communities—we have about 50 of them—and we’ve been communicating with the committees that are in charge of the rodeo events. “About half of them have gotten back to us that they plan to go ahead with an outdoor venue as long as they can have at least 100 spectators and they’re hoping that the government and the health authority will look into increasing that. We’re just hoping that there will be more flexibility for the outdoor events. “Right now the decision for the seven months is coming from the health authority hopefully before the end of February and we’ll go from there. I know that the communities, and even us as an association, are looking at our partnerships and sponsorships in anticipation of rodeos going ahead and we’re also planning to go ahead with the finals in October in Swift Current.” The importance of rodeo events across communities in the prairies cannot be underestimated, they help the local economy by driving more business into town. Bells says they’re working to ensure all communities are able to host some sort of event as long as the guidelines allow and they’re ready to adjust venues and shift dates if need be. “Our board has met a couple times already over this and we just continue to plan for having rodeos,” she said. “It would be great to have all of them happen. We have two that happen in April that are indoors and they’re looking at just rescheduling to a different date later in the summer. “So there might be some rescheduling happening too so the communities can have rodeos and some kind of festival to gather the community together. They’re definitely big for these communities—our subcontractors, our judges, our pickup men, our secretaries, everybody is just chomping at the bit to get out there.” Bells thinks it’s important for the Canadian Cowboys Association to try and do something this year if they’re able to because even if it’s a smaller rodeo, it’s better than nothing and people haven’t been able to look forward to local events in a long time. She says some communities have even begun prepping for their yearly rodeo as they remain hopeful the spring and summer will bring a safer atmosphere. “Some of the communities are already selling, not tickets to the rodeo, but they’re having fundraisers,” she said. “Some of the communities are doing that where you can buy a raffle ticket and win something. I know some communities are starting to do that. We’re keeping in touch with the communities and we have social media to keep up with. “We encourage all our communities and members to follow our social media—we have over 600 cowgirl and cowboy members, subcontractors, etc.—and this can keep everybody up to date. So we encourage everybody to keep an eye on that and continue to be optimistic that even if it’s at a smaller scale, we can still plan on something happening. Everybody is ready to get together, but in a safe way so that’s what we’re figuring out.” It’s not an easy task for the Canadian Cowboys Association to plan rodeos and guide communities in four different provinces through this because of the unknowns ahead. There’s a few months until the season begins, but there’s no way of knowing what travel restrictions and numbers for gatherings will look like for each province. Still, Bells doesn’t think it would do any good to wait around to hear what they might be able to do in the coming months, they’d rather plan and ensure if they can do something then they will. She says for those in the rodeo community, communication is key as they move forward and encourages people to stay posted for updates through their social media channels. “What we’re doing is planning like we’re having a season so the planning process is happening,” she said. “For the dates of the rodeos, we’ll be going from last season’s dates—which now would be the 2019 dates—we’ll be posting those again on our website so people can see where the rodeos might be happening. If people want to look at that previous schedule, they can judge where and when rodeos might be happening.” https://www.world-spectator.com Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
TORONTO — Ontario has expanded the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness, its largest municipality announced on Sunday as the province eclipsed 300,000 total infections since the onset of the global pandemic. The city of Toronto said it received word over the weekend that the province had added homeless people to the list of those who qualify for a jab under Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout plan. Shelter-system residents will accordingly start receiving their initial vaccine doses this week, the city said in a release. "People experiencing homelessness are at elevated risk of serious health impacts due to COVID-19 and are vulnerable to transmission in congregate settings," Toronto Board of Health Chair and city Coun. Joe Cressy said in the statement. "By updating their vaccination prioritization plan, the province has made it possible for the city and our hospital and health care partners to help keep those most at risk in our communities safe." Ontario's ministry of health had previously stated that homeless residents would not be eligible for a vaccine until the inoculation drive entered its second phase. The city did not provide a timeline for when the provincial guidance changed, and the ministry did not immediately respond to request for comment on Sunday. Toronto said local health officials and its shelter support and housing administration would identify shelters at the highest risk of contracting the virus, but did not spell out their criteria. Advocates had been pushing for homeless residents to move up the vaccine queue for weeks, citing their significantly higher rates of mental and health afflictions relative to the general public as well as difficulties they face in observing basic public health protocols in an overtaxed shelter system. Dr. Andrew Bond, medical director of the homeless-oriented health clinic Inner City Health Associates, said shelters are akin to long-term care homes where the virus has historically taken hold quickly. A major difference, Bond said, is that unlike the "captive audience" of a long-term care home, those living in shelters leave every day to get food, see doctors and other health-care professionals. The presence of new COVID-19 variants of concern in the city, he said, only compounds the issue. "As people come and go from the shelter into the community, the variant will propagate into the wider community, if it hasn't already," Bond said. "It’s really in everybody's interest here to vaccinate those experiencing homelessness." Bond's organization issued a tweet on Sunday applauding the province's decision to start immunizing homeless residents. The original plan from the province saw shelter workers to be vaccinated in the first phase while shelter residents were slated for Phase 2. That two-tier system drew widespread criticism among homeless advocates. "It makes absolutely no sense, and I'm not being facetious, it just literally makes no sense to me," Bond said of the original inoculation timeline. "The only effective way to control outbreaks is to vaccinate simultaneously all of those individuals in the shelter system, whether they work or live there." A COVID-19 variant believed to be one first identified in the United Kingdom has also highlighted the challenges the homeless face when needing to self-isolate. One outbreak linked to the variant has ripped through the Maxwell Meighen Centre in downtown Toronto, with at least 31 people being infected. A man who lives at the facility said proper isolation inside the shelter is impossible due to regular intermingling and shared bathrooms. The man, who did not want to be identified for fear of recriminations from staff, said everyone staying at the centre has to leave their rooms from 8 a.m. until noon. The Salvation Army, which operates Maxwell Meighan, said people do have to leave the shelter during those hours so their rooms can be cleaned. The situation is not unique to one facility, according to one social worker. "Every shelter I've called has told me that they're on outbreak status and they're closed to new admissions," Sarah Ovens said. "There is nowhere to go where they will feel safe and be able to actually isolate, both to keep themselves safe and to keep other people safe." The move to vaccinate the homeless comes after Ontario reported 1,062 new infections and 20 more deaths linked to the virus on Sunday. Those figures pushed the province's overall virus case count to 300,816 infections over the course of the pandemic, making it the highest in the country. The province is also poised to record 7,000 deaths since the onset of the pandemic, with 6,980 recorded as of Sunday. Health Minister Christine Elliott said Toronto saw 259 new infections in the past 24 hours, nearby Peel Region recorded 201 and York Region logged 86. Hospitalizations in the province declined by 53 to 627, with 289 patients in intensive care and 185 on a ventilator. The figures come a day before several public health units in the province are set to change status. Seven are set to relax protective public health measures, while Thunder Bay and Muskoka Simcoe are set to move into the lockdown stage of the provincial pandemic response plan amid rising case numbers. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. Liam Casey, The Canadian Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump on Sunday called for Republican Party unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions and trumpeted lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force. Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he has been hailed as a returning hero, Trump blasted his successor, President Joe Biden, and tried to cement his status as the party’s undisputed leader despite his loss in November. “Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage, where his old rally soundtrack had been playing. “I stand before you today to declare that the incredible journey we begun together ... is far from being over." Though Trump has flirted with the the idea of creating a third party, he pledged Sunday to remain part of what he called “our beloved party." “I'm going to continue to fight right by your side. We're not starting new parties,” he said. “We have the Republican Party. It's going to be strong and united like never before.” The conference, held this year in Orlando instead of the Washington suburbs because of COVID-19 restrictions, has served as a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness on display. Speakers, including many potential 2024 hopefuls, have argued the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. And they have repeated his unfounded claim that he lost the November election only because of mass voter fraud — an assertion that has been repeatedly rejected by judges, Republican state officials and Trump’s own administration. Still, Trump continued to repeat what Democrats have dubbed the “big lie," calling the election “rigged” and insisting that he won in November, even though he lost by more than 7 million votes. “As you know, they just lost the White House,” he said of Biden, rewriting history as he teased the prospect that he will run again in 2024. “I may even decide to beat them for a third time," he said. And he mocked those who have warned that such talk will damage the party. “If Republicans don’t get this and the other things I’m going to say, then you should, like the Supreme Court, be ashamed of yourselves," he said. The conference's annual unscientific straw poll of just over 1,000 attendees found that 97% approve of the job Trump did as president. But they were much more ambiguous about whether he should run again, with 68% saying he should. If the 2024 primary were held today and Trump were in the race, just 55% said they would vote for him, followed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at 21%. Without Trump in the field, DeSantis garnered 43% support, followed by 8% for South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and 7% each for former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. It is highly unusual for past American presidents to publicly criticize their successors so soon after leaving office. Ex-presidents typically step out of the spotlight for at least a while; Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation after he departed, while George W. Bush said he believed Obama “deserves my silence” and took up painting. Not Trump. He delivered a sharp rebuke of what he framed as the new administration's first month of failures, including Biden's approach to immigration and the border. “Joe Biden has had the most disastrous first month of any president in modern history,” Trump said. White House press secretary Jen Psaki brushed off the expected criticism. “We’ll see what he says, but our focus is certainly not on what President Trump is saying at CPAC," she told reporters. Aside from criticizing Biden, Trump used the speech to crown himself the future of the Republican Party, even as many leaders argue they must move in a new, less divisive direction after Republicans lost not only the White House but both chambers of Congress in the last elections. And he insisted the party was united, even as he called out by name Republicans who voted to impeach him for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, and lashed those he labels RINOs, “Republican in name only.” “We cannot have leaders who show more passion for condemning their fellow Americans than they have ever shown for standing up to Democrats, the media and the radicals who want to turn America into a socialist country," Trump said. On Friday, Trump began his vengeance campaign, endorsing Max Miller, a former aide who is seeking to oust Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, who voted in favour of Trump’s impeachment. Still, in his speech Sunday he insisted the only gulf in the party was “between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else, all over the country.” While he no longer has his social media megaphone after being barred from Twitter and Facebook, Trump has already been inching back into public life. He called into conservative news outlets after Rush Limbaugh's death and to wish Tiger Woods well after the pro golfer was injured in a car crash. He has also issued statements, including one blasting Mitch McConnell after the Senate Republican leader excoriated Trump for inciting the Capitol riot. McConnell has since said he would “absolutely” support Trump if he were the GOP nominee in 2024. At his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump has been quietly meeting with aides and senior party leaders as he builds his post-presidential political operation. While he has already endorsed several pro-Trump candidates, aides have been working this past week to develop benchmarks for those seeking his endorsement to make sure the candidates are serious and have set up full-fledged political and fundraising organizations before he gets involved. They are also planning a new super PAC that could raise unlimited amounts of money, though one aide cautioned they were still deciding whether to create a new entity or repurpose an existing America First super PAC. Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Usually every summer people come from across southeast Saskatchewan and southwest Manitoba for a fireworks spectacle at Moosomin Regional Park. There’s tens of thousands of people, food and drink, bands performing, and of course, the fireworks. The Living Skies Come Alive International Fireworks Competition is a beloved event in Canada and draws competitors from all over the globe, as far as China and the Philippines—it’s the largest event in southeast Saskatchewan. It’s a world-class competition that’s on the same level as some of the best international fireworks competitions. Thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours are invested into the competition each year with it all coming together as the fireworks mesmerize over Moosomin Lake. From the competitors to the planners to the performers to the vendors to all the spectators it draws, it’s one of the most important weekends of the year for the local economy. In 2020, the event had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic restricting gathering sizes and international travel—it would have been the 11th year of the fireworks in Moosomin. For the second straight summer, the competition looks unlikely to go forward. Although August is still months away, preparation for such a large event begins early and Karen Hebert, head of the fireworks committee, says that without knowing what will be allowed down the road, there’s just no way of planning such a substantial gathering. “Until we can gather a large amount of people it’s just definitely not an option,” she said. “Our crowds are in the thousands so whenever the guidelines open up, is when we’ll be able to look at something like this, but until then, it’s definitely not an option at all. For now it’s off the table unless things open up, I can’t see that happening.” Another factor working against the event right now is that it’s an international competition and non-essential travel is not recommended, meaning any competition would need to be strictly Canadian. “With the parameters that are in place right now, I just can’t see things being able to open up enough and then also even if we could gather people, would we have to have two Canadian companies? Because do you want to bring other countries in? And with the travel restrictions, at this point in time it’s not an option.” Hebert doesn’t believe any fireworks event will be able to happen this summer based on how things are looking in Canada with the slow rollout of the vaccine and says all they can do is sit and wait with no control over what’s to come. “There’s really nothing we can do about it and at this point in time,” she said. “I can’t see the fireworks being able to happen in 2021 unless some major changes happen, but the way we’re going right now and with the lack of vaccines, I just can’t see things opening up very much.” Alternate options for the event are under consideration if things open up more, but it’s a logistically tough situation to work with, says Hebert. “Our main fireworks contact with the Canadian company is Peter (Palmer of CanFire Pyrotechnics) and he called me last fall hoping we could do something smaller, but at that time people would have had to drive in and park somewhere to see it and we don’t have a facility in order to handle that,” she said. The best chance of a fireworks show for this summer at Moosomin Lake would be if gathering restrictions open up and a smaller scale event is possible within the guidelines. “If we can host something then we’d for sure look into that,” she said. “We’ve discussed different options, but until we can actually gather people, none of those can be planned out.” In a normal situation, nearly a full year of planning goes into the competition to ensure entertainment, vendors, and competitions are set, but given the circumstances, the committee hasn’t been able to do anything in preparation for the summer of 2021. “We would have already started planning,” she said. “Once we put the previous year’s to bed, we’d maybe take the rest of the month off and then we’d start again by September to get ready for the next year. We need to book our bands and entertainment and all of that stuff so we would have already had a lot of prep work done at this point in time.” At this point, Hebert doesn’t even think 2022 is a sure thing for the fireworks competition because of all the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and nobody knowing what the “new normal” will look like as the world recovers from Covid-19. “This is just the reality of our new Covid life,” she said. “What are they going to do for large concerts and large gatherings of people? I don’t know when that will return or what that could even look like in the future. Nobody can really say anything, we really know nothing.” Rob Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator
NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on the surface of Mars on February 18, 2021 and it has already begun to send back jaw-dropping images of the surrounding area.
An Erin councillor is expressing concerns about a proposed residential complex in Ospringe and how will it impact drainage in a nearby neighbhourhood. Addressing the matter during a recent town council meeting, Coun. John Brennan said he was worried about the stormwater management of the complex, as there is another one nearby. “We have a field there absorbing all of what Mother Nature dumps on it,” said Brennan. “We’re going to put a street in there, 13 houses, and we’re going to have all of that flowing down to this one corner where the existing houses are.” He would like town technical staff to review the area, as he's worried the amount of water would affect the neighbouring residents on the downslope of that area. However, a planner for the proponent said their stormwater plan is carefully designed to avoid such conflicts. “We have done stormwater management and engineering design for the proposed subdivision,” said Odete Gomes, senior planner of IBI Group. “All the water doesn’t just get directed down there all at once. It is controlled.” On behalf of Terrell Spirit of Pentecost, IBI Group submitted a draft plan to facilitate a 13-lot residential development, using private services, and a stormwater management facility on 5414 Second Line. It also submitted a zoning amendment to change the lands from the current agricultural designation to rural residential (R3) and open space recreation. It was explained that the grounds were previously used for cash crops. There was also an abandoned house in the area for some time. The property is located on the north side of Wellington County Rd. 124, west of Second Line. It has an area of about 3.62 hectares. “The application represents good planning, will facilitate intensification within an existing hamlet, and will add additional housing opportunities for the existing and future residents,” said Gomes. It is surrounded by low-density residential and agricultural buildings or facilities, a gas station, a convenience store and the Knox Presbyterian Community Church, which also expressed concerns. Janice McClelland, a church member, said the proposal would see the church surrounded on the east and west sides by private housing lots. “We will be losing parking options,” said McClelland. “The congregation and supporters park in the grass parking area surrounded by the old stone wall behind the church. We also park in a portion of the old at fields next to Highway 124.” Coun. Michael Robins wanted to know if they should consider connecting the new homes to the proposed wastewater treatment plant. “The current wastewater project is servicing the urban area,” said Nick Colucci, director of infrastructure services and engineer. “The growth management study did look at growth in rural areas and deemed it wouldn’t be necessary to service those areas. Maybe sometime in the future, if development proceeds.” Gomes and McClelland will discuss ways to mitigate the concerns and find ways to accommodate churchgoers. The application will return to council chambers at a future council meeting for further discussion. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
A father and son duo will take to the hills in freezing temperatures for charity this Saturday - and they'll be doing so without the benefit of proper winter wear. Brad Brown and his son will toboggan down Murray’s Mountain Park wearing bathing suits at noon. The challenge is part of the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Ontario in his bathing suit. “I jumped in cold water already in the middle of February,” said Brown. “My son has done it too. Last year was his first time jumping in the pool.” Brown is one of the basketball coaches for Special Olympics Dufferin. He is also involved in curling and bocce ball. His son is also an autistic athlete. Brown and his colleagues, of about four coaches, participated in various activities. As a group, they set a goal of $3,000 and raised $3,500. Brown set a goal of $300 himself and has surpassed that amount with $460. His son raised $430 himself as well. About 70 per cent of the funds raised will be sent to Special Olympics Dufferin, with the remaining 30 per cent to the parent organization, Special Olympics Ontario. Other participants plunged into a water body, such as a lake or river, to raise awareness and funds for the campaign. Some of his colleagues, the other coaches, have opted to plunge at a lake elsewhere. He couldn’t go deciding to do a different activity. Those registered for a polar plunge of their own will receive a polar plunge toque with a $30 registration fee. Those who raised $100 will receive a commemorative long-sleeve shirt. Those who raised $500 will get you a YETI 26-ounce bottle with a triple haul cap, the top individual fundraiser, Special Olympics athlete, and volunteer fundraiser gets an Xbox One. The most creative video plunge gets a weighted blanket. The park has “use at your own risk” signs in place, redacting a previous ban on tobogganing altogether. Brown would usually participate in the annual event in Shelburne, but he decided to do it close to home with no end in sight with the pandemic here. “We normally do it in Shelburne, as a big group, but because of COVID, everybody is back home and told to do it virtually and do what you can,” said Brown. “I don’t have a pool or anything, so we decided we’re going to toboggan in our bathing suits.” Polar plunges began on Feb. 1 and ran until Feb. 28. To take part in the fundraising effort, visit www.polarplunge.ca. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
Fundraising efforts for this year’s Coldest Night of the Year have surpassed expectations. The Orangeville Food Bank had set a goal to raise $65,000 through the virtual-only fundraiser Feb. 20. Instead, it brought in $77,544. “We crushed the goal,” said Savanaha O'Reilly, food manager for the Orangeville Food Bank. “We thought, since the pandemic, we wouldn’t get a good of a turnout as we have in the past with it being virtual, but the community as always has surprised us." About 249 walkers signed up, with 47 teams registered. The top three teams were the Care Bears, raising $7,450, Marching Marks with $5,690, and the Young and the Rest of Us contributing $4,627. The Care Bears represented Orangeville District Secondary School. “We had a lot of support from the schools, not just the food drive, but with Coldest Night of the Year now,” said O’Reilly. “They blew our minds, and we didn’t expect that at all.” Those registered could join in on a two-kilometre walk or a distanced five-kilometre walk covering most of the town. Adult walkers who raised $150 and children contributing $75 received a commemorative tuque as a sign of appreciation from the organization. Participants were encouraged to raise money for charities serving people experiencing homelessness, hurt and hunger. The Orangeville food bank serves 700 people a month, 35 per cent of them children. “We have continued to see an increase in clients,” said “O’Reilly. “We are seeing people we haven’t seen before.” They state seniors continue to be the fastest-growing demographic each year. The organization receives no annual provincial or federal funding and is primarily supported by the community. Funds raised will support the food bank operations, including fresh food purchases, gardening programs, seniors' markets, food packages for children, and the community food share initiative. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
Dufferin OPP say one man has died from his injuries after his car collided with another vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign in Amaranth. At about 8:26 a.m. Feb. 20, the OPP’s Dufferin detachment responded to a collision on County Rd. 12 and 20th Side Rd. in Amaranth. The initial investigation determined a silver sedan was being driven southbound on County Road 20 when it went through a stop sign and collided with a red sedan heading eastbound on 20th Side Road. The driver and passenger in the silver sedan sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were taken a local hospital.. The driver of the red sedan, who was the sole occupant of the vehicle, suffered fatal injuries as a result. He has been identified as Scott Hambleton, 60, of Grand Valley. Police continue to investigate the collision and ask anyone with information to contact them at 1-888-310-1122. Those who have witnessed the collision and wish to speak to victim services can call Caledon/Dufferin Victim Services at 905-951-3838. Editor's Note: Feb. 23, 7 p.m.: this article has been edited from a previously published version to accurately detail the roads on which the collision occurred. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
(Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press - image credit) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commended U.S. President Joe Biden on getting the United States to re-engage with its allies during a wide-ranging interview on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday that touched on everything from COVID-19 vaccines, Saudi Arabia and the Keystone XL pipeline. "I think certainly there were things that were more challenging under the previous administration in terms of moving the dial in the right direction on the international stage," Here are some of the other key moments from Trudeau's Meet the Press appearance. Vaccine rollout less than ideal Trudeau conceded that Canada's COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been slow. "We all want this pandemic to be over yesterday and to vaccinate everyone as quickly as possible," Trudeau told Todd. The U.S., in contrast, is outpacing its northern neighbour in terms of administering vaccines — but there have been challenges as well. "But we're confident that in the coming weeks, hundreds of thousands of vaccines every week, millions into the coming months," Trudeau said. "We are going to have everyone vaccinated probably by the end of the summer. And that is something that we're very positive and excited about." WATCH | Trudeau admits Canada's vaccine effort has lagged: Trudeau calls Saudi Arabia a business partner, not ally Todd brought up the 2018 murder of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi after a newly declassified U.S. intelligence report released Friday said Saudi Arabia's crown prince likely approved the killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The public blaming of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is likely to set the tone for the new administration's relationship with a country Biden has criticized, but which the White House also regards in some contexts as a strategic partner. When asked if Saudi Arabia was an ally to Canada, Trudeau said no. He said it is, however, "a country we do business with." "They're a country that we continually advocate for greater transparency, greater human rights protection of women, of activists. There are a lot of challenges." WATCH | Saudi crown prince approved Khashoggi murder, U.S. intelligence report says: While Canada did freeze arms sales to Saudi Arabia following Khashoggi's killing, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh called on the federal government to stop selling light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia earlier this month. 'Moving forward' after Keystone XL decision One of Biden's first moves after taking office on Jan. 20 was to revoke the permit for Calgary-based TC Energy's Keystone XL oil pipeline. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the decision "a gut punch for the Canadian and Alberta economies." In a letter sent to Trudeau, Kenney also accused the prime minister of not advocating hard enough for the project. CBC News reached out to Kenney's office on Sunday for comment on Trudeau's remarks on Meet the Press. "I think it's fairly clear that the U.S. administration has made its decision on that, and we're much more interested in ensuring that we're moving forward in ways that are good for both of our countries," Trudeau said, though he also called the decision a disappointment. "But when you talk about clean energy and hydro-electricity from Canada, when we talk about what we can do around smarter grids, what we can do around electric vehicles and transportation. There is so much we spoke about earlier this week and so much we're going to continue to do together," he said, referring to his bilateral meeting with Biden on Feb 22. Working with U.S. to free detained Canadians in China The two leaders also emerged from their meeting with a renewed pledge to free two Canadians currently imprisoned in China. Trudeau told Todd that Canada's current relationship with China is "deeply coloured" by the arbitrary detentions of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. He accused China of holding Kovrig and Spavor in order to pressure the Canadian government into releasing Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver in line with an extradition treaty with the U.S. WATCH | China needs to release detained Canadians 'immediately,' top U.S. diplomat says: "The conversation I had with President Biden earlier this week was very positive in us working together to try and resolve this situation and hold China to account," Trudeau said.
Two political parties have joined forces to petition the federal government to look into the environmental impact of a planned sewage treatment plant near a local river. The Dufferin Caledon Green Party, along with the Dufferin Caledon Conservative Party, are opposed to constructing the proposed Erin wastewater treatment plant. The petition is calling for a federal environmental impact assessment of the proposed plant. Stefan Wiesen, president of the DC Green Party and Kyle Seeback, Conservative MP for Dufferin Caledon, has agreed to sponsor the petition to the federal government and will work together to solicit the 500 signatures required to present it to parliament. This is an effort to address some residents' concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed plant on the West Credit River, a spawning ground for native Brook Trout. They are concerned the temperature of the proposed effluent being pumped into the West Credit River will have a warming effect on the spawning grounds, thus negatively threatening the reproductive future of Brook Trout in the river. It is expected the plant will discharge up to 7.2 million litres of treated warm temperature effluent into the West Credit River daily. The trout needs cold water to survive and spawn. Anything over 19 degrees Celsius can negatively impact the fish. Furthermore, opponents say many harmful substances to humans and animals remain in the treated water as it exits the plant. This follows a protest held over the weekend to convince Erin council to cancel the wastewater treatment plant plans. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE — Canadian Jeff Gustafson captured his first-ever Bassmasters Elite Series win in emphatic fashion Sunday. Gustafson, of Kenora, Ont., recorded a five-fish limit weighing 14 pounds, three ounces for an overall total of 63 pounds. Gustafson finished seven pounds, one ounce ahead of runner-up Steve Kennedy to capture the US$100,000 winner's cheque. "This is the lifelong dream for me," Gustafson said. "I've loved bass fishing and bass tournaments ever since I was a little kid. "It's a lot of sacrifice doing this. The travel and time away from home, that part of it isn't glamorous. So to finally get it — awesome." Gustafson, in his third season on the Bassmasters Elite circuit, was one of three anglers to weigh a five-fish limit all four days but the only one to record double-digit weights each day. He took the opening-round lead Thursday after registering 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Throughout the tournament, Gustafson did most of his damage early, catching his limit — or close to it — shortly after the start of fishing each day. But action Sunday was delayed roughly 90 minutes due to fog, creating questions whether Gustafson's fish would still be there once the final round opened. Gustafson quickly provided the answer, registering a five-fish limit before noon. Gustafson had some tense moments with his third fish, a three-pound smallmouth bass. He attempted to lift it into his boat in windy conditions, only to have it squirm loose and back into the water. Gustafson successfully landed it on his second try before quipping: "That might've been the ugliest fish catch of all time but it's in my livewell." Gustafson began Sunday's final seven pounds, 14 ounces ahead of Kennedy. Gustafson becomes just the second Canadian to win a Bassmaster Elite Series event. Chris Johnston, of Peterborough, Ont., accomplished the feat last year. Both Johnston and his older brother, Cory, of Cavan, Ont., competed in the semifinal round Saturday. Cory Johnston finished 45th overall (18 pounds, nine ounces) while Chris Johnston was 50th (13 pounds 12 ounces). The top-10 anglers after Saturday's round qualified for Sundays final. All three Canadians are in their third season on the Elite Series. The trio qualified last year for the Bassmaster Classic, the circuit's premier event that offers a US$300,000 prize for the tournament winner. This year's Classic will be held in June on Lake Ray Roberts in Fort Worth, Tex. Gustafson was 24th in the season-opening event on the St. John's River in Palatka, Fla., two weeks ago. The next tournament is March 18-21 on Pickwick Lake in Florence, Ala. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2021. The Canadian Press
One of the town’s timeless traditions returns for the first time this year on March 6. The Orangeville Winter Farmer’s Market is scheduled to be held at the Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre’s B-rink at 6 Northmen Way to allow for expand social distancing. This is not a permanent move. They will be downtown again. “People are trying to support the market,” said Alison Scheel, general manager of the Orangeville Business Improvement Area (OBIA). “ (Online orders) grow steadily every market Saturday. It started slow, but it picked up.” The B-rink location offers plenty of space for safe social distancing and can accommodate 50 people at one time. It will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. every other Saturday. Products include maple syrup, honey, falafels, cheese, bread, lamb meat, chicken, baked goods and prepared meals. The market was once held downtown near town hall, where vendors attracted mainly casual shoppers who happened to live nearby. It will return. The market was closed in January and February because of the mandated governmental shutdown. They were still providing preorder and pickup options for interested customers. Scheel said they average about 300 to 350 people every market Saturday as it is only held two times a month. The entrance to the market is located south of the parking lot. There will be no access through the main door. Most vendors will attend every other market, but some will alternate or change from market to market. Scheduled vendors include Bennington Hills Farm, Rasmi’s Falafel and Wild Culture Ferments, along with others. They will all be positioned at least 10 feet apart. “Customers leave their contact information at the door for contact tracing purposes,” said Scheel. “Everyone in the building has to wear a mask, and the vendor has to distance.” Organizers will not permit customers to touch the products or produce, as most items will be pre-bagged. For more information, visit www.downtownorangeville.ca and click on the farmers' market tab. Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
Rumours of corruption surround the show every year, but the ridiculous nominations still manage to shock.
(Enzo Zanatta/CBC - image credit) At least eight trees were spray-painted with racist graffiti in a park in Vancouver's Marpole neighbourhood on Saturday. The Vancouver Park Board said the trees were covered in swastikas and the slogan "White Power." In a statement, the Vancouver Park Board said it is "heartbroken and enraged" by the incident at Riverview Park. "The City of Vancouver and the park board condemn these abhorrent acts of racism in the strongest possible terms. We stand in solidarity with the Indigenous, Black, racialized and Jewish communities targeted by these messages," it read. "These messages are intended to create shock, fear and division." Some of the defaced trees are near a playground. It further expressed regret to anyone — including families and children accessing the nearby playground — who had to see the messages. "We acknowledge the park crews who are in the process of safely removing the hurtful graffiti. We also acknowledge this as an act of disrespect to the natural world on the Musqueam territory," it continued. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact 311.