CBC News’ David Common breaks down what happened on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and how U.S. President Donald Trump stoked discontent among his supporters before he lost the election.
CBC News’ David Common breaks down what happened on Capitol Hill on Wednesday and how U.S. President Donald Trump stoked discontent among his supporters before he lost the election.
WASHINGTON — The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden's dogs Champ and Major. The two German shepherds are the first pets to live at the executive mansion since the Obama administration. Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. Champ joined the family after the 2008 presidential election that made Joe Biden vice-president. The dogs moved into the White House on Sunday, following Biden's inauguration last week. “The first family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware,” said Michael LaRosa, spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden. “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.” The dogs were heard barking outside near the Oval Office on Monday as Biden signed an executive order lifting the previous administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military. Last week, the Delaware Humane Association cosponsored an “indoguration” virtual fundraiser to celebrate Major's journey from shelter pup to first dog. More than $200,000 was raised. Major is the first shelter dog to ever live in the White House and “barking proof that every dog can live the American dream," the association said. The Bidens had promised to bring the dogs with them to the White House. They plan to add a cat, though no update on the feline's arrival was shared on Monday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki predicted, while on video answering questions from members of the public, that the cat will “dominate the internet” when it arrives. Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, a self-described germaphobe, does not own any pets and had none with him at the White House. Just like they do for ordinary people, pets owned by the most powerful people in the world provide their owners with comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR. “Pets have played an important role in the White House throughout the decades, not only by providing companionship to the presidents and their families, but also by humanizing and softening their political images,” said Jennifer Pickens, author of a book about pets at the White House. Pets also serve as ambassadors to the White House, she said. Pickens added that she hoped the Bidens' decision to bring a rescue dog to the White House might inspire others to adopt. President Theodore Roosevelt had Skip, who is described by the White House Historical Association as a “short-legged Black and Tan mongrel terrier brought home from a Colorado bear hunt.” Warren G. Harding had Laddie Boy, who sat in on meetings and had his own Cabinet chair. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. At night, Fala slept in a special chair at the foot of the president’s bed. More recently, George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel Millie was featured on “The Simpsons” and starred in a bestseller, “Millie’s Book: As dictated to Barbara Bush.” Hillary Clinton followed Bush’s lead with a children’s book about family dog Buddy and cat Socks: “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets.” When he declared victory in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama told his daughters: “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” Several months later, Bo joined the family, a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy. A few years later, fellow Portuguese water dog Sunny arrived. Among the stranger White House pets was Calvin Coolidge and first lady Grace Coolidge’s raccoon Rebecca. She was given to the Coolidge family by a supporter who suggested the raccoon be served for Thanksgiving dinner, according to the White House Historical Association. But instead she got an embroidered collar with the title “White House Raccoon” and entertained children at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Some notable pets belonged to first kids, including Amy Carter’s Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony Macaroni. The Kennedy family had a veritable menagerie, complete with dogs, cats, birds, hamsters and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa. President Harry Truman famously said that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” — and many successors have followed Truman's advice. The first President Bush once said, “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help you get through the rough spots.” ___ Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report. Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump's former chief spokeswoman, announced she's running for Arkansas governor at a time other Republicans are distancing themselves from the former president facing an impeachment charge that he incited the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol. But the former White House press secretary, who left the job in 2019 to return to her home state, ran the other direction with an announcement Monday that embraced Trump as much as his rhetoric. “With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defence,” Sanders said in a nearly eight-minute video announcing her 2022 bid that prominently featured pictures of the president as well as some of his favourite targets. Trump, who publicly encouraged Sanders to run, wasted no time putting his seal of approval on her bid. The former president on Monday night backed Sanders' candidacy — his first official, public endorsement since leaving office — and called her a “warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct." The daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders is the most high-profile Trump official to seek major office and is doing so less than a week after the tumultuous end of his presidency. Her candidacy could showcase just how much of a hold Trump still has on the GOP. “Trump is simply not a liability here,” said Janine Parry, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas. “At least for the time being, we’re in a state where he remains an asset.” That’s even as the Senate is preparing for an impeachment trial over the Jan. 6 insurrection by Trump supporters that was aimed at halting the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked the president last week, saying he “provoked” the siege. Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters days before Biden’s inauguration he wanted Trump’s administration to end, though he also opposed the president’s impeachment. Sanders’ announcement makes a brief reference to the Capitol siege that left five dead, equating it with violence that occurred at some protests last year over racial injustice and the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball practice that injured U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and four others. “This is not who we are as Americans,” Sanders said in the video, but not mentioning Trump’s role in encouraging his supporters who stormed the Capitol. She joins a Republican primary that already includes two statewide elected leaders, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. The three are running to succeed Hutchinson, who is unable to run next year due to term limits. No Democrats have announced a bid to run for the seat. Griffin and Rutledge had already spent months positioning themselves ahead of Sanders’ entry by lining up endorsements, raising money and trying to stake their claims as the most conservative candidate. Griffin has called for the outright elimination of the state’s income tax, while Rutledge signed on to Texas’ ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the result of the presidential election. Following the riot, Griffin and Rutledge issued statements condemning the storming of the Capitol but not addressing Trump’s role in stirring up his backers. Combined, the two have raised more than $2.8 million for the race. Griffin on Monday criticized Sanders for promising in her video to cut off funding to so-called sanctuary cities that violate immigration laws. He noted a 2019 measure Hutchinson signed into law already does just that by cutting off funding to cities that don’t co-operate with immigration authorities. “It sounds like she needs to catch up on what’s been going on in Arkansas,” Griffin said in a statement. Rutledge, meanwhile, said in a statement the race was about “who has a proven record and not merely rhetoric.” The race could also get even more crowded. Republican State Sen. Jim Hendren, a nephew of Hutchinson’s, is considering a run for the seat and said he hoped to make a decision within the next three weeks. “Right now we have three announced candidates but they all do represent the far right part of the Republican Party,” said Hendren, who has been much more willing to criticize Trump and hasn’t ruled out an independent bid. “The question I have to decide is, is there room for a more pragmatic, centrist type of approach?” Sanders was already well known in Arkansas politics, going back to when she appeared in ads for her father’s campaign. She managed Sen. John Boozman’s 2010 election and worked as an adviser to Sen. Tom Cotton’s in 2014. During Sanders’ nearly two-year tenure at the White House, daily televised briefings led by the press secretary ended after Sanders repeatedly sparred with reporters who aggressively questioned her. She faced questions about her credibility, but she also earned reporters’ respect working behind the scenes to develop relationships with the media. She remains an unknown on many issues and wasn’t made available for interviews Monday, though she staked out some positions in her introductory video that include reducing the state’s income tax. Her introductory video indicates she’s leaning more on her time with Trump, with it featuring images of or calling out those who frequently drew his ire including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and CNN. Republicans hold a firm grip on Arkansas, with the GOP holding all statewide and federal seats. They also hold a majority in both chambers of the Legislature. Trump in November won the state by nearly 28 percentage points, one of the biggest margins in his ultimate loss to Biden. State Democratic Party Chairman Michael John Gray on Monday called the GOP primary a “race to the bottom.” But national party leaders indicated Sanders’ candidacy may draw more resources and attention to a long-shot race that will coincide with 2022 congressional midterm elections. “As we close the book on a dark chapter in our history, we must make sure Trump’s brand of politics stays in the past," Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison tweeted. “Now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is running on his record." Hutchinson, who has remained generally popular since taking office in 2015, said he didn't plan on endorsing anyone at this time in the race. “I am a voter, so I will follow the campaign with interest, but I have a job to do for the next two years, and I will devote my energies to bring Arkansas out of the pandemic and to revitalize our economy," he said in a statement. ___ Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press
Canada's natural resources minister accused the Opposition of beating their chests in a show of support for the oil and gas industry, during an emergency debate in the House of Commons regarding the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project Monday evening. "Do we, as some are suggesting, start a trade war with our closest ally and largest trading partner, with the single largest customer for Canadian crude? ... I have not yet heard a single argument that would convince me a trade war is in the best interests of our oil and gas workers," Seamus O'Regan said. O'Regan said the new U.S. administration represents an opportunity to work together with a government aligned with Canada's priorities on clean energy, pointing to TC Energy — the Calgary-based company behind the Keystone project — committing to buying renewable energy to achieve net zero emissions. Last week, on his first day in office, U.S. President Joe Biden scrapped the pipeline's permit as one of multiple actions intended to fight climate change, effectively killing the $8-billion US project. If completed, the 1,897-kilometre pipeline expansion project, first announced in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of oilsands crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would then connect with the original Keystone pipeline that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole called for the debate earlier on Monday, accusing the government of not doing enough to advocate for the expansion. During the evening's debate, which stretched until just past midnight in Ottawa, O'Toole described empty office towers and job losses in Calgary. "Canada has been dealt a serious blow … these are Canadians, thousands of them, being totally forgotten and left behind by this government," he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has repeatedly said it supports the project, and Trudeau expressed his disappointment with Biden during a call between the two nations' leaders on Friday. "We will stand up and have our workers' backs.… Let's talk TMX. We approved it, we bought it, we're building it," O'Regan said, referring to the federal purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is under construction. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called for sanctions against the U.S. in response to the permit's cancellation. Kenney's government invested $1.5 billion Cdn in equity in the project alongside billions in loan guarantees.The provincial opposition NDP is calling on the Alberta government to release documents containing details of that deal, calling it a risky one. The project had been rejected under former president Barack Obama's government. It was later approved under former president Donald Trump, but Biden had repeatedly stated he intended to rescind that permit once elected. Canada's ambassador to the U.S. has said it's time to respect that decision, however disappointing it may be to proponents, and move forward. WATCH | Keystone XL pipeline project 'appears to be dead,' says Rachel Notley Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Heather McPherson said Biden's decision should have come as no surprise given Biden's opposition and legal challenges of the project. "Remember when Jason Kenney gambled on Donald Trump. He didn't gamble his money — he gambled ours … that was his plan to get jobs for workers in my province," she said. "Now, he wants to start a trade war with the U.S., the customer for 95 per cent of our energy exports." Lakeland Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs said while the decision did not come as a shock, it underlines that Canada is in a vulnerable position when it comes to its energy industry as the U.S. has increased domestic production. "With the stroke of a pen thousands of people are out of work in the middle of a global crisis ... Canadians whose livelihoods depend on the oil and gas sector are rightfully anxious about their future," she said. O'Regan referred to climate change as an "existential crisis." "The market has an important role here. It is the leading role in determining how investment decisions should be made, but it is our government's duty to set the parameters on that and to incent what we believe to be extraordinarily important goals, namely net-zero emissions by 2050. That is the goal we have set for ourselves, and many of our friends, colleagues and competitors around the world have also set that goal for themselves. This is an existential crisis, there is no question." It's also an economic crisis for the many people across the country who worry they may be left behind, he said. "We cannot allow that to happen." Former Green Party Leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May said it would be extremely unfair to say those who think the Keystone expansion cancellation was a good decision don't care about workers losing their jobs. "I would no more say that people who are supporting the oilsands are deliberately and consciously threatening my grandchildrens' future than I would say it's right to be celebrating when people suffer an immediate downturn in their economic prospects."
OTTAWA — New documents show Canada’s cyberspy agency was so alarmed by the potential fallout from an alleged secrecy breach by a senior RCMP employee that it revised a damage assessment to “severe” from "high" in the days after his arrest. Cameron Jay Ortis was taken into custody in September 2019 for allegedly revealing secrets to an unnamed recipient and planning to give additional classified information to an unspecified foreign entity. Ortis, who led the RCMP's National Intelligence Co-ordination Centre, is charged with Security of Information Act violations, breach of trust and a computer-related offence. The federal Communications Security Establishment initially judged potential damage from the incident as "high" given Ortis' access to some of the most classified information in Canada. A CSE memo, newly obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, says the assessment was bumped up to "severe" after the cybersecurity agency conducted "a more in-depth analysis." Ortis is being held in an Ottawa jail as his complex case proceeds. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
The American Film Institute on Monday announced its top 10 films of the year, including Pixar’s jazz themed “Soul” and two of Chadwick Boseman’s final films: the August Wilson adaptation “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Spike Lee’s Vietnam drama “Da 5 Bloods,” both of which are Netflix films. Netflix featured heavily in the AFI’s list, which took up four positions on the list including David Fincher’s “Citizen Kane” origin story “Mank” and Aaron Sorkin’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.” Amazon, too, got two spots with the hearing loss drama “Sound of Metal,” with Riz Ahmed and Regina King’s “One Night in Miami...”. Chloé Zhao’s awards and festival favourite “Nomadland” with Frances McDormand was also named an honoree in advance of its theatrical rollout in the coming weeks, as was “Minai,” with Steven Yeun, which opens Feb. 12. AFI also selected Warner Bros.’ Black Panther Party film “Judas and the Black Messiah” which will have its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Feb. 1. The AFI also named its top 10 television shows, including Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” the Disney+ phenomenon “The Mandalorian” and Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso.” The selection jury included filmmakers Rian Johnson and Lulu Wang. The group also included a special citation for “Hamilton.” In lieu of the annual luncheon celebrating the honorees, AFI will hold a virtual benediction on Feb. 26 streaming on YouTube and the AFI website. Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press
A variant of the COVID-19 virus known for its ease of transmission appears to have already entered the community, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said in a news conference Monday. "Let me be blunt: This now is very concerning," Shandro said. Alberta has found 20 cases of the variant first identified in the United Kingdom, with all but one directly linked to travel, he said. That one case of the B117 variant has raised concerns that there may be more cases in the province. There are two coronavirus variants of concern, one first identified in the U.K. and one in South Africa. Five cases of the variant first identified in South Africa have also been found in Alberta, all related to travel. The ease in which these variants spread would cause huge spikes in Alberta's COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths, particularly without health measures in place to slow transmission, Shandro said. "These variants can spread very quickly," Shandro said. "The emerging research indicates that they have a significantly higher infection rate, estimated to be 30 to 50 per cent higher than the strain that we've had in Alberta to date." Cases skyrocket in U.K. England and Ireland have seen the variant spread rapidly throughout their populations and the U.K.'s daily mortality rate is the highest it's been since the start of the pandemic, he said. "Both countries saw a sharp increase in the number of cases, putting more strain on health-care resources, leading to more hospitalizations and ultimately strict lock down measures. Canada has not seen the variants spreading in large numbers, but that might be changing, he said. "There's no question this kind of exponential growth would push our health-care system to the brink," he said. "It would significantly impact the health-care system and the services available to all Albertans." Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said the non-travel case of the variant was the only one identified in the more than 1,000 samples screened last week by the lab. "While we continue to investigate this case to see if we can identify any contacts who may have had a travel exposure, this is a potentially concerning development," she said. "It underlines the importance of the work that our lab has been doing to expand their capacity to screen positive cases for genetic mutations of concern. "If additional steps are required to prevent the spread of variants in Alberta, we will take action to do so." The province is increasing its testing for variants with plans to have labs increase capacity for full genetic testing to 400 per week and 300 per day of the testing for variants, Shandro said. Restrictions remain The presence of the variants in the province complicates when health restrictions will be relaxed, he said. "We need to continue to proceed cautiously," Shandro said. "If we are not careful, the health system could be in dire straits." Alberta reported 362 new cases of COVID-19 Monday and 25 additional deaths. There are now 637 people in hospital with the disease, 113 of them in intensive care. Labs performed 7,200 tests for the virus in the last 24 hours, with a positivity rate of about five per cent. Shandro acknowledged many businesses are anxious about the continuing restrictions. But, he said, easing restrictions depends on hospitalization rates and other metrics. "We understand that the balance of the restrictions against the social and the economic consequences of them but our focus is going to be on a risk-based approach, not essential versus non-essential." Shandro said the province will continue to work with sectors such as the restaurant industry to come up with a plan for easing restrictions. COVID-19 anniversary Monday marks one year since the first case of the virus that causes COVID-19 was confirmed in Canada, in a patient who had recently returned from Wuhan, China. On Jan. 21, 2020, Hinshaw issued her first warning about COVID-19, saying that Alberta was watching developments and taking precautions. The outbreak in China had tripled in size over the preceding weekend, with hundreds of people ill and six confirmed deaths. First cases had also been confirmed in Thailand, South Korea and Japan. One week later, on Jan. 28, Alberta activated its first low-level emergency response protocols. At that point, four cases had been confirmed in Canada, more than 9,000 across the globe. The province confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on March 5. Since then, 121,535 Albertans have been infected and there have been 1,576 deaths. As of Sunday, here is how the cases break down across the province: Calgary zone: 3,588 Edmonton zone: 3,245 North zone: 1,282 Central zone: 809 South zone: 399 Unknown: 14
WASHINGTON — Federal law enforcement officials are examining a number of threats aimed at members of Congress as the second trial of former President Donald Trump nears, including ominous chatter about killing legislators or attacking them outside of the U.S. Capitol, a U.S. official told The Associated Press. The threats, and concerns that armed protesters could return to sack the Capitol anew, have prompted the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement to insist thousands of National Guard troops remain in Washington as the Senate moves forward with plans for Trump's trial, the official said. The shocking insurrection at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob prompted federal officials to rethink security in and around its landmarks, resulting in an unprecedented lockdown for Biden's inauguration. Though the event went off without any problems and armed protests around the country did not materialize, the threats to lawmakers ahead of Trump's trial exemplified the continued potential for danger. Similar to those intercepted by investigators ahead of Biden’s inauguration, the threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, said the official, who had been briefed on the matter. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included plots to attack members of Congress during travel to and from the Capitol complex during the trial, according to the official. The official was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke Sunday to the AP on condition of anonymity. Law enforcement officials are already starting to plan for the possibility of armed protesters returning to the nation's capital when Trump’s Senate trial on a charge of inciting a violent insurrection begins the week of Feb. 8. It would be the first impeachment trial of a former U.S. president. Though much of the security apparatus around Washington set up after the Jan. 6 riot and ahead of Biden’s inauguration — it included scores of military checkpoints and hundreds of additional law enforcement personnel — is no longer in place, about 7,000 members of the National Guard will remain to assist federal law enforcement, officials said. Gen. Dan Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, said Monday that about 13,000 Guard members are still deployed in D.C., and that their numbers would shrink to 7,000 by the end of this week. John Whitley, the acting secretary of the Army, told a Pentagon news conference that this number is based on requests for assistance from the Capitol Police, the Park Police, the Secret Service and the Metropolitan Police Department. Whitley said the number is to drop to 5,000 by mid-March. Thousands of Trump’s supporters descended on the Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress met to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race. More than 800 are believed to have made their way into the Capitol during the violent siege, pushing past overwhelmed police officers. The Capitol police said they planned for a free speech protest, not a riot, and were caught off guard despite intelligence suggesting the rally would descend into a riot. Five people died in the melee, including a Capitol police officer who was struck in the head with a fire extinguisher. At least five people facing federal charges have suggested they believed they were taking orders from Trump when they marched on Capitol Hill to challenge the certification of Biden’s election victory. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. More than 130 people have been charged by federal prosecutors for their roles in the riot. In recent weeks, others have been arrested after posting threats against members of Congress. They include a Proud Boys supporter who authorities said threatened to deploy “three cars full of armed patriots” to Washington, threatened harm against Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and who is accused of stockpiling military-style combat knives and more than 1,000 rifle rounds in his New York home. A Texas man was arrested this week for taking part in the riot at the Capitol and for posting violent threats, including a call to assassinate Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y ___ Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
CALGARY — Canadian exports of crude oil by rail jumped 87 per cent in November as oil production rose in Western Canada amid limited pipeline capacity for heavy crude. The Canada Energy Regulator says rail shipments of oil amounted to 173,000 barrels per day, up about 80,000 bpd from 92,800 barrels per day in October. That's down from 302,300 barrels per day shipped by rail in November 2019. Crude-by-rail numbers have been volatile in the past year, with shipments rising to a record 412,000 bpd last February, then falling to an eight-year low of 39,000 bpd in July. Rail transportation of crude oil is considered to be more expensive than shipping by pipeline so shippers tend to use it only when pipelines are full or if the destination market offers much higher prices than can be achieved in Canada. The CER says overall Canadian crude oil exports in November came to 3.74 million bpd, up by almost five per cent from 3.57 million bpd in October. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
Canada’s Natural Resource Minister Seamus O'Regan rebuffed calls to issue sanctions on the United States over President Joe Biden‘s move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion. He said the government has a “responsibility to Albertans to safeguard our relationship with the single largest customer for Canadian crude.”
EDMONTON — Microsoft founder Bill Gates did not create the virus that causes COVID-19 and he is not forcing microchips into your body through vaccinations. Those pieces of misinformation are examples of what a group of Canadian scientists and health professionals is trying to discredit through a new campaign tackling inaccurate theories about the pandemic. About 40 misinformation debunkers are using the hashtag #ScienceUpFirst to provide science-based evidence on social media. "There's been misinformation about all kinds of things that you can do to treat COVID with crazy treatments like cow urine and bleach," said Prof. Timothy Caulfield, Canadian research chair in health law and policy at the University of Alberta. Caulfield is spearheading the #ScienceUpFirst movement. "And now we're in the middle of trying to roll out the vaccine and we know that misinformation is having an adverse impact on vaccination. "Things like the vaccine will change your DNA. No, it won't. The idea that the vaccine is associated with infertility. No, it's not," Caulfield said Monday in a phone interview. "There is just an incredible amount of misinformation out there about COVID. I've been studying misinformation for decades. I've never seen anything like this." He said the campaign was already trending on Twitter on Monday, the day of its launch. Caulfield is known for taking actor Gwyneth Paltrow's wellness brand Goop to task in his book "Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong about Everything?'' as well as for a Netflix series called "A User's Guide to Cheating Death." The initiative is in collaboration with the Canadian Association of Science Centres, COVID-19 Resources Canada, and the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. "There's been research that has shown that the spread of misinformation is having an adverse impact on health and science policy, it's led to increased stigma and discrimination, and it's just added to the chaotic information environment that we all have to deal with," Caufield said. "The evidence tells us that debunking does work if you do it well, so we're trying to do it well. We're trying to listen. We're trying to be empathetic in our approach. We're trying to be creative in our messaging and, hopefully, even if we move the needle a little bit, we can make a difference." A spokesperson for #ScienceUpFirst says the campaign is pushing to involve Canadian athletes and celebrities to get the word out about tackling misinformation. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press
TORONTO — Enthusiasm for TFI International Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd. offset some investor concerns to push the Canada's main stock index higher. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 60.11 points to 17,906.02. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 36.98 points at 30,960.00. The S&P 500 index was up 13.89 points at 3,855.36, while the Nasdaq composite was up 92.93 points at 13,635.99. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.51 cents US compared with 78.64 cents US on Friday. The March crude oil contract was up 50 cents at US$52.77 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 14.2 cents at US$2.60 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$1 at US$1,855.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 0.3 of a cent at US$3.63 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says the federal government is "looking seriously" at tougher travel measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including mandatory hotel quarantines for air travellers returning from non-essential trips abroad.Freeland's remarks build on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's leaving the door open earlier this month to tighter restrictions, sparking questions about how a stricter isolation regime would roll out relative to other countries.Successful pandemic repellers from South Korea to Australia and New Zealand require 14-day hotel quarantines for passengers arriving from abroad.Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious disease physician at St. Joseph's hospital in Hamilton, says the move would deter leisure travel, and could include scheduled testing that allows guests who come up negative to go home earlier.Federal data suggests only a small fraction of COVID-19 cases are linked to travel, but there is still virtually no testing at the border and many recent cases do not have an identified source.NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says the government should consider mandatory hotel quarantines as well as outright bans on non-essential international travel, which Quebec Premier François Legault has also called for.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
CINCINNATI — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Monday that he won’t seek reelection to a third term in 2022, expressing dismay with the deep partisanship and dysfunction in American politics. Portman, an establishment Republican who served in the House and in President George W. Bush's administration before joining the Senate, cited a political climate that has made it “harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress." “Our country is very polarized,” Portman said, adding that former President Donald Trump did not help with the polarization. “It’s shirts and skins right now. We need to tone it down.” The decision is one measure of the difficult politics facing many Republicans in Washington as they cede power in President Joe Biden's administration and watch their party split between hard-right Trump supporters and others eager to turn the page. Portman, who turned 65 last month, is among the longtime Republican lawmakers who often backed Trump, though not vociferously. Once dubbed “The Loyal Soldier” in a front-page profile story in his hometown Cincinnati Enquirer, Portman usually defended Trump or avoided criticism of him with carefully worded statements. After Trump called the presidential election rigged, citing no legitimate evidence, Portman said Trump had a right to a probe of any irregularities. But immediately after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob of Trump backers, Portman said Trump needed to go on national TV to tell his supporters to refrain from violence. “Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened,” Portman said. Portman’s announcement came the same day that the U.S. Senate is receiving the House impeachment article against Trump for his role in the Capitol riot. While some Republican senators have criticized going ahead with the trial with Trump out of office, Portman said last week that he would listen to the evidence presented by both sides before deciding how to vote. His retirement adds another open seat for the GOP to defend in 2022 as it seeks to regain control of a Senate that Democrats hold by virtue of Vice-President Kamala Harris being the tiebreaking vote. Republican Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have said they plan to retire. Republicans have 20 seats up for reelection in 2022, compared to 14 for Democrats. Those GOP seats include presidential battlegrounds Wisconsin and Florida. Ohio, a perennial battleground for decades, has become more reliably Republican, carried by Trump by more than 8 percentage points in 2016 and 2020. But Portman, like many mainstream GOP lawmakers viewed as insufficiently supportive of Trump, was considered likely to face a primary challenge from the right. Portman twice won election to the Senate by landslide margins. Still, his departure offers a glimmer of hope for Democrats in the state. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown was reelected in 2018, but most other statewide officials are Republican. Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters said Portman should take “a long hard look in the mirror” before complaining about partisan gridlock and the end of civility in Washington. “Over the past four years, Rob Portman has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest defenders, so his attempt today to rewrite that history is ridiculous,” she said in a statement. Portman’s first federal government job started in 1989, when he served as an associate legal counsel in the George H.W. Bush White House. Portman considered Bush a mentor, one whose genteel style was far from that of the abrasive Trump and some of his Republican supporters in Washington Portman was elected to Congress from southern Ohio in a 1993 special election and won six more elections before President George W. Bush tapped him to serve as U.S. trade representative in 2005. He travelled the globe, negotiating dozens of trade agreements. Bush then nominated him to be White House budget director in 2006. Portman stepped down in 2007, then returned to politics in 2010 with a successful U.S. Senate run, and won again in 2016, both times by landslide margins. Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken said in a statement after Portman's announcement that his service has been “invaluable.” Generally voting with his party, Portman broke ranks in 2013 to announce his support for same-sex marriage. He said his son Will had come out as gay. Portman and his wife, Jane, have three children. After a long career, Portman said Monday that he was looking forward to spending more time with his family and in his community. He pledged to focus on legislative work in his last two years, working on pandemic relief — he participated in testing of a new vaccine — and issues he’s long been involved with such as fighting drug misuse. ___ Follow Dan Sewell at https://twitter.com/dansewell By Dan Sewell, The Associated Press
A man is in critical condition following a two-vehicle collision in Mississauga, Peel Regional Police say. Police earlier said the man had died but later issued a correction indicating he had lost vital signs and was revived. Emergency crews were called to the area of Dixie Road and Winding Trail at 2:47 p.m, where the man had been found with life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to a trauma centre and by 4:23, police said he had died. Shortly afterwards, they said the man had in fact lost vital signs and that medical staff were able to revive him. Dixie Road has been shut down in both directions from Burnhamthorphe East to Winding Trail, with drivers asked to use alternate routes. Peel police's major collision bureau has taken over the investigation. Anyone with dashcam or surveillance footage is being asked to contact police.
NEW YORK — Illustrator Michaela Goade became the first Native American to win the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for best children's picture story, cited for “We Are Water Protectors.” Tae Keller's “When You Trap a Tiger” won the John Newbery Medal for the outstanding children's book overall of 2020. Jacqueline Woodson, whose previous honours include a National Book Award, won her third Coretta Scott King Award for best work by a Black author for “Before the Ever After.” And a tribute to Aretha Franklin, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T," received the King award for best illustration. The book was written by Carole Boston Weatherford, with images by Frank Morrison. The awards were announced Monday by the American Library Association. Goade is a member of the Tlingit and Haida Indian tribes in Southeast Alaska. “We Are Water Protectors,” written by Carole Lindstrom, is a call for environmental protection that was conceived in response to the planned construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline through Standing Rock Sioux territory. Keller, who was raised in Hawaii and now lives in New York, drew upon Korean folklore for “When You Trap a Tiger," in which a young girl explores her past. Keller's work also was named the year's best Asian/Pacific American literature. The Newbery medal was established in 1922, the Caldecott in 1937. Goade is the first Native American to win in either category. Daniel Nayeri's “Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story)" won the Michael L. Printz Award for best young adult novel, and Mildred D. Taylor, known for “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry” among other works, was given a “Literature Legacy” award. Kekla Magoon, who has written or co-written “X: A Novel" and “How It Went Down,” won a lifetime achievement award for young adult books. Ernesto Cisneros' “Efrén Divided" won the Pura Belpré prize for outstanding Latinx author. Raul Gonzalez's “Vamos! Let’s Go Eat” received the Belpré award for illustration. The Stonewall Book Award for best LGBT literature was given to Archaa Shrivastav for “We Are Little Feminists: Families." ____ On the Internet: ala.org. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent is on the decline. In the last two weeks, the number of active cases has fallen by more than 40 percent, leaving the number of active cases to 80, as of January 21. The 80 active cases include 52 tied to close contact with other cases, 13 with an unknown cause, four with information pending and three in Chatham-Kent residents at an institutional outbreak not in Chatham-Kent. According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, while 80 is still higher than what he wants it to be, he is pleased it is moving in the right direction. “I am pleased that our number of active cases is very significantly dropping, which means that more patients are recovering than are arising as new cases,” said Colby. “We’ll just continue to monitor this.” In total, Chatham-Kent’s cumulative Covid-19 case total rose to 1,046. The region’s six active workplace outbreaks had a total of eight active cases in Chatham-Kent residents as of January 21. “The workplace outbreaks are, by and large, very small and have been contained very fast,” said Colby. “They’re not large outbreaks. I think that’s important for the public to know.” The outbreak at the Wallaceburg Walmart, where five employees tested positive, has not spread to customers, said Colby. He added they did mass testing of almost all the employees at Walmart and had no further positives. “There are no cases from the community that we could trace to that environment whatsoever,” said Colby. “We’re looking forward to declaring this outbreak over very, very soon.” As of January 21, five Chatham-Kent residents have died of COVID-19. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
Marco Polo Land in Cavendish, P.E.I., has been named large campground of the year by a national camping and RV council. The campground was selected from hundreds of nominations across the country, said Shane Devenish, executive director of the Canadian Camping and RV Council. Marco Polo Land is the first recipient of the award, which will be presented annually for the top campground with 250 sites or more. Devenish said Marco Polo Land was chosen because of the amenities it has added over the last year, including a new water park and deluxe cabins that capitalize on the "glamping" trend. "The ability to have deluxe cabins at a campground now is becoming really popular because it allows people to experience the outdoor camping experience without having to have an RV or a tent." KOA Cornwall a finalist Devenish said the entries were whittled down to three finalists, which also included another campground on P.E.I. — KOA in Cornwall. The other finalist was the Camperland Resort in Rosedale, B.C. Hennie Hoekstra, who has owned Marco Polo Land since 2006, said winning the award was special after a "totally different season" due to COVID-19. "It's a really nice honour to receive … not only good for Marco but for the province." Hoekstra said the COVID-19 pandemic was not as bad for Marco Polo Land as it was for other tourism businesses such as restaurants and cottage rentals. She said many of her customers were Islanders and others from within the Atlantic bubble when it was in place. Had to be 'a little bit creative' She said while some parts of the business, such as the inn and the restaurant, were down, others, such as campsite and cabin rentals, were up, which helped to even out the bottom line. She said they had to move some activities, such as bingo, outside due to public health restrictions. "You could still do lots of activities, you just had to be a little bit creative," she said. Hoekstra said she expects 2021 will be similar, at least until more people are vaccinated. More from CBC P.E.I.
TUNIS, Tunisia — Clashes in Tunisia between groups of young people and police broke out Monday evening, following the death of a local man in his 20s who participated in last week's protests. He is reportedly the first fatality of the demonstrations that swept the North African nation. Angry residents fired projectiles at police and attempted to enter a security post in Sbeitla in the Kasserine region, after blocking the town’s main road by setting tires on fire, according to state news agency TAP. Law enforcement responded with tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters, and a chase took place through city streets. TAP said that the army was deployed to calm unrest there and protect public buildings. The family of the victim, Haykel Rachdi, claims he was shot in the head by a tear gas canister Wednesday and was transferred to Sousse hospital, where he died Monday. Some reports said that the victim died after sustaining injuries from falling from a ladder near the protests. The death would represent the first fatality recorded since the outbreak of social unrest that rocked the country for a week and which resulted in around 1,200 arrests. More than 30% of those were minors protesting against unemployment and precarious living conditions in the country's poorest regions. The Interior Ministry said Monday that an investigation has been opened to determine the cause of Rachdi's death. The deputy public prosecutor of Kasserine told The Associated Press that investigators from Tunis will interview the doctor who had to treat the victim during his transfer to the hospital, as well as witnesses, pending a forensic autopsy report. The Associated Press
L’annonce d’une possible suspension des services d’Orléans Express en région ne passe pas en Gaspésie. Élus et citoyens s’indignent de voir la péninsule encore une fois prise en otage par un enjeu de transport qui la dépasse. «C’est une autre tuile en transport pour nous. Ça commence à être très pénible», lâche sobrement le préfet de la Haute-Gaspésie, Allen Cormier. Comme pour plusieurs, la lettre de Keolis laissant entrevoir la suspension de ses services en Gaspésie a été reçue comme une bombe par l’élu. «On met la population en otage ! Pire encore, c’est notre population âgée et vulnérable qui va être la plus touchée», s’indigne M. Cormier. Seul transporteur reliant la péninsule gaspésienne aux grands centres, la perte du service d’autobus d’Orléans Express serait particulièrement difficile pour les personnes comme André Ouellet qui doivent sortir de la région pour des rendez-vous médicaux. «Je prends l’autobus depuis qu’il n’y a plus de train. En perdant Orléans Express, on revient 70 ans en arrière. Ça n’a pas de bon sens de vivre ça en 2021 !» s’exaspère M. Ouellet. «J’ai un handicap visuel, alors je ne peux pas conduire. Avant, on avait quatre départs par jour, et puis deux, et ensuite on a enlevé des trajets, et maintenant on menace de tout arrêter. Si Orléans lève les pattes, je vais être obligé d’aller à mes rendez-vous médicaux par covoiturage, et ce n’est vraiment pas fiable. Dans mon cas et pour plusieurs autres personnes âgées ou vulnérables, c’est plus qu’essentiel d’avoir un moyen de transport sur lequel on peut compter !», note-t-il. «Je comprends qu’il y a moins de voyageurs avec la pandémie, mais s’ils ne peuvent pas remplir de gros autobus, pourquoi ne nous amènent-ils pas des petits autobus?», questionne M. Ouellet. Un gout amer La possible suspension de la desserte d’Orléans Express a un gout particulièrement amer pour les Gaspésiens. Plusieurs attribuent à l’entreprise, et surtout à la multinationale Keolis, la fermeture de Taxi Fortin en 2018, un service taxi interurbain qui faisait la navette entre la Gaspésie, Québec et Montréal. En service depuis 1949, l’entreprise qui était basée à Cloridorme offrait un service «porte-à-porte» unique au Québec. Exploitant un permis spécial qui lui permettait de récupérer des clients en Gaspésie et les déposer à Québec et Montréal uniquement, l’entreprise locale a cessé ses activités en 2018 alors que Keolis avait entrepris des démarches pour faire révoquer le droit acquis par Taxi Fortin, alléguant que les conditions n’étaient pas respectées puisque des clients étaient parfois déposés hors des zones permises. «Beaucoup de personnes âgées utilisaient [taxi] Fortin. C’était un super service très personnalisé où tout le monde était à l’aise. Ils pouvaient prendre des passagers à la maison et les déposer à destination, mais ils étiraient un peu leur permis et se sont fait prendre. Ils n’avaient pas l’argent pour se battre avec Keolis», explique André Ouellet, qui a souvent utilisé le service. L’aide de Québec réclamée Dans la lettre adressée aux élus, le président-directeur général de Keolis Canada, dont Orléans Express est une filiale, réclame une aide financière de Québec afin de maintenir ses services en région. «Sans une aide financière viable de la part du gouvernement du Québec, Keolis Canada ne pourra continuer à desservir toute sa clientèle et nous devrons procéder à des coupures de services dès le mois de février, notamment la région de la Gaspésie», écrit Pierre-Paul Pharand. Pour le préfet de la Haute-Gaspésie, cette manœuvre frôle le chantage. «On joue le jeu de la COVID pour faire en sorte d’aller chercher un peu d’argent, et en même temps on menace un service essentiel», déplore M. Cormier. Il est d’avis qu’il est plus qu’urgent que le gouvernement et le transport en arrivent à une entente. «Présentement, il y a déjà des programmes d’aides pour les transporteurs. Il faut simplement s’assoir à la table et voir comment on peut s’arranger, parce que ces pressions-là, ça ne passe pas», conclut le préfet. Contacté par Le Soleil, le cabinet du ministre des Transports note que «suite au premier confinement, un programme d’aide de 8,2M$ afin d’assurer le maintien des services a été mis en place» et que «[le gouvernement] est conscient que la diminution de l’achalandage ne permet pas aux transporteurs d’assurer l’équilibre financier qui permet de maintenir leurs services». Une rencontre entre Keolis Canada et le ministre des Transports, François Bonnardel «devrait avoir lieu prochainement». Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
The highly anticipated arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Chatham-Kent is placed on pause. For the past several weeks, Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, has been hopeful for the vaccine’s arrival. In fact, the region’s top doctor was optimistic it would arrive by the end of the month. But now, he isn’t sure when it will arrive. As it stands, shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to Canada are delayed from Pfizer while the pharmaceutical company upgrades its factory in Puurs, Belgium. This is said to be done in order to increase production capacity. The factory is set to return to full production February 15. “The Pfizer slowdown resulting from a retooling of the plant in Belgium has thrown all plans into disarray,” said Colby. He suggested to the province the region starts with 5,000 doses of the vaccine for the Phase 1 vaccine rollout to get started and have a fairly broad base of vaccination. “All bets are off with regard to the Pfizer shortage,” said Colby. In the meantime, Colby said it is a waiting game, adding, “When we know, we’ll know.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to deliver a message of comfort to Canadians regarding the vaccine on January 21. “Today, I spoke with the CEO of Pfizer Global, Dr. Bourla, about the timely delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Canada,” Trudeau tweeted. “He assured me that we’d receive four million doses by the end of March. We’ll keep working together to ensure Canadians can get a vaccine as soon as possible.” Canada’s vaccine rollout could happen faster if more vaccines are approved. The projections suggest based on all vaccines Canada has created, but have yet to be approved, as many as 23 million Canadians could be vaccinated between April and June. This would account for 61 percent of the population. Canada could have enough doses for up to 73 million people between July and September. If that were the case, there would be more than enough vaccines for everyone who wants one. Projections released January 21 by Federal Health Officials suggest Canada will be able to vaccinate three million people by the end of March. This accounts for eight percent of the entire population. Even if Canada doesn’t approve any more vaccines by the fall, estimates suggest doses from Pfizer and Moderna will cover 13 million Canadians, or 34 percent, by June and 36 million, or 95 percent, by September 30. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News