The National's Adrienne Arsenault takes you into the studio where CBC News will broadcast special live U.S. election coverage on Tuesday night.
The National's Adrienne Arsenault takes you into the studio where CBC News will broadcast special live U.S. election coverage on Tuesday night.
SALT LAKE CITY — Deep in the Mars-like landscape of Utah's red-rock desert lies a mystery: A gleaming metal monolith in one of the most remote parts of the state. The smooth, tall structure was found during a helicopter survey of bighorn sheep in southeastern Utah, officials said Monday. A crew from the Utah Department of Public Safety and Division of Wildlife Resources spotted the gleaming object from the air Nov. 18 and landed to check it out during a break from their work. They found the three-sided stainless-steel object is about as tall as two men put together. But they discovered no clues about who might have driven it into the ground among the undulating red rocks or why. “This thing is not from another world,” said Lt. Nick Street of the Utah Highway Patrol, part of the Department of Public Safety. Still, it's clear that it took some planning and work to construct the 10- to 12-foot (3- to 4-meter) monolith and embed it in the rock. The exact location is so remote that officials are not revealing it publicly, worried that people might get lost or stranded trying to find it and need to be rescued. The monolith evokes the one that appears in the Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey." Because it’s on federal public land, it’s illegal to place art objects without authorization. Bureau of Land Management officials are investigating how long it's been there, who might have created it and whether to remove it. Lindsay Whitehurst, The Associated Press
Fred VanVleet did a pre-draft workout for one particular NBA team, who didn't know who he was when he showed up. He shot alone on a side basket with no coaches rebounding the ball. Nobody gave him a ride back to the airport."Those types of things will never leave me and I will never forget any of those moments," VanVleet said. Four years after he went undrafted -- deciding that day to bet on himself if no-one else would -- VanVleet marvelled at how far he'd come."It’s funny to see things come full-circle but that’s what makes this journey that much more special, because of how I had to do it and how fast it turned around for me," he said.The Toronto Raptors made that turn around official Tuesday, signing the guard to a four-year deal reported to be worth US$85 million. The 26-year-old from Rockford, Ill., who joined the Raptors as a free agent in 2016, said he had wanted to stay in Toronto. The Raptors made no secret that his re-signing was their No. 1 off-season priority.Still, VanVleet was surprised how smoothly it all went."It was almost like so straightforward that it made me question it a little bit, like it can't be this easy, you know what I mean?" he said.He opened his press conference by thanking the Raptors organization, his family and even "you ugly media people on the other side of this Zoom call who have treated me pretty good in my first four years."He grinned and asked reporters not to go hard on him now that he has "this nice big contract." The six-foot, 195-pound VanVleet averaged career highs of 17.6 points, 6.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 35.7 minutes in 54 games (all starts) last season. Fondly known as "Steady Freddy," he's grown into one of the team's most popular and dependable players. Paired with all-star Kyle Lowry, the duo make for one of the formidable back courts in the league.Asked if Lowry provided any advice for free agency, VanVleet said he veteran guard is always offering advice."Everybody I spoke to that had been through it just said enjoy it and go with your gut and just try to appreciate the moment and don't fumble the bag," he said.VanVleet spoke to reporters on a Zoom call in front of a black and white backdrop with his BOY (Bet on Yourself) brand logo. "That’s the fun part for me, seeing how this following is kind of growing and. . . watching everybody try to pretend to be underdogs and adopt the bet on yourself thing. It’s becoming mainstream now, which is hilarious to me," VanVleet said.The guard said it means a lot to have paved the way for other players who've been overlooked who found inspiration in his story. "There are guys getting drafted now that I know for a fact wouldn’t have gotten drafted in my class or before my class, just because teams are looking at it like they don’t want to miss out on the next Fred VanVleet, or this kid can be Fred or better than Fred or whatever the case may be," he said.Getting VanVleet signed was good news for a Raptors team that saw centres Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol leave. Toronto rebounded by signing Aron Baynes and Alex Len and re-signing Canadian Chris Boucher to a two-year contract.Due to COVID-19 and Canada's travel restrictions, the Raptors will play at least the first part of the season in Tampa, Fla.VanVleet, who hasn't been back in Canada since the league initially shut down on March 11, said he'd love to be coming back to Toronto. "Toronto has turned into my second home. Obviously we miss the city, but I think we've got to be excited about what's ahead of us," he said. "I can't not be excited about it. We were in Florida for a while with the bubble in Orlando, and right back there in Tampa, so hopefully it's a good experience."VanVleet said he planned to enjoy the moment, exhale finally after the free agency stress, then get ready to for camp which opens Dec. 1. The season tips off Dec. 22.Having achieved so much in such a short time, where does he go from here?"The crazy part is, I've pretty much done everything I ever wanted to do already . . . everything that's on the checklist."It's really just the beginning of the next chapter . . . now I feel like I'm on a level playing field and I've made it, and I've got both feet inside the door, and I'm in the room and now it's time to really take off and go to another level." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Dale Woodard Lethbridge Herald With the winter months closing in, a pair of groups were at Galt Gardens to raise awareness for the homeless situation in Lethbridge on Saturday afternoon. Members of Kindness To Others and Community Giving Back To Community were at Galt Gardens handing out sandwiches to the homeless and raising awareness for a drop-in centre for those in need. “Today we are with some members of the community,” said Alvin Mills, a peer support worker with Bringing Home The Spirit in Standoff. “We want to feed the at-risk and vulnerable who struggle here in the city. We also want to bring to light what they go through and what they are going to be going through when the weather gets cold. I do see a real need for a drop-in facility here in the city. During the day they have nowhere to go and a lot of them are getting sick being out in the elements. “Then with the opioid crisis it enhances things. With the outreach service we started with Bringing Home The Spirit, we have been able to work in partnership with Alpha House, Alberta Health Services, Streets Alive and the Watch Program.” Mills said Saturday’s initiative was a street-level approach to reaching those who need help. “This is just the first step and sometimes they’ll follow through. Sometimes you just have to show that you care and you have to have that feeling of empathy regardless of the choices that they make. They should still be afforded that same dignity.” Mills said a shelter has been opened in Standoff. “They’ve stepped up in a big way opening up that shelter. So that’s another way of how we can get the ones struggling here in Lethbridge back out there.” In July, the Province of Alberta announced a capital investment to support the construction of two recovery communities in southern Alberta, one of them a 75-bed recovery community on the Blood Reserve in Standoff. “We have to fill those beds, especially with the weather getting colder,” said Mills. “This is the first step in recovery and we have to start filling up those beds.” On the Blood Reserve, Kainai Wellness manager Roger Prairie Chicken noted some concerning numbers. “What is happening within the reserve is basically the opiate process is still creating a lot of problems and deaths within the families on the reserve,” he said. “We are averaging about 12 DOAs a month and I would say 70 or 80 per cent of that is drug-related deaths and the age process is roughly 30 years and up. If you go back in time when this started, I would say, in 2018 and 2019, I believe we’ve had 46 or 47 each year, average DOAs. In 2019 and 2020 we went up to 118 deaths. That was when opioids really peaked out. “Now we are at a stage where we have had 99 deaths in the last fiscal year, but again the numbers are still really high. I would say almost 85 per cent of that is alcohol- and prescription-related DOAs.” Prairie Chicken said the numbers need to be shared by the public. “It has to start from the grassroots in the family situations, educating them and moving them forward,” he said. “You can’t resolve it with Band-Aid solutions and Band-Ad processes. These people are humans and they need help with their addictions. It’s an illness and it must be understood that way.” Over the weekend, Blood Tribe Police Service issued a warning about of a highly concentrated batch of drugs. BTPS and Blood Tribe EMS responded to an alarming amount of overdoses over 24 hours. Since noon Friday there were 15 overdoses that police and EMS have attended. There was been one death that is not considered suspicious, an autopsy will determine cause of death. On Saturday afternoon Prairie Chicken commended Mills for his work with the street people. “These are our people from the Blood Tribe and different areas and our hearts and our prayers go out to the families.” Follow @DWoodardHerald on TwitterDale Woodard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald
WINDSOR, Ont. — The mayor of Windsor, Ont., has apologized for breaking COVID-19 rules when dining out with seven other people last week. Mayor Drew Dilkens made a statement to Windsor city council on Monday, saying he made an "unfortunate error" that should not have occurred. Windsor was in the yellow tier of Ontario's COVID-19 restrictions system last week. That tier permits only six people to dine together while inside a restaurant. “As mayor, there is responsibility for me to lead by example and showcase to all in our region that we need to follow all restrictions and guidelines to the letter," Dilkens said. Dilkens noted to city council that although he was not fined or issued a bylaw ticket, he will donate $750 – the typical fine for such an infraction – to the Windsor Goodfellows. The Windsor Goodfellows provides local families with assistance and support, including through a food bank, school breakfast programs, and a children’s footwear program. Dilkens also said that Gordon Orr, the chief executive officer of Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, will be making an equivalent donation to an organization that works with children and youth facing mental health concerns. Windsor-Essex Region moved to the heightened orange zone of Ontario's COVID-19 restriction system on Monday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020. The Canadian Press
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro called the display outside his constituency office "offensive".
New research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) found that one-third of children who tested positive for COVID-19 had no symptoms, but in those that did, loss of taste/smell, headache, fever and nausea/vomiting were most strongly associated with positive cases.Other flu-like symptoms — including cough, runny nose and sore throat — were the most prominent symptoms in positive cases, but the study suggests they couldn't be used to accurately predict which cases were positive because they were also most prominent in COVID negative cases.The study, published Monday, was done by researchers at the University of Alberta who analyzed 2,463 COVID-19 test results from children in the province between April 13 to Sept. 30. They compared symptoms of those who tested positive (1,987) with those who were negative (476) for infection.Eight per cent of kids with positive COVID tests had loss of taste/smell, versus one per cent of kids who tested negative for the coronavirus, and four per cent had nausea or vomiting (vs. less than one per cent of those testing negative).Headache was a symptom in 16 per cent of positive cases, compared to six per cent in negative cases, and 26 per cent of positive cases had fever, compared to 15 per cent.Dr. Finlay McAlister, one of the authors of the study, says those symptoms were associated more with having COVID rather than some other virus. He says cough, runny nose, and sore throat were equally common in kids who didn't have COVID but may have had another virus.Symptoms of fever or chills, cough and runny nose in this study (19 to 26 per cent) were less frequent than in studies conducted in hospital settings. The authors of the study suggest that was because this was a community-based cohort and cases of disease were likely more mild than those seen in hospitals.Children aged four and younger were more likely to test negative, and teenagers (ages 13 to 17) were more likely to test positive.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
The executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northeastern Ontario can’t understand why organizations that actually work with the city’s marginalized downtown population would be excluded from the downtown task team set up to address the issue facing Sudbury’s core, since so many of those issues have to do with homelessness. On Oct. 20, Cory Roslyn, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northeastern Ontario (EFSNEO) and a key member of the city’s Homelessness Network, found out that Mayor Bigger had formed and held a meeting for a task team to help in the downtown, a place where the EFSNEO and the Homelessness Network does a great deal of their outreach work and have for many years. She found out about it from a Sudbury.com article, the day after the meeting. That didn’t sit right with Roslyn, she said in an interview. Why would organizations that actually work with the downtown population not know about such a meeting, she wondered. So, she wrote a detailed letter and emailed it to Mayor Brian Bigger’s office. “Our intentions were to secure a seat at the table in hopes that the mayor would reconsider the approach of the task team from that of enforcement and criminalization, to an approach that considers real solutions to the social issues contributing to the problems downtown,” Roslyn said. She received no reply. The EFSNEO is one of many frontline, charitable, social service organizations whose mandate it is to provide services to the populations at the centre of the task team’s focus: the marginalized and homeless men and women, many of whom suffer from addiction and mental illness, and who are often criminalized rather than treated. “We know these individuals by name, we hear their stories, we witness their suffering and we are their resource for support when they need it. Our successes come from never forgetting the humanity in each person who walks through our doors,” said Roslyn. She notes that the majority of those individuals and groups asked by the mayor to sit on the downtown task team do not have regular, direct contact with those who are at the centre of the issues. “As individuals in leadership roles, no matter what organization or business we represent, it is important we recognize the privilege we hold, that creates our worldview, allows us to ‘other’ those whom we don’t understand and restricts our capacity for empathy and compassion,” Roslyn said. And this is why, in her opinion, the downtown task team is focussed in one direction, instead of looking at the issues downtown more holistically. “When you have 22 seats at a virtual table, and nine of those are taken by high-level employees of the City of Greater Sudbury, three by police, three from the (Downtown Sudbury) BIA, two from NOSM, and only two voices from frontline service organizations, it is not surprising that the outcome of the meeting does not adequately consider the social issues,” she said. When the downtown task team gathered on Oct. 30, it made some decisions as to first steps. Those steps included a plan to add LED street-lighting to downtown as a security measure. “Lighting may add a layer of perceived safety, but does very little — if nothing — to assist the homeless population,” said Roslyn. “Our organization sees little value for dollars spent in LED lighting and enforcement-based police approaches; lighting dark corners and policing those struggling with mental illness and addictions serves to displace already marginalized populations out of the public view. These tools only hide the problem; they do not address the root causes, or provide meaningful solutions.” When asked whether there were organizations that requested a place on the downtown task team that were denied, Bigger acknowledged that there were requests that he was forced to turn down, but defended the decision. “It is, admittedly, tough drawing a line,” he said. “But you know, many of these organizations are all interrelated.” As for Roslyn’s criticism that the team isn’t addressing the root problem, the mayor agreed there are certain aspects of the planning that address only symptoms, not causes. “What we've done is we have stepped up and increased the amount of garbage collection, we're in the process of cleaning up graffiti,” he said. “We've added some additional security in the downtown. We've enhanced the lighting in downtown and there's more work to be done to further enhance the lighting. “But all of that is addressing what you would call more symptomatic elements of the challenges that people are feeling and seeing in the downtown.” Despite the lack of representation from groups that actually work with the homeless, Bigger said he feels “we have representation from the core groups.” With so many community organizations in the city, he said the task team could find ways for the groups to communicate better. Bigger, however, also said the task team’s goals aren't solely related to the issues faced by the homeless and marginalized people in the downtown core, but also the needs of downtown business owners, residents who journey downtown to work, shop and for appointments, and visitors to the city. “The challenges we're dealing with, from the businesses, from the people living downtown, the people working downtown and the general public, who might be going downtown for different services, a lot of people were talking about the amount of garbage on the streets, the graffiti, (and) the gatherings of people in the downtown and the general sense and feeling of insecurity by people who are going downtown for very various reasons. “And so, that's one element that we've tried to address, and (we) know many of those issues can be dealt with fairly (and) fairly quickly.” Bigger also defended his decision not to have a representative agency from the Homelessness Network take part in the Oct. 30 task team meeting, saying it was a question of numbers and logistics. “I think the last meeting we had (Oct. 30) we had 30 people on one Zoom call. And so it gets challenging when you start getting into large numbers.” Roslyn doesn’t buy it. She said rather than using the limits of Zoom meetings as an excuse to exclude certain community groups, she said the mayor should make more thoughtful choices about who to invite. “There are at least a dozen organizations who are actively involved with the populations downtown who would have valuable input and contributions to make,” she said. It isn’t about Elizabeth Fry or another Homelessness Network member being invited, she added, but about “including the voices of the organizations who work with the population involved.” And despite the mayor’s argument that the task team’s focus has to be broader than simply the issues facing homeless or nearly homeless people downtown, Roslyn said the lack of social services, addiction services and mental health services available to marginalized people is the crux of the issue in the city’s core. “Ultimately the issues boil down to a lack of safe, affordable housing, and the lack of free, accessible addiction and mental health care. Punitive approaches have done nothing to solve their problems, and in fact, have furthered the cycle of addiction, incarceration and homelessness.” Curious who participated in the latest task team meeting? Sudbury.com was able to secure the list. City of Greater Sudbury: Mayor Brian Bigger; Ward 10 Coun. Fern Cormier; Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland: Ward 12 Coun. Landry-Altmann: Melissa Zanette, Chief of Staff: Ed Archer CAO: Steve Jacques, General Manager; Brendan Adair, Manager of Security & By-Law Services; Tony Cecutti, General Manager of Infrastructure Services. Greater Sudbury Police Services: Chief Paul Pedersen; Inspector Sara Cunningham; Deputy Chief Sheilah Weber. Healthcare organizations: Dr. Penny Sutcliffe and Sandra Laclé, Director Health Promotion from Public Health Sudbury and Districts; Angela Recollet, Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre; Patty MacDonald, CEO, Canadian Mental Health Association; Dr. David Marsh, Associate Dean of Research, and Dr. Mike Franklyn, Faculty, both from the Northern Ontario School of Medicine; Maureen McLelland, Regional Vice-President, Cancer Care and Vice-President, Social Accountability at Health Sciences North. Downtown BIA: Maureen Luoma, Executive Director; Kendra MacIsaac, Co-chair; Brian McCullach, Co-chair.Jenny Lamothe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sudbury.com
LONDON — A book that looks at The Beatles from a playful kaleidoscope of angles won Britain’s leading nonfiction literary award on Tuesday.Craig Brown’s “One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time” was named winner of the 50,000-pound ($66,000) Baillie Gifford Prize at a virtual ceremony in London.Brown’s “composite biography” juxtaposes the stories of John, Paul, George and Ringo with relatives, partners, artists, imitators, hangers-on and others drawn into their orbit.Broadcaster Martha Kearney, who chaired the judging panel, said Brown’s “joyous, irreverent, insightful celebration” of the Fab Four was “a shaft of light piercing the deep gloom of 2020.”“Who would have thought that a book about The Beatles could seem so fresh?” she said.The award recognizes English-language books in current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.Brown beat a shortlist that included Sudhir Hazareesingh’s Haitian revolution history “Black Spartacus,” Matthew Cobb’s “The Idea of the Brain” and Christina Lamb’s book about women and war “Our Bodies, Their Battlefield.”The other finalists were Amy Stanley’s “Stranger in the Shogun’s City,” about a woman’s life in 19th-century Japan, and “The Haunting of Alma Fielding” by Kate Summerscale, a fact-based story of apparently supernatural events.The Associated Press
WINDSOR, Ont. — Public health officials say 29 students and nine staff have tested positive for COVID-19 in an outbreak at a Windsor, Ont., elementary school. Frank W. Begley Elementary has been closed since Nov. 17 and students and staff were asked to isolate for 14 days.The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says the entire school population is at high-risk for exposure to COVID-19.Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed had said that the first three cases in the outbreak were staff members, and transmission is suspected to have happened at the school.A letter to parents from the health unit says students are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.The health unit says it is working closely with the school and the Greater Essex County District School Board to manage the outbreak and limit the spread of infection.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
The new Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) council has agreed to pay $1,765 to former councillor Susan MacLeod, for personal legal fees she chalked up in 2019. However, taxpayers are not being told why she incurred the expense. The decision to pay MacLeod’s legal fees was announced in council on November 10, following an in-camera meeting at which the issue was discussed. When asked about the motion concerning the repayment, which was read by councillor Ralph Gidney, RQM’s new mayor Darlene Norman commented that a municipal policy “ensures that appointed officials are protected in cases of civic or criminal action as a result of his or her performance of their duties. “Councillors are treated as a staff member in legal matters, and because it was an in-camera item, our comments are basically what that motion stated.” RQM’s policy number 21.03, to which the mayor referred, states at length: “The mayor and every councillor of the Region of Queens Municipality and their heirs and legal representatives of such person, in the absence of any dishonesty on the part of such person, shall be indemnified by the Region of Queens Municipality against, and it shall be the duty of the council, out of the funds of the Region of Queens Municipality, to pay all costs, losses and expense, including any amount paid to settle an action or claim to satisfy a judgment that such mayor or councillor may incur or become liable to pay in respect of any claim made against such person in any civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding to which such person is made a party by reason of being a mayor or councillor of the Region of Queens Municipality whether the Region of Queens Municipality is a claimant or party to such action or proceeding or otherwise.” However, Norman would not explain to what legal issue the expense related, nor is the expense listed in the former councillor’s list of expenses posted on the municipality’s website, along with other council members’ expenses. The mayor declined to comment any further on the issue. “In-camera items have to remain in-camera and, as such, it remains so,” she said. However, while the purpose of the meeting was indicated on the agenda as a “personnel matter,” under Nova Scotia’s Municipal Government Act (MGA) councillors are not employees of the municipality and employees cannot be councillors. “Councillors are elected officials and not considered to be ‘personnel’ or staff of the municipality,” Krista Higdon, a spokesperson for the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs, said in an email. “Council must determine whether it is appropriate to go into a closed session (in camera) based on the requirements in section 22 of the Municipal Government Act,” she added. Nonetheless, Heather Cook, RQM’s communications coordinator, maintained that, from the municipality’s perspective, all councillors are considered to be employees. “Council members are on the municipal payroll and are considered employees of the municipality, and discussion of the item was subject to being held in-camera,” she said in an email. When it was suggested that taxpayers might be curious as to why the council is footing the legal bill of a former councillor, Mayor Norman noted, “it is a matter of past council.” She reiterated, “it was respecting, according to our policy, a matter in relation to that person’s duties or role as a councillor and that follows the policy.”Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
Restrictions to border crossings at the southern border between Labrador and Quebec are returning, after a confirmed positive case of COVID-19 was detected in Blanc-Sablon over the weekend.No non-essential travel at the border between Blanc-Sablon and L'Anse au Clair will be allowed, the premier's office confirmed Monday.Checkpoints that were put in place in the early days of the pandemic, but removed on June 25, will be reinstated as of Thursday with 24-hour coverage.Residents of the Labrador Straits area will be able to cross the border to go to the ferry terminal and airport in Blanc-Sablon without needing to present an exemption from the Newfoundland and Labrador government.The province will also strengthen border controls to "effectively eliminate the free flow of traffic between residents of L'Anse-au-Clair and Blanc-Sablon," the premier's office said in a statement, but added those details haven't yet been decided.Cartwight–L'Anse au Clair MHA Lisa Dempster said she thinks the decision will offer some assurance to people in her district."If somebody lives in Blanc-Sablon … and they go out, let's say, to Montreal or Quebec City — one of the hot spots — they come back because it's the same province, they are not required to self-isolate," said Dempster."So out of an abundance of caution, public health officials worked closely with Dr. Fitzgerald and the premier's office and this was implemented, and I'm quite pleased about it. I believe I think Minister [John] Haggie used to say in the earliest days of this … we'll never know if we were too cautious, but we'll certainly see the impacts if we weren't."Meanwhile, in Labrador West, people can expect the restrictions to remain unchanged between Fermont, Que., and the Lab West region.The 24-hour enforcement presence at the border will remain in place, with two fishery and forestry officers in place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and overnight presence of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.Rules that allow residents of Fermont to cross the border, but not stay overnight, without having to isolate will remain in place.Labrador West MHA Jordan Brown said there was "a lot of havoc and chaos" in his district following Monday's COVID-19 briefing, when he said Premier Andrew Furey misspoke about the need for self-isolation between Fermont and Labrador West.But things were clarified later in the day, when it was confirmed things would remain as they are."We're going back between Fermont and Lab West as normal, apparently, so that won't make any changes there," Brown said.Ferry rulesResidents of Quebec travelling by ferry across the Strait of Bell Isle to Newfoundland can only do so if they have an exemption letter allowing for travel.Labrador residents who travel to Newfoundland on that ferry are not required to isolate, since they are travelling within their province. However, when they cross the border into Quebec on their way to the ferry terminal, they must remain in their vehicles until they board the ferry.The same rule is in place for people travelling across the Strait of Belle Isle from Newfoundland: Travellers are required to stay in their vehicles from departure, until they cross the border into Labrador.Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
The new Netflix series The Queen's Gambit, about a young female chess prodigy in the 1950s and 1960s, has generated the most buzz about the game that the Calgary Chess Club has seen in five decades."The last time I remember we had buzz like this was way back in 1972, when Bobby Fischer, an American chess player, ended up being the world champion. And then six years ago, we had another movie, The Pawn's Sacrifice … but nothing like this. Nothing like this since 1972," Steve Sklenka, president of the Calgary Chess Club, told the Calgary Eyeopener on Monday.Sklenka said calls and emails have been flooding in from parents who want their kids to take up chess."They want to enrol kids into some chess lessons, tutors, and that sort of thing. So we get our inquiries on our websites and our emails," he said. "We have more people asking if we provide lessons to the youngsters. We have, actually, people buying memberships, even though we're actually closed. The premises are closed. And inquiries are coming in, people buying chess sets," he said. "The activity [is] certainly a lot better than, you know, in the past years."In the first 10 days after The Queen's Gambit was released, eBay reported a surge of over 270 per cent in searches for chess sets. Sklenka said that's good news for chess fans."It's a fun game. It's an educational game," he said. "And the good thing about it is, anybody can play all their lives. We have players from Grade 1 and right up to people into their 80s. So it's a very versatile game."Sklenka said child prodigies are rare."There's two or three from India right now. They're not even teenagers, and they're world-class players," he said."There's a few around the world, but it just happens periodically that you have some real youngsters that are extremely good, and they will become top world-class players. Potentially one of them will be a world champion."Sklenka said he hopes The Queen's Gambit is inspiring more girls and women to take up the male-dominated game."There's a lot of women playing chess, there's more and more. And, you know, we've got to be realistic. It's still a male-dominated game, but there's a lot of good female players from around the country and the world," he said.Sklenka said there's a reason eastern European players, like the toughest opponents in The Queen's Gambit, do so well at chess. "Russia, you know, the eastern European countries are supported by the government. And so it's easier for their talents to be developed," he said, adding that India, China and the United States, are coming up in the ranks."Whereas in the Western world, yeah, we don't have as much support, if you will. But yeah, that would be one reason why maybe Russia is — Russia is doing so well in chess, because they do get the support from the government." Sklenka is originally from the Czech Republic and grew up playing chess. But he said he's not one of the players who can close his eyes and see the next moves."I certainly can't. And very, very, very few people can actually play chess blindfolded. But there are people that can … Timur Gareyev, whom I know, is a very good friend and a very good person. He's a world champion and he's played 48 games blindfolded, at the same time. And that's a world record, Guinness Book of World Records. So that's just totally unusual. The odd person can play maybe a game, perhaps two blindfolded."Calgarians who are interested in learning more about chess, getting some lessons or joining the Calgary Chess Club, can find more information at Calgary Chess Club.The club, at 3359 27th Street N.E., isn't operating regular hours because of COVID-19. However, it is open Fridays from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., with all COVID-19 measures in place.Listen to the full interview on the Calgary Eyeopener here:
TORONTO — Esteemed Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is donating his archive to his Toronto alma mater, Ryerson University.Burtynsky, who has won world renown for his depictions of humanity's impacts on the natural landscape, has gifted 142 photographs from his early career to the Ryerson Image Centre.It's the first instalment of Burtynsky's multi-year donation to Ryerson, where he began his career in the late 1970s when the school was known as the School of Image Arts of Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.The St. Catharines, Ont.-born photographer has gone on to see his works tour the globe, including his "Anthropocene" exhibition, which is part of a multi-disciplinary collaboration that produced a 2018 documentary of the same name.A selection of the photographs featuring some of Burtynsky's early explorations of society's attempts to control nature are available on Ryerson Image Centre's website.Burtynsky shot most of the images in Ontario and Western Canada between 1976 and 1989, and he plans to donate further selections from his storied career to Ryerson in the years to come."It was important to me that my life's work be housed in a Canadian institution," Burtynsky said in a statement Tuesday. "It felt like a fitting 'homecoming' to entrust these works to the same place where I first developed as a photographer."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press
Second in a two-part series While agriculture in Labrador may be a daunting task, there is also a lot of opportunity. With only one per cent of food consumed in Labrador grown in the region, there is a market for locally produced food, be it vegetables or other crops or food products. From a beef farm to a cold storage facility, to a research farm, there are some new and exciting things happening in agriculture in Labrador. Darren Dinsmore of Aldercroft Farm has agriculture in his blood. He grew up on a farm in Ontario and said when he moved to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, he saw potential. Dinsmore, who is also the pastor at the local Baptist church in town, said he saw a need for local beef and decided to give it a go. “We recognize that food insecurity is an issue in Labrador and there’s a need for us as Labradorians to grow local meat, whether that’s beef or pork or whatever else,” he said. “So when a farm close to our church property became available, we jumped on that.” Dinsmore brought Highland cattle to the region and has been growing his herd for the last few years. He said there have been a lot of challenges, but he thinks compared to what farmers faced 100 years ago, they aren’t so bad. “I feel we have an advantage because there are things like equipment and government programs available that are a huge help to us,” he said. "If you’re not afraid of work and you want to see local food produced here, then I think it’s a really good thing to get into. I always encourage young people to consider it, there’s a demand for it.” Producers could never keep up with the demand for local food, he said, so it’s literally a growth industry. There has been a huge amount of interest in the beef from local people, Dinsmore said, and he hopes to be able to scale up his business over time into a larger commercial operation. Right now, the farm is focused on growing the herd and producing hay because they aren’t allowed to sell beef yet. There is no licensed abattoir in Labrador and Dinsmore said they’ve petitioned the government and is hopeful there will be one soon. He said there was discussion of building one this summer, as part of a partnership with the province, and he’s hopeful it will move forward next year. “An abattoir is next on our priority list; without it we can’t produce our own beef here locally. Hopefully next summer we can produce our own beef, which would be amazing.” The provincial government did recognize the need for an abattoir in Labrador in the work sector plan for agriculture that was part of The Way Forward document, which had 2018-2019 listed as an ideal completion date. Dinsmore said he does know of other people who would get into the industry but are waiting for an abattoir to be built. There is a deficit in agriculture infrastructure in the region, he said, and that does inhibit the growth of the industry. Nevertheless, he's looking on the bright side. “If it takes longer than next year, that’s all right. I’ll just keep feeding our cows and getting them nice and fat and growing our herd, there’s nothing wrong with that.” Tom Angiers of Spruce Meadow Farm has been farming in the Lake Melville region for a long time and said he’s fully aware of all the barriers producers continue to face in terms of government policy and infrastructure. Taking on agriculture in Labrador takes a certain kind of person, he said, one who is willing to put in the time and the work needed. He produces vegetables and eggs at his farm along the North West River Highway, selling them locally and hopefully soon, on the Labrador north coast. Angiers and his farm were recently awarded federal and provincial funding to construct a regional cold storage and packaging facility for Labrador, the first of its kind. Use of the facility will be available to members of a co-operative, he said, which currently includes three farms. “So far we’ve only been able to grow and try to handle a little bit for a little while, but we’ve never really been able to make a living at it because we haven’t been able to store enough to supply enough months of the year,” he said. “You can’t support your family on a few months of vegetables.” A cold storage facility would give them the opportunity to store and sell their crops in Labrador year-round for the first time, he said, which could allow them to greatly grow their businesses. The co-operative has been approved to be a part of Nutrition North Canada, a federal government program with the goal of making nutritious food assessable in the north, including the Labrador north coast. Angiers said this gives the farms and the people of the coast a great opportunity since the program will cover 80 per cent of the cost to ship the freight up the coast. “This way they can get fresh Labrador vegetables at a reasonable cost,” he said. “It’ll be higher quality and lower prices, there’s no drawback to them. It’s a win-win.” Last year, Memorial University took over what had been known as the Grand River Farm in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, run by Frank and Joyce Pye, and turned it into the university’s first experimental and community farm. Ashlee Cunsolo is dean of the School of Arctic and Subarctic Studies and the Pye Centre for Northern Boreal Food Systems at the Labrador Institute of Memorial University. She said Frank Pye approached the school before he died with the dream of turning the farm into a hub for northern food security research, and a seed was planted. The university went through two years of consultation before taking over the farm, and Cunsolo said they heard nothing but support. The 80-acre farm will be used for a number of purposes and they spent last year and this year planning and preparing. Next year they’ll be welcoming in the public, researchers, and community groups, which Cunsolo said will be more of an official opening. They will be offering a variety of services, equipment, and resources for those interested, including giving people access to plots to try their hand at farming or to try out new crops. It will be the first experimental farm in Labrador, she said, and can hopefully help the industry grow. “With the provincial plan to double food self-sufficiency, Labrador is poised to really contribute to that,” Cunsolo said. “There is huge untapped potential and we’re hoping, as a university and as a hub for research and education, to be able to support that growth and development in a rapid way so we can provide training and research opportunities.” For research to be approved on the farm, Cunsolo said, it has to be requested by a local farmer or shown to be a direct need for local farming. They want it to be a place where people try new things, and where new entrants into the industry are encouraged. “What’s cool about doing it through a university is we can pilot these things with no risk,” she said. “If they don’t work, they don’t work, and we know it and that contributed to what we understand.” Cunsolo said in Labrador there are so many farmers who don’t have enough land and have to use every piece they have, so this will help remove that risk. They aren’t competing with commercial farmers, she said, adding she feels people see them as an asset to the region. “We see ourselves as a way to support the work that’s already being done and to help people grow in the way that they want,” she said. Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
TORONTO — Anxiety-ridden and overworked health-care workers say they feel abandoned in their increasingly desperate struggle to cope with COVID-19, a new small-scale study suggests.Interviews with nurses, personal support workers and others in hospitals and long-term care homes suggest chronic stress and burnout are common, but fear of reprisals is stopping them from speaking out."The knowledge that they are at increased risk of infection due to lack of protection has resulted in anger, frustration, fear, and a sense of violation that may have long-lasting implications," the paper states.The study, in New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy, was done by James Brophy and Margaret Keith, academic researchers affiliated with the University of Windsor and noted occupational hygienists.Health-care workers in Canada have contracted the novel coronavirus in far higher numbers relative to the general public, comprising almost one-in-five confirmed cases, according to a previous study. To date, COVID-19 has sickened close to 9,000 front-line health-care workers and killed 16.Only 10 workers — nurses, personal support workers and other staff — agreed to be interviewed for the qualitative study. Others refused to take part for fear of being disciplined or fired, they said.Despite the handful of interview subjects, the authors said their peer-reviewed findings reflect other larger-scale research and surveys, and its findings are valid.Those interviewed said they still lack personal protective equipment despite the very real risks of contracting COVID or spreading it — risks apparent from the early days of the pandemic. Some said they were warned by supervisors not to wear N95 protection, even if they had their own, Keith said.Others spoke of the constant grief and trauma they endure when patients or residents die, a situation only getting worse as new cases soar."Words on the page cannot convey the level of emotion we heard in the voices of the health-care workers we interviewed," Brophy said. "We did not expect to hear the degree of anger and desperation that came out."The vast majority of the front-line health-care workers are women, many racialized, Keith said. Many are part-time and vulnerable to job loss."Health-care workers are desperately in need of protection from COVID and from their often back-breaking and soul-crushing working conditions," Keith said. "But the authoritarian and hierarchical nature of health-care work contributes to (their) risks and adverse mental-health impacts."Despite the issues, the workers said the provincial government had let them down by failing to take action to deal with their health or labour concerns. Chronic understaffing and failing to keep them safe, the authors said, means the workers can't do their jobs effectively, putting everyone at risk."Health-care workers health and well-being are being sacrificed," Keith said. "We all need to pay attention to their pleas."There was no immediate response to the qualitative study from the provincial government, but Health Minister Christine Elliott praised the "tireless efforts" of front-line health-care workers during an announcement on Tuesday about the roll-out of rapid tests.Michael Hurley, president of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, said front-line staff in close contact with COVID-infected people still have no ready access to proper respirators. The Ministry of Labour has also rejected all 253 work refusals as valid. "This explains why people feel sacrificed and why they feel exploited and violated," Hurley said.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — Twelve things worth noting about Tuesday's nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards, from snubbed singers to posthumous nominees to famous folks competing for awards.___SNUBBED SINGERSThe Weeknd sings about being a “star boy" but the Grammys' response to his latest album? Bye boy.The pop star was severely snubbed this year despite having one of the year's biggest albums with “After Hours" and topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart with “Blinding Lights" and “Heartless."Luke Combs also walked away without a single nomination though he was country music's most successful musician this year. Morgan Wallen also had a great year in country music, but didn't earn any nods. And the Chicks' first album in 14 years was not recognized.A group of young R&B female acts moving the needle also missed out on nominations, including Summer Walker, Teyana Taylor and Kehlani. Late rapper Juice WRLD, Brandy and Chris Brown were also snubbed.Though they received nominations in their genre categories, acts such as Lady Gaga, Fiona Apple and Harry Styles didn't pick up bids for album, song or record of the year.K-POP KINGSFor years BTS have said their dream is to be Grammy-nominated. And they've finally achieved it.The K-pop band is nominated for best pop duo/group performance with “Dynamite," their first song to hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.Others who scored their first-ever nominations include Harry Styles, Megan Thee Stallion, the Strokes, Jay Electronica, Michael Kiwanuka and Mickey Guyton.DR. LUKE aka TYSON TRAXDr. Luke marked a major comeback this year, producing hits for Saweetie, Juice WRLD and Doja Cat, who is signed to his record label. And it earned him his first Grammy nomination in six years.The hit “Say So" marked a breakthrough for Doja Cat and Dr. Luke, who last launched a No. 1 smash with Katy Perry's “Dark Horse" in 2014, the same year his former collaborator Kesha accused him of sexual assault during their yearslong partnership. Dr. Luke has vigorously denied the allegations.“Say So" is nominated for record of the year, an award given to the song's artist and producer, helping Dr. Luke earn a nomination. But instead of using his known name on the credits for the song, he's listed as Tyson Traxe.Other monikers Dr. Luke has used are Loctor Duke and MADE IN CHINA.BLACK LIVES MATTERReflecting the current times, Black artists released songs this year about the Black Lives Matter movement and the international protests that took place following the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others.And those songs are nominated for Grammys.Beyoncé's “Black Parade," released on Juneteenth, is up for four awards including record and song of the year. The protest song “I Can't Breathe" by H.E.R. is nominated for song of the year and best R&B song, while Lil Baby's “The Bigger Picture" — which reached the No. 3 spot on the pop charts — is up for best rap song and best rap performance. And Anderson .Paak's “Lockdown," about police brutality and racial injustice, is up for best melodic rap performance and best music video.Country singer Mickey Guyton wrote “Black Like Me" a year before Floyd's death, but rushed to release the song because she said the time was right. The poignant track earned a nomination for best country solo performance.LONG LIVE THE DEADJohn Prine died of complications of the coronavirus in April, but his spirit is all over the Grammy Awards.The icon earned two posthumous nominations, including best American Roots performance and best American Roots song for “I Remember Everything."Breakthrough rapper Pop Smoke died this year but his hit song “Dior," a double platinum success, is nominated for best rap performance. Nipsey Hussle, who died last year and won two posthumous Grammys earlier this year, scored a nomination for best rap performance for his guest appearance on Big Sean's “Deep Reverence."Leonard Cohen has earned multiple posthumous nominations since his death in 2016 and is nominated for best folk album with “Thanks for the Dance," his fifteenth and final studio album.And songwriter LaShawn Daniels, who died last year and won a Grammy for co-writing Destiny's Child's “Say My Name," is competing for best gospel performance/song with “Come Together" by his close friend Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins. Daniels and Jerkins started writing the song about the world coming together 17 years ago but Jerkins released it this year during the pandemic to offer healing and hope to listeners.A-LIST ACTSOscar winners Meryl Streep and Renée Zellweger are vying for Grammy gold.Streep is nominated for best spoken world album for “Charlotte’s Web," pitting her against MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, journalist Ronan Farrow and “Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings, who is nominated for reading “Alex Trebex — The Answer Is...”Zellweger won her second Academy Award for “Judy" and her performance on the soundtrack earned her a nomination for best traditional pop vocal album.Cynthia Erivo, a Grammy, Emmy and Tony winner, scored a nomination for best written song for visual media with “Stand Up" from “Harriet." The song, which she co-wrote with Joshuah Brian Campbell, also earned an Oscar nomination earlier this year.And the best comedy album award is stacked with famous folks, including Tiffany Haddish, Jerry Seinfeld, Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan and Bill Burr.WOMEN WHO ROCKFemale acts dominate in the best rock song and best rock performance categories, with performers like Fiona Apple, Brittany Howard, HAIM, Grace Potter, Phoebe Bridgers and Big Thief — led by Adrianne Lenker — in contention.And while country radio is overloaded with male artists, the Grammys' best country album category is packed with women, including Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark, Ashley McBryde and Ingrid Andress.IT'S BRITTANY B(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk)!Brittany Howard has already won four Grammys with her talented band Alabama Shakes, but her first solo album is getting tons of Grammy love.“Jaime" was released last year and is one of those rare albums competing for multiple genres at the Grammys. The album is nominated for best alternative music album, her song “Stay High" is up for best rock song and best rock performance, the track “Goat Head" is nominated for best R&B performance, and “Short and Sweet" is competing for best American Roots performance.JAY-Z, THE SONGWRITERS, SHINESHappy wife, happy life: Jay-Z has lent his songwriting hand to his wife Beyoncé and he's earned Grammy nominations for it.Jay-Z co-wrote Beyoncé's “Black Parade" and “Savage" with Megan Thee Stallion, and now he's nominated for song of the year, best R&B song and best rap song — categories reserved for songwriters.Jay-Z and Beyoncé have won five Grammys together.HIP-HOP IS DEADDespite rap music being today's most popular genre, no rap albums are nominated for the top prize, album of the year.Expected nominees included Roddy Ricch's “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial," Lil Baby’s “My Turn" and DaBaby's “Blame It on Baby" or “Kirk."But those albums didn't even score nomination in the best rap album category. Instead, nominees were focused on rap purists and respected lyricists instead of the young performers dominating the pop charts.Nominees for best rap album include Nas' “King’s Disease," Jay Electronica’s “A Written Testimony,” Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist's “Alfredo," “The Allegory" by Royce Da 5’9” and D Smoke's “Black Habits."PAUL McCARTNEY, THE ART DIRECTORPaul McCartney scored his 79th Grammy nominations this year — as an art director.The former Beatle is nominated for best boxed or special limited edition package for the collector's edition of his 10th solo album, “Flaming Pie." He's listed as one of the art directors on the project, and shares his nomination with Linn Wie Andersen, Simon Earith and James Musgrave.McCartney is the owner of 18 Grammys.PAIN OF THE PANDEMICBecause of the coronavirus pandemic, the Best Immersive Audio Album Craft Committee was unable to meet to decide winners for the best immersive audio album Grammy. The judging of the entries has been postponed, and the nominees will be announced next year. The winners for the 2021 award will be announced at the 2022 show.Mesfin Fekadu, The Associated Press
Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil regulator says it expects the “best available science” will be followed when determining the environmental impact of drilling in a fragile Atlantic marine refuge. The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB) made the comments in response to questions about its decision to accept a bid from BP Canada to explore part of a marine refuge called the Northeast Newfoundland Slope for drilling. WWF-Canada has criticized the move, saying it puts biodiversity in the area at risk, given that the marine refuge contains corals and sponges that other marine life use as spawning grounds and that are easily damaged. The group has called for oil and gas exploration and drilling in marine refuges to be banned. The regulator said in a statement that it was operating under federal government policy. The federal Liberal government has allowed marine refuges to remain open to exploratory drilling, on a case-by-case basis, while declaring in 2019 that another, separate conservation category called “marine protected areas” would be off-limits to fossil fuel activity. For refuges, oil and gas exploration “can continue,” confirmed a spokesperson for the C-NLOPB, provided that the fisheries minister “is satisfied that risks to conservation objectives of those areas will be effectively avoided or mitigated.” Any proposed oil and gas activity in the refuge would still be scrutinized through the government’s various environmental review processes, the regulator argued, as well as under the Fisheries Act. “It is expected these review processes will provide effective means to thoroughly assess, avoid and mitigate any impacts based on the best available science,” the regulator said. Exploratory drilling is done when an energy company needs more data to determine the worthiness of setting up a more permanent drilling operation. It often involves examining rock samples in the area. BP Canada has said it is too early to discuss plans for its slice of the marine refuge. But if it does move forward, it won’t have to go through a separate environmental assessment to carry out exploratory drilling. That’s because Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson created a new regulation earlier this year that exempts exploratory drilling in the Atlantic east of Newfoundland from federal impact assessments. The controversial exemption was made based on the fact that a large, “regional assessment” of exploratory drilling had already been done. Environmental law charity Ecojustice, on behalf of WWF-Canada, Ecology Action Centre and the Sierra Club Canada Foundation, has said that assessment was “flawed” and launched a legal challenge. The exemption only applies to exploratory drilling — permanent offshore oil and gas projects “will continue to be subject to project-specific assessments,” the government said. It also said any exploratory drilling must “conform to the rigorous environmental and consultation conditions” outlined in the minister's new regulations. That includes conducting an investigation of the seabed to see if there are any corals or sponges or “any other environmentally sensitive features” around each of the proposed sites for underwater oil wells. If corals and sponges are there, the company must take measures to avoid them; things such as “moving the anchors or wells on the seafloor” or “redirecting the discharge of drill cuttings.” Since the drilling area is in a refuge, the regulations say the company must also hand over another plan to the department and the regulator that outlines the effects of drilling on conservation objectives. That plan should also include any planned mitigation measures, how those measures will be monitored to make sure they're working and a strategy to keep everyone in the loop as new information comes in. “Exploratory drilling programs are short-term projects and the environmental effects of these programs are well understood,” the C-NLOPB said. Ecology Action Centre senior marine co-ordinator Jordy Thomson said the rules surrounding drilling in a marine refuge also serve to highlight a quirk in the Liberal government’s conservation plans. The government has made conservation a priority, protecting 13.81 per cent of Canada’s marine and coastal areas and promising to boost this to 25 per cent by 2025. That protected territory includes both marine protected areas, where oil and gas is off-limits, as well as marine refuges, where it is allowed. Even if drilling permits are handed out to energy firms, the marine refuges are still counted toward the conservation target, up until the point at which “oil and gas extraction begins.” “Under this approach, marine refuges become these ever-receding jigsaw puzzles with questionable conservation value,” Thomson said. “The federal government and the C-NLOPB need to put a halt to oil and gas development in all protected marine areas.” Carl Meyer / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National ObserverCarl Meyer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
India's ruling Hindu nationalist party approved a decree in the country's most populous state on Tuesday laying out prison terms for anyone compelling others to convert their faith or luring them into these conversions through marriage, officials said. The move follows a campaign by hardline Hindu groups against some interfaith marriages that they describe as "love jihad", Muslim men engaging in a conspiracy to turn Hindu women away from their religion by seducing them. Critics said the unlawful conversion order approved by the cabinet of Uttar Pradesh state, run by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's BJP, was aimed at further alienating India's 170 million Muslims by painting them as aggressors plotting to weaken Hindus.
Originaire de Portneuf-sur-Mer, Alyson Desbiens est de retour au Québec, après quatre années passées en France, pour travailler dans un domaine qui la passionne : l’immigration. Technicienne juridique pour le moment, elle veut devenir consultante pour accompagner les immigrants. La firme Nadia Barrou Immigration de Montréal l’a repérée en mars dernier, alors qu’elle conseillait des immigrants sur des forums spécialisés. « Mme Barrou trouvait que mes commentaires étaient pertinents et que je connaissais bien les lois de l’immigration », affirme la jeune femme de 27 ans. Après plusieurs discussions, Alyson a finalement été embauchée, ce qui a devancé son retour au pays. « Mon mari et moi étions censés revenir au Québec en mars 2021, mais je ne voulais pas rater cette opportunité formidable pour moi. Je suis donc revenue seule pour le moment, mais il viendra me trouver quand il en aura fini avec la paperasse administrative », indique-t-elle. Ayant complété un baccalauréat en sociologie et développement social en France, la Portneuvoise exerce en tant que technicienne juridique puisqu’elle ne peut faire du conseil en immigration pour le moment. « Je dois terminer mon cours de consultante en immigration avant. Je le suis présentement en ligne et je dois passer l’examen de l’ordre en février prochain. Je suis assez confiante puisque jusqu’à maintenant, j’obtiens de très bonnes notes et j’adore ça », explique Alyson Desbiens. Hobby Pour la jeune femme, aider les gens qui immigrent était un « hobby » depuis longtemps. Elle participait à des forums de discussion et apportait son soutien régulièrement. « J’utilisais mon expérience et mes connaissances législatives. Ensuite, j’ai découvert que je pouvais être payée pour faire ça. C’est à ce moment que j’ai débuté mon cours », raconte-t-elle. Effectivement, en tant qu’immigrante en France avec son conjoint qu’elle a rencontré alors qu’il était en vacances à Québec, elle a vécu plusieurs problématiques pour obtenir et conserver son VISA. « C’est de cette façon que j’ai développé de l’expérience dans le domaine, dévoile Alyson Desbiens, nouvellement mariée cet été. Lire les petites lignes dans le bas des contrats, ça me connaît. » De plus, avec la pandémie qui sévit dans le monde en ce moment, l’immigration est rendue encore plus difficile, selon Mme Desbiens. « Il y a beaucoup de choses qui ont changé, ce n’est pas évident de s’y retrouver quand on n’a pas les connaissances pour le faire. Les démarches sont plus longues et coûteuses et seulement les membres de la famille immédiate peuvent venir au Québec depuis la pandémie. » Coup de foudre Alyson Desbiens fait partie de celles qui ont vécu deux coups de foudre dans leur vie, soit amoureux et professionnel. Ses trois premières semaines de travail pour Nadia Barrou Immigration l’ont enchantée. « Il y a vraiment un climat de confiance et d’entraide dans l’équipe, confirme-t-elle. C’est super comme ambiance ». Aider sa région natale La future consultante en immigration aura peut-être même l’opportunité d’aider les entreprises de la Côte-Nord qui souhaitent faire appel à la main-d’œuvre immigrante. « C’est un défi qu’est prête à m’offrir Nadia Barrou. J’en serais très heureuse puisque j’ai une bonne connaissance de la région », conclut Alyson qui peut être jointe à firstname.lastname@example.org ou au 514-286-1613.Johannie Gaudreault, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Haute-Côte-Nord
MONTREAL — Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group says it has completed the sale company to a group of its creditors led by Catalyst Capital GroupThe company announced the closing of the transaction with its secured lenders and its emergence from court protection from creditors today. Cirque was forced to cancel its shows earlier this year and cut nearly 3,500 employees due to the pandemic.As part of the transaction, former MGM Resorts International chief executive Jim Murren and Catalyst Capital managing director Gabriel de Alba were named as co-chairmen of the company's board of directors.Daniel Lamarre will remain as president and chief executive, as well as continue to sit on the company's board. The new owners have also agreed to keep the company's headquarters in Montreal.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.The Canadian Press