Soleil Moon Frye and Cherie Johnson talk to Yahoo Entertainment about the new Punky Brewster reboot, premiering Feb. 25 on Peacock. Frye and Johnson also look back on Andy Gibb's guest starring role.
Soleil Moon Frye and Cherie Johnson talk to Yahoo Entertainment about the new Punky Brewster reboot, premiering Feb. 25 on Peacock. Frye and Johnson also look back on Andy Gibb's guest starring role.
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
MALATYA, Turkey — Canadian Atiba Hutchinson's 59th-minute goal lifted Besiktas to a 1-0 win over Yeni Malatyaspor in Turkish Super Lig play Tuesday. The 38-year-old midfielder from Brampton, Ont., lost his marker and was found alone in the penalty box by teammate Vincent Aboubakar. Hutchinson drove towards the six-yard box and faked a shot twice, freezing the goalkeeper before roofing a right-footed shot. Fellow Canadian Cyle Larin also started for the Black Eagles. Larin and Aboubakar are tied for second in Super Lig scoring with 13 goals behind Hatayspor's Aaron Boupendza's 18. Besiktas trails league-leading Galatasaray on goal difference with both teams at 18-5-3. Malatyaspor stands 13th at 7-10-10. Hutchinson, who joined Besiktas in 2013, has won 84 caps for Canada in an international career that saw him make his first senior appearance in 2003. The 25-year-old Larin, also from Brampton, has 31 caps and eight goals for Canada. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
On the day another restrictive lockdown was enforced, seniors lined up in blizzard-like conditions to receive a very important poke in their arms By midnight Feb. 28, New Tecumseth had joined much of Simcoe County in hunkering down against an outbreak of the virulent B117 U.K. variant of the COVID-19 virus. At council, New Tecumseth’s chief administrative officer Blaine Parkin laid out some of the restrictions, including restaurants must open only for curbside and takeout service, residents are to limit all inside gatherings to household members only, and all township centres, museums, the library and town hall are shuttered. On the flip side, it was also the day more than 360 seniors walked through the Alliston Memorial Arena doors to receive their first dose of the vaccination that rolled out in 34 regions across the province Monday. For an update on vaccinations and lockdown requirements, visit https://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/Topics/COVID-19 or call 705-721-7520. Park lands — To build on a swamp or on a hill; that was the question asked by Robert Schickedanz at New Tecumseth’s town council meeting Monday night. Schickedanz’s Walton South Simcoe Residential Development has plans to build a new subdivision adjacent to the West County subdivision in Beeton. Schickedanz suggests parkland set aside for the initial West Country community have a two-metre slope that would not benefit from playground equipment. A small group of residents attended an earlier township committee of the whole meeting to protest movement of the park to a nearby plot of land. Council sent the decision back to staff to review the park, currently zoned environmentally protected and agricultural. No conflict of interest determined — Deputy Mayor Richard Norcross was found not to be in contravention of the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act Monday. New Tecumseth’s Integrity Commissioner John Mascarin investigated a report that Norcross should have declared a pecuniary interest on a draft ministerial zoning order permitting a new subdivision, as well as in an application made by a second developer last October. The conflict arose from a concern that Norcross’ wife Robin is employed as a sales representative for several new homes, that could or had been built by the developers. Mascarin’s report determined Robin had not sold any new homes and only resells homes in the New Tecumseth area. In his report, Mascarin noted, “It is our view that a reasonable elector, having been fully apprised of all the circumstances, would conclude that the deputy mayor’s deemed interest of an indirect nature would not be likely to influence his action … and (it) would be expressly exempted from the requirements Municipal Conflict of Interest Act.” Council received the report with no further action required. Cheryl Browne, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the decision to delay second doses of COVID-19 vaccine by four months is based on scientific evidence combined with real-world data from the province’s immunization campaign that began in late December.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold voting restrictions in Arizona in a key case that could make it harder to challenge a raft of other voting measures Republicans have proposed following last year's elections. All six conservative justices, appointed by Republican presidents, suggested they would throw out an appellate ruling that struck down the restrictions as racially discriminatory under the landmark Voting Rights Act. The three liberal members of the court, appointed by Democrats, were more sympathetic to the challengers. Less clear is what standard the court might set for how to prove discrimination under the law, first enacted in 1965. The outcome could make it harder, if not impossible, to use the Voting Rights Act to sue over legislation that creates obstacles to voting in the name of election security. Such measures are currently making their way through dozens of Republican-controlled state legislatures. Civil rights group and Democrats argue that the proposed restrictions would disproportionately affect minority voters, important Democratic constituencies. Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, have proposed national legislation that would remove such security-driven obstacles to voting. Many of those proposals are being driven by former President Donald Trump's repeated false claims of a stolen election, although state elections officials and judges in state and federal courts found no evidence of significant problems. The Supreme Court case has strong partisan implications, with Arizona and national Republicans on one side, state and national Democrats on the other. The Arizona provisions under review were in place for last year's voting. They are a 2016 law that limits who can return early ballots for another person and a separate policy of discarding ballots cast in the wrong precinct. Both parties used ballot collection in Arizona to boost turnout during elections by going door to door and asking voters if they had completed their mail-in ballots. Voters who hadn't were urged to do so, and the volunteers offered to take the ballots to election offices. Democrats used the process more effectively. Republicans who control the legislature made a crime of ballot collection, dubbed ballot harvesting by opponents, other than for family members and caregivers. Eighty per cent of the state's voters use mail-in ballots or vote early in person. The federal appeals court in San Francisco found that Black, Hispanic and Native Americans voters were most heavily affected by the new law. Both Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointed to the 2005 recommendation of a commission chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and the late James Baker to eliminate ballot collection, among other ideas to reduce the chance for election fraud. Kavanaugh said the recommendation seemed to be the sort of “circumstance that puts a thumb on the scale in favour of the legitimacy of the rule.” Jessica Amunson, representing Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs in opposition to the restrictions, said the court should not ignore the state's experience with ballot collection. “Arizona had a 25-year history of literally not a single instance of fraud with ballot collection,” Amunson said on behalf of Hobbs, a Democrat. Justice Elena Kagan asked a series of questions that seemed to be aimed at other restrictions that could find their way to the court, including reducing time for early voting and eliminating polling places. Michael Carvin, representing Republicans, said the examples Kagan posited “have never existed in the real world." Kagan replied that they didn't “seem so fanciful to me.” The high court's last major Voting Rights Act decision was in 2013, when a 5-4 conservative majority gutted the part of the law that forced state and local governments with a history of discrimination, including Arizona, to get advance approval from the Justice Department or a federal court before making any changes to elections. Roberts wrote the court's opinion. The current case involves the remaining portion of the law that applies nationwide and still prohibits discrimination in voting on the basis of race. A decision is expected by early summer. ___ Associated Press writer Bob Christie in Phoenix contributed to this report. Mark Sherman, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — British Columbia's chief coroner says deadlier street drugs are behind another grim milestone in the province's overdose crisis as a record was set for the number of deaths in January. The BC Coroners Service says 165 people died from suspected overdoses in January, the largest number of lives lost due to illicit drugs in the first month of a calendar year. It says the deaths come amid a rise in drug toxicity, with almost one in five of the deaths involving extreme levels of fentanyl concentration — the largest number recorded to date. There were 14 deaths in which carfentanil was detected, the largest monthly figure involving the more lethal analogue of fentanyl since May 2019. More people died from illicit drug overdoses in British Columbia last year than in any year before. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe says more than twice the number of people died in January 2021 compared with January 2020 and the drug toxicity shows a need for swift action. “The findings suggest that the already unstable drug supply in B.C. is becoming even deadlier, underscoring the urgent need for supervised consumption options, prescribing for safe supply, and accessible treatment and recovery services," she says in the statement. The report also notes recent increases in the presence of unprescribed benzodiazepines and its analogues, including etizolam. Since July 2020, etizolam has been identified in nearly one-third of illicit drug toxicity deaths where expedited testing was performed. In January, benzodiazepines and its analogues were detected in nearly half of all samples tested. The addition of etizolam to fentanyl increases the likelihood of overdose due to the combined respiratory depressant effects, the coroners service says. It says increased drug toxicity was responsible for an average of 5.3 lives lost each day in January. Premier John Horgan and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart have written letters to the federal government asking for an exemption that would allow for the decriminalization of drug possession for personal use. Sheila Malcolmson, the minister of mental health and addictions, says in a statement that the pandemic has pushed people further into isolation, compounding the effects of stigma that drives people to use drugs alone. She says B.C. is working to add more treatment and recovery options, more services and supports, and to work with the federal government on decriminalization. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
All long-term care homes across Saskatchewan have now received the first doses of COVID-19 vaccines for their residents, the province said Tuesday. And the province's chief medical health officer says most people in the province who want a vaccine could have their first doses by the summer. The first care home resident in Saskatchewan received a COVID-19 vaccine less than two months ago, and 53 per cent of long-term facilities have now received both their first and second vaccine doses, according to the province. The province says 91 per cent of long-term care home residents received the vaccine. The remainder were not immunized due to circumstances such as their availability at the time of vaccination, a change in health status or because they declined the vaccine, the province says. The province says 90 per cent of personal care homes have also now received their first doses, and 43 per cent of those homes have received both their first and second doses. "Ensuring seniors living in long-term and personal care homes are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 is a priority for the government of Saskatchewan," Everett Hindley, the minister responsible for seniors and rural and remote health, said in a statement Tuesday. "As the supply of vaccine hopefully continues to expand in the coming weeks, we will be able to quickly expand our vaccination efforts for seniors living independently, as well as our other priority groups." Since the pandemic began a year ago, more than 40 outbreaks have been declared at long-term and personal care homes in province, resulting in over 100 deaths. In a press conference in Regina Tuesday, Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said that the vast majority of residents could now receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before summer. Shahab said the province could extend the time between its first and second vaccine shots to four months. That would allow more people to get vaccinated sooner than originally expected. Some studies show that one dose of vaccine has a high efficacy rate, he said, and British Columbia has already said it will extend the interval between doses to 16 weeks. "Giving one dose to the vast majority of people by June and then completing the second dose July onwards ... will help us prevent a potentially devastating variant-fuelled third wave," Shahab said. The province says the decision on whether to delay a second dose for four months will be made by end of the week. Saskatchewan now has access to three approved COVID-19 vaccines, from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and AstraZeneca-Oxford. Tuesday numbers Saskatchewan also reported 134 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, and two more deaths related to the illness. The two people who died, both in the 80 and over age group, were from the north central and Saskatoon zones. Of the 28,938 total known cases to date in the province, 1,492 are considered active. The seven-day average of daily new cases in Saskatchewan is 144 — 11.8 new cases per 100,000 population. (CBC News) The new cases Tuesday are in the following provincial zones: Far northwest (22). Far northeast (12). Northwest (12). North central (five). Northeast (two). Saskatoon (28). Central east (eight). Regina (38). South central (three) Southeast (three). Residence information is pending for one other case. There are currently 154 people in hospital in the province due to COVID-19, including 20 in intensive care. The province also reported 194 new recoveries. There have been 27,059 known recoveries in total. To date, 580,241 COVID-19 tests have been processed in Saskatchewan, 2,175 of which were processed on Monday. Restrictions may relax Saskatchewan may see COVID-19 restrictions loosen very soon. Premier Scott Moe said on Tuesday that the province's case numbers continue to stabilize, which he said means the vaccinations are working. Because of the decreasing numbers and continued immunization, the province is very close to making a decision on relaxing restrictions, Moe said. "The priority measure that I hear of would be the one on expanding our household visits and our opportunities to see some family members ... and then move to the the broader categories in the weeks after that," he said. Moe said Shahab wants to make sure the hospitalization numbers remain stable over the next few days. If that happens, the province should have an announcement about household restrictions by early next week, Moe said. 618 vaccinations There were 618 COVID-19 vaccine doses administered Monday in Saskatchewan, according to the province. To date, a total of 80,236 shots have been administered. Saskatchewan reported 134 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. There have been two more deaths(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) The latest doses were administered in the following provincial zones: Far northwest (27). Far north central (11) Far northeast (11) Northwest (six). North central (44). Saskatoon (425). Central east (88). Southeast (six). Provincial data has been updated to include an additional 329 doses administered in the central east (120) and southeast (209) zones on Feb.26 and 27. (CBC News Graphics) CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
EDMONTON — Alberta’s health minister says the province is considering whether to follow British Columbia in extending the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses. Tyler Shandro says a committee of COVID-19 experts is analyzing emerging data and a decision is coming. The B.C. government announced Monday that it will extend the wait between first and second doses to four months to get more people vaccinated overall in a shorter time period. B.C. based its decision on data coming from the United Kingdom, Israel and Quebec that showst the first dose of vaccines is 90 per cent effective. When Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech began distributing their vaccines late last year, it was recommended the first and second shots be completed within about six weeks maximum to be fully effective. The Oxford-AstraZeneca has also been approved for use in Canada, but a national panel of vaccine experts is recommending it only be given to people under 65 – a guideline Shandro says Alberta will follow. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021 The Canadian Press
Nonfiction 1. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey, narrated by the author (Random House Audio) 2. A Promised Land by Barack Obama, narrated by the author (Random House Audio) 3. Atomic Habits by James Clear, narrated by the author (Penguin Audio) 4. Believe It by Jamie Kern Lima, narrated by the author (Simon & Schuster Audio) 5. How to Train Your Mind by Chris Bailey, narrated by the author (Audible Originals) 6. Think Again by Adam Grant, narrated by the author (Penguin Audio) 7. How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by Bill Gates, narrated by the author and Wil Wheaton (Random House Audio) 8. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, narrated by the author and Adam Skolnick (Lioncrest Publishing) 9. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F(asterisk)ck by Mark Manson, narrated by Roger Wayne (HarperAudio) 10. Finding Your Purpose by Christine Whelan, narrated by the author (Audible Originals) Fiction 1. The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Julia Whelan (Macmillan Audio) 2. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah, narrated by Susan Ericksen (Brilliance Audio) 3. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig, narrated by Carey Mulligan (Penguin Audio) 4. Stargazer by Dan Wells, performed by Cindy Kay, Margaret Ying Drake, Betsy Hogg, Jennifer Van Dyck, Charlie Thurston, Frankie Corzo, Leer Leary, Allyson Johnson, Polly Lee, Eunice Wong, David Shih, Josh Hurley, Steve Routman, Ellen Archer and Michael Braun (Audible Originals) 5. H.G. Wells: The Science Fiction Collection by H.G. Wells, performed by Hugh Bonneville, Jason Isaacs, Sophie Okonedo, David Tennant and Alexander Vlahos, Eli Roth – introduction (Audible Studios) 6. 1984 by George Orwell, narrated by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio, Inc.) 7. Relentless by Mark Greaney, performed by Jay Snyder (Audible Studios) 8. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, narrated by Simon Vance (Brilliance Audio) 9. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, narrated by Dan Stevens (HarperAudio) 10. The Shadow Box by Luanne Rice, narrated by Nicol Zanzarella and Jim Frangione (Brilliance Audio) The Associated Press
The territorial government has extended its pandemic wage top-up program that sees eligible employees make $18 an hour opposed to the territory’s normal minimum wage of $13.46. The program was set to expire on February 28 but will now run until August 31. As of March 1, individuals over the age of 15 who had wanted to participate in the program in the past financial year, but whose employer declined, can apply directly for the wage top-up to be retroactively applied. That would cover the April 1, 2020 to February 28, 2021 period. The application process for individuals in the same situation who want to access the top-up between March 1, 2021 until August 31, 2021 will be announced at a later date. According to the territory, 96 businesses have participated in the program with 2,337 individuals benefitting from the subsidy since it began in April 2020. It has cost over $2.6 million to run the program thus far. Talks about the minimum wage, and whether or not it will be raised, are still being held at the territorial level. In the Legislative Assembly on February 9, Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly said he believes rolling back the minimum wage once the program expires would be “completely unfair.” “The need for this program is a clear sign that our minimum wage is too low, far too low,” O’Reilly said. Employment minister R.J. Simpson said the long-term future of the minimum wage was still being decided. “The minister is currently reviewing the report from the Minimum Wage Committee,” the Department of Education, Culture and Employment said in an email to Cabin Radio. “He intends to make a decision on the minimum wage in the near future.” Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
Spin Master Corp. recorded meteoric growth in its digital games business in the latest quarter as users of its Toca Life World app filmed themselves playing the game and shared the videos on social media, the company’s co-CEO said Tuesday. “There was a crazy amount of people that were actually filming themselves playing in the game and then uploading it to TikTok, and that exposure of the game really started to increase the amount of users,” Ronnen Harary told investors during a conference call. “When you have that many people seeing the product, playing with the product and telling their friends, there's a multiplier effect.” The Canadian toymaker’s digital games revenue increased by more than 400 per cent to $31.8 million in its fourth quarter, driven by the Toca Life World platform. The app, developed by Spin Master's Swedish app studio Toca Boca, lets players imagine stories for characters in the virtual game, including kids, babies, elders and creatures, and drag the characters around the screen with their finger and make them do activities. While it's free to download the app, Spin Master makes money through the in-game purchases and upgrades. The stronger digital games revenue, also driven in part by its Sago Mini kids app subscription user base, was revealed as the company said its revenue grew 3.6 per cent compared with a year ago for the three months ended Dec. 31. The Toronto-based company said revenue for the quarter was US$490.6 million, up from US$473.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. Spin Master's shares surged to a 52-week high and were up over 24 per cent, or $7.01, at $36.07 in midday trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Yet its quarterly results also showed a decline in net sales to $434.3 million, from $441.6 million a year earlier. Mark Segal, Spin Master's chief financial officer, explained that the sales slump was in part due to retailers pulling promotions forward earlier in the fall as well as the company's decision to limit domestic inventory. "This affected our ability to fulfil some late-season replenishment and e-commerce orders, especially on hot items," he told analysts. "While this meant we did not maximize our sales, the position we took allowed us to achieve our best sell-through and cleanest retail and Spin Master inventory levels in many years." Meanwhile, the company will be releasing its feature-length Paw Patrol movie in August, expanding the reach of the company's popular kids entertainment franchise and opening up a new revenue stream. "In terms of increasing our output, you will see more films coming from Spin Master in the future and I think that gives us a whole new way to actually entertain kids," Harary told analysts. "It's really important for everybody to understand that we're actually producing the film, we didn't license the film out ... and take a royalty on it," he said. "Our team internally in Toronto produced the film, we hired the writers, we hired the directors, we did the whole casting with all that amazing voice talent." It's unclear whether there will be a theatrical release for the movie or a combination of theatrical and video on demand, Harary said. Meanwhile, although classic toys and game were a safe choice in 2020, he said consumers will "shift to newness" post-pandemic, he said. The company is preparing for this shift with a robust pipeline of new product development and the goal of greenlighting one to two new properties a year, Harary said. Harary and Anton Rabie, co-founders of the children's entertainment company, will step down from their co-chief executive roles next year. Max Rangel was appointed global president in January and adds the chief executive role to his title in April. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:TOY) Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press
Last August, Christine Mickeloff’s mother left her retirement home in Jarvis with her walker. Before anyone knew it, she was wandering down the highway. Fortunately, an off-duty worker from the home was driving nearby when she recognized the Leisure Living resident who has dementia. She alerted the home and staff walked her back to safety. Mickeloff says the incident shows how people with dementia — especially those living in retirement homes that are not equipped to offer the same level of care as a long-term-care facility — are falling through the cracks. “There are people like my mom who are ... stuck in a facility that is not meant to look after (them),” says the Caledonia resident. Her mother, who Mickeloff didn’t want to name, was already showing signs of dementia when she moved into Leisure Living three years ago. A year later, she was diagnosed and the disease continued to progress. Though she was on the wait list for long-term care, delays from the pandemic meant she wasn’t getting a bed any time soon. “Mom was forgotten,” Mickeloff said of the wait. The home says staff tried their best to care for her mother, but were caught in the middle of the resident’s worsening dementia and an absence of supports. When Leisure Living restricted access during the pandemic, Mickeloff mother’s symptoms worsened. Mickeloff couldn’t visit and there were no group activities to keep her mother engaged. She began to wander more and woke up in the middle of the night to look for her husband. After the “dangerous” and “scary” highway incident, Kristina Kasza, the home’s director of care, said she immediately contacted Mickeloff and members of the resident’s care team. “Multiple times, we were told to admit her (to hospital),” said Kasza, but the hospital “kept sending her back.” “We were put in a rock and a hard place,” she said. Jane Meadus, staff lawyer at the Advocacy Centre for the Elderly, says the government has left more and more people relying on retirement homes to provide health care in the pandemic. “They are treating retirement homes almost as quasi-long-term-care homes and as a way for seniors to get care without the government having to pay anything,” she said. Unlike long-term care, a retirement home doesn’t fall under the health-care sector. Instead, residents pay rent to stay in a home and can purchase care options on top. Mickeloff looked into hiring private care, but says at $37 per hour for 12 hours a day, it was too costly. “You can’t say to somebody, ‘Well, yeah, you could go to long-term care but there’s no bed, so you’re going to have to pay privately,’ because we have a publicly funded health-care system,” Meadus added, noting that even before COVID-19, hospitals often pressured patients to go to a retirement home instead of waiting for long-term care in order to clear up beds. While home care can help supplement care in a retirement home, Meadus says it can be “spotty” because there aren’t enough workers. That means people who can’t afford private care, like Mickeloff’s mother, are left with inadequate care while waiting for a long-term-care bed. Kasza says the LHIN requested more care for Mickeloff’s mother, but didn’t have enough staff to provide it since COVID-19 prevented workers from going into multiple homes. “It was just a hot mess,” she said. Kasza noted the whole home rallied to care for Mickeloff’s mother by alerting staff when they spotted her wandering or helping redirect her. “Everybody took care of her to the best of their abilities,” she said. By September, Mickeloff’s mother was on the crisis list, which prioritizes patients for long-term care. But COVID-19 outbreaks and precautions continued to cause delays. On top of that, she was competing with hospital patients also waiting in line. By January, she was accepted for a bed. She got a COVID-19 test before her move, but days later, the long-term-care home declared an outbreak, postponing her entry for two weeks. Another COVID-19 case was later suspected in the home, again delaying her move. In February, Mickeloff’s mother finally moved into long-term care, and her daughter says she seems happier. She has access to 24-7 care and staff to keep her stimulated. Mickeloff says more needs to be done for others in her mother’s shoes, especially with dementia increasing. “The government’s just not moving fast enough,” she says. “(My mom) got left behind and wasted away while she was waiting.” Maria Iqbal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
It started as a small outlet for a few students at Dr. John C. Wickwire in Liverpool, but it’s grown into a school-wide passion. Staff members of the Queens County elementary school, including Chris Kaulback, Isaac Rafuse and Adam Leuschner, introduced the sport of skateboarding three years ago to a select group of students as a way for them to burn off a bit of stress and get ready for the day. “Students that I work with generally would be labelled as having behavioural challenges and they may struggle within the core confines of the walls of the classroom,” said Kaulback, who works in the school’s Connect Centre. Skateboarding is giving the students a “sense of belonging, the sense of community and really giving them that opportunity to see that they can excel in other parts of the school. It doesn’t have to be just academics,” he added. The students skateboarded in the gym in the mornings, and at other times periodically during the week. “It’s been a huge success for my kids,” said Kaulback, noting that it gives the students experiential-based learning opportunities. Soon, other students began asking to join in, prompting the instructors to launch a noon-hour club. The interest was such that skateboarding now has become part of the physical education curriculum. The program follows the Making Tracks - Skate Pass Training, which was developed by Halifax’s Ecology Action Center, and skateboarding guidelines within the Nova Scotia physical education curriculum. According to Leuschner, the program has given them new opportunities as educators. “There is a lot of research surrounding skateboarding and its ability to regulate students and help them find their calm,” he said. “We tell kids to calm down, but at the elementary level they don’t know what it feels like. We are trying to support them in understanding how your body feels when you’re actually in a calm state and skateboarding is a real good tool to do that.” Grade 5 student Devilyn Moore agreed. “It feels relaxing and fun and we get to socialize,” he said. Currently, the program is only open to students in Grades 3 to 5 because of safety regulations. However, the teachers are working on plans to introduce the younger students to the activity as well. Leuschner suggested that while students have played a lot of intramural games, and been a part of different programs, the skateboard program stands out. “It’s really quite something. When you walk into the gym when the skate program is going on, you really see a lot of pro-social behaviour,” he said. “You see a lot of smiles, a lot of kids joking about and you see kids helping each other out.” The school’s program has received support from companies and groups across Canada, including Landyachtz in Vancouver, Surf Ontario and Rollin Boardshop in Montreal. “They have given us a lot of great deals. They know how important a program like this is for the youth,” said Rafuse. “With the support we’ve had, we’ve been able to really push the program as far as we could.” The school has acquired 30 skateboards for the kids to use along with 50 sets of safety gear. The students are using Carver skateboards. Although a bit more expensive, “we knew they would be the most conducive to small bodies,” said Rafuse. “It was going to be the quickest board for them to learn on.” The boards aren’t cheap, running about $400 each, but, according to Kaulback, the board is well suited to the task. It uses a truck system that mimics surfing and snowboarding by getting speed up through pumping (shifting your weight from your heels to your toes in rhythm). Kaulback noted that this rhythm is one piece that ties into the self-regulation aspect of the program. Program modifications are ongoing, and plans are to purchase some ramps and obstacles in the future. “We are trying not only to support our students in their need to regulate, but also to have some fun and learn new skills,” said Leuschner. Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin
ATLANTA — Vernon Jordan, who rose from humble beginnings in the segregated South to become a champion of civil rights before reinventing himself as a Washington insider and corporate influencer, has died, relatives confirmed. He was 85. “It it is with sadness that we confirm that Vernon E. Jordan passed away peacefully last night," his niece, Ann Walker Marchant, said Tuesday in an email to The Associated Press. After serving as field secretary for the Georgia NAACP and executive director of the United Negro College Fund, he headed the National Urban League, becoming the face of Black America’s modern struggle for jobs and justice for more than a decade. He was nearly killed by a racist’s bullet in 1980 before transitioning to business and politics. His friendship with Bill Clinton took them both to the White House. Jordan was an unofficial aide to Clinton, drawing him into controversy during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Jordan “never gave up on his friends or his country," Clinton said Tuesday. Jordan “brought his big brain and strong heart to everything and everybody he touched. And he made them better," Clinton and his wife Hillary said in a statement. Former President Barack Obama said that “like so many others, Michelle and I benefited from Vernon Jordan’s wise counsel and warm friendship — and deeply admired his tireless fight for civil rights." Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday on Twitter that “Jordan’s leadership took our nation closer to its Founding promise: all are created equal.” Jordan's death comes months after the deaths of two other civil rights icons: U.S. Rep. John Lewis and C.T. Vivian. After growing up in the Jim Crow South and living much of his life in a segregated America, Jordan took a strategic view of race issues. “My view on all this business about race is never to get angry, no, but to get even,” Jordan said in a New York Times interview in 2000. “You don’t take it out in anger; you take it out in achievement.” Jordan was the first lawyer to head the Urban League, which had traditionally been led by social workers. Under his leadership, the Urban League added 17 more chapters and its budget swelled to more than $100 million. The organization also broadened its focus to include voter registration drives and conflict resolution between Blacks and law enforcement. He resigned from the Urban League in 1982 to become a partner at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld. Jordan was a key campaign adviser to Clinton during his first presidential campaign and co-chaired Clinton’s transition team. His friendship with Clinton, which began in the 1970s, evolved into a partnership and political alliance. He met Clinton as a young politician in Arkansas, and the two connected over their Southern roots and poor upbringings. Although Jordan held held no official role in the Clinton White House, he was highly influential and had such labels as the “first friend.” He approached Colin Powell about becoming Secretary of State and encouraged Clinton to approve the NAFTA agreement in 1993. Jordan also secured a job at Revlon for Lewinsky, a White House intern whose sexual encounters with the president spawned a scandal. Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr., was born in Atlanta on Aug. 15, 1935, the second of Vernon and Mary Belle Jordan’s three sons. Until Jordan was 13, the family lived in public housing. But he was exposed to Atlanta’s elite through his mother, who worked as a caterer for many of the city’s affluent citizens. Jordan went to DePauw University in Indiana, where he was the only Black student in his class and one of five at the college. Distinguishing himself through academics, oratory and athletics, he graduated in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and went on to attend Howard University School of Law in Washington. While there, he married his first wife, Shirley Yarbrough. The young couple moved to Atlanta after Jordan earned his law degree in 1960, and Jordan became a clerk for civil rights attorney Donald Hollowell, who successfully represented two Black students — Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter — attempting to integrate the University of Georgia. In an iconic photograph, Jordan — an imposing 6 feet, 4 inches — is seen holding at bay the white mob that tried to block Hunter from starting her first day of classes. In 1961, Jordan became Georgia field secretary for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. During his two years in the role, Jordan built new chapters, co-ordinated demonstrations and boycotted businesses that would not employ Blacks. Jordan moved to Arkansas in 1964 and went into private practice. He also became director of the Voter Education Project of the Southern Regional Council. During his tenure, millions of new Blacks joined the voter rolls and hundreds of Blacks were elected in the South. Jordan considered running for Georgia’s fifth congressional district seat in 1970, but was tapped that year to head the United Negro College Fund. Holding the position for just 12 months, Jordan used his fundraising skills to fill the organization’s coffers with $10 million to help students at historically Black colleges and universities. In 1971, after the death of Whitney Young Jr., Jordan was named the fifth president of the National Urban League. The high-profile position landed him in the crosshairs of a racist in May 1980 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Jordan was shot with a hunter’s rifle outside his hotel after returning from dinner. Jordan had five surgeries and was visited by President Jimmy Carter during his 3-month recovery in the hospital. “I’m not afraid and I won’t quit,” Jordan told Ebony magazine after the shooting. Joseph Paul Franklin, an avowed white supremacist who targeted Blacks and Jews in a cross-country killing spree from 1977 to 1980, later admitted to shooting Jordan. He was never prosecuted in Jordan’s case, but was put to death in 2013 for another slaying in Missouri. Jordan left the organization in 1981, but said his departure was unrelated to the shooting. In 2000, Jordan joined the New York investment firm of Lazard Freres & Co. as a senior managing partner. The following year, he released an autobiography, “Vernon Can Read!: A Memoir.” He has received more than 55 honorary degrees, including ones from both of his alma maters and sat on several boards of directors. “He became the model for boards of directors; sitting on countless boards," The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. said Tuesday on Twitter. “He became a renowned international lawyer. I miss him so much already." Jordan’s first wife died in 1985. He married Ann Dibble Cook in 1986. ___ Errin Haines, a former staffer of The Associated Press, was the principal writer of this obituary. Jeff Martin And Errin Haines, The Associated Press
Windsor police say an arrest has been made and officers are seeking a second suspect after a shooting over the weekend. The police service responded to a report of shots fired on Downing Street at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, according to a media release issued on Tuesday. Officers found a vehicle that had damage consistent with gunfire. Police believe the victim was driving in the area when two suspects in another vehicle fired shots and drove away. The victim, who knows the suspects, was not injured, police said. The following day, a suspect was arrested and a vehicle allegedly involved was seized. A 21-year-old Windsor man is charged with attempted murder and possession of a weapon (firearm) dangerous to the public peace. A 20-year-old man from Windsor is wanted on the same charges. Police say the firearm has not been located and the suspect is considered armed and dangerous. More from CBC Windsor
VANCOUVER — The federal government has provided nearly $3.5 million in funding for five vending machines that will dispense medical-grade opioids in British Columbia, Ontario and Nova Scotia, in order to prevent overdoses. Darren Fisher, parliamentary secretary to Health Minister Patty Hajdu, says two machines are located in Vancouver, one is in Victoria and one each are in London, Ont., and Dartmouth, N.S. The machines, called MySafe, are similar to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned. Fisher says MySafe allows participants to access a safer drug without fear, shame and stigma, and without contact with anyone, which is all the more essential during the pandemic. Overdose deaths have spiked during pandemic with many people using alone and a more toxic illicit drug supply. Drug users are assessed by a doctor and a baseline urine sample is collected before they can access safer drugs through the MySafe machines, which are bolted to the floor. This is a corrected story. A previous version said $5.6 million in funding. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
Calgary’s Mount Royal University is once again offering free entrepreneur workshops aimed at various groups including Indigenous peoples. But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s workshops, which will be held on the five Wednesdays in March, will be held online. The workshops will begin tomorrow (March 3) with a session titled Entrepreneurship & You. Besides being aimed at Indigenous entrepreneurs, the weekly webinars are also geared towards newcomers to Canada as well as women and youth. The workshops are part of the Alberta Inclusive Innovation Initiative, which will provide introductions into the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. This year’s workshops are being held in conjunction with the Diversity Institute at Ryerson University in Toronto. HSBC Bank Canada is funding the program. Mount Royal first offered these workshops in February of 2020. A total of 60 students, primarily from Calgary, registered for the in-person sessions. About 10 per cent of last year’s cohort self-identified as Indigenous. “There was quite a high demand for that training,” said Dimitra Fotopoulos, who is the director for the Faculty of Continuing Education at Mount Royal University. Fotopoulos said school officials were keen to present the workshops once again this year. “But because of COVID we were unable to offer in-person training,” she said. As a result, university officials decided to pivot and allow individuals to register for free online workshops. Fotopoulos said officials originally capped the number of participants at 40. When that maximum filled up quickly, it was increased slightly, to 45 registrants, which was once again quickly achieved. Fotopoulos added program officials are purposely trying to keep the number of online participants to a workable number. Because of demand and to accommodate some of those who were unable to sign up for this month’s workshops, Mount Royal will offer the same sessions at some point this spring. Dates for the these sessions will be announced soon. Follow Alberta Inclusive Innovation Initiative | MRU (mtroyal.ca) Fotopoulos said this year’s workshops have been updated to reflect the new realities of the pandemic. “We’ve significantly updated the content in the workshops with practical learning that participants can apply to their situation,” she said. “Adding skills and information relating to topics, such as e-commerce, means the workshops are relevant to today’s entrepreneurs.” This month’s workshops will all be two hours long and held Wednesday nights. The March 10 session is titled Business Model Canvas and will be followed on March 17 with a session titled Marketing & Sales. Karen Richards, who teaches digital marketing courses at Mount Royal University, will be the instructor of the March 17 session. Richards believes the workshops are vital to those who have either launched or are thinking of starting up their own business. “I really think it was important, even before the pandemic, to diversify the economy with entrepreneurs,” Richards said. She added these workshops are perhaps even more important now for those who are looking to start up a business out of necessity. “What I’ve seen since the pandemic, now that it’s been a year, there are so many people losing their jobs and businesses closing down,” she said. Richards praised Mount Royal and Ryerson for joining forces to offer the workshops. “I think it’s meant to be a community-building relationship,” she said. “It’s giving back to the community.” Last year’s in-person workshops were seven-hour affairs, all over the course of one day. As for this year, Richards said documents pertaining to each weekly session will be made available to those registered about a week beforehand. Plus, there will also be online discussion forums that will be open for seven days after each session where instructors will be available to address any issues. “Entrepreneurs always have a lot of questions,” Richards said. Following Richards’ session there will be a March 24 workshop on Excel. And the program will conclude on March 31 with a webinar titled Finance & Accounting for Entrepreneurs. “These topics were selected as they demonstrate the range of skills required by entrepreneurs,” Fotopoulos said. Despite the fact the webinars are online this year, Fotopoulos said the majority of those who did sign up are once again from the Calgary area. But there are also a few out-of-province participants. CJWE By Sam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CJWE
MONTREAL — The Quebec government has reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March, Health Minister Christian Dube said Tuesday. Dube told a news conference that some 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments for vaccinations by March 15. COVID-19 vaccinations are open to Quebecers aged 85 and older in outlying regions, while they are open to people as young as 70 in the Montreal area. Dube said the Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the B.1.1.7 mutation that was first identified in the United Kingdom. "We're afraid," Dube said. "We’re afraid the Montreal region is the calm before the storm." Quebec reported 588 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and eight more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. Hospitalizations rose by 16 to 628, and 121 people were in intensive care, a drop of one. Dube said that while the general COVID-19 curve is dropping, cases of the U.K. variant are rising quickly. The province has confirmed 137 cases of variants, most of which have been identified in Montreal and involve the U.K. mutation. He said there are also 1,095 presumptive variant cases across Quebec. The province began vaccinating older members of the general public at mass vaccine centres on Monday, and administered 16,458 doses over the course of the day. Dube said the first day was a success despite some small issues, including long lineups at some sites. He said adjustments will be made in the coming days, and also asked people not to show up too early for their appointments in order to avoid a long wait. The minister said mass vaccination would be expanded in other regions as quickly as possible. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
An officer with the Queens District RCMP has been awarded with the prestigious Commanding Officer’s Commendation for Bravery. Cpl. Robert Frizzell was recognized for his courageous rescue of a woman from the Mersey River on the morning of May 10, 2020, after an accident landed her vehicle submerged in water. In a social media announcement of the award on February 25, the RCMP described how, when Frizzell arrived on scene, the vehicle was fully submerged in the Mersey. “An occupant of the vehicle was able to get out of the car but was floating downstream and unable to make it to shore. “Knowing that a water recovery unit would take time to arrive, Cpl. Frizzell chose to get in the water. He grabbed a PFD and a paddleboard, then tied a rope around himself harness style, with another member and volunteer firefighter remaining on shore to hold the other end of the rope. “He swam into the river, grabbed hold of the woman and continued to hold onto her while the on-shore member and firefighter pulled them to safety,” the post continued. It ended with, “Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition, Cpl. Frizzell.” RCMP Commanding Officer for Nova Scotia, Lee Bergerman, presented Frizzell with the award February 11. Frizzell declined to be interviewed by LighthouseNOW, preferring to deflect praise to all of the responders that were on the scene that day. In an email to the newspaper, he commented that he was “truly thankful” for being recognized for the award. Nonetheless, he added, although he was the one who went into the water, “there was a whole team of others that were instrumental in rescuing the woman. “From all the onlookers who provided support and the paddleboard, the other emergency personal both police and fire, who held the rope, and everyone who provided medical care after the woman was brought out of the water, it really was a team effort. It was really great to see a community come together and help someone in need,” said Frizzell. Staff Sergeant Daniel Archibald of the Queens District RCMP echoed the praise given to the officer. “We are all very proud of the actions of Cpl. Frizzell as well as actions of the other officers and firefighters that day. We are, of course, most happy with the fact that the victim in this incident was able to ‘walk away’ with no long-term injuries,” Archibald commented to LighthouseNOW in an email. “All too often, as first responders, we often see things go the other way, unfortunately. It’s great to see Cpl. Frizzell and others get recognized for single incidences like this one, as all too often these acts of bravery happen every day across this country and no one hears about it,” Archibald added. Hailing from Prince Edward Island, Frizzell has served in Airdrie, Alberta and in three communities in the Northwest Territories: Behchoko, Tuktoyaktuk and Aklavik. He arrived in Liverpool in September 2019. In an article that appeared in LighthouseNOW following the event, Captain John Long of the Liverpool Fire Department, who was on the scene, was quoted saying he hoped there’s recognition in the future for the officer who jumped into action that morning. “He deserves kudos for that because that took guts, I’ll tell you,” said Long. Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin