Kyle Brittain tests out the different sounds snow can make under your feet depending on the temperature outside. Take a look.
Kyle Brittain tests out the different sounds snow can make under your feet depending on the temperature outside. Take a look.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will leave Washington next Wednesday morning just before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration to begin his post-presidential life in Florida. Refusing to abide by tradition and participate in the ceremonial transfer of power, Trump will instead hold his own departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before his final flight aboard Air Force One. Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he's received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, colour guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement. Trump will become only the fourth president in history to boycott his successor's inauguration. And while he has said he is now committed to a peaceful transition of power — after months of trying to delegitimize Biden's victory with baseless allegations of mass voter fraud and spurring on his supporters who stormed the Capitol — he has made clear he has no interest in making a show of it. He has not invited the Bidens to the White House for the traditional bread-breaking, nor has he spoken with Biden by phone. Vice-President Mike Pence has spoken with his successor, Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris, calling her on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance, according to two people familiar with the call. Pence will be attending Biden's inauguration, a move Biden has welcomed. While Trump spends the final days of his presidency ensconced in the White House, more isolated than ever as he confronts the fallout from the Capitol riot, staffers are already heading out the door. Many have already departed, including those who resigned after the attack, while others have been busy packing up their offices and moving out personal belongings — souvenirs and taxidermy included. On Thursday, chief of staff Mark Meadows’ wife was caught on camera leaving with a dead, stuffed bird. And trade adviser Peter Navarro, who defended the president's effort to overturn the election, was photographed carrying out a giant photo of a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Staff are allowed to purchase the photographs, said White House spokesman Judd Deere.) Also spotted departing the West Wing: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Stewart D. McLaurin, the president of the White House Historical Association, said he had reached out to the White House chief usher, who manages the building's artifacts with the White House curator, because of questions raised by the images. “Be reminded that staff have items of their own that they brought to the White House and can take those items home as they wish. Some items are on loan to staff and offices from other collections and will be returned to those collections,” he said in a statement. Earlier this week, reporters covering the president's departure from the South Lawn spotted staff taking boxes into the residence for packing up the first family's belongings. And on Friday the packing continued, with moving crates and boxes dotting the floor of the office suite where senior press aides work steps from the Oval Office in the West Wing. Walls in the hallways outside that once featured a rotating gallery of enlarged photographs of the president and first lady framed in gold suddenly were bare, with only the hooks that held the picture frames left hanging. Moving trucks pulled in and out of the driveway outside. While some people have been asked to stick around by the incoming administration, the White House has been reduced to a skeleton crew, with more scheduled to depart on Friday. That includes White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. Come Monday, the press staff will be down to two. Trump will leave Washington with his future deeply uncertain, two weeks after his supporters sent lawmakers and congressional staffers scrambling for safety as they tried to halt the peaceful transition of power. While Trump was once expected to leave office as the most powerful voice in the Republican Party and the leading contender for its 2024 nomination, he has been shunned by much of the party over his response to the violence, which left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer. Trump is expected to be joined in Florida by a handful of aides as he mulls his future. ___ Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report. Jill Colvin And Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs says he will appoint two commissioners to undertake a review of the province's Official Languages Act. The Tory leader said today the commissioners will present a final report with recommendations to the government by Dec. 31. He says details of the mandate will be announced when the commissioners are chosen in the coming weeks. In addition to the formal review of the Official Languages Act, the commissioners will be asked to identify ways to improve access to both official languages for all New Brunswickers. Higgs notes that less than 50 per cent of students who graduate from the anglophone education system are bilingual in English and French. He also says new technologies and out-migration have created challenges in delivering government services in both languages. Green party Leader David Coon says a public review of the legislation should be conducted by a legislative committee, not by commissioners appointed by the premier. Coon also says problems with second language education in the school system should be examined by a separate commission. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
Birders in Banff National Park have discovered a second nesting site belonging to an endangered bird species. Black swifts are small birds characterized by long, pointed wings, dark plumage and very particular preferences as to where they raise their chicks. They like to nest on wet, cold rock faces, and Johnston Canyon was thought to be the only place in the park they inhabited. But according to Jennifer Reimer, a resource management officer for Banff National Park who has led the black swift monitoring program since 2015, a second nesting site was discovered last summer. It happened during a habitat assessment in a remote area of the park near Egypt Lake. And it's especially good news because in Canada, the population of black swifts has been on the decline for decades. "Lo and behold, we happened to observe an adult black swift clinging to a rock face right beside a waterfall. So that was a good clue that there were likely active black swifts in the area," Reimer told the Calgary Eyeopener on Friday. "We came back the following week … so we could confirm its activity, and we counted a total of five birds leaving the canyon." Population on the decline Prior to the discovery of the second nesting site near Egypt Lake, black swifts were thought to only have one Banff nesting site, which was discovered in Johnston Canyon in 1919, Reimer said. Almost 100 years later, in 2018, an official order was implemented in the canyon to keep hikers from wandering off the trails, which was partly to protect the black swift. Last July, Daniella Rubeling, the visitor experience manager for the Banff field unit, told CBC News that the population of black swifts in Johnston Canyon had increased from one nesting pair to three. It was a particularly exciting for Banff birders because in Canada the black swift population diminished by more than 50 per cent between 1973 and 2012. "That's more nesting activity than we've actually had in the last 16 years," Rubeling said at the time. On Friday, Reimer said the black swift's struggle to flourish has been linked to prey availability — or lack thereof. Black swifts are aerial insectivores — they eat flying insects — which have also been in decline because of factors such as pesticides. "They rely on those large insect plumes. And as a lot of people are familiar with, those aerial insectivores have been hit pretty hard over the last several decades," Reimer said. New nesting site does not mean recovery Reimer said that while it's incredible that they have found a second nesting site, it does not necessarily signal their population is recovering. "That is difficult, to make any sort of conclusion about only one additional nesting site," Reimer said. "I suspect that has been there for a while, so I wouldn't make that conclusion that, you know, that there is an increase in the population, based on what we're seeing." Still, Reimer said, the discovery is good news, and significant. Park officials now have two black swift colonies they can monitor — and with one relatively accessible in Johnston Canyon, and the newly discovered site near Egypt Lake more remote, researchers will be able to observe differences in how they fare. And though the park had fewer visitors in 2020, Reimer said staff are hopeful the visitors they did have were more aware and respectful of the wildlife. "We had a decrease in people violating that off-trail restriction, so those numbers decreased," Reimer said. "It's difficult to make a direct comparison, you know, because we had so many fewer visitors at Johnston Canyon. But from that increased monitoring and the signage, it does appear that people are complying more … and we hope to build on that next season for sure." With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.
Alongside Canada’s national flower, sport, symbol and bird, is a national animal that is often forgotten. Canada’s national horse, Le Cheval Canadien, is in danger of disappearing. An Uxbridge equestrian centre, however, is dedicated to the revival of this special breed. Hundreds of years ago, in about 1665, King Louis XIV of France began shipping mares and stallions, with bloodlines from the King’s Royal Stud, to Acadia and New France. These horses had great abilities to adapt to harsh climates (like Canada’s cold winters), rough terrains and were easily trained. They became known as the Canadian Horse, or Le Cheval Canadien. While the breed was well known to American colonists, it is rather rare today. After being used in the American Civil War and for breeding to diversify genetics in American stock, but its popularity in Canada waned. Despite this, however, and despite the fact that the horse was smaller in size and often thought of as the “Quebec pony,” the Canadian Horse was declared by the Parliament of Canada to be the National Horse of Canada in 1909. In 2018, Barb Malcom, owner and head coach of Churchill Chimes Equestrian Centre on Webb Rd., committed to doing her part to save the Canadian Horse. Alongside her riding school, Malcolm set up a sister company called Donalf Farms, specifically to breed the Canadian horses in an attempt to bring back the name and the breed. “I had worked as a professional for over 20 years and just happened to buy an unpapered Canadian gelding. He is one of the most darling horses I’ve ever had,” says Malcom. Very soon Malcom fell in love with the breed. “They are durable, willing, personable and versatile. I went from being a “crossbreed person” to being completely wowed by this purebred.” “It’s one thing for Canadians not to know Canada has a national horse, but for horse people not to know, it just shows how much the breed is in trouble,” says Malcom. If it weren’t for a pandemic, this year Malcom had plans to contact Heritage Canada and rally for government assistance in the fight for the Canadian Horse. “We would love to see federal support,” says Malcom. “It really is an altruistic endeavour, but they're worth it.” Malcolm dreams of one day having all the horses in her riding school be Canadian Horses. “They are so little known, but absolutely remarkable,” says Malcolm. For more information about the national horse of Canada, visit lechevalcanadien.com or find Malcom’s breeding farm at donalffarms.com Justyne Edgell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Uxbridge Cosmos
Richmond’s Gateway Theatre has commissioned a piece in response to a question posed by the National Arts Centre in its Transformations Project: What would it take to transform our society for the betterment of all? In the piece, local Taiwanese-Canadian artist Johnny Wu dives into themes of family, belonging, and filial piety—a central value in traditional Chinese culture that means respect and duty for one’s parents and ancestors. A regular in the theatre scene, Wu has worked with Gateway several times before, including as the Surtitle translator for China Doll. To learn more or view the piece online, click here.Hannah Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Richmond Sentinel
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped nine of her most trusted allies in the House to argue the case for President Donald Trump’s impeachment. The Democrats, all of whom are lawyers and many of whom have deep experience investigating the president, face the arduous task of convincing skeptical Senate Republicans to convict Trump. A single article of impeachment — for “incitement of insurrection” — was approved by the House on Wednesday, one week after a violent mob of Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. At the time, lawmakers were counting the votes that cemented Trump’s election defeat. As members of the House who were in the Capitol when it was attacked — several hiding under seats as rioters beat on the doors of the chamber — the Democrats are also witnesses to what they charge is a crime. So are the Senate jurors. “This is a case where the jurors were also victims, and so whether it was those who voted in the House last night or those in the Senate who will have to weigh in on this, you don’t have to tell anyone who was in the building twice what it was like to be terrorized,” said California Rep. Eric Swalwell, one of the managers. It is unclear when the trial will start. Pelosi hasn’t yet said when she will send the article of impeachment to the Senate. It could be as soon as next week, on President-elect Joe Biden’s first day in office. The managers plan to argue at trial that Trump incited the riot, delaying the congressional certification of the electoral vote count by inciting an angry mob to harm members of Congress. Some of the rioters were recorded saying they wanted to find Pelosi and Vice-President Mike Pence, who presided over the count. Others had zip ties that could be used as handcuffs hanging on their clothes. “The American people witnessed that,” said Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., one of the managers. “That amounts to high crimes and misdemeanours.” None of the impeachment managers argued the case in Trump’s first impeachment trial last year, when the Senate acquitted the president on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of justice. The House impeached Trump in 2019 after he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Biden’s family while withholding military aid to the country. Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette, another manager, says the nine prosecutors plan to present a serious case and “finish the job” that the House started. A look at Pelosi’s prosecution team in Trump’s historic second impeachment: REP. JAMIE RASKIN, MARYLAND Pelosi appointed Raskin, a former constitutional law professor and prominent member of the House Judiciary Committee, as lead manager. In a week of dramatic events and stories, Raskin’s stands out: The day before the Capitol riots, Raskin buried his 25-year-old son, Tommy, after he killed himself on New Year’s Eve. “You would be hard pressed to find a more beloved figure in the Congress” than Raskin, says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who was the lead manager during Trump’s first trial. He worked closely with Raskin on that impeachment investigation. “I know that part of what gives him strength to take on this burden that he now carries is knowing that this is something that would be enormously meaningful to his son.” REP. DIANA DEGETTE, COLORADO DeGette, who is serving her 13th term representing Denver, is a former civil rights attorney and one of Pelosi’s go-to allies. The speaker picked her to preside over the House during the first impeachment vote in 2019. DeGette said Pelosi trusted her to do it because she is “able to to control the passions on the floor.” She says she was surprised when Pelosi called to offer her the prosecutorial position but quickly accepted. “The monstrosity of this offence is not lost on anybody,” she says. REP. DAVID CICILLINE, RHODE ISLAND Cicilline, the former mayor of Providence and public defender, is in his sixth term in Congress and is a senior member of the Judiciary panel. He was heavily involved in Trump’s first impeachment and was one of three original authors of the article that the House approved on Wednesday. He and California Rep. Ted Lieu began writing the article together, in hiding, as the rioters were still ransacking the Capitol. He tweeted out a draft the next morning, writing that “I have prepared to remove the President from office following yesterday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.” REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO, TEXAS Castro is a member of the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs panels, where he has been an outspoken critic of Trump's handling of Russia. He was a litigator in private practice before he was elected to the Texas legislature and came to Congress, where he is in his fifth term. Castro’s twin brother, Julian Castro, is the former mayor of San Antonio and served as former President Barack Obama’s secretary of housing and urban development. Julian Castro ran in the Democratic primary for president last year. REP. ERIC SWALWELL, CALIFORNIA Swalwell also serves on the Intelligence and Judiciary panels and was deeply involved in congressional probes of Trump’s Russian ties. A former prosecutor, he briefly ran for president in 2019. “The case that I think resonates the most with the American people and hopefully the Senate is that our American president incited our fellow citizens to attack our Capitol on a day where we were counting electoral votes, and that this was not a spontaneous call to action by the president at the rally,” Swalwell said. REP. TED LIEU, CALIFORNIA Lieu, who authored the article of impeachment with Cicilline and Raskin, is on the Judiciary and Foreign Affairs panels. The Los Angeles-area lawmaker is a former active-duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and military prosecutor. “We cannot begin to heal the soul of this country without first delivering swift justice to all its enemies — foreign and domestic,” he said. DEL. STACEY PLASKETT, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS Because she represents a U.S. territory, not a state, Plaskett does not have voting rights and was not able to cast a vote for impeachment. But she will bring her legal experience as a former district attorney in New York and senior counsel at the Justice Department — and as one of Raskin's former law students. “As an African American, as a woman, seeing individuals storming our most sacred place of democracy, wearing anti-Semitic, racist, neo-Nazi, white supremacy logos on their bodies and wreaking the most vile and hateful things left not just those people of colour who were in the room traumatized, but so many people of colour around this country," she said Friday. REP. JOE NEGUSE, COLORADO Neguse, in his second term, is a rising star in the Democratic caucus who was elected to Pelosi’s leadership team his freshman year in Congress. A former litigator, he sits on the House Judiciary Committee and consulted with Raskin, Cicilline and Lieu as they drafted the article the day of the attack. At 36, he will be the youngest impeachment manager in history, according to his office. “This armed mob did not storm the Capitol on any given day, they did so during the most solemn of proceedings that the United States Congress is engaged in,” Neguse said Thursday. “Clearly the attack was done to stop us from finishing our work.” REP. MADELEINE DEAN, PENNSYLVANIA Like Neguse, Dean was first elected when Democrats recaptured the House in 2018. She is also a member of the House Judiciary Committee, and is a former lawyer and member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She says she hopes the prosecutors can convince the Senate and the American people “to mark this moment" with a conviction. “I think I bring to it just the simple fact that I’m a citizen, that I’m a mom and I’m a grandma," Dean said. "And I want my children, my grandchildren, to remember what we did here.” Mary Clare Jalonick, The Associated Press
Advocates fear a federal designation could spell the end of catch-and-release fishing on some or all of eastern Cape Breton's rivers and streams. Ottawa is considering listing Atlantic salmon in the region as endangered under its Species at Risk Act (SARA). But even if the salmon population is listed as endangered, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said it won't automatically stop recreational fishing. Bill Haley, president of the Margaree Salmon Association, said successful salmon stocking programs and hatcheries are helping conservation efforts. "The weak link in most of this is the investment in science hasn't been there where DFO are concerned for almost a few decades," Haley said. Salmon populations at risk Despite a recommendation from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 2010, DFO hasn't officially labelled eastern Cape Breton salmon as endangered. COSEWIC is an independent advisory panel that meets twice a year to assess the status of wildlife species at risk of extinction. Despite a species designation, populations can only be protected by Ottawa. In 2013 and 2014, DFO conducted two reviews on the species' recovery potential. The news was not good. Although some populations in eastern Cape Breton were viewed as being closer to their conservation requirements, substantial declines were found in other populations such as those in the Grand and Clyburn rivers. In a 2020 report, the Atlantic Salmon Federation said estimated number of egg depositions in Middle, Baddeck and North rivers was below conservation requirements. But Haley feels a lot of time has passed since COSEWIC first made its recommendation. Since that time, he said the provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has run a successful salmon stocking program on the Baddeck and Middle rivers. He's also concerned an SARA designation in eastern watersheds would add more pressure on the world-renowned Margaree River, which brings seasonal tourists each year to Cape Breton. "Given accurate data, we have confidence that they will make responsible decisions," said Haley. 'Part of our heritage' Nova Scotia Salmon Association executive member Mike Bardsley said salmon fishing is a part of the province's fabric. "We are all conservationists," he said. "But part of that means when we can recover the population to the point where it's thriving, we create the opportunity for recreational angling and that is a distinct part of our heritage." Bardsley said the association would like to see changes to the way SARA listings are managed. "We don't want to be the generation that closes the book on Atlantic salmon angling in Nova Scotia, and unfortunately a precedent would suggest to us, that when listed under SARA, it's very easy for a river to be closed to angling." In an emailed statement, DFO said that even if listed as endangered, decisions on fisheries closures will be made on a case-by-case basis, while options for catch-and-release fishing will be considered if they do not impact conservation efforts. In addition to listing Atlantic salmon in eastern Cape Breton as endangered, Ottawa is also considering listing salmon in the Gaspé-southern Gulf of St. Lawrence as a special concern and striped bass in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence as a special concern. DFO is now finalizing its listing advice for its own minister, along with the minister of environment and climate change, in making a recommendation to cabinet. MORE TOP STORIES
Belle Phillips is not your ordinary student. The young woman not only decided to make the most out of her education, but also to help other Onkwehón:we students achieve their full potential. She knew that being part of Concordia University’s Indigenous Directions Leadership Council (IDLC) would support her in doing just that. Last fall, the 21-year-old Kahnawa’kehró:non was chosen to fill the only undergraduate seat on the IDLC. When Phillips received the email sent to all Onkwehón:we students, most undergrads would have brushed it off, but the position sparked something in her. “And what’s the worst in trying?” she said. Phillips started her one-year contract in October with IDCL. The organization’s goal is to morph the university into being a more inclusive and respectful environment for all Onkwehón:we. With community member Donna Kahérakwas Goodleaf, Phillips is now part of a proud line of six other Kanien’kehá:ka that previously sat on the council. And it certainly will not end there. She explained that some of her mandate’s responsibilities are to increase community engagement, to bring more support and educate the Concordia community about Onkwehón:we culture, language and issues. It’s all about Indigenizing Concordia. “For me, it means that Indigenous people feel like they have a place in such a big community,” said the second-year student. “There are so many students and groups that sometimes Indigenous students tend to feel like they don’t know where they fit.” Not knowing where to fit is something that Phillips experienced firsthand after she graduated from Kahnawake Survival School as a recipient of the Tionores Muriel Deer scholarship. When she started CEGEP at Champlain College, in St. Lambert, Phillips noticed the lack of representation. “It was me, my brother and his girlfriend and only a few others that represented the Indigenous population,” said Phillips. She said that back then, it felt like Onkwehón:we students weren’t even on the college’s radar. The group wanted more, something that resembled what Onkwehón:we resource centres provided at John Abbott College or Dawson College. They formed the Indigenous Student Ambassadors, to offer support to First Nations students. “Our goal was to decolonize the campus at Champlain,” said Phillips, “and within the first year of forming the group, we even got an official location.” Phillips grew up in Kahnawake and remembers always wanting to be involved with the culture and representation - but didn’t find her footing right away. “After high school, I went into nursing, but turned out I hated it,” said Phillips, who’s now pursuing her BA in Human Relations with a concentration in Community Development and a minor in First People Studies. For the past two years, she’s been working part-time at Tewatohnhi’saktha in Kahnawake as the Youth Programs assistant. The job, in addition to school and being part of IDLC is quite a challenge, acknowledged Phillips. However, she said she’s deeply committed to IDLC and hopes to make a real difference at Concordia. “I want to create a safe space for Indigenous students to be,” said Phillips. “I feel like there’s a taboo around Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education, and I really have an interest in developing courses and classes that incorporate Indigenous ways of learning.” Phillips still has a few semesters to go before graduating and sitting on the IDLC will surely allow her to reach her goals. email@example.comVirginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
GENEVA — The World Health Organization's emergencies chief said Friday that the impact of new variants of COVID-19 in places like Britain, South Africa and Brazil remains to be seen, citing human behaviour for some recent rises in infection counts. “It’s just too easy to lay the blame on the variant and say, ‘It’s the virus that did it,’” Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters. “Well unfortunately, it’s also what we didn’t do that did it.” That was an allusion to holiday merrymaking and other social contacts plus loosening adherence -- in pockets -- to calls from public health officials for people to respect measures like physical distancing, regular hand hygiene and mask-wearing. Also Friday, the WHO's Emergencies Committee issued new recommendations that countries should not require proof of vaccination by incoming travellers amid the pandemic, saying decisions on international travel should be co-ordinated, limited in time, and based on both the risks and the science. “If you look at the recommendation made by the committee around vaccination for travellers, it says ‘at the present time,’” Ryan said. He pointed out that such recommendations noted that vaccines are still not widespread and that it remains unclear whether they prevent transmission between people. The recommendations came after the committee's first meeting in nearly three months. To little surprise, the panel agreed that the outbreak remains a global health emergency, nearly a year after it declared it as one. The advice comes as countries grapple with how to combat the new variants that have fanned concerns about an accelerated spread of the virus — and have prompted new lockdown measures in hard-hit places like Europe. The British government has banned travel from South America and Portugal -- a key gateway of flights from Brazil -- to try to keep the variant in Brazil from reaching Britain and derailing its vaccination program. The committee said it would encourage states “to implement co-ordinated, time-limited and evidence-based approaches for health measures in relation to international travel.” It also called on vaccine manufacturers to make data about the products more available to the WHO, saying delays can affect its ability to provide emergency-use listings that could allow for “equitable vaccine access.” ___ Follow AP coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
Some Oakville residents have been told to seek shelter in their basements amid what police are calling an "active situation" with at least two people barricaded inside a home. According to tweets from Halton police issued Friday afternoon, Lakeshore Road West is closed from 4th Line to Birch Hill Lane for an ongoing investigation. Police say they first received a call just before 1:20 p.m. reporting possible gunfire in the area. On Twitter, investigators said the ongoing situation is contained to a residence on Lakeshore Road West, and originally involved "at least two" people barricaded inside. Police later said one person is now out of the home, but at least one person remains inside. Crisis negotiators have been in contact with the person inside the home and there are no reported injuries, police said. "Our crisis negotiators will be working to resolve this safely," police said on Twitter. Ryan Anderson, media relations officer with Halton Regional Police, says as of Friday evening, the situation is still ongoing. "It is our goal, our ultimate goal, to bring them out safely without anybody being injured," he said. Anderson could not say whether it was a hostage situation or if the person remaining in the home resided there or explain the relationship between the two people. Police are concerned for the safety of the individual inside, as well as those who live nearby. "We have reason to believe there may have been gas released in the home, so utilities have been cut off to the home," Anderson said. As a result, approximately nine residences have been notified and evacuated accordingly. Investigators say there is a "heavy police presence in the area," including officers, the tactical rescue unit, and police dogs. Appleby College was also in a hold and secure, but that has since been lifted. However, students boarding there will continue to remain indoors, according to the school's Twitter feed Police are asking people to avoid the area.
The Ford government’s state of emergency declaration had Peel residents scratching their heads this week amid confusion and criticism over how the new “stay at home” order differed from restrictions imposed in November. For Peel businessowners, one thing was unmistakable: the runway to re-opening just got a lot longer. Since the start of the pandemic it was clear some areas of Brampton and Mississauga were going to face unique challenges due to a range of demographic and economic realities. The small business sector has been directly impacted, and many leaders in Peel have engaged in hand-wringing, pointing to everyone but themselves to help struggling entrepreneurs, while many criticized public health measures for doing more harm than the virus itself. Unlike the City of Boston, which set aside $15 million of municipal funds to help small businesses, Mississauga and Brampton have not pursued creative initiatives allowed under existing legislation to directly help local entrepreneurs. Efforts to curb local public health restrictions have not been matched with specific local policies to get immediate support to small businesses. On November 11, when a lockdown seemed inevitable because of unparalleled infection rates in parts of the region, Mississauga Councillor Carolyn Parrish suggested that “if we put a little pressure on Dr. Loh (Peel’s chief medical officer)”, he could be convinced to alter restrictions around indoor dining. On November 23, the day Peel was put into lockdown, she was more brazen in her calls, saying City Council should “start pressuring” Loh to separate Brampton from Mississauga, in an effort to spare her city’s small businesses from harsher restrictions. In attempts to curb the second wave of COVID-19, the Region has been under some form of advanced public health restriction for more than seven consecutive weeks, beginning with the lockdown on November 23. Since then, rising case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths related to the pandemic drove the premier to declare a “crisis” in the province, issuing regulations late into the evening on January 13, just five hours before the stay-at-home orders came into effect. They will remain in place until at least February 11. Non-essential retail businesses are required to limit their hours of operation between 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., including those which offer curbside pickup. Restaurants serving and delivering takeout food, grocery stores, gas stations, and pharmacies are among the retailers that can remain open beyond that window. For John Pappas, owner of The Crooked Cue restaurant and billiards hall in Port Credit, the extra hours are unlikely to make a difference. “We’re not even doing five-percent of our regular sales with the takeout,” Pappas told The Pointer. “It’s brutal, and the government is barely helping. They say they’ve got your back and they don’t.” The second wave and current infection rates that are much higher than what was seen in the spring coincide with the thinning of financial supports from Ottawa and Queen’s Park, as both higher levels of government struggle to manage budgets already devastated by the pandemic. On January 15, the Province finally launched its latest grant program for small business owners to apply for $10,000 to $20,000 in funding, as the pandemic gets worse. There is no end in sight, and concerns are now being raised by some in medical circles around the world that a silver-bullet vaccine is unlikely. The future picture for entrepreneurs has never been so unclear. According to a December 2020 StatsCan report assessing pandemic business closures by September, Ontario registered an 8.3 percent drop in businesses compared to February, translating to a loss of about 25,600 commercial operations which was not offset by new businesses opening. The supports available to small businesses from the provincial and federal governments fell short in the second wave of the pandemic compared to the first, Pappas said, citing his experience with narrowed criteria of the emergency wage benefit, lack of mandated business loan deferrals, and restrictive eligibility for certain grant programs based on the size of a company’s payroll. “I was at Costco…there must have been 500 people in the store. Meanwhile, a retail store can’t even have five people inside,” Pappas said in an interview, prior to Thursday’s emergency order. “The big businesses are thriving. The small businesses are getting killed.” Still, Pappas does not see cities like Mississauga being able to wield “financial firepower” to help business owners. Elsewhere in Canada, some municipal officials sprung to take pay cuts at the beginning of the pandemic, including Halifax Mayor Mike Savage, who voluntarily reduced his pay by 20 percent until at least July. In October, Edmonton city council members agreed to freeze their salaries for the next two years in response to the pandemic, following the recommendation of an independent oversight committee. Outgoing city manager and chief administrative officer Janice Baker told The Pointer in April that pay-related solutions were “token, and right now we’re all working harder than we’ve ever worked...so I feel like I’ve earned all the dollars I’ve been paid in the last few weeks.” “At the end of the day, are we going to solve the financial problem on the backs of all of us taking a 10 percent pay cut? No,” said Baker, who announced her retirement from Mississauga in the spring and returned to work as the new Chief Administrative Officer for the Region of Peel by the fall. Brampton’s and Mississauga’s council members have not passed any resolution to reduce their own pay, while thousands of their constituents, including many who cover their salaries, have endured a loss of income or their job. While both of the city’s mayors and councillors have pointed to higher levels of government for more funding to help local businesses, council members are not toting around an empty toolbox. “We have a number of consultations with [businesses] and we asked them what they need...and we've been advocating to other levels of government,” Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said in response to The Pointer’s questions at her January 13 press conference. She pointed to tax deferrals, approved in both Brampton and Mississauga, on commercial and residential taxes. (About 60 percent of Mississauga’s cash flow comes from property taxes.) The cities also offer a variety of small-business resources, such as free information seminars on using digital tools and business mentorship, patio programs for restaurants in Brampton, and buy-local campaigns like Mississauga Made. Mississauga is also in talks with food delivery app Ritual to extend its partnership for commission-free local ordering. But these are not significant supports that make a difference when businesses face the prospect of closing, for good. Other courses of action were proven, in hindsight, to be desperate efforts to help businesses regain revenues when the public health landscape in Peel was becoming more precarious. In a last-ditch attempt to push for easing the lockdown in some pockets of Peel, regional councillors from Mississauga and Caledon backed a motion on December 3 urging Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Lawrence Loh to use targeted interventions that would see certain restrictions in Mississauga drop while Brampton’s remained intact. Three weeks later – as daily cases in Peel hit records of above 600 and Mississauga hospitals looked to hire more doctors for pandemic support – the province-wide shutdown began. There are examples of more direct action by municipalities to aid local small businesses during the worst crisis they have ever faced. South of the border, some American cities are helping businesses in a range of ways. “In the very early days of the pandemic, when the federal government hadn’t put any money out yet, communities scrambled and did amazingly creative things,” said Kennedy Smith, a senior researcher at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Washington D.C. Last summer, she published her research into 26 strategies for local leaders to help safeguard small business during the pandemic. Smith found examples of cities that explored issuing municipal bonds, councillors giving up their salaries to put together small programs to help local businesses, or councils setting aside money that would otherwise be used for capital improvements to recreation programs. Cities like San Francisco and Jersey City passed emergency orders that limited the fees on food delivery apps. Boston has set aside $15 million (US) of municipal funds for small businesses, including a rent relief grant up to $15,000 and a grant for restaurants to retain or rehire staff. Other cities that are smaller than Peel’s, including Lexington, Kentucky and Albuquerque, New Mexico, shifted their procurement strategy to buy directly from local businesses, Smith found. Companies like Glass Commerce, an e-commerce website for verified vendors to connect with governments for a streamlined procurement process, are being used by small governments to help bolster local supply chains, she noted. Relief programs based in the community are also more efficient at getting funds to small businesses, her report found, which were in turn able to give a renewed appreciation to residents and other civic organizations for the importance of small business to the local economy. “That was a huge help there. Things like that were sort of ‘aha’ moments for a lot of community leaders,” Smith said. “We can do these other things we hadn’t really thought about that comp new money back into our community and make the environment a sturdier blanket for small businesses to survive, and then hopefully succeed.” Unlike in some U.S. jurisdictions, however, a city’s power to provide certain types of assistance to small businesses is somewhat limited due to provisions in Ontario’s Municipal Act called anti-bonusing. There are a number of exceptions in the legislation, and it does give municipalities the “power to make grants...for any purpose that council considers to be in the interests of the municipality,” although even this power is limited to certain types of grants. Nonetheless, between the exceptions in the legislation and the ability of cities to explore emergency measures during a crisis, there are certainly tools in the municipal toolbox, and they can look across the border for inspiration to help their local businesses. For example, a state-funded $7-million small business restaurant grant program offered in Baltimore County in Maryland – with a population comparable to that of Mississauga – or the City of Boston restaurant program might not be possible in Ontario because the Act considers certain grants as a financial advantage for one group over another without a “corresponding benefit” to the community. However, an April 2020 Mississauga staff report notes that, “Arrangements that benefit an entire class of businesses, across an entire municipality, while maintaining a level playing field among competitors, are less likely to be challenged for bonusing.” In an email to The Pointer, Councillor Parrish said she believes paid sick leave is the largest policy gap in COVID-19 relief programs offered by the federal and provincial government. When it comes to restaurants, for example, she said the “social services” they perform for their clients, relationships with supply markets and labourers, and years building clientele cannot easily be patched up with funding. “I don’t know how a grant would ever address all those elements, but even an inadequate grant would of course be helpful,” she said in an email. In Brampton, Councillor Jeff Bowman, co-chair of the Social Support Taskforce, said he would see value in relief programs specifically for small businesses. “We do offer grants to community groups and arts businesses, but our local businesses could certainly and deservedly use the assistance,” he said in an email. If a small business closes there are widespread impacts on the municipality, from the immediate loss of commercial property taxes, the potential of reduced neighbourhood values that could impact residential tax revenues and direct damage to local economic development efforts crucial to a city’s growth. With warnings from health experts vocal about the province bracing for a difficult February, local businesses maneuvering the next leg of the pandemic may be looking to local representatives for more than advocacy to higher levels of government. “The municipalities are very much hamstrung right now, and kind of strapped in terms of the pressures on their expenditures, the collapse of some of the revenue side,” said Neil Bradford, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at Western University’s Huron College. In an October 2020 research paper published through the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance at the University of Toronto’s Munk School, Bradford explored historic examples of tri-level policymaking as COVID-19 underscores how cities are key partners to implement programs and services from higher levels of government. Noting that about $8 of every $10 in COVID-19 relief money comes from the federal government, the pandemic is exposing the need for what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the “Team Canada” approach, Bradford said. He believes the pandemic should be motivating leaders to think creatively and get out of the box. Bradford says Politicians and the public have “this expectation that this crisis is kind of a spur to really bold and more policy innovation and responses to these very big and complex challenges. The time is right for some experimentation.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @LaVjosa COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you.Vjosa Isai, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
VANCOUVER — A lawyer for a former RCMP officer convicted of perjury after the 2007 death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport says his client has settled a lawsuit against the federal and B.C. governments. Sebastien Anderson says Kwesi Millington reached an agreement this week after suing the federal and provincial government for damages, claiming he acted in accordance with his RCMP training. A public inquiry heard that Dziekanski, who died at the airport's arrivals area, was jolted numerous times with a Taser seconds after Millington and three other officers approached him. Millington and his senior officer, Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were later convicted and handed prison time by the B.C. Supreme Court for colluding to make up testimony at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. Anderson says strict confidentiality provisions prevent him from discussing most of the settlement's details. The RCMP said in a statement that the matter had been settled to the satisfaction of both parties, while the B.C. government says it wasn't a party to the settlement and the federal government referred questions back to the RCMP. Millington's lawsuit filed in 2019 said the Integrated Homicide Investigations Team found he and the other RCMP officers acted in accordance with their training. The statement of claim said an RCMP use of force instructor who trained Millington testified during the public inquiry that the officers' actions were consistent with training. Millington's lawsuit said he suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, nervous shock, loss of career advancement and other injuries. Anderson says he is able to disclose that part of the settlement agreement includes a letter from the RCMP in support of Millington's bid for a pardon, which would wipe out his criminal conviction. "Part of that is because all of their internal reports with respect to Mr. Dziekanski's unfortunate death was that they all acted within the scope of their training at that time," he said. The RCMP was asked about the letter Friday but didn't comment. Anderson said Millington has served his sentence and is living in Canada but not in B.C. "He's taken courses and has become a resilience coach," said Anderson. "He's published a book and he's hoping to help others who go through traumatic experiences like he has, and suffered PTSD, to cope and return to somewhat of a normal life." — By Dirk Meissner in Victoria. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
STRATFORD – The town is requesting about 60 acres of land located in the unincorporated district of Bunbury be added to Stratford for its high school campus. In November, the town spent about $2.4 million on a chunk of land between Bunbury Road and the Stratford Business Park for what it’s calling a community campus. But part of that chunk is located beyond Stratford's boundary line. To move forward with the project, Stratford will need a boundary line amendment, which the town's council decided to request during its regular meeting on Jan. 13. This would see two portions of the land not currently within Stratford annexed, as well as a 0.57-acre property not involved with the project. Robert Hughes, the town's chief administrative officer, said the reason for that property – a single two-unit dwelling – being included is that if it weren't it would technically remain in Bunbury but be surrounded by Stratford. "That property owner has agreed to bring his property into the town," Hughes said. "Because he'll then be able to be serviced (by the municipality)." Before Stratford's amalgamation in 1995 there were two Bunburys – one was incorporated into the northern part of Stratford, while the other is only considered a civic addressing community, Hughes said. Mayor Steve Ogden said there shouldn’t be any implications for any of the adjoining landowners. “We're basically just bringing this into the town." Stratford's request will have to go through the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission. If the amendment is approved, the town's next step is to look at zoning the annexed land accordingly, its Jan. 8 boundary restructuring proposal reads. Also at the council meeting, Hughes noted a request for a proposal has been sent out to have a consultant develop a master plan for the community campus, with proposals expected back by the end of the month. "So, we're continuing to move a couple of balls concurrently," he said. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
OTTAWA — Canada's chief medical officer of health says British Columbia's decision to seek legal advice on limiting travel reinforces the message that it isn't the time to go on vacation across the country. Dr. Theresa Tam says stopping non-essential travel would be a difficult decision for the province, but it could reduce COVID-19 by cutting the number of contacts. Premier John Horgan said Thursday his government was seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel. Other provinces and territories, including those in Atlantic Canada, have required travellers to self-isolate upon arrival or get authorization to travel. Horgan said he and other premiers have made the case for Canadians to stay home during the pandemic, but people continue to travel. The issue has been discussed for months and it's time to determine if the government can act, Horgan added. B.C.'s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, said Thursday that she's not sure if she has the authority to limit out-of-province travel nor was she considering such an order. "We do have requirements that people who come in to British Columbia must follow the rules in place here, and that is something that is continuing to be reinforced," she said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is leaving the door open to tighter travel restrictions, including a possible ban on outbound air travel as COVID-19 case counts climb across the country. “We’re always open to strengthening them as necessary," Trudeau said, referring to measures restricting international flights. Officials are keeping a close eye on countries where more easily transmissible strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have broken out, he said. The prime minister pointed to worrisome mutations in Brazil as well as the United Kingdom, whose outbound flights Canada banned in December. Those flights have been permitted again after government began requiring incoming passengers to present proof of recent negative COVID-19 tests before boarding. “We will continue to look at various variants, various geographies, and make sure we’re taking the right decisions and the right measures to keep Canadians safe," Trudeau said at a press conference at Rideau Hall on Friday. The choice of whether to bar travel to the United States lies largely with the U.S., not Canada, since the country of arrival has jurisdiction over who enters, he added. Earlier this month, a survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies found that 87 per cent of respondents said they would support a total ban on international travel until there are several consecutive days of reduced numbers of COVID-19 cases. Léger vice-president Christian Bourque said the response is consistent with similar questions asked throughout the pandemic, but also reflects a growing desire by Canadians for governments to take tougher action to curb the spread of COVID-19. That urge comes amid a backlash to provincial and federal politicians travelling to beaches abroad over the holidays. The prospect of a hard-nosed travel bans raises constitutional questions around freedom of movement. Section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms states that "every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada." All rights are subject to reasonable limits, but can only be reined in when it's "necessary and proportionate," Michael Bryant, executive director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said in an interview. "While the precautionary principle would suggest that when in doubt keep people home, our constitution demands more than just a when-in-doubt approach for particular activities." Overseas sojourns shoulder the blame for only a fraction of outbreaks. Under two per cent of all coronavirus cases reported in Canada stem from foreign travel, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. A ban on outbound trips makes little sense to Michael Feder, a Vancouver-based lawyer with expertise in constitutional law. "It’s the coming back that’s trouble," he said. "No one’s annoyed that Alberta politicians went to Hawaii. They’re annoyed that they went to Hawaii and came back." The requirement for international passengers to show negative results on a recently conducted COVID-19 test followed by two weeks of self-isolation on home turf amounts to a strong barrier against viral spread. An outright flight ban would do little to bolster that defence, but it would encroach on mobility rights, Feder said. "I think it’s infuriating to see elected leaders taking off for sunnier climates," he said, calling it an "act of hypocrisy." "But I don’t actually see how a restriction on outbound travel does anything to help Canada combat the pandemic." Trudeau sought to explain the disparity between stringent lockdown measures such as Ontario's stay-at-home order or Quebec's curfew and the open runway on jetting off to a Caribbean all-inclusive. “Different jurisdictions will set up the rules that they think are best based on the best advice of their public health officials. On the federal side we have discouraged non-essential international travel, including by imposing mandatory quarantines for anyone returning to Canada and now mandatory testing for anyone before they get on a plane to come back to Canada," he said. The new curtailments prompted airlines to slash flight schedules over the past week, with Air Canada and WestJet announcing 2,700 layoffs. Air Transat flight numbers have fallen by more than 90 per cent year over year, the company said. A ban on non-essential travel would mean a total shutdown, at least for a time, said Air Transat spokesman Christophe Hennebelle. "However 'essential travel' is defined, such a ban would probably mean that we would need to stop our operations entirely, unless specific support is granted to help us maintain some form of connectivity," he said in an email. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021. Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem on Friday blamed an inadequate education in American civics as “the root cause” of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, while making no mention of President Donald Trump's role in the attack that sent Congress into hiding. The Republican governor is a close ally of the president, campaigned for him across the country and supported his efforts to contest the results of the presidential election. Since Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, Noem has tried to deflect blame from the president while calling for an end to political violence. “We have an opportunity to address the root cause of this problem: we must reform young Americans’ civic education,” Noem said in the column released Friday. The governor declined an interview request Friday from The Associated Press, after avoiding two opportunities earlier in the week to take questions from reporters. Her spokesman, Ian Fury, pointed to a recent op-ed in the conservative online magazine The Federalist in which she responded to Republicans blaming Trump for the attacks by saying, “If that’s all we get out of this, our future will be no different than our past.” In her column, Noem called the storming of the Capitol appalling and “horrible to watch." But she did not address Trump's false allegations for weeks that the election had been stolen nor his rhetoric at a rally in Washington right before his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol, leaving five people dead. The House voted this week to impeach Trump for a second time, on a charge of incitement of insurrection, and a trial awaits in the Senate. Noem said the goal of the curriculum was to teach students that the United States “is the most unique nation in the history of the world.” Despite recently saying that she is not interested in running for president in 2024, Noem has made moves that signal possible interest in trying to assume Trump’s role as the head of the GOP. She had a prime speaking spot at the Republican National Convention and this month spoke at the party’s winter meeting, which was considered a gathering of presidential hopefuls. Stephen Groves, The Associated Press
It's been an oddly warm winter so far in Calgary. So warm, in fact, that the zoo's penguins needed to be kept inside Friday — cancelling the annual launch of the daily Penguin Walk. Last year at this time, they had the opposite problem: The weather was too cold — reaching temperatures around –35 C with the wind chill. That also kept the Calgary Zoo's penguins indoors. Click on the video above to see the Penguin Walk in 2020. On Friday, temperatures were as high as 8 C in the afternoon with wind gusts around 40 km/h, which the zoo says also contributed to the cancellations. Usually around this time of year, the zoo's king penguins get a chance to have a daily walk among the visitors. In the previous Penguin Walks, the birds waddle their way along a 15-minute walk, starting at Penguin Plunge, looping to the Discovery Trail Bridge, and then back to the penguin habitat. "It stimulates their minds, encourages exercise, and as naturally curious creatures, it offers them a change of scenery and a chance to explore more of their world here at the Calgary Zoo," the zoo says. It would've been the first walk for Boudicca, the zoo's newest king penguin chick, who hatched on July 18, 2020. Calgarians would have also seen the 13 adult king penguins: Diana, Grace, Arthur, Solomon, Tut, Cleopatra, Antoinette, Josephine, Louis, Phillipe, Henri, Napoleon and George. However, the zoo says walks are weather dependent. It has to be above –25 C but no warmer than 5 C and not windier than 20 km/h for the penguins to enjoy their daily constitutional. The Penguin Walk is happening daily through mid-March, weather permitting. Check on the zoo's website for updates.
Construction workers assemble heavy-duty fencing, businesses board up storefronts and National Guard soldiers patrol downtown Washington, D.C., as the city braces for more Trump-friendly protests before Wednesday's presidential inauguration ceremonies.
The proponents behind a brewery application which has stirred up controversy in Holyrood say they hope that an appeal now before the Eastern Newfoundland Regional Appeal Board will demonstrate that all proper processes were followed and that accusations of conflict of interest are unfounded. Thomas Williamson, on behalf of himself, Craig Farewell, and Jamie Clarke of Beach Head Brewery, emailed a statement to The Shoreline in response to a request for input on the appeal and petition against the application. “We take absolutely no issue with the decision to pursue this avenue and we believe that this appeal process will clearly demonstrate that all the proper processes were followed and that there has never been a conflict of interest,” said Williamson. “It is, however, very disheartening to see that false, misleading and potentially defamatory statements have been made regarding a perceived conflict of interest. From our perspective, it's one thing to submit an appeal based on appropriate grounds, but it’s highly inappropriate to begin lobbing accusations at municipal staff, councillors, even other members of the public without any supporting evidence.” Williamson noted that when accusations were made on social media, the trio immediately sent a letter to council indicating they would sign a sworn affidavit, if need be, legally confirming the owners are the listed Directors on the Registry of Companies website and that no other individual held any form of ownership. “We want to develop this brewery in Holyrood because we love the municipality and we want to be part of the fabric of this amazing community,” read the statement. “Our goal from the outset has been to work collaboratively and we feel that’s been achieved over these past two years through meeting with potential affected parties, taking feedback received through discussions in order to find better solutions, and responding to all questions directed to us by the Town of Holyrood. The brewery will provide residents with a fantastic year-round option that is closer to home and will help bring more people to the town to support other local businesses. The economic benefits through new tax revenue as well as new spin-off businesses will further contribute to the economic development of the area. We understand that for some residents it is difficult to ask them to support this brewery without the opportunity to experience it first-hand. We also respect that the individuals who have submitted the appeal are simply exercising their rights as residents of the municipality. We once again wish to state that we respect the fact that residents have the right to submit appeals and we will ensure that we provide any and all required information so that the Regional Appeals Board can make a determination based on the facts.”Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
There were another four deaths related to COVID-19 reported in Saskatchewan on Friday. One individual in the North East in the 60 to 69-year-old age group's death was reported. The North East zone includes communities such as Melfort, Nipawin and Tisdale.Another individual in the same age category was reported to have passed away in the South East zone. There were also deaths in the 80-years-old and over age group in the South West and Saskatoon zones. The number of deaths in the province has grown to 210. There were 382 new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province on Friday. The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported 38 new cases. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 295 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 147 active cases and North Central 3 has 156 active cases. There was one case with pending information added to the North Central zone. The North Central zone is second in the Active Case Breakdown with 598 active cases. Saskatoon is now reporting the most and Regina is now third. There are currently 210 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 175 reported as receiving in patient care there are 36 patients in North Central. Of the 35 people reported as being in intensive care there are five in North Central. The current seven-day average is 320, or 26.4 cases per 100,000 population. Of the 19,715 reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 4,010 are considered active. The recovered number now sits at 15,495 after 231 more recoveries were reported. The total numbers of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 19,715 of those 5,113 cases are from the North area (1,892 north west, 2,507 north central and 714 north east). As of Jan. 15, a total of 14,017 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan. Two thousand and thirty-two doses were administered in the Regina, Saskatoon, North Central, Far North West, Far North East and North East zones. North Central saw 549 doses administered and 202 administered in the adjacent North East zone. Vaccine numbers from the Far North Central zone have not yet been reported. Second doses of Pfizer vaccine are now underway for health care workers in Saskatoon, with vaccination of residents and staff in long term and personal care homes in Saskatoon proceeding. The vaccine clinics announced earlier this week in the North Central communities of Wakaw, Cudworth, Rosthern, Big River, Canwood, Shellbrook, Birch Hills, Debden, Blaine Lake, Candle Lake and Christopher Lake are fully booked. Additional clinics will be scheduled as quickly as possible following the sequencing of priority populations in those zones with high active case rates. There were 3,455 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Jan 14. As of today there have been 465,390 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan. Under 100 active cases of COVID-19 in youth in North Central On Thursday the province released the updated numbers on COVID-19 cases in youth. The total active cases in youth provincially in all locations are 775, 17 have no known location and 758 have a location reported. The province releases the update on the numbers each Thursday. Currently in the North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, there are 96 active cases in youth. Last week there were 277 tests performed across the North Central zone. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 40 active cases in youth. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 42 active cases and North Central 3 has 28 active cases. Cumulative tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 in the North Central zone is 4,658. Provincially there is a 19.5 per cent test positivity rate in youth. There were 2,450 tests performed in total in the province in the last week. The cumulative number of tests performed since Sept. 7, 2020 is 54,735. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald