With meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal
With meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
OTTAWA — Companies that want in on a new federal loan program will have to show sharp revenue declines during the pandemic and that they have already applied for other business aid. The new loans, from the Highly Affected Sectors Credit Availability Program (HASCAP), will open for applications on Monday and is on top of existing loan programs targeting small businesses. Loans will start at between $25,000 and $1 million for a single business depending on the size of the operation, and run up to $6.25 million for companies with multiple locations like a chain of hotels or restaurants. Details made public Tuesday say rates will be set at four per cent across the board, terms will be up to 10 years, with up to a 12-month postponement of principal payments at the start of the loan. But to get the money, companies will have show a year-over-year revenue drop of 50 per cent or more over three months, not necessarily consecutive, in the eight months before filing an application. Companies will also have to show that they at least applied for either the federal wage or rent subsidies. The federally backed loan can be used for rent, utilities and help with payroll, among other costs, to keep operations running through public health restrictions, but can't be used to pay or refinance existing loans. Small Business Minister Mary Ng says the funding isn't targeted to any one sector, but available to any business that meets the eligibility criteria. "So whether it is your favourite neighbourhood restaurant, that bed and breakfast, a local movie theatre, or even a franchise restaurant or hotel, businesses that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 will now have the support that they need to keep moving forward," Ng said by video during a midday press conference. The head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business is welcoming the launch of the new program to provide fresh financing to troubled companies. But Dan Kelly also says in a tweet that the government must consider making part of the loan forgivable, like an existing aid program, because "more loans are not the answer to the mountain of debt small firms are facing." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
MADRID — Barcelona rescheduled its presidential elections to March 7 and members will be allowed to vote by mail amid the coronavirus pandemic, the club said Tuesday. The elections had been originally scheduled for Jan. 24 but Barcelona was forced to delay the vote because of mobility restrictions imposed by the Catalan government during the pandemic. Voting will take place at six polling stations and by mail after the Catalan government made a change in the legislation “to allow for postal voting for sporting bodies,” Barcelona said. Members who are over 65 will be allowed to vote from home. Polling stations outside Catalonia, with the exception of Andorra, will not be used as originally planned because of the restrictions prompted by the pandemic. The club reiterated that “the elections are affected by the exceptional circumstances brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and for that reason they will be organized following at all times the recommendations of the health authorities in order to protect the health and safety of the voters.” “During this period the club will continue to work closely with the Catalan government and the health and local authorities to best organize the elections so that they can be carried out in the best conditions possible,” Barcelona said. The three presidential candidates are Joan Laporta, Víctor Font and Toni Freixa. Barcelona has been led by a caretaker board since former president Josep Bartomeu resigned in October. He faced the possibility of being ousted in a no-confidence motion supported by thousands of club members furious at the team’s poor performances and the club’s financial situation. Barcelona lost to Bayern Munich 8-2 in the quarterfinals of the Champions League in August, and its soaring debt forced the club to practically give away veterans like Luis Suárez to slash its salary burden. Lionel Messi later asked to leave the club but had his request denied. Barcelona plays against second-division club Rayo Vallecano in the round of 16 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. It trails Spanish league leader Atlético Madrid by 10 points and is three points behind second-place Real Madrid entering the second half of the season. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Tales Azzoni, The Associated Press
A prospective COVID-19 vaccine touted as a made-in-Canada response has begun human clinical trials in Toronto, and the company says it's already preparing a follow-up that will target more infectious variants. Providence Therapeutics of Calgary says if all goes well, it could start manufacturing millions of doses of its first prospective vaccine by the end of the year, guaranteeing a Canadian stockpile that wouldn't be subject to global supply pressures or competition. That's if the formulation proves safe and effective, of course. Among the challenges of developing a vaccine amid a raging pandemic is the uncertainty of how more infectious variants now emerging will complicate the COVID battle. Even if successful, by the time Providence Therapeutics releases its vaccine hopeful much of the country could be in the throes of a more infectious virus that does not respond to this formulation, allowed company CEO Brad Sorenson. "We don't believe that this is going to be resolved by a single vaccine," said Sorenson, whose biotech also produces a personalized mRNA-based vaccine against cancer. It's a challenge now facing Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which have each said its products appear to respond well to the variant initially identified in the United Kingdom, and to a lesser degree, the variant first detected in South Africa. Moderna said earlier this week it plans to test two booster vaccines aimed at the variant associated with South Africa. Sorenson said Providence is already internally testing a vaccine candidate that targets the variants, and he hoped to begin clinical trials by the end of the year. "We believe that there's going to be a need to be in a position of readiness to be able to respond as these variants are coming up, and to be able to make sure that we have that capacity." That doesn't mean Providence is changing production runs just yet. Sorenson said the immediate focus is to establish the safety and efficacy of its COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed PTX-COVID19-B and designed in the early days of the pandemic last March. It uses messenger RNA technology and focuses on the spike protein located on the surface of a coronavirus that initiates infection, similar to the Pfizer and Moderna products. The trial involves 60 healthy volunteers aged 18 to 25 who will be monitored for 13 months, with the first results expected in February. The subjects are divided into four groups of 15, three of which will get three different doses. The fourth group gets a placebo. Sorenson said immediate pandemic efforts should be focused on the novel coronavirus currently devastating many parts of the country. "It's a matter of capacity. Right now these variants are there, they're concerning, and we're keeping a close eye on it, but that's not predominantly what the needs of the population are," said Sorenson. "Right now the needs of the population are still tied to the primary spike protein virus that's out there and is ravaging around the world." Sorenson said his next vaccine candidate takes a broader approach by attempting to elicit a T-cell response, thereby creating a longer-term vaccine "and cover what we believe would be a lot more variants." "We have to prove it out but we believe that if we are successful that it will allow for a much more durable immunity and a much broader immunity." The other goal is to prepare for large-scale manufacturing in Calgary, if all goes well with the trials and approval process. Sorenson said doses for the Phase 1 trial are being made in Toronto but the plan is to commercially manufacture the completed vaccine through a contract with the Calgary-based Northern RNA Inc. That won't be up and running by the end of the year, Sorenson allowed, so the short-term plan is to send raw materials made in Canada to a plant in the United States that would make the commercial product. Eventually, the whole process would be completed in Canada, he said. "We're building the entire chain within Canada so we're not going to run into a problem where this particular input into the vaccine is unavailable," he said. Much of this also depends on financial support from the federal government, Sorenson added. While the National Research Council of Canada has backed Phase 1 trials, Sorenson said he's awaiting word on further support. He'd also like Ottawa to back Providence's efforts to address the new COVID variants. "They've already recognized the importance of mRNA technology. What they don't realize is the power of mRNA technology to be responsive to these challenges that are coming up," he said. "Hopefully the politicians and the people that cut the cheques and write the policies that give direction to the bureaucrats will hear that and we'll start seeing a more concerted approach that looks at a fuller picture." Pending regulatory approval, Sorenson said a larger, international Phase 2 trial may start in May with seniors, younger subjects and pregnant people, followed by an even broader Phase 3 trial. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press
Public Health is reporting 10 new cases Tuesday, with half of them in the locked-down Edmundston region, Zone 4. The department did not hold a live-streamed briefing, but in a news release it said that the cases are in four of seven zones, and that seven patients are hospitalized. The news comes as Zones 2 and 3, the Saint John and Fredericton regions, prepared to move to the less-restrictive orange phase at midnight. The Moncton region will remain at the red phase, the Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi regions at the orange phase, and the Edmundston region will stay at the most restrictive lockdown phase. Tuesday's new cases break down as follows: Moncton region, Zone 1, one case: an individual 30 to 39 Saint John region, Zone 2, three cases: two people 19 or under an individual 40 to 49 Edmundston region, Zone 4, five cases: two people 20 to 29 two people 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 Campbellton region, Zone 5, one case: an individual 50 to 59 All these people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,161. Since Monday, 19 people have recovered, for a total of 807 recoveries. There have been 14 deaths, and the number of active cases is 339. Seven people are in hospital, with three of those in intensive care. A total of 189,653 tests have been conducted, including 1,943 since Monday's report. Public Health issues public exposure warning Public Health has identified a potential public exposure to the virus at the following location in the Edmundston region, Zone 4: Atlantic Superstore, 577 Victoria St., Edmundston, on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20 between 6 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.
TORONTO — A former senior civil servant accused of embezzling $11 million in Ontario COVID-19 relief money betrayed his own family, according to his wife and two sons. In sworn affidavits, the wife of Sanjay Madan and their two adult sons disavow any knowledge of his alleged scheme, which is now the subject of an unproven civil action against them all. According to his affidavit, Chinmaya Madan said he became suspicious of his father around June last year after discovering unexplained money in his bank accounts, some of which he didn't know existed. Only after repeated questioning did his father admit to having "diverted" money and promise to return it, the affidavit states. "I felt betrayed by my father," Chinmaya Madan said in the document filed in Superior Court. "I was and remain absolutely shocked by the allegations." The Ontario government's unproven civil claim names Sanjay Madan, who had a senior IT role and helped develop a computer application for the COVID-19 benefit for families with children. Also named are his sons Chinmaya Madan and Ujjal Madan, and his wife of 28 years, Shalini Madan. The claim alleges the Madan family, who all worked for the government in information technology, defrauded the province of at least $11 million. No criminal charges have been filed. The claim asserts the family and others illegally issued and deposited cheques under the program aimed at defraying the cost of children learning at home. The province alleges the Madans opened hundreds of accounts at the Bank of Montreal between April and May 2020, then deposited around 10,000 cheques made out to fictitious applicants. Sanjay Madan had always been "controlling and secretive" about money and managed the family's finances, his wife said in her court filing. However, the actions alleged against him were totally out of character, she said, adding she learned of 1,074 Canadian bank accounts in her name, only three of which she said she had opened. "I am at a complete loss to understand why Sanjay would risk everything in the manner he did. We needed nothing. It all makes no sense to me," Shalini Madan says. "The Sanjay the plaintiff describes is like a completely different person than the man who is my husband and the father of our children." In a statement Tuesday, the Madan family's lawyer called the wife and children "victims not villains." "The Sanjay Madan who is alleged to have behaved so inappropriately is not the man they have known," Christopher Du Vernet said. "They are still struggling to understand what prompted him to act as he did, and especially to have used his own family when doing so." The children claim they were the victims of identity theft. They say in their court filings that they believed their father was returning the "diverted" money and was making things right, but also say they wonder if he was just stringing them along. Du Vernet said last week Sanjay Madan had returned more than the $11 million the government alleges he misappropriated. He said his client "deeply regrets" his actions and was awaiting results of medical opinions on his mental health. His family, Du Vernet said, could only conclude Sanjay Madan had long suffered from a mental disorder that profoundly distorted his judgment. "Mr. Madan’s wife and children are learning that Mr. Madan has actually had two sides to him: the dedicated husband and father they saw, and the miscreant they never saw." The lawyer also said none of Sanjay Madan's family had spent any of the money he allegedly took. In his affidavit, Ujjawal Madan said he never had any reason to suspect any wrongdoing by his father. "As long as I have known him, he has been a conservative spender," he said. The government, which fired Madan in November, has a court order freezing the family's assets, which included properties in Toronto. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
The Swan Hills School Council held their Jan. 21 meeting at the school’s Flex Room, and the meeting was also live-streamed through Google Meet for those who could not attend in person. Student’s Union · The Div. 3/4 Students’ Union (SU) donated $200 to the food bank at Christmas time from their fundraising efforts. An article about their fundraising efforts is on the school website with a picture. · Around Feb. 15, the SU will host a small raffle for Valentine’s Day, similar to the Christmas raffle. · The SU met with the school administration at the end of November and discussed putting some small lockers in the gym change rooms for the students to secure their valuables. This could possibly be a Grizzly Cubs fundraising item to consider. Trustee Report Assurance Reporting Each school division needs to create four assurance reports annually by law; Education Planning and Reporting, Financials, School Plans and Reporting, and Infrastructure and Maintenance. Recently the Education Planning and Reporting report was addressed with a focus on the special needs section. Some interesting takeaways are that while there has been a slight increase in students who need higher support levels, there has been a decrease across the school division in the number of students needing supports overall. This may be because these students' parents may have decided to keep them at home because of COVID-19. Due to COVID-19, parents have been having virtual meetings with specialists, such as speech and occupational therapists, while working with their children. This development has been beneficial to parents because they have seen for themselves why their child is receiving special supports. Four concerns were brought forward during this report: 1. There is a need for a re-entry resource for students that have special needs. The belief is that the skills that these students have acquired will have diminished. 2. There has been a limited gain in inclusion since students left the schools due to COVID-19 3. Because of limited budgets, small schools have limited resources for mild/moderate Program Unit Funding (PUF) educational supports. 4. Alberta Health Services has given a mandate not to provide proactive programming in schools. Enrollment Projections Schools are now funded on a three-year spectrum; last year, this year, and the projected future year. Funding is based on the average of these figures, with the intention of allowing schools to cushion the effects of large drops in population. Pembina Hills has had a slight increase in population, so the funding for next year will be the same as the current year. In contrast, a lot of districts are seeing their funding decrease. Trustee Election Municipal and School Divisions will be holding elections for trustees in the fall. Last year Pembina Hills decided to reduce the number of trustees from seven to six. This means that the Swan Hills’ electoral area and Fort Assiniboine’s will be combined to make one Ward. It would be very beneficial to get a representative from Swan Hills to apply, preferably a single representative that the whole town could get behind (instead of multiple candidates that would potentially split the votes). Division One Update · Div. 1 wasn’t able to go sledding for their December monthly celebration due to cold weather. Students were able to decorate individually packaged cookies that had been sponsored by Home Hardware and watch the virtual Christmas Concert. · On Jan. 22, students will participate in a virtual presentation offered through the Earth Rangers program, which has been sponsored by Crescent Point Energy. · Many students showed their school spirit by wearing stripes for Stripes Day on Jan. 14. The next dress-up day will be Wild West Day on Jan. 22. · For the January monthly celebration, the last recess time will be extended on Jan. 28. · The bi-annual reading testing has started. This testing is especially important because the school was unable to perform this testing last June. This test focuses on the student’s word accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. · The school is currently discussing Valentine’s Day activities. The students will not be participating in a Valentine’s Day card exchange due to COVID-19 health restrictions. Division Two Update · The Swan Hills School Handbell Group will be hosting a curbside bottle drive. The proceeds will go towards purchasing additional materials and equipment for the Handbell Group (hand chimes, mallets, gloves, possibly another octave of bells). There are a lot of new participants in handbells this year. · Students have been requesting a virtual spring concert again, so plans are in the works for that. · Safety Patrol has been up and running since the end of October. Just a reminder that the patrols are out from 8:15 to 8:30 AM and from 3:25 to 3:40 PM. Parents and the public are asked to please use the drop off zone when dropping off students. Drivers are not allowed to enter or exit the staff parking lot if the patrollers have their signs out. Division Three and Four Update · See Students’ Union news above. The School Council will move from having monthly meetings to having bi-monthly meetings in September, November, January, March, and May. Principal’s Report · The draft alternate calendar for the next school year will be posted on the school website for review and feedback. · Discussed new or different options classes for grade seven students. The school currently offers art, woods, and foods classes; drama has been offered in the past and might be coming up again. · Career and technology studies (CTS) is often a room with a number of students with particular interests, but they often have different interests than their peers, which leads to smaller groups following separate studies. The teachers facilitate and assist the students in their projects. Some students respond well to this setup, and some do not. The school is looking for new ideas or thoughts about some hands-on options that the students would actually want to do. Some ideas would be woods, foods, visual arts, and wildlife courses. · Lost and found items are piling up. Discussed how to get lost and found items back to parents. · Recently went over satisfaction surveys for Div. 3/4 students, will be doing them for Div. 2 on Jan. 21. The surveys start with a preamble explaining what the questions mean and why the surveys are taken. The next School Council meeting will be on Mar. 17, at 7:00 PM. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
A group of doctors and advocates are calling on Ontario Premier Doug Ford to address what they call a ‘humanitarian crisis’ in long-term care homes by bringing the military back for support and embarking on hiring and training drives.
Ucluelet, BC - When Ottis Crabbe’s parents opened Abbondanza in 2014, the pizzeria became like the family’s home-away-from-home. To this day, Crabbe’s father, Cory, jokes that he only returns to his house in Ucluelet to sleep at night. “We’re always here,” he said. Crabbe got his start working at the Italian eatery by running the cash register, before transitioning to manning the wood-fire in a bid to help his father on a busy night. “It’s no easy feat,” said Cory. “It’s an art in itself.” Yet Crabbe took to it like a natural and as he stood there, illuminated by the warm glow of the fire, his dreams of becoming a chef started to take flight. “It’s just so real,” he said. “It’s one of those things that no matter how much time and effort you put into it, you can never achieve perfection – yet, you can strive for it and that’s almost poetic.” Following in his father’s footsteps, Crabbe is now studying culinary management at Vancouver Island University (VIU), where he earned a spot on the Junior Culinary Team Canada earlier this month. Along with eight others, Crabbe is set to compete at the Culinary Olympics in Germany in 2024. One of the oldest, largest and most diverse international culinary arts competitions in the world, the Culinary Olympics hosted around 1,800 participants from 67 nations last February. Over the next three and a half years, training for the competition will be “extremely intense,” said John Carlo Felicella, manager of the Canadian youth team. COVID-19 restrictions have set the team back by at least six months, but Felicella feels confident that if the team works together, they can go after what they want, “and that’s first place,” he said. The intensive training in discipline and technique will extend into Crabbe’s professional life by fostering a maturity that will springboard his career, said Felicella. Upon hearing the news, Crabbe’s stomach was flooded with butterflies as he realized what was at stake. “It’s time to tighten up the boots and get to work,” said the Tla-o-qui-aht man. Taking after his father’s ethos on cooking, Crabbe emphasized the importance in “unity” – of putting on your apron and “knowing that you’re part of something bigger than yourself.” “You’re not just cooking for yourself,” he said. "You’re cooking for everybody that’s supporting you.” Rita Gower, acting chair of the culinary institute of VIU, said that Crabbe not only has “buckets of talent,” but the stamina to go the distance. “It’s a lot of work and Ottis has been nothing except enthusiastic and hard-working,” she said. “He’s always willing to take on something extra and in every way has demonstrated that he has the personal attributes to be successful in this competition.” For Crabbe, Canadian cuisine means keeping it local with fresh proteins. Drawing inspiration from his First Nations roots, the 19-year-old has a deep “respect for ingredients.” “Canadian food is a melting pot of every culture,” he said. “It’s just the ability to express what your mom made on Sundays.” Like his father, Crabbe uses cooking as a “doorway into society.” “He fell in love with it like I did,” said Cory. “It’s almost impossible for me to describe how proud I am.” Beyond the culinary olympics, Crabbe dreams of continuing to participate in competitions and train under a Michelin star chef. While he asserts the importance of gaining exposure to different cultures and food scenes through travel, he hopes to one day return to where it all began. “After I’m done flexing my culinary muscles, or seeing what my potential is, I’d like to go back home,” he said. "And cook with my family at the restaurant.” Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa
Saskatchewan saw its deadliest day of the pandemic, with a record-high 14 fatalities reported on Tuesday. The previous record came on Jan. 21, when 13 people died after being diagnosed with the virus. The province has now reported 268 COVID-related deaths since the pandemic came to the province. Of those, 115 deaths have happened in 2021. One of the newly reported deaths Tuesday was a person was in their 40s who lived in the north central zone. Two people were in their 50s, with one from the Regina area and the other from the Saskatoon zone. Another two people were in their 60s from the Saskatoon zone. Three people were in their 70s and were from the Regina, Saskatoon and southeast zones. Six people were in their 80s and lived in the far northwest, north central, Regina, southeast and Saskatoon zones. New cases The province also reported 232 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total provincial caseload so far to 22,646. Here's where the new cases are: Far northwest: 23. Far north central: three. Far northeast: four. Northwest: 45. North central: 31. Northeast: seven. Saskatoon zone: 47. Central west: three. Central east: four. Regina zone: 46. South central: two. Southeast: six. There are 11 cases with pending locations. The seven-day average of daily new cases is 254, or 20.7 new cases per 100,000 people. The province says a total of 19,729 known cases have recovered from the virus, an increase of 839 since Monday. Of the province's total cases, 2,665 are considered active. There are 208 people with COVID-19 in hospital, 33 of whom are in the ICU. The province processed 2,160 COVID-19 tests on Monday. Public health measures extended The province is not implementing any new health measures to contain the spread of the virus, but it is extending the measures that currently are in place. The public health order will remain in effect until Feb. 19. They were set to expire on Jan. 29. The measures include a province-wide mask mandate, outdoor gatherings limited to 10 people maximum, while private indoor gatherings are limited to immediate households only. Visits to long-term care and personal care homes remain suspended except for compassionate reasons. Additionally, no alcohol sales are permitted after 10 p.m. in licensed establishments and sports remains suspended. A full list of current measures is available here. 3 businesses fined for not following public health order The government of Saskatchewan says enforcement of public health orders will continue to ensure businesses and events are brought into compliance as quickly as possible. On Tuesday, three businesses were fined under the Public Health Act. Crackers and the Crazy Cactus in Saskatoon and Stats Cocktails and Dreams in Regina have each been fined $14,000 each. Vaccine update The province administered 362 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, bringing the total number of vaccines administered in Saskatchewan to 34,080. The doses were administered in the following areas: Saskatoon: 241. Far North West: 22. North East: 23. North West: 66. Central East: 10. As of Tuesday, the province says it has administered 104 per cent of the number of doses it has officially received, with the overage due to efficiencies in drawing extra doses from vials.
CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island says it's on track to complete the first phase of its COVID-19 vaccination plan despite delivery delays of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said today the province still expects residents and staff of long-term care homes along with front-line health workers to receive two vaccine doses by Feb. 16. Morrison says the province won't be receiving a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine this week but says deliveries will resume next week. As of Saturday, 7,117 doses of vaccine had been administered, 1,892 of which were second doses. Morrison says she will release details later this week on how the province will fast track the vaccine rollout to registered rotational workers, truck drivers and to people over 80 years old. The province is reporting zero new cases of COVID-19 today and says it has six active reported cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
A man with a history of drug charges visiting a house allegedly occupied by someone with a similar criminal past piqued the interest of Six Nations Police on Tuesday. So officers decided to follow the man’s silver Honda Odyssey as it made its way from the house on Chiefswood Road to a Hagersville business. Police say the vehicle did a full loop around the building before backing into a loading area with its trunk open. When police pulled the van over after it left the loading dock, officers noticed a meth pipe on the floor between the driver and passenger seats. A search of the van unearthed unspecified quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and pills, along with baggies, cash, cellphones and a digital scale. Police arrested and charged the three people in the van – a 50-year-old man from Hagersville, a 40-year-old man from Ohsweken and a 25-year-old woman from Ohsweken – with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime, as well as failure to comply with a release order. The Hagersville man was also charged with possessing methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking. The three were held for a bail hearing. J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood psychiatric disorder worldwide. It is also the most common neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs students’ learning in Canada. Unfortunately, most education systems across the country have not adapted how they understand and support students with ADHD. This disorder has yet to be officially recognized as a learning risk by many provincial Ministries of Education or the Canadian government. ADHD is commonly misunderstood as a disorder of rowdy, undisciplined children who can’t stay still or are unmotivated and lack willpower. While ADHD does impair attention regulation and may include hyperactivity and impulsivity, research over the last several decades indicates that this disorder's impact on students is much more complicated, pervasive, and disabling. ADHD impairs: cognitive processing speed; executive functioning skills (which hinders the acquisition of reading fluency and comprehension, written expression, and mathematical problem-solving skills); and the acquirement of learning strategies, study, and organizational skills. Students with this disorder are three times more likely to drop out of high school than their classmates. A conservative estimate indicates that roughly 5% of Canadian students have ADHD, but the actual prevalence could be as high as 9%. There are generally 1 – 3 students with ADHD in every classroom. Even so, some provinces will not officially recognize this disorder in their coding systems, leading to students with ADHD being unable to access special education resources or to benefit from reasonable learning accommodations. ADHD is now classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder in the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), instead of being considered a disruptive behaviour as it was in the past. Unfortunately, many school boards and Ministries of Education in Canada have not caught up to this new understanding of ADHD. As a result, there generally hasn’t been sufficient educator training on ADHD, and the current training is often superficial and without a focus on changing the current perception of the disorder. The Centre for ADHD Awareness, Canada (CADDAC) is a national charitable organization that aims to improve the lives of those with ADHD by raising awareness of this disorder, education, and advocacy. One of CADDAC’s current efforts towards these goals is the Right to Learn campaign. As stated on the Right to Learn website, CADDAC is asking the Ministries of Education in all provinces and territories across the country to formally acknowledge that ADHD is a serious leaning risk by agreeing in writing that: · ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes learning impairments on par with Autism Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities; · students with ADHD have a right to access accommodations and special education resources for their disability, exceptionality (if applicable) notwithstanding; and · these resources and accommodations be based on a student’s specific needs and not generalizations, understanding that even a student with ADHD who is performing “well enough” academically can still be a student with a disability that requires accommodations to address barriers in education. CADDAC is encouraging parents and caretakers of children with ADHD and anyone else who is interested in equal access to education for all students to join the Right to Learn campaign. More information about this campaign is available at caddac.ca/adhd/adhd-right-to-learn. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
COVID-19. La tendance à la baisse du nombre de cas de COVID-19 au Québec fait dire au premier ministre que «ça confirme que nos mesures fonctionnent dont le couvre-feu». «Si la tendance se maintient», François Legault annonce des allégements de mesures sanitaires dans certaines régions. Ce déconfinement de certaines activités serait effectif à partir du 8 février. Les détails seront dévoilés la semaine prochaine. Lors de sa conférence de presse, le premier ministre a également réitéré sa demande à Justin Trudeau d’interdire les voyages internationaux ou d’imposer des quarantaines supervisées dans des hôtels. «Il y a eu des reportages en Europe, en Alberta, en Ontario. C’est catastrophique quand ce variant arrive avec des voyageurs de l’étranger. C’est une propagation exponentielle… Chaque jour qui passe, il y a un risque qui s’ajoute. Il y a urgence d’agir… Pourquoi c’est si long de prendre une décision», se désole François Legault. Le premier ministre a également fait part de ses inquiétudes en lien avec l’approvisionnement en vaccins. À ce sujet, Christian Dubé a indiqué que les équipes du Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux vont être prêtes à vacciner de 300 000 à 400 000 personnes par semaine. «Ne manque que les vaccins», dit-il. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
With hundreds of Ontario long-term care residents dead and COVID-19 outbreaks continuing to ravage facilities across the province, a group of health experts is pushing the province to abolish for-profit long-term care facilities. "When you think about for-profit homes, they're by design created to have one thing in mind and that's profits for shareholders. It's not care for our seniors," Dr. Naheed Dosani, said Tuesday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning. "This is a humanitarian crisis." Dosani, a palliative care physician for the William Osler Health System, which has hospitals in Brampton and Etobicoke, is one of more than 215 Ontario doctors and researchers who have joined the Doctors for Justice in Long-Term Care campaign. Despite repeated assertions from Premier Doug Ford, Long-Term Care Minister Merrilee Fullerton and other provincial officials that Ontario was building an "iron ring" around its long-term care facilities to protect residents from a second wave of the virus, deaths have continued to mount. Out of more than 5,900 COVID-19-related deaths in the province, more than 3,400 were in long-term care, according to provincial statistics. 44 resident deaths at one facility Most recent is the outbreak at Roberta Place Long Term Care Home in Barrie, Ont., where almost every single resident has contracted COVID-19. Genome sequencing has also confirmed that a highly transmissible variant of the virus first detected in the United Kingdom has been found at the home, according to the local public health unit. The facility was reporting 44 resident deaths as of Monday. After a lull in cases in the summer, Dosani said long-term care homes are still seeing poor infection-control practices and a delayed response to outbreaks. He also referenced this report from Ontario's COVID-19 Advisory Table, which found that in the first wave of the pandemic, the province saw 78 per cent more deaths in people with COVID-19 in for-profit homes than in their public counterparts. "It's not a fluke," Dosani said. "This system was actually built this way. It's built to put profits over people." 'Unprecedented challenges' In response to the group's demands, Fullerton told CBC News in a statement that the province has been working "around the clock" since the pandemic started to protect the most vulnerable populations — while noting there have been "unprecedented challenges" along the way. "For example, our government built a testing system from scratch, secured PPE [personal protective equipment] from regions across the globe and flowed over a billion dollars to shore up the sector," she said. "We absolutely have applied lessons learned from the first wave to inform our current response." Fullerton said the current number of cases and outbreaks remain her "top concern" and that she is confident that measures such as testing, masking, pandemic pay and partnerships with hospitals are "stabilizing the sector." She also said the province has moved up the target date for vaccinations for all long-term care residents to Feb. 5, which is 10 days earlier than originally scheduled. "Vaccinations of all long-term care homes are a light at the end of tunnel," Fullerton said in the statement. WATCH | Medical professionals demand change in long-term care Doctors call for appropriate staffing in LTC The group of doctors is also calling on the province to take the following measures with respect to long-term care: hire appropriate levels of staff set a minimum pay standard for front-line workers ensure at least 70 per cent of staff at every facility are working full time let family caregivers have access to facilities work with hospitals to establish partnerships for care "Until we actually delve deeper at the roots — the systemic underpinnings of what is causing this crisis in long-term care — we will not develop that iron ring," Dosani said. "The solutions and conversations thus far have been way too superficial, and have been band-aid approaches." Horwath backs campaign Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath backed the group's campaign. "I'm grateful to these doctors and researchers for coming together to advocate for seniors," she said in a statement. "Long-term care residents and their loved ones have endured agony, incredible sorrow, and tragic loss during this pandemic. Ford has "protected for-profit corporations — allowing them to put their bottom line ahead of the care and quality of life of seniors," Horwath said in the statement. "It's time for an overhaul to stop the terrible living conditions and preventable deaths." An independent commission — Ontario's Long-Term Care COVID-19 Commission — has been looking into how the province handled the deadly spread of COVID-19 in long-term care homes and has flagged a lack of provincial oversight and uneven management standards. The commission's interim report on the situation late last year pointed to a provincial decision in the fall of 2018 to end comprehensive inspections and a lack of enforcement when issues are found. It also found that fines and prosecutions are rarely applied to home operators, leaving a lack of urgency to address violations. Earlier this month, the commission told the province it needed more time to finish its final report because the government itself wasn't providing enough documentation. The Ontario government rejected the extension request.
“Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause,” by Ty Seidule (St. Martin’s Press) Few authors can say they have lived their story with quite the same authority as Ty Seidule, retired U.S. Army brigadier general and professor emeritus of history at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, and lived a life of white privilege provided by de-facto segregation. He revered Robert E. Lee. Now, with the vigour of a prosecutor, Seidule dismantles the near-sacred beliefs among many Southerners that the Civil War was a noble cause to preserve a way of life that benefitted everyone. Robert Edward Lee personified the myths of a romantic era, a righteous cause and contented slaves who were better off than they had been in Africa. Seidule’s book is particularly timely given the recent raid on the Capitol by hundreds of mostly white believers in an assortment of old and new myths. At least two of those who broke into the Capitol carried Confederate flags. Seidule finished his book before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, which made his research and writing even more soul-wrenching. In the Civil War, he writes, “the United States fought against a rebel force that would not accept the results of a democratic election and chose armed rebellion.” Lee, still memorialized in scores of monuments, roads, counties and historical markers, was a traitor, Seidule writes, abandoning his oath of allegiance to the United States to lead the fight to preserve slavery. Does something endemic in the American character render us susceptible to accepting beliefs unsupported by even feeble evidence? That’s a question for another book; Seidule has offered clear and compelling evidence, to our shame as a nation, that many of us remain unwilling to confront an American past that includes slavery, lynchings and embedded segregation that endures today. Seidule’s book still has some chapters to be written — probably soon. Embedded in the 2021 military budget are directives to change the names of Army bases named for confederates. And for whom should those based be renamed? Seidule has thought that out too. In a Washington Post essay in June 2020, he recommends, among others, Vernon Baker, a Black lieutenant and Medal of Honor winner for his World War II heroism, and Charles Young, the third Black graduate of West Point. Young was forced to retire because then-President Woodrow Wilson didn’t want a Black man leading white troops. The monuments and confederate names elsewhere also must go, Seidule writes, observing that otherwise they serve the same purpose as lynchings — to enforce white supremacy. Seidule has written an extraordinary and courageous book, a confessional of America’s great sins of slavery and racial oppression, a call to confront our wrongs, reject our mythologized racist past and resolve to create a just future for all. Jeff Rowe, The Associated Press
Shannin Metatawabin was raised on the principle of not only thinking about the present but generations into the future as well. “I think as Indigenous people we have a responsibility to our ancestors that we continue the focus of protecting the environment and ensuring there is a world here for the future yet unborn,” he said. “My dad raised me on that. We have to plan work and that we work for those that are not yet here. And clean energy is that opportunity to put into place clean energy projects across Canada, but this has to go hand in hand with the infrastructure in our communities.” Metatawabin, the CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association, spoke as part of a presentation at the Indigenous Clean Energy E-Gathering on Jan. 22. The presentation focused on clean energy as a major economic development-driver for First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and peoples. “I think we can’t do anything without access to capital,” Metatawabin said. “If we wait for government, then we’ll be waiting forever. We have more than enough partners in this world and there’s more than enough capital in this world. It’s about aligning our communities to the people that want to help our community.” Metatawabin believes Indigenous people should be taking the lead with clean energy initiatives. Metatawabin also believes it’s key that governments are on board about changing the channel from fossil fuels. “I think we need to give space to renewable energy because that’s our future,” he said. “As Indigenous people we owe it to our ancestors to ensure that we’re leading in this space. And if we can, bring the government along to focus more on this and to jumpstart the investment, the creation of new instruments to attract private sector capital so that we can do more and then focus on our communities.” Chris Henderson, the executive director of Indigenous Clean Energy, said there’s another important reason to proceed with clean energy initiatives. “I believe if we do the right thing for Indigenous clean energy—clean energy for housing, clean energy with clean fuels, clean energy with renewable energy—we will have a huge impact on the health of the country, on the health of Indigenous peoples and communities,” he said. Henderson, a former hospital administrator, said the benefits would be tremendous to having countless clean energy initiatives brought forward. “If we make sure we do energy efficient housing that makes sure that we don’t breathe bad air in homes, that we make sure wood stoves are of a high quality so they’re not putting ash and particulate matter inside the home, that we’re making sure we keep mold in check so that it doesn’t contaminate people and the home, then what we will do is not only improve the health of people but let’s remember the biggest single expenditure in our country is on health care,” Henderson said. Bill Williams, the executive director of the Nunavut Economic Developers Association, believes it only makes sense who should be leading clean energy projects. “Indigenous peoples are the original sustainable developers,” Williams said. “They never take more than they need and they develop with what’s with them and around them in the community.” Williams said listening to Indigenous views on these issues would be prudent. “As a non-Indigenous Canadian, and other non-Indigenous Canadians, I think we can learn way more about sustainable development from Indigenous people if we would just listen,” he said. Dawn Madahbee Leach, the vice-chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, said building capacity is the most important thing that can be done now in terms of clean energy. Madahbee Leach also said the International Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a report on Indigenous economic development last year. One of the report’s recommendations was to explore the possibility of building Indigenous centres of excellence. These facilities would lead the way in practices and research, case studies and provide communities with the proper tools to make wise decisions. “We would have a better chance to make informed decisions, to make better partnerships, to really be leaders in this industry because we would be looking at the leading practices and Indigenous businesses involved in clean energy projects and our employees and how to manage these projects,” she said. Madahbee Leach also believes collaboration with others would be extremely beneficial. “We are already building this capacity, but we need to share our progress and our missteps so we can all learn to do better,” she said. “We can share our successes with our Indigenous brothers and sisters globally as well.” Others who spoke at the presentation were Troy Jerome, the president and CEO of SEN’TI Environmental and Indigenous Services, and Hillary Thatcher, a senior director with Canada Infrastructure Bank. Darrell Brown, the chair of the Indigenous Clean Energy Network, moderated the presentation. Windspeaker.com By Sam Laskaris, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com
Hamilton’s public school board trustees voted unanimously to accept a long-awaited report on bullying late Monday at a board meeting. But, as the report’s recommendations indicate, the work has just begun. “While this report concludes months of consultation, it does not end the work required to address bullying in our schools and in our society,” panel members Dr. Jean Clinton, Brenda Flaherty, and Dr. Gary Warner said in a statement. “It begins the call to action.” The panel heard from thousands of students, parents, teachers and community members about bullying, culminating in a 102-page Safe Schools: Bullying Prevention and Intervention Review Panel report released Friday. The report, which was presented to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board at a Jan. 25 meeting, includes both long- and short-term goals to the board and its community. Immediate action items include wide distribution of the report, establishing a “lead position” responsible for implementation and collecting and monitoring bullying data at the school level. The motion to accept the report and its recommendations was moved by Ward 3 trustee Maria Felix Miller and seconded by Ward 15 trustee Penny Deathe. Ward 4 trustee Ray Mulholland and Ward 5 trustee Carole Paikin Miller were absent for the vote. Following questions and comments from trustees, board chair Dawn Danko thanked the panel for “reminding us the importance of having the students at the centre of everything we do and that we are all called to act.” “This is a systemic issue that has persisted for decades, and longer I’m sure, that we now have some concrete action items that we can take and use to actually make a difference,” she said. “And that, I think, is incredibly exciting.” The panel was assembled by the HWDSB after the death of 14-year-old Devan Selvey, who was stabbed outside Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School in October 2019. “The conversation his death inspired was hard to hear, but reinforced our belief that we have a moral responsibility to help all students feel safe, supported and accepted,” said education director Manny Figueiredo. “The next steps are about change.” Kate McCullough, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
Former finance minister Bill Morneau says he is withdrawing from the race to lead the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In a statement posted to Twitter, Morneau said he failed to receive enough support to move on to the third round of the selection process to become the next secretary-general of the intergovernmental agency. "I am proud to have used this opportunity to talk about issues that matter to Canadians and to the world — the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the fight against climate change, inclusive growth and seizing the opportunities of the digital world," Morneau's statement said. "I am looking forward to the next secretary-general being a strong voice on the important issues that affect us all." Morneau joined the OECD race after resigning suddenly as both finance minister and MP for Toronto Centre in August 2020, while the Liberal government was embroiled in the WE Charity scandal. He said at the time that he had been thinking of leaving federal politics and running for the top diplomatic post well before the WE Charity affair prompted his sudden departure from cabinet. The Paris-based OECD, established in 1961, collects statistical, economic and social data and helps develop evidence-based policies to address a wide range of global issues. Its 37 members account for approximately 60 per cent of the world's economy. Angel Gurría, a Mexican economist and former diplomat, has served as secretary-general since 2006. He will step down later this year. Two other candidates have announced they were chosen to move on to the next round — former EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström of Sweden and Philipp Hildebrand of Switzerland, who is currently vice-chair of BlackRock, the world's largest investment management company. We Charity scandal Prior to his resignation, both Morneau and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came under fire for participating in cabinet discussions that led to the awarding of a contract to WE Charity for the administration of the federal government's COVID-19 summer student grants program — despite both men having close personal ties to the organization. Morneau's daughter Grace worked at WE in the travel department at the time. His other daughter, Clare, has spoken at WE Day events. Morneau also admitted to belatedly paying back over $41,000 in travel expenses to WE Charity for trips he took with the organization to Ecuador and Kenya. Trudeau has participated in WE events and several of his family members have been paid to do so as well. Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion ended his investigation into Morneau's trips in October, saying he accepted the former minister's contention that he thought he had reimbursed the travel costs. But Dion continues to investigate whether both Trudeau and Morneau breached the Conflict of Interest Act by failing to recuse themselves from cabinet deliberations about WE Charity. Dion's office would not speculate Tuesday on when the ethics commissioner might deliver his verdict. "Both examinations are ongoing and Commissioner Dion will report on them once they have been completed," it said. "There is no timeline for when his reports will be released. Our office conducts investigations thoroughly and with a high degree of diligence, and we make the reports public as quickly as possible." Public servants supported campaign Despite reports of friction between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Morneau during the summer months over the WE Charity scandal, Trudeau had endorsed his former finance minister for the diplomatic post, saying Canada would "vigorously support" Morneau's candidacy. According to figures tabled in the House of Commons in November, 19 public servants at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) were working on a part-time basis to support Morneau's campaign. In a written response to a question from Conservative Saskatchewan MP Corey Tochor about the cost of that support, the department said it didn't have a final price tag for all diplomatic and advocacy efforts. The campaign had incurred $6,265.76 in hospitality costs by that time as part of the outreach to OECD member delegates and "other OECD-related representatives based in Paris." Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said the government is disappointed that Morneau did not have enough support to continue in the race to head the OECD. "We felt that Bill Morneau was the ideal candidate for the job in these difficult times," Garneau said in French in the House of Commons. He thanked the former minister for his "dedication" and his work on improving Canadians' quality of life. "Although this isn't the outcome we'd hoped for, we will be working with the next secretary-general for the OECD, who will be chosen by its members."
New Brunswick prosecutors will not lay criminal charges against police officers involved in the shooting death of Rodney Levi of Metepenagiag First Nation. Levi, 48, was shot and killed by RCMP on June 12, 2020, when they responded to a call for assistance on Boom Road, about 30 kilometres southwest of Miramichi. "In our opinion, the peace officers in question were acting lawfully to protect the residents of the home on that fateful evening," the New Brunswick Office of the Attorney General said in a statement Tuesday. Levi was the second Indigenous person killed by police in New Brunswick within a two-week period. The first was Chantel Moore, a 26-year-old woman of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation in British Columbia, who was living in Edmundston. She was shot by an Edmundston police officer. Quebec's police watchdog, which was asked to investigate both killings, released its report on the Moore case around the same time as its report on Levi's. The Crown decided not to pursue charges in the Levi case after it reviewed the report from the Bureau des Enquêtes indépendantes du Québec (BEI). It has not said whether charges will be laid in the Moore case. The two deaths sparked an outcry from the community, including calls for charges and an inquiry into systemic racism in the justice system in New Brunswick. 'This is not over' Alisa Lombard, the lawyer for the Levi family, said Tuesday that family members are considering their legal options and would not comment for now. "This is not over. Far from it," she said. "But for the moment, I think they just need some time to process before going out there and saying anything." Lombard said the family met with the BEI and the director of prosecutions on Tuesday to learn details of the investigation. "They're processing the information that was shared today and they did receive a lot of answers that they did not have prior," she said. Tasered 3 times In Levi's case, the BEI sent eight investigators to the Miramichi area and interviewed 11 witnesses. The Crown prepared a legal opinion, and shared it publicly Tuesday. The opinion includes a summary of each witness account. The legal opinion says one of the witnesses, a close relative of Levi, describes him as "being severely depressed," in the days before he was killed. "He kept talking about suicide and more specifically about 'suicide by RCMP' and was wondering if he would go to Heaven," the legal opinion says. "She [the witness] states that this is all he was talking about." The opinion says Levi was living with this witness at the time. "According to her, Mr. Levi left her place in the afternoon of June 12. She never saw him after that." Other witnesses who were at the house where Levi was shot describe him holding two knives and refusing to let go. Witnesses said he was Tasered three times. He dropped one of the knives after the second or third time but bent down to pick it up immediately, the summary says. Multiple witnesses also describe Levi moving toward one of the police officers with the knife, and that's when he was shot twice. "Some describe his move as a 'step,' other as 'lunging' with one witness describing the move as a 'charge,'" the summary says. The attorney general's media release said the BEI investigation also looked at a short video taken by one of the witnesses "that shows part of the actual event," and expert reports. The media release said in order to lay charges, the Crown must be able to see "evidence to provide a reasonable prospect of conviction." The Crown prosecutor's office did not see such evidence after reviewing the BEI report, the release said. The release said the officer opened fire after "repeated attempts to engage with Mr. Levi peacefully, and followed several applications of a Taser to disarm him from the dangerous weapons (knives) he refused to yield." Inquest planned Regardless of charges, New Brunswick's Office of the Chief Coroner will be conducting an inquest into Levi's death on Oct. 4. The exact location and who will preside has not yet been announced. During the inquest, the coroner and a jury will hear evidence and "make recommendations aimed at preventing deaths under similar circumstances in the future," a provincial news release said. New Brunswick RCMP Commanding Officer Larry Tremblay said in a statement the RCMP "respect the decision made by the Public Prosecutions Services," and will not be offering any further comment related to the BEI investigation.