An Indian study is casting doubt on the effectiveness of giving patients sick with COVID-19 the blood plasma of others who have battled it, to transfer antibodies. But Canadian researchers say it could still work, if the antibody levels are tested.
An Indian study is casting doubt on the effectiveness of giving patients sick with COVID-19 the blood plasma of others who have battled it, to transfer antibodies. But Canadian researchers say it could still work, if the antibody levels are tested.
EARLTON – Skaters will have to lace up elsewhere in Earlton this year. Armstrong Township council agreed to not have ice installed this winter at the Earlton Recreation Centre. Options were discussed and the decision was agreed upon at council’s regular meeting November 25. Mayor Jean Marc Boileau asked council what they wanted to do in terms of having the ice installed or not. He commented that the town could create an outdoor ice rink outside of the Recreation Centre, but users still would need to come inside the building to put on their skates or use the washrooms. “We have washrooms here but then you also have the gym-goers on the other side,” he said. Issues also were raised that if the ice was installed, the town would have to monitor the number of users in the change rooms and building to remain in line with COVID-19 protocols. Councillor Kevin Léveillé noted that Earlton’s winter festival isn’t happening this winter and Boileau said that École catholique Assomption had told him that its students wouldn’t be skating at the arena this school year. Councillor Michèle Rivard commented that the Englehart and Area Community Arena Complex has its ice installed and that if Earlton didn’t put its ice in that “it sucks that we wouldn’t have ours open, but at least the kids could still do public skating and they would have to go there.” Councillor Matt Golcic said that he didn’t feel Earlton’s arena numbers were all that high anyway and wondered what they were last season. Boileau responded that the arena had about 342 users last winter and part of those numbers were children who would come over with the school, but also that it didn’t happen very often. “Last year was a bad year,” he noted. “I don’t know why.” Council then asked acting public works foreman Caleb Fotheringham what his thoughts were on having ice installed or not so that they could come to a consensus on a decision. Fotheringham said that with no school users or other events happening this winter that he would recommend that the town doesn’t have ice this year at the arena. “If you want to have ice, I’m sure we can make it work, but I would recommend (that we have) no ice.” Council agreed and approved a motion for an ice-free arena this season.Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker
A former Barrie surgeon has given up his licence to practise medicine and has promised his regulatory body to never apply to register as a physician ever again, anywhere. The agreement arose following a College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) disciplinary hearing last week. “The agreement to never reapply for registration… is the maximum level of punishment available in this situation,” said CPSO communications advisor Josh McLarnon. The college had earlier launched investigations into Dr. Emad M. Guirguis and his now-defunct Lakeview Surgery Centre on Dunlop Street following complaints. He was found to perform cosmetic surgery that was outside his scope of practice as a physician, not having the proper training and certification. He also engaged in unprofessional conduct through online advertising and communications with a specific patient. In addition to the practice ban, he was ordered to pay $6,000. “Dr. Guirguis has been brought forward to the discipline committee on a number of occasions,” McLarnon added. An investigation was first launched in 2015 resulting in a caution three years later. Another caution was later issued relating to his compliance of the first issue. In one complaint, Guirguis tried to perform bariatric revision gastric band surgery, but decided not to complete the surgery because he encountered extensive scar tissue from previous surgeries. According to documents from the college’s compliance and monitoring department, he perforated the patient’s bowel during the surgery, resulting in ongoing complications. The complainant said he did not communicate or follow up with her after the surgery or provide a refund of her fee. “The committee... was of the view that the respondent’s pre-operative assessment was insufficient,” the decision of the inquiries, complaints and reports committee found. In another report, an independent assessor concluded: “Dr. Guirguis did not meet the standard of practice of the profession in some of the cases reviewed; his knowledge was adequate but basic; his surgical skills were adequate for his limited scope of practice; his judgment was not always adequate, mostly because the brief documentation does not allow a full understanding of his train of thought and exposes omissions or incomplete assessments; and in the reviewed cases his clinical practice, behaviour, or conduct had the potential to expose one patient to harm.” Other assessors, it added, found broad deficiencies in Dr. Guirguis’s practice. In a report from Dec. 14, 2018, Guirguis was cautioned about not providing a full explanation of a procedure to a patient and ensuring the patient had full clarity about what was going to be done following a complaint to the college about the outcome of a cosmetic surgical procedure. According to CPSO documents, Guirguis agreed he has engaged in an act or omission relevant to the practice of medicine that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonourable or unprofessional. He was ultimately found to have committed an act of professional misconduct. Dr. Guirguis’s certificate of registration expired Sept. 4, 2020. In addition to the clinic, Guirguis was also once a staff general surgeon at Barrie’s Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre. Guirguis did not respond to requests for comment, but according to his Facebook page he is studying for his master's degree in theological studies at Tyndale University College and Seminary.Marg. Bruineman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, barrietoday.com
The images of Mississauga in years to come are stunning. The city’s waterfront has been opened up to the public and painted with modern architecture, while the wasteland of parking lots around Square One has spawned gleaming glass towers that rise to the sky. Hurontario Street boasts a sleek and modern LRT, while Dundas Street has its own rapid transit corridor shuttling residents from east to west and back again. The air is clean and Mississauga has become a destination for everyone. Those renderings of Mississauga in the next ten to twenty years are exhilerating, inspiring and creative, but they’re relatively easy to conjure. A talented graphic designer and an urban planner with half an imagination can easily create the beautiful mockups, specifically designed to draw pre-construction down payments and other investments into the projects. In the short term, there is a huge obstacle to this vision. Years of underinvestment in rapidly aging infrastructure have taken their toll and the city faces a laundry list of urgent problems it must tackle before it can really embrace its future. Nowhere is this neglect more apparent than the fire service. At $122 million, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services (MFES) makes up 22 percent of the City’s net 2021 operating budget. The service is proposing a modest increase of two percent in its operating budget, driven largely by labour adjustments in its union contracts, which are already set. Despite its status as the single greatest expense Mississauga taxpayers bear, the service is woefully below its required response times and has buildings in a desperate state of repair. Difficulties as a result of COVID-19 mean education and enforcement plans designed to reduce call outs and offset terrible response times have also been delayed. Figures included in the 2021 budget refer to 2019, the last year for which a complete dataset is available. In 2019, the number of fires the City responded to grew, after falling slightly in 2018. Last year, there were 167 residential fires and 384 in buildings of all kinds. According to staff, a comparison of data from 2018 and 2019 shows a significant increase of 19 percent in unintentional fires related to mechanical or electrical failures. The risk of hard-to-fight fires will only increase in the years to come. Already, the city is home to 340 buildings exceeding a height of 18 metres, a point at which they are deemed “high risk” by firefighters. With massive high-rise projects on the planning horizon, such as Oxford Property’s 37-tower Square One development, that number is going to go up with every passing year. A risk assessment completed by MFES found industrial fires were another key worry for the city. Only 1.9 percent of property in Mississauga is industrial, yet 12 percent of fire loss takes place in these settings. “This is significantly higher than the provincial average and higher than expected given the actual number of industrial occupancies,” the budget says. Even with the increase in fires, the number of calls attended by the service was down in 2019. An unlabeled chart in the budget document shows calls significantly below 2018 levels, after years of consistent increases. Mississauga Fire’s central and well-documented failing is its response time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) sets a target for the first vehicle to arrive at a fire within 384 seconds of a call coming in 90 percent of the time. To achieve this, the standard target is 240 seconds (four minutes) for travel time. For years, Mississauga has failed to hit this target. In 2019, the department admitted defeat and asked council to lower its target to 240 seconds 75 percent of the time instead of 90. On its internal metrics, MFES does better, but on both fronts 2019 saw travel times barely improved from the previous year and concerningly far from their targets. Mississauga’s plan to close the gap is two-fold. The first pillar is a capital program to add six stations over 12 years. The first of these was opened in 2019, with strategic locations identified to attempt to reduce callout times by targeting underserved areas and reducing how long trucks spend in traffic. The service’s 10-year capital plan includes $7.9 million to construct Fire Station 123 by 2023 and a further $14.9 million to build Station 124 by the same deadline. Further funds after 2023 will be set aside for Fire Stations 125, 126, 127 and 128. The Public Safety Reserve levy, designed to raise funds to buy land and build these new stations, was collected in 2020. For 2021, the City has put it on hold “to assist in managing the 2021 tax impact,” but says it will not have an effect on construction. A delay in acquiring land for Station 124 means the costs will fall into the 2022 budget instead. As The Pointer has previously reported in a three part investigation, the City’s problems go beyond its need for new infrastructure. Fourteen of Mississauga’s 21 fire stations are more than 20 years old and some are in desperate condition. Three cannot be upgraded to meet standards and will need to be rebuilt from scratch, while City documents also show at least nine stations have asbestos in them. The internal audit that informed The Pointer’s reporting estimated $31.4 million to get the 14 stations up to standard, excluding the cost of rebuilding the three unfixable stations. No money has been put into the 2021 budget for these projects, with promises to get to them eventually. The 10-year capital plan suggests funds will be put aside to renovate Fire Station 102, 108 and 115. However, Fire Station 108 is the only building included in the City’s damning audit slated for repair from 2022 onwards. Chief Nancy Macdonald-Duncan told The Pointer a plan to repair the other stations featured in the audit would be presented to council in January 2021. The move means funds can’t be set aside until at least 2022, when the City is already predicting a significant tax hike. “The plan is to return to Council in January on this topic,” Macdonald-Duncan told The Pointer by email. “The Fire Building Condition Audit study was completed in 2019, and with the disruption of COVID-19 in 2020, it was difficult to integrate the study’s recommendations into the capital plan in time for the budget presentation. This is still a work in progress.” The Pointer's Forgotten Fire Series: The second part of Mississauga Fire and Emergency’s plan is to increase targeted enforcement and education. The service hopes improved public awareness and safety can reduce the number of callouts, freeing up trucks and reducing response times as a result. This need for education and inspections is glaringly obvious. Data from the past four years show 62 percent of all fire calls are to locations that do not have a working fire alarm, despite it being a legal requirement to own one. Two elements are slated to make this change: a proactive fire inspection program and a public education program. The education program proposes 2 full time staff members for the 2022 budget, but does not draw on the 2021 finances. The proactive inspection element is set to hire seven staff in 2022 and have 13 in 2023. The Interim Chief says, while budget savings are a welcome bonus, the pandemic means the two programs would be difficult to deliver even if funds were flowing more freely. “COVID-19 closures and precautions did not allow for a normal public education program nor for the full implementation of proactive inspections,” she said. “Public education traditionally involves attending and hosting public events, meetings etc. Proactive inspections were difficult to conduct when businesses were closed or in the interest of limiting exposure between inspectors and the public. So this program would have been deferred or greatly reduced due to COVID19 anyway; the hiring deferral did help the City with its deficit situation, but the delays made sense from a program standpoint as well.” As strong as the pandemic justification may be, it doesn’t avoid the reality of the situation facing Mississauga fire. Response times remain well below their targets, fire stations are in desperate need of repair and inspections can’t yet take place. The plan? Wait until next year. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @isaaccallan Tel: 647 561-4879 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.Isaac Callan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
Nisga’a Nation declared a state of local emergency on Nov. 26 amid rising COVID-19 cases and an exposure in the Nisga’a Elementary Secondary School community. Six school aged children have tested positive for the virus. Other positive cases are linked to two family gatherings in Gitlaxt’aamiks (New Aiyansh). As of Dec. 2, Nisga’a Valley Health Authority (NVHA) has confirmed 32 positive COVID-19 tests. “We are all in this together,” said Eva Clayton, Nisga’a Lisims president in a media release. “We must follow all provincial and Nisga’a health orders to ensure we stop further spread of this serious virus.” Until Dec. 10, entrance to Gitlaxt’aamiks will only be allowed from 8:00 a.m. to midnight — security personnel are monitoring the entrance to the village and patrolling the village from midnight to 7:00 a.m. According to a Nov. 26 Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government communique, family gatherings and house-parties are prohibited and all offices, churches, and the recreation centre are closed. Masks are mandatory in the village and visitors to Gitlaxt’aamiks are prohibited. The communique states that the majority of COVID-19 cases in the Nass Valley are in Gitlaxt’aamiks and that house parties continue to be a concern. READ MORE: Students at Nisga’a school test positive for COVID-19 “We are meeting regularly and undertaking comprehensive COVID-19 management action,” said Brandi Trudell-Davis, NVHA chief executive officer in the Nov. 26 release. “We look to our Nation, communities, families and individuals to actively take precautionary measures to stop the spread. We are all in this together and and it is the only way we will all get through this.” NVHA is working with the Northern Health Authority to monitor and trace COVID-19 cases.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
Dr. Alfonso Fasano tests the Percept PC deep brain stimulation system on Gord Luke, who has Parkinson's disease, at the Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto.
Shawn Mendes, “Wonder” (Island)On his 14-track fourth album, Shawn Mendes is airy, grand, intense and rapturous. It is the sound of a man totally and hopelessly in love.Adoration is baked into “Wonder,” from the almost religious-sounding title track as Mendes sings “I wonder what it’s like to be loved by you," to the last song, where, with a voice shaking with emotion, he sings over acoustic guitar: ”I can’t imagine what a world would be without you." The album's cover captures Mendes ecstatic, floating in waves.Though she is mentioned only once — in the liner notes, thanked right after his family — it's not hard to find the source of this ardour: Mendes’ longtime romantic and quarantine partner, singer Camila Cabello. Whatever happens to this couple in the future, she has inspired a hopelessly romantic set.“Teach Me How to Love” flirts with ’80s disco (with Anderson .Paak on drums) and “305” (the area code to Cabello's Miami) is a candy-colored piece of '60s doo-wop in which Mendes sings to his lover, “If there’s a door to heaven, baby you’re the key.” The lovers are finding a new home to share in “24 Hours” — “It’s a little soon but I wanna come home to you,” he sings.Mendes' falsetto soars with pure glee atop a pillow of strings on the standout “Look Up at the Stars” (where Mendes sings “the universe is ours” in a Coldplay “Yellow” way) and “Always Been You” is both soaring and triumphant. This is music you’d hear in a mall in heaven.The only tune that veers out of the love zone is Mendes’ duet with Justin Bieber, “Monster,” an outstanding moody banger about how early fame messes with you, sung by a rising heartthrob singer-songwriter and an established one.In-demand producer Kid Harpoon, who took Harry Stiles to new heights on “Fine Line,” is all over this gooey album. There's little of the urgency Mendes has shown before — no “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” or ”In My Blood" — and “Wonder” is sometimes hard to take during extended plays — especially its pointless intro — but to find fault with it is to find fault with love itself.___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitsMark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Downhill enthusiasts were out of the starting gate early as Castle Mountain Resort opened its doors this past weekend. The Huckleberry chair was operating Nov. 27 to 29 as part of the resort’s preview weekend. The opening marks the earliest that powder lovers have been able to visit the ski hill in over 10 years. With lockdowns and business closures an all-too-common aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic, the resort’s early opening is a welcomed positive achieved through co-operation between health officials and the Canada West Skiers Association. “It’s difficult to say there’s a bright spot in the middle of a terrible thing like a pandemic,” says Cole Fawcett, Castle Mountain Resort’s sales and marketing manager. “But in the ski industry, one of the bright spots of this whole thing is that the industry is closer than it’s ever been.” To ensure visitor safety at ski hills, individual resorts within the Association collaborated and received input from provincial health agencies to form a set of rules and guidelines for the 2020-2021 season. The result, continues Cole, is not only that safety measures will be consistent for ski resorts across Alberta and British Columbia but also the unity within the industry itself. “It’s been so heartwarming and wonderful that we’ve been working side by side with some resorts who we would consider to be some of our largest competitors,” he says. Safety measures at the hill essentially follow the public health recommendations for people to practise increased sanitization, physical distancing and wearing face coverings. Face coverings Face coverings are required at Castle Mountain when purchasing tickets, waiting in lift lines and riding the lift. Face coverings are also mandatory in outdoor areas where people may be gathering and while indoors. Visitors’ face coverings must be a solid piece of multi-layer fabric with a snug fit that fully covers the nose and mouth. Children five and under are the only exception to this requirement, though the ski hill also recommends they wear face coverings. Tickets and rentals For the 2020-21 season, no multi-day tickets are available. Only single-day tickets are offered, which can be purchased at www.skicastle.ca/tickets and on-site at the outdoor ticketing windows. The guest services area will be open only for people needing a season pass printed or replaced, as well as corporate ticket pickups, direct-to-lift upgrades and administration office inquiries. Currently, the ski hill does not anticipate needing to limit the number of daily ticket sales, though the number of guests will be monitored. Should public health restrictions increase in the future to limit visitors to the hill, season pass holders will have priority access.Rentals are still available through the Alpenland location at the resort. Visitors are encouraged to fill out their rental information before going to the hill online at https://bit.ly/RentAlpenland. Rentals can also be completed in person. Staff are available to help over the phone at 403-627-5389. Lodge Indoor spaces will be operating at reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing can be maintained. A dedicated entrance and exit has been established in the lodge to help manage the flow of visitors. No foot traffic will be permitted into the lodge through the snow school entrance. A valid season pass or day ticket is required to access the upstairs portion of the lodge. Bags, boots and other personal items cannot be left in the day lodge. Visitors are asked to store their items and change into their ski or snowboard boots in their vehicles. The downstairs area of the lodge is reserved for Castle Mountain staff only. Additional weatherproof shelters have been set up outside for guests wishing to warm up and enjoy their own lunch. Simplified food and drink options will be offered at the cafeteria and T-Bar Pub in order to balance health guidelines with service speed and guest needs. For the safety of visitors and staff, it’s asked that all visits to the lodge be less than 30 minutes. Guests using the outdoor eating areas are also asked to be aware of time so others can use the space. Additional sanitizing measures are in place to clean high-touch areas both during operations and after hours. Hand-sanitizing stations will be added to several base area locations. Lifts, snow school and cat skiing Cohorts and families are asked to ride the lift together. Single or double riders will not be forced to ride with anyone outside their cohort. Lift queue configurations will also be slightly different to facilitate physical distancing. While most snow school programs will still be available, supervised lunches and childcare services will not be provided this season unless specifically offered through a program, such as Little Castle Club. Private family lessons have also been added as a program option. Castle’s Powder Stagecoach cat-skiing operation is also continuing this season with minor adjustments. Group sizes have been reduced to one group of up to 12 guests each day. As a result, cat skiing is now being offered five days per week. Staff will no longer sit in the passenger cabin to facilitate guest comfort. Face coverings are mandatory inside the stagecoach, with all guests receiving a complimentary two-layer neck tube. The stagecoach and avalanche equipment will be sanitized at the end of each day. Season goals The staff at Castle Mountain are excited about bringing skiers and snowboarders world-class runs in an enjoyable, safe experience. While business profitability is important, Cole says the season’s measure of success is going to be much different than years past. “The main measurement of success is going to be: did people enjoy themselves, did they do it safely, were our staff safe, [and] did they enjoy themselves as much as possible given the circumstances,” he says. Learning through the experience, he adds, is also an opportunity for the resort to improve operations. “We hope that we take some of the practices that we’ve implemented that maybe actually enhance the experience of our guests and continue them on an ongoing basis.” Additional information is available on the resort’s website, www.skicastle.ca. A special page dedicated to Covid-19 measures will be updated as needed at www.skicastle.ca/covid19. Visitors are also encouraged to call 403-627-5101.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
McNab/Braeside’s $10-million 2021 budget, set to be passed on Dec. 15, is still “very fluid,” according to township treasurer Kelly Coughlin. She cannot comment on whether taxpayers will pay more taxes in 2021. “I don’t want to give taxpayers the impression that there will be no increase. There are some items that need to be finalized in the coming weeks, that could change the numbers,” Coughlin said in a phone interview Dec. 1. Mayor Tom Peckett, however, said he is confident that there will be “almost no increase in money required from the taxpayers” in an interview Nov. 26. “There’s a little bit of tweaking but I fully expect (the 2021 budget) to be passed on Dec. 15,” he said. “It’s almost equal to last year’s budget.” The first draft of the township’s 2021 budget proposed a 9.59 per cent tax levy increase over this year, with a big chunk of spending set aside for the roads department. “Once it’s passed, we’ll explain how we got there. I can’t really quantify (it yet),” he said. The pandemic has impacted next year’s budget. Expediting the systems required to stream public meetings online will be part of expenses next year. The mayor talked about moving into a new township building in January this year, “getting the kinks out of (the building)” and tackling one of the priorities for council: being able to stream online. “It was always on council’s agenda to get it done. With COVID-19, it’s taking a bit longer than we would have liked to. It’s been a work in progress for us,” Peckett said. “That’s why it’s (included) in the budget. We’re getting there,” he said. He cannot disclose how much updating the systems will cost. Coughlin said that the biggest consequence that the pandemic had on the township’s budget is on recreation programs. “We have to reimagine our programming because of the restrictions on the number (of participants). It impacts indoor programming, and there will be an impact on the revenue side of the things,” she said. “Staff is trying to adjust the operating budgets. We still want to have money available to provide programming to the ratepayers. On the Dec. 15 budget, I will be providing a comprehensive report summarizing the key things included in the budget,” Coughlin added. The treasurer stressed that there have been changes since their last council meeting. “The overall budget is a little over $10 million, that’s what it currently is. That is subject to change. Everything will be finalized on Dec. 15,” she said. Asked if taxpayers can expect any surprises in the budget next year, the mayor said “not for me there isn’t (a surprise). It’s the same as usual, there’s always an increase in fuel cost and labour cost. It’s pretty well the usual.” A notice is posted on the township’s website about the upcoming meeting: “Notice is hereby given that the Council of the Township of McNab/Braeside intends to consider passing a Bylaw to adopt the 2021 Operating and Capital budgets in accordance with Section 290 of the Municipal Act, 2001 at the Regular Meeting of Council to be held on Dec. 15, 2021 at 7 p.m. at the Township Council Chambers, 2473 Russett Dr.”Yona Harvey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Smiths Falls Record News
Sherbrooke — Alors que les mesures pour accroître l’autonomie alimentaire fusent depuis quelques mois, les agriculteurs urbains comme Agropol se sentent bien souvent oubliés. Ils ont beau « penser en dehors de la boîte », mais la boîte, elle, ne s’agrandit pas tellement, constatent-ils. « En tant qu’agriculteur urbain, on ne tombe pas dans la chaise de l’agriculteur traditionnel. On n’a pas nécessairement droit à de l’aide ou à la reconnaissance de tout ça. On n’est pas non plus un restaurant, donc on ne va pas avoir les subventions gouvernementales qui permettent de couvrir le loyer actuellement. On tombe vraiment entre deux chaises, c’est quelque chose avec lequel on vit depuis deux ans et demi. On apprend à voir ça venir et à le dévier d’une façon ou d’une autre et à essayer d’être inventif », confie Samuel Sigouin, copropriétaire d’Agropol, cette ferme urbaine qui cultive verticalement des pousses biologiques et qui se spécialise aussi dans la transformation alimentaire. Difficile par exemple de profiter des incitatifs d’expansion pour les productions serricoles annoncés vendredi dernier, même s’ils doivent contrôler l’environnement de leur culture, puisqu’un bâtiment ou milieu fermé ne fait pas partie des dépenses admissibles. Difficile aussi d’aller chercher une aide auprès de la Financière agricole, qui a refusé leurs demandes pour différents motifs, indique-t-il. « On se bat souvent pour des niaiseries. Et les jeunes entrepreneurs, on n’est pas non plus toujours pris au sérieux. On se fait demander une fois sur deux si on fait pousser du cannabis parce qu’on fait de la culture intérieure », témoigne M. Sigouin. L’entrepreneur déplore également l’absence de soutien de la Ville de Sherbrooke, qui n’offre ni programme d’accompagnement ni subventions pour ce genre de projets. La municipalité a bien un PDZA (Plan de développement de la zone agricole), mais il ne couvre que la région périurbaine. À quand donc un plan d’agriculture urbaine à Sherbrooke, comme l’ont fait Québec, Longueuil, et même la MRC de Rimouski-Neigette ? Gabrielle Rondeau-Leclaire, présidente de REVE Nourricier (Réseau d’espaces verts éducatif et nourricier), pose la question. « Il y a une effervescence à Sherbrooke et j’ai confiance que l’agriculture urbaine pourrait prendre sa place, plaide-t-elle. Le problème c’est qu’on n’a vraiment pas de soutien concret du côté municipal. On n’a pas non plus de structure qui encadre l’agriculture urbaine en ce moment. En mon sens à moi, parmi les gens qui constituent la relève agricole de demain, la plupart habitent en ville. Les gens qui ont les étoiles dans les yeux et toute la gang d’étudiants qui sont à l’université, qu’on le veuille ou non, ils vivent en ville. Et tous ces gens-là n’ont pas vraiment de contact avec l’agriculture ou même avec la source de leur alimentation. Je pense que c’est en faisant de l’agriculture urbaine qu’on vient éduquer la population et qu’on vient éventuellement créer de la relève », dit Mme Rondeau-Leclaire. « Nouvelle ère » L’élue municipale Nicole Bergeron, présidente du Comité consultatif agricole de la Ville de Sherbrooke, démontre une grande ouverture devant ce genre de projets à Sherbrooke. Mais avec un PDZA qui vient à peine d’être lancé (mars 2018) et des élections dans moins d’un an, il faudra fort probablement attendre le prochain mandat pour un véritable plan d’agriculture urbaine, dit-elle. « En temps de pandémie plus que jamais, on demande aux gens d’être créatifs, innovants, et de sortir des sentiers battus. On a tous des défis pour dire comment on peut arriver à faire en sorte d’aider un entrepreneur qui, avec son projet, est un peu différent de ce qu’on a l’habitude de voir. [...] Ça, il faut le faire d’une façon concertée et faire le tour du dossier avec les différents partenaires qui peuvent aider une entreprise », commente-t-elle sans ne pouvoir cibler précisément le cas d’Agropol. Celle-ci assure également que « Sherbrooke sera là » en ce qui concerne le développement du secteur serricole enclenché par le gouvernement à l’aide d’un investissement de 112 M$. « On est dans une nouvelle ère et il faut s’adapter. On peut penser qu’on aura une réflexion plus globale à faire pour voir comment on peut atteindre une plus grande autonomie alimentaire [...] Il y aura sûrement bientôt plusieurs projets qui seront présentés. En amont, on va réfléchir où on souhaite le faire, comment et avec qui. » Même que Mme Bergeron n’exclut pas de rendre le zonage plus flexible à l’endroit de projets d’agriculture urbaine. Une stratégie à venir Le ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation indique de son côté « travailler ardemment à ce que les producteurs agricoles urbains trouvent leur place à l’intérieur des mesures du Ministère » et mentionne que les agriculteurs urbains sont considérés au même titre que les agriculteurs ruraux en ce qui a trait aux programmes et initiatives bonifiés dans les dernières semaines. On affirme également qu’une deuxième stratégie de soutien à l’agriculture urbaine est en cours d’élaboration. Celle-ci s’intéressera, comme la première, à l’agriculture urbaine commerciale, communautaire et citoyenne, promet-on. La première stratégie du genre, instaurée par l’ex-ministre Pierre Paradis sous le gouvernement Couillard, est venue à échéance en 2019. Jasmine Rondeau, Initiative de journalisme local, La Tribune
Public Health reported six new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Wednesday, including one in Edmundston (Zone 4), which has had few cases throughout the pandemic, and two in Bathurst.Here is the breakdown: * one person 50 to 59 in the Moncton region (Zone 1) * one person 19 and under in the Saint John region (Zone 2) * one person 19 and under in the Fredericton region (Zone 3) * one person 40 to 49 in the Edmundston region (Zone 4) * one person 50 to 59 in the Bathurst region (Zone 6) * one person 60 to 69 in the Bathurst region (Zone 6)All are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation.The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 514 and 388 people have recovered. There have been seven deaths, and the number of active cases is 119, with none in the hospital.As of today, 127,999 tests have been conducted, with 1,321 tests conducted since this time on Tuesday.Teachers feeling 'stressed,' concerned about studentsTeachers are feeling stressed and anxious throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Union says.Rick Cuming said teachers are also expressing concern for their students, colleagues and their own family members. "They're experiencing less preparation time," he said."They're experiencing more supervision to keep kids safe."He said teachers have been forced to supervise kids over recess and lunch, just to make sure no one is talking while their masks are off.Some teachers are even struggling to get someone to cover their class so they can go to the washroom.> What this year is about, is survival. \- Rick Cuming, president of the New Brunswick Teachers' Union"They really don't have any downtime whatsoever."And now, teachers are setting their sights on Christmas vacation at the end of the month."They're sort of pushing through to get there."Some students aren't even showing up to class due to the province's recent decision to roll back certain regions to the orange phase."That is the best place for students to get their social needs, their mental health, their overall well-being met," he said. "That's the best place for teaching to occur."During Tuesday's news briefing, Education Minister Dominic Cardy said New Brunswick students and teachers could get an extended holiday because of the pandemic."It is one of the measures that we are considering right now to see if it would allow us to reduce stress for the school staff and also students and their parents," Cardy said."But it is only one element on a long list of things considered every day," he said.The Christmas break is currently scheduled for Dec. 18 until Jan. 3.Cuming said he wasn't surprised by the announcement, as this has been happening in different jurisdictions across the country."What this year is about, is survival," he said.Hundreds answer Horizon callout for staffing helpHorizon Health Network says it has received hundreds of applications in response to a callout last week for retirees and students to bolster its staffing.In a Nov. 26 tweet, the health network said it was asking retirees, students and the community "to assist with the COVID-19 outbreak should the need arise."In an email, chief human resources director Maura McKinnon said Horizon has identified "an urgent need for staffing" at the Saint John Regional Hospital, as well as at assessment centres in Saint John and Fredericton.As of Wednesday, 260 people had put their hand up to help, and offer letters have been sent out to 37 people so far.Students and retired health-care professionals have been stepping up to assist since the early stages of our pandemic response, McKinnon said, noting "we have had retired physicians, clinicians and … other retirees" helping out in a variety of roles. New hires are now coming onboard daily.They're given mandatory e-learning and additional onsite orientation, and then will help fill a variety of roles, depending on their background experience, including: registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists, personal care attendants, medical laboratory assistants, environmental services and administrative staff and pandemic screeners."Not all of our staffing needs require direct patient contact," McKinnon said. "We place them only in settings or environments where they are comfortable working, and within the scope of their professional expertise or applicable licence."Shannex says latest test results are negativeShannex says it has received the results for tests done on Monday at Howe Hall and Millidge Hall, which are part of its Parkland Saint John campus, and is "pleased to report that all results were returned negative."Shannex Parkland has a total of 15 confirmed cases: 10 residents and four employees at Tucker Hall and one employee at Carleton Hall. Residents who tested positive are being cared for in a special area located on Simms Court, Shannex said in a statement posted on its website Wednesday.Results for testing conducted at Tucker Hall on Tuesday are expected within 24 hours. 100 international students feel isolated in MonctonStudents and administrators at the University of Moncton say they think adequate measures are in place to limit the spread of a COVID-19 outbreak on campus.Three positive cases were confirmed there on Monday.Students federation president Alexandre Arseneau said there's been adequate information and limited activity on campus, but he'd like to see more resources put into mental health supports, especially for the approximately 100 international students who are essentially trapped in residence."If we want to prevent outbreaks, we need to make sure that these people don't feel the need to not follow the restrictions," Arseneau said."We need to make sure these students have all the help and everything they need."University president and vice-chancellor Denis Prud'homme said online medical and mental health services are available to students.Prud'homme said a survey was done at mid-term to see what was going well and what needed improvement.He said the university administration is asking professors to help identify and refer students in need."We asked the profs to be aware a little bit more this year because students are not in class, but to make sure they remind the students if they have any problems to make them known so they could recommend them to the services that are available for them."Arseneau said it's turning out to be a difficult and disappointing academic year."We've seen our tuition go up 16 per cent just during the global pandemic. And the quality of the education online often doesn't respect the norms."Prud'homme defended the value of education being delivered as "fair" and "good.""We believe that we provide the best quality in the situation of this crisis, just like every university," he said.N.B. COVID-19 roundup: 'Superspreader' event responsible for 80% of Saint John cases * He added that it would likely improve as professors get used to remote learning technology.The school is not currently considering offering any kind of rebate, he said, but it will try to keep fee increases for next year to a minimum, as it tries to deal with a $10 million deficit.Potential public exposure warnings for Saint John, Moncton, FrederictonNew potential exposure warning for flight into MonctonNew Brunswick Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Nov. 28 while on the following flights: * Air Canada Flight 8372 from Fort McMurray to Calgary, departed 6:10 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 144 from Calgary to Toronto, departed at 11:15 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8918 from Toronto to Moncton, departed at 8:30 p.m.Public Health has also warned of the following possible exposures to the virus in the Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton areas, including gyms, stores, bars, restaurants and on flights.Saint John area * Cask and Kettle on Nov. 17, at 112 Prince William St., between 8 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., Saint John. * Churchill's Pub on Nov. 20, at 8 Grannan St., between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., Saint John. * Picaroons on Nov. 21, at 30 Canterbury St., between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Saint John. * Thandi's Restaurant on Nov. 21 between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. 33 Canterbury St., Saint John * Vito's Restaurant on Nov. 16, 111 Hampton Rd., Rothesay, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. * Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Nov. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., 39 King St., Saint John * Goodlife Fitness McAllister Place on Nov. 16 between noon and 1 p.m. and on Nov. 18 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., 519 Westmorland Rd., , Saint John. * NBCC Grandview campus on Nov. 16, 17, and 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., 950 Grandview Ave., Saint John. * Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio on Nov. 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., 47 Clark Rd., Rothesay * Big Tide Brewing Company at 47 Princess St. on Nov. 16, between 12:30 to 2 p.m., Saint John. * Java Moose at 84 Prince William St. Nov. 16, between 2 to 2:30 p.m., Saint John.Flights into Saint John:Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious onNov. 17 and Nov. 18while on the following flights: * Air Canada Flight 8421 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Kelowna to Vancouver, arrived at 8 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 314 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Vancouver to Montreal, arrived at 07:11 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8792 on Nov. 17 and 18, from Montreal to Saint John arrived at 9:22 p.m.Moncton * RD Maclean Co. Ltd. on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 200 St. George St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. * GoodLife Fitness on Nov. 21 at 555 Dieppe Blvd, Dieppe, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. * Keg Steakhouse and Bar at 576 Main St. on Nov. 17, between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.Flights into Moncton: * Air Canada Flight 178 on Nov. 19 from Edmonton to Toronto, arrived at 5:58 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 404 on Nov. 19 from Toronto to Montreal, arrived at 10:16 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8902 on Nov. 19 from Montreal to Moncton, arrived at 4:17 p.m.Fredericton area * The Snooty Fox on Nov. 18 and 19, 66 Regent St., between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. * GoodLife Fitness Fredericton on Nov. 18 at 1174 Prospect St. between 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. Nov. 19 between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. * The YMCA of Fredericton on Nov. 17 at 570 York St. throughout the evening. What to do if you have a symptomPeople 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.
Pincher Creek council met Nov. 23 to receive an update on the town’s economic development plan. In October 2019, council and administration contracted InnoVisions and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in economic development, to help address challenges surrounding the impending closure of the Shell Waterton Complex. The project has now shifted gears to helping local businesses and the regional economy navigate the tumultuous Covid-19 circumstances. While the development plan is still focused on utilizing the community’s assets to simultaneously support existing businesses and encourage new investment, retention is now the main focus, said InnoVisions president Natalie Gibson. “If you can’t keep the existing businesses you have,” said Ms. Gibson, the economic plan “would have not lent any value to the community.” As soon as the pandemic forced a provincial lockdown in March, the development planners put together a survey for local businesses to gather information on their immediate needs and concerns. The results were one of the first collected data sets on how Covid-19 was affecting small businesses in rural areas. Ms. Gibson said the feedback was instrumental in helping the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce organize the Business Recovery Support Plan and lovelocalPC campaign. “We’re hearing from some of the businesses that they are able to pivot, that they appreciate the coaching program,” she added. “They’re looking at the resiliency of can they hang on for x number of months, but more importantly can they diversify their business to lessen the ripple effect.” Results from a November survey are currently being gathered, with another potentially set to occur in February. A realignment of the Business Recovery Support Plan is planned for the start of the new year. Aspects of the town’s community economic strategy will also be finalized by March. A presentation will be made to council and the community at that time. Businesses interested in the program or in need of assistance are encouraged to reach out to the chamber at email@example.com or 403-627-5199. Passing on Santa Council voted not to attend the Bellecrest reverse Santa Parade planned for Nov. 26. With new provincial health restrictions announced Nov. 24, parade organizers ended up cancelling the event. Operations Q3 report The third-quarter operations report was the final topic of discussion. Highlights included the water main break repair at Veteran’s Street, and the Willow Street regrading and drainage project being completed. Inspections and repairs at the old RCMP building at 659 Main St. were also finalized so the site could be used by Alberta Health Services for conducting Covid-19 testing. Council did request a follow-up question be sent to operations regarding the ideal ratio between treated water sent out to residents versus water collected for treatment. 214,326 cubic metres of treated water was distributed from July to September while only 191,443 cubic metres was collected. Though the amount of water returning to be treated is typically lower, since not all water use is able to be captured by drains, past issues with water leakage made council curious what was considered a good ratio between water intake and distribution. Next meeting The next council meeting will be held virtually Monday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. The meeting can be accessed at https://www.gotomeet. me/TownofPincherCreekCouncil, and agenda packages are available online at https://bit.ly/ PcCouncil.Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
Paralympic champion Josh Dueck was named Canada's chef de mission for the 2022 Beijing Games on Wednesday.The Canadian Paralympic Hall of Famer from Kimberley, B.C., competed at two Games, winning gold in super combined alpine skiing and silver in downhill in 2014 after also taking silver in sitting slalom in 2010. The 39-year-old served as the closing ceremony flag-bearer in Sochi."When I got the call with the news that I was named to lead the Canadian Paralympic Team my mind started to dance with possibility," Dueck said. "To be a champion for sport, friend and mentor to the athletes and part of the support team for Canada at the Paralympic Games is an incredible privilege. There is a great sense of honour and duty that comes with this storied role, and I look forward to learning from our history and building on this legacy with our teams."Dueck, who lives in Vernon, B.C., was injured in a ski accident just six years before his Paralympic debut. The first person to successfully perform a back flip on a sit ski, Dueck now works as a peer mentor and motivational speaker as well as leading Freestyle BC.Dueck worked with CBC Sports as a broadcaster for the 2018 Paralympics. The 2022 Games are scheduled to run Mar. 4-13 from Beijing, with Canada planning to participate in all five sports.Speed skater and two-time gold medallist Catriona Le May Doan was recently named Olympic chef de mission for Beijing.WATCH | Josh Dueck excited to be chef de mission:Canadian Paralympic Committee president Marc-Andre Fabien said Dueck is poised to impact the 2022 team in a positive manner."He is the epitome of strong athlete leadership and will bring so much positive energy, thoughtful introspection, fresh ideas, and valuable support to the team. He is incredibly well respected within the sport community, has been a longtime passionate advocate for Paralympic sport and brings in many different experiences and perspectives from his many roles in sport," Fabien said.As chef de mission, Dueck is tasked with promoting Team Canada, guiding its athletes in Beijing and fostering a positive environment."The story of every athlete is filled with hope, opportunity, challenge and often uncertainty. Athletes are trained to embrace challenge, let go of the things they cannot control, and to persevere through even the most difficult situations, in an effort to be a little better today than we were yesterday," Dueck said. "In the world today, we need more beacons of hope that remind us we can rise above the challenges we face. My goal is to help share these stories of hope."
Newly-elected Yorkton, Sask., Mayor Mitch Hipplsey says Manitobans are still welcome in his city and there isn't much he could do to stop them if he wanted to.Both provinces are reporting high numbers of COVID-19 cases and health officials are asking people to avoid non-essential interprovincial travel.Yorkton is about 80 kilometres away from the Manitoba border, so Hipplsey said it's been very common to see Manitoba licence plates in that city since long before the pandemic started.Hipplsey said Manitobans are not only essential to the local economy, but between 12 and 15 per cent of patients at Yorkton's hospital are from that province. Not to mention the municipal government doesn't have any legal authority to stop Manitobans from coming there, Hippsley said."Interprovincial travel is not our rules [or] our protocol," he said, noting he has been in close contact with Premier Scott Moe."We hope that our provincial leaders will look after that for us, but it's not our legislation to control that."Hipplsey said he has heard concerns from some residents.He said he sympathizes with those concerns, but there isn't much the city can do aside from ensuring everyone is abiding by COVID-19 protocols like wearing a mask in indoor public places, physical distancing, regular hand washing and staying home when sick."We cannot stop people from doing what they're going to do. We can only ask that they be responsible."No interprovincial travel unless 'absolutely necessary'Moe said on Monday people should not travel interprovincially unless it's "absolutely necessary.""I know businesses and maybe [chambers of commerce] are hungry for business, but I would ask them as an organization and the individuals, whether they be in Manitoba or Saskatchewan, to follow the public health advice … that does not mean going for groceries in a neighbouring province," Moe told reporters."Let's make a little bit of an effort so that we can bend these numbers down and preserve all of the opportunities that we have in our province."The Yorkton Chamber of Commerce declined an interview request.Editorial in Man. newspaperThe Brandon Sun recently published an editorial criticizing Hipplsey's welcoming stance on Manitobans coming to Yorkton.It was in response to a CTV Regina story that featured the mayor saying Manitoba shoppers are always welcomed and encouraged.The editorial says inviting people from Manitoba to shop in Yorkton given the current pandemic circumstances puts people in Saskatchewan at a greater risk since there are considerably more active cases of COVID-19 in Manitoba."Communities in Manitoba have come here on a daily basis to get their essential needs, COVID or non-COVID," Hippsley told CBC News in response.He also reiterated that many Manitobans come to Yorkton for reasons other than shopping, like going to the hospital."Until the provincial governments get involved and stop people at the border, we've got no control over that."
The Orangeville Public Library has followed the trend of finding creative solutions to Christmas in 2020, — new ways to bring their usual festive activities to children in the community. Beginning on Dec. 4, children young and old will be able to tune in every Friday and enjoy a recording of Santa reading around the fireplace. Videos will be posted to the Orangeville Public Library’s YouTube channel at 10 a.m. on Dec. 4, 11, 18, and on Christmas Day. Additionally, the library will extend the festive fun through holiday-themed story time craft kits for families to enjoy together at home. These kits will be available for pickup from the Mill Street branch beginning on Dec. 4, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Stories with Santa program has been a favourite at the library over the years, with one aspect of it being Santa’s annual gift of literacy. This facet of the festivities will not be forgotten with the virtual event. Beginning on Dec. 18, children will be able to pick up a wrapped picture book at the Mill Street Library. There is a limit of one book per child, and quantities are limited. Additional virtual programming is available online during the closures via the library’s YouTube channel. Notifications are available by subscribing to the channel. For more information visit www.orangevillelibrary.ca.Tabitha Wells/Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Banner
Two seniors in Windsor-Essex have died due to COVID-19, the local health unit reported Wednesday.The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit said the two deaths were a man in his 90s who was living in a long-term care home and a woman in her 80s."We have lost 82 people to COVID-19," health unit CEO Theresa Marentette said, adding that 56 deaths have occurred in retirement and long-term care homes.There were 41 newly diagnosed cases announced Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total to 3,740. About 11 per cent — 410 cases — are currently active.Fifteen people are in hospital, with two in the intensive care unit.Of the 41 cases announced across the region, 13 are close contacts of a confirmed case, one is community acquired and 27 are still under investigation. There are 18 outbreaks in the community, including seven at workplaces. * Three in Leamington's agriculture sector. * One in Lakeshore's health care and social assistance sector. * One in a Leamington place of worship. * One in Leamington's finance and insurance sector. * One in Windsor's manufacturing sector.Two community outbreaks are still active: one at Victoria Manor Supportive Living in Windsor and another at Riverplace Residence in Windsor. Two schools — Frank W. Begley Public School and W. J. Langlois Catholic Elementary School — also remain in outbreak.There are five long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak: * Village of Aspen Lake in Tecumseh with one staff case. * Leamington Mennonite in Leamington with one staff case. * Chartwell Royal Oak Residence in Kingsville with one staff case. * Riverside place in Windsor with 17 resident cases and three staff cases. * Iler Lodge in Essex with 18 resident cases and three staff cases.
A two-week lockdown ends Wednesday in Nunavut for all communities except Arviat, where community transmission of COVID-19 is still occurring. Public health restrictions in Arviat remain as they have been for the past two weeks, said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Patterson during a news conference at the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday. As well, masks are mandatory, travel outside of the community is restricted and gatherings must not exceed five people, he said. "This is the fastest way to eventually loosen restrictions," he said. As of Wednesday, there are 80 active COVID-19 cases in Nunavut and 113 people are recovered, according to the territory's news release Wednesday. There are 11 new active cases announced Wednesday in Arviat, where there are currently 65 active cases. Only one new case was reported in Nunavut on Tuesday.While Whale Cove and Rankin Inlet — communities with active cases — are not on lockdown anymore, restrictions are tighter than elsewhere in the Kivalliq region and masks are still mandatory in both communities. Three layer masks are bestGoing forward, masks will be mandatory in all communities where there are active cases of COVID-19, Patterson said. For people making homemade masks at home, those masks should fit well to a person's face and three layers of material is better than two, Patterson said. "If you are taking it off to get a drink of water, don't just pull it down over your chin. Either take it off completely or take it off one ear," he said. "We should wash or sanitize our hands after handling the mask and reusable masks should be washed at the end of every day."> "We can stop transmission within the house, without resorting to relocation. I don't want people to give up." \- Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Michael PattersonActive case numbers in the territory have been in slow decline over the last few days. "This is a marathon, not a sprint and our actions in the days, weeks and months to come will determine the status of COVID-19 in Nunavut," Patterson said in a release on Tuesday.For households isolating because of COVID-19 in the home, that isolation must continue until 14 days after the last infected person tests positive.Patterson said there are some separate isolation spaces identified in Arviat, but that these spaces are nowhere near the amount that would be needed for the outbreak. He said isolating one person isn't helpful when others in the house may already be infected. But, he said healthy people who live in infected households shouldn't give up trying to stay well. "Once COVID-19 gets into a house, even in a crowded house, it's not a guarantee that everybody in the house is going to get it," he said. "We can stop transmission within the house, without resorting to relocation. I don't want people to give up."That's by being careful, cleaning and staying separate from household members who are ill, he said. Rapid testing on the way for isolation hubs in Winnipeg New support funds from the federal government mean the territory can introduce rapid testing at isolation hubs, Patterson said. Preparations are still being made, but an easily transportable testing device will be used to test isolating residents at the two Winnipeg hubs. This will be done at the beginning, middle and end of each two week stay, Patterson said, as a way to "augment" isolation and "reduce the chance of COVID-19 getting through the isolation hubs." "We were concentrating our efforts in Winnipeg because it currently has the highest risk of introducing COVID-19 to Nunavut," he said. Rapid testing is being considered for Ottawa and Edmonton hubs, but risks are lower so these cities are not the government's priority, he said. "Testing is a possible way of reducing the risk, although we'll never be able to get it to zero," he said. The lockdown is lifted for now, but it could be brought back if needed, Patterson said in the news conference. "We were close to the limit of our ability to respond with the rapid response teams. To avoid getting overwhelmed we opted for the territorial-wide lockdown," he said. "It's going to be a possibility that we could have to do this again." Territory will continue to fund isolationEarly in the pandemic the Government of Nunavut said it would charge non-essential travellers for their stays in isolation hubs — as the N.W.T. government announced this week it would start doing in January — but later went back on that decision saying there were legal and administrative concerns. While the Nunavut government will keep an eye on the N.W.T.'s policy change, "at this time, our government is not looking at that," Health Minister Lorne Kusugak said. "We don't want to have a two tiered standard where some people can afford the isolation and others can't," Premier Joe Savikataaq said. The Northwest Territories has also begun testing high-risk essential workers when they enter the territory — like health care workers, RCMP officers and dentists — Nunavut won't be doing that, Patterson said. "The difficulty we have is that entry testing, the day before you travel, and relying on those results is potentially harmful," he said, adding that some essential workers will test negative but could still be positive. In other jurisdictions those false negatives have led to outbreaks, he said. Testing done as of Dec. 1 has shown 588 negative tests in Arviat, 219 negative test results in Rankin Inlet and 125 negative results in Whale Cove. Monitoring continues in Sanikiluaq where some residents and their households continue to isolate, after two cases were confirmed in early November. Missed the update? Watch it here: People who believe they have been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to call the COVID hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, or notify their community health centre and immediately isolate at home for 14 days.The government update will play later in the day on CBC Radio in Nunavut.
Legendary wrestler Pat Patterson has died at the age of 79, World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.The Montreal native, whose birth name was Pierre Clermont, devoted decades of his life to wrestling, with an in-ring career that spanned from 1958 to 1984. After making his debut on regional fight cards in Quebec, he moved to the U.S. in the early 1960s. In 1979, he became WWE's first Intercontinental champion.After announcing his in-ring retirement in 1984, he worked as a colour analyst and in various roles behind the scenes with the head of the company, Vince McMahon. The promotion was then called the World Wrestling Federation.In 2016, Patterson published his autobiography, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE, in collaboration with author Bertrand Hébert. Patterson's sexual orientation was widely known in wrestling circles, but he announced it publicly in 2014.Known as "le Rêve du Québec" for his exploits in the ring, he also became known for thinking of creative ways of ending wrestling matches. He came up with the concept of the Royal Rumble, an elimination match that traditionally features 30 wrestlers and has gone on to become one of WWE's most popular events. In WWE's statement, Patterson's career is described as being ''synonymous with making history.""From the Intercontinental Title to the Royal Rumble Match and beyond, his name will forever be revered in WWE lore," read the statement.Patterson was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996.
TORONTO — A coalition of about 50 retailers is calling on the Ontario government to lift COVID-19 restrictions for non-essential stores it claims is making things worse.In an open letter to Premier Doug Ford and Health Minister Christine Elliott, the retailers argue that shutting down Toronto and Peel Region to restrict the virus's spread hasn't reduced the number of shoppers.Instead, consumers are funnelled into fewer, crowded stores and adjacent communities, which potentially creates greater health risk.The retailers say the current policy pushes more consumers to big-box and discount stores that remain open after being deemed essential, while thousands of small, independent and local stores are closed despite selling many of the same products.They say they have been forced to lay off workers instead of employing thousands of temporary people to handle the holiday sales rush.The business leaders are calling on the government to immediately open all retail stores in the province and impose a 25 per cent capacity limit on non-essential stores in lockdown regions."Large and small retailers need each other to create a vibrant retail ecosystem," said the letter signed by the heads of companies including Hudson's Bay, Canadian Tire, Birks and Ikea."Collectively, we are asking that you join with us in common cause and a shared commitment to keeping Ontario families safe and secure through this extraordinarily challenging period."The provincial government responded by noting the restrictions are aimed at limiting the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and well-being of Ontarians.Alexandra Hilkene, a spokeswoman for Elliott, said the government must limit opportunities for individuals to have close contact with others to help stop the spread of the virus.This includes allowing box stores to operate at half capacity."These necessary measures are being taken to limit community transmission of COVID-19 in order to keep schools open, safeguard health system capacity, and protect the province's most vulnerable populations," Hilkene wrote in an email Tuesday."To be clear, moving regions into a lockdown is not a measure this government takes lightly. However, as we have seen around the world, lockdowns are a difficult but necessary step to stop the spread, safeguard the key services we rely on and protect our health system capacity."She noted that the Ontario government is now providing $600 million in relief to support eligible businesses required to close or significantly restrict services due to enhanced public health measures.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.Companies in this story: (TSX:CTC.A)The Canadian Press
Vous êtes féru de déco et toujours à la recherche d’une pièce rare ? Du beau, du vrai, de l’original, voilà ce que vous propose Création Déco. Pascal Baldini, 59 ans, et sa conjointe Dany Poulin, décoratrice intérieure, apportent une note de bon goût à toute demeure. L’ingéniosité de Pascal consiste à donner une seconde vie à des matériaux destinés à être jetés. Autrefois photographe, Pascal Baldini a toujours été animé par sa fibre artistique. Avec l’Internet et les portables, la photo classique en a pris pour son rhume. « Le bateau s’est mis à couler, et en 2014, j’ai tiré la plogue, explique-t-il. Je suis devenu artisan design. Je crée des meubles d’appoint et des sculptures avec des matériaux recyclés. Ma passion, c’est de travailler le bois et le métal. J’explore sans cesse… J’aime découvrir, développer des façons de faire peu communes. Je joue avec mes matériaux, et je me laisse aller ! » Des innovations étonnantes Ce défi de fabriquer du mobilier écoresponsable est populaire de nos jours. « On est rendu là!, poursuit M. Baldini. La réutilisation de matériaux destinés au rebut est une puissante source d’inspiration pour les designers. Et je peux les trouver un peu partout ! Certains me proposent des stocks de bois qu’ils gardent dans leur grange. J’ai récupéré des lames de scie d’un entrepreneur. Il en va de même pour le granit ou le marbre provenant des fabricants. Souvent, il s’agit d’échantillons dont ils ne peuvent se servir. » Longtemps, l’argument anti-métier d’art a été le prix, jugé trop élevé… « Ce n’est pas mon cas, précise-t-il. Certains estiment même que je ne vends pas assez cher ! J’aime offrir mes créations à prix accessible. Par exemple, je viens de terminer une patère innovatrice en bois d’acacia avec banc intégré à 225 $, ce qui est fort raisonnable. J’offre des sculptures réalisées avec différents médiums, notamment du marbre, dont les prix varient entre 50 $ et 80 $. » Ici comme ailleurs, la pandémie a frappé. « On devait participer à 13 expositions, notamment à Saint-Siméon, dans Charlevoix, un peu partout, et tout a été annulé, confie-t-il. Cela dit, ça ne va pas m’arrêter ! Je planche sur un gros projet rassembleur qui verra le jour dans quelques mois… Je vous en reparle ! » Originalité et style au rendez-vous. Pour votre déco ou un cadeau de Noël unique ! facebook.com/creationdeco.ca creationdeco.caMireille Fréjeau, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal L'Étincelle
CENTRE WELLINGTON – Centre Wellington council have approved adding $3.2 million in vehicle and equipment replacement to the 2021 draft budget. This will mainly be covered through reserves and only an additional $42,000 is needed to be increased in the tax supported budget, said deputy treasurer Mark Bradey at Tuesday's budget meeting. Vehicles that are proposed to be added next year include two ton-and-a-half trucks, a single axle dump truck and five pickup trucks across various departments. The vehicle replacement comes in at an estimated cost of $1.6 million with $27,000 needed from the tax-supported budget. To take advantage of costs, treasurer Dan Wilson put forward tender results on two of the pickup trucks for the fire department at a total of $90,000 all inclusive. Fire chief Brad Patton explained the two trucks were 14 and 18 years-old with over 60,000 km and 85,000 km respectively. In COVID times, councillor Bob Foster questioned if these vehicles could be extended for another year or two noting that mileage is relatively low. Patton said this is inline with other departments across the province who view trucks as a 10-year life cycle. “We’re already starting to have breakdowns on them … we can’t have these trucks failing going to calls,” Patton said, adding that he has had personal vehicles with much higher mileage. “Would I want those as an emergency first responder vehicle? Probably not.” On the overall ask for vehicles and equipment, councillor Neil Dunsmore praised town staff for prudent asset management as impact to taxes is relatively small compared to what they’re getting. He noted that finding a vehicle to defer would likely balance the tax impact to zero but didn’t think it should be an emergency service vehicle adding the two trucks to be replaced have had a good lifespan. “If we have a 10 year replacement policy, one is at 18 and one is at 14 (years), thank you for keeping them in the shape they’re in chief Patton but it’s time to replace them before we run into any problems,” Dunsmore said. Foster said the fire chief made a good case for replacing those trucks but put forward a motion to put a moratorium on replacing any other vehicles in 2021. He said he felt $1.6 million was too big an ask during a tough budget year and would like to see staff re-purpose vehicles in different departments. CAO Andy Goldie explained that they do re-purpose vehicles and are always looking for the best option whether that be trading-in, selling or sending it to a different department. This motion ultimately failed to pass however some councillors noted staff should show what they do with the vehicles and share good news on effective use of assets. Council later unanimously approved the vehicle and equipment replacements for 2021.Keegan Kozolanka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com