Ruby Williams was repeatedly sent home from school because of her afro hair.
Credit: @SkyNews via Twitter from February 2020
Ruby Williams was repeatedly sent home from school because of her afro hair.
Credit: @SkyNews via Twitter from February 2020
Canada added a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to its pandemic-fighting arsenal on Friday, approving Johnson & Johnson's product a week after it was authorized in the United States. That gives Canada four distinct vaccines — along with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca — and it adds flexibility to the country's plan to immunize the majority of its residents by September. Health Canada includes a fifth vaccine, Covishield, which is a separate brand name for doses of the AstraZeneca product made at the Serum Institute of India. The U.S.-based Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for emergency use on Feb. 27. Canada has already secured 10 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine through previous negotiations with the company, with the option to buy another 28 million. The 10 million pre-purchased doses will be delivered before September, but they're not expected to start flowing into Canada until at least April. Here's what we know about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT? Johnson & Johnson announced promising results from its Phase 3 clinical trials at the end of January, suggesting its vaccine reduced severe COVID-19 disease by 85 per cent, and prevented 100 per cent of COVID-related hospitalization or death. The vaccine had a 72 per cent efficacy in preventing COVID infections after 28 days in the company's U.S. trials. The efficacy dropped to 66 per cent when averaging in results from other global trials, including a South African study that factored in more transmissible variants of the COVID virus. An FDA report last month said the vaccine was 64 per cent effective in preventing infection in South Africa about a month after the vaccines were administered. Pfizer and Moderna showed 95 per cent efficacy in their respective trials, but those were both tested against previous dominant strains of the virus and didn't account for the variants that have popped up since. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca also had zero hospitalizations and deaths in their trials. The FDA report said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was similarly effective across age, race and people with comorbidities. The agency added that effectiveness appeared to be lower (42.3 per cent after one month) in people over 60 with comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THIS VACCINE? The potential ease of distribution offered by a one-and-done shot, and its ability to be stored in a regular fridge are among its biggest strengths. Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all require two doses. Johnson & Johnson's vaccine can be stored in a regular fridge for up to three months, the company says. Pfizer's vaccine initially required ultra-cold storage temperatures between -60 C and -80 C, though Health Canada said this week it could be stored in a regular freezer for up to 14 days. Moderna's vaccine can also be stored at regular freezer temperatures while AstraZeneca can be stored in a fridge. WHAT KIND OF VACCINE TECHNOLOGY IS USED? Unlike the mRNA technology used in Pfizer and Moderna's products, Johnson & Johnson is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine similar to AstraZeneca's. That means it uses a different harmless virus, which can't copy itself, as a vector to give our cells the instructions they need to make the coronavirus's spike protein. The immune system recognizes the protein and makes antibodies, which then allow us to fend off attack from the same virus if exposed in the future. WERE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS NOTED? No specific safety concerns were identified in participants of the trials, regardless of age, race and comorbidities. Dr. Supriya Sharma, Health Canada's chief medical adviser, said in a press conference Friday that almost 20 per cent of participants in the Johnson & Johnson trials were 65 years of age and older, and "no differences in safety or efficacy were seen compared to the younger groups." The FDA said the most common reported side effects were headache and fatigue, followed by muscle aches, nausea and fever. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
NASA's Mars rover Perseverance has taken its first, short drive on the surface of the red planet, two weeks after the robot science lab's picture-perfect touchdown on the floor of a massive crater, mission managers said on Friday. The six-wheeled, car-sized astrobiology probe put a total of 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) on its odometer on Thursday during a half-hour test spin within Jezero Crater, site of an ancient, long-vanished lake bed and river delta on Mars. Taking directions from mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles, the rover rolled 4 meters (13.1 feet) forward, turned about 150 degrees to its left and then drove backward another 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).
Elling Lien, seen in this file photo, says Newfoundland and Labrador is once again punching above its weight on the global music stage for the 2021 RPM Challenge.(Heather Barrett/CBC) The annual RPM Challenge has wrapped up for another year, with musicians in Newfoundland and Labrador again making their presence felt in the global enterprise. The challenge, now in its 15th year, invites musicians to record new music in February. In previous years, the goal was to produce a full album, but this year the length of the recording was up to the entrant. The 2021 edition saw nearly 700 entries from 34 countries across all seven continents — including Antarctica. RPM Challenge co-ordinator Elling Lien said 113 entries came from Newfoundland and Labrador. "The music community here has really taken the RPM Challenge on and made it their own," said Lien from his home in St. John's. "It's a thing that people … look forward to every year. They convince each other to do it. The word of mouth is really how all of this happens." Newfoundland and Labrador's enthusiasm — and Lien's own — has a lot to do with why, when the New Hampshire-based founders of the challenge decided to move on, they put the endeavour in Lien's hands, and the RPM Challenge is now headquartered in St. John's. Lien said the challenge has shown off the range of musical styles in the province, with tracks and albums, including pop and rock, electronic and world music. "The diversity of music here is something that would have surprised me early on with the RPM Challenge, because Newfoundland was known for … folk music," he said. "We were expecting a lot of that early on, but the diversity is just all over the place in terms of sound. Name any genre and you'd probably find something." Pandemic provided ups and downs This year's edition was the first one affected by COVID-19. Newfoundland and Labrador was also in a much different place when this year's challenge ended than when it started, after the province moved back to Alert Level 5 in mid-February. "I think it probably derailed some people in some ways," Lien said. "They had been expecting to be able to focus on making music and being creative, and the variant coming to town and the lockdown.… It was scary." "It affected people's emotions, I'm sure. It certainly did mine. It put people in a unique head space." The pandemic has also changed how the music of the RPM Challenge will be shared with the world. While in-person listening parties have been a staple of the challenge, the listening party will instead take place online on Saturday. The RPM Challenge has been a highlight of Newfoundland and Labrador's music calendar since 2006.() "We're going to host a number of listening streams, cause we're doing it all in one day," he said. "I think even just playing a clip from each record adds up to about 39 hours or 40 hours, so we have to do a bit of fancy footwork and create a bunch of listening streams." Despite the uniqueness of the 2021 challenge, Lien said in a way it remains the same, allowing a creative vessel for people to use to escape the everyday. "This year, we also happened to be escaping from a pandemic and focusing on creativity because of that," he said. "Typically in Newfoundland and Labrador it's like 'The weather's bad, it's hard to go outside, it's cold.' So why not just spend the time inside and focus on that?" Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
LONDON — The timing couldn’t be worse for Harry and Meghan. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will finally get the chance to tell the story behind their departure from royal duties directly to the public on Sunday, when their two-hour interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast. But back home in Britain, events have conspired to overshadow the tale of a prince and his American bride. On top of the pandemic and record economic slump, Prince Philip, Harry’s 99-year-old grandfather is now recovering from a heart procedure. CBS announced the program Feb 15. The next day, Philip was admitted to hospital. “Harry and Meghan are hugely popular,’’ Pauline Maclaran, a professor of marketing and author of “Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture,” told The Associated Press. “But I think that some people who might otherwise have supported them will find this just a little bit distasteful, that they’re drawing all this attention to themselves … just at this time when Prince Philip appears to be quite seriously ill.” Though it is the choice of CBS when to air its pre-recorded interview, critics are already lining up to deride it as a brand-building exercise by the pair, who left Britain saying they wanted to live a normal life but have been accused of continuing to use their royal status to open doors and make money. The sit-down with America’s queen of celebrity interviews is a chance for the couple to explain what led them to quit royal life, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. A book about their departure, “Finding Freedom,” also alleges that senior royals had little respect for Meghan, a biracial former actor, and that courtiers treated her badly. Pre-released clips have already shown Harry talking about his fears that history would repeat itself after his mother, Princess Diana, died in a car crash while pursued by paparazzi. In another clip from the interview, Winfrey asks Meghan how she feels about the palace “hearing you speak your truth today?” “I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there was an active role that the firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” the duchess replies. “The firm” is a nickname for the royal family, sometimes used with affection and sometimes with a note of criticism. In another pre-released clip, Meghan told Winfrey how “liberating” it was to have a conversation with the television host without the input of royal minders. Ahead of the broadcast, relations with the palace are increasingly strained. First there was Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to strip Harry and Meghan of the handful of royal patronages they had retained in the one-year trial period following their departure last year. The couple responded with a terse statement promising to live a life of service — a move many in the U.K. saw as disrespectful to the queen, as she usually has the final word. Then on Wednesday, the palace said it was launching a human resources investigation after a newspaper reported that a former aide had accused Meghan of bullying staff in 2018. One of the authors of “Finding Freedom,’’ Omid Scobie, compared the recent commentary about Harry and Meghan in the British media to the Salem Witch Trials, while noting Americans have had more sympathy them. His tweet linked to a discussion on the U.S. television program “The View,’’ including comments from Meghan McCain, a conservative columnist and daughter of the late U.S. Sen. John McCain. “I think we can’t ignore the elephant of the room that there’s probably a racial angle to this,’’ McCain said. “There’s a lot of racism directed at this woman, in a lot of different ways she threatens a lot of people in the patriarchy. ... It just looks like they are bullying her in the press.’’ It was all supposed to be so different. At the time Harry started dating Meghan, the British public seemed smitten with the beautiful young woman who starred for seven seasons on the U.S. television drama “Suits.” When they married in 2018, newspapers were filled with optimistic stories about how the energetic couple would help make the monarchy relevant for a new, multicultural Britain. But less than two years later they decamped to North America. After a brief stay in Canada, the couple settled in Meghan’s home state of California, buying a house in the exclusive Santa Barbara County enclave of Montecito that reportedly cost more than $14 million. Among their neighbours: Oprah Winfrey. Then came deals with Netflix and Spotifiy, reportedly worth millions. The commercial deals and headline-grabbing amounts are uncomfortable for the royal family, which has devoted itself to public service as a justification for its wealth and privilege. The queen, among the richest people in Britain, has spent her life supporting charities, cutting ribbons at hospitals and travelling the world to represent her country. “The main thing that the royal family is so good at is serving the nation, serving the nation and the Commonwealth, basically serving us rather than serving themselves,’’ royal historian Hugo Vickers told ITV News. “And I’m sorry, if you’re sitting in an $11 million mansion in California and making fantastic deals, that is trading in on your royal heritage. And it’s all wrong, frankly.” Others are concerned that the interview will include damaging revelations about the royal family. The royals rarely grant interviews, and when they do the questions are usually narrowly focused on specific issues. For instance, Harry and his brother, William, have tried to remove the stigma from mental health problems by talking about their own struggles after the death of their mother. More free-ranging interviews have often gone badly. Interviews with Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Harry and William’s parents, around the time of their divorce led to embarrassing revelations about infidelity. More damaging for the palace was the interview Prince Andrew, Harry’s uncle, did with the BBC in 2019. Andrew tried to address rumours about his links with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but he was forced to give up royal duties after failing to show empathy for Epstein’s victims. “I think it’s a bigger danger than the Prince Andrew car-crash interview,’’ Maclaran said of the Oprah interview, “because I think that Meghan is going to get a lot of sympathy, particularly from American audiences, about her position being untenable.” Regardless of what’s actually said, the interview is a threat to the stature of the monarchy because it further blurs the line between celebrity and royalty — tarnishing the royal mystique, Maclaran said. Late night chat show host James Corden underscored the threat to the royal brand during a tongue-in-cheek segment with Harry broadcast last week in which Corden suggested the prince and his wife might move into the mansion that provided the backdrop for the 1990s sitcom “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” “If it was good enough for the Fresh Prince, it’s good enough for a real prince,” Corden said. The line put Harry, whose father and brother will be king one day, on the same footing as a TV character who fled west Philadelphia for a posh life in Southern California. Royal watchers wonder what could possibly be next. “It’s just such a mess,” said Penny Junor, who has written several books about the royals, including a biography of Harry. “I don’t think there are going to be any winners in it.” Danica Kirka, The Associated Press
The United States on Friday called China's moves to change the Hong Kong electoral system a direct attack on its autonomy and democratic processes and said Washington was working at "galvanizing collective action" against Chinese rights abuses. Earlier on Friday, Beijing proposed legislation that would tighten its increasingly authoritarian grip on Hong Kong by making changes to the electoral committee that chooses the city's leader, giving it new power to nominate legislative candidates. The measure, set to be approved during a week-long session of China's rubber-stamp parliament, would further marginalize a democratic opposition decimated after Beijing imposed national security legislation following anti-government protests that rocked Hong Kong in 2019.
Ce quatrième vaccin approuvé au Canada est homologué pour les adultes de 18 ans et plus en attendant des essais cliniques complémentaires pour l’utilisation chez les enfants selon les hauts responsables de Santé Canada qui ont confirmé la nouvelle. L’autorisation de ce vaccin de Johnson & Johnson approuvé aux États-Unis il y a quelques jours était très attendue au Canada parce qu’il est le seul de la liste canadienne à ne nécessiter qu’une seule dose. De plus, il « peut être réfrigéré pour l’entreposage et le transport à des températures de 2˚ à 8˚ C pour une période d’au moins trois mois, ce qui facilite sa distribution dans tout le pays » selon Santé Canada. Ottawa avait déjà pris les devants en commandant 10 millions de doses de ce vaccin du fabricant Janssen, avec des options pour en acheter 28 millions supplémentaires. Le Canada pourrait recevoir les doses du vaccin de Janssen d’ici le 30 septembre avec une chance d’avoir les premières livraisons dès le deuxième trimestre de l’année selon Approvisionnement Canada. Facile, efficace et rapide Ce vaccin contre la Covid-19 est fabriqué à base de vecteurs viraux comme le vaccin d’Astra Zeneca. Les deux vaccins présentent d’ailleurs de meilleures commodités de manutention et de logistique en raison de leurs simples méthodes de conservation réfrigérée, mais celui de Johnson & Johnson reste différent sur son avantage de l’administration à dose unique. La Food and Drug Administration (FDA) américaine lui attribue un taux d’efficacité de 72 % de façon générale, mais il peut aller jusqu’à 86 % pour les cas graves de Covid-19. Santé Canada a assuré qu’il surveillerait tout effet indésirable qui pourrait survenir après la vaccination et prendra les mesures appropriées, le cas échéant. Ce vaccin de Janssen rejoindra donc ceux d’Astra Zeneca, de Moderna et de Pfizer sur le terrain de la distribution. Si ce dernier fabricant accélérait les livraisons comme il l’a promis, le Canada devrait recevoir au moins 8 millions de doses de vaccin d’ici la fin du mois. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Canada Français
Renfrew County and its surrounding towns are moving into the yellow zone starting Monday on Ontario's colour-coded pandemic scale, after three weeks of being one of the least restrictive regions in the province. Renfrew County and District Health Unit was one of a handful of areas the province allowed to reopen in a green zone in early February, which has the least severe pandemic restrictions. On Friday, the Ontario government announced the health unit will be moving into its yellow "protect" zone starting 12:01 a.m. on March 8, which limits six people per table at restaurants and caps 10 people for indoors and 25 outdoors for fitness classes, among other restrictions. The province said in a news release that its decision to shift the levels for several health units was made in consultation with local medical officers, based on latest COVID-19 trends and public health indicators in each region. In the past week, the health unit's acting medical officer of health warned residents about the number of contacts traced per COVID-19 case. Dr. Robert Cushman also threatened targeted restrictions as it reported 15 cases in Arnprior, Ont., and McNab/Braeside, all tied to private gatherings According to the health unit, those who were infected then worked at or visited seven local businesses while contagious. The health unit closed one business, Cushman said, while several other businesses chose to temporarily shut down on their own. As of Thursday, Renfrew County and District Health Unit had 28 active cases with one of them in intensive care. The region has reported 359 confirmed COVID-19 cases, and two deaths, since the pandemic first began. It reported four new cases Friday.
Meagan Saulnier says she has the best job in the world. She works with urban Indigenous children and youth in foster care, connecting them to the land, and to their distinct and diverse cultures. “Our children are especially looking for that sense of belonging,” Saulnier says. “It guides us in our identity and ways of being.” Saulnier, who’s Mi’kmaq, is a cultural continuity worker with Surrounded by Cedar Child and Family Services (SCCFS), a Delegated Aboriginal Agency that provides programs and services for urban Indigenous children and youth in care in so-called Victoria. At SCCFS, Saulnier says they recognize that social workers can’t do it all, which prompted their executive director to initiate cultural continuity programming to support Indigenous children and youth in care. As part of the programming, Saulnier travels with the kids to their homelands, or attends cultural events like the annual Kamloopa Powwow. “That is a really beautiful, transformational thing to see … when you’re there and you see kids put their feet on their territory,” Saulnier tells IndigiNews. As a response to current travel restrictions which don’t allow for homeland trips or events, Sauliner shifted her efforts and began delivering plants and helping build medicine gardens at the homes of Indigenous kids, so they can stay connected during the pandemic. “It’s been so hard on everyone’s spirit, but as Indigenous people … how we know to be, our ways of being, gathering and sharing food … that has been basically nonexistent. And so we’ve come up with creative ways of being outside,” she says. To date, Saulnier says she has helped put together around 40 individualized medicine gardens, sourcing plants from the youth’s traditional territories, while also including plants from the lands they are on, as a way of honouring the traditional territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən people. Saulnier says it’s important young people have ways to connect with the land. She works to bring in Knowledge Keepers and engage youth in conversations about plants, where and how they grow, and their medicinal properties, she says. “The intention is to eventually watch that plant to see how it grows, and build a relationship with it through the seasons and see what it needs, and then eventually be able to harvest and process the plant,” Saulnier says. The youth practice “consent-based harvesting,” by speaking with the plants and offering gratitude, she says. The medicine gardens program has branched out into other opportunities for youth, like learning about ceremonial practices, engaging with language, and regalia making, Saulnier explains. Saulnier recalls supporting two siblings to plant a Saskatoon berry bush in their medicine garden, to honour their late brother. Another time, she says two of the older youth she works with were invited to share their stories at a public event. “Often when you’re a child or youth in care, it’s sometimes focused on [just] that and the struggles that have been in your life,” Saulnier says. ”But to kind of step away from that for a moment and focus on this and your gifts … that’s really powerful. “To be well, my belief is we do need to be connected to our culture and identity.” She recognizes that coming together to engage with the land and with plants is a “multigenerational” practice, and helps educate non-Indigenous foster parents, she says. Many of the caregivers for Indigenous youth are non-Indigenous, and the cultural continuity program supports them to nurture the child’s cultural and spiritual identities, she says. “Sometimes there’s fear for non-Indigenous people around making a mistake, or not knowing what to do if you’re in community, and so it’s really like … it’s something universal as well, right? Like planting and the Earth, and the land.” “It’s still vital to be connected, to go back to your territory to connect with your nation, whatever that looks like. We all have our different stories in our journeys as to why we’re disconnected,” she says. “You can always go back to the land.” Anna McKenzie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California officials are allowing people to attend Major League Baseball games and other sports, go to Disneyland and watch live performances in limited capacities starting April 1. The rules announced Friday coincide with baseball’s opening day. The San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels and Oakland Athletics all have home games scheduled for April 1. California divides its counties into four colour-coded tiers based on the spread of the coronavirus. Attendance limits are based on what tier a county is in. Theme parks will be allowed to open at 15% capacity in the red tier, the second-highest risk level, and only people who live in California can buy tickets. Pro sports are limited to 100 people in areas where the spread of the virus is higher. Adam Beam And Kathleen Ronayne, The Associated Press
Mourners left flowers and hockey sticks outside the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre in Brantford, Ont., on Friday. The city is mourning Walter Gretzky, a fixture in the community, who died Thursday at age 82.
The N.W.T. is expanding its vaccine eligibility criteria. As of Friday, residents in Yellowknife aged 50 years and older can now make an appointment to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, according to a news release from the territory's government. Residents 18 years of age and older in Inuvik and Hay River are also now eligible to get the vaccine. To book an appointment, Inuvik residents 18 years of age and older can call 867-777-7246. Hay River residents 18 years of age and older can call 867-874-8400. The release from the territory said vaccines will be offered to the general population in Yellowknife "in the coming weeks." Second dose timeline It said following updated guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, vaccine teams will return to communities within the recommended time frame for second doses of vaccine for those who received first doses. The committee recently recommended that the second shot be provided within four months after the first dose. Moderna recommends the second dose be administered after 28 days. "Even if the second dose cannot be given within the recommended time frame you do not have to restart the vaccine series and the second dose can be provided as soon as you can even if it is after the recommended time period," according to a statement on the territory's vaccine schedule website. The release recommended residents check the website frequently for updates on when vaccine clinics will arrive to their communities. To date, close to 20,000 doses (first and second combined) of the COVID-19 vaccine have been delivered to N.W.T. residents since the rollout began to priority residents on Dec. 31, 2020, according to the release.
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia welcomed Ottawa's go-ahead for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine Friday as health officials geared up for the opening of the first of 10 community inoculation clinics across the province next week. Premier Iain Rankin called the approval of Canada's fourth vaccine a "positive step forward." "As you can see this is a very dynamic situation that is dependent on the federal government's regulatory approval process," Rankin said. "Our vaccine rollout is ramping up as more clinics open and we receive more doses from the federal government." Rankin confirmed that Nova Scotia would be adopting a 16-week interval between first and second shots as recommended by the national panel of vaccine experts, meaning all Nova Scotians who want vaccine will get one shot by the end of June. "We are committed to being ready to getting shots in arms when it is available," the premier said. He added the province's goal remains to achieve full immunity by this fall. Keeping with its aged-based approach to vaccine distribution, Nova Scotia will open community clinics for those 80 and over in Halifax, New Minas, Sydney and Truro on Monday. Clinics are also scheduled for Antigonish, Halifax and Yarmouth on March 15, and Amherst, Bridgewater and Dartmouth on March 22. Frustrations mounted earlier this week when the province's appointment booking web page had to be temporarily taken off-line after traffic was double what had been anticipated. About 48,000 people aged 80 and over in the province are eligible to receive vaccinations. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said booking for new appointments would resume online and by telephone on Monday for those who were born between Jan.1 and April 30. Those with later birthdays will be informed when they can register later this month. "It is early days, and our supply is still limited, but we are on the cusp of rapidly expanding the volume of vaccine we'll get," Strang said. Officials said they would also have more specific details next week on the rollout of the 13,000 doses the province is receiving of the recently approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The shipment must be used by April 2 and is targeted for those aged 50 to 64 years. It will be administered starting March 15 at 26 locations. Health officials said that as of Thursday, they had administered 38,676 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with 14,395 people having received a booster shot. Meanwhile, the province reported two new cases of COVID-19 Monday in the Halifax area. Health officials said one case involved a close contact of a previously reported infection and the other was under investigation. The province has 31 active reported cases of novel coronavirus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
Kim Kardashian on Friday called out those who bully and body- shame others, recalling her embarrassment when she was attacked for gaining 60 pounds during her first pregnancy. In an Instagram stories posting, Kardashian detailed how she had been compared to a killer whale during the later stages of her pregnancy in 2013, and how her figure was contrasted unfavorably to Prince William's wife Kate, who was also pregnant at the time. The cosmetics businesswoman and social media star said she was reminded of those months while watching a recent documentary about Britney Spears, tracing the meteoric rise of the pop star and the media coverage of her mental health breakdown in 2007.
CALGARY — The Alberta Energy Regulator says it is suspending licences for thousands of wells and pipelines after an oil and gas producer failed to bring its operations into regulatory compliance. The regulator says it has ordered SanLing Energy Ltd. to suspend its 2,266 wells, 227 facilities and 2,170 pipelines and ensure they are left in a state that's safe for the public and the environment. It adds the company currently owes $67 million in security to the AER for its assets' end-of-life obligations. The company is being asked to comply with past orders to clean up historic spills and contamination, ensure its emergency response number is working and provide a detailed plan to maintain its assets while they are suspended. The AER says it issued an order to SanLing in September because of a poor compliance record and its outstanding security issues. It says it met with the company several times over the past five months to request a plan to come back into compliance but the company's responses proved to be inadequate. “If SanLing, or any company, wants to do business in Alberta, they must follow our rules,” said Blair Reilly, AEB director of enforcement and emergency management, in a news release. "We cannot allow a company that has ignored the rules continue to operate—that's not in Alberta's interest." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Michael Parker is relieved that a temporary overdose prevention site has been given approval to open up in Regina as the city grapples with a "startling increase" of drug related fatalities. "We need to get started... it's been a lot of waiting," said Parker, the executive director of the Nēwo Yōtina Friendship Centre — which will house the site. "We are hoping to start operating the overdose prevention site within hopefully about two weeks." The temporary overdose prevention site will have a separate entrance leading into the space, which can accommodate two people — following physical distancing protocol — using drugs. There will be support workers and sterile supplies on site, as well as overdose prevention measures, like Naloxone, on the ready. "It's overdoses that don't result in a fatality," Parker said. "Longer term, it means those folks whose lives have been saved are able to access a kind of the services that they need. You can't go to rehab if you're dead." There were 103 people who are confirmed to have died from overdose in Regina last year according to Saskatchewan Coroners Service data. Regina police said they knew of at least 1,060 overdoses in the city. Parker said they applied to the province in December, requesting to run an "urgent public health needs site." They received approval to move forward this week. Six people are confirmed to have died in Regina so far this year from overdoses, but the numbers are likely much higher. There's been 75 suspected fatal overdose deaths between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28, 2021. Suspected cases are still under investigation by the coroner. Site meant to be a temporary fix Parker said the centre seemed like a good fit to set up the site because it already offers housing and mental health supports to the community. It provides support in areas like education, workforce preparation, life skills, parenting and wellness. The site will operate Monday through Friday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. and it won't accommodate minors or first-time users. "The purpose is not to encourage use," he said. "It's about safety and trying to reduce the harm and potential risk so that people can at some point access services." He said the overdose prevention site is technically different from a federally approved supervised consumption site like the one operated in Saskatoon out of Prairie Harm Reduction. They require extensive consultation, he said, adding the Regina site is meant to be a temporary fixture in the midst of a crisis. He said there could be conversations in the future about whether a permanent site is needed in Regina, and if the centre is the right location. "Those things take time and we've already taken six months just to get to where we are now, so this is not meant to be a permanent solution. It's part of a spectrum of responses." Parker said they were able to scrape together enough money to renovate the facility in preparation for opening and then open for a few months. But he said it's not sustainable and they will be looking to the public and the province to keep running and potentially expand hours. He said the provincial government needs to take leadership on handling the overdose and addictions crisis.
Countless people all over the world have stories of meeting him. This is mine.
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Friday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (18,380.96, up 255.24 points.) Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up five cents, or 7.69 per cent, to 70 cents on 27.7 million shares. Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Up 93 cents, or 3.46 per cent, to $27.82 on 17.1 million shares. Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Up 15 cents, or 11.11 per cent, to $1.50 on 13.3 million shares. Athabasca Oil Corp. (TSX:ATH). Energy. Up 10 cents, or 21.74 per cent, to 56 cents on 13.1 million shares. The Supreme Cannabis Co. Inc. (TSX:FIRE). Health care. Down one cent, or 3.85 per cent, to 25 cents on 11.4 million shares. Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Up 24 cents, or 0.54 per cent, to $44.83 on 11.1 million shares. Companies in the news: Martinrea International Inc. (TSX:MRE). Down $1.50, or 9.9 per cent, to $13.70. Frustrations stemming from COVID-19 travel restrictions boiled over during a conference call Thursday when top executives at auto parts manufacturer Martinrea derided the health measures, saying it's "time to move on" and recognize the "good things happening," despite employee deaths from the novel coronavirus. "Everything is getting better, except for the government policy that we're seeing. It is just absolutely outrageous," said chief financial officer Fred Di Tosto, on the call. Deanna Lorincz, global director of communications and marketing at Martinrea, said Friday that Di Tosto meant "it is time to move on, lessen the restrictions on the border and continue to open up the economy." Ensign Energy Services Inc. (TSX:ESI). Up eight cents, or 6.8 per cent, to $1.26. Drilling company Ensign Energy Services Inc. says oilpatch activity in its Canadian and U.S. operations is staging a slow recovery from a deep slump in 2020. The Calgary-based company says it earned net income of $3.1 million or two cents per share on revenue of $201 million in the last three months of 2020, compared with a net loss of $71.6 million on revenue of $375 million in the year-earlier period. Analysts had expected a net loss of $57.9 million on revenue of $197 million, according to financial data firm Refinitiv. Revenue slumped 43 per cent in Canada compared with the same period in 2019, by 52 per cent in the U.S. and by 36 per cent in its international arm, which operates in South America, the Middle East and Australia. Recipe Unlimited Corp. (TSX:RECP). Unchanged at $18.57. Recipe Unlimited Corp. saw system sales fall more than 30 per cent in its most recent quarter as the pandemic continued to cause dining room closures and seating restrictions at its restaurant chains across Canada. The Vaughan, Ont.-based company says system sales in its fourth quarter totalled $611.3 million, down 31.8 per cent from $895.8 million in the same quarter the previous year. Still, the company, which operates brands like Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, St-Hubert and The Keg, saw off-premise system sales for the 13 weeks ended Dec. 27 of $150.4 million, a 66.6 per cent increase compared to $90.3 million in the same period of 2019. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. The Canadian Press
Un an après le début de l’épidémie de Covid-19, le coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 a fait 68 000 victimes en France. Ce chiffre est-il comparable aux épidémies de grippes qui frappent chaque hiver notre pays ?
Not only did last weekend’s storm cover the town in snow, but it also brought along a fresh feeling of hopefulness. Kanesatake started to administer the COVID-19 vaccines to its community members as the world approached the one-year mark of the pandemic. As of Tuesday, March 2, 150 Kanehsata’kehró:non were successfully vaccinated. On February 26, Kanehsata’kehró:non Selena Etienne became the first elder to receive the Pfizer vaccine at the Tsi Teiontatshnié:tha, Kanesatake Health Centre (KHC). Etienne told her daughter Brenda that while she was apprehensive to take it at first, after she did a lot of reading on the subject and spoke to her daughters about it, and she was convinced. She said she now encourages everyone to get it. A few hours after Etienne was vaccinated, the grand chief of Kanesatake, Serge Otsi Simon, proudly rolled up his sleeves to get his first dose. “It was kind of last-minute, since I have a heart condition, I decided I should get the vaccine,” said Simon. “It was fine, no pain, no side effects, except a sore arm.” According to KHC spokesperson Robert Bonspiel, Kanesatake only had 48 hours to set everything up, after receiving news from Quebec Public Health authorities that the vaccines were on their way. Every single Riverside Elder’s Home resident, along with each health care worker and staff, were prioritized following the Quebec government’s priority list. For the grand chief, this was the first step toward some kind of normalcy. “It was the first little step we took from breaking that isolation we’ve been doing for a year,” he said. The community had been impatiently waiting since Quebec’s vaccination campaign began last December. While Kanesatake’s sister community Kahnawake received vaccines as early as December 23, the Laurentides region was hit harder by delivery delays. Simon is encouraged by the community’s response. “There are a lot more people than the 150 we vaccinated that wanted it and that’s a good sign, despite all the misinformation out there,” said the grand chief. “It’s been difficult but when people realize what this is and the benefits of it, I think even those who are against or on the defence will come around.” Bonspiel said that the next rollout would be happening in the upcoming weeks, although the KHC is expecting the Moderna vaccine for this second round. While the Pfizer vaccine needs to be administered two separate times for it to be fully effective, Kanesatake is currently choosing to focus on mass vaccination. The goal, explained Bonspiel, is to get all Kanehsata’kehró:non vaccinated once before scheduling a second dose. “In the next few weeks, we intend to vaccinate as many people as possible, starting from people who are older and vulnerable and then going to less at-risk community members,” said Bonspiel. As for lifting the measures, Bonspiel and the grand chief both said that it was too early. This being said, the conversation surrounding it is slowly making its way to the Mohawk Council of Kanesatake. “We are not shutting down our effort just yet,” said Simon. “Only once the pandemic is declared over.” firstname.lastname@example.org Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door
While discussing the EU and Italy's decision to block an AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine shipment to Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined his position on vaccine nationalism.