Ottawa will not license any Indigenous "moderate livelihood" fishery in Atlantic Canada unless it operates within the commercial season, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans said Wednesday, siding with a key demand from the region's commercial fishing industry, while angering Indigenous leaders. The statement is a major development in the dispute over treaty rights-based fishing that sparked violence last fall when the Sipekne'katik band launched its own self-regulated 'moderate livelihood' lobster fishery. The fishery in St. Marys Bay in southwest Nova Scotia took place outside the commercial season, angering other fishermen who said it was both unfair and bad for conservation. "Seasons ensure that stocks are harvested sustainably and they are necessary for an orderly, predictable, and well-managed fishery," Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said in a statement, confirming a CBC News report earlier in the day. "In effort-based fisheries such as lobster, seasons are part of the overall management structure that conserves the resource, ensures there isn't overfishing, and distributes economic benefits across Atlantic Canada." WATCH | The history of the Mi'kmaw fishery: DFO indicated a willingness to discuss other details with affected First Nation communities. But Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack urged Mi'kmaw bands in Atlantic Canada to reject the federal government's position and told reporters his First Nation will continue to operate its fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021. "They're trying to divide and conquer and throw a carrot to a band or two and have them sign and just hurt everybody's case. So I hope that no other communities do sign. They don't take that low hanging fruit," he said. Sack restated his position that the treaty right was upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada's Marshall decision, and accused DFO of trying to divide and conquer the Mi'kmaq. In 1999, the court affirmed the Mi'kmaw treaty right to fish in pursuit of a "moderate livelihood," but under federal government regulations for conservation. Ottawa spent half a billion dollars integrating Indigenous bands into the commercial fishery through licence buy-backs and training, but it never defined "moderate livelihood." Jordan cited part of the Marshall ruling to justify her authority. She noted the Supreme Court said "treaty rights are subject to regulation provided such regulation is shown by the Crown to be justified on conservation or other grounds of public importance." "That is what we are implementing," Jordan said in her statement. The department is offering Indigenous fishermen in Nova Scotia a pathway to sell lobster harvested in a moderate livelihood fishery. Right now, that catch does not have DFO's stamp of approval. Without authorization, they can't legally sell their catch to licenced buyers, such as lobster pounds and processors. Bands that accept DFO's position will receive a moderate livelihood licence that will allow them to sell the catch in 2021. Under provincial rules, only fish products harvested under federal commercial licences can be purchased by shore processors. The federal government "will balance additional First Nations access through already available licences and a willing buyer-willing seller approach, protecting our stocks and preserving the industry for generations to come," Jordan's statement said. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Michael Sack, right, halted talks with the federal Fisheries Department in December after reaching an impasse.(Paul Withers/CBC) The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs called the government's conditions "unacceptable" and condemned them as part of a "colonial approach" to the rights-based fishery recognized by the Supreme Court. "DFO continues to dictate and impose their rules on a fishery that is outside of their scope and mandate," said Chief Gerald Toney, the assembly's fisheries lead, in a statement. The right to a livelihood fishery isn't, and shouldn't be, driven by industry or the federal government, he said. "It is something that needs to come from the Mi'kmaq of Nova Scotia. Imposing restrictions independently, without input of the Mi'kmaq, on our implementation of Rights is an approach that must stop." Mi'kmaw leaders and some academics have insisted the fishery in St. Marys Bay poses no risk to stocks because it is too small. It's a claim the commercial industry rejects. One organization representing commercial fishermen said the DFO has made public what it had been telling the industry in private. "This position needs to come from them and they need to come out publicly, more often," said Martin Mallet, executive director of the Maritime Fishermen's Union. Mallet said commercial fishermen expect the DFO to enforce its rules if bands operate out of season, including pulling traps and "potentially arresting individuals that are not keeping up with the law." A group representing harvesters in southwestern Nova Scotia said the government's position "can provide certainty" for both Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen. "However, lasting and consistent enforcement that is fair to all harvesters will be critical," the Unified Fisheries Conservation Alliance said in a statement. The ambiguity over moderate livelihood led to violence last year when several bands launched self-regulated lobster fisheries — all taking place outside of commercial lobster seasons. In October, two facilities storing Mi'kmaw catches were vandalized, including one that was later burned to the ground. Indigenous harvesters also said hundreds of their traps were pulled by non-Indigenous commercial fishermen. After tensions abated, the DFO pulled hundreds of Mi'kmaw traps out of the water, many bearing band moderate livelihood tags. On Wednesday, the DFO returned to Sipekne'katik more than 200 traps it had seized last fall. Sipekne'katik First Nation Chief Mike Sack, shown in October, said Wednesday his band will continue to operate its moderate livelihood fishery outside DFO seasons in 2021.(Pat Callaghan/CBC) When defending the self-regulated fisheries, the Mi'kmaq point to the huge number of commercial traps in the water compared to those from bands. The Nova Scotia Seafood Alliance, which represents shore buyers, said that is misleading. Stewart Lamont of Tangier Lobster said he accepts the treaty right but maintains the fisheries must take place within commercial seasons. "The lobster biomass is extremely vulnerable during certain months of the year, most particularly late July, August, September, October, when lobsters are going through their annual molt," said Lamont. "They're literally hungrier than normal. They've taken on a new shell. They are far more readily embraced into a trap." He said hauling lobster at that time is short-sighted. "By the same token, they are of far lesser quality. They tend to be soft and medium shell. It's not a premium product." Commercial lobster fishing season varies across Nova Scotia, in part to maintain a steady supply to the market, and to protect stocks when they are vulnerable. MORE TOP STORIES
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Vanessa Bryant said she is focused on “finding the light in darkness” in an emotional interview with People magazine detailing her attempts to push forward after her husband Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi died in a helicopter crash early last year. Bryant said the late NBA superstar and Gigi continue to “motivate me to keep going” in the magazine’s Women Changing the World issue, which will be released Friday. The issue salutes the activists, innovators and role models who are making a difference. The 38-year-old widow of the Los Angeles Lakers legend expressed how she’s been trying to navigate heartache while trying to rebuild a life for herself and three daughters. “Lying in bed crying isn’t going to change the fact that my family will never be the same again,” she said. “But getting out of bed and pushing forward is going to make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.” Kobe Bryant was killed when the helicopter carrying him, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others crashed into a mountainside in Calabasas, California, while flying to a girls basketball tournament at his Mamba Sports Academy on Jan. 26, 2020. Vanessa Bryant said her devotion to her daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri have been a saving grace. “My girls help me smile through the pain,” she said. “They give me strength.” On the magazine cover, Vanessa Bryant sports a Lakers jacket with Kobe's No. 24 on the right sleeve. Vanessa Bryant said she wants to honour her husband and daughter’s legacy by creating opportunities for young female athletes. She has since taken charge of creative projects left unfinished at Granity Studios, the late NBA star’s multimedia company she now helms. She recently relaunched Kobe’s charitable non-profit as Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation — a nod to the father-daughter duo — to help empower young girls and provide equal opportunities to underserved athletes. Bryant felt compelled to follow through on the vision her husband long championed. Jonathan Landrum Jr., The Associated Press
Britain is more than doubling to 100 pounds ($139.75) the limit on contactless payments made with debit or credit cards, the finance ministry said on Wednesday, as COVID-19 accelerates a shift to electronic payments from cash. The finance ministry said that while legally in force from Wednesday, the changes to limits from the current ceiling of 45 pounds will not happen in practice immediately, as firms will need to make the necessary systems changes. The banking industry is due to implement the new 100 pound limit later this year, it said.
Consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in record numbers in 2020, according to a report released Monday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a non-profit consumer advocacy group. Credit reporting issues were cited in 282,000, or 63%, of the complaints. The majority noted “incorrect information” on credit reports or “information belongs to someone else,” the report said. Not only did complaints about credit report errors lead the list of consumer grievances, but the three major credit-reporting bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax — were the top three companies complained about. ERRORS CAN ENDANGER YOUR SCORE Accuracy matters since credit report errors can suggest identity theft or fraudulent activity on your accounts. And because credit report data provides the raw material for credit scores, errors can lower your score. Some of the volume of complaints may be an unintended consequence of payment accommodations mandated by the 2020 coronavirus relief bill and temporary concessions offered by lenders and credit card issuers. But credit report errors were common even before the pandemic, says Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of the advocacy group’s Federal Consumer Program and author of the report. Payment accommodations may have led more people to check their credit reports and find those errors, he says. Mierzwinski recommends that “any consumer with any credit account” check their credit reports. People who have common names may be at particular risk of a mix-up, he says. HOW TO GET YOUR FREE CREDIT REPORTS You can get a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus by using AnnualCreditReport.com. You’ll be asked to provide personal identifying information — your name, Social Security number, birthdate and address. You will also be asked security questions to verify your identity. Some of those can be tough. If you aren’t able to answer correctly, call 877-322-8228 to request your credit reports by mail. You can also download and mail a request form to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281. HOW TO READ YOUR CREDIT REPORTS Your reports from the three bureaus won’t look exactly the same. Not every creditor reports to all three and the bureaus present information in different formats. But you can use a similar procedure for reading your credit reports. First, check your identifying information. Errors such as misspellings of a former employer are unimportant, but something like an address you’ve never lived at could suggest identity theft. Next, check account information. Each credit account you have (and some that are closed) should be listed and include: — Creditor’s name, account number and date opened. — Type of account (credit card, loan, etc.). — Account status and whether you’re current on payments. Accounts that were in good standing when pandemic-related payment accommodations began must continue to be reported that way until the accommodation ends. — Whether you are a joint account holder, primary user or authorized user. — Credit limit and/or the original amount of a loan. — There may be negative information, such as collections accounts or bankruptcy records. Be sure that you recognize it and that it is accurate. HOW TO DISPUTE ERRORS The Fair Credit Reporting Act holds both the creditor that reports to the credit bureaus and the credit bureaus responsible for making sure the information in your credit reports is accurate. If you spot an error in one credit report, check for it in the other two. Dispute the error with each bureau that’s reporting it. You can dispute by mail, phone or online — the credit report will include information on how to file your dispute. Credit bureaus must investigate and inform you of the result. You can also contact the business providing the incorrect information. It must inform the bureaus of the dispute and, if it finds the information was wrong or incomplete, ask the credit bureaus to delete it. If disputing doesn’t resolve the issue, Mierzwinski recommends filing a complaint with the CFPB and asking for an investigation. That can bring additional pressure to correct misinformation, he says. The CFPB’s acting director, Dave Uejio, has said one of his goals is “making sure that consumers who submit complaints to us get the response and the relief they deserve.” ______________________________ This article originally appeared on the personal finance website NerdWallet. Bev O’Shea is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @BeverlyOShea. RELATED LINKS U.S. PIRG: Consumers in peril https://uspirgedfund.org/reports/usf/consumers-peril NerdWallet: How to Get Your Annual Credit Reports From the Major Credit Bureaus http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-credit-reports AnnualCreditReport.com request form https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/pdf-0093-annual-report-request-form.pdf NerdWallet: How to Read a Credit Report http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-report-reading NerdWallet: How to Dispute Credit Report Errors http://bit.ly/nerdwallet-report-errors Bev O'Shea Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
The rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in Ontario is happening at 34 different speeds, with each public health unit taking its own approach. The pace in the province's largest public health unit is notably slower than average. Officials in Toronto can't say when people aged 80 and up will be eligible to get vaccinated and are urging people not to call the public health hotline with questions about the timeline. Meanwhile, several public health units covering large urban areas have already started giving shots to that age group. York Region and Windsor-Essex both began their vaccinations of 80-plus-year-olds on Monday. In York Region, 20,000 of the roughly 45,000 people eligible have already booked appointments. People aged 80 and older line up outside a sports centre in Richmond Hill, Ont. on Monday to be among the first participants in York Region's mass vaccination program against COVID-19.(Evan Mitsui/CBC) During a City of Toronto news conference on Monday, officials were asked specifically when people in this age group in can expect to get the shot. There was no clear answer. Medical officer of health Dr Eileen de Villa spoke for two and a half minutes without addressing the question. WATCH | Questions and concerns continue around the timeline for Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Next, Fire Chief Matthew Pegg, leading Toronto's COVID-19 emergency response, said bookings would begin once the province's appointment system launches (slated for March 15), and added that vaccinations would begin in "early April." De Villa then jumped in to say that vaccinations of some sub-groups of people in this age group could begin this month, but added, "We need supply to be more readily available to get into the large-scale administration of vaccine for that 80-plus population." Given that all of Ontario's public health units are facing the same supply constraints, why is Ontario's largest city weeks behind other major population centres in the province? Ontario's timeline for vaccinating people against COVID-19 puts 2.1 million people in its Phase 1 priority group, including long-term care residents, health-care workers and people aged 80 and older.(Ontario Ministry of Health) The chair of Toronto's board of health, Coun. Joe Cressy, blames a vaccine allocation mismatch: the province is distributing doses to each public health unit based solely on its total population, not based on its population in the high-priority groups. In short, the argument is that Toronto is hampered from moving on to vaccinate seniors aged 80 and older because it has yet to receive enough doses to vaccinate those who were first in line -- such as hospital workers. "We have a disproportionately large number of people who qualify in phase 1 because they are more vulnerable," Cressy told the news conference. That leads to a question: why didn't the province provide a larger number of vaccines to places with a larger number of people in priority groups? Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones acknowledged Tuesday that Toronto's explanation for its slower pace "makes sense." But when asked whether the province should have distributed doses on an as-needed basis instead of a per-capita basis, she didn't directly answer. Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, left, gives Ontario Premier Doug Ford, centre, and Toronto Mayor John Tory, right, a tour of a vaccination clinic for health-care workers in January. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press) "The focus on the over 80 (age group) is critical," Jones told a news conference. "We'd love to have more vaccines to give to our public health units." Just don't ask the provincial government how many vaccine doses it has actually given to its public health units. The Ministry of Health refused CBC's request for this data on Tuesday, citing security concerns. The government also refused to provide a breakdown of how many vaccine doses have been administered by each public health unit, even though the ministry reports a province-wide total every day. The lack of disclosure makes it challenging to prove or disprove the claim that the distribution of vaccines has been unfair to Toronto. However, some figures disclosed by health units allow for rough math. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit says it has received 12,285 doses of vaccine, while Toronto has received 195,440 doses. Using population data from Public Health Ontario, those shipments are enough to give one dose to 10.8 per cent of people living in Haldimand-Norfolk, but just 6.3 per cent of the population of Toronto. Toronto Public Health estimates that 325,000 people are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under Phase 1 of Ontario's vaccine rollout. (Evan Mitsui/CBC) What is less clear is the evidence for Toronto's claim of being home to a disproportionate number of people in the priority groups for vaccination. People aged 80 and over are part of phase 1 of Ontario's vaccination timeline. But before getting to them, public health units were told to target the province's top-priority categories: long-term care residents and staff, other front-line health-care workers and Indigenous people. Ontario estimates 1.15 million people belong to those highest-priority groups. That is roughly eight per cent of the province's total population. Toronto Public Health could not provide an estimate Tuesday of how many people in the city are in those top-priority groups. But for Toronto to have a disproportionate burden, the number would need to be more than 240,000. Another comparison stick is the number of people eligible for vaccination through the whole of phase 1. Toronto Public Health says it's 325,000 people in the city, roughly 11 per cent of Toronto's population. That is no higher that the proportion of Ontario's population eligible in phase 1. Toronto Public Health COVID-19 vaccination numbers 195,440 doses of vaccine have been shipped to Toronto around 325,000 people are eligible to be vaccinated in phase 1 around 135,000 of them are aged 80 and above, including some 10,000 residents of long-term care
The Red Shores racetrack in Charlottetown is in a complete lockdown in an effort to control an outbreak of strangles. About 200 horses at the track were tested late last week, and officials are now awaiting those results before deciding on further actions. "We decided that to get a better understanding of what we're dealing with, and for heightened precautionary measures, that we would go into a lockdown for the grounds, which essentially means no horses coming or going for a time period," said Lee Drake, manager of racing, brands and broadcast divisions at Red Shores. "We've only had two confirmed cases of strangles on Prince Edward Island. Those horses were removed from the barns and are undergoing isolation at this point, and we are conducting screening tests for all the horses that are currently on the grounds." Red Shores Racetrack has taken measures to prevent the spread of strangles, including adding security and restricting who can enter the barns.(Shane Hennessey/CBC) The cost of the mandatory testing is being covered by Red Shores, the P.E.I. Harness Racing Industry Association and the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission. Highly contagious Red Shores says only essential workers will be allowed into each barn, as identified by each trainer, and they must now follow strict biosecurity measures. That means foot baths, brushes and disinfectant have been supplied to each barn. (Red Shores Racetrack)Strangles is an upper-respiratory illness that can cause swollen lymph nodes, nasal discharge and fevers in horses, donkeys and mules. While the illness can be fatal, most animals do survive. It is highly contagious and spreads easily through nose to nose contact between horses, or even contact with people. If handlers get the bacteria from one horse on their hands, feet or clothing, they can pass it on to another horse. A meeting was held on February 23 that included the Atlantic Veterinary College, Charlottetown Veterinary Clinic, Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association, Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission and Red Shores. The lockdown took effect two days later, with no additional horses allowed on the grounds until further notice. "The next step is to to consult with the veterinarians — they are, of course, guiding us through this — and just get a better understanding of those results, the next steps," Drake said. "I should say that's confidential, like a doctor-patient privilege, if you will, between them and their client [the horse owner]. And so they'll be guiding them, and updating us, on the next steps that are going to be taken." Lockdown rules Under the lockdown rules, horses will be allowed to leave the track property only if they have a clearance letter from a veterinarian. During the lockdown, Red Shores says only essential workers will be allowed into each barn, and they must now follow strict biosecurity measures, including foot baths, brushes and disinfectant supplied to each barn. About 200 horses at the track were tested late last week and officials are now awaiting those results before deciding on further actions.(CBC) Owners and trainers are also being encouraged to take their horses' temperature daily and log the results, and consult a veterinarian if they see any symptoms. Drake said he can't confirm stories of strangles in other horses on P.E.I., outside of the racetrack. "Whether you're based on track, or you're on a farm, you have a heightened awareness of what's happening," Drake said. A medical laboratory technician in the AVC Diagnostic Services bacteriology lab examines bacterial growth on culture plates. (Anna MacDonald/AVC) "Until we know more of what we're dealing with, every stable — whether you're either on the grounds here or off the grounds — should be doing the measures that the veterinarians have asked. And that is, keeping a close watch on your horses and doing daily temperature checks." Meanwhile, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario says it has been informed that three additional horses tested positive for strangles in a barn at Shamrock Training Centre. Restrictions were put in place there after a horse shipped from Prince Edward Island tested positive. It had just been transported from Red Shores on Sunday, Feb. 14. No horses will be allowed to ship in for training until further notice.(Shane Hennessey/CBC) Also, Truro Raceway has issued a statement saying that it will be restricting horses from P.E.I. because of the strangles outbreak. "Any individual seeking to move a horse from P.E.I. to Truro will need the horse to have two negative strangles tests, conducted one week apart, prior to being permitted to enter the property," Truro officials said in the statement. "We will continue to monitor the situation, and this will be our policy until further notice." More from CBC P.E.I.
European telecoms firms are cashing in on the money-making power of masts, as tower companies line up to pay multi-billion dollar price tags for antennas buzzing with ever more data ahead of the advent of 5G. Upgrading networks, including towers, for 5G - which promises an age of self-driving cars and brain surgery performed at a distance - will soak up some $890 billion between 2020 and 2025, the GSMA industry body says. European operators are increasingly willing to exploit assets to help finance those build-outs.
An Ottawa city council committee approved spending an additional $15 million on lawyers and technical experts to fight Rideau Transit Group (RTG) after a behind-closed-doors update on the ongoing legal battles with the contractors that built the Confederation Line. A late-night finance and economic development meeting began Tuesday with a 90-minute in camera session where councillors heard the city requires "ongoing legal and subject matter technical expertise support." The city is withholding tens of millions of dollars in payments to RTG and its maintenance arm, including $59 million from the final payment in 2019, due to the 456-day delay in handing the LRT system over to the city. Since the Confederation Line launched in September 2019, the city has only paid RTG part of what the consortium — led by SNC-Lavalin and ACS Infrastructure — has billed due to poor or missed service. The legal battle over the money appears not to be over and it's not known how much the city has spent so far. Although there is still $9.4 million remaining in the city's contingency fund for Stage 1, "these project contingency funds have been fully expended due to the nature of [the] City's claims disputes with RTG," according to the motion to add that additional $15 million. Although the money will come out of the transit capital reserve fund, the motion states the city plans to "attempt to recover these costs in the dispute resolution process against RTG."
GUYSBOROUGH – As Nova Scotia ushered out the month of February, the province also ushered in a new premier. On Feb. 23, Iain Rankin was sworn in as the 29th Premier of Nova Scotia. The change at the head of the table brought a new 16-member cabinet with some new faces and revisions to roles and names of departments. Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie MLA Lloyd Hines holds his position in cabinet as the minister for the Department of Transportation and Active Transit (formerly Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal). Hines said of his appointment, “I am so very humbled to rejoin Premier Rankin’s cabinet as Minister of Transportation and Active Transit. I look forward to working with our communities and the department’s great staff to provide safe efficient transport for all Nova Scotians.” Speaking to the change in the department’s mandate, Hines told The Journal that over the past four years a “significant portion of my responsibility and a massive amount of budget was specifically for the rebuild of the bricks and mortar of hospital facilities in the province … The infrastructure portion of the responsibility grew significantly over that period of time.” The new premier, said Hines, decided those responsibilities, along with those attached to Housing Nova Scotia, would justify a stand-alone minister. Geoff MacLellan was named the minister of the new Department of Infrastructure and Housing. “I fully support the establishment of that particular department because spending that kind of public money – it is good to have that close oversight on it,” said Hines. Hines said he was particularity pleased to remain the “minister responsible for the implementation of the highway budget in the province. That was my primary desire and because I enjoy the work and we also have a tremendous team of people. We have 2,250 people in the department and a tremendous senior management team at all of those levels. Everybody is pulling together to make sure we have good safe highways for Nova Scotians. On that side of the ledger, we have the five highway twinning projects that are all underway, fully funded and financed.” When asked about the active transit addition to his portfolio, Hines said, “Active transportation is something that started in the last decade. Of course, we have paved roads and cars, but we also have other modes of transportation. We have a great trail system in the province, which is probably the best example of active transportation and, of course, we have bicycle transportation; the piece of road between Boylston (Guysborough County) and Guysborough is purposely widened so there is a paved shoulder outside the main travel area to provide some area where bicycles can operate. “Also, across the province, we have been tackling the problem of the lack of (public) transport systems. We have three (public) transportation systems in the province (Metro Transit in HRM, Kings Transit in Kings County and Transit Cape Breton in CBRM) – beyond that there is no public transportation system where it is need most; in the rural areas,” he said. On the same day the new cabinet was announced, a CBC news story reported that the province had been paying $1.7 million a year to Bay Ferries as a management fee to operate the ferry between Nova Scotia and Maine, even when the boat was not in operation. The information was released by the company after it, and the province, lost a court decision requesting the details of the fee launched by the PC Party of Nova Scotia. The ferry and the agreement come under the umbrella of the Department of Transportation. When asked for comment on the court decision Hines said, “The company decided not to appeal. That was the company’s decision not the government’s … The company was unwilling to release it (management fee) because they thought it was proprietary. They decided on the judge’s ruling to release it.” Speaking to the cost of the management fee, Hines said, “It’s a standard practice. If you take it and look at it as a regular tender that we put out to build a bridge – we don’t know what the management fee is in that tender. That is not released. They bid a gross volume of money to do the project. We have an estimate of what we think the project is going to cost to do and, if the two of them are close then we award the contract. We don’t know what management fee … That’s proprietary information for that particular company.” Hines added that the ferry business, “got sideswiped by the pandemic. And, in the last year that we were hauling people, we took in 52,000 customers, I think. That created a significant base for the tourism operations in Southwest Nova. It is important to the economy of the entire province and certainly to Yarmouth and West Nova.” The Nova Scotia legislature begins a new session on March 9. Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal
Eighty U.S. House of Representatives Democrats urged President Joe Biden on Tuesday to repeal Donald Trump's "cruel" sanctions on Cuba and renew engagement, an early sign of support in Congress for easing the clamp-down on the Communist-run country. In a letter to Biden seen by Reuters they urged the Democratic president to sign an executive order "without delay" to end restrictions on travel and remittances, noting that well over half of Cubans depend on the latter. "With the stroke of a pen, you can assist struggling Cuban families and promote a more constructive approach," they said.
Orban announced the decision in a letter to the chairman of the EPP, Manfred Weber, on Wednesday, making good on his threat to leave the grouping over changes to its rules.View on euronews
NEWARK, N.J. — When a traveller became stricken at Newark Liberty International Airport, the police got an assist from a celebrity doctor: Mehmet Oz. The incident occurred late Monday night when Port Authority Officer Jeffrey Croissant saw the 60-year-old man fall to the floor near a baggage claim area. Croissant called for backup, and immediately began performing CPR on the unidentified man, who wasn't breathing and didn't appear to have a pulse, according to the Port Authority. When another person came over to help, Croissant didn’t immediately recognize it was Oz, the cardiac surgeon and longtime host of TV’s “Dr. Oz Show,” who had arrived on the same flight. The two performed CPR together on the man until three other officers brought oxygen and a defibrillator for the man, who eventually regained a pulse and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. “What better help than to have a cardiac surgeon?" Croissant said afterward. The Associated Press
Police in Moose Jaw have arrested two people and are searching for a third in connection with an attempted murder. Last Friday, police were told about an assault on Stadacona Street West, but could not find a victim or any suspects. Some time later, police located a man with serious head injuries who was taken to hospital. The man has since been released and sent home. Police returned to the scene on Stadacona Street with a search warrant and found some evidence. Now, two people have been charged with attempted murder in the crime, as well as robbery and possession of crystal meth. The accused made their first court appearance in Moose Jaw provincial court Tuesday morning. Police are searching for a third suspect, also wanted for attempted murder and robbery.
Candice McCowin's brother Graeme McLean died of an opioid overdose three years ago. For three years she's been among advocates calling for Windsor police to carry naloxone. For three years she's felt ignored. Now, with news hundreds of frontline officers are being trained to use the drug, McCowin said she's relieved. But one question lingers. "What was the deciding factor? What makes all the lives moving forward more important than my brother's was or people before him?" In the past the department said data didn't support officers being equipped with naloxone — which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. Meanwhile, statistics from the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) show the number of opioid-related emergency room visits have climbed steadily. There were 249 opioid-related visits in 2019, more than three times greater than the 78 that were tallied in 2007, according to WECHU. Twenty-nine were tallied in January 2021. This chart shows the rise in opioid-related emergency department visits in Windsor-Essex in recent years.(Windsor-Essex County Health Unit) Late last week Mayor Drew Dilkens, chair of the service's board, said Police Chief Pam Mizuno had decided to make a change. On Tuesday the chief said more than 275 patrol and investigative officers have already learned to administer the Narcan nasal spray version of the drug and that training is ongoing. There are roughly 500 frontline officers in the service. "Our officers being deployed at the emergency shelters for people who are experiencing homelessness, as well as the recovery centres. I think that changes it," Mizuno said in explaining her decision and the timing of it, adding the kits are being provided to the service for free. While the chief cites the shelters set up amid COVID-19 outbreaks as a difference, it's not clear how interacting with users there will be different from the ways officers would interact with people while regularly patrolling the community. Explanation a 'bit of a shock' Bruce Chapman, president of the Police Association of Ontario (PAO), expressed surprise when asked about the explanation. "[It's] a little bit of shock I guess," he said. "There are countless cases of police personnel during their regular patrols coming across individuals who have suffered an overdose and saving their lives. I could give you 20 examples across the province and that happens every day." Last month, for example, OPP issued a media release stating it has saved 210 lives using naloxone since its officers started using it in 2017. Others, including Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky, have suggested police linking their decision to the emergency shelter serves to stigmatize people experiencing homelessness. It's a view McCowin shares. "[Police] didn't decide to come to this determination because we have a crisis," she said. "They're coming to this determination because there's stigma attached to homeless people and they're going to be working around them so now it's important." The chief said the service does not want to further stigmatize people with addictions, noting the majority of overdose calls police respond to are at private residences. Officers have used naloxone twice this year Mizuno also pointed to "stress" on emergency systems in the city during the pandemic and a pair of community alerts from the Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy. One of the alerts was in response to 22 fentanyl-related visits to the emergency room in just one week, including 16 overdoses, numbers described as "extremely high." "All of those things in totality have certainly led to the decision," said the chief. The PAO represents officers at dozens of police services, including Windsor, and has been pushing departments to carry the drug since 2019. Chapman said as far as he's aware Windsor is the last large department to do so. Bruce Chapman, Police Association of Ontario president, said Windsor police should have started carrying naloxone a long time ago.(Radio-Canada) "It should have been done a long time ago. It's unfortunate it wasn't," he said. "Who knows how many lives could have been saved. We don't know the answer to that, but we do know as a result of the decision Windsor has finally made that there will be lives saved." A CBC analysis of police reports where officers responded and naloxone was administered between November 2018 and December 2019 found that on at least 14 occasions, Windsor police arrived first to the scene of a drug overdose without naloxone in-hand. The chief said police still consider an overdose a medical emergency that is best responded to by medical personnel such as paramedics. She also stated she believes no one has died because police didn't have the drug in the past. "Our officers have not attended a scene where, and of course you cannot definitively say, but where a life has been lost because our officers have not been carrying naloxone. That has not happened." Up until this decision, Windsor police had officers with just three units — detention, city centre patrol and problem-oriented policing — that had access to the drug. Officers equipped with naloxone in those units have already used it twice this year, according to Mizuno. McCowin said the decision from police could mean another family is spared the pain she carries. Graeme McLean was sober for more than 100 days before his fatal overdose. (Supplied by Candice McCowin) Graeme was the baby of the family, a "joker," who was helpful and "larger than life" with a wife, baby and job before he became addicted. But years of hearing police give reasons not to carry naloxone left her questioning whether his death meant anything. She can't shake that feeling, even now. "I just thought. 'There isn't a need? I think if it was only one person, my brother, or whoever, there should have been a need,'" she explained. "Think about how many people have died in the city of Windsor from opioid overdose."
Jon Stanfield has about 300,000 medical gowns to help in the battle against COVID-19, but they're sitting unused in his Nova Scotia factory after the federal government decided to stop buying personal protective equipment from his company. Last spring, Stanfield's Ltd. of Truro quickly retrained its staff and retooled its factory at the start of the pandemic and pumped out PPE for front-line workers. That $27.9-million contract ended in October and Stanfield bid for a second contract. "The message from government was that they're going to invest in domestic capacity to make PPE across the country," Stanfield told CBC News on Tuesday. The company paid its PPE workers $1.8 million to keep them employed from October to last week. They produced a few hundred thousand isolation gowns, which are used to protect against the transfer of microorganisms and body fluids. The company thought since Ottawa said it wanted to build domestic capacity for manufacturing PPE, it would give some of 2021's work to Stanfield's, as well. Stanfield's posted this photo of the gowns to social media last month. (Stanfield's) "We're probably the oldest manufacturer of apparel in the country, we have 300,000 square feet, we have training, we bought equipment, we retooled the factory to participate in round two," said Stanfield. "I thought we'd have a level of it. I didn't think it would be zero." But the government accepted different bids, leaving Stanfield's out in the cold. The company laid off 150 workers last week. It still employs about 225 people in its regular clothing business. "This is just disappointing because I think our people — who put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into round one — also thought that we would have a level of work. Because this is what we do." 'We are no longer facing a PPE shortage' Stanfield disputed a Feb. 26 Facebook post by Liberal MP Lenore Zann, who said her government "invested $27.9 million into the initiative in order to enable Stanfield's to switch their factory from making underwear to creating disposable gowns for front-line workers." "They invested zero dollars," said Stanfield. "We negotiated a contract to make gowns for the federal government." Money from the contract went into training and paying workers as well as buying equipment, fabrics and other items to start making PPE. Stanfield said his company did apply for funding to retool the factory, but was rejected. Zann, whose riding of Cumberland-Colchester includes Truro, said Tuesday that she'd spoken to the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the trade union confirmed what Stanfield said: the government did not pay his, or any other company, to retool to produce PPE. "Since the very beginning of the pandemic, Canadian businesses across the country have come forward to offer their services and pitch in to provide life-saving equipment ... at a time of great need," Zann told CBC News. "Because of their efforts, we are no longer facing a PPE shortage." Zann said the government is now taking the time to use competitive bids "while continuing to focus on Canadian-made supplies." She said all nine contracts went to Canadian manufacturers. Stanfield said even part of an order — say for one or two million gowns — would have been enough to keep people working. Now, he's talking to provincial health-care providers to see if they want to work with his company to ensure a domestic supply of PPE. He said if Canada wants to have a domestic capability to make PPE, it should look to companies like his, which has made apparel for 150 years and will continue making it deep into the future. "So Canada wouldn't get into the position that we were in last spring," he said. "Because it's not a matter of if, but probably when, it occurs again." MORE TOP STORIES
It's been almost exactly 14 years since the two men behind a successful, local coffee business opened their first location in the old Calgary Farmers' Market. And despite all of the challenges brought on by the year-long global pandemic, ever-changing health and safety restrictions and the city's uncertain economic future, Phil Robertson and Sebastian Sztabzyb insisted on following through on plans to expand their business. And they aren't alone — two other local restaurants are joining them with a pandemic opening. It's a decision that defies the state of an industry that has seen 10,000 restaurants close across the country over the past year, shedding more than 300,000 jobs, according to industry group Restaurants Canada. The two men behind Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters have joined forces with two other Calgary entrepreneurs to open side-by-side-by-side on the western edge of Murdoch Park in the inner-city community of Bridgeland. Phil & Sebastian is sandwiched between Village Ice Cream and Una Pizza in a new building on 7A Street N.E., not far from from their flagship location across the river in East Village. It's a risky move for the now 43-year-old entrepreneurs and self-described coffee nerds. It's their seventh location, but only six are open (a downtown location on Stephen Avenue is temporarily closed). Three locally owned restaurants are opening on 7A Street N.E. in spite of the global pandemic, restaurant restrictions and economic uncertainty. Restaurants Canada, an industry lobby group, says the number of restaurant closures in Alberta since last March may be as high as 1,100. (Bryan Labby/CBC) "Obviously, when the pandemic hit we had to re-evaluate every decision we've ever made. This was one of them," said Sztabzyb standing in the new café, which covers about 1,500 square feet, or 140 square metres. The two spent nearly $500,000 on the new café — and that's after the budget was tightened and some features were dropped to save money. They've hired four full-time and two part-time employees to start, but the hope is to bring in more as restrictions for restaurants ease. Streamlining, finding efficiencies, doing more with less is all part of the new business plan, which still reflects a survival mode strategy, says Sztabzyb. Their menu has been has been pared down, operations have been tightened up — and they've shed about 30 employees. While a grand opening is usually cause for excitement, there is so much uncertainty. "How long is the pandemic going to last? How long are we going to be suppressed by 30, 40, 50, 70 per cent of our revenue?" asked Sztabzyb. Phil & Sebastian — which early on in the pandemic saw sales plunge between 80 and 90 per cent at some locations — were able to stay afloat in part because of government subsidies that helped them pay their employees and their rent. Sztabzyb says it's been stressful. "It was really a true questioning of like, what's going on? Are we even going to be here in three months?" 'Trifecta' of local brands Next door to the coffee shop is Una Pizza, which says it has hired 35 people. On the other side is Village Ice Cream, which is also rolling the dice with a grand opening during a pandemic. "It's difficult to spend money right now. And it's hard to know how things are going to turn out," said Billy Friley, the company's founder. He's got three store openings under his belt, but none like this. Friley says the pandemic affected the timeline for ordering supplies and equipment and there were issues related to inventory and shipping. Goods that usually take six to eight weeks to arrive took twice as long. The store's opening was delayed by a month. His shop is smaller than the café next door, but the cost of opening was significant: more than $500,000 to get everything in place and up and running. The three businesses started the plan for this venture a year before the pandemic hit and say it might have been just as risky to pull out. As perilous as opening an ice cream shop in the winter in Calgary can be, Friley says he had to consider all of the commitments he made to his landlord and suppliers — not to mention his new next door business besties. Billy Friley is the founder of Village Ice Cream. He recently opened the company's fourth store in Bridgeland.(Bryan Labby/CBC) "Once the wheels are in motion, it's very hard to kind of have an alternate plan, without putting a huge amount of pressure and ultimately risk on the business model," he said. "As long as we could keep the rest of the business rolling down the road, and meet or come close to meeting our targets, then we were able to continue on with this project." 1 in 5 businesses at risk of closing Operating a business in Alberta in the past year has been fraught with risk and unpredictability. Last year, 226 businesses and 128 corporations either went bankrupt or filed proposals with their creditors to try to settle their debts. It's unclear how many of those are in the food service sector. That's on top of the nearly 17,000 consumers who either went bankrupt or filed their own proposals, according to StatsCan. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) says it's encouraging to see new, local businesses take a risk, but it agrees with Friley that it can be very difficult to back out because of the contractual obligations to lenders and suppliers. "It is definitely encouraging and really a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of the province," said Annie Dormuth, who is the Alberta director for the CFIB. "However, you have to keep in mind a lot of these businesses are opening because they had to," she said. While optimism appears to be gaining steam with the easing of restrictions and the increasing number of Albertans who are getting immunized against COVID, there is lingering pessimism. Dormuth says her group surveyed small business owners in Alberta who say one in five are at risk of closing. She says that equals 34,500 businesses which employ 600,000 people "We are definitely not out of the woods in this pandemic." Perhaps that is why Restaurants Canada is asking the federal government to extend rent and wage subsidies to April 2022. Rebirth of a community The community is welcoming the three new businesses with open arms. "You can't go wrong with coffee, ice cream and pizza, that's for sure," said Ali McMillan of the Bridgeland Riverside Community Association. McMillan doesn't have a precise tally on how many businesses in her community have been forced to close since the pandemic was declared a year ago, but she says many "mom and pop" type stores are struggling. "People are hanging on by a thread." "This has been extremely difficult. We have a lot of restaurants that have been open and then closed and open and then closed," she said. McMIllan says people are supporting local businesses and restaurants during the pandemic and what's exciting for her community is the continued building of multi-family, mid-rise condo and apartment blocks. "So hopefully we're seeing, you know, a rebirth of Bridgeland." "I'm an optimist" It's a new beginning for these local businesses, which are quickly learning how to adjust during a pandemic and how to survive after the crisis. Sztabzyb is hopeful people will return to their old habits and routines, which include stopping in for coffee. Sebastian Sztabzyb, one of the owners of Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters, makes a cappuccino at the company's newest location in northeast Calgary.(Bryan Labby/CBC) He says the crisis has also taught them to appreciate their customers even more. He says he now "lights up" when a customer walks in. "In a normal era, where you're just like, 'Oh, it's just another body coming through.' Now, it's like, no, it's a person and we're grateful to see them." The three businesses signed 10-year lease agreements with the building's owner, RNDSQR, a local development company. It's a long-term commitment that is likely welcome news for the nearly 70 people who have been hired so far — with possibly more hires post-pandemic. "I'm an optimist," said Sztabzyb. "I think that we will bounce from this. It will take some time, and Calgary, in particular, has some challenges. But I do think that Calgarians are resilient, and we'll get through this." Bryan Labby is an enterprise reporter with CBC Calgary. If you have a good story idea or tip, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @CBCBryan.
For 17 years, trucker Colin Birch has been hitting the highways to collect used cooking oil from restaurants. He works for Vancouver-based renderer West Coast Reduction Ltd, which processes the grease into a material to make renewable diesel, a clean-burning road fuel. Birch is caught between soaring demand for the fuel - driven by U.S. and Canadian government incentives - and scarce cooking oil supplies, because fewer people are eating out during the coronavirus pandemic.
The union that represents cargo ship crews in Canada says its members are in desperate need to be vaccinated for COVID-19. The Seafarers International Union of Canada says that is because of the potential danger of an outbreak onboard a vessel and a shortage of workers to replace crew members who get sick. There is limited space to physically distance on a ship and there are few medical resources on a vessel to deal with a COVID-19 outbreak should it occur. "We don't want to interrupt the vaccinations right now of those front-line workers and our elderly that are absolutely in dire need, but we're in dire need as well," said union president Jim Given. The union represents seafarers who work inside Canada and abroad. Jim Given is president of the Seafarers International Union of Canada. (Submitted by Seafarers International Union of Canada) Given wants his crews to be given the vaccine after health-care workers and seniors get their shots. Many seafarers spend three months aboard ship, with one month off, but some crews spend up to nine months on a vessel. Some workers have stayed on board even longer during the pandemic. There have only been a handful of COVID-19 outbreaks on ships so far, and one seafarer has died as a result, said Given. He's worried that could get worse if his members aren't vaccinated soon. It's incredibly difficult to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak on a ship, according to Desai Shan, an assistant professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She has been studying COVID-19's impact on seafarers. "They are extremely vulnerable in this pandemic," she said. "Considering they are important, and also vulnerable …seafarers getting priority for the vaccine is a fair request. "The medical resources and support seafarers would get on board are far, far limited compared to land-based working environments." Athaide waves to seafarers onboard bulk carriers in B.C.(Ben Nelms/CBC) Shan said countries like China and Singapore have already started vaccinating their seafarers because they recognize the importance of keeping their supply chains moving. "We carry most of the goods people use everyday, whether it be the raw materials to make the product or the product itself. We carry about 90 per cent of everything you touch and see everyday," said Given. A seafarer's job is so important it is considered essential. Given said the union wants to sit down with provincial and federal officials to come up with a plan to get its members vaccinated soon. Each individual province and territory decides how it will roll out its vaccinations. No province or territory has given seafarers priority, said Given. The CMA CGM Libra is the largest container ship ever to stop in Halifax. The vessel holds approximately 11,400 shipping containers.(Port of Halifax) Nova Scotia has taken an age-based approach. "We recognize there is interest from Nova Scotians who want to be prioritized to receive the vaccine, but we know the single biggest risk to COVID-19 patients is age," Marla MacInnis, a spokesperson for Nova Scotia's Department of Health, said in an email. She said eventually all Nova Scotians who want to get vaccinated will have the opportunity. Transport Canada had no comment on whether seafarers should be prioritized for vaccination. But spokesperson Sau Sau Liu said in an email that "Canada remains a strong advocate for the safety and welfare of seafarers and maritime workers." A truck passes by some of the many containers that it tows on a daily basis at Vancouver's port.(David Horemans/CBC) Liu said Transport Canada officials participate on a national seafarers' welfare board that advises the federal government on issues related to the well-being of seafarers. Given said that's not good enough. "It spreads so quickly and if we end up in a situation where we do get outbreaks on these ships the other aspect of it is there is nobody to replace the people to get the cargo moving again," he said. There is a shortage of seafarers in Canada right now, and with few people to replace them if they get sick, that could mean huge delays in the movement of goods and a slowdown in the Canadian economy, said Given. There are about 30,000 people across Canada employed as seafarers who directly or indirectly support 260,000 jobs and put $36 billion into the Canadian economy, he said. Many seafarers spend three months at a time on cargo ships like this one, but some can spend nine months aboard a vessel. That time onboard ship has been stretched out even further for some during the pandemic. (Steve Farmer/Port of Halifax) The country can't afford a slow down in the shipping industry, he said, especially with the busy season set to start in the spring when the Great Lakes thaw and ship traffic picks up. "We've got to find a way to get seafarers vaccinated so they have the mobility and the safety to do their jobs," said Given. MORE TOP STORIES
Caleb shows the easy way to cook rice in an instant pot with perfect results. Enjoy!