Last November, Alex Doyle ended up back in prison after violating his parole. That's where he may have inadvertently become a superspreader in Canada's worst COVID-19 outbreak in a federal penitentiary.
Last November, Alex Doyle ended up back in prison after violating his parole. That's where he may have inadvertently become a superspreader in Canada's worst COVID-19 outbreak in a federal penitentiary.
Former President Donald Trump has clashed again with his Republican Party, demanding that three Republican groups stop using his name and likeness for fundraising, a Trump adviser said on Saturday. The adviser, confirming a report in Politico, said lawyers for Trump on Friday had sent cease-and-desist letters to the Republican National Committee, National Republican Congressional Campaign and National Republican Senate Campaign, asking them to stop using his name and likeness on fundraising emails and merchandise.
MONTREAL — Brendan Gallagher scored twice in a four-goal second-period surge as the Montreal Canadiens finally found a way to beat Winnipeg, thumping the Jets 7-1 Saturday. Montreal (11-6-6) was coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Winnipeg and had won just one of its last seven — a stretch that included three losses (two in overtime) to the Jets. Winnipeg (15-8-1) had won two straight and six of its last seven. But that form was not on display Saturday. Josh Anderson, Tyler Toffoli, Joel Armia, Paul Byron and Jeff Petry also scored for Montreal. Gallagher (two goals and an assist) and Tomas Tatar (three assists) each had three-point nights. With Winnipeg trailing 7-0, Mathieu Perreault finally beat Carey Price with a power-play goal at 11:14 of the third. Connor Hellebuyck was pulled in the second period after the Habs' fourth goal. He stopped 15 of 19 shots. Winnipeg outshot Montreal 29-28. Returning after a three-game absence due to a lower-body injury. Anderson started on a line with Toffoli and Jesperi Kotkaniemi. After a cagey start, the game began to open up and Hellebuyck stopped Jonathan Drouin on a breakaway with less than six minutes remaining after a stretch pass from Gallagher. Anderson took advantage of a fortuitous bounce after Kotkaniemi, fighting for the puck in the Winnipeg end, fired the puck into the corner. Hellebuyck went behind the goal to corral the puck but it hit the entrance used by the ice cleaner and bounced back in front of goal. Anderson, Johnny-on-the-spot, knocked it into the empty net past defenceman Nathan Beaulieu at 15:29 for his 10th of the season. The Canadiens broke the game open in the second period with four goals in nine minutes two seconds. After Kotkaniemi won a faceoff in the Winnipeg end, Jets defenceman Tucker Poolman had a chance to clear but only sent the puck to the blue line. Shea Weber poked it back towards the slot where Toffoli's high wrist shot beat Hellebuyck for his 15th of the season at 7:03. Failure to clear the puck cost Winnipeg again less than four minutes later with Gallagher knocking Phillip Danault's no-look cross-ice pass into a gaping net. Gallagher, left alone on Hellebuyck's doorstep, then made it 4-0 at 14:25 with his 10th of the season after the Habs hemmed the Jets in their own zone. Laurent Brossoit took over in the Winnipeg goal and was promptly beaten by Armia's low wrist shot at 16:05 after a Montreal rush up the ice that drew hardly a challenge. Byron made it 6-0 at 4:20 of the third, backhanding a fat rebound home after Brossoit failed to handle a long-distance shot from Jake Evans. Seconds earlier Jets forward Trevor Lewis was hit on the hand by a Nate Thompson shot. Petry added to the Jets' pain at 8:20 with a wrist shot through traffic from the blue line. Saturday's game was the fifth under interim Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme, who is now 2-1-2 at the helm. Four of the games were against Winnipeg. "You kind of get sick and tired of battling the same guys," Montreal defenceman Brett Kulak, speaking before the game, said of playing the same team for the fourth time in 10 days. "We've played this team a lot right now. So yeah, there's a little bit of hatred for each other there, but I think it's good. And it brings the competitive level of the game up a little more," he added. Montreal starts a six-game road trip Monday with the first of two straight in Vancouver. The Jets, on a five-game road trip, open a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021 The Canadian Press
Trois municipalités de l’Est-du-Québec ont adhéré au Fonds des municipalités pour la biodiversité, en l’occurrence Saint-Pascal, Saint-André-de-Kamouraska et Percé. Quarante-cinq autres municipalités et MRC du Québec sont membres de ce fonds, qui a atteint son objectif en termes de participants pour 2020-2021. Initiative conjointe de la Fondation de la faune du Québec et de la Société pour la nature et les parcs (SNAP Québec), le Fonds des municipalités pour la biodiversité permet aux MRC et aux villes de réaliser des projets de protection et d’amélioration des milieux naturels sur leur territoire. Depuis son lancement en 2017, c’est la première fois qu’il accueille des municipalités du Bas-Saint-Laurent ou de la Gaspésie. Le principe est simple : chaque entité participante verse autant de dollars dans le fonds qu’il y a de ménages sur son territoire. Cette somme est ensuite doublée grâce à de l’argent qui vient de la Fondation de la faune, mais aussi du gouvernement du Québec, qui a donné 1 875 000 $ sur trois ans au fonds. Cette année, les 48 municipalités et MRC qui ont adhéré au fonds (en adoptant une résolution au conseil municipal ou au conseil des maires) ont apporté 531 000 $. C’est donc un peu plus d’un million de dollars qui leur sera versé en retour, proportionnellement à leur participation. Quelques plantations à Saint-André Par exemple, avec ses 325 ménages, Saint-André-de-Kamouraska versera 325 $ par an et retirera 650 $ du fonds pendant les trois prochaines années, pour un total de près de 2000 $. Une somme modique si on la compare à ce que recevra Trois-Rivières (qui compte plus de 50 000 ménages), mais cela permettra au moins de faire quelques plantations sur des terrains municipaux. « Ce n’est pas des gros projets, mais ça attire l’attention », explique le maire Gervais Darisse, qui espère que cela incitera les citoyens à planter à leur tour des arbres sur leur propriété. Gestionnaire principale des programmes à la Fondation de la faune, Christine Bélanger concède qu’une petite municipalité ne peut pas faire grand-chose avec l’argent qu’elle retire du fonds, mais elle fait remarquer qu’il est possible d’utiliser cet argent comme levier pour aller chercher davantage de financement par la suite : « Ce qui est intéressant, c’est que lorsque qu’ils nous présentent le projet dans lequel ils veulent utiliser leur argent, on peut le bonifier encore plus par le biais d’un de nos autres programmes d’aide. » Une municipalité pourrait aussi décider d’utiliser la somme qu’elle retire du fonds pour élaborer un plan de protection des milieux écologiques d’intérêt sur son territoire. Lors de la mise en application de celui-ci, elle pourrait devenir admissible à d’autres subventions gouvernementales. Les 48 municipalités et MRC choisies l’ont été selon le principe du premier arrivé, premier servi, jusqu’à épuisement des contributions de la Fondation de la faune et du gouvernement. Cela signifie que tous les candidats n’ont pas pu être acceptés, comme par exemple Cowansville (qui est sur la liste d’attente) et Laval (qui aurait accaparé une part trop importante du gâteau). Avis aux intéressés : quelques places pourraient être à nouveau disponibles en 2021-2022. Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern): 10:30 a.m. Ontario is reporting comparatively low COVID-19 case figures today, logging 990 new infections and six virus-related deaths over the past 24 hours. Health Minister Christine Elliott says there are 284 new cases in Toronto, 173 in Peel Region, and 82 in York Region. Two of those long-standing hotspots, Toronto and Peel, are due to rejoin the province's COVID-19 response framework at the grey lockdown level starting on Monday. The province is also reporting a single-day high of 39,698 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered since Friday's update. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
Quebec is reporting 749 new cases of COVID-19 today along with 10 new deaths linked to the virus. The province also says it administered 19,865 doses of vaccine on Friday as its vaccination campaign ramps up. The latest vaccination figures, the highest the province has reported in a single day so far, come as Quebec opens vaccine eligibility to more people. To date, provincial figures show 532,012 doses of vaccine have been administered out of a total of 638,445 that the province received. Quebec reported 601 hospitalizations related to COVID-19 today, a decrease of 16 from the day before. The number of people hospitalized includes 109 people in intensive care, down by two. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
KABUL — A suicide car bombing killed the Afghan intelligence directorate’s chief prosecutor Saturday, an official said, amid an increase in violence in the war-ravaged country. Sayed Mahmood Agha was on his way to his office in the southern city of Lashkargah when an attacker driving a car full of explosives targeted Agha's convoy, killing him, said Attaullah Afghan, provincial council chief for Helmand province. One of Agha's bodyguards was also killed and eight others, including two civilian passersby, were wounded. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Afghanistan is experiencing a nationwide spike in bombings, targeted killings, and other violence as peace negotiations in Qatar between the Taliban and the Afghan government continue. The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, but many go unclaimed, with the government putting the blame on the Taliban. The insurgents have denied responsibility for most of the attacks. In another incident at the Sheikh Abu Nasre Farahi crossing in Afghanistan’s western Farah province on the Iranian border, at least three terminals storing diesel fuel caught fire, causing a massive blaze that consumed at least two trucks carrying natural gas and fuel, according to Afghan officials and Iranian state media. It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire. Taj Mohammad Jahid, Governor of Farah told The Associated Press that the Afghan first responders did not have the means to put out the huge fire and had requested firefighting support from Iran, which helped extinguish the blaze. It was the second massive fire on on the Afghan-Iranian border in the past three weeks. ——— Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran contributed to this story. Tameem Akhgar, The Associated Press
The Dalai Lama, who is 85, was administered the first shot of the coronavirus vaccine on Saturday at a hospital in the north Indian hill town of Dharamsala.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Mississippi Historical Society is honouring several scholars and groups, including a commission that designed a new state that voters adopted in November. The society presented awards during its annual meeting Friday. The lifetime achievement award went to retired professor Alferdteen Harrison, who co-founded a Black history museum in the capital city of Jackson. She was honoured for her scholarly research and preservation of Mississippi history, the society said in a news release. Harrison was president of the society in 1991 and is former director of the Margaret Walker Alexander Center at Jackson State University. She helped found the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center and is now working to preserve the Scott-Ford House in Jackson’s Farish Street Historic District. Awards of Merit were presented to several groups, including a commission that designed a new state flag that features a magnolia surrounded by stars and the phrase, “In God We Trust.” The commission was created when legislators voted in June to retire the last state flag in the U.S. that featured the Confederate battle emblem. The award for the best Mississippi history book of 2021 went to “Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order, and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College,” by Nancy Bristow. She is a professor and chairwoman of the History Department at the University of Puget Sound. Robert Luckett, historian and current director of JSU's Margaret Walker Alexander Center, received the Journal of Mississippi History article of the year award for “James P. Coleman (1956-1960) and Mississippi Poppycock." It was published in the journal's spring/summer 2019 issue. The Woodville Civic Club received the Outstanding Local Historical Society Award for work preserving its community. Theresa Moore, who teaches fifth and sixth grades at Sacred Heart Catholic School in Hattiesburg, received the Teacher of the Year award. The Associated Press
The NDP and Legal Assistance of Windsor are calling for the federal government to exempt low-income individuals and families who received the Canada Emergency Response Benefit but didn't actually qualify, from having to pay back that money. And some financial experts are warning that people who received it properly may not have planned for the tax hit that comes with the money. Back in March, the federal government announced some self-employed Canadians would no longer be required to repay the thousands of dollars they received through CERB. The call was made following mass confusion over the income requirements that would deem someone eligible to receive the benefit. Some recipients applied for CERB under the impression that their gross income had to be at least $5,000 — when, in fact, net income was the deciding factor. Others were confused as to whether or not they had to have an income of $5,000 in 2019 — or in the last 12 months. But while the government's clarification in March was a promising one, Windsor West MP Brian Masse said it falls short of realizing "the impact of enforcing CERB repayment on low-income families." "Requiring low-income CERB recipients to repay the benefit will undoubtedly increase the helplessness many Canadians already feel," Masse said. "To ensure that our communities remain resilient and flexible enough to come out of this crisis we need to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbours have an opportunity to succeed." Laura Stairs, left, and Sarah Voegeli, laywers with Legal Assistance of Windsor, say they've seen cases of people applying for CERB because it was described as a safety net for those who had lost their jobs due to COVID-19 — only to realize later that they're not eligible for the benefit because they didn't make enough money in 2019.(Sanjay Maru/CBC) Sarah Voegeli, a contract lawyer with Legal Assistance of Windsor, said there's been cases of elderly people being encouraged by their friends, neighbours or community support workers to apply for CERB "without really understanding what the eligibility requirements were." "Another large category that we have seen and anticipate to see in the coming months is the individuals at the much-lower end of the income spectrum that were already struggling pre-pandemic to feed their families and to make rent payments," she said. "These individuals were really at a loss of what to do and gravitated toward applying for the CERB, even though they might not have been eligible to do so in order to ensure that their families had food to eat and they could keep the roof over their heads." In other cases, people applied for CERB because it was introduced by the federal government as a way to "assist those who had lost their job as a result of COVID," only to realize they didn't qualify because they, for example, didn't make enough money in 2019, she said. CERB will make filing taxes 'ugly,' says expert And the confusion doesn't just apply to those who may not have been eligible for CERB; it's also being felt by those filing their taxes this year. But while local officials say this clawback will hurt those who need it most, others who have accepted CERB are going to be in for an "ugly" tax filing, according to Mary Arif, owner of All Points Tax & Bookkeeping Services. "A lot of folks didn't think that they had to [pay tax on CERB] or simply refused to believe that they had to. I don't know which it is, but there's going to be some taxes on the money that you took," Arif said. Mary Arif, owner of All Points Tax & Bookkeeping Services, says the one upside to 'the chaos and the panic' that many people are feeling heading into tax time is that it's going to force a lot of people to start planning for their futures better.(Sanjay Maru/CBC) Since mid-January, the federal government has been issuing T4A slips to CERB recipients. They're very similar to the T4 slips Canadians are used to receiving from their employers, according to the Canada Revenue Agency, "but rather than employment income, they provide the amounts of COVID-19 benefits received from the CRA in 2020." "If you've received a T4A from the government for the money that you took, it's pretty straightforward, you're being taxed on it. That's as simple as that." Arif said she's met several clients who are used to paying little to no taxes — but, this year, CERB has completely changed that. Depending on your tax bracket, some may be forced to shell out thousands in taxes. "If you've received a T4A from the government for the money that you took, it's pretty straightforward, you're being taxed on it. That's as simple as that." - Mary Arif, owner of All Points Tax & Bookkeeping Services, on how CERB will affect this year's tax season "The biggest challenge is going to be if they owe taxes and they've never owed before and never planned for it before, they're going to have to change their outlook about planning for their tax future," Arif said. Some of the ways to do that, she said, include starting an RRSP, opening a TFSA account or acquiring the services of a financial professional. "You need to plan your financial future. We all need to do better," she said. The tax filing deadline for most Canadians is April 30 — and June 15 for people who are self-employed.
Charlottetown's winter festival was put on ice this week due to COVID restrictions, but will be extended six days to make up for the pause. Organizers behind the Ice City Festival, a "distant cousin" of the Jack Frost Festival normally held pre-pandemic, say the past week has been a whirlwind. The festival was supposed to have events throughout the city last week, but the circuit-breaker restrictions instituted Feb. 27, followed by red-phase restrictions early this week, put the festivities on pause. The province had announced a two-week stop to indoor dining as part of the bid to stop the sudden jump in cases. But at a pandemic briefing on Wednesday, Premier Dennis King announced restaurants could reopen Thursday. The current rules limit 50 patrons in a restaurant, no more than six at a table and the establishment must close by 10 p.m. With in-room dining allowed again, Ice City organizers could restart the festivities, which include outdoor activities as well as food. "Skating and stuff could have still carried on, but definitely with the in-room dining, a lot of our restaurant partners are having micro-events at their restaurants," said Heidi Zinn, executive director of Discover Charlottetown. "And certainly, you know, one of the reasons we're doing this is to bring people downtown and get them into the restaurant.... We're super excited to have the programming back." Charlottetown's Ice City Festival began on Feb. 12 and was slated to run until March 14. Now because of the pause it'll run until March 20.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A visitation ban at all of Alaska's correctional facilities because of the coronavirus pandemic should be loosened, officials from the Alaska Black Caucus said. Celeste Hodge Growden, president of the Alaska Black Caucus, said to reporters on Thursday that the organization had reached out to state officials multiple times to request looser restrictions, but the meetings had been repeatedly cancelled. The Alaska Department of Corrections had halted all in-person visitations at prisons and jails last March, when the virus was first detected in the state. State officials had said that they implemented the safety precautions to prevent an outbreak at the state's crowded jails. By fall and winter, the coronavirus had spread in many of the state’s correctional facilities. Goose Creek Correctional Center had nearly every prisoner contract the virus. A total of more than 2,300 inmates had contracted the virus in the state by Tuesday, data from the corrections department said. Alaska is one of 13 states that still have a complete visitation ban, according to data compiled by The Marshall Project. A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections could not be reached by phone by the Anchorage Daily News on Thursday and did not respond to an email. Richard Curtner, a former federal public defender for Alaska and co-chair of the Alaska Black Caucus’ Justice Committee, said it doesn’t make sense that visitation restrictions hadn't been lifted when restrictions elsewhere had been loosened. Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson announced Thursday that the municipality would drop capacity restrictions on public businesses and loosen gathering size limits. The Associated Press
The district attorney investigating whether former U.S. President Donald Trump illegally interfered with Georgia’s 2020 election has hired an outside lawyer who is a national authority on racketeering, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has enlisted the help of Atlanta lawyer John Floyd, who wrote a national guide on prosecuting state racketeering cases. Floyd was hired recently to “provide help as needed” on matters involving racketeering, including the Trump investigation and other cases, said the source, who has direct knowledge of the situation.
PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister: She wept as she told him two of his nephews may have been shot in broad daylight as they left a bar in Portland, Oregon. He drove there as fast as he could. An officer told him one of his nephews was heading to the hospital and the other, Tyrell Penney, hadn't survived. “My sister, Tyrell’s mom, was on the phone; I just said, ‘He’s gone.’ And I just heard the most horrific scream that you could ever imagine,” Yarborough said. When Penney was killed last summer, unrest was roiling liberal Portland as protesters took to the streets nightly to demand racial justice and defunding police. At the same time, one of the whitest major cities in America was experiencing its deadliest year in more than a quarter-century — a trend seen nationwide — with shootings that overwhelmingly affected the Black community. Responding to the calls for change in policing, the mayor and City Council cut several police programs from the budget, including one Yarborough believes could have saved his nephew. A specialized unit focused on curbing gun violence, which had long faced criticism for disproportionately targeting people of colour, was disbanded a month before Penney, a 27-year-old Black man visiting from Sacramento, California, was killed on July 25. Yarborough and some other families wonder if ending the unit is partly to blame for Portland's dramatic spike in shootings, but officials and experts attribute increased gun violence in cities nationwide to the hardships of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment, economic anxiety and stress on mental health. “Without a doubt, I think it is a possibility that my nephew could still be alive if (the Gun Violence Reduction Team) was not dissolved,” said Yarborough, a crisis response volunteer for Portland police who responds to shootings to support victims’ families. “I cannot say for sure if he would, but what I will tell you is had it not been my nephew that was saved, it probably could have saved the life of someone else,” he said. More people died of gunfire last year in Portland — 40 — than the entire tally of homicides the previous year. The number of shootings — 900 — was nearly 2 1/2 times higher than the year before. The spike has continued this year, with more than 150 shootings, including 45 people wounded and 12 killed so far. Police had warned of possible repercussions of ending the unit, pointing out cautionary tales in other cities that had made a similar choice. Portland police quoted former Salinas, California, Police Chief Kelly McMillin: “Not to be overly dramatic, but if you lose the unit which focuses on removing firearms from the hand of violent offenders, people will die. It’s really just that simple.” Stockton, California, began disbanding and defunding police units dedicated to gun violence in 2010. In 2011 and 2012, the city’s homicide rates reached record highs. After the city restored the units, homicides significantly declined, according to data reported by police. While policing has been refocused in Portland, experts and officials say it's unlikely those changes caused spikes in gun violence. “I believe if (the Gun Violence Reduction Team) were (around) today, we would still see a substantial, if not identical increase, in shootings in Portland,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in January. “This is clearly part of a larger national trend.” Wheeler, who is also police commissioner, announced the unit's disbanding last June and reassigned its 34 officers to patrol. He described it as an opportunity to reimagine policing and redirected $7 million in police funds toward communities of colour. The push was led by Jo Ann Hardesty, the first Black woman elected to the City Council. She cited a 2018 audit showing nearly 60% of people stopped by the gun violence team were Black — though they make up less than 6% of the city’s population. Nearly half of the 55 total homicide victims in 2020 were people of colour, many of them from Portland's historically Black neighbourhoods, according to city statistics. So far this year, there have been 17 homicides — a concerning number considering there had only been one homicide in the same period in 2020. Among the people of colour shot to death last year were a 23-year-old Iraqi refugee stopping to pick up an Uber fare; an 18-year-old recent high school graduate; and a 53-year-old woman caught in gang crossfire and killed in front of her husband. The violence has left leaders and community members scrambling for solutions. Some say the loss of the unit’s seasoned detectives has hurt the city, while others push for new approaches. Last month, police launched a squad of 15 officers and six detectives focusing on gun violence investigations. Officials say it's only part of the solution, as leaders partner with community groups, work to increase transparency and use proactive approaches that don't rely on the stop-and-frisk tactic. That’s little solace to Penney’s three children, the friends he was visiting in Portland or his family, who moved to California when he was child to avoid the exact reason he died — gun violence. Yarborough, Penney's uncle, was a gang member in the 1990s and had been arrested by officers with Portland's gun violence team. Despite that, he described the unit as "the CIA” of the police department and said they often stopped shootings before they happened because of their deep community knowledge. “They built relationships with gang members and knew who the perpetrators were,” Yarborough said. “They ... were able to band together to stop it, or at least refer people impacted to programs to help change their lives.” ___ Cline is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Sara Cline, The Associated Press
SAO PAULO — Two rounds of South American World Cup qualifiers scheduled for the end of March were postponed on Saturday following opposition from European clubs about allowing their players to travel during the coronavirus pandemic. South American soccer body CONMEBOL tweeted that its council made the decision based on “the impossibility of having all South American players" available for the games. “FIFA will analyze the rescheduling of the fixtures, in co-ordination with CONMEBOL and its members,” CONMEBOL said. It added there are different options for the schedule, without providing details. CONMEBOL said on Friday that FIFA was “looking for a solution to the stalemate” after Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola became the latest manager to reveal he wouldn't let his players travel to international matches this month if they have to quarantine on their return. “They are not going to fly, for sure,” Guardiola said. “It makes no sense when players go to the national team and come back and (for) 10 days cannot play.” Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp also had spoken out against letting his South American players travel for the games. Colombia’s health minister has said it was unlikely the country will reopen its borders to flights coming from Brazil, which is experiencing a second wave of the virus. Colombia was scheduled to host Brazil in a World Cup qualifier on March 26 in Barranquilla. “To open that possibility (of a flight from Brazil) would be very worrying,” minister Fernando Ruiz Gómez said. Brazilian media had previously reported national coach Tite was considering a list that includes only players who do not need to return to Europe for the two rounds of World Cup qualifying against Colombia and Argentina. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Mauricio Savarese, The Associated Press
TORONTO — Ontario's New Democrats say they would create a new cap-and-trade carbon pricing system if elected in 2022. The official Opposition made the promise in an environmental policy plank of their election platform, released today at a morning news conference. Party leader Andrea Horwath says the province needs the carbon pricing system to help fight climate change. She says the system would generate $30 billion in revenue, and the NDP would raise another $10 billion through the sale of "green bonds", over four years. The NDP says that cash would be used to pay for green building retrofits, to ramp up electric vehicle sales, and to plant a billion trees by 2030. The platform also promises to give each household in the province $600 to add an electric car charging station. Ontario's Progressive Conservative government scrapped the province's cap-and-trade system in 2018, a regime introduced by the previous Liberal government. Horwath said the NDP carbon pricing system will ensure polluters pay for their emissions and promised it will not add costs to low and middle income Ontarians. The party says the plan would help Ontario reach a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. "I think more and more people have come to the realization that we must tackle the climate climate crisis," Horwath said. "A just transition means we will really look after our people while we look after our climate." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021. The Canadian Press
Britain's Prince Charles paid tribute to the courage shown throughout the Commonwealth in response to coronavirus in a broadcast that will air on Sunday, hours before Prince Harry and Meghan talk about stepping down from royal duties on U.S. television. The prince was joined by other royals, including his elder son and heir Prince William, in talking about the impact of COVID-19 in messages recorded for a programme marking Commonwealth Day dedicated to the countries, mainly from the former British empire, that maintain links with Britain. "The coronavirus pandemic has affected every country of the Commonwealth, cruelly robbing countless people of their lives and livelihoods, disrupting our societies and denying us the human connections which we so dearly cherish," Charles said in the message.
A COVID-19 outbreak at Bowness High School in northwest Calgary is causing all grades to transition to online classes starting Monday. The Calgary Board of Education sent a letter to parents Friday detailing that the school was placed on outbreak status for the provincial COVID-19 map. According to the provinces' website, an outbreak refers to schools with five to nine cases. The CBE said classes will be held online until March.16 and will impact around 1,184 students in grades 10-12. Students will continue their coursework through a variety of virtual classroom programs but will not be able to transfer to Hub online learning, the CBE said in the letter. The province considers an outbreak investigation completed when there have been no new confirmed cases in the school for 28 days.
A new study shows the behaviour and reproduction of ground-nesting bees, like those that pollinate squash and pumpkins, is severely impacted when farmers treat the soil with neonicotinoid insecticide at the time of planting. While other studies have looked at the impacts neonicotinoid insecticide, or neonics, have had on honey bees and bumblebees, this study from University of Guelph researchers is the first to look at ground-nesting bees. It's crucial to understand how these particular bees are impacted, because they're often the ones pollinating those very crops, says Guelph professor and researcher Nigel Raine. "We know that they nest in farm fields so the likelihood is that they might be exposed to pesticides if they're applied to those crops," said Raine, who also holds the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation. The research was led by student Susan Chan over a three-year period. The researchers grew squash plants and applied three treatments: a neonicotinoid insecticide called imidacloprid applied to the soil, a neonicotinoid called thiamethoxam that coated the seeds of the plants and a chlorantraniliprole spray applied when the plant had five leaves, but before they flowered. There was also a control group. Each treatment had three hoop houses dedicated to each treatment and the control group. Eight bees were introduced to each hoop house when the plants started to flower. "We didn't know which treatments were assigned to which hoop house but boy, oh boy, you could quickly tell something was going on in three of those hoop houses," Chan said. "The extent of it was quite surprising. Shocking, as a matter of fact." Raine said the most significant impact was in bees where the neonics were applied as a soil treatment. "We found that those bees initiated 85 per cent fewer nests, so they dug fewer nests, they collected much less pollen, they left more than five times as much pollen … unharvested on the male flowers in our hoop houses and over the three years of the experiment, we found they produced 89 per cent fewer offspring than the untreated controls," he said. The researchers set up hoop houses to grow squash plants, applied pesticides, then introduced the bees into the hoop houses just as the plants were beginning to flower. The testing was blind, so researchers didn't know which treatments were in which hoop houses, but researcher Susan Chan says it became clear pretty quickly that bees were negatively impacted by one particular treatment.(Nigel Raine/University of Guelph) Information farmers need While educating the public on how neonics impact bees is important, Chan says she hopes her research reaches regulators, such as the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, as well as farmers. "This is really information that farmers need to have and I totally trust farmers to make good decisions once they have good information and often they're not given good information," she said. Regulators, she added, "haven't paid attention to the idea that bees could be exposed to pesticides in soil." Chan says previously, farmers who have been made aware of her research have changed the way they use insecticides. "It won't surprise me at all if they make changes," she said. Raine says regulators tend to look at risk assessments involving honey bees, but honey bees are not representative of most bee species. About 75 per cent of bee species are solitary, ground-nesting bees while honey bees will live in a hive or other opening above ground. He added farmers are in a difficult position: They need to grow crops, they need to control pests, but they rely very heavily on squash bees to pollinate those crops. "They don't want to be doing unintended harm to their pollinators so being able to pass out the information that certain pesticides may be more detrimental to those pollinators than others, then that may be informing their choices," he said. Regulatory review Geoffroy Legault-Thivierge, a spokesperson at Health Canada of which the Pest Management Regulatory Agency is part of, says they are aware of the study and are reviewing the research conducted by Chan and Raine. Health Canada began a special review in 2014 of three neonicotinoids: thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid. In 2019, Legault-Thivierge said the agency re-evaluated the three neonics. "Health Canada cancelled the soil uses of these pesticides on cucurbits [gourd crops], which the research article identified as posing a risk to the bees. The seed treatment uses did not pose a significant risk to squash bees in the Guelph research or in Health Canada's 2019 pollinator re-evaluation decisions," he said. He noted pesticides are registered for use in Canada "only if the science-based assessments indicate that they do not pose risks to human health or the environment." When there are "reasonable grounds" to believe the pesticides may pose a risk to the environment or human health, they can initiate a special review. Chan and Raine's research was published in the journal Scientific Reports in February.
Canadian internationals Evelyne Viens and Vanessa Gilles both scored in French league play Saturday. Viens' 90th-minute goal closed out the scoring in Paris FC's 4-1 win at Stade Reims. The 24-year-old from L'Ancienne-Lorette, Que., is on loan from Sky Blue FC, which selected the University of South Florida forward fifth overall in the 2020 NWSL draft. Gilles' header off a 19th-minute corner opened the scoring in Girondins Bordeaux's 2-0 victory at Dijon. The 24-year-old centre back from Ottawa is coming off an impressive performance for Canada against the U.S. at the SheBelieves Cup. Viens made her debut for Canada at the SheBelieves Cup. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 6, 2021 The Canadian Press
The widow of a mariner who died on B.C.'s North Coast is looking for answers and closure surrounding the circumstances of her husband's death. Judy Carlick-Pearson is asking the Canadian Coast Guard to raise the tugboat Ingenika, which sank Feb. 11 while pulling a large barge in the Gardner Canal just south of Kitimat. Carlick-Pearson's husband, Troy Pearson, and crew member Charley Cragg were both killed in the accident. A third crew member, Zac Dolan, was rescued after washing ashore. "Honestly, it's minute by minute, second by second some days," said Carlick-Pearson in an interview with CBC Daybreak North host Carolina DeRyk. "My son and I take turns being the cheerleader in the house to try and get through a moment." Stalled efforts at recovery It's now been more than three weeks since the Ingenika sank, but neither the Canadian Coast Guard nor the RCMP have been able to retrieve the vessel. Carlick-Peason says they have given up the search even though there could still be answers on the boat, and the boat still contained fuel, which could be harmful to the marine environment. "We feel that the tug will not only answer questions, but give us some closure as well," she wrote in a petition launched March 2. "If they recover the tug, they may find out why that tugboat sank, as tugboats aren't known to sink." The petition has received more than 6,600 signatures as of Saturday. In a written statement to CBC, Transport Canada extended their condolences to the families of Pearson and Cragg, but said the suspected depth of the vessel would make any attempts at recovery difficult and dangerous. "The coast guard continues to monitor the situation and work with the owner, the RCMP, Transport Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada as partners in the response," the statement says. "An investigation into the sinking of the tug Ingenika will be conducted by the Transportation Safety Board." Call for greater oversight The Feb. 11 incident has sparked calls for better protection of mariners operating vessels. The International Longshore Workers Union Local 400 Marine Section sent out a news release on Feb. 23 asking Transport Canada to require formal safety management systems for undersized and undermanned fleets operating along the coast. ILWU Local 400 president Jason Woods said approximately 12 tugboats have sunk in the past two years on the West Coast. Woods said these tugboats are often undermanned and underweight for the size of vessel they are pulling. "The only reason people haven't died is because of luck," Woods said. "We've been saying this for years, that there will be a fatality, it's going to happen, and here we are." Woods said he would like to see every commercial vessel inspected by Transport Canada regardless of its weight, and procedures in place to ensure they are appropriately manned.