Turkey may still be on the menu this Thanksgiving, but for many Americans, travel is not. Rising virus cases, lockdowns and public health guidance discouraging trips are having an impact on this year's holiday season travel. (Nov. 23)
Turkey may still be on the menu this Thanksgiving, but for many Americans, travel is not. Rising virus cases, lockdowns and public health guidance discouraging trips are having an impact on this year's holiday season travel. (Nov. 23)
Former President Donald Trump considered replacing the acting attorney general with an official willing to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Joe Biden’s victory, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Citing people familiar with the matter, the Journal said the efforts in the last weeks of Trump's presidency failed because of resistance from his Justice appointees who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Other senior department officials later threatened to resign if Trump fired then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, several people familiar with the discussions told the Journal.
Tay staff's suggestions around trail winter maintenance were shot down after council found out it didn't mean grooming. Late last year, council asked staff to come up with options to maintain sections of Tay Trail in the three settlement areas. The matter was brought back to the table by Mayor Ted Walker even though staff had recommended against the move. After weeks of working on the project, staff brought forward several options at a recent special council meeting, only to be shot down by concerns over a misunderstanding around what winter maintenance meant. "I'm going to put a wrench in this," said Coun. Mary Warnock. "I have been using the trail for the last couple of months with my poles and boots and it's very walkable with the snow base. As I walk, I meet a lot of people and they're loving the fact that they can walk on it and cross country ski." So, she asked, does winter maintenance mean staff will be clearing snow to the pavement? "Since people knew it was coming to council, I've had numerous emails from people asking not to salt and sand it," said Warnock. "It's very safe as it is. I'm not sure what end game we're trying to achieve here, but I'm hearing from residents that they like the snow-packed base. Maybe we need to get a clear understanding of how we're clearing." Lyell Bergstrome, manager of roads and fleet services, confirmed that would be the case. "The sidewalk machine will scrape down to bare asphalt or close to it," he said. "Once we start clearing snow, we have to provide de-icing. I think there might be some liability issues." Rick Bingham, interim general manager, operational services interim manager of engineering services, confirmed that's the case. "When we go to maintain, we have to maintain it for pedestrian use to minimize slips and falls," he said. "The risk of liability increases if we don't do that." Walker said he didn't think liability should get in the way. "We know people are using it even now, so I suspect liability would be just as great even if we were clearing it," he said, asking about grooming the trail. Bryan Anderson, manager of parks, recreation and facility services, clarified. "We do not have equipment to groom and we did not reach out to the snowmobile club, because I believe direction from comment was to keep motorized vehicles on the pathway," he said. Coun. Jeff Bumstead asked if there were different clearing options available. "We're talking about clearing the width of the trail?" he asked. It can be split, said Bingham. "The intention here is to provide one path with the sidewalk machine," he explained. "The trail is wide enough. If pedestrians wanted to walk on the maintained section, they could do that. If the snowshoers and hikers and skiers wanted, they could walk on the other section." Warnock said she also had other concerns. "I'm looking at the cost as well and the upkeep of this ($10,000), it gives me some concern," she said. Walker said it was council that gave staff direction at the last meeting and voted in favour of the move. "I guess the question is, are we going to renege on this?" he said, calling for a vote. "Or are we going to go ahead and implement the three sections of trail that staff have recommended to us?" The motion to provide winter trail maintenance for this year only was defeated by a majority vote. Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Amber Stewart, executive director of the Battlefords Sexual Assault Centre, wanted to make it easier for victims of sexual assault to file a police report if they wanted to pursue that option. "We know that the [statistics] on reported cases are extremely low," she said. "So how do we get those barriers down? And if we can make this experience even a little bit less painful and traumatizing, then I really wanted to make that happen." So the centre, which provides counselling to people affected by sexual or gender-based violence, teamed up with the Battlefords RCMP. Together, they have created a new safe space for interviews and counselling, located in the sexual assault centre. "It's actually a counselling room that we use to see clients" at the centre's office, Stewart said. Renovations were done for soundproofing, and to make sure it met RCMP's audio and visual requirements for recording statements, she said. According to Battlefords RCMP Staff Sgt. Jason Teniuk, having a warmer, welcoming and — most importantly — truly private place for victims of sexual assault to come forward was long overdue. Previously, people who wanted to report a sexual assault had to go to the Battlefords RCMP detachment. "When you come into our area, our waiting room is a very unprivate area, and you'll meet somebody at the front desk who is behind a barrier glass," said Teniuk. The front office area is often "full of people in various capacities," he said. "So now you put somebody who's just been involved in an extremely traumatic event, and you bring them into that environment, and they're standing in front of a glass wall talking to somebody on the other side, in full earshot of everybody else. That is intimidating. "I would even hazard to say that we're revictimizing that person by bringing them into that environment — but unfortunately, that's what we were presented with." Now, the process will be significantly different, with support for victims and survivors prioritized at every step. RCMP will have a direct line to the sexual assault centre, Stewart said. When RCMP receive a report of a sexual assault, the officer who takes the call will phone the line and be met at the BASC office by staff or a volunteer, and taken to the new interview space. "From there, our role is to support the RCMP and the victims for before and after they give their statement — making sure that they're comfortable, making sure they have everything they need, letting them know that we're there to talk before or after. "Then, of course, the RCMP will do their interview the way they need to do it." Breaking down barriers Stewart hopes the sexual assault centre will now be more able to address some of the other barriers that keep people from reporting sexual assault, such as access to child care. When people come into the new space to make a report, volunteers will be available to help out. "If you have small children and you can't leave them, you can bring them in and we've got someone here," she said. "We can play video games or watch Netflix or eat snacks, whatever the case may be, so that there really is no barrier. And that's what the end goal was for us — to address the barriers." Teniuk says child care has been significant issue in the past for people with young children who wanted to make a report to the RCMP. "I can't tell you the amount of times I've been involved in a situation where there has been a sexual assault, or any other kind of violent incident, and you'll have a young person or a young mom or young dad come in and they have their kids with them," he said. "And we've got to try and sort out a way that we can get a statement from that person, while trying to keep the kids entertained." From January to September of 2020, Saskatchewan RCMP say they received 3,711 reports of intimate partner violence. With the new space at Battlefords Sexual Assault Centre, Teniuk hopes more people will feel they can safely come forward and make a report. "I hope victims will come in and just feel as though they are being supported, that they're heard, and something is going to be done," he said. "That is extremely important to me. And while it does happen when they come [to the RCMP detachment], I think support has been a big component of what we're missing."
During a COVID-19 outbreak, employees at a Loblaws warehouse in Calgary worked while symptomatic, didn't wear masks, and didn't disinfect equipment, according to a recently issued health order. Alberta Health Services said epidemiologists determined at least 10 people were working while showing symptoms of COVID-19 during the ongoing outbreak at Westfair Foods, a warehouse located at 55 Freeport Boulevard N.E. that serves Loblaws stores like Real Canadian Superstore and Shoppers Drug Mart in Calgary. The health order, issued Thursday, also states that there was inconsistent masking among forklift operators at the warehouse. "The most recent outbreak includes many positive cases among employees within this role (attack rates of 23 per cent and 30 per cent respectively between the two outbreaks)," the order reads. It stated that disinfection procedures weren't being observed, washrooms weren't being disinfected frequently, and there was a lack of evidence that systems to prevent spread of COVID-19 were being carried out or monitored by on-site management. An Alberta Health spokesperson said there are 60 cases linked to the current outbreak at the warehouse, 11 of which are active, and that updated numbers would be available on Tuesday. Loblaws was ordered to implement daily screening at the warehouse and maintain records, ensure all workers are wearing masks, complete a risk mitigation plan, and share materials with AHS that were provided to employees about COVID-19. Catherine Thomas, senior director of external communications for Loblaws, said in an emailed statement that the AHS report is not in line with the company's expectations for the site, and that the company is working closely with public health on next steps. "Since the beginning of the pandemic, the safety of our team members has been at the forefront of everything we do. Specifically at our distribution centres, we have put a number of protocols in place, including daily health screening, increased sanitization efforts, and physical distancing requirements," the statement read. There are currently multiple COVID-19 outbreaks at warehouses in the Calgary area, including at three Walmart Logsitics facilities, a Sobeys distribution centre, a Cargill processing facility, and an Amazon warehouse. Other health orders The health order was also one of a few issued in the city this week. Fatima restaurant in northeast Calgary was ordered to close for breaking COVID-19 and other food safety rules, including storing open foods alongside mouse droppings and a food handler wearing a mask beneath their nose. Dynamic Furniture in the city's southeast was ordered closed, as close contacts of COVID-19 cases were working while legally required to be quarantined, some staff were not wearing masks, and staff were wearing dirty gloves. And Northside Baptist Church, in the northeast, was ordered to allow health inspectors to enter the facility and to enforce COVID-19 rules, after pastor David Atkins refused to allow a public health inspector to enter and dozens of congregants were observed entering the church without masks.
After an long-awaited inquiry into ground search and rescue was formally established earlier this month, Liberal Leader Andrew Furey says another inquiry, one looking into Innu children in care, won't start until the search and rescue inquiry is finished. The provincial government established the search and rescue inquiry in a wave of announcements on Jan. 14, the day before the election was called. The inquiry into search and rescue was promised in 2015, after 14-year-old Burton Winters perished when his snowmobile became stuck on the sea ice outside Makkovik three years prior. Winters's family has repeatedly asked for the inquiry to begin and explain why it took two days for a military aircraft to be dispatched to aid ground search and rescue. However, the search and rescue inquiry will focus on policy, instead of investigation. It will hold one hearing into the search for Burton Winters. It's not clear when inquiry commissioner and former provincial court justice James Igloliorte will begin formally gathering facts and holding hearings, but proceedings are expected to wrap up sometime in June. But, Furey says the long-awaited inquiry into Innu children in care in Newfoundland and Labrador won't happen at the same time. "They're not going to happen simultaneously, but we have had really good progress with the Innu Nation and it looks like we've secured a council and a framework to move forward," Furey said Thursday. The province said more than three years ago it would launch an inquiry into Innu children in the child-care system, but there's been little to no movement in the time since. The suicide of Innu teen Wally Rich, while he was in the care of a group home in the child protection system in May 2020, renewed calls for that inquiry to begin last year. A shortage of Supreme Court judges hindered the search for a commissioner for the inquiry, and the Innu Nation previously agreed agreed to allow a commissioner from out of the province to head the inquiry. PCs, NDP call for inquiry to start PC Leader Ches Crosbie said Saturday that he doesn't know why the inquiry into Innu children in care has taken so long. "This has been bouncing around for something like three years, I think. The point about that is that it should have been done and over with by now," he said. "I don't understand why the government is dragging its feet." Alison Coffin, leader of the New Democratic party, echoed Crosbie's comments. "I think that we need to start that inquiry sooner rather than later. I don't understand why they would think that they can't be concurrent," she said. "Those are two separate and distinct things and I think they both deserve to be addressed, [it's] something that we said we were going to do for a really long time, I'm not sure why he's put it off." The Innu Nation says it will have more to say about the inquiry and other issues next week. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
MOSCOW — Russian police arrested more than 3,000 people Saturday in nationwide protests demanding the release of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Kremlin's most prominent foe, according to a group that counts political detentions. The protests in scores of cities in temperatures as low as minus-50 C (minus-58 F) highlighted how Navalny has built influence far beyond the political and cultural centres of Moscow and St. Petersburg. In Moscow, an estimated 15,000 demonstrators gathered in and around Pushkin Square in the city centre, where clashes with police broke out and demonstrators were roughly dragged off by helmeted riot officers to police buses and detention trucks. Some were beaten with batons. Navalny’s wife Yulia was among those arrested. Police eventually pushed demonstrators out of the square. Thousands then regrouped along a wide boulevard about a kilometre (half-mile) away, many of them throwing snowballs at the police before dispersing. Some later went to protest near the jail where Navalny is held. Police made an undetermined number of arrests there. The protests stretched across Russia’s vast territory, from the island city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk north of Japan and the eastern Siberian city of Yakutsk, where temperatures plunged to minus-50 Celsius, to Russia’s more populous European cities. Navalny and his anti-corruption campaign have built an extensive network of support despite official government repression and being routinely ignored by state media. “The situation is getting worse and worse, it’s total lawlessness," said Andrei Gorkyov, a protester in Moscow. "And if we stay silent, it will go on forever.” The OVD-Info group, which monitors political arrests, said at least 1,167 people were detained in Moscow and more than 460 at another large demonstration in St. Petersburg. Overall, it said 3,068 people had been arrested in some 90 cities, revising the count downward from its earlier report of 3,445. The group did not give an explanation for its revision. Russian police did not provide arrest figures. Undeterred, Navalny's supporters called for protests again next weekend. Navalny was arrested on Jan. 17 when he returned to Moscow from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a severe nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin and which Russian authorities deny. Authorities say his stay in Germany violated terms of a suspended sentence in a 2014 criminal conviction, while Navalny says the conviction was for made-up charges. The 44-year-old activist is well known nationally for his reports on the corruption that has flourished under President Vladimir Putin's government. His wide support puts the Kremlin in a strategic bind — officials are apparently unwilling to back down by letting him go free, but keeping him in custody risks more protests and criticism from the West. In a statement, the U.S. State Department condemned “the use of harsh tactics against protesters and journalists this weekend in cities throughout Russia” and called on Russian authorities to immediately release Navalny and all those detained at protests. Navalny faces a court hearing in early February to determine whether his sentence in the criminal case for fraud and money-laundering — which Navalny says was politically motivated — is converted to 3 1/2 years behind bars. Moscow police on Thursday arrested three top Navalny associates, two of whom were later jailed for periods of nine and 10 days. Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20. He was transferred from a hospital in Siberia to a Berlin hospital two days later. Labs in Germany, France and Sweden, and tests by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, established that he was exposed to the Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russian authorities insisted that the doctors who treated Navalny in Siberia before he was airlifted to Germany found no traces of poison and have challenged German officials to provide proof of his poisoning. Russia refused to open a full-fledged criminal inquiry, citing a lack of evidence that Navalny was poisoned. Last month, Navalny released the recording of a phone call he said he made to a man he described as an alleged member of a group of officers of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, who purportedly poisoned him in August and then tried to cover it up. The FSB dismissed the recording as fake. Navalny has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side for a decade, unusually durable in an opposition movement often demoralized by repressions. He has been jailed repeatedly in connection with protests and twice was convicted of financial misdeeds in cases that he said were politically motivated. He suffered significant eye damage when an assailant threw disinfectant into his face. He was taken from jail to a hospital in 2019 with an illness that authorities said was an allergic reaction but which many suspected was a poisoning. Daria Litvinova And Jim Heintz, The Associated Press
IDRE FJALL, SWEDEN. — Being patient paid off handsomely for Canadian Reece Howden on Saturday. After sitting back for most of the final, the 22-year-old from Cultus Lake, B.C., came on to capture the gold medal in a World Cup ski cross competition. It was his second World Cup win in just over a month. Howden is accustomed to leading races but said that wasn't the idea Saturday. “The plan was to not come out in front, the draft was too strong," he said on Alpine Canada's website. "I wanted to chill in the middle of the pack and give my legs a bit of a break and once I made that last turn fire up those engines and get out in front. "Today was a day of racing, not a day of leading so I was super happy with my execution and it couldn’t have gone any better.” Montreal's Chris Del Bosco of Montreal was third in the small final Saturday and seventh overall for his best finish since 2018. "It's been a while since I've been back in the small finals," said Del Bosco, who ruptured his Achilles last summer. "It felt really good to get the monkey off my back. "I made a few small mistakes in that last round, but I am heading in the right direction." Tiana Gairns, of Prince George, B.C., was a career-best fifth in the women's event. Courtney Hoffos of Invermere, B.C., and Marielle Thompson of Whistler, B.C., were sixth and eighth, respectively. "Idre is interesting since it's such a long track with such a long straight section that you don't want to pass at the beginning," Gairns said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
At least two businesses in the Maritimes have had their online contests hijacked by scammers in the past week. The businesses, Nimrods' restaurant in P.E.I. and the snack-food company Made with Local in Nova Scotia, are warning customers not to be fooled by scammers telling them they won a contest and asking them to provide personal information such as credit card numbers. Nimrods' began a contest recently in conjunction with the Facebook group P.E.I. Good News Only. Facebook users would like and share a post, and be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate. But soon afterward, people were notified by scammers with a fake Nimrods' account saying they had won, and linking to a page where they were asked to provide credit card information. "We started receiving messages from people saying, 'Is this fake or is this real?' and so then we knew there was an issue," said Nimrods' co-owner Mikey Wasnidge. Nimrods' and the administrator of P.E.I. Good News Only quickly posted a message warning of the scam. Sheena Russell, who is from P.E.I. and founded Made with Local in Dartmouth in 2012, said something similar happened with her company last week. Made with Local, a company that creates food bars and baking mixes using local ingredients, was running a giveaway on Instagram offering a one-year supply of food bars, worth about $600. "About 24 hours in, we started seeing fake accounts trying to lure people in to entering their personal information in exchange for their prize, which is clearly not how this actually works, so that was pretty upsetting," Russell said. Wasnidge and Russell said they would contact the winners privately or post the name of the winner, and not ask for personal information. Nobody reported losing money Neither business owner contacted the police about the scam, and say they are relieved that, to their knowledge, nobody lost any money. However, they are disappointed and discouraged that someone would target their company that way. "It feels terrible," Russell said. "We spent most of the day on Friday talking to people about how this wasn't us and please don't click the link, like trying to essentially protect people from getting duped into this which you know definitely kind of take the fun out of what we were trying to do." Russell said they have run many contests in the past with no issues, but thinks the early success of the Instagram contest might have caught the attention of the scammers. Wasnidge said it makes him wonder how far scammers are willing to go, and will make the company rethink how it does contests in the future. "It's a little unnerving," he said. "It kind of hurts us that people are using the name Nimrods', you know, taking advantage of the recognizability and the familiarity and the support that that name has, and using that to trick people and make money." More from CBC P.E.I.
Nearly a year after launching a clinical study into a potential COVID-19 treatment, researchers with the Montreal Heart Institute suggest a widely available anti-inflammatory drug is effective in helping people stay away from hospitals and survive the disease. Nearly 4,500 people took part in a study that's led to what the researchers are calling "a major scientific discovery." During the study, researchers found that colchicine reduced the chance of death or hospitalization by 21 per cent when compared to a placebo. That number went up when specifically looking at the pool of about 4,200 participants whose COVID-19 diagnoses were confirmed by a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Within that group, researchers say colchicine reduced hospitalizations by 25 per cent and deaths by 44 per cent. They also found the drug helped cut the need for mechanical ventilation by 50 per cent. "These results are substantial, they are robust, and we believe are compelling to justify the use of the colchicine," said Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the Montreal Heart Institute's research centre. "I believe this will have a fairly swift impact on how we practice medicine for patients that have COVID and are not yet hospitalized." The study, called COLCORONA, was launched last March and cost $14 million. It includes hundreds of subjects whose COVID-19 diagnoses were not confirmed by PCR tests because those tests were not as widespread at the time, Tardif said. Tardif also said the initial goal was to recruit 6,000 participants, but researchers settled on a lower number due to the urgency of the situation. "The beauty of colchicine is it's already available in pharmacies. So, if a physician reads this today, and has a patient that is at risk of complications, that physician can very well prescribe colchicine today," Tardif said. "This is the reason we felt compelled to alert the population and the medical community immediately about these findings." Researchers are preparing to publish their findings in a scientific journal. The study was funded by the Quebec government and several other organizations, and was carried out without contact, with participants from Canada, the United States, South America and South Africa remaining at home.
WASHINGTON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made clear to President Joe Biden on Saturday that he's eager to forge a new U.S.-U.K. trade deal. The push for a new deal came in a broad-ranging call between the two leaders that touched on the global response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the Biden administration announcing this week that the U.S. would rejoin the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization, according to a statement from Downing Street. A new trade agreement between the allies is a higher priority for Johnson than it is for Biden. The U.K. regained control over its national trade policy at the start of the month following the end of a post-Brexit transition period. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday that the administration had no timeline for forging a new trade deal as Biden's attention is largely focused on getting the coronavirus pandemic under control and pressing Congress to pass the president's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan. Janet Yellen, Biden's Treasury secretary nominee, also signalled during her confirmation hearing earlier this week that Biden wasn't eager to negotiate new trade deals. “President Biden has been clear that he will not sign any new free trade agreements before the U.S. makes major investments in American workers and our infrastructure,” Yellen said. Downing Street said Saturday that Biden and Johnson discussed “the benefits of a potential free trade deal between our two countries," and Johnson “reiterated his intention to resolve existing trade issues as soon as possible." The call with Johnson was at least Biden's third call with a foreign counterpart since Friday. The president spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Friday evening. Aamer Madhani, The Associated Press
The federal government is providing Ontario with some much-needed support in the fight against COVID-19. Ottawa is deploying two mobile health units – an additional 200 beds – to the Greater Toronto Area. The assistance comes as the province grapples with the growing strain on its hospital system. Morganne Campbell has more in this report.
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are each fielding a full slate of 40 candidates for next month's provincial election in Newfoundland and Labrador. Saturday was the deadline for would-be candidates to submit their nomination papers. The New Democrats will have candidates in 33 districts — more than double its slate of candidates in the last election in 2019. Elections NL said there will be six members of the NL Alliance on the ballots and eight independents. The deadline marks the end of the first full week of campaigning, which saw Liberal Leader Andrew Furey make stops in Marystown and Arnold's Cove, where job losses from the oil sector have rocked the local economy. Furey announced Saturday that a Liberal government would develop programs to encourage more interaction between young and older Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. "Newfoundland and Labrador has an ever-growing population of seniors. Connecting generations benefits children and older adults alike," Furey said in a statement. He said the government would consult to develop a resource that would help organizations improve connections between seniors and youth. Progressive Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie released several planks of his platform during the week, ending with a speech on Friday vowing to hammer out a better deal with Ottawa to address the province's staggering financial problems. Chris Tibbs, the Progressive Conservative candidate for Grand Falls-Windsor-Buchans, is encouraging rotational workers to make sure they vote in this election. NDP Leader Alison Coffin ended the week flying back to St. John's from Labrador, where the party won an unexpected seat in a two-vote victory in the last election. Election day is Feb. 13. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. - By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton. The Canadian Press
KONIGSSEE, GERMANY — Canadians Justin Kripps and Cam Stones were fourth Saturday in a World Cup two-man bobsleigh competition. Kripps, of Summerland, B.C., and Stones, of Oshawa, Ont., finished with a combined time of one minute 39.84 seconds. Austrians Ben Maier and Kristian Huber were third in 1:39.65. "I think we executed well," Kripps said. "I was happy with my driving and our pushes, but we just don’t really have the setup (runners) for this kind of warm weather so I think we were a bit behind on the equipment today unfortunately,." Germany’s Francesco Friedrich and Thorsten Margis finished first in 1:38.69. Compatriots Johannes Lochner and Eric Franke were second in 1:38.89. Calgary’s Chris Spring and Ottawa’s Mike Evelyn were 10th in 1:40.14. Melissa Lotholz of Barnhead, Alta., was fifth in her World Cup monobob race debut in 1:47.86. "Overall, I’m really happy with today," she said. "Coming into the race, we really didn’t know how we would stack up against the top girls at the push and the finish line so I’m happy to see that I was right there with them at the top and bottom of the track,." Christine De Bruin, of Stony Plain, Alta., was seventh (1:47.93) while Toronto's Cynthia Appiah was 11th (1:48.43). Appiah not only posted the fastest start time in both heats but also moved the start record in Konigssee to 5:38. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — A burned body, believed to be of a homeless person, has been found in a forested area of North Vancouver, B.C. RCMP Sgt. Peter DeVries says no foul play is suspected at this time and instead this appears to be a tragic accident. He says a resident of a nearby home called police around 5 p.m. Friday about a fire in the bushes behind the Phibbs Exchange bus loop near Orwell Street. Police found the body along with items that suggested the person had set up shelter in the area. DeVries says the cause of the fire is under investigation but the temperature has dropped significantly in North Vancouver and the person might have been trying to warm themselves up. He says the coroners service is working to identify the person and it is not currently known if the individual was a woman or a man. He says it's not clear whether anyone other than the deceased person was camping there and no one else was at the scene when police arrived. DeVries is urging everyone to do what they can to help the homeless, especially as winter weather hits Metro Vancouver. "If you see homeless people, help them out," he said. He points to a program started by a fellow North Vancouver RCMP officer, Cpl. Randy Wong, called Warming the Homeless, which delivers socks, toques, mittens and other items to people living on the streets. When the weather gets cold, police proactively go out and find people who may be homeless and help them find shelter, DeVries added. "I know that police agencies throughout the Lower Mainland do the same things. It's a sad reality of society that this is the case." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
An effort to shake off some homesickness led Adam DuBourdieu to mix pop culture and provincial politics — namely, taking politicians involved in this election and matching them with their visual counterparts on "The Simpsons." Originally from Kippens on the province’s west coast, DuBourdieu, 30, moved to Edmonton, Alta., just before the COVID-19 pandemic set in. As with many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, he experienced homesickness in the months that followed the move. A keen follower of local politics when living in the province, DuBourdieu set about combatting his traveller’s lament by having some fun with the upcoming provincial election. Combining his love for "The Simpsons" and politics, he matched the politicians running in the election with the Simpsons character he saw as their cartoon counterparts. “I always loved watching 'The Simpsons,'” DuBourdieu. “I watched it with my dad.” Some matchups were tough, while others were easy fits, such as the NDP’s Jim Dinn, a former schoolteacher, and his match with Principal Skinner. "You can't take yourself too seriously. Being a teacher, that's par for the course," Dinn said of that character match. Dinn has seen the rather large social media thread containing the pictures. He said that as a teacher, he learned long ago that you have to have a sense of humour, and it's a lesson he's taken with him to politics. Seeing the thread, he took it in good fun. He said it could be worse. It could turn into a meme like a recent picture of United States Senator Bernie Sanders. "Let's have a laugh with it," said Dinn. "It's a good thing. It's a bit of good fun." The result was a 47-part thread on Twitter filled with pictures of the politicians and their characters side by side. It is a mixture of retiring MHAs, incumbents and party leaders of all political stripes. "The Simpsons" and politics have a bit of history. Across its 32 seasons, the show has mixed humour and politics. The show seemingly predicted the start of the United States presidency of Donald J. Trump, and the Lisa Simpson presidency that followed him. Coincidentally, Torngat Mountains MHA Lela Evans is paired with the presidential Lisa. The relationship, however, between "The Simpsons" and the political arena doesn’t stop at a coincidental presidential prediction. The show has often tackled topics of the day, such as same-sex marriage and gun control, and it has often been accused of having a liberal bias. Springfield’s Mayor Quimby is a regularly appearing character, and DuBourdieu saw him as a perfect match for Conception Bay East-Bell Island incumbent David Brazil. Homer Simpson — coupled with Topsail-Paradise MHA Paul Dinn — once fought former U.S. president George H.W. Bush after the two became neighbours. Former U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford have also made cameo appearances on the show. DuBourdieu tabbed Ford as the right match with Mount Pearl North MHA Jim Lester. “Politics has always been in 'The Simpsons,' and Newfoundland politics has some characters,” said DuBourdieu. Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons knew at once who voiced Bart Simpsons’ former babysitter, Laura Powers. “That’s the one where Darlene from Roseanne voiced the character. Sara Gilbert,” she said. Like other children of the ’80s and early ’90s, Parsons grew up in the early years of "The Simpsons." She saw the show move from animated shorts on "The Tracy Ullman Show" to a pop culture phenomenon on Fox. “Growing up as a child, I certainly watched 'The Simpsons.' I loved Bart Simpson. I think we all did,” said Parsons. “I even had the little toys that McDonald’s was putting out.” Parsons is one of 10 women featured in the long Twitter thread. Of the 10, nine are incumbent MHAs and their animated doppelgangers. The remaining one is Newfoundland and Labrador Lt.-Gov. Judy Foote. She was paired with Springfield Elementary second-grade teacher Mrs. Hoover. “I like that (Dubourdieu) was non-partisan,” said Parsons, who appreciated the comedic break it offered. “I got a good chuckle out of it.” The response to the sizeable thread has been favourable online. It was something that surprised DuBourdieu at first. Since it went online, there have been dozens of interactions between politicians and the public. People have marvelled at how perfect some of the comparisons are, such as independent MHA Eddie Joyce being matched with oil tycoon Rich Texan. “It is something people are familiar with,” DuBourdieu said about why he chose to use "The Simpsons" as a reference point. Liberal candidate George Murphy tweeted that he thought of himself as the lovable barfly Barney Gumble instead of Police Chief Wiggum, the character he is attached to. Other candidates, such as Progressive Conservative candidate Kristina Ennis and the NDP’s Jenn Deon, have expressed interest in being connected to their Simpsons doubles. Lake Melville NDP candidate Amy Hogan even went ahead and did her own. It was Jerri Mackleberry, the mother of notable twins Sherri and Terri. “I think I’m probably the twins, Sherri and Terri’s mom, Jerri. It’s is the purple hair and the glasses,” Hogan tweeted. DuBourdieu pledged to do a third part of the thread if there is enough interest. In the days since it was posted, a link to the thread made its way around the Progressive Conservative email chain. “We got a good kick out of it,” said Conservative MHA Barry Petten. "You can’t help but laugh.” The Conception Bay South representative readily admitted he wasn’t much of a Simpsons watcher and had little background on Superintendent Chalmers or why he was paired with him. Still, Petten said he appreciated the work and the humour it brought to the election. “It’s all good humour,” he said. Looking back on the process and the result of his humourous entry into the Newfoundland and Labrador political scene, DuBourdieu has no regrets about piecing everything together. Some comparisons were easy, while others required a bit more thought, he said, and he learned a little along the way, namely, how male-dominated this province’s legislature is. As the province rolls toward the election on Feb. 13, DuBourdieu will watch from his home in Alberta. In the meantime, he is glad he got to contribute to the run-up in some way. “I’m glad I did it and I hope people get a good chuckle out of it,” said DuBourdieu. Nicholas Mercer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Central Voice
Du 25 au 29 janvier, le tout premier Forum national de l’action climatique réunira plus de 500 décideurs et professionnels lors de conférences et tables rondes. Ils présenteront des projets concrets mis en place dans toutes les régions du Québec pour réduire les émissions de gaz à effet de serre et accroître la résilience des communautés face aux changements climatiques. Parmi les personnes qui prendront la parole, on retrouvera beaucoup de représentants des régions. « La formule virtuelle nous permet d’avoir des intervenants des quatre coins du Québec, ce qu’on aurait peut-être moins été en mesure de faire si on avait fait un événement national dans une grande ville », explique Martin Vaillancourt, directeur général du Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l’environnement du Québec (RNCREQ) qui organise l’événement. « C’est probablement le seul avantage du format virtuel! » L’Est-du-Québec viendra parler de transport collectif, un défi dans les régions peu denses. On pourra ainsi savoir grâce à Patrick Morin (CRE du Bas-Saint-Laurent) où en est le projet de mise en place d’un réseau au Bas-Saint-Laurent, tandis qu’Élyse Tremblay (CRE Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine) et Marie-Andrée Pichette (Régie intermunicipale de transport) expliqueront comment sont gérés et financés les réseaux gaspésiens et madelinots. Montrer les forces de chacun Tant les villes que les zones rurales ont leur rôle à jouer dans la lutte aux changements climatiques, mais leurs réalités sont différentes. « Souvent, les régions ont des ressources naturelles qui pourraient être mises à profit, par exemple en utilisant de la biomasse forestière pour remplacer des combustibles fossiles, illustre M. Vaillancourt. Il est également plus simple de protéger des espaces naturels dans des endroits où la pression urbaine est moins grande. » Le Plan pour une économie verte (PEV), adopté par le gouvernement Legault en novembre dernier, sera largement évoqué : la première demi-journée de discussion, lundi matin, lui sera consacrée. Plusieurs organisations écologistes ont critiqué ce plan à sa sortie, le jugeant pas assez contraignant. « C’est sûr que des tables rondes vont s’intéresser aux qualités et aux limites du PEV. Au RNCREQ, on a une approche pragmatique : on va l’utiliser comme il se présente », déclare Martin Vaillancourt, tout en précisant que « nos panélistes se rendent bien compte que la solution de remplacer tous les véhicules du Québec par des voitures électriques, c’est bancal… » Outiller le monde municipal Ce forum s’adresse principalement aux « leaders du climat » qui mènent déjà des projets à l’échelle municipale ou régionale et s’intéressent à ce qui se fait ailleurs. Mais les « leaders potentiels » qui veulent passer à l’action et cherchent à savoir comment financer des projets sont également les bienvenus. Il en est de même des citoyens engagés puisque ce sont eux qui, la plupart du temps, sensibilisent leurs élus et en font des leaders potentiels. Au fil des jours, on parlera électrification, mobilité durable, infrastructures vertes et aménagement durable du territoire. Les représentants du monde municipal seront ainsi outillés pour appréhender le défi des changements climatiques et réfléchir à des solutions à mettre en œuvre localement. Abordera-t-on des propositions disruptives comme la décroissance, dont on parle de plus en plus? « Ça fait son chemin », assure le directeur général du RNCREQ, tout en rappelant que « ce n’est pas encore le courant principal ». La réflexion sur la décarbonisation de l’économie implique « des enjeux de croissance et de modèle actuel », note-t-il toutefois. Les personnes intéressées peuvent s’inscrire sur le site du RNCREQ, ce qui leur donnera automatiquement accès aux cinq demi-journées du Forum de l’action climatique. À la fin de chaque matinée, il sera possible d’aller faire un brin de jasette avec les différents conférenciers et panélistes dans des salles virtuelles créées à cet effet.Rémy Bourdillon, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Mouton Noir
FREDERICTON — The New Brunswick Liberal party chose a new executive Saturday but has yet to decide when to name a new leader. Former federal member of parliament and Moncton, N.B., mayor Brian Murphy was elected the new party president as 1,100 members took part in a virtual biennial meeting Saturday afternoon. Murphy said the party did well in francophone ridings during the last provincial election, but didn't make the same inroads in anglophone areas. "Looking inwardly, we don't have representation in southern and western New Brunswick. we only have one MLA in three of the largest cities, so we have some work to do," Murphy said in an interview following the meeting. He said the party needs to improve organization, policy and unity. "We have to look within ourselves and to the future and get some policy," he said. "Our held ridings are in the north in the francophone part of the province and we want to change that." Murphy said the party will look to a number of methods, including social media, to get its message out to attract young voters. "We've got to reach voters where they are," he said. "We have to modernize the way we send our message, not our message. Our message is we are a party of inclusion. We are a party of acceptance." The party has not set a date for a leadership convention to replace Kevin Vickers, who quit after failing to win a seat in last year's provincial election. Currently Premier Blain Higgs' Progressive Conservatives have a majority in the legislature with 27 seats, while the Liberals have 17, the Greens have three and there are two members from the People's Alliance. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
PARIS — Improving Monaco beat Marseille 3-1 in the French league on Saturday for a fifth win in six games, while the struggling visitors slipped to a fourth straight defeat despite taking an early lead. After defender Guillermo Maripan equalized for Monaco, midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni headed in the second goal and forward Stevan Jovetic thumped in a superb angled free kick in the last minute to complete what ended up as a comfortable win. Fourth-place Monaco moved one point behind third-place Lyon, which plays on Sunday, while Marseille remains in sixth spot. Arkadiusz Milik started on the bench for Marseille after joining on loan from Italian club Napoli. The Poland striker, who signed an 18-month deal late Thursday night, scored 48 goals in four seasons for Napoli but had not featured for the Italian club during this campaign. Marseille took a deserved lead in the 11th minute when winger Nemanja Radonjic chased a long ball out of defence, sprinted clear down the left flank and finished confidently from close range. For much of the first half Marseille looked the better side, but familiar frailties resurfaced. Maripan headed in the equalizer from a corner just after the break, with Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda rooted to the spot as the ball sailed into the top corner. Milik replaced the ineffective Dario Benedetto on the hour mark, and Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas brought on playmaker Dimitri Payet and forward Valere Germain shortly after. But Villas-Boas may have been better off securing things at the back. Terrible defending cost Marseille again, this time as Tchouameni was completely unmarked when heading Aleksandr Golovin's corner from the left past the stranded Mandanda in the 74th. SCORER LIMPS OFF Youcef Atal paid the price for scoring for Nice in a 1-0 win at Lens, limping off injured with a hamstring injury moments after his goal. The speedy winger netted in the 49th minute when he cut inside the penalty area from the right and finished smartly with his left foot. The win moved Nice one place up to 13th, while Lens was in seventh spot ahead of Sunday's games. SUNDAY'S ACTION Second-place Lille needs to win at fifth-place Rennes on Sunday to move level on points with leader Paris Saint-Germain, which has a much better goal difference. Lyon travels to local rival Saint-Etienne, which is missing several players because of the coronavirus. Also, Raymond Domenech looks for his first win as Nantes coach away to midtable Metz. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press
Police in Gatineau, Que., have arrested a man after a woman's body was found in the city's Buckingham sector Saturday morning. Officers were called to 190 rue Pigeon at around 7:30 a.m. after receiving a 911 call about an unconscious woman, the Gatineau Police Service said in a media release. Police said when they arrived on scene, it was obvious the woman could not be resuscitated. A man in his 60s was arrested at the scene, police said, but as of late Saturday afternoon had not been charged. The woman was in her 70s, police said. Her name has not been released. Police continue to investigate the suspicious death.
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