Trump supporters rallied in Washington D.C., backing the president's unsubstantiated claims of wide spread voter fraud in the U.S. election.
Trump supporters rallied in Washington D.C., backing the president's unsubstantiated claims of wide spread voter fraud in the U.S. election.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Fresh off another rejection in Pennsylvania's courts, Republicans on Thursday again asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the battleground state, while the state's lawyers say fatal flaws in the original case mean justices are highly unlikely to grant it. Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly of northwestern Pennsylvania and the other plaintiffs are asking the high court to prevent the state from certifying any contests from the Nov. 3 election, and undo any certifications already made, such as Biden’s victory, while its lawsuit is considered. They maintain that Pennsylvania’s expansive vote-by-mail law is unconstitutional because it required a constitutional amendment to authorize its provisions. However, in a sign that the case is likely too late to affect the election, Justice Samuel Alito ordered the state's lawyers to respond by Dec. 9, a day after what is known as the safe harbour deadline. That means that Congress cannot challenge any electors named by this date in accordance with state law. Biden beat President Donald Trump by more than 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, a state Trump had won in 2016. Most mail-in ballots were submitted by Democrats. Pennsylvania's Supreme Court threw out the case Saturday. Kelly's lawyers sought an injunction Tuesday in the U.S. Supreme Court, then withdrew it while they asked the state's high court to halt any certifications until the U.S. Supreme Court acts. The state's justices refused Thursday, and Kelly's lawyers promptly refiled the case in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the state’s courts, justices cited the law’s 180-day time limit on filing legal challenges to its provisions, as well as the staggering demand that an entire election be overturned retroactively. In addition to challenging the state's mail-in voting law, Kelly’s lawyers question whether the state's justices violated their clients' constitutional rights by throwing out the case on the basis of time limits and barring them from refiling it on the same grounds. Lawyers for Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in court filings that Kelly's lawyers never before argued that the U.S. Constitution provides a basis for their claims, making it “highly unlikely” the U.S. Supreme Court will grant what they are seeking. In the underlying lawsuit, Kelly and the other Republican plaintiffs had sought to either throw out the 2.5 million mail-in ballots submitted under the law or to wipe out the election results and direct the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to pick Pennsylvania’s presidential electors. ___ Follow Marc Levy on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/timelywriter Marc Levy, The Associated Press
Fueled by hatred, misogyny and transphobia, there is still a lot of gender-based violence says the Violence Is Preventable Committee in Williams Lake. This year’s Purple Ribbon Campaign is well-underway and aims to raise awareness on this very topic which has been occurring in situations where it was previously unheard of or with people nobody would have ever expected. This is due, in large part, to increased stress, according to Women’s Contact Society family law advocate Kelsey Borgfjord. “2020 has been an exceptional year for stress due to the once-in-a-lifetime event of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “Early on, everyone was panicking due to the fear surrounding the unknown which has since morphed into stress and exhaustion as we enter nearly nine months since the state of emergency was declared.” Because of the novel coronavirus, there have been a lot of extra challenges for everyone. “For anyone in a stressful relationship, be it at home, at work, or in the schools, the uncertainty and changes in the way we are supposed to behave when in public can cause additional tension that turns into violence,” noted committee chair Tamara Garreau. To help support and increase awareness of this phenomenon, Garreau encourages everyone to support the campaign, which runs in Williams Lake from Dec. 1 to Dec. 10, by wearing a purple ribbon, noticing the banners, starting discussions on the topic and speaking out when one sees bullying or gender-based slurs. As the pandemic presses on, Borgfjord believes it is more important than ever to not only bring awareness to this cause but also mental wellness. “Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help,” she said, listing the Women’s Contact Society, Cariboo Friendship Society, Canadian Mental Health, Three Corners Health Services Society, RCMP Victim Services, Aboriginal Victim Services and Crisis Line as valuable resources.Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
VANCOUVER — A Transportation Safety Board team has been assigned to investigate a marine accident that seriously injured two crew members from a freighter moored in English Bay, off Vancouver.A statement from the board says the team will examine why a lifeboat from the bulk carrier Blue Bosporus was accidentally released from the ship on Dec. 1.A coast guard statement issued Tuesday said the two crew members were hurt as they carried out a routine drill in the covered lifeboat.The boat began to sink after it had dropped into the water and a vessel from the Kitsilano coast guard station was one of several that responded, rescuing the injured sailors.The statement from the safety board says its team will gather information and assess the occurrence.Three Ukrainian crew members died and one was hurt in October 2000 when a similar covered lifeboat fell about 15 metres into the water from a bulk carrier moored in English Bay.A report by the safety board in 2003 identified issues with the lifeboat's lowering mechanism and the hooks connecting it to the launching equipment. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2020.The Canadian Press
Rapportant en moyenne sept nouveaux cas par jour et étant en zone orange, les Gaspésiens et les Madelinots pourront fêter Noël en groupes de six si la situation reste la même, annonce le premier ministre Legault. La région annonce cinq nouvelles infections jeudi. Alors qu’il annonçait à la grande majorité des Québécois que les rassemblements des fêtes étaient bel et bien interdits, le premier ministre a noté une exception pour les régions ne se situant pas en zone rouge, soit la Côte-Nord, la Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine et le Bas-Saint-Laurent. «Quand on regarde les règles pour les rassemblements actuellement, les gens en zone jaune ont le droit à 10 personnes, et les zones orange à six. Ça, ce n'est pas changé, mais pour ce qui est des zones rouges, c'est interdit», a noté le premier ministre, tout en ajoutant qu’il «fait confiance au sens des responsabilités des Québécois». La Gaspésie et les Îles semblent en bonne position pour conserver leur niveau d’alerte orangé, alors que la péninsule rapporte en moyenne «sept ou huit cas par jour» au cours des deux dernières semaines, selon la santé publique. Les autorités sanitaires invitent tout de même à la prudence, notant que «la recommandation de ne pas voyager entre les régions de couleurs différentes est renforcée», et que «si les gens des zones rouges se déplacent en Gaspésie malgré tout, ils ne peuvent pas se rassembler puisque la zone suit la personne». Jeudi, cinq nouvelles infections ont été recensées, dont une aux Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Deux cas s’ajoutent dans la Côte-de-Gaspé, un en Haute-Gaspésie et un dans la MRC du Rocher-Percé. Éclosion à la prison de Percé : Pas aussi inquiétante qu’à New Carlisle Alors qu’une éclosion de COVID-19 s’est déclenchée mercredi au centre de détention de Percé, la situation semble moins inquiétante que lors de l’éclosion à la prison de New Carlisle, il y a quelques semaines. L’établissement étant plus récent et mieux entretenu, le syndicat national des agents de la paix en milieu correctionnel et la santé publique reste prudent, mais mentionne que la réalité est bien différente entre les deux milieux. «Ce n’est pas des dortoirs comme à New Carlisle et il y a eu certaines rénovations. C’est sûr qu’on ne sait jamais comment ça évolue, mais pour le moment c’est moins inquiétant», note son président, Mathieu Lavoie. Pour l’instant, quatre détenus et deux agents correctionnels ont attrapé la maladie. Un agent est en isolement préventif comme il a été en contact étroit avec une personne infectée. Tous les détenus ont été testés jeudi, et les membres du personnel ont aussi été invités à le faire. Simon Carmichael, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Soleil
Former Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall was sworn in to the House of Representatives on Thursday. Hall won a runoff election to briefly fill the seat in Congress of the late civil rights legend John Lewis. (Dec. 3)
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 8, 2020 Barrie has been downgraded from green to yellow under Ontario’s new colour-coded system for pandemic protection measures after seven new COVID-19 cases were reported in the city Nov. 6. Under the new system, areas with the lowest case counts, positivity rates and community transmission are in a green category, with the most permissive rules. Red is the “control” level and means returning to modified Stage 2 restrictions, as are seen in Toronto. Barrie was moved to yellow based on an increase in weekly cases, the speed at which the virus is spreading and how much capacity there is at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre’s intensive-care unit. Five of the seven new cases are due to workplace transmissions, one is still under investigation and the other is due to close contact. The cases involve people aged 18 to 64. There are currently about 157 active cases in the Simcoe-Muskoka district, with 50 deaths since the pandemic began. Six people are in hospital with COVID-19. This is what Barrie’s yellow rating means: • Gatherings are still limited to 10 indoors and 25 outdoors, but the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit strongly advises that people only have close contact with their direct household. • Workplace screening questions must take place. • Face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces, at workplaces and where physical distancing is not possible. • City restaurants and bars have additional restrictions, including closing at midnight, only selling liquor between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., requiring contact information for all seated patrons, limiting seating to six people per table and limiting the volume of music so people don’t have to shout to hear each other. • Non-essential travel should be restricted and outings limited as much as possible. • Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you are sick. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, get tested. The yellow code is known as the “protect level” and means a local health unit will enforce upgraded restrictions for businesses and organizations that remain open. Health units at this level are required to have a weekly rate of 10 to 39.9 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of one to 2.5 per cent.Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
ATLANTA — After weathering criticism for certifying President Donald Trump's narrow election loss to Democrat Joe Biden, Republican officials in Georgia are proposing additional requirements for the state's vote-by-mail process, despite no evidence of systemic fraud or irregularities. Two state Senate committees held hearings Thursday to begin a review of Georgia’s voting laws. Republicans are zeroing in on a plan to require a photo ID for ballots cast by mail. Voting rights activists and Democrats argue that the change isn't necessary and would disenfranchise voters. Biden beat Trump by just over 12,500 votes in Georgia, with Biden receiving nearly twice as many of the record number of absentee ballots as the Republican president, according to the secretary of state's office. A recount requested by Trump was wrapping up and wasn't expected to change the overall outcome. Trump, who for months has sowed unsubstantiated doubt about the integrity of mail-in votes, has also made baseless claims of widespread fraud in the presidential race in Georgia. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and his staff have vehemently rebuffed those claims, stating unequivocally that there is no evidence of systemic errors or fraud in last month's election. Yet Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp, both Republicans who have been publicly lambasted by Trump, have joined the push to require a photo ID for absentee voting. “Voters casting their ballots in person must show a photo ID, and we should consider applying that same standard to mail-in balloting,” Kemp said in remarks streamed live online. Kemp faced accusations of voter suppression during his successful 2018 run for governor against Democrat Stacey Abrams, an election he oversaw as Georgia's previous secretary of state. He vehemently denied the allegations. Kemp faces reelection — and a possible rematch against Abrams — in 2022. Raffensperger also has suggested allowing state officials to intervene in counties that have systemic problems with administering elections and broadening the ways in which challenges can be posed to votes cast by residents who don’t live where they say. The photo ID idea has support among several members of the state legislature, including Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan. “I don't think there should be different standards for the same process,” Dugan said in an interview. Republican House Speaker David Ralston has been skeptical of voting by mail, telling a local news outlet in April that increased mail voting “will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.” Political analysts have said that typically more Democrats than Republicans use mail-in ballots. Ralston later said he was not talking about his party losing an advantage but the potential for fraud. “We must do everything in our power to ensure votes are not stolen, cast fraudulently or plagued by administrative errors,” he said in a statement this week. Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs said in an interview with The Associated Press that currently anyone who knows someone’s name, address and date of birth can request an absentee ballot on that person’s behalf. She said that while signature matches provide some security for mail-in ballots, the process should be shored up. One way to do that could be to require a person's driver's license number or a photocopy of a separate form of ID, she said. “We need to secure all avenues that we can of absentee ballots so we never have a candidate run around this state again saying the election was stolen because of absentee ballots,” she said. While Republicans seem ready to press forward with the photo ID requirement during the upcoming legislative session, Democrats and civil rights organizations are raising alarms. With no evidence of widespread fraud or other problems in the election, it doesn’t make sense to talk about measures that could ultimately prove to be barriers to voting, said Andrea Young, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia. “What is the problem that you’re trying to solve?" she asked. “The rule should be first, ‘Do no harm’ when it comes to democracy, and whenever there are more restrictions being put on a process, you run the risk of disenfranchising Georgia citizens.” Young says adding a photo ID requirement for absentee voting would be harmful because “we know that these barriers have a different impact on African American voters, on younger voters and, in this instance, on seniors who have certainly earned the right” to vote. State Sen. Jen Jordan, an Atlanta Democrat, echoed Young’s concerns, saying Republicans were offering solutions in search of a problem. “What this says to me is that they just don’t want people voting," Jordan said. “And they specifically don’t want Democrats voting, or people that don’t support their chosen candidates voting, and they’re going to try to make it as hard as possible." Democrats and voting rights groups have for years sought to decrease rejections of absentee ballots in Georgia, arguing that minorities have been disproportionately affected. Absentee ballots are sometimes rejected because signatures on the outer envelope are deemed not to match signatures in the voter registration system, or because the envelope is not signed at all. An agreement signed in March to settle a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party spells out a standard process that must be used statewide to judge the signatures. That agreement has been the subject of much of Trump's online ire, and he has incorrectly said it “makes it impossible to check & match signatures on ballots and envelopes.” Ben Nadler And Kate Brumback, The Associated Press
Builders working in the Regional District of Central Kootenay will have to meet new energy-efficient construction standards starting in the new year. The RDCK’s board of directors voted last month to adopt the provincial Energy STEP Code as of December 31. Under Step 1, all new residential buildings have to have a certified energy advisor confirm its design meets the energy requirements of the current building code. Future steps will see buildings having to meet more and more requirements. The final step, Step 5, due to be introduced in 2032, will demand all new buildings to be net-zero in energy use. Step 1 is voluntary, but Step 3 will be provincially mandated in 2022. Staff have been recommending adopting the voluntary level of compliance for more than a year. “Not adopting Step 1 in December 2020 will inhibit the ability of builders and Building Officials to suitably prepare for the jump to Step 3 in 2022,” wrote Paul Faulkner, the RDCK’s Energy Specialist, in a report to the November 19 board meeting. “This lack of preparedness may increase the likelihood of failure to achieve compliance to the Step 3 for builders unfamiliar with the requirements, processes, and techniques to achieve Step 3.” If that happens, Faulkner warned home builders (and buyers) could see delays and extra costs to redo work that fails inspections, a shortage of trades workers familiar with the standards, inappropriate or inefficient systems being installed, and missed rebate opportunities to save construction costs. Cost not a concern Concerns have been raised around the perceived additional costs of Step Code and the impact on the affordability of homes within the RDCK. But Faulkner told directors research has showed Step 1 increases costs by less than 1%, and the next two steps only add another percentage point. “This finding suggests that improved energy efficiency and affordability can go hand-in-hand,” he wrote. The report also notes that more energy-efficient homes reduce homeowner costs, saving more money to be spent locally. Some areas of the RDCK have already adopted higher standards. The City of Nelson requires builders to construct housing to Step 3 standards, and Castlegar and Creston adopted Step 1 this fall. Mixed feelings But the board, which has debated the move for more than a year, was divided in its final vote. Nearly a third of the directors, many from the Slocan and Arrow Lakes, voted against the motion. “It’s my feeling out there the majority of people are tired of being told what to do, tired of government taking a heavy-hand approach and telling them what to do,” said New Denver board rep Colin Moss. “To me the Step Code is coming and we know it… it feels to me we’re being asked to do something the provincial government should be doing. Why should the provincial government not make Step 1 mandatory?” “I understand the desire for improved efficiency. But I will not give support for this because it’s the only option,” added Nakusp representative Joseph Hughes. “I think that improvements in building should be done through the Code book. “Ninety percent of our homes are pre-existing. If we want to improve efficiency, we should be looking at retrofitting old houses,” he continued. “I think it is restrictive, it’s another layer of oversight, and that always leads to more and more oversight of that layer, and I can’t get behind it for what it represents to the industry.” Even board Chair Aimee Watson, who ultimately voted in favour of the program, questioned if the industry had the capacity to serve the whole RDCK, especially in her more rural areas. “I signed up to the REEP program for an energy advisor… and it took me two years to get one,” she said. “… I don’t think our rural areas are ready. I have no issue with Step Code, I have an issue with early adoption before we are ready.” Watson said only some builders she’s spoken with in her Area D are familiar with the new requirements, and energy advisers are overwhelmed in the region just to meet current needs. “So what I hear is they’re not ready. And access to them – especially in the very north end of the lake – is very, very challenging. While I think capacity is sufficient for more centralized locations, what I’m hearing from builders at that end [of Kootenay Lake] is that the capacity is not yet there.” But the majority of directors felt it was important the RDCK get moving on preparing for higher steps. “We’ve have had this in place in the City of Nelson for some time,” said Nelson rep Janice Morrison, who moved adoption. “We’ve had only positive feedback from builders in our area.” “It’s not new, it’s not out of the blue, much of it is common sense,” said Area A Director Garry Jackman, who seconded the motion. “I don’t look at this as much as early adoption as putting in place incrementally the education, instead of just hitting the wall and all of a sudden you’re at Step 3. I don’t see this as harmful.” In the end, the motion passed. But Hughes, Moss, Area K Director Paul Peterson and Area H Director Walter Popoff – all from the Arrow Lakes/ Slocan Valley – and two other directors were in opposition. John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
An 18-year-old man from Westville, N.S., has been charged following a fatal crash in Pictou County earlier this year.Pictou RCMP responded to the single-vehicle collision July 16 around 1:30 a.m. on Egypt Road in Hillside, about five kilometres north of New Glasgow.The vehicle had left the road and overturned. A woman was pronounced dead at the scene.The two other occupants of the vehicle were taken to hospital.Connor Roland MacLeod has been charged with: * Impaired operation of a conveyance causing death. * Impaired operation of a conveyance causing bodily harm. * Operation of conveyance while impaired by alcohol. * Operation of conveyance while impaired by drug. * Dangerous operation causing bodily harm. * Dangerous operation causing death.He is scheduled to appear in Pictou provincial court on April 5, 2021.MORE TOP STORIES
Air Design location, Ballon Design et les Gâteaux MB se réuniront sous le même toit à compter de janvier. Une préouverture ponctuelle est prévue dès jeudi, afin de permettre aux gens de se procurer décorations et cadeaux juste avant le début du temps des Fêtes. Les trois entreprises voulaient, en se réunissant, offrir aux clients la possibilité de ne faire qu’un seul arrêt pour l’organisation de leur événement spécial. Selon Jennifer Fournier, propriétaire de Ballon Design, ce partenariat est unique dans la région et très rare dans la province. « On s’est rendu compte qu’avec des ballons, des jeux gonflables, des gâteaux et des petits cadeaux, ça faisait vraiment un beau ‘mix’. Le concept qu’on a voulu créer, c’est vraiment d’avoir tout pour un événement, sous un même toit », s’est réjouie la propriétaire de Ballon Design. En parlant avec Mélina Dubé-Boily, de Gâteaux MB, les deux femmes ont remarqué qu’elles partageaient beaucoup de clients en commun. L’ouverture est prévue jeudi. Pour débuter, le commerce n’ouvrira que ponctuellement. L’ouverture complète à temps plein avec l’arrivée de la pâtissière n’est à l’horaire qu’au retour des Fêtes. Jennifer souhaite tout de même ouvrir dès le début du mois afin de faire profiter les clients des cadeaux et des ballons pour les préparations du temps des Fêtes. Le commerce d’Air Design location est ouvert, et il est possible pour les intéressés de voir l’inventaire en ligne. Pour ce qui est des Gâteaux MB, même si l’arrivée de la pâtissière à temps plein n’aura lieu qu’en janvier, les clients pourront venir chercher leurs gâteaux précommandés sur place. De tout en boutique Chaque entreprise qui s’installera dans ce nouveau local situé au 1247 boulevard Ste-Geneviève, à Chicoutimi-Nord, dispose d’une impressionnante gamme de produits. Air Design location a dans son inventaire plus de 125 structures gonflables, de toute sorte. Pour Gateaux MB, on comptera évidemment des gâteaux, mais aussi de gros biscuits, des cupcakes, et bien plus. Ballon Design se spécialise dans les bouquets de ballons et les petits cadeaux. Son créneau est le ballon personnalisé. « Je voulais faire quelque chose de différent de ce qu’on retrouvait déjà. Avec les ballons personnalisés, je peux écrire des prénoms, des phrases ou même recréer des dessins sur des ballons, ce qui est vraiment apprécié des clients », souligne Jennifer. Elle est fière d’amener ce concept ici dans la région et encore plus à Chicoutimi-Nord. Impacts de la Covid Bien évidemment, les derniers mois ont été difficiles pour tous ceux qui oeuvrent dans l’événementiel. L’annulation des fêtes, des mariages, des partys de bureau a difficilement touché le commerce de Jennifer. La jeune femme de 30 ans a dû se réinventer. « Nous nous sommes vraiment tournés vers les livraisons. Nous sommes allés livrer des petites touches de bonheur chez les gens. Plus ça allait, plus les gens me demandaient si j’avais des petits items cadeaux, qu’on pouvait joindre aux ballons », explique-t-elle. C’est ce qui fait que depuis environ un mois, on retrouve dans la boutique en ligne des cadeaux de tout genre : jouets pour enfants, produits pour le corps, items pour la maison, et bien plus. Certaines de ces surprises peuvent même être mises dans des ballons ! Ces produits seront bien sûr mis en valeur dans la nouvelle boutique. Pour tout savoir sur les heures d’ouverture et sur les items que l’on retrouve en boutique, les personnes intéressées peuvent visiter le site Internet ou la page Facebook de Ballon Design.Myriam Arsenault, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
ÉCONOMIE. En août 2020, le produit intérieur brut (PIB) réel du Québec aux prix de base augmente de 1,2 %, après avoir crû de 3,4 % en juillet. Alors que la reprise se poursuit, mais à un rythme plus modéré, cette quatrième hausse mensuelle consécutive situe le niveau du PIB d'août à près de 97 % de celui de février indique l'Institut de la statistique du Québec. Croissance de 1,2 % de la production de services Les industries productrices de services affichent une croissance de 1,2 % en août, à la suite d'une hausse de 3,8 % enregistrée en juillet. Treize des quinze grands secteurs des services croissent, notamment les services professionnels, scientifiques et techniques (+ 2,5 %), les services d'hébergement et de restauration (+ 6,5 %) et le commerce de détail (+ 1,6 %). Augmentation de 1,1 % de la production de biens Les industries productrices de biens enregistrent en août une hausse de 1,1 %, à la suite d'une augmentation de 2,4 % en juillet. La croissance de la production de biens provient presque exclusivement du secteur de la fabrication (+ 3,3 %). Le secteur des services publics affiche quant à lui une diminution de production en août (- 3,6 %). Les sous-secteurs de la fabrication qui contribuent le plus à la hausse sont la fabrication de produits en bois (+ 18,0 %), la fabrication de machines (+ 10,1 %), la fabrication d'aliments (+ 3,1 %) et la fabrication de matériel de transport (+ 2,3 %). Par contre, des reculs de production sont observés pour la fabrication de produits en plastique et en caoutchouc (- 7,1 %) et la fabrication de matériel, d'appareils et de composants électriques (- 14,6 %). Cumul des huit premiers mois de 2020 : diminution de 6,4 % du PIB réel du Québec Malgré les quatre hausses mensuelles consécutives constatées depuis avril, le PIB réel du Québec pour les huit premiers mois de l'année 2020 demeure inférieur de 6,4 % à celui de la même période de 2019. Plusieurs secteurs ont connu des pertes cumulatives notables durant cette période, notamment les secteurs de la fabrication (- 10,0 %), de la construction (- 14,5 %), des services de transport et d'entreposage (- 19,2 %), des services d'hébergement et de restauration (- 30,2 %) ainsi que des services d'enseignement (- 9,0 %). Le PIB réel du Canada aux prix de base : hausse de 1,2 % en août 2020 Selon les informations publiées par Statistique Canada le 30 octobre dernier, le PIB réel canadien aux prix de base augmente de 1,2 % en août 2020. Pour les huit premiers mois de 2020, le PIB réel canadien est inférieur de 5,9 % à celui de la même période de l'année précédente. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
MADISON, Wis. — A divided Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear President Donald Trump’s lawsuit attempting to overturn his loss to Democrat Joe Biden in the battleground state, sidestepping a decision on the merits of the claims and instead ruling that the case must first wind its way through lower courts.In another blow to Trump, two dissenting conservative justices questioned whether disqualifying more than 221,000 ballots as Trump wanted would be the proper remedy to the errors he alleged.The defeat on a 4-3 ruling was the latest in a string of losses for Trump’s post-election lawsuits. Judges in multiple battleground states have rejected his claims of fraud or irregularities.Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state’s two biggest Democratic counties, alleging irregularities in the way absentee ballots were administered. His lawsuit echoed claims that were earlier rejected by election officials in those counties during a recount that barely affected Biden’s winning margin of about 20,700 votes.Trump’s attorney Jim Troupis said he would immediately file the case in circuit court and expected to be back before the Supreme Court “very soon.”“It was clear from their writings that the court recognizes the seriousness of these issues, and we look forward to taking the next step,” he said in a statement. Trump's team made the filing late Thursday evening.In asking the conservative-controlled Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, Trump had argued that there wasn’t enough time to wage the legal battle by starting with a lower court, given the looming Dec. 14 date when presidential electors cast their votes.Swing Justice Brian Hagedorn joined three liberal justices in denying the petition without weighing in on Trump's allegations. Hagedorn said the law was clear that Trump must start his lawsuit in lower courts where factual disputes can be worked out.“We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high profile cases,” Hagedorn wrote. “Following this law is not disregarding our duty, as some of my colleagues suggest. It is following the law.”Trump filed a similar lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday.Chief Justice Patience Roggensack, in a dissent where she was joined by Justice Annette Ziegler, said she would have taken the case and referred it to lower courts for factual findings, which could then be reported back to the Supreme Court for a ruling.But she also questioned whether disqualifying ballots was appropriate, saying that "may be out of reach for a number of reasons.”Conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley wrote that the court “forsakes its duty” by not determining whether elections officials complied with the law and the inaction will undermine the public's confidence in elections. Allowing the elections commission to make the law governing elections would be a “death blow to democracy,” she wrote.“While some will either celebrate or decry the court's inaction based upon the impact on their preferred candidate, the importance of this case transcends the results of this particular election,” she wrote in a dissent joined by Roggensack and Ziegler. “The majority's failure to act leaves an indelible stain on our most recent election.”Democratic Gov. Tony Evers praised the decision.“I was frankly amazed that it was not unanimous," Evers said.Trump's lawsuit challenged procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.He claimed there were thousands of absentee ballots without a written application on file. He argued that the electronic log created when a voter requests a ballot online — the way the vast majority are requested — doesn’t meet the letter of the law.He also challenged ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted — a practice that has long been accepted and that the state elections commission told clerks was OK.Trump also challenged absentee ballots where voters declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined,” a status that exempts them from having to show photo identification to cast a ballot, and one that was used much more heavily this year due to the pandemic. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in March ruled that it was up to individual voters to determine their status.Roggensack, the chief justice, appointed Reserve Judge Stephen Simanek of Racine County to hear the case at the circuit court level. Simanek retired in 2010.The court late Thursday also declined to hear a lawsuit brought by a Wisconsin resident, Dean Mueller, that argued that ballots placed in drop boxes are illegal and must not be counted. The court's brief order included a single line noting Roggensack, Ziegler and Bradley all dissented with the denial.One other lawsuit filed by conservatives is still pending with the court seeking to invalidate ballots. In federal court, there is Trump’s lawsuit and another one with similar claims from Sidney Powell, a conservative attorney who was removed from Trump’s legal team.Wisconsin this week certified Biden’s victory, setting the stage for a Democratic slate of electors chosen earlier to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for him.Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
Local business owners want customers to know that they can shop online this Christmas, and still support Slocan Valley stores. And there’s an ever-growing choice of local shops whose wares are available online. From clothing and gourmet foods, to jewellery or knitting supplies, more businesses popping up in the Slocan are counting on locals buying online this season. “There’s a lot of social media action for shopping local, there’s a lot of energy that way this year,” says Beth Campbell, who runs the Lemon Creek-based Viva Cacao! “You don’t need to go to Amazon, you can shop here.” Campbell started Viva Cacao! about 18 months ago, though the chocolatier operated at a smaller scale for several years before that. She’s been having success getting her product into local groceries and convenience shops, but says the more she can sell direct, the better it is for her company. “I’m excited to be able to sell retail, for one, because now I can’t sell at markets,” she says. “It’s a good platform to talk about my product and what we do here, and it’s hopefully a place where I can talk about issues in our industry, things I care about and am passionate about.” Campbell says after a slow summer start, orders began coming in steadily in November. For customers who go to her website (https://vivacacao.ca), it’s a simple process to buy her products, and ship them to whomever you want. “I definitely ship anywhere, and I just figured out how to have a local pickup option so people can pick up and not pay shipping. People can contact me, and we can work out pickup. If it’s in Nelson or the valley, I can bring it in when I come in.” Brendan Murray-Nellis just started his Raven Roast business this year in Slocan, after the pandemic shut down his acupuncture practice. His online business – marketing his own herbal coffee substitute – is also just getting off the ground, and he has invested heavily in building his sales online. “It’s always interesting to see where our customers come from,” says Murray-Nellis. “We’ve been getting orders from across the United States and Canada.” Murray-Nellis says with so many people staying home and avoiding crowds, it’s important to support local creators online. “This year it’s absolutely critical to go out of our way to support local businesses. There’s a lot of small businesses that are suffering, and it’s this moment we can decide as a community whether we are going to give our money to all these online companies to do our Christmas shopping, or work with local people,” he says. While distant orders help, Murray-Nellis hopes locals will reach out and support companies like his. Raven Roast (https://ravenroast.com/) is offering free shipping anywhere for anyone ordering online in the Valley Voice readership area. “We’re going out of our way to make it easy to shop local,” he says. “We don’t have to give our money to big companies. We’re trying our best to be an easy interface you can both support local and have all the convenience of online.” Online Christmas market The loss of Christmas markets in most communities due to COVID restrictions has been one of the latest hurts caused by the pandemic, affecting both buyers and sellers. But soon there’ll be a way to enjoy the fun and excitement of a Christmas Market from your laptop. Morgen Badarti is an artist in New Denver who’s started ‘Handmade Heart,’ a virtual online market, planned for December 5-13 on Facebook Events. She’s spent years helping organize real-world craft fairs in the area, and decided to use her connections in the community to try to help craftspeople sell their products. At first she said people she contacted about an online event were reticent. “That’s because we love selling in person, don’t we? That’s why we do it, why we participate in festivals and markets and shows, because we love selling our own work, and meeting people in person. And people like that too. But unfortunately we can’t do that right now.” The Homemade Heart Market will encourage people to come to the Facebook Event, browse that page and visit individual seller’s sites. There’ll be prizes and treasure hunts and other side events to generate visits. “I really hope that people support this, it’s so important to these artisans,” she says. “They have nowhere else to sell their stuff. It’s difficult to sell in stores, it’s not easy to make your craft and sell in a store. And I worry about their survival as artistans. They’re making useful and beautiful, functional things.” And if you buy online from one of the vendors, Badarti has arranged for a delivery day after the event, when a vehicle will drive from the Junction to Nakusp, delivering products to buyers’ doors. “And you get free shipping that way,” she says. Depending on how everything works, Badarti says they’ll keep the market page open after Christmas, and perhaps have an ongoing place for local artisans to connect with buyers. See the ad for the market on page 11 and follow the links we’ve added on the Valley Voice Facebook page to learn more about the market, the participating companies, and more.John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice
Editor's note: This story was first published on Oct. 23, 2020 Cannabis has been legal in Canada for two years, but several police raids on illegal grow-ops show the illicit market continues to thrive. The OPP said it seized more than 122,000 illegally grown plants, valued at about $143 million on the street, following 52 raids across the province since July 1. “There is still a huge demand for illegal cannabis here in Ontario and in Canada,” Det.-Inspt. Jim Walker told Simcoe.com. “A great deal of the illegal cannabis we are seeing is being exported into the United States and it’s coming back in the form of U.S. currency, but also in harder drugs like cocaine, meth, fentanyl and in some cases firearms.” The provincewide investigations ended with 195 arrests, the seizure of 36 firearms, $76,000 in cash and $514,000 in property obtained by crime. Twenty-five of the 52 search warrants were conducted in central region, which includes Simcoe County, where more than 7,000 illegal plants were discovered in a Midland industrial building last month. Walker said illegal grow-ops are being operated by “opportunistic” individuals who are using loopholes in Health Canada’s medical cannabis licences and diverting cannabis to the illicit market. Suspects allegedly “stack” personal and designated cannabis grow applications onto one address, Walker said. “So you are getting cannabis grown in these large-scale illegal cannabis production sites with no intention of it every going to a medical patient,” he said. Walker said those who purchase cannabis illegally should know they are supporting criminal groups involved in human trafficking, weapons offences and dealing hard drugs. “When you are buying it from the black market, those funds are going to the pocket of criminals.” The illegal grow-ops are also impacting the quality of life of residents who live near a large facility. “Municipalities are getting complaints about them not abiding by the bylaws and even building codes,” Walker said. Earlier this month, New Tecumseth town council placed a hold on new applications related to the production and cultivation of cannabis until a study has been completed. A grow operation popped up near Tottenham earlier this year without town approval, creating noxious odours for nearby residents.Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
Editor's note: This story was first published on Nov. 20, 2020 Garry Hopkins received great news two days in a row. When you’re the CEO of a long-term-care facility in the middle of a pandemic, you can use all the good news you can get. First, a COVID-19 outbreak at IOOF Seniors Home in Barrie that began Nov. 5 when a staff member tested positive was declared over Nov. 19. “Even though we did have the one case, we are very pleased because nobody else contracted the disease, which indicates we are doing a good job with our (personal protective equipment), and our hand-washing and infection-control measures,” Hopkins told Simcoe.com. The second piece of good news came Nov. 20 when the provincial government announced it would invest $30 million in the facility to create 64 long-term-care spaces and renovate 66 existing spaces. IOOF is one of 29 projects across the province that will see 30,000 new spaces created over 10 years at a cost of $1.75 billion. There are 38,500 Ontario residents waiting to access a long-term-care space. The new spaces will be built with the current pandemic in mind by ensuring fewer residents per room. The first phase of the IOOF project — 62 new beds — should be ready in about two years, with the entire project complete by 2024. Hopkins said the IOOF facility does not have any rooms with four residents, even though it was built in 1980. “They were pretty forward thinking,” he said. “Many live in separated accommodations. They may share a washroom, but have their own bedroom spaces.” Hopkins said IOOF now has workers wearing face shields, as well as face masks, to further reduce the risk of infections. “We have to be alert all the time; you can’t let your guard down,” he said. “Of course it’s stressful because you know what the case numbers are and you worry. That’s why we are extra vigilant.” Barrie-Innisfil MPP Andrea Khanjin made the project announcement outside the IOOF facility, saying the Conservative government is focusing on long-term care, including a recent provision to provide four hours of daily care per resident. “It’s not been an easy year during COVID, but, given our government was only elected two years ago, we have done as much as we can to put our best foot forward,” Khanjin said. “Stay tuned for more.”Rick Vanderlinde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance
We may not be able to gather to attend or participate in major sporting events right now, due to COVID-19 restrictions, however the Town of Paradise, along with the City of St. John’s and other communities in the metro region, are looking ahead to 2025, when hopefully, large events are a reality once again. “The City of St. John’s, along with the region, is bidding to host the Canada Summer Games in 2025. A bid committee is determining host locations for various sports taking place as part of the games,” said councillor Patrick Martin during Tuesday’s meeting of council. “Critical to this submission is to identify partners. Paradise has been selected by the committee to host volleyball, male and female. This is one of the most exciting venues of the games filled with music, action-packed competition, and an overall festival atmosphere. The committee has advised the park will need one million dollars in upgrades before 2025.” Martin concluded by saying the committee requested confirmation from Paradise on whether it would be willing to make the necessary financial and operational commitments. Deputy Mayor Elizabeth Laurie said that it would be an incredible opportunity for the town, and would bring great economic benefit to the region, which she heard might be as high as $100 million. She also noted it would be an opportunity to upgrade facilities in Paradise Park, and, on top of that, staff would likely explore funding options so that the full cost of upgrades did not fall to the Town. Councillors Kimberly Street and Sterling Willis echoed several of those sentiments. Councillor Alan English, however, served up a different take on the situation. “I’m taking a slightly different track. I can’t support this. I think it’s wonderful to assist the City of St. Johns with their bids for the summer games, but I can’t see us making a commitment of this amount, given all the things we need to do in the town,” English said. “We’ll be discussing the budget later on, and we know the constraints we have. I know a million dollars is probably not going to solve all these problems, but we need a water tower, we need water and sewer, road improvements. And I realize this is over a four year period, but I just don’t see the return of investment here for the town.” English allowed it was too bad the Town has not been asked to host soccer, as they already have a sufficient facility. CAO Lisa Nibock said the upgrades have more to do with seating than the playing grounds. “None of the facilities that we currently have would meet the requirements for the seating,” she said. Niblock also noted, as Laurie had said earlier in the meeting, that grants and funding would likely become available. Councillors Deborah Quilty and Patrick Martin then outlined their support for the motion, for reasons iterated by other councillors. Still, English was not convinced, and voted against the motion to commit to the project, the lone councillor to do so.Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
WASHINGTON — China poses the greatest threat to America and the rest of the free world since World War II, outgoing National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe said Thursday as the Trump administration ramps up anti-Chinese rhetoric to pressure President-elect Joe Biden to be tough on Beijing.“The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the U.S. and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically,” Ratcliffe wrote in an op-ed published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal. “Many of China’s major public initiatives and prominent companies offer only a layer of camouflage to the activities of the Chinese Communist Party.”“I call its approach of economic espionage ‘rob, replicate and replace,'" Ratcliffe said. “China robs U.S. companies of their intellectual property, replicates the technology and then replaces the U.S. firms in the global marketplace.”Trump administration officials have been stepping up their anti-China rhetoric for months, especially during the presidential campaign as President Donald Trump sought to deflect blame for the spread of the coronavirus . On the campaign trail, Trump warned that Biden would go easy on China, although the president-elect agrees that China is not abiding by international trade rules, is giving unfair subsidies to Chinese companies and stealing American innovation.The Trump administration, which once boasted of warm relations with China's President Xi Jinping, also has been ramping up sanctions against China over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, Hong Kong and the South China Sea. It has moved against the Chinese telecoms giant Huawei and sought restrictions on Chinese social media applications like TikTok and WeChat.China’s embassy in the U.S. did not respond to a request for comment on Ratcliffe’s op-ed, although China has routinely denied many of these allegations in the past.Ratcliffe, a Trump loyalist who has been accused of politicizing the position, has been the nation's top intelligence official since May. In his op-ed, he did not directly address the transition to a Biden administration. Trump has not acknowledged losing the election.Ratcliffe said he has shifted money within the $85 billion annual intelligence budget to address the threat from China. Beijing is preparing for an open-ended confrontation with the U.S., which must be addressed, he said.“This is our once-in-a-generation challenge. Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain,” Ratcliffe wrote in what appeared to be call for action to future intelligence officials.Biden has announced that he wants the Senate to confirm Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, to succeed Ratcliffe as the next national intelligence director.“This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower," Ratcliffe wrote.He cited several examples of Chinese aggression against the United States:The Justice Department has charged a rising number of U.S. academics for transferring U.S. taxpayer-funded intellectual property to China.He noted the theft of intellectual property from American businesses, citing the case of Sinoval, a China-based wind turbine maker, which was convicted and heavily fined for stealing trade secrets from AMSC, a U.S.-based manufacturer formerly known as American Superconductor Inc. Rather than pay AMSC for more than $800 million in products and services it had agreed to purchase, Sinovel hatched a scheme to steal AMSC’s proprietary wind turbine technology, causing the loss of almost 700 jobs and more than $1 billion in shareholder equity, according to the Justice Department.Ratcliffe and other U.S. officials have said that China has stolen sensitive U.S. defence technology to fuel Xi's aggressive military modernization plan and they allege that Beijing uses its access to Chinese tech firms, such as Huawei, to collect intelligence, disrupt communications and threaten the privacy of users worldwide.Ratcliffe said he has personally briefed members of Congress about how China is using intermediaries to lawmakers in an attempt to influence legislation.Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
The Crown has withdrawn a criminal charge against a Lethbridge police constable charged with assault earlier this year.Const. David Easter was charged with one count of assault in August and was relieved from duty without pay.The charge was laid after the Lethbridge Police Service said there was an "altercation" in its short-term holding facility between Easter and a male prisoner on Feb. 9.Police said the prisoner was not injured in the incident.Following an investigation, police said the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service decided it would proceed with a criminal charge.This week, the Crown decided to withdraw the charge against Easter, Lethbridge police said Thursday in a news release.Easter remains relieved of duty, now with pay, pending an internal review under the Alberta Police Act.The police service said no further details would be provided.
Bay Roberts mayor Phillip Wood has received a Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for his work with the Branch 32 Legion. Having taught for over 30 years in schools across the province, and acting as current mayor of Bay Roberts, Philip Wood is a well-known in Conception Bay North. And anybody who knows Wood knows that he’s passionate about his work with the Legion. Now, Wood has received national recognition for his long-time work, something he said he was rather surprised to receive. “It’s an honour to receive this,” Wood said about the award. “I’m very surprised, because you don’t apply for theses awards, someone has to nominate you, and as a part of the nomination process, you’re also not supposed to tell the nominee that you’ve nominated them. So, to receive it was quite a surprise…When you go into any service organization, you don’t go in it to win awards, but it’s also nice to receive a little nod of approval, and it’s humbling also.” But for those who know about his work it should come as little surprise. Wood has been a member of The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 32 for over 26 years, holding various positions on the board, including secretary and president. Currently, Wood holds the position as 2nd vice-president of Provincial Command, Newfoundland and Labrador. It’s been a lengthy career of service in the Legion for Wood. He was part of the original committee that planned and developed the Veterans Quay Marina in Bay Roberts, and was involved in the recent refurbishment of the Bay Roberts cenotaph. Wood also served as liaison between the Legion and Heritage Society during the installation of the military exhibit in the Cable Building. Wood’s work with the Legion follows a military career which began when he completed his basic officer training in Chilliwack, BC. In the late 70’s he was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Mlitary service is a tradition deeply established in Wood’s family. His son, Paul, is currently serving with the PPCLI Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and has done a number of duty tours over seas, while his father, Eric, served in WWII. It means that, for Wood, honouring the sacrifices of those who have served is of the utmost importance. Following Wood’s retirement as an educator, he visited the battlefields of Europe, and has walked the Trail of The Caribou as a student chaperon. Wood said he is grateful that someone recognized him for his work with the Legion and nominated him. “I would certainly like to thank them,” he said. “It’s a great honour to know that they would take the time to fill out the nomination forum. And that’s why its humbling, because you don’t go out and solicit someone to do this. So, when someone takes the time to go out of their own initiative and say, ‘Philip Wood would be a very worthy recipient of this,’ it’s very humbling.” Like all organizations, Legions have had to adjust to COVID-19 restrictions and have had to cancel a number of events, Wood noted. “They’ve been struggling. Some branches haven’t opened up. Other branches are rebounding; however they are working very hard to keep everything going,” he said. Perhaps the most difficult decision made by the Legion across the country was to limit the number of attendees at remembrance ceremonies, or, in some case, to cancel them altogether. “It was very sad, July 1 and Nov. 11, to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies without the crowds this year,” said Wood. “But it’s all you can do. Hopefully next year we’ll be back. But the different legions have done an excellent job, and people working hard and doing the best they can.” Initial reports for the Poppy campaign, both from Branch 32 and the province as a whole, are positive, Wood, said, though numbers seem to be down slightly. “There were far more bills put in the cans then in previous years, versus coins, which was good to hear, because all funds collected go towards supporting veterans and their families,” Wood said.Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News
Nakusp Village Hall and the Public Works offices are closed to public walk-in traffic under the new COVID-19 orders issued by Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry. The public is asked to call ahead if you need to speak with Village staff, as all meetings are by appointment only. Masks will be required in all public and common areas in municipal offices as long as the health order is in effect, which is currently until December 7. Zoning decisions • A developer’s plan to tweak the zoning of a property at 88 Nelson Avenue across from the Leland breezed through a public hearing and approvals. The developer wants to build a multi-story building over five lots, with professional offices at street level and strata townhouses above. “The new owners are applying to rezone their property to allow for the operation of a doctor or dentist practice within the commercial space of a newly constructed building,” explained a staff report. However, to do that, the zoning had to be changed from Lakeshore Development (LD-1) to Core Commercial (C1). No one spoke against the zoning change, and councillors approved it without comment. Mayor Tom Zelznik, who’s related to the developer, declared a conflict and did not participate in the discussion or vote. • It was a significantly more robust debate over approving a second cannabis store in downtown Nakusp than the first go-around. Fresh Cannabis, a company out of Revelstoke, wants to open a retail cannabis shop at 201 Broadway, but needed to apply for a zoning change to allow for site-specific use. The Village received five written submissions on the issue, and three people attended the virtual meeting to voice their opposition. “I was told that’s not where Nakusp wanted to be, allowing more franchises to come into town,” said Colin Hanet, owner of Mount Odin Cannabis. He just opened Nakusp’s first pot store a few months ago, and said new competition when he was just getting established would “impact me very negatively.” “We’re local, we’re keeping everything local, we’re trying to get as many BC growers into the business as we can. We try to give back to the community, that’s our goal,” he said, adding he was submitting a petition signed by 187 people showing opposition to the second retail shop. Other intervenors cited health and safety concerns, and questioned the need for more than one cannabis shop in town. Two council members agreed. Councillor Ken Miller and Mayor Zelznik voted against the proposal. But it was Councillor Joseph Hughes’ argument that won the day. “This isn’t a simple decision, it’s very challenging,” he said. “But as a small community, we need to support a little bit of diversity in options… sometimes the market needs to decide what we have the capacity for.” The zoning amendment passed, and Fresh Cannabis will be the first company out of the gate under the Village’s revised bylaw that allows more than one cannabis retail shop. A third potential company, which has applied for zoning to set up a retail outlet on the highway near the golf course, has tabled its proposal while it gathers more information for council. Well tender accepted The project to build a third well for the Village water supply has taken another step. Council approved a proposal from WSA Engineering to do the project design, tendering and management of the project for $53,020. Hot springs revenues cooled by COVID The new COVID restrictions implemented November 19 have also put a damper on the revenues from the municipally owned hot springs. The facility is being closed to non-residents, at least until December 7, the term of the current orders from Dr. Bonnie Henry. The hot springs chalets will also be closed for the duration. The new restrictions are going to impact what was turning out as a decent year for the facility. After the shutdown earlier in the season, revenues bounced back along with the strong summer tourist season. Even with the limits set by the pandemic, the facility was showing a profit of $35,700 for the first 10 months. That’s now evaporated. “Our hope will be to end around ‘net-zero’ for the year, which is still a possibility” said the Village’s financial officer, Mark Tennant. “Which I think would be a success for the year, all things considered.” Campground revenues to benefit Village The municipal campground had a great season, despite COVID, as people vacationed close to home this year. While expecting to make $80,000, the campground actually took in $103,000 in revenue. After salaries and expenses, the campground showed a profit of $28,055. That may change a bit as the year’s last bills come due, but it still will leave some revenue to work with for the future. Taxes due Nakuspians are mostly giving unto Caesar that which is his. A report from the CFO shows only 5% of current taxes remain outstanding. That’s on par with 2019. Late-paying residents still owe a total of $109,042 for this year’s taxes. Some owners are in arrears, or still owe on past years’ taxes, to the tune of $44,966. Two properties delinquent from years past were purchased by the Village in a tax sale in September. The owners have a year to get their properties out of hock, or they could lose them. The situation is a little more pronounced for paying utility bills, which were due August 31. Current utilities outstanding as at November 15 were $119,700, said the CFO. At the same point in time last year there were $71,030 in unpaid fees for water, sewer, and waste disposal. Any utilities outstanding after December 31 will be added to arrears taxes. Broadway facelift complete The renovation of the Village’s downtown is all but complete. Staff reported that a small amount of outstanding work will be completed in the spring. “Not all invoices have been received to date but we are expecting the final costs to be around 10% under budget,” said Director of Finance Mark Tennant.John Boivin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Valley Voice