LOS ANGELES — Tiger Woods was seriously injured Tuesday when his SUV crashed into a median, rolled over and ended up on its side on a steep roadway in suburban Los Angeles known for wrecks, authorities said. The golf superstar had to be pulled out through the windshield, and his agent said he was undergoing leg surgery. Woods was alone in the SUV when it crashed into a raised median shortly before 7:15 a.m., crossed two oncoming lanes and rolled several times, authorities said at a news conference. No other cars were involved. The 45-year-old was alert and able to communicate as firefighters pried open the front windshield to get him out. The airbags deployed, and the inside of the car stayed basically intact and that “gave him a cushion to survive the crash,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said. Both of his legs were seriously injured, county Fire Chief Daryl Osby said. They said there was no immediate evidence that Woods was impaired. Authorities said they checked for any odor of alcohol or other signs he was under the influence of a substance and did not find any. They did not say how fast he was driving. The crash happened on a sweeping, downhill stretch of a two-lane road through upscale Los Angeles suburbs. Sheriff’s Deputy Carlos Gonzalez, who was the first to arrive at the wreck, told reporters that he sometimes catches people topping 80 mph in the 45 mph zone and has seen fatal crashes there. “I will say that it’s very fortunate that Mr. Woods was able to come out of this alive,” Gonzalez said. Woods was in Los Angeles over the weekend as the tournament host of the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, where he presented the trophy on Sunday. He was to spend Monday and Tuesday filming with Discovery-owned GOLFTV, with whom he has an endorsement. A tweet Monday showed Woods in a cart smiling with comedian David Spade. According to Golf Digest, also owned by Discovery, the TV shoot was on-course lessons for celebrities, such as Spade and Dwyane Wade, at Rolling Hills Country Club. Woods, a 15-time major champion who shares with Sam Snead the PGA Tour record of 82 career victories, has been recovering from Dec. 23 surgery on his lower back. It was his fifth back surgery and first since his lower spine was fused in April 2017, allowing him to stage a remarkable comeback that culminated with his fifth Masters title in 2019. He has carried the sport since his record-setting Masters victory in 1997 when he was 21, winning at the most prolific rate in modern PGA Tour history. He is singularly responsible for TV ratings spiking, which has led to enormous increases in prize money during his career. Even at 45, he remains the biggest draw in the sport. The SUV he was driving Tuesday had tournament logos on the side door, indicating it was a courtesy car for players at the Genesis Invitational. Tournament director Mike Antolini did not immediately respond to a text message, though it is not unusual for players to keep courtesy cars a few days after the event. Woods feared he would never play again until the 2017 fusion surgery. He returned to win the Tour Championship to close out the 2018 season and won the Masters in April 2019 for the fifth time. He last played Dec. 20 in the PNC Championship in Orlando, Florida, an unofficial event where players are paired with parents or children. He played with his son, Charlie, who is now 12. Woods also has a 13-year-old daughter. During the Sunday telecast on CBS from the golf tournament, Woods was asked about playing the Masters on April 8-11 and said, “God, I hope so.” He said he was feeling a little stiff and had one more test to see if he was ready for more activities. He was not sure when he would play again. Athletes from Mike Tyson to Magic Johnson and others offered hopes that Woods would make a quick recovery. “I’m sick to my stomach,” Justin Thomas, the No. 3 golf player in the world, said from the Workday Championship in Bradenton, Florida. “It hurts to see one of my closest friends get in an accident. Man, I just hope he’s all right.” Crews used a crane to lift the damaged SUV out of the hillside brush. The vehicle was placed upright on the street and sheriff’s investigators inspected it and took photos. Then it was loaded onto a flatbed truck and hauled away Tuesday afternoon. This is the third time Woods has been involved in a car investigation. The most notorious was the early morning after Thanksgiving in 2009, when his SUV ran over a fire hydrant and hit a tree. That was the start of shocking revelations that he had been cheating on his wife with multiple women. Woods lost major corporate sponsorships, went to a rehabilitation clinic in Mississippi and did not return to golf for five months. In May 2017, Florida police found him asleep behind the wheel of a car parked awkwardly on the side of the road. He was arrested on a DUI charge and said later he had an unexpected reaction to prescription medicine for his back pain. Woods later pleaded guilty to reckless driving and checked into a clinic to get help with prescription medication and a sleep disorder. Woods has not won since the Zozo Championship in Japan in fall 2019, and he has reduced his playing schedule in recent years because of injuries. The surgery Tuesday would be his 10th. He has had four previous surgeries on his left knee, including a major reconstruction after he won the 2008 U.S. Open, and five surgeries on his back. ___ Ferguson reported from Jacksonville, Florida. Stefanie Dazio And Doug Ferguson, The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is moving slowly but surely toward reengaging with the Palestinians after a near total absence of official contact during former President Donald Trump’s four years in office. As American officials plan steps to restore direct ties with the Palestinian leadership, Biden’s national security team is taking steps to restore relations that had been severed while Trump pursued a Mideast policy focused largely around Israel, America's closest partner in the region. On Tuesday, for the second time in two days, Biden's administration categorically embraced a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something that Trump had been purposefully vague about while slashing aid to the Palestinians and taking steps to support Israel’s claims to land that the Palestinians want for an independent state. The State Department said Tuesday that a U.S. delegation attended a meeting of a Norwegian-run committee that serves as a clearinghouse for assistance to the Palestinians. Although little-known outside foreign policy circles, the so-called Ad Hoc Liaison Committee has been influential in the peace process since Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo Accords in 1993. “During the discussion, the United States reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to advancing prosperity, security, and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians and to preserve the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state,” the State Department said in a statement. “The United States underscored the commitment to supporting economic and humanitarian assistance and the need to see progress on outstanding projects that will improve the lives of the Palestinian people, while urging all parties to avoid unilateral steps that make a two-state solution more difficult to achieve,” it said. U.S. participation in the meeting followed a Monday call between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel’s foreign minister in which Blinken stressed that the new U.S. administration unambiguously supports a two-state solution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is close to Trump, has eschewed the two-state solution. Biden spoke to Netanyahu last week for the first time as president after a delay that many found suspicious and suggestive of a major realignment in U.S. policy. Blinken, however, has spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi twice amid ongoing concern in Israel about Biden's intentions in the region, particularly his desire to reenter the Iran nuclear deal. In Monday's call, Blinken “emphasized the Biden administration’s belief that the two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. The Trump administration had presented its own version of a two-state peace plan, though it would have required significant Palestinian concessions on territory and sovereignty. The Palestinians, however, rejected it out of hand and accused the U.S. of no longer being an honest peace broker after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, moved the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv, cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, closed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington and rescinded a long-standing legal opinion that Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate under international law, Matthew Lee, The Associated Press
The Acadian documentary Belle-Île in Acadie by Moncton filmmaker Phil Comeau won its 100th award over the weekend at Vancouver's French-language film festival. Like the Acadian people it features, the film that premiered at Moncton's Festival International du Cinema Francophone en Acadie in 2019, has since travelled all over the world, said Comeau, who splits his time between Moncton and Montreal. Separated from Acadie for over 250 years, Comeau said it was “mind-blowing” how connected Acadians from all over the world felt connected to the place their families had been deported from generations earlier. Making the film, Comeau said he “learned Acadian culture is stronger than I imagined.” The film focuses on Acadians, in particular those from Belle-Île-en-Mer, an island of the coast of Brittany in France, who travelled to the Maritimes for the 2019 Congres Mondiale, hosted that year by Prince Edward Island and southeastern New Brunswick. Comeau said while he has attended all of the Acadian congresses, when he heard about the Belle-Île group, he saw the potential for a film. It was a moving experience, and a hopeful one, making the documentary, he said.. In one scene, the group received an apology from a woman who is a descendant of Loyalists who took over an Acadian farm in Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia. In other scenes, Acadians, gathered en masse, are seen celebrating their culture in the streets. “People see hope in the film,” Comeau said, noting it's a story that conveys Acadian resilience and pride. Louise Imbeault, president of Société Nationale de l’Acadie, the organization which oversees the World Acadian Congress and a contributor to the film’s financing, said, “sometimes you talk about feel-good movies - this could be a feel-good doc. “I think people want to hear stories where there are things that last in an ever-changing world,” she said, calling it a story of people from one side of the Atlantic still having a lasting connection with people on the other. The documentary also exposes the different experiences of various groups of Acadians. The ancestors of the group visiting from Belle-Île were deported from Acadie and held in England as political prisoners before being released and returned to France eight years later, said Comeau. This is a different history from those who were able to stay hidden in the region during the deportation or settle in different areas of New Brunswick or down the eastern United States. “It’s a different history, a different story,” he said. The experience of displacement is one many groups of people can relate to, Comeau said, noting that there are millions of refugees displaced from other parts of the world at this moment in time, and still other groups who have ancestors with similar experiences. Comeau surmises that may be why the film has done so well on the festival circuit, and is still being requested for screenings. While the film has earned awards and critical praise, significant achievements in his career as a filmmaker, Comeau says he's most touched when the film is screened and well-received in areas where Acadians have settled. Clara Pasieka, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
B.C. salmon farmers are asking Ottawa for more time to wind down operations in the Discovery Islands, following the release of a new analysis that details the potential loss of 1,500 jobs and $390 million of economic activity. With layoffs and culls of juvenile salmon already underway, the industry is seeking permission to complete the grow-out of 10.7-million eggs and smolts to harvestable size, and launch a transparent round of discussions with stakeholders and First Nations for a more equitable transition out of the archipelago. “We have been speaking about the impacts of this rushed, ill-considered decision since the day it was made, but this report really captured just how widespread the human and animal welfare impacts will be,” BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) executive director John Paul Fraser said. “Thankfully, we are also able to offer a reasonable, respectful way forward, one consistent with genuine reconciliation with First Nations and real engagement with all parties. The ball is now in the government’s court, and we ask them to seriously, and urgently, consider this reasonable way forward.” Farmed salmon require a five-year planning and production cycle before they reach market size. Up to four years are needed at in-land sites alone before young fish are large enough to be transferred to the ocean grower pens commonly associated with salmon farming. On Dec. 17 last year Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan announced DFO would no longer issue farming licences in the island group after June, 2022, giving the sector 18 months wind down operations without the option of transferring any more fish to the ocean pens. BCSFA, and now the RIAS analysis, say the deadline will likely result in the culling of more than 10-million eggs and juvenile salmon, which the association says represents the equivalent of 210-million meals. At a bare minimum, BCSFA wants the government to allow the transfer of fish to the ocean pens to complete their grow-out cycle. Above that, they’re asking for a suspension of the Discovery Islands decision to allow the industry time to develop a plan to minimize impacts for employees and their communities. A new economic analysis of the decision, commissioned by BCSFA from RIAS Inc., indicates the 19 Discovery Island farms represents 24 per cent loss of B.C. in operations that could eliminate of 690 direct jobs and 845 indirect jobs in mostly service sectors. The decision also means the loss of $386.6 million in economic output, with an estimated $87 million less in annual salaries and benefits and $21 million less in annual tax revenue at the local, provincial, and federal levels. Without the option to grow-out the stock, 10.7 million young fish will be culled. Today (Feb. 23) Mowi Canada has begun a cull of 925,000 eggs and juvenile salmon. Spokesperson Dean Dobrinsky also told Black Press Media three employees were laid off last week with at least another 30 expected through May and June. “We haven’t asked the government to redo their decision, we’re just asking for time to mitigate these impacts,” Dobrinksky said. “Morale is awful. People are genuinely worried for their families, their mortgages … it’s the continual talk on all of our sites. The worst part is the uncertainty. We haven’t heard one word from minister Jordan on this.” Black Press Media has reached out to Jordan's office for comment. The minister reached her decision after three months of consultations with seven First Nations in the Discovery Islands area. But industry, area mayors and B.C. Premier John Horgan have all stated they were not consulted prior to the announcement. “We’re looking for an opportunity to talk, to look after our employees, look for viable options to move our production, and make those adjustments over a humane, reasonable period of time instead of ‘right now.’” The Discovery Islands decision follows years of protest from wild salmon advocates who claim the farms act as reservoirs of pathogens and sea lice in the narrow waterways of a critical out-migration route for juvenile salmon. Quinn Bender, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View
P.E.I.'s Public School Branch (PSB) needs to keep the wheels on its buses going round and round – especially considering it's running low on bus drivers. To help recruit more, it started its own driver training program last year, which was partly put in place as a result of COVID-19. Many bus drivers would speak to how rewarding it is ensuring P.E.I. students arrive at school safely, transportation supervisor Mike Franklin said. "They treat the kids like they were their own." Dave Gillis, the PSB's transportation director, said the program has already seen its first few graduates. During a virtual board of directors meeting on Feb. 10. he noted P.E.I. has about 250 drivers, many of whom are reaching retirement age. Up until now, the PSB had relied on JVI Driver Training to train drivers and provide the licence necessary to operate a bus, but the pandemic forced JVI's courses to temporarily shut down. As a result, the PSB had a six- to eight-month period without any new drivers coming in. "Our pipeline was completely dry," Gillis said. "(And) we foresee a strong retirement of drivers in the future." Franklin was brought in to help develop and run the program – he has taught similar courses before and can grant the licence. He noted that they're still working with JVI, but that JVI has other groups it's committed to helping, such as the French Language School Board or the P.E.I. Regiment. "We're just trying to help them out," he said. By training bus drivers itself, the PSB can ensure the gaps being left by retiring drivers are filled and that there are enough substitute drivers on hand if regular drivers need time off. "We're willing to put the money up to train them," Franklin said, noting the PSB will waive the program's cost of about $3,000 as long as applicants agree to work for at least 10 months after they are trained. That’s because a bus driver’s licence also allows drivers to operate other vehicles, such as dump trucks, meaning many drivers could end up looking to other industries for work. The course has two elements – in-class that focuses on the technical elements of driving a bus and in-the-field that focuses on the practical elements of actually driving it. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95 Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
Golf superstar Tiger Woods needed surgery after a car crash in Los Angeles on Tuesday that left him with multiple leg injuries. Officials say he was conscious when pulled from the wrecked SUV and the injuries are not life threatening.
OTTAWA — Josh Norris scored the shootout winner to give the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at Canadian Tire Centre. Tim Stutzle also beat Montreal goalie Carey Price in the shootout. Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk opened with a miss and Senators netminder Matt Murray stopped Corey Perry and Jonathan Drouin. It capped a wild and entertaining game between the two rivals. Both teams had excellent chances in the overtime session. Stutzle had two glorious opportunities but couldn't convert and Montreal's Tyler Toffoli was stoned on a breakaway with about a minute to go. It looked like Montreal's Brendan Gallagher had scored the winner with 2.1 seconds left in regulation but the goal was waved off after a review due to goaltender interference. Tkachuk scored twice for Ottawa with Drake Batherson and Erik Brannstrom adding singles. Shea Weber had two goals for Montreal. Drouin and Toffoli had a goal apiece. After a slow start, the last-place Senators have picked up their play of late. Ottawa (6-14-1) entered with three wins over its last five games, including a 3-2 overtime victory over the Habs last Sunday. The 9-5-4 Canadiens, meanwhile, were 5-1-2 last month but entered with just one win in their last five games to drop them into fourth place in the North Division. The Senators needed just 96 seconds to open the scoring. Derek Stepan delivered a low saucer pass to Batherson, who extended his goal streak to three games by beating Price with a high backhand. Ottawa was rewarded for its steady power-play pressure at 9:57. Tkachuk flipped the puck under Price's arm on a shot the veteran goalie would no doubt like to have back. With Tkachuk and Montreal's Ben Chiarot off for fighting, the Canadiens caught a break to halve the lead at 16:03. Weber fired the puck toward the net from the boards and it deflected off Nikita Zaitsev's skate and past Murray. Tkachuk was in on the action again early in the second period, catching a high stick to the face that resulted in Weber being sent off on a double-minor. Ottawa restored its two-goal cushion as Brannstrom's low shot from the high slot went through a maze of players and between Price's legs at 3:41. It was his first career NHL goal. The Canadiens quickly answered as Thomas Chabot mishandled the puck and Drouin swooped in to collect it before beating Murray at 4:52. Weber then tied it at 10:06 with a trademark rocket from the point. Toffoli gave Montreal its first lead of the game at 8:06 of the third period. He fooled Brannstrom on his way in before snapping the puck past Murray on the short side. Tkachuk pulled Ottawa even with a softie goal less than two minutes later. He steered the puck towards the net and it fooled Price at 10:11. Chabot returned to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. Defenceman Brett Kulak drew into the Montreal lineup with Victor Mete sitting out as a healthy scratch. Ottawa will continue its five-game homestand on Thursday against Calgary. It will be the first of three straight games against the Flames. Montreal visits Winnipeg on Thursday. The Jets will also host the Canadiens on Saturday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
(Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press - image credit) One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's senior cabinet ministers is stepping aside from his duties temporarily as he deals with a medical issue. In a statement, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos said he has been experiencing chest pain in recent days and a doctor has now diagnosed him with a pulmonary embolism — an arterial blockage in his lungs. "I'm now back home and feeling well, but as per my doctor's recommendations, I will rest for a few days," Duclos said. "Let us keep taking care of each other. See you soon!" Joyce Murray, the minister of digital government, will assume Duclos's responsibilities while he recovers "for a few days." Duclos also serves as the vice-chair of Prime Minister Trudeau's COVID-19 cabinet committee and is a member of the cabinet operations committee, a key body in the executive branch that deals with "urgent and emerging issues." The Treasury Board position is an important one in government, as the occupant acts as a sort of general manager for the public service, establishing policies and standards in a wide range of areas and overseeing the implementation of programs across the federal government. The Treasury Board president keeps an eye on the government's financial management and spending and manages human resources issues, including collective bargaining agreements with unions. While the job tends to be one of the less public-facing positions in cabinet, Duclos has been a regular participant at COVID-19 briefings over the past year, where he has answered questions on everything from vaccine procurement and border closures to rent relief for small businesses.
Sexual health for pre-teens guru Saleema Noon is evolving her school-based program for online COVID-19 life. Noon and her team of sexual health educators have worked with a group of pre-teen “influencers” to develop a so-called master class for kids to set them up for a happy, healthy life. The pre-teens identified what topics to address and how to address them, making sure the messaging is relevant for young people. All Noon’s programs are prevention-based, aiming to support kids with tools before a crisis and angst hits. And there are a lot of tools pre-teens need to successfully get through life. “The stakes are just so much higher than when we were kids,” Noon told Black Press. “The pressure is just so huge, even in Grade 5. When my stepdaughters were younger – they’re in their 20s now – we just told them they couldn’t have a cell phone until high school. And that was okay then, but now Grade 5 is like the new Grade 7.” The classic fear of missing out (or FOMO), is intensified with cell phones. Noon has heard from some parents that kids want to sleep with their phones because they’re afraid they’ll miss out on a group text, or someone will say something mean about them and they won’t be able to defend themselves right away. The idea with the master class is to help parents teach good habits early so when kids are ready for social media they can use it in a way that’s fun and healthy. The workshop, called the Growing Up Game Plan, covers six areas: gender and gender stereotypes, how to honour and express emotions, healthy relationships, being assertive, puberty and body image, and internet safety. When offered in schools, typically parent advisory committees fund the workshops. Online they are fee-based, but in future iterations Noon plans to use her foundation to sponsor families financially. The current cohort is open for registration until Feb. 25; a second cohort will launch in the summer. Registration for the online workshop is here: https://saleemanoon.com/growing-up-game-plan/ Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: email@example.com Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
TORONTO — Making paid sick days and relief for businesses kick in when regions are placed in certain tiers of Ontario's pandemic restrictions system could help mitigate a third wave, the top doctor for a COVID-19 hot spot said Tuesday. Dr. Lawrence Loh, the chief medical officer of health for Peel Region, said resistance to strict public health measures often stems from lack of relief, and that could be addressed in policy. The province should consider looking at how supports could be part of its restrictions system, he said, suggesting that could help residents better follow pandemic rules. "If the issue is that you don't want to do (paid sick leave) on a permanent policy basis, then maybe within a certain zone or within a certain colour, then you actually put that in there. That's one thing that could be looked at," Loh said at a discussion hosted by the Ontario Medical Association. He noted that "a lot of the disquiet among businesses" that have suffered during shutdowns comes from lack of relief, suggesting that could be brought into the framework on a sliding scale based on the level of restrictions for a community. A spokesman for the Health Ministry said residents could apply for funds available through a federal sick leave policy, and that provincial grants were available to businesses seeking relief. David Jensen also noted that local medical officers of health can introduce orders to target specific issues in their regions. The Ontario Medical Association has called on the province to maintain, and in some cases tighten, COVID-19 restrictions in light of more infectious variants spreading in the province. Association president Dr. Samantha Hill reiterated the group's concerns about the variants on Tuesday, saying the more contagious strains need to be considered in the province's pandemic response. "The government framework developed last fall was for the original strain. It does not reflect the new variants which ... are more infectious, and that's a concern," Hill said. The group representing physicians has recommended banning indoor restaurant dining and other non-masked indoor activities for regions in the red tier of the province's pandemic system. Loh and his counterpart in Toronto sought to extend strict shutdown measures and a stay-at-home order for their regions last week, arguing the spread of variants and recent reopening of schools made it too risky to ease restrictions. The province granted their request, extending the strictest measures for those two regions, as well as North Bay, Ont., until March 8. The COVID-19 hot spot of York Region, however, saw restrictions ease as it was moved to the red, or second-strictest, tier of the province's pandemic response system. York's top doctor had sought the loosening of measures, saying his region was not seeing “explosive growth" of variants that were first detected in December. Dr. Karim Kurji said last week that there was a "reasonable handle" on variant cases, and argued that strong measures needed to be balanced with economic and mental wellbeing. The province's economic reopening began earlier this month. The government has said, however, that it has created an "emergency brake" measure that allows it to swiftly move regions into lockdown if cases spike. On Tuesday, the Opposition called for the Progressive Conservative government to clearly define what would trigger the use of that brake measure. NDP Leader Andrea Horwath said the government loosened public health restrictions too soon, without a clearly defined plan. Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca and Green party Leader Mike Schreiner also expressed confusion over the parameters of the measure. Health Minister Christine Elliott said the measure considers a public health unit’s increase in case numbers, variants of concern and health system capacity. She argued the brake was used when the province decided last week to keep Toronto, Peel Region and North Bay under the stay-at-home order for two more weeks. Horwath called that explanation "troubling." "It sounds like they're just making it up as they go along," she told reporters. "All they're relying on is this emergency brake, but they can't describe what that is and when it will be utilized. That's really, really troubling." Ontario reported 975 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 12 more deaths from the virus. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021. Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press
A new study of Kamloops restaurant owners provided a glimpse at the new (and challenging) business climate they have been forced to navigate due to COVID-19. The report found that local restaurants are having to spend more money on everything from personal protective equipment to cleaning products and plastic barriers, while simultaneously making less money. On top of that, their indoor seating capacities have been dramatically cut. Around 30 businesses took part in the survey. Overall they reported their revenues were down nearly 65 per cent, on average, from March to May 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019. The study was spearheaded by Thompson Rivers University (TRU) business student Josh Parker. Having worked for years in the restaurant industry in Calgary prior to university, Parker decided to carry out the research project when his co-op fell through. “I just wanted to do anything that I could [for the industry], to work with my school and the chamber in any way to see if we can help them out,” he explained. Parker worked on the report with his faculty advisor, Terry Lake, and Jamie Noakes, his co-op advisor. The team also partnered with The Chamber of Commerce and Mitacs BSI (Business Strategy Internship). The study found considerable differences between how independent business and chains addressed layoffs. On average, chain restaurants laid off more than 70 per cent of their staff during a 2.5 month period between March and May. In comparison, local restaurants laid off just under 50 per cent of their staff over this period. Parker added smaller restaurants were better placed to pivot to takeout when the pandemic hit. “They could figure out what they wanted to do, pivot operations and utilize their staff quicker,” said Parker. Chain restaurants were, however, able to get back to full employment rates quicker. “They’re able to kind of use their corporate entity to get all the requirements they needed to open up safely,” he said. Overall, employees at independent restaurants rated their employer’s response to the crisis higher, giving it a 4.1 out of 5, compared to 3.5 out of 5 for chain restaurants. The team also surveyed 160 customers who had ordered take-out in recent months. The survey found that the most common negative experience was the cost of take-out, with many expecting the cost to be lower given that they weren’t dining inside an establishment. At the same time, an overwhelming majority of customers said they would support local restaurants if prices had to be increased by up to 15 per cent to cover costs related to COVID-19 safety protocols. “It was kind of something we put out there that we noticed people were kind of contradicting themselves about,” said Parker. He added that it puts restaurants in a difficult position, as a meal costs roughly the same to make, whether it’s consumed in a restaurant or at home. Going forward, Parker said the public should accept that restaurants will have to marginally increase prices to maintain profitability in this difficult period. The survey also found some interesting findings on tipping culture, with just over half of participants stating they would tip both the delivery driver and the restaurant when they make an order. The survey stated the pandemic can create an added challenge for business owners to retain their employees, as servers are no longer receiving their normal tips, which effectively subsidize their salaries. As part of the survey, Parker asked customers whether they would support a no tipping policy—or more specifically, a scenario where tips were included in the final price of an order. About 32 per cent of participants said they would support this, with 44 per cent saying no and 24 per cent unsure. Another issue that restaurants brought up with Parker was the issue of online ordering services, such as SkipThe Dishes and DoorDash. Such organizations traditionally ask small business owners to hand over 20 to 30 per cent of total sales on top of partner fees. In December, the province temporarily capped the fees delivery companies can charge restaurants at 15 per cent. The rule will be in place until three months after B.C.’s state of emergency order is lifted. Skip the Dishes soon responded with a 99-cent “B.C. fee.” Parker said he found it curious to watch expensive 2021 Super Bowl ads for such companies during a time when so many small restaurants are struggling. “Without restaurants no one would need a delivery service, so I think they need to kind of work with local restaurants a little more closely,” he said. The report concluded with thoughts on how restaurants are faring overall, and calls for a more robust government response help it out. “We are in a completely unprecedented situation which has caused the government to take extraordinary measures,” it stated. “These measures have been put in place for the good of all Canadians, but they seem to impede certain businesses more, such as restaurants. “The government has forced closures and maintained 50 per cent capacity restrictions for over nine months, and local, small restaurants are in a fragile state…Many owners are unhappy with how the government has helped small businesses through the pandemic and rightfully so. There have been rent subsidies and other financial support to help these businesses, but it isn’t enough when their livelihoods are essentially put on hold.” Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.
La Ville de Sutton mandatera une firme d’ingénierie en bâtiment pour faire une nouvelle étude sur l’état du centre culturel et communautaire John-Sleeth ainsi que sur les coûts pour le rénover et le mettre aux normes. La dernière étude, en date de 2019, n’est plus d’actualité avec les coûts en construction qui ont explosé dans la dernière année. Les rapports d’expertise réalisés en 2018 et 2019 sur le bâtiment ont été dévoilés vendredi dernier. Les experts consultés recommandaient de nombreux travaux, mais le coût de ceux-ci ne dépassait pas, à l’époque, 1,2 M$. Le rapport pour la mécanique du bâtiment proposait des rénovations se chiffrant, en 2019, à 232 650 $. La firme d’architecture parlait quant à elle de travaux estimés à 658 200 $. Et des travaux d’approximativement 224 200 $ étaient recommandés pour la structure. Devant cette estimation, des citoyens qui souhaitent la survie du bâtiment construit en 1886 se sont questionnés encore plus sur la nécessité d’étudier d’autres options que la rénovation. Le maire Michel Lafrance a réitéré d’entrée de jeu, en visioconférence, qu’aucune décision n’a été prise. La reconstruction fait partie des options, mais le conseil n’a toujours pas tranché. Il a constaté que le dossier soulève les passions. M. Lafrance l’a observé sur les réseaux sociaux, mais aussi dans sa boîte courriel où il a reçu plusieurs courriels en faveur, mais aussi en défaveur de la rénovation. Mise à jour Comme les choses peuvent avoir évolué depuis bientôt deux ans et que les coûts pour les matériaux de construction ont augmenté, les élus souhaitent avoir des données à jour. «Il y a eu une discussion lundi, en caucus, et la municipalité va accorder un mandat à une firme d’ingénierie en bâtiment pour mettre l’ensemble des études à jour, annonce le directeur général Pascal Smith en entrevue. On a plusieurs études en structure, en mécanique et en architecture. Donc, on va donner un mandat pour reprendre l’ensemble du travail et d’arriver, dans un seul document, avec tous les coûts pour la rénovation et la mise aux normes du bâtiment.» Le rapport actualisé devrait être livré en avril prochain. «Évidemment, ça va être disponible», ajoute le maire. Consultation publique Afin d’obtenir un mandat clair de la population sur l’avenir du centre John-Sleeth, la municipalité veut organiser une consultation publique. La façon dont sera tenue la consultation publique n’est pas déterminée encore, mentionne Me Smith. «On va essayer de faire ça, je dirais, à la fin du printemps, début été.» Cynthia Laflamme, Initiative de journalisme local, La Voix de l'Est
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's top elections administrator on Tuesday urged state lawmakers to move all of this year's municipal elections to 2022 and bump back next year's primaries from March to May due to delayed Census data. Census numbers play a crucial role in how legislative districts are redrawn every decade. But even though the data was supposed to be delivered by next month, the federal government does not expect to have it ready to be released until September because of delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic. North Carolina is now either the first state in the nation or among the first to put forward a plan that pushes local government contests to 2022. Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, cited the Census setbacks as the driving force behind her recommendation to postpone the elections. She noted that 62 of the more than 500 municipalities across the state need the Census data because candidates submit paperwork or voters cast ballots based on their specific ward or district. While it's possible for many of the remaining local governments that do not require districts or wards to go forward without the Census data, Bell called on lawmakers to follow her advice in order to address redistricting and avoid confusing voters. “It is very difficult for voters to understand why one municipality would be having an election, while another is not, especially when they're accustomed to those elections being held at the same time,” Bell said. She noted it's unlikely redistricting would be completed in time for the December filing deadline ahead of the March 2022 primary. Every 10 years, states are tasked with creating new maps for state legislative and congressional races. Because of the delayed Census, Bell is asking leaders to endorse her 2022 recommendations for a May 3 primary, July 12 runoff primary and Nov. 8 general election. “We would propose that the municipal elections coincide with those election dates." The 2022 primaries include bids for U.S. Senate and House, judicial races and state legislative seats. Wendy Underhill, director of elections and redistricting with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said she was not aware of any other places where Census delays could cause municipal elections to be delayed. Underhill noted there's a bill in Connecticut that would move municipal elections to November, but that is likely more of a reflection of a national trend of states adjusting their calendars for local races to boost voter turnout than a response to the delayed Census. Michael Li, a senior counsel at the Brennan Center who focuses on redistricting, noted that a bill was filed in Texas earlier this month that would give the governor, lieutenant governor and state House speaker the ability to move the state's 2022 primary if a redistricting plan is not in effect by Sept. 1. He believes the Census lag could become a catalyst for states like North Carolina to transition local elections to even-numbered years. In North Carolina, the Republican-controlled General Assembly has the ultimate decision on when to hold the elections, and the state elections board is tasked with carrying out the plan. Some state elections officials are concerned with the proposed overhaul to the voting timetable, particularly in places where updated Census data is not needed to carry out local contests. “It causes me some heartburn to think about making a sweeping change that's going to affect the election schedule proposal," said Stacy Eggers, a Republican member on the state board of elections. Scott Mooneyham, a spokesman for the North Carolina League of Municipalities, said Bell's plan could actually lead to more confusion among longtime voters whose communities are unaffected by the Census but will experience later elections. “I’m not suggesting the Board of Elections can do magic and fix this problem, but I’m not at all convinced that having a one-size-fits-all approach to this is the best approach,” Mooneyham said. Damon Circosta, the Democratic chairman of the board, said he shares concerns about a lack of timely voting but added, “There's really no good solution, and I trust the General Assembly will do what they need to do to give us the direction we need.” ___ Follow Anderson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BryanRAnderson. ___ Anderson is a corps members for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Bryan Anderson, The Associated Press
The pandemic has placed significant pressure on principals at Ontario's schools, with those at virtual schools feeling the most stressed, a new survey suggests.The advocacy group People for Education surveyed principals at 1,173 schools across the province, including 906 in-person, 226 hybrid, and 41 virtual schools.It found that 57 per cent of those surveyed from virtual schools reported their levels of stress were not manageable, and 49 per cent of those from in-person and hybrid schools said the same. "Principals are dealing with an exceptional set of challenges related to running schools during a pandemic," People for Education said in a report on the survey released Tuesday. "Principals said that to serve their students and staff more effectively, they need more consistent and clearer communication, increased resources, and more time."Principals have become responsible for acting as liaisons with local public health units and implementing new COVID-19 policies at schools, the group said.In many cases, principals are the contact tracers, screeners and translators of rapidly changing government policies, it said.Principals responding to the survey said they needed increased resources, such as more staff, the removal of non-essential paperwork, and more time, such as a shorter school day to allow for planning, to help with their increased workload. There also needs to be more understanding of the challenges they face during the pandemic, they said.People for Education said 73 per cent of principals surveyed from in-person schools indicated that ensuring adequate distancing among students was among the top issues they dealt with. For principals surveyed from virtual schools, managing student enrolment was identified as the most challenging issue.The group recommended in its report that the provincial government create an education advisory task force, with key education and health stakeholders, to inform policy before it is implemented.A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Education said Tuesday that the province was grateful for the "vital work" that principals, educators and staff do every day. "This is a once-in-a-generation crisis and we are proud to see our school staff step up their efforts throughout these extraordinary circumstances," Caitlin Clark said in a statement. The government also noted that it invested $54 million dollars into hiring principals and vice-principals for virtual schools and administrative staffing support for remote learning. People for Education said its survey was sent to schools in the fall of 2020 and could be completed online in both English and French.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Denise Paglinawan, The Canadian Press
Sun Peaks may not be able to celebrate Pride Week like in years past, but Tourism Sun Peaks is still hoping to make this week special for the community’s LGBTQ+ guests and residents. Pride Week starts Wednesday, Feb. 24 and carries on until Wednesday, March 3. And while the Peak Pride Festival is unable to come up to the resort and organize events as it has in years past, Tourism Sun Peaks is asking local businesses to create welcome window displays if it is feasible, which may be highlighted on social media channels throughout the week. The organization has also teamed up with Sun Peaks Resort and GK Sound to light up the Clocktower in pride colours for the week. Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.
Melaine Simba will never forget the months she spent inside her home on Ka’a’gee Tu First Nation, south of Yellowknife, with her windows tightly shut to prevent wildfire smoke from seeping in. It was the summer of 2014 and she was following public health orders to stay inside during the Northwest Territories’ worst wildfire season on record. “There were fires all around us,” Simba told The Narwhal. “I couldn’t go outside, and I couldn’t take my son outside.” “It was just so hard to breathe in that smoke with all the falling ash.” According to a new study published in the journal BMJ Open, the wildfires caused extremely poor air quality during the more than two months of unrelenting smoke exposure. This led to a sharp increase in respiratory illnesses, with vulnerable populations, such as children and Indigenous people, disproportionately affected. The study also found that public health advisories asking people to stay inside during the wildfires were “inadequately protective,” possibly because people grew tired of the long period of isolation. With climate change contributing to longer and more intense wildfire seasons, the study authors say there’s an urgent need to be far more prepared in the future. “A really big take home of this study is that climate change is bad, and it is going to get worse,” Courtney Howard, the lead author of the study and an emergency physician in Yellowknife, told The Narwhal, adding that smoke exposure levels during the wildfires were some of the worst ever studied. “We are going to need new, proactive approaches as we go into a warmer, smokier state on this planet.” Warmer temperatures caused by climate change can spur drier conditions, increasing the risk of wildfires. In 2014, moderate to severe drought conditions and lightning strikes were the catalyst for 385 fires that impacted 3.4 million hectares of forest in the Northwest Territories. According to the federal government, temperatures across the North are warming more than twice as fast as the global rate. In Yellowknife, between 1943 and 2011, the annual average temperature in the city increased by 2.5 C. The average level of particulate matter (PM 2.5) in the air was five times higher than normal during the 2014 wildfires, compared with the two previous years and 2015. PM 2.5 — inhalable particles less than 2.5 microns in diameter — is associated with a range of respiratory conditions. The study found this increase in particulate matter was associated with an increase in visits to the hospital for asthma, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Asthma-related emergency room visits doubled, with the highest rates found in women, people older than 40 and Dene. Visits for pneumonia increased by 57 per cent, with men, children and Inuit particularly affected. And visits for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease increased by 11 per cent, with men, the Inuit and Dene populations and people over 60 showing the greatest risk. While the results suggest that Indigenous people were more affected, Howard said it’s difficult to say for sure because they may have been more likely to go to the ER due to lack of access to medical clinics. The demand for medicine that helps alleviate the symptoms of asthma surged, too. The dispensation of salbutamol, the agent found in puffers, increased by 48 per cent. “In fact, one of the pharmacies ran out over the course of the summer,” Howard said. Supply chain problems “demonstrated a lack of resilience,” she added. The study also sheds light on systemic issues that contribute to worse health outcomes in vulnerable populations, including Indigenous people. “Climate-related health effects impact all populations but are likely to disproportionately affect communities living at the frontlines of rapid climate change, as well as those experiencing systemic racism, socioeconomic and health disparities, and/or the enduring effects of colonization,” the study states. Protracted periods of isolation, a lack of exercise, fear and stress during the wildfires also had negative impacts on people’s mental health and way of life, according to a 2018 report that Howard was also involved with. “Livelihood and land-based activities were disrupted for some interviewees, which had negative consequences for mental, emotional and physical well-being,” the report states. During the summer, Indigenous people across the territory fish, hunt and visit old villages and the gravesites of relatives, Jason Snaggs, the chief executive officer of Yellowknives Dene First Nation, told The Narwhal. The wildfires prevented people from taking part in these cultural activities, he added. “This leads to depression, and you have sort of a compounding effect, in terms of colonialism, the effects of residential schools, intergenerational trauma,” Snaggs said. “Some people were visibly traumatized by this event.” Sheltering in place can lead to increased rates of family violence, including violence against Indigenous women, Snaggs added. During the 2016 wildfires that tore through Fort McMurray, Alta., calls to a local family crisis centre increased by upward of 300 per cent, according to Michele Taylor, executive director of Waypoints, an emergency shelter for women and children. Howard said the 2014 wildfires were a seminal event in people’s understanding of climate change in the region. “At the time, ecological grief and eco-anxiety hadn’t really shown up in the evidence base,” she said. “Looking back at our analysis, I think we can easily apply those terms to what we found and say it was a trigger for ecological grief and anxiety for a lot of people.” Howard said communities — particularly Indigenous communities — need to be better equipped to withstand wildfires. Some homes in Indigenous communities are overcrowded and aren’t built to the same standards as those elsewhere in the territory. Howard emphasized the need to address this problem first and foremost. The BMJ study recommends governments install ventilation systems in old and new homes ahead of wildfire season. Doing so would ensure residents have access to clean air without having to leave the house. “Our infrastructure decisions need to be based on the temperature and precipitation patterns that we’re anticipating for the coming century as opposed to the ones we had in the last one,” Howard said. The study also recommends primary health-care practitioners identify people who may grapple with respiratory illnesses and ensure that air filters and puffers are readily available prior to wildfire season. “That will allow people to manage their symptoms at home and never get to the point where they’re stuck in the emergency department,” Howard said. “The sooner particularly vulnerable people have access [to air filters and puffers], the better.” In 2014, the City of Yellowknife waived user fees for a multi-purpose recreation facility so residents could go there to breathe clean, filtered air and exercise, Howard said. But not everyone in Yellowknife is afforded the same level of access. N’Dilo, which is part of Yellowknives Dene First Nation and is located in Yellowknife proper, only has one space people can gather in during a wildfire — a 45-year-old gym that isn’t equipped with a filtration system to keep air clean. The study suggests that public health practitioners use satellite-based smoke forecasting to determine whether clean air shelters are needed in advance of wildfire season and, if necessary, make more available. The 2018 report — which documented the experiences of 30 community members from Yellowknife, Dettah, N’Dilo and Kakisa who lived through the wildfires — found there was a consensus among participants about the need for improved communication and coordination at the community and territorial levels as wildfires intensify. Howard said residents and health-care providers need to proactively prepare for wildfire season every year. “We need to be viewing wildfire season the same way we view cold and flu season.” Julien Gignac, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Narwhal
EDMONTON — Alberta's top doctor is urging patience a day before seniors born in 1946 and earlier become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Deena Hinshaw says there are 230,000 seniors in this age group, in addition to health-care workers and people in other priority groups still waiting for their shots. She says any eligible seniors who want to be immunized should be able to get their first dose by the end of March, but there may be hiccups along the way. The doses will be available by appointment at 58 Alberta Health Services sites, and Hinshaw says pharmacies and doctors' offices will be added later. Hinshaw also says it's not a done deal that the next phase of Alberta's staged reopening plan, which includes eased restrictions on retail, banquet halls and hotels, will begin on March 1. She says while hospitalizations are down, the test positivity rate and number of new people infected by each case are on the rise. The decision will depend on whether those increases are due to local issues that can be brought under control or if it's a more general spread across the province, she said. Hinshaw said it's possible that restrictions will be eased on the same day a decision is announced. "I recognize it's challenging for businesses who are looking for certainty around dates and timelines," she told a news conference Tuesday. "But we did need the additional time to be able to look at the full three-weeks of data following the first step to be able to understand what's happening with our numbers, where is spread happening and if we need to take longer or a more cautious approach going forward." Alberta reported 267 new COVID-19 infections in its Tuesday update, along with 11 additional deaths from the virus. Hinshaw said there were 6,300 tests done in the past day and that 4.4 per cent came back positive. There were 326 COVID-19 patients in Alberta hospitals, including 51 in intensive care. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2021. The Canadian Press
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to work toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050. "We're launching a high-level, climate-ambition ministerial and to align our policies and our goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2050," Biden said in a speech following a bilateral meeting with the Canadian leader. U.S. Special Climate Change Envoy John Kerry and his Canadian counterpart, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, will host the ministerial.
(Tyson Koschik/CBC - image credit) The government of Nunavut announced the schedule for the next round of COVID-19 vaccine clinics in the territory. In a news release Tuesday, it said the dates are subject to change based on the delivery and supply of the Moderna vaccine. Clinics for residents to receive first doses of the vaccine will be held in: Iqaluit, beginning March 1, for those 45 years old and over, at Iqaluit Public Health; Sanirajak, on March 5 and 6, at Arnaqjuaq School; Arctic Bay, from March 8 to 10, at the community hall; Clyde River, on March 15 and 16, at Quluaq School; and Pangnirtung, from March 15 to 17, at the community hall. Clinics for residents to receive their second dose will be held in: Kugaaruk, on March 5 and 6 at Arviligruaq Ilinniarvik School; Sanikiluaq, on March 8 and 9, at the community hall; Coral Harbour, on March 12 and 13, at Sakku School; Naujaat, on March 16 and 17 at Tusarvik School; Kimmirut, on March 29 at Qaqqalik School; Qikiqtarjuaq, on March 29 and 30, at Inuksuit School; Kugluktuk, from March 29 to 31, at Jimmy Hikok School; Taloyoak, on April 5 and 6, at Netsilik School; and Iqaluit, on weekdays and Saturdays at Iqaluit Public Health for priority groups only. Public health officials said residents who received their first dose should receive a reminder from their health centre about their second doses. They said residents must be in the same community for both doses. "Call your local health centre if you missed the first clinic in your community and want to receive the vaccine," the release states. It added that priority will be given to Nunavummiut who are scheduled for their second dose. "If no additional doses are available, a wait list will be created and individuals will be able to receive their first dose once additional vaccine supply is sent to the territory," reads the release.
Perhaps it will come as a surprise to few, but Nordic skiing is taking off in B.C. For many, it’s the perfect pandemic activity—(relatively) affordable, easily accessible for those living in the beautiful Thompson Okanagan region, and good for your overall health and well-being. And, oh yeah—it’s sort of COVID-proof. “A lot of people have gravitated to the sport because of [COVID-19],” said Ivor McMahen, president of the Sun Peaks Nordic Club. “COVID restrictions have shut down a lot of other sports, but because of the nature of cross country skiing, being outside and not requiring close proximity to other people, we’re able to continue almost normally.” Across B.C., the popularity of the sport has grown by around 50 per cent, according to McMahen and a recent interview Sun Peaks Independent News had with a representative from Tourism Kamloops. McMahen said he has definitely noticed the uptick in usage of Sun Peaks’ acclaimed trail system, and that membership levels in the club, which have increased to 111 this year from 92 the year previous, don’t fully capture the picture. “I think the actual popularity and interest in the sport is up much more than that,” he said. Unlike other local clubs—such as the Overlander Nordic Club and the Stake Lake trail system—the Sun Peaks Nordic Club does not manage the local trail system, which is operated by Sun Peaks Resort LLP. Adding to the usage of local Sun Peaks trails is the fact that anyone with a downhill pass can now utilize them. “Overall, I think it’s a really great thing that the resort is doing that,” said McMahen of the deal, which it has been offered for the past couple years. “It really encourages people to get out without having to buy an extra pass, but it makes it harder to tell how many people are getting out, and doing Nordic as opposed to alpine.” The club plays a pivotal role in supporting Sun Peaks’ cross country skiing community and fostering the next generation of skiers through events and programs. While it’s had to shut down its popular group skis sessions, the club has had success promoting its popular junior development program. It provides instruction for kids and youth from four to 16-years old. The program is informally known as the “Jackrabbits” program. It has a total of 32 kids involved this year. And for the first time in club history, it’s had to put a cap on its numbers. “It was named after Jackrabbit Johannsen, who was a legendary fellow in eastern Canada who skied everyday until he was over 100 years old.” McMahen said the idea of the program is to get kids turned onto the sport in an organic way and develop all-around athletes. “The main philosophy, especially in the really young ages at this, is not to aim to produce elite skiers,” he said. “It’s aim is to produce healthy, well balanced, physically capable kids. The word that they refer to as physical literacy, so it’s balance, agility, the ability to jump, run and just self-propel yourself.” McMahen added the club hopes to get a masters program up and running next year, where more experienced (and mature) skiers can get some tips on how to improve their performance. “There’s a few tricks to the sport, it’s not as simple as it looks,” he said with a laugh. The Thompson Okanagan provides a number of options for people to enjoy cross country skiing if you’re looking to try something new. – The Stake Lake Trails, located south of Kamloops and operated by the Overlander Ski Club, boasts a 60-km trail system. – Harper Mountain offers a three kilometre groomed trail system that meanders through a forested area, and is great for both traditional cross country skiing and skate skiing. -The Telemark Nordic Club, located in West Kelowna, offers 60 kilometres of trails. – The Kelowna Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club offers 75-km of trails. – Sovereign Lake, located in SilverStar Resort, is also open. It offers 105 kilometres of daily groomed trails and is the largest network of cross-country ski trails in Canada. Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.