The sun rose over the White House on Saturday as the U.S. continued counting ballots in several key states. (Nov. 7)
The sun rose over the White House on Saturday as the U.S. continued counting ballots in several key states. (Nov. 7)
Toronto reported a new daily high of 643 COVID-19 cases on Monday.Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health, told reporters that 249 people are in hospital in Toronto with the novel coronavirus. Of those hospitalized, 48 are in intensive care units. A total of 1,603 people have died of COVID-19 in the city."Please keep your guard up," de Villa said at a city hall news briefing.De Villa noted that the 643 number is a "big number, the highest I have reported to you," and said it must be thought about not only carefully but also in context. She said the city had 331 new cases last Monday. In the last week, case counts fluctuated from that low of 331 to the high of 643, but generally the number ranged between the high 400s and mid- 500s, she said."The case counts are concerning in any measure but quite variable from day to day," she said.De Villa said it takes time for the virus to incubate and for symptoms to appear. Toronto has only been in the grey lockdown zone for a week, restrictions are in their early stages, and residents have only just recently reduced their contacts because of those measures.She said it will take at least 14 days, or one incubation period, for the new measures to be reflected in daily case counts.De Villa added that testing also plays a role in case counts, and in the last couple of days, the province's network of labs has completed about 55,000 tests per day.De Villa said it is important that residents continue to follow public health measures."By making smart choices about where we go, who we see and what we do and by renewing our commitment to doing all we can do limit the spread of the virus, we can prevent infections," she said.'Staying apart works,' medical officer says"Distance works. Masks work. Handwashing works. Staying apart works. We are at lowest risk in our own homes with the people we live with every day and for the foreseeable future those are the people we should see the most."De Villa said the city can bring down its high case counts."I know there is a real awareness of what we can do on an individual basis to play our part, as I know many, many people are doing. And I'm confident that we are going to see good results if we do just that," she said.Her comments came after Toronto Mayor John Tory gave an update on COVID-19 in the city. Toronto Fire Chief Matthew Pegg also spoke at the news conference.Earlier on Monday, Ontario reported another 1,746 cases of COVID-19, including 622 in Toronto. Provincial numbers usually differ as the city's are more up to date.Shop online with local stores, mayor urges residentsTory, for his part, urged residents ahead of the holidays to shop online with local stores or shop in a way that allows them to take advantage of curbside pickup. He noted that 40 per cent of small independent businesses make all of their sales for the entire year during the holiday season."Never has it been more important to shop locally and to shop independent," Tory said at the news conference.The mayor said the city is trying to encourage curbside pickup by reopening registration for the CurbTO program and it received dozens of applications over the weekend that will be reviewed as quickly as possible.The program creates temporary parking pickup zones outside of main street businesses and allows people to park for 10 minutes to pick up items purchased from retailers.On Monday, the mayors and chairs of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas met for their weekly meeting and Tory said they agreed that residents should be urged to stay at home as much as possible and to leave home only for essential reasons. These include grocery shopping, going to work or school, or getting exercise.The mayors and chairs are also urging residents not to engage in "region hopping" to avoid restrictions, he added.16 non-essential businesses chargedPegg, meanwhile, told the news conference that city bylaw enforcement officers inspected 130 restaurants and bars on the weekend and found that 98.5 per cent were in compliance with provincial restrictions.Only two were found to be not in compliance and investigating officers took action, he said.Bylaw enforcement officers laid 16 charges against businesses deemed non-essential for violations of the Reopening Ontario Act. Hair salons, restaurants and furniture stores were among the businesses charged.No malls inspected on the weekend had violated the act, he added.About 15 bonfires along the Toronto waterfront, including two left unattended, were extinguished on the weekend. One in Prince of Wales Park in Etobicoke had to be extinguished by Toronto Fire Services."I want to thank the vast majority of residents and businesses who continue to do the right thing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to save lives, prevent the transmission of COVID-19 and prevent the health-care system from becoming overwhelmed," Pegg said.
When Calvin Little died, no one noticed for a while. For the last two years of his life, the 63-year-old Torontonian lived in a nondescript east-end apartment — alone, save for a rotating cast of animals he would watch for periods of time. Little had lived inside the building since August 2018: a place for him to land after a decade of episodic homelessness. He was funny, friendly and charming, those who knew him said. But he kept his past close to his chest. Sometimes, he’d disappear for a day or two, or venture out to panhandle in the Beaches. When he died, he died in his apartment, quietly and alone. Neighbours were only alerted that something was wrong when a strange odour floated through the halls, police said. From there, they faced a challenge — no one knew how to find his next of kin. On Nov. 5, nearly a month after his death was first discovered, police turned their fruitless search over to the public — issuing a rare appeal for information leading to Little’s family. The investigator tasked to his case was puzzled. “Usually, it’s people in the building that give us good leads to the next of kin,” said Det. Const. Dennis Inniss. But none he spoke to seemed to know anything substantial about Little’s life. They couldn’t find a phone book, and had no luck via doctors, social services or the public trustee’s office. It took weeks of searching. Eventually, a spokesperson for the police force confirmed that Little’s next of kin was found. But his case, according to the head of the agency that housed him, is an illustration of a broader trend. “Throughout the city, vulnerable, older, single adults pass away, and too often, it’s totally anonymous,” said Mainstay Housing’s Gautam Mukherjee, adding that many who were once homeless were dying prematurely. “You see that here … it’s not just the hidden death, or the unacknowledged or unknown death, but also everything leading up to it that’s part of the story.” Before Calvin Little, there was John Cunningham. And before him, there was Harold Dawes. Each of the three men — Little in his 60s, the other two in their 70s — lived along the same streetcar line, and died at home. And each time, Inniss was tasked with finding their families. More than a year after Dawes died in 2018, Inniss said police decided to try something new by issuing a public appeal. Within a day, Dawes’s family was located. Deeming the tactic a success, Inniss asked police brass to do the same after Cunningham died in January. The plea did coax out some people who knew him. Neighbours, speaking to Toronto.com, painted a picture of a loner: a limo driver who told elaborate tales but, like Little, kept his personal life private. But none of the information led to his family, Inniss said. So in March, his remains were claimed by social services to be put to rest. While police appeals are rare, unclaimed remains are not. Coroner’s data shows that, in 2006, there were 145 unclaimed bodies across Ontario. Last year, there were 438, and so far in 2020, there have been more than 630, though there were some carry-overs from last year’s deaths. Separately, the number of Canadians living alone has risen from nine per cent of the population aged 15 or older in 1981, to 14 per cent in 2016. The data stoked concern about isolation and loneliness, especially among seniors, even before COVID-19 cloistered households away. Innis wishes apartments would keep records of their tenants’ family contacts for these situations. Little was asked repeatedly to give an emergency contact to staff, Mukherjee said, but he always declined. “We were it,” he said. Little was born March 5, 1957. Records tell part of his story, but there are gaps that those who spoke to the Star couldn’t fill. When his housing worker, Ben Kershaw, asked on occasion about Little’s past, he said the older man would brush the questions aside. “We have to respect other people’s way of life. Everyone has their reasons for doing what they do,” Kershaw said. Some of their tenants, he added, just wanted a fresh start. By the time he arrived at Mainstay, Little had been well-known to Toronto’s Streets to Homes team for years. To many, he was known as “Papa Smurf,” a kind man who would give his own clothes and belongings to others, and make dream catchers or carvings for those he cared about. He tried to make people laugh, staff recalled, and focus on what good fortune he had. The Kingston Road unit was one of those strokes of good fortune. Kershaw remembers Little’s joy moving into unit 421, one of 136 bachelor apartments in the building. “He’d had enough of life on the streets. He wanted somewhere to call a home, somewhere to keep warm.” The east-end site offers various supports in addition to shelter. It’s unique among Mainstay’s buildings in that it accepts new tenants, including Little, by referral from Streets to Homes, instead of just through a waiting list. Little had been housed in at least two other locations before, between periods of homelessness — including in social housing. But it didn’t last. At Mainstay, Little cared for multiple animals — at first a dog, and later a cat that scampered out when Little answered his door, prompting Little to hurry down the corridor after it. He had challenges still. Inniss noted that Little battled cancer many years ago, and was in remission for five years before it returned again. “He dealt with it better than I imagine I would, or most people,” said Kershaw. The diagnosis didn’t seem to dampen his mood. To Mukherjee, Little’s death at just 63 years of age speaks to the toll that homelessness can take, even after someone is housed. In 2007, a Toronto street health report found that, compared to the overall population, homeless people were 20 times as likely to have epilepsy, five times as likely to have heart disease and four times as likely to have cancer, among ailments. It’s unclear whether Little’s health challenges were connected to the periods of time he spent homeless, but Mukherjee has found himself wondering. The average man’s life expectancy in Canada was 79 as of 2017. Little’s death, he noted, was more than a decade premature. Cancer and cardiovascular disease are the most common causes of death among older people who have been homeless, said Dr. Stephen Hwang, director of St. Michael’s MAP Centre for Urban Health Solutions, who described stark inequalities. “The life expectancy of someone who is homeless is comparable to someone living back in the Great Depression, before we had antibiotics or pretty much any of the effective medical treatments that we have today,” he said. Even if someone got into better housing and had more care, it may not be enough to undo the damage inflicted on their body — and their mind — during years of homelessness, said Dr. Sean Kidd, a senior psychologist with Toronto’s Centre for Addictions and Mental Health. COVID-19 may change things. Kidd expects it will take a year or two to see the impacts of economic instability and job losses on homelessness. But he also believes the pandemic has prompted officials to focus more on creating permanent housing, rather than temporary fixes. “These are the things that will turn the boat around,” Kidd said. Joe Cressy, Toronto’s health board chair, noted that public health data shows homeless men in the city living 20 years less on average than the overall population. “Entrenching homelessness, simply sheltering the homeless, does not reduce the lower life expectancy rates — ending homelessness does,” he said. For now, in far too many cases, people were dying without anyone to remember them, said Mukherjee. Toronto’s homeless memorial lists dozens of John and Jane Does for 2020 alone. But Little won’t be one of them. To those who knew him, he will be remembered for the animals he doted on, the artwork he made for those around him, and his perpetual sense of hope. “He was a really nice guy,” Kershaw said. “We miss him.”Victoria Gibson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
Edward Blake Rudkowski was a member of Nunatsiavut, and before that the Labrador Inuit Association, for 34 years. He ran successfully to represent Labrador Inuit living outside the land claim as an ordinary member in 2017, was re-elected in 2018 and was named the Speaker of the Nunatsiavut Assembly, the legislative branch of the Inuit government. That was, until Nov. 20, when Blake Rudkowski was told he was no longer a member of Nunatsiavut, his status as a beneficiary was revoked and he could no longer hold the political office he had been elected to. Blake Rudkowski told SaltWire Network he was told he didn’t meet the eligibility requirements and was just over 17 per cent Inuit. According to the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement, there are a number of requirements that can lead to a person being a beneficiary, including that a person is one-quarter Inuit, is a descendant of someone who settled permanently in the land claim area prior to 1940 with no Inuit ancestry or is adopted by a beneficiary. “To be clear, they didn’t tell me I wasn’t Inuit,” he said. “They said I wasn’t Inuit enough.” He says he would like to know what formula they use to come up with that determination, and what factors were taken into account to determine it. He’d also like to know why that number matters more than what was determined when he was first accepted as a member of the Labrador Inuit Association 34 years ago. His status as a beneficiary of Nunatsiavut had been challenged two years ago and he’d been going through the process ever since. “Immediately after the election, literally the day after, there were two challenges to my membership eligibility,” he said. “I’d been dealing with this behind the scenes since then.” He said the two people who challenged his membership were political rivals — one a person he had beaten in an election and another a former politician — and the timing of it seemed curious to him. “It felt like membership was being used as a tool of political retribution,” he said. Having Nunatsiavut beneficiary status challenged is like coming in as a new applicant and is a daunting task that, successful or not, can take up a lot of time. In 2013 an amendment was made to the Nunatsiavut Beneficiaries Enrolment Act that allows any member to challenge the membership of another. Blake Rudkowski said this allows people to try to use membership as a tool to try to harm their enemies. “What this does is it allows someone who is a malcontent or has a beef with someone else a vehicle to exact some sort of retribution. At minimum, even if it's not successful, it can cause someone a significant amount of mental anguish.” What this has created, Blake Rudkowski said, is a climate where some people are afraid to speak up about issues they have with the government for fear they may have their rights as a beneficiary stripped away, or at the very least have it challenged. When he was in government, it appeared there were an increasing number of memberships being challenged, he said, to the point where people were asking whether a full review was underway. He said he also heard complaints that the process was inconsistent, which he believes to be the case. “You have a lot of cases where it’s one brother in, one sister out, one cousin in, one cousin out, so there’s an inconsistency across the board which speaks to the fact that maybe there’s a problem with the process. That’s been a long-standing critique of many beneficiaries, there’s an inconsistent application of the rules.” Blake Rudkowski said he doesn’t know what steps he’ll take next, and while it appears his career as a politician in Nunatsiavut has come to an end it won’t be the last time people see him the political arena. The Nunatsiavut Government put out a statement Monday about Blake Rudkowski’s removal, saying he was removed from the government once his eligibility as a beneficiary had been revoked. “First Minister Tyler Edmunds reminds beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement that the Nunatsiavut Government plays no role whatsoever in determining the membership of any individual,” the statement read. “The beneficiary enrolment process is independent from the Nunatsiavut Government.” SaltWire asked to speak to someone with the Nunatsiavut Government about the requirements and the process, but an interview was not available before deadline.Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram
A Penetanguishene councillor wants staff to draw out a timeline to be included in the new graffiti removal policy. "I congratulate Andrea (Betty) for the report on the graffiti policy," Coun. Brian Cummings said at a recent meeting. "But the problem I still have is that our Municipal Law Enforcement (MLE) policy and procedure manual has no timelines in it. We can do whatever we want to make these bylaws, but we have no timelines involved in correcting the graffiti or any of our bylaws. "I did ask for a timeline to remove graffiti, because it's very important that it gets removed immediately so it doesn't encourage more graffiti in town," he added. Betty, director of planning and community development, said the policy for the bylaw enforcement department does not have timelines, however, the property standards bylaw has some strict standards and rules. "There are some timelines for the removal of graffiti once the notice has been given from the town," she said, not specifying what the timelines were, and later admitting it requires clarity. "Each occurrence and complaint can vary and rely on outside sources." Having said that, Betty added that staff could take a look at that policy procedure on that bylaw, since it's about eight years old and worth a review. "We should have some sort of timeline on this," said Cummings. "I agree with the procedure, but there should be a timeline to the procedure." A quick look at the MLE policy and procedures document available online shows there are no timelines around notices of contravention issued under bylaw. CAO Jeff Lees said it would be useful to refer the item for review.Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com
Mono Council met on November 17 of this year, in what was one of the most conten-tious and lengthy Council meetings to date.Councillors discuss a number of planning issues as well as a lengthy in-camera session on related issues and By-law Enforcement.The meeting opened with a presentation from the Fung Lou Kok Institute of Taoism, regarding their Niagara Escarpment Comis-sion (NEC) Development Permit Review. This issue has been ongoing since 2015 and concerns the applicant’s request to change their Cemetery Site Plan to allow for the site to be converted from plots to columbarium. As well, they want to beautify the site of the Cemetery, which will better conceal it from 5th Sideroad and the homes to the east of the site.The beautification is to include a new vehicular archway and the planting of numerous trees on the site as well as adding a pedestrian walkway and benches. Evans Planning Inc, the designated plan-ners, have been working closely with NEC and Town Staff to bring about the develop-ment changes. The currently approved site plan, calls for 1,575 flush mounted cemetery plots in the 2-hectare property. The eventual, total number of niches, in the columbarium plan will be 15,134. In a March 2016 Council Recommendation, the total number of niches was to be 1,507.In the plan seen November 17, the North-east corner of the cemetery would accom-modate 37 columbarium, housing 1,277 niches in place of 363 plots. The entrance archway would be reduced in size, with no lighting on either the arch-way or the columbarium and the landscap-ing to shield the view from the 5th Sideroad would be done.The plan also showed that there would be no impact on groundwater conditions and monitoring is a part of the Development Per-mit, regardless.A traffic study sowed no negative impact on road operations, however, a hidden drive-way sign would be installed on 5th Sideroad. In regards to the need for increased capac-ity, the current design has had limited suc-cess and the application will provide land-scape improvements and add phased long term capacity.Despite this, opposition was seen from several residents and some members of Council. The primary resident concerns centred around this being a Trojan horse, designed to allow for a massive commercialization of the site, seemingly in opposition to the NC guidelines.With niches in the GTA selling for upwards of $7,000, this was seen as a money-making incentive to open the cemetery to a larger Taoist community than the local one.Locally, the community is estimated to be 1,800 people living within an hour’s drive of the site. The residents’ arguments are that this does not take into consideration the larger general population of Mono, also within an hours drive.They argued that with the GTA there are approximately 15,000 in the Tao community and that this is who the project is aimed at. The fact that the occupants of a cemetery are all deceased did not seem to enter into any-one’s agenda.Councillor Manktelow was the most ada-mant of the councillors in his opposition. In his mind, a large cemetery was not appropri-ate in the, “rolling hills of Mono, the smaller the better.” Councillor Nix, who supported the presen-tation, pointed out that the Town was not the governing body, but we’re merely being asked to say yes or no to the NEC concern-ing the design proposal. He did however, say that although he has no issues with the proposal, the NEC guide-lines stipulate that it is allowable as long as it serves the size of the community. He asked who the community were and where do they come from? He asked if the NEC agreed with the estimated 1,800 person community num-ber. His primary concern was as to whether or not the proposal was in accordance with the NEC. This is of particular interest, as the NEC is the deciding body and their decision overrides any municipal one.Wayne Haddock, local resident, was of the opinion that Mono had more than enough cemeteries at present and that as only 11 burials had occurred in the past 35 years that the need for expansion was simply not there. He felt the traffic study did not look far enough in the future and cited existing water supply issues on the site already, with water already being trucked in, to support events. He supported maintaining the status quo.Dr. David Emery, a neighbour across the road from the site, had other opinions. He stressed that this was an exception to an approved NEC use and he felt that it was not in the best interests of the community at large. Dr. Emery stated that he has a problem with nimbyism, defined as, “the practice of objecting to something that will affect one or take place in one’s locality.”He stated that he has had no previous problems with the Taoists, yet does not agree they should receive special privileges. He was clear to point out that he is accept-ing of all cultures and religious beliefs and as a Canadian would not want to see any form of prejudice perceived in his objections. Nevertheless, he purchased his property to enjoy a quiet rural lifestyle and this applica-tion will affect his property. His argument is that of the Trojan horse, mentioned earlier and the fact that it does not meet the needs of either the Tao community or the greater Mono one. He feels that the application should be rejected and that the applicant should be allowed to come back when they can demonstrate an actual need.Councillor Nix reiterated his opinion that the numbers were not relevant, since it was not the Town that was building this, but the Tao Institute. If they overestimated the size it was their problem. He went on to question the opinion that this was unusual stating that Mono already had numerous similar undertakings, such as the Hockley Valley Resort, the Goodyear Scout Camp, the Buddhist Monastery just north of the Tao Institute and the Nordic Ski Club at Monora Park. He said that all the current discussions had still not changed his mind.In the end Council drafted a resolution saying they supported the first Phase of the project with a number of changes, including a limit of 365 niches and the landscaping being continued on the east side as well as the South. They also made the total number of plots remain the same as the 1987 permit at 1,575, including the niches and the pro-posed arch was acceptable. As well, it spec-ified that the NEC confirm that the develop-ment was acceptable within their guidelinesPeter Richardson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orangeville Citizen
BRUSSELS — With nothing on their agendas for months to come, music festival organizers in Belgium want to use their know-how to help the country's coronavirus vaccination campaign.The Belgian government has set a goal of vaccinating about 70% of the country's population, about 8 million people, when approved COVID-19 vaccination shots become available.As the vaccines are expected to arrive in multi-dose vials for shots to be administered all on the same day, Belgium health authorities are planning to vaccinate people in groups as much as possible. The task will pose many logistical challenges, including the creation of vaccination centres that festival organizers say they can help set up.Enjoying a strong reputation in the music world, Belgian festival experts have proven experience in both building huge pop-up structures and in crowd management.With the music industry hit hard by the pandemic's economic, several festivals in the French-speaking region of Wallonia and the Brussels area have created a federation to better defend their interests. They have a large network of technicians who are currently unemployed and are ready to help out.“Our sector has been at a standstill for many months, and our many staff are eager to bring their creativity and dedication to the fight against coronavirus," said federation president Damien Dufrasne.One of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, Belgium has reported some 577,000 confirmed cases and more than 16,500 deaths linked to the virus.Last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said COVID-19 vaccinations could start in the European Union's 27 nations before the end of December. The commission, the EU’s executive arm, has agreements with six potential vaccine suppliers and is working on a seventh contract. The deals allow it to purchase over 1.2 billion doses, more than double the population of the EU.___Follow AP’s coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreakThe Associated Press
NEW YORK — On Dec. 31, China reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin to the World Health Organization. By Jan. 31, WHO declared an outbreak of a novel coronavirus a global health emergency. Come March 11, the world was facing down the COVID-19 pandemic.Parents sat children down to explain what a pandemic is. Related terms usually restricted to medicine and science stormed into everyday conversation. Over time, we were pandemic baking and pandemic dating and rescuing pandemic puppies from shelters.All of which led Dictionary.com on Monday to declare “pandemic” its 2020 word of the year.Searches on the site for the word spiked more than 13,500% on March 11, senior research editor John Kelly told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of the announcement.“That's massive, but even more telling is how high it has sustained significant search volumes throughout the entire year. Month over month, it was over 1,000% higher than usual. For about half the year, it was in the top 10% of all our lookups.”Another dictionary, Merriam-Webster, also selected pandemic as its word of the year earlier Monday.Kelly said pandemic beat out routine lookups usually intended to sort more mundane matters, such as the differences between “to, two and too.”“That's significant,” Kelly emphasized. “It seems maybe a little bit obvious, and that's fair to say, but think about life before the pandemic. Things like pandemic fashion would have made no sense. The pandemic as an event created a new language for a new normal.”Lexicographers often factor out routine lookups when evaluating word trends.The pandemic, Kelly said, made us all worthy of watercooler chatter with Dr. Anthony Fauci as our knowledge grew about aerosols, contact tracing, social distancing and herd immunity, along with the intricacies of therapeutic drugs, tests and vaccines that can help save lives.“These were all part of a new shared vocabulary we needed to stay safe and informed. It's incredible,” said Kelly, who works with a team of lexicographers to come up with words of the year based primarily on site traffic.Asymptomatic, furlough, non-essential, hydroxychloroquine and a host of other pandemic-related words saw massive increases in lookups as well.Jennifer Steeves-Kiss, chief executive officer of Dictionary.com, said one key ingredient in the hunt for the site's word of the year is sustained interest over time. Pandemic met that standard.“This has affected families, our work, the economy,” she said. “It really became the logical choice. It's become the context through which we've had dialogue all through 2020. It's the through line for discourse.”The word pandemic has roots in Latin and the Greek pandemos, meaning “common, public.” Breaking it down further, “pan” means “all” and “demos” means “people.” As evidenced in a medical text by a Dutch-born physician, Gideon Harvey, pandemic entered English in the 1660s in the medical sense, Kelly said. He noted that “demos” is also the basis for the word democracy.A pandemic is defined by Dictionary.com as a disease “prevalent throughout an entire country, continent, or the whole world; epidemic over a large area.” Its broader sense, as evidenced in its roots, can be used thusly: “A pandemic fear of atomic war.”Dictionary.com also noted other worthy search trends beyond the pandemic. After the May 25 death of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, words around racial justice experienced spikes, including fascism, anti-fascism, defund and white fragility.“There was no way for us to leave that out of the conversation this year,” Kelly said.Leanne Italie, The Associated Press
In an ancient monastery behind huge medieval battlements in a hilltop town just south of Rome, 10 monks are striving to keep alive a 1,600-year-old spiritual tradition against increasing odds. Aged between 23 and 89, they are among Italy's last remaining Byzantine-rite Basilian monks - adherents of an order founded by St. Basil in 356 in present-day Turkey who still follow his ascetic regimen of prayer and work. Brother Claudio Corsaro, 27, abandoned a promising career as an opera singer to become a monk.
NEW YORK — The co-author of the million-selling “Game Change” has a book of his own coming about the 2020 election. Simon & Schuster announced Monday that John Heilemann is working on a “dramatic, first-hand account” of Joe Biden's victorious campaigns over his Democratic Party rivals in the primaries and over President Donald Trump in the general election. Heilemann had collaborated with Mark Halperin on “Game Change,” about the 2008 race, and on “Double Down,” about 2012. Halperin has since faced multiple allegations of sexual harassment. He was dropped by Showtime, where he and Heilemann hosted the political series “The Circus,” and a planned book by the two authors on the 2016 campaign was cancelled by Penguin Press. Heilemann's new book, currently untitled, draws on three decades of covering the former vice-president, who was Barack Obama's running mate in 2008 and 2012. The publication date is not yet scheduled. “I first met Joe Biden in 1986 when I was in college and he was getting ready to run for president the first time, and I’ve been following his ups and downs, his triumphs and tragedies, ever since,” Heilemann said in a statement. “The story of how, against all odds and against the apocalyptic backdrop of America in 2020, Biden rallied in the winter of his life to defeat Trump — and, in the eyes of many, to save the country — is one of the great political tales of this or any age, and I’m thrilled to have a chance to tell it.” Screen rights have been acquired by Showtime, where Heilemann still hosts "The Circus." The HBO adaptation of "Game Change" won five Emmys and three Golden Globe awards. Heilemann is national affairs analyst for NBC News and MSNBC and co-founder of the political video platform The Recount. He is also the author of “Pride Before the Fall: The Trials of Bill Gates and the End of the Microsoft Era,” which came out in 2001. His current project adds to the list of books expected on the 2020 race, which includes works by Maggie Haberman of The New York Times and by Ryan Lizza of Politico and co-writer Olivia Nuzzi of New York magazine. Hillel Italie, The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Sled dog mushers in communities on Alaska's Yukon River have received thousands of pounds of donated food to help feed their animals during a shortage of the salmon that is normally a staple of their diet.Pet food manufacturer Purina donated 39,000 pounds (17,690 kilograms) of high-protein dog food last week to mushers in Tanana and Fort Yukon, The Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.The donation by the company, Nestle Purina PetCare Co., was prompted by the efforts of Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.Quinn-Davidson organized an online effort to help the sled dog mushers after several contacted the commission.The campaign raised more than $32,000 in addition to the donation from Purina.The Alaska Department of Fish and Game stopped subsistence fishing for fall chum salmon in some Yukon River areas, leaving mushers struggling to feed their dogs.The area has experienced a decline in king salmon runs, a primary human food source, for more than a decade, said Alida Trainor, a subsistence resource specialist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.The king salmon run was bad this year, but summer and fall chum salmon runs usually help make up the difference. This year’s combination of king salmon and chum salmon crashes was unprecedented, Trainor said.“It was a double whammy. They got hit twice,” Trainor said. “So it creates a food insecurity issue for humans and for dogs, but dogs are part of what we call the subsistence economy.”Quinn-Davidson and regional experts worry generous donations will not be enough. This year’s poor salmon run affects more than just the mushers, who are often integral components of the subsistence economy of entire communities.“It’s a tradition, a culture that’s been passed down for years, and without being able to feed these dogs this winter, there’s some mushers who are going to have to sell them or give them away, or worse,” Quinn-Davidson said.The Associated Press
Six new cases of COVID-19 were reported in New Brunswick on Monday.The new cases, which bring the total number of active cases to 120, are:Moncton region (Zone 1): * Two cases, 20 to 29.Saint John region (Zone 2) * one individual 20 to 29; and * one individual 30 to 39.Bathurst region (Zone 6) * One individual 40 to 49.All of these people are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation.The province has conducted 1,305 COVID-19 tests since this time Sunday, bringing the total number of tests to 125,188.So far, New Brunswick has had 501 cases during the pandemic and seven deaths.Outbreak at Dieppe adult residential facility is overPublic Health has declared the COVID-19 outbreak at Oasis Residence, an adult residential facility in Dieppe, officially over.An outbreak was declared at Oasis Residence, which has 66 residents and 38 employees, on Nov. 19 following a confirmed COVID-19 case there. The outbreak never grew larger than that one case.All staff and residents of the Oasis were retested several times to confirm the end of the outbreak, which has been officially declared over by Dr. Mariane Pâquet, regional medical officer of health, Public Health said Monday.1 confirmed case at Moncton schoolAnother school announced a positive COVID-19 test as the province recorded 18 new cases over the weekend.Anglophone School District East told parents on Sunday that a case has turned up at Harrison Trimble High School in Moncton.It's the first Moncton-area school to report a COVID-19 case. Eleven New Brunswick schools have had cases this year, six of them this month.In a letter to parents, the district did not say whether the case was a student or staff member at the school."We are working with Public Health officials to identify any students and school personnel who may have been in contact with the case," wrote district superintendent Gregg Ingersoll.Nursing homes increase restrictionsNursing homes in the province's three orange zones are now starting to restrict visitors, hoping to reduce the risk of an outbreak at a home.With increasing COVID-19 cases in the province, the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes says stress levels among staff and residents are increasing."The last 10 months have been incredibly challenging for homes right across the province, needing to adapt very quickly to, you know, very rapidly evolving information," said Jodi Hall, the executive director of the association. "But overall, the homes really have done an amazing job and have done everything that they can to support the residents," Much of the province is the yellow phase of recovery, but recent cases in the Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton health regions have been pushed those zones back to the orange phase, where there are more restrictions on gatherings. As a result, nursing homes have had to adopt restrictions as well. Fredericton's York Care Centre, for instance, has barred normal visitors from the facility until the region goes back into yellow.Some outsiders are still being let in, including members of the designated care program, which sees residents linked with one family member who can come in to assist with care on a set schedule.Still, Lori McDonald, the centre's vice-president of care and research services, said those designated caregivers have to be aware of increased COVID-19 protocols."We've developed an orientation program that each of these caregivers would have to go through before they're allowed access as a caregiver," said McDonald. "And during those orientation time frames we teach them the importance of staying safe when you're outside our facility."Out of the centre's 218 residents, only 50 have a designated caregiver, but McDonald expects that number will increase as regular visiting is no longer allowed.Hall said a lot of work has gone into preparing for possible outbreaks at nursing homes, and how to avoid them, and she expects more lessons will become apparent when the pandemic is over."I think when this is done we will be sitting down and doing a very intense debrief for all that we have learned," she said. "And I think there are some aspects of infection control and even how long-term care facilities are designed for the future that will have a lasting impact."Travel restrictions and spot checksNow that the Atlantic bubble is gone, the province is reminding people about the rules for entering the province.New Brunswick now requires people coming into the province from elsewhere in Atlantic Canada to register with the travel registration program.The online program will collect the information and the province will determine if that person can enter and whether self-isolation is required.Those exempt from self-isolating include people who live in one province but have to travel daily to work or go to school in another.Jacques Babin, the executive director of the Department of Justice and Public Safety's inspection and enforcement branch, said people travelling like this can apply for regular traveller passes that are good for several weeks. These people are expected to travel to work or school and back only."The expectation is that they go directly to work and return home with no stops," said Babin.Non-frequent travel that is allowed includes travel for medical appointments, travel for custody arrangements and some compassionate travel approved by Public Health.And while the province isn't resuming the border checkpoints seen earlier in the pandemic, people still have to register and may get caught if they don't."We intend to do some spot checks to make sure that people that are entering are registering as required," said Babin. "If not, they can be turned around to return to Nova Scotia or there's also penalties available."Potential public exposure warnings for Fredericton, Saint John, MonctonNew Brunswick Public Health has warned of the following possible exposures to COVID-19 in Moncton and Saint John, including gyms, stores, bars, restaurants and on flights.Anyone who visited these places during the identified times should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days.Anyone who develops any COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate and take the self-assessment online to schedule a test.Fredericton area * The Snooty Fox on Nov. 18 and 19, 66 Regent St., between 8:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. * GoodLife Fitness Fredericton on Nov. 18 at 1174 Prospect St. between 10:20 a.m. and 11:20 a.m. Nov. 19 between 1:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. * The YMCA of Fredericton on Nov. 17 at 570 York St. throughout the evening. Saint John area * Vito's Restaurant on Nov. 16, 111 Hampton Rd., Rothesay, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. * Cora Breakfast and Lunch on Nov. 16 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. (39 King St., Saint John). * Goodlife Fitness McAllister Place on Nov. 16 between noon and 1 p.m. and on Nov. 18 between 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (519 Westmorland Rd., Saint John). * NBCC Grandview campus on Nov. 16, 17, and 18 between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. (950 Grandview Ave., Saint John). * Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio on Nov. 19 between 12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (47 Clark Rd., Rothesay) * Big Tide Brewing Company at 47 Princess St. on Nov. 16, between 12:30 to 2 p.m. * Java Moose at 84 Prince William St. Nov. 16, between 2 to 2:30 p.m.Flights into Saint John:Public Health identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 while on the following flights: * Air Canada Flight 8421 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Kelowna to Vancouver, arrived at 8 p.m. * Air Canada Flight 314 on Nov. 17 and 18 from Vancouver to Montreal, arrived at 07:11 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8792 on Nov. 17 and 18, from Montreal to Saint John arrived at 9:22 p.m.Moncton * RD Maclean Co. Ltd. on Nov. 16, 17 and 18 at 200 St. George St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. * GoodLife Fitness on Nov. 21 at 555 Dieppe Blvd, Dieppe, between 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. * Keg Steakhouse and Bar at 576 Main St. on Nov. 17, between 7:45 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.Flights into Moncton: * Air Canada Flight 178 on Nov. 19 from Edmonton to Toronto, arrived at 5:58 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 404 on Nov. 19 from Toronto to Montreal, arrived at 10:16 a.m. * Air Canada Flight 8902 on Nov. 19 from Montreal to Moncton, arrived at 4:17 p.m.What to do if you have a symptomPeople concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: * A fever above 38 C. * A new cough or worsening chronic cough. * Sore throat. * Runny nose. * Headache. * New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. * Difficulty breathing.In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.People with one of those symptoms should: * Stay at home. * Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. * Describe symptoms and travel history. * Follow instructions.
OTTAWA — Kawartha Dairy Limited is recalling certain ice cream products in Ontario due to "possible presence of pieces of metal," Health Canada says. The Kawartha Dairy flavours affected by the recall are: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough ice cream in both 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages, and Mint Chip ice cream in 1.5 litre and 11.4 litre packages.Health Canada says consumers should not eat the four recalled products, and retailers, restaurants, and institutions should not sell or use them.Recalled ice cream should be thrown out or returned to the location where it was purchased.Health Canada says the recall was triggered by the company on Sunday, adding the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is conducting a food safety investigation, which may lead to the recall of other items.There have been no reported injuries associated with eating the recalled flavours as of Sunday.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.The Canadian Press
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Eight inmates were killed and 59 others were injured when guards opened fire to control a riot at a prison on the outskirts of Sri Lanka's capital, officials said Monday. Two guards were critically injured, they said.Pandemic-related unrest has been growing in Sri Lanka’s overcrowded prisons. Inmates have staged protests in recent weeks at several prisons as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the facilities.Police spokesman Ajith Rohana said inmates created “unrest” Sunday at Mahara prison, about 15 kilometres (10 miles) north of Colombo, and officials attempted to control the situation.But “the unrest situation turned into a prison riot,” he said, adding that prisoners tried to take control of the prison and hundreds attempted to escape.The inmates “reportedly destroyed most of the property including offices inside the prison,” Rohana said.The guards opened fire, and the clash left eight inmates dead and 59 injured, he said. Two prison officers were critically injured.He said hundreds of additional police were deployed to help the guards and strengthen security around the prison.An inmate was killed in similar unrest at another prison last week. Another died in March.More than a thousand inmates in five prisons have tested positive for the coronavirus and at least two have died. About 50 prison guards have also tested positive.Senaka Perera, a lawyer with the Committee for Protecting Rights of Prisoners, said the inmates at Mahara prison had been frustrated because their pleas for coronavirus testing and separation of infected prisoners had been ignored by officials for more than a month.On Monday, about 500 relatives of inmates gathered in front of the prison and urged the authorities to provide information about the prisoners and ensure their safety.Sujeewa Silva said her son has been detained at the facility for seven months after being arrested on drug charges. “I want to know whether he is safe. I asked the officers, please tell me the condition of my son," she said.Sri Lankan prisons are highly congested with more than 26,000 inmates crowded into facilities with a capacity of 10,000.Sri Lanka has experienced an upsurge in the coronavirus since last month when two clusters — one centred at a garment factory and other at a fish market — emerged in Colombo and its suburbs.Confirmed cases from the two clusters have reached 19,449. Sri Lanka has reported a total number of 22,988 coronavirus cases, including 109 fatalities.Bharatha Mallawarachi, The Associated Press
Members of the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation are electing a chief and council today.The first thing voters will encounter at the polling centres will be COVID-19 stations meant to prevent the spread of the virus, said Chief Electoral Officer Raelina Jobin.She said that includes a package with latex gloves, a disposable mask and a pencil to mark their ballot. Hand sanitizers will be available, said Jobin, and voters will put their names down on a list in case contact tracing is needed later.The voting process is set up to encourage physical distancing and voters will leave by a different door, she said.There are polling stations at the Heritage Hall in Carmacks, Jobin said, and in the Fireside Room at the Yukon Inn in Whitehorse.She said citizens can also arrange to cast a special ballot at a different location such as their home if they choose. CandidatesThe polling stations are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.There are two people, Edward Skookum and Nicole Tom, running for chief.Two people, Shirley Bellmore and Willian Van Fleet are running for elder councillor.Terry Billy, Chantelle Blackjack, Toni Blanchard and Joseph O'Brien are running for one of the two Crow clan councillors.Six people, Veronica Burgess, Cody Cashin, Calvin Charlie, Bill Johnnie Jr., Jo-lene Mullett and Tanya Silverfox are in the race for one of the two Wolf clan councillors.
'We all need to consider whose life we might be gambling with' during holiday celebrations because of the coronavirus, says World Health Organization director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Indigenous communities in Wood Buffalo say they've been preparing for school shutdowns and they are ready to have an influx of students learning from home. Ron Quintal, president of the Fort McKay Métis Nation, said he's relieved three of his kids won't be travelling to school in Fort McMurray anymore. Internet in rural Wood Buffalo can be limited, but Quintal said the nation is providing students with laptops or Wi-Fi if needed. "We've done everything we can to make sure that going virtual is a reality in our household," he said. Fort McMurray has significantly more cases of COVID-19 than Fort McKay. Quintal said there have been just eight cases of COVID-19 in the community over the course of the pandemic. Fort McMurray has had almost 700. "You're constantly having to worry and have that anxiety," Quintal said. The community has used a security gate, temperature checks and COVID-19 testing at the health centre. "When it comes to your kids, protection is paramount," said Quintal. "We will take every precaution." The Northland School Division will see an additional 90 students start at-home learning as a result of the provincial government's new COVID-19 regulations. Nearly 630 students in rural Wood Buffalo will be learning from home and 1,291 will stay in class. Nancy Spencer-Poitras, superintendent of the Northland School Division, said about 40 per cent of the students in rural Wood Buffalo don't have access to the internet, and that an internet connection isn't always reliable for the other 60 per cent. So teachers have got creative — sending kids lessons on memory sticks or sending students homework packages. In some cases, where necessary, the school has provided students with Chromebooks as well. Spencer-Poitras said the district has the benefit of being smaller, meaning schools have been able to be flexible in response to the pandemic. Throughout the school year, more students have returned to class as parents become more comfortable. "We've been very fortunate with our communities being as diligent as they are that we have not had a lot of cases," she said. She said the numbers of students in class are always in flux, depending on how many cases the community has. "You might go from 100 kids being in the school down to 20," Spencer-Poitras said. "Our job is to ensure that programming continues for our students at all times." She said the Christmas break is welcome for the teaching staff though, because they are getting fatigued. "We don't have a lot of substitutes to begin with," said Spencer-Poitras. Calvin Waquan of Fort Chipewyan has a seven-year-old son in Grade 1. For the majority of the school year, his son is in class, but it fluctuates depending on community COVID-19 cases. "We're so remote that it's not really a big, big problem up here," Waquan said. But the class size isn't what it used to be. "My boy comes home and he tells us there's three kids in class," Waquan said. "Not as much as there normally would be." When he does his schooling from home, he gets booklets from the teacher that he can finish at his own pace. Janet Richards had been frustrated with her son's school in Conklin, but she said she's seen improvement this year. "I did send Levi to school [in person] this year because he really, really wanted to go," Richards said. She said there isn't much for him to do in Conklin, and she's a single mom, working a full-time job. Levi wanted to go to school, and it made sense for the family. Richards caught COVID-19, and now she and her family are isolating at home. Levi's teacher has sent him work packages and called to check-in. Richards said because her son is happy at school, she will likely be sending him back in December when the isolation is over.
Nova Scotia reported 16 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, giving the province a total of 138 active cases.One of the new cases, linked to Northeast Kings Education Centre in Canning, was announced late Sunday but reported in Monday's figures. The other 15 are in the central zone.The Nova Scotia Health Authority said 628 people were tested at a pop-up clinic in Dartmouth, yielding six positive results. Those people were told to self-isolate and make arrangements to take a standard test. The health authority completed a total of 3,054 tests Sunday. It also reported that on Friday, it wrongly reported nine positive cases, when in fact it was eight. "We continue to see strong interest in the asymptomatic pop-up rapid testing locations, which shows Nova Scotians, including young Nova Scotians, are taking this virus seriously," said Premier Stephen McNeil in a news release."I want to thank all who have come out for a test, as well as the volunteers and health staff at the sites. We are also seeing impressive test numbers at the labs, a reflection of the hard work of staff there. These are important pieces of our collective effort to contain the virus."On Monday evening, the Nova Scotia Health Authority announced two sites where potential COVID-19 exposures may have taken place: * East Peak Indoor Climbing at 6408 Quinpool Rd. on Nov. 21 between 1:30-4:30 p.m. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 5. * Heartwood Cafe at 3061 Gottingen St. on Nov. 21 between 4:00-7:00 p.m. Symptoms may develop up to, and including, Dec. 5.Anyone exposed to the coronavirus at these locations is asked to call 811 to arrange for COVID-19 testing even if they don't have symptoms.Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said experimental research detected COVID-19 in Wolfville's wastewater."Although it is not definitive, it could be a sign that COVID-19 has found its way into that community," he said in the news release. The province is operating pop-up COVID-19 rapid testing clinics Monday in Wolfville and Halifax.The Wolfville tests will be done at 117 Front Street between 1:30-8 p.m. The Halifax testing site will be at the YMCA at 2269 Gottingen Street from 1:30-8 p.m. Lineups could stretch outside, so people are encouraged to wear warm clothing. The rapid test clinics will test anyone over the age of 16 who has no symptoms of COVID-19, has not travelled recently, and has had no contact with someone known to have COVID-19. The two clinics won't test people who have been at an exposure site, or those who work in the hospitality industry.The Department of Health and Wellness said people who work in bars or restaurants should not go to pop-up sites, but instead book a test online at 811.novascotia.ca.Nova Scotia started using pop-up clinics to test for COVID-19 last week.7 health-care workers test positiveNova Scotia Health has resumed releasing the number of staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.As of Monday, seven health-care workers have tested positive in the province. There are six active cases and one resolved case.Public Health says 29 health-care workers are in isolation "as a result of moderate to high-risk staff-to-staff contact in the workplace." There haven't been any patient-to-staff risks identified at this time.COVID cases in the Atlantic provincesThe latest numbers from the Atlantic provinces on Monday are:SymptomsAnyone with one of the following symptoms should visit the COVID-19 self-assessment website or call 811: * Fever. * Cough or worsening of a previous cough.Anyone with two or more of the following symptoms is also asked to visit the website or call 811: * Sore throat. * Headache. * Shortness of breath. * Runny nose.MORE TOP STORIES
Le Centre d’entrepreneuriat et d’essaimage de l’Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (CEE-UQAC) bénéficie d’une aide financière de 795 000 $ provenant de Développement économique Canada (DEC). Élizabeth Brière, députée de Sherbrooke et secrétaire parlementaire de la ministre du Développement économique, Mélany Joly, en a fait l’annonce, vendredi, lors d’une visioconférence en compagnie de Gilles Déry, président du CEE-UQAC, et de Louis Dussault, directeur général. L’entente, d’une durée de trois ans, permettra à l’organisation de poursuivre ses activités de sensibilisation et de promotion de l’entrepreneuriat auprès des étudiants collégiaux et universitaires du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Ce montant permettra de stimuler l’esprit entrepreneurial, le transfert technologique et de connaissances ainsi que le développement de projets innovateurs au sein des petites entreprises régionales. La rectrice de l’UQAC, Nicole Bouchard, a souligné l’apport de l’organisation en ce qui a trait à la vitalité entrepreneuriale dans la région. « Les réalisations de Louis Dussault et de son équipe rejaillissent sur l’ensemble de la région. En donnant le coup de pouce nécessaire à la concrétisation d’idées toutes plus intéressantes les unes que les autres, le CEE-UQAC donne des ailes aux nouvelles générations d’entrepreneurs qui contribuent à façonner le visage économique de notre région. » Elle a, entre autres, mentionné des ouvertures nouvelles pour des étudiants faisant des études dans le secteur bioalimentaire, en produits naturels. Selon elle, l’UQAC a toujours renouvelé les ententes de partenariat avec le CEE-UQAC parce que l’organisme livre la marchandise. Pour sa part, Gilles Déry a choisi d’emprunter les paroles d’Antoine Riboud, fondateur et président de Danone, pour la philosophie des interventions du CEE-UQAC : « L’innovation est une alliance entre recherche, marketing, instinct, imagination, produit et courage industriel. Voilà ce qui illustre bien ce que nous valorisons au quotidien. » Fondé en janvier 1998, le CEE-UQAC a pour mission de promouvoir l’entrepreneuriat et de soutenir la création d’entreprises auprès des communautés universitaire et collégiale du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean. Après 23 ans d’existence, le bilan du CEE-UQAC comprend 440 projets technologiques avec 160 PME, ce qui a permis l’embauche, par les entreprises d’accueil, de 179 candidats stagiaires. Il inclut la création de quatre centres de transfert technologique, le Centre de développement technologique en jeux vidéo et en informatique (CDT), le Centre de soudage par friction-malaxage (CSFM), le Centre de transfert en extrusion (CTE) et le Centre de transformation et de valorisation de bioproduits (CTVB), qui constituent des investissements de plus de 25 000 000 $. Des startups comme la Clinique Courte Échelle, LUM Design, Jack & Phil Musique, Distillerie du Fjord, PhytoChemia, Emploi Retraite, Clinique podiatrique Justine Leduc, Moulin à Cie, Miel des montagnes, Clinique santé du Saguenay, Savana Centre d’amusement, Bois Spécialité, Mobile Expert, Imago Structures, Productions Zan, Clinique d’ergothérapie Les mains ludiques et Morille Québec figurent dans la liste.Denis Villeneuve, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Quotidien
Peel Regional Police are forecasting a $16.7 million increase in spending for 2021, the bulk of which will service a spike in salaries and benefits, and the addition of 27 officers. The budget, presented at a police board meeting Friday, calls for $462.5 million in total spending in 2021, a 3.8 per cent increase or a $316 per capita bump in the annual tax levy. The spending increase comes at a time when police services across Canada and south of the border have seen outcry over police violence and systemic anti-Black racism lead to calls to defund police in favour of non-police alternatives and community programs. Peel police will spend $5.2 million on hiring the 27 new officers, while other salary and benefits costs will eat up another $11.4 million of the increase. After it was endorsed by the board Friday, the budget will now go to Peel Regional Council for final review and approval in early 2021. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown, who is on the seven-member Peel Police Services Board, lauded police Chief Nishan Duraiappah for seeking to reallocate millions of dollars toward areas of public concern. “Thank you for putting emphasis on areas that are a concern to the community, whether it’s street racing, mental health, whether it’s human trafficking,” Brown said. The service says it saw more than $2 million in unforeseen costs this year as a result of the pandemic. It will draw on reserve funds to cover any COVID-related shortfalls. Looking ahead, Peel police is also calling for $597 million in capital upgrades –– to be funded from capital reserve funds –– it says will be needed over the next decade. It includes an anticipated $307 million for land and new facilities, $153 million for information and technology advancements, and $76 million for vehicles. At the board meeting Friday, Duraiappah also discussed a summary of the year’s crime trends: Gun crime and homicides trending down Peel is seeing a decline in gang and gun activity so far this year, and is also tracking a decrease in homicides, Duraiappah told the police board Friday. Nevertheless, he dubbed the service’s Project Siphon, which ended with more than 800 charges against 88 people earlier this month, the “largest in the service’s history.” The arrests led to what police say is the dismantling of a prominent Peel-area gang, the seizure of dozens of guns and arrests over three homicides and one attempted murder. So far this year, Peel police have seized 363 firearms, Duraiappah said, noting that “91 per cent of the handguns seized that are traceable came from the United States,” up from the 74 per cent in 2019. “We do have a plan to bolster our gang response,” Duraiappah said. “We know a dedicated gang team is one we need for the new year.” But intimate partner violence is still common So far this year, police have responded to 90 shootings and 14 homicides, five of which were linked to intimate partner violence. That continues a trend that also saw more than a third of the region’s 34 homicides last year linked to intimate partner-related disputes. “It’s still the top three calls that we have each day,” the chief said. “We need to turn the dial on this,” he said, adding that it’s a priority to lower the number of repeat offenders. This year, the service is averaging about 50 calls a day for intimate partner disputes and in response, Duraiappah said the service has created a dedicated intimate partner and family unit with 48 officers who will soon start working out of a hub dedicated to those calls. Rethinking mental health crisis calls Peel’s three dedicated Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Teams responded to 1,700 calls between their introduction in January and October, with only 22 per cent of those calls ending in someone being apprehended, a report to the board said. But police field about 16 daily calls for mental health distress, and the bulk of those calls still land in police hands, Duraiappah said. “We know it’s understaffed,” he said, adding that the rapid response teams can’t respond to that volume of demand — “they do about a third of them, so two-thirds are still being done by uniformed officers.” “Our goal is to have eight on the rapid response team,” he added. Under existing provincial law, only police have the power to apprehend a person experiencing a mental health crisis and take them for treatment. A near-record year for traffic deaths So far this year, Peel has seen a significant increase in vehicle-related deaths, at 38, up from 23 all of last year. Since 2010, only two full years have recorded more motor vehicle-related fatalities: 41 in 2018 and 40 in 2016. “We’re sadly at one of the highest levels of fatal motor vehicle collisions this region has ever seen,” the chief said. The chief also mentioned a troubling bump in stunt driving charges. Police laid 719 charges for stunt driving, to date, up from 332 over the same time frame in 2019.Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
The 100th birthday bash celebrating the Centennial of the Town of Temiscaming is shaping up for a good time in 2021. Two-time JUNO award-winning Glorious Sons has been booked to headline the “mega reunion weekend” show Sept. 4, 2021. The news was announced Thursday. The highly energetic Canadian rockers hail from Kingston, Ontario, and have more than 200 million global streams to their credit. They have toured the world, selling out arenas on their own and sharing the stage with rock legends such as The Rolling Stones, The Struts, Greta Van fleet, and Twenty-One Pilots. With 12 top-10 radio singles including the hits S.O.S. (Sawed Off Shotgun), Everything Is Alright, Panic Attack and Kingdom in My Heart. Tickets will be sold exclusively at The Center in Temiscaming until Dec. 4 and then online 100e.temiscaming.net from 10 am on Dec. 4. Bleacher tickets $35, General Admission $45. Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. NoneDave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca