A Brampton man's botched bulgary attempt to swipe a package was caught on camera. Here are some handy tips customers can take to safegaurd their deliveries.
A Brampton man's botched bulgary attempt to swipe a package was caught on camera. Here are some handy tips customers can take to safegaurd their deliveries.
PALM BEACH, Fla. — Donald Trump has lost his social media megaphone, the power of government and the unequivocal support of his party's elected leaders. But a week after leaving the White House in disgrace, a large-scale Republican defection that would ultimately purge him from the party appears unlikely. Many Republicans refuse to publicly defend Trump's role in sparking the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. After House Republicans who backed his impeachment found themselves facing intense backlash — and Trump’s lieutenants signalled the same fate would meet others who joined them — Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Tuesday for an attempt to dismiss his second impeachment trial. Only five Republican senators rejected the challenge to the trial. Trump's conviction was considered a real possibility just days ago after lawmakers whose lives were threatened by the mob weighed the appropriate consequences — and the future of their party. But the Senate vote on Tuesday is a sign that while Trump may be held in low regard in Washington following the riots, a large swath of Republicans is leery of crossing his supporters, who remain the majority of the party’s voters. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. “Republicans have decided that even if one believes he made mistakes after the November election and on Jan. 6, the policies Trump championed and victories he won from judges to regulatory rollback to life to tax cuts were too great to allow the party to leave him on the battlefield.” The vote came after Trump, who decamped last week to his private Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, began wading back into politics between rounds of golf. He took an early step into the Arkansas governor’s race by endorsing former White House aide Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and backed Kelli Ward, an ally who won reelection as chair of Arizona’s Republican Party after his endorsement. At the same time, Trump’s team has given allies an informal blessing to campaign against the 10 House Republicans who voted in favour of impeachment. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. Norton appeared on longtime Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast in a bid to raise campaign contributions. On Thursday, another Trump loyalist, Rep. Matt Gaetz, plans to travel to Wyoming to condemn home-state Rep. Liz Cheney, a House GOP leader who said after the Capitol riot that “there has never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.” Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. — a star with Trump’s loyal base —- has encouraged Gaetz on social media and embraced calls for Cheney’s removal from House leadership. Trump remains livid with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia, who refused to support Trump's false charges that Georgia's elections were fraudulent. Kemp is up for reelection in 2022, and Trump has suggested former Rep. Doug Collins run against him. Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman’s decision not to seek reelection in 2022 opens the door for Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters, to seek the seat. Several other Republicans, some far less supportive of the former president, are also considering running. Trump’s continued involvement in national politics so soon after his departure marks a dramatic break from past presidents, who typically stepped out of the spotlight, at least temporarily. Former President Barack Obama was famously seen kitesurfing on vacation with billionaire Richard Branson shortly after he left office, and former President George W. Bush took up painting. Trump, who craves the media spotlight, was never expected to burrow out of public view. “We will be back in some form,” he told supporters at a farewell event before he left for Florida. But exactly what form that will take is a work in progress. Trump remains deeply popular among Republican voters and is sitting on a huge pot of cash — well over $50 million — that he could use to prop up primary challenges against Republicans who backed his impeachment or refused to support his failed efforts to challenge the election results using bogus allegations of mass voter fraud in states like Georgia. “POTUS told me after the election that he’s going to be very involved,” said Matt Schlapp, the chair of the American Conservative Union. “I think he’s going to stay engaged. He’s going to keep communicating. He’s going to keep expressing his opinions. I, for one, think that’s great, and I encouraged him to do that.” Aides say he also intends to dedicate himself to winning back the House and Senate for Republicans in 2022. But for now, they say their sights are on the trial. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. Trump aides have also spent recent days trying to assure Republicans that he is not currently planning to launch a third party — an idea he has floated — and will instead focus on using his clout in the Republican Party. Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., said he received a call from Brian Jack, the former White House political director, on Saturday at home to assure him that Trump had no plans for defection. “The main reason for the call was to make sure I knew from him that he’s not starting a third party and if I would be helpful in squashing any rumours that he was starting a third party. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said. The calls were first reported by Politico. But the stakes remain high for Trump, whose legacy is a point of fierce contention in a Republican Party that is grappling with its identity after losing the White House and both chambers of Congress. Just three weeks after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, Trump’s political standing among Republican leaders in Washington remains low. “I don’t know whether he incited it, but he was part of the problem, put it that way,” said Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville, a strong Trump supporter, when asked about the Capitol siege and the related impeachment trial. Tuberville did not say whether he would personally defend Trump in the trial, but he downplayed the prospect of negative consequences for those Republican senators who ultimately vote to convict him. “I don’t think there’ll be any repercussions,” Tuberville said. “People are going to vote how they feel anyway.” Trump maintains a strong base of support within the Republican National Committee and in state party leadership, but even there, Republican officials have dared to speak out against him in recent days in ways they did not before. In Arizona, Ward, who had Trump’s backing, was only narrowly reelected over the weekend, even as the party voted to censure a handful of Trump’s Republican critics, including former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain, the widow of Sen. John McCain. At the same time, Trump’s prospective impeachment sparked a bitter feud within the RNC. In a private email exchange obtained by The Associated Press, RNC member Demetra DeMonte of Illinois proposed a resolution calling on every Republican senator to oppose what she called an “unconstitutional sham impeachment trial, motivated by a radical and reckless Democrat majority.” Bill Palatucci, a Republican committeeman from New Jersey, slapped back. “His act of insurrection was an attack on our very democracy and deserves impeachment,” Palatucci wrote. ___ Peoples reported from New York. Associated Press writer Mary Clare Jalonick in Washington contributed to this report. Steve Peoples And Jill Colvin, The Associated Press
Niagara Region big-box stores were pulled into the province’s enforcement blitz this past weekend. Announced earlier this month by labour minister, Monte McNaughton, the big-box store blitz focuses on proper masking, physical distancing and complying with health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Over 125 Niagara businesses were visited on the weekend by ministry inspectors, press secretary Harry Godfrey confirmed in an email on Tuesday. Of those stores, “only 54 per cent were in compliance,” McNaughton told Niagara This Week during a Monday (Jan. 25) phone call. The minister called the weekend result “extremely disappointing.” Coincidentally, inspections of 267 Niagara businesses by the province in a blitz this past December also found that only 54 per cent of the businesses visited were in compliance with COVID-19 safety measures. Walmart and Costco locations in Niagara were visited in the recent blitz, along with grocery store chains under the Loblaws banner. Godfrey confirmed that in Niagara, inspectors found 68 “total contraventions” with at least 22 tickets issued and five occupational health and safety orders. The three most common violations were inadequate pre-screening of workers and customers, exceeding capacity limits, and a lack of safety plans, according to McNaughton. Gone are the opportunities for education, said the minister. “We’re past that now. It’s about enforcing the laws that are in place; businesses at this point in the pandemic know what they need to do to keep COVID-19 from entering the workplace,” he said, adding that big corporations need to “take this seriously” and “step up.” Customers can also be ticketed by inspectors for refusing to wear a mask. “The ministry of labour has been given, as of a week ago, powers to actually ticket people if you’re not wearing masks properly and not physically distancing,” the minister said. On Monday, McNaughton was unsure exactly how many inspectors were involved locally, but said 107 were involved in simultaneous blitzes in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham over the weekend. In total, over 640 businesses we revisited resulting in over 80 tickets and 100 orders being issued. Earlier this month, Niagara Region staff completed their own inspections over seven days, visiting a total of 62 businesses, issuing seven formal warnings and three fines of $750 each. — With files from The St. Catharines Standard Jordan Snobelen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Niagara this Week
A man carrying several knives, who was reportedly motivated to "stop the election," was arrested Tuesday outside a business in Deer Lake, N.L., which included the office of a local candidate, police said. The campaign team for Liberal Leader Andrew Furey said the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had told Furey he was likely the intended target. The RCMP said in a news release that after a high-speed car chase, they arrested the man in a parking lot and seized a "large quantity of various knives" found inside his truck. The RCMP has declined an interview and requests for more details. The force said they received reports of a man acting erratically in Bonne Bay on Newfoundland's west coast, claiming he was headed to Deer Lake to "stop the election." According to police, he also "made references to firearms." Officers said they found the man in a truck driving on Route 430, north of Cormack, and tried to stop him. The man didn't pull over, but instead sped up, driving dangerously fast, police said. According to the release, responding officers kept the truck in their sights during the chase, which lasted about 10 minutes. Police said the man tore through Deer Lake before stopping in the parking lot of a business containing the office of a political candidate. The campaign team for Liberal Leader Andrew Furey said Tuesday evening that they had been informed by the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC), another police force in the province, that Furey was the likely target. However, the Progressive Conservative campaign team said Tuesday in a statement that "after speaking with law enforcement, we do not believe the incident was targeted to any individual." CBC has requested more details from the RNC. Furey declined an interview Tuesday evening, as did Conservative Leader Ches Crosbie. Furey campaigning in Labrador The Liberal leader's campaign team issued a statement on the alleged attempted attack. "This is a traumatic incident, for everyone working and volunteering in Newfoundland and Labrador's election. There is no place for violence in our society," Furey's campaign spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "Our team is connecting with the leadership of the other political parties and connecting with our team members on the ground in Deer Lake to offer support. "The police investigation is ongoing, but from what we know so far we'd like to thank the members of the public who stepped in to do what they could to prevent an unimaginable outcome." Furey was campaigning Tuesday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador, and according to his itinerary, plans to stop in St. Anthony — about 400 kilometres from Deer Lake — on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening, the New Democratic Party campaign team said they had postponed a planned policy announcement from leader Alison Coffin "in light of this evening's events." Coffin was slated to speak in the St. John's area Wednesday. That announcement has been pushed to Thursday, a campaign spokesperson said. The spokesperson later clarified that Coffin is not concerned for her safety, and is "treating this as an isolated, if alarming, incident." Police said they expect to charge the man who was arrested with several criminal and traffic offences. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A 24-year-old P.E.I. woman from the Summerside area has been fined for not following the province's COVID-19 self-isolation rules. Summerside police say the woman returned to Prince Edward Island Sunday after traveling outside the province. "We were contacted Sunday afternoon by the folks from Chief Public Health office," said Sgt. Jason Blacquiere. "This 24-year-old female we charged … she had told screening people she wasn't going to abide by the self-isolation regulations." Blacquiere said an officer was in the Charlottetown area Monday night and noticed the woman around 8 p.m. "This female is known to our members and this officer noticed her vehicle at a gas station." The woman was located and issued the $1,000 fine, said Blacquiere. The woman was released and told to go home and follow self-isolation requirements, Blacquiere said. "If people continue to refuse to abide by the conditions then there is the option and we have made some arrests under Section 180 of the Criminal Code for being a common nuisance, and that is basically endangering the safety of the public," Blacquiere said. "If the fines aren't working and people are still refusing to abide by the regulations there is potential there for criminal charges." Police didn't check on the woman Sunday night when they were informed, Blacquiere said. "Generally what happens is when somebody comes back into the province there are people assigned to follow up and make sure people are self-isolating. We just happened to know because the folks from Chief Public Health called us." Blacquiere said his department has issued about 10 fines for not self-isolating since the pandemic began. CBC contacted the Chief Public Health Office for more details on the situation, but has not yet heard back from officials. More from CBC P.E.I.
Over the weekend someone broke apart a walking bridge on the New Maryland nature trail. Railings and balusters on the newly built bridge were torn off and broken. That left village staff at a loss as to why someone would intentionally destroy the bridge that was just completed in December. "[I'm] very, very disheartened that anyone would come in and do damage," said Mayor Judy Wilson-Shee. "It doesn't make sense." She said the bridge was damaged sometime between Friday night and Monday morning. Village staff had to close a portion of the trail in order to complete repairs. She has no idea why someone would go out of their way to destroy part of the trail system that took so much hard work from staff and volunteers over the years. "That there is the million-dollar question," said Wilson-Shee. "We could be going over and over in our heads, why? Why? "When there's vandalism that takes place, we have to realize that in order to repair them the cost comes out of the taxpayers' dollars," said Wilson-Shee. The bridge has since been repaired and the trail reopened. The New Maryland nature trail is a source of pride for her - and the community. A network of crisscrossing boardwalks and bridges, Wilson-Shee said she's even helped work on them herself. The village has yet to decide if they'll bring police into the matter.
HALIFAX — The Canadian Space Agency is harnessing satellite technology to monitor and protect endangered North Atlantic right whales in the country’s waters. The agency said Tuesday it will lead a $5.3-million project funded by the federal government called smartWhales, which will use satellites to detect the presence of right whales and to predict the animals' movements. Canada is giving a total of $5.3 million over three years to five companies for a series of projects to help protect the endangered species. One of the projects will involve a system that can rapidly provide location data and detect if the whales are approaching a fishing vessel. Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan says collecting satellite data about the movement of the whales is key to preventing collisions between whales and vessels and to spot cases where the animals are caught in fishing gear — two of the leading causes of right whale deaths. In October, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimated only 366 right whales were alive in January 2019, with fewer than 94 of them being females with the ability to breed. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
The lawyer arguing for the continuance of a court order against protesters who have been trying to stop clear cutting in public forests says the protesters' end goals don't justify their means. WestFor Management Inc., a forestry consortium that works with 13 lumber mills in Nova Scotia, brought a motion to Nova Scotia Supreme Court last year that forced protesters to abandon two blockades on logging roads in Digby County. An interim injunction against the blockades is due to expire this month but WestFor is seeking to extend the order until a full hearing on the issue concludes. "This motion is about one thing," WestFor lawyer Ian Dunbar said in court Tuesday. "And that is whether an order should be issued to prevent the roads from being reblockaded." Dunbar said he was not arguing against the validity of the concerns that led to the blockades. The protesters, who include members of the global environmental group Extinction Rebellion, have said the Crown land WestFor is cutting is prime habitat for the endangered mainland moose and should be preserved. Province responsible for protecting endangered moose Dunbar said that argument should be taken up with the provincial government, which issued the logging permit to WestFor and which has a legal responsibility to protect endangered species. "There is a time and place to debate that issue and this courtroom is not it, and neither is the middle of a logging road … There are channels available to raise concerns, there are channels available to engage with the political process," Dunbar said. The province's responsibility to protect endangered species was the subject of a judicial review last year, which ended in a judge ruling that Nova Scotia was not living up to its own standards. Another part of Dunbar's central argument was that blockades could lead to a significant interruption to business and possible financial loss, causing WestFor "irreparable harm" — a term from the legal test used by courts to decide if an injunction should be awarded. Dunbar said WestFor's application for a logging permit went through a rigorous review process, which included an opportunity for public comment. He said no concerns were raised at that time. Blockades a last resort, protesters' lawyer says James Gunvaldsen Klaassen, one of the lawyers representing Extinction Rebellion, said the blockades were a last resort after years of inaction from the provincial government on protecting mainland moose habitat. He said the blockades were necessary because there is an "existential crisis" at hand for the moose. "These people [were] not out there to cause trouble. They had a very powerful principle they were attempting to act on and the goal they wanted. It was not a matter of trying to interfere in any way in WestFor's activities. It's not about that," Gunvaldsen Klaassen told the court. Protesters set up their first blockade in October, west of the Tobeatic Wilderness Area and not far from the Silver River Wilderness Area. A second, in the same area, was set up in November and the interim injunction was ordered on Dec. 10. Despite the order, some protesters stayed put for several days. RCMP arrested nine people on Dec. 16. Dunbar said since then, it's been "business as usual" for WestFor. Gunvaldsen Klaassen said the blockades were spurred, in part, by frustration that has been mounting since 2018. That's the year William Lahey submitted his report on ecological forestry to the provincial government, which recommended significant reductions to clear cutting. Nova Scotia has yet to implement the recommendations of that report. Justice Kevin Coady reserved his decision on the injunction request. MORE TOP STORIES
WASHINGTON — Female soldiers can let their hair down, and flash a little nail colour under new rules being approved by the Army. But male soldiers will still have to shave. Army leaders announced Tuesday that they are loosening restrictions on various grooming and hairstyle rules, as service leaders try to address longstanding complaints, particularly from women. The changes, which also expand allowances for earrings and hair highlights and dyes, are particularly responsive to women of various ethnicities, and will allow greater flexibility for braids, twists, cornrows and other styles more natural for their hair. The new regulations take effect in late February and come after months of study, in the wake of a directive by former Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who ordered a new review of military hairstyle and grooming policies last July. The review was part of a broader order to expand diversity within the military and reduce prejudice, in the wake of widespread protests about racial inequality last summer. “These aren’t about male and female,” said Sgt. Maj. Michael Grinston, the Army's top enlisted leader during a Facebook Live presentation on Tuesday about the latest changes. “This is about an Army standard and how we move forward with the Army, and being a more diverse, inclusive team.” The Army announcement has been long-planned, but it came just days after the Pentagon's first Black defence secretary — Lloyd Austin — took over. Austin has vowed to try to root out racism and extremism in the ranks and foster more inclusion. Esper and many of the service leaders have also been taking steps to make the military more diverse, particularly in the higher ranks. As an example, Esper last summer ordered that service members’ photos no longer be provided to promotion boards. Officials said studies showed that when photos are not included “the outcomes for minorities and women improved.” On Tuesday, Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Sanders told reporters that the panel recommending the new grooming changes considered a variety of factors, including cultural, health and safety issues. He said the tight hair buns previously required by the Army can trigger hair loss and other scalp problems for some women. And larger buns needed to accommodate thick or longer hair, can make a combat helmet fit badly and potentially impair good vision. At the same time, he said that changes, like allowing women in combat uniforms to wear earrings such as small gold, silver and diamond studs, let them “feel like a woman inside and outside of uniform." He added, "At the end of the day, our women are mothers, they're spouses, they're sisters, they definitely want to be able to maintain their identity and that’s what we want to get after." In many cases — such as the earrings — the changes simply let female soldiers wear jewelry or hairstyles that are already allowed in more formal, dress uniforms, but were not allowed in their daily combat uniforms. Army leaders said women will now be able to wear their hair in a long ponytail or braid and tuck it under their shirt. Sanders said that allowing that gives female soldiers, particularly pilots or troops at a firing range, greater ability to turn their head quickly, without the restraints that the buns created. The new regulations also allow the exact opposite. Female soldiers going through Ranger or special operations training get their heads shaved, like male soldiers do. But when they leave training, their hair is too short, based on the Army's previous minimum length requirements. Now there will be no minimum length rules. For men, however, the perennial request to allow beards is still a no-go. Grinston's answer to the question from the online audience was short and direct: “No.” He noted that the Army already makes exceptions for medical and religious reasons. Also, male soldiers still can't wear earrings. The new lipstick and nail polish rules, however, allow men to wear clear polish, and allow colours for women, but prohibit “extreme” shades, such as purple, blue, black and “fire engine” red. Men will also be able to dye their hair, but the colours for both genders are limited to “natural" shades. Prohibited colours include blue, purple, pink, green, orange or neon. In another sign of the times, the new rules state that soldiers will now automatically receive black and coyote-colored face masks. They are also permitted to wear camouflage colored masks, but have to buy those themselves. The Army also is taking steps to change wording in the regulations to remove racist or insensitive descriptions. References to “Fu Manchu” moustache and “Mohawk” hairstyle have been removed, and replaced with more detailed descriptions of the still-banned styles. Lolita C. Baldor, The Associated Press
Residents of Île-à-la-Crosse will now have a new place to gather with the completion of their community hall. However, with COVID-19, this is a bittersweet time for the community given that public health restrictions will keep them from using it in the coming months, said Mayor Duane Favel. “Having that space that holds community gatherings and such as weddings and other activities that we like to do within our communities, I think it's going to be a wonderful place for people to gather and socialize in a healthy way.” Île-à-la-Crosse used their Municipal Economic Enhancement Program funding that was announced back in May to finally get the project underway to replace the ageing community hall that was donated in 1980. Additional funding has also been secured, Favel said. The concrete foundation and utility lines are still in good shape, said Île-à-la-Crosse councillor Gerald Roy for an article back in September, so those will remain as they replace the building. The community is looking forward to being able to use the facility, Favel said. Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
A person has been arrested and a vehicle seized in connection with a hit-and-run in North Vancouver Monday night that left a 17-year-old pedestrian in critical condition. North Vancouver RCMP say the female teen was found around 10:15 p.m. lying injured and unconscious near Keith Road East and St. Andrews Avenue. Sgt. Peter DeVries said RCMP are looking for witnesses who may have seen or heard a white, newer model vehicle in the area or on neighbouring streets. "If you were near Keith Road East between Ridgeway Avenue and St. George's Avenue around 10:15 p.m. last night, or live in the area, and you saw the vehicle or heard the collision, or if you were near Lynn Valley Road and the Safeway parking lot at Lynn Valley Centre shortly after 10:15 p.m. and saw a vehicle matching that description, then please call us at 604 985-1311," said DeVries. Police are also seeking related dashcam or surveillance video and are asking people to check their recordings.
A lawyer representing an Alberta man accused of being one of five gang members who took RCMP on a 150-kilometre, two-hour chase gave the Crown a proposed resolution. Kyle Lajimodiere from Cold Lake, Alta., had an appearance in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 26 and his appearance was waived. Crown Prosecutor Liam Fitz-Gerald from North Battleford asked the court for an adjournment until Feb. 9 to give him time to go over defence’s proposal. Lajimodiere was arrested in November 2020. His co-accused are Tonia Cantel, 22, of North Battleford, Juanita Wahpistikwan, 21, from Big Island Cree Nation, and two young offenders who can’t be named in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The chase the alleged Westside Outlaws street gang members took police on occurred Nov. 20, 2020, and went from Lashburn to north of Paradise Hill. Police officers from six detachments rapidly coordinated resources to track and arrest them. They were all charged with theft of a vehicle, storing a prohibited firearm, four counts of possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon, possessing a firearm without a license, being a vehicle with an unauthorized firearm, possessing a prohibited firearm with accessible ammunition without registration, possession a firearm with an altered serial number, endangering the safety of the public, and flight from police. Cantel was denied bail Jan. 21, 2021, and is at Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women in Prince Albert. She appears next in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Feb. 4. Wahpistikwan also remains in custody at Pine Grove and appears next in Lloydminster Provincial Court on Jan. 28. The charges against the accused haven’t been proven in court. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
A weekly book club promoting early literacy is launching tomorrow on Family Literacy Day. The three EarlyON centres in Timmins have partnered to offer a free virtual storytime session for children and their families and caregivers. The book club will take place every Wednesday, starting Jan. 27, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Three different stories — in English, in French, and about Indigenous culture — will be read by a representative from each of the centre via Zoom. The three EarlyON centres are the Timmins Native Friendship Centre, Timmins NEOFACS and Timmins YMCA. “This way, we’ll help families engage in literacy with their children and read books,” said Julie Nowlan, Timmins YMCA's early years co-ordinator. “Sometimes, they may not know which books to read or they may not have books at home either, so at least having the program every week, they have three books read to them.” All of the books can be counted toward the Timmins 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten (B4K) program. It is an early literacy program that encourages families and caregivers to read 1,000 books with their children before they go to kindergarten. “If you read three books a day for three years, you can get to 1,000 books before your child reaches kindergarten,” Nowlan said. "Literacy is always a big component in all our of our centres, so it’s nice to be able to offer that.” For each hit milestone, such as reading 100, 250, 500 and 750 books, children will receive a certificate and a prize. Once they read 1,000 books, they get a bigger prize and can start the program again. The program was launched last year in partnership with the Timmins Public Library. So far, there are 326 children registered for the Timmins 1,000 B4K program. “We had people hit their milestones of reaching 1,000 books,” said Gabriella Desmarais, Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board (CDSSAB) program manager for EarlyON Child and Family Centre Quality Assurance. Once someone registers for the 1,000 Books B4K program, they will receive a literacy kit that contains a reading log, a book and all the information needed for the program. “We’re definitely going to continue it for sure,” Nowlan said about the virtual book club. “I assume it will continue until virtual programming is no longer. And if not, it will continue in our centre, so we’ll definitely read books when they come in and visit us.” The Zoom link for Jan. 27 book club meeting can be found here. Registration is not required to join the event. For more information about the Timmins 1000 Books B4K program, click here. Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com
Out of 99 new positive cases discovered in the Simcoe Muskoka Region, health officials say 97 are linked to a long-term care home in Barrie and all of those people are likely affected by the fast-spreading U.K. variant. There are concerns the highly contagious strain of the virus is more widespread than initially thought. Miranda Anthistle has the details.
The Village of Hussar has reason to celebrate 2020, from completing infrastructure upgrades, to overcoming financial constraints and cancelled events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the village celebrates accomplishments in 2020, council is also looking forward to what 2021 will bring. Hussar Mayor Corey Fisher says upgrades to the water and sewer system along 2nd Avenue East, from Centre Street to 1st Street East, were completed “on time and on budget.” The village also completed demolition of the old Hussar School building. The school grounds were purchased by the village and Mayor Fisher says the village has “begun the process of annexation,” which will provide additional space for future projects. Big challenges for the village in 2020 were budget constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cancellation of community events such as Summer Daze and Canada Day celebrations. Mayor Fisher says, “We overcame (budget challenges) through steady management and a common sense approach to dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.” The village held a socially distanced Light Up The Night event, with viewing limited to drive through only, on Saturday, December 5. Donations received from the event will be used for a new underground watering system for the Hussar Cemetery in the spring of 2021. Other projects scheduled for 2021 include paving of a key intersection at Centre Street and 2nd Avenue, with work anticipated to begin in the spring. “We look for a realistic ‘can we afford it’ approach for capital project spending and a ‘hold the line’ operations budget, while ensuring the village remains strong fiscally in 2021,” Mayor Fisher said. The Village of Hussar’s council for 2020 is made up of Mayor Corey Fisher, Deputy Mayor Les Schultz, and Councillor Tim Frank. Lacie Nairn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Drumheller Mail
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (17,779.41, down 126.61 points.) BlackBerry Ltd. (TSX:BB). Technology. Up 86 cents, or 3.75 per cent, to $23.78 on 22 million shares. Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Down 52 cents, or 2.33 per cent, to $21.81 on 10.1 million shares. Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down three cents, or 4.17 per cent, to 69 cents on 9.8 million shares. Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB). Energy. Up 12 cents, or 0.27 per cent, to $44.26 on 8.2 million shares. Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX:FIRE). Health care. Down 2.5 cents, or 11.9 per cent, to 18.5 cents on 8.2 million shares. Score Media and Gaming Inc. (TSX:SCR). Telecommunications. Down 30 cents, or 9.62 per cent, to $2.82 on 8.1 million shares. Companies in the news: Canadian National Railway (TSX:CNR). Down $1.32 to $136.27. CN says it will reinstate its guidance for 2021 and increase the company's dividend by seven per cent after seeing improved demand for freight in the last three months of 2020. The Montreal-based railway says after markets closed that its net income surged 17 per cent in the fourth quarter to $1.02 billion or $1.43 per share. That was up from $873 million or $1.22 per share in the prior year. Adjusted profits for the three months ended Dec. 31 were up 14 per cent to $1.02 billion or $1.43 per share, from $896 million or $1.25 per share in last year's quarter. Revenue increased two per cent, or $72 million, to $3.66 billion. Nutrien Ltd. (TSX:NTR). Down 58 cents to $66.90. Canadian fertilizer giant Nutrien Ltd. says it will expand its use of a proximity alarm and contact tracing technology to help protect 14,500 of its employees from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Saskatoon-based company says it has rolled out its Proximity Trace equipment, made by U.S.-based Triax Technologies, to more than 8,000 employees to date and expects to introduce it to 6,500 more in coming months, representing 65 per cent of its global employee base. Proximity Trace tags are attached to workers’ clothing or hard hats and produce an audio and visual alert to those who come within two metres of one another. Nutrien says the sensors also automatically log data to allow contact tracing if a positive case is found, helping limit further spread and reassuring those not at risk. Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Down 74 cents, or 1.3 per cent, to $56.20. Against headwinds from a labour conflict and a mild cold and flu season, grocery and pharmacy retailer Metro Inc. posted higher first-quarter sales and profit on Tuesday compared with a year ago. Although pandemic restrictions limited in-store foot traffic at the company's supermarkets, same-store food sales climbed 10 per cent as shoppers bought more groceries with each visit or online order, the company said. But pharmacy same-store sales edged up only slightly, dragged down by a 3.8 per cent drop in front-store sales as COVID-19 measures reduced in-store traffic as well as demand for cough and cold products. The quarter was also impacted by a labour conflict at a Jean Coutu distribution centre in Quebec, which the company said had a dampening effect on overall sales. Enerplus Corp. (TSX:ERF). Down 13 cents, or three per cent, to $4.15. Enerplus Corp. is increasing its bets on the Bakken light oil region in North Dakota with the purchase of a private rival for US$465 million, despite a legal fight that could shut down a major oil pipeline there. The Calgary-based company said Tuesday it has agreed to buy Bruin E&P HoldCo, LLC, which has current production of about 24,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment about a federal appeal court decision Tuesday to uphold the ruling of a district judge who last year ordered a full environmental impact review of the Dakota Access oil pipeline. Following a complaint by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the district judge ruled last spring that the review conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the 1,886-kilometre pipeline that straddles the North Dakota-South Dakota border was incomplete. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2021. The Canadian Press
One of Orangeville’s premier recreation venue has changed locations recently. Far Shot Orangeville has downsized their arena but hopes the added exposure, on 400 Townline Rd., will bring in more clientele. “Our last location was at a warehouse area,” said Benn MacDonald, owner of Far Shot Orangeville. It wasn’t the best place. It was great for what we had at the time. We had an indoor archery range as well of 40 yards.” Groups of 10, once lockdown restrictions are lifted, will be available to participate. Small groups for one hour cost $25 per person and large groups for two hours cost $40 per person. They also plan to obtain their own liquor license. With COVID, nearly every booking is a private one. Just you, your family & friends and one coach. Strangers never share lanes no matter how small your group size is. They take a minimum of two people. “We’ll only do one group at a time,” said Macdonald. “Unfortunately, we can’t do walk-ins with all the restrictions going on. This has affected us quite a bit. We’re hoping once all of this opens up again, our walk-in hours can return.” Macdonald admits they did lose their archery ring because of the smaller location, but he believes it was a good trade-off for the exposure. They are also able to provide a mobile service, bringing all their axe, knife and archery equipment to your backyard. “The furthest we have gone was Niagara Falls,” said Macdonald. “We charge that travel. For anyone local, we don’t charge a fee for that.” An eight-week league is also available for $140. It begins on Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Practice begins at 7 p.m. and the game starts at 8 p.m. A week 4 light dinner is on them and on week 8 is the championship with a potluck supper. “We compete with the World Axe Throwing League,” said MacDonald. “Our club actually won the championship in 2017 and I served as the head judge. I travelled all across North America officiating on major tournaments on ESPN.” Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner
The accused in a fatal 2016 shooting at a ByWard Market nightclub says he only fired his gun in self-defence after another drug dealer tried to take over his sale. Mustafa Ahmed, 32, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Omar Rashid-Ghader, who was 33 at the time of his killing. On Tuesday, Ahmed told court about the confrontation that led to Rashid-Ghader's death. I was terrified. I was only trying to save my own life. - Mustafa Ahmed "I was terrified. I was only trying to save my own life," Ahmed testified from behind Plexiglas at the Elgin Street courthouse. The proceedings are being made available to the public via Zoom. Ahmed said he was arranging a drug deal at the bar of the Sentral Nightclub at Dalhousie and Clarence streets just after 3 a.m. on Aug. 14, 2016. He said Rashid-Ghader's associates approached him to try to get involved in the deal, which would've meant Ahmed wouldn't make any money. Shooter startled Ahmed said he was startled when Rashid-Ghader, also known as "Esco," appeared behind him at the bar and began trying to get involved as well. Ahmed said he was then struck by what he thought was the butt of a gun, which video evidence has shown was actually a bottle. He said he didn't know whether Rashid-Ghader still had the weapon as he continued to beat Ahmed on the floor. He said he knew that Rashid-Ghader, from whom he had previously picked up drugs, carried weapons such as guns, baseball bats, bricks and machetes, so Ahmed said he was worried he'd end up in hospital or dead. Ahmed testified that the bouncers at the club hadn't checked him for weapons, so he had no reason to believe they had checked Rashid-Ghader, either. Ahmed said he only fired after he had been slammed into the floor and hit repeatedly. He said Rashid-Ghader tried to wrestle control of the gun from him, and didn't let up until after the second shot was fired. Bullet pierced victim's heart Noting that one of the bullets went through Rashid-Ghader's heart, Ahmed's defence lawyer Solomon Friedman asked his client if he had aimed his weapon with that intention. "My thoughts were focused on getting myself out of that situation. I fired in his general direction," Ahmed responded. "I didn't aim for his head, I didn't aim for his heart." Ahmed said he didn't know Rashid-Ghader was dead when he left the club. Once Ahmed heard he was wanted for second-degree murder, he disposed of the bloodied shirt he'd worn that night, fled to Toronto and got rid of the gun he'd used that night. "I didn't murder him," Ahmed recalled thinking at the time. "I just think in my head, [the police are] not going to believe my side of the story.... I was just defending myself." Court heard Ahmed had previously been shot, and that's why he started carrying a gun. The trial resumes Thursday with cross-examination.
PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Republican lawmakers on Tuesday revived a proposed law that would ban people from changing the sex designation on their birth certificates, even after a House committee rejected the bill that LGBTQ advocates decried as an attack on transgender people. Republicans in the House forced the bill to be brought to a vote by the full House through a rarely used legislative procedure known as a “smoke out.” At least one-third of the House supported the procedure. A committee of lawmakers had earlier Tuesday dismissed the bill on a seven-to-six vote after five Republicans joined two Democrats to oppose the bill, which would stop people from changing the sex listed on birth certificates after one year from birth. The proposal will be delivered to the full chamber for consideration by Wednesday. Law changes that affect transgender people have become a perennial topic in the South Dakota legislature, although transgender advocates say they are making progress in getting their voices heard and issues understood. A handful of advocates gathered in the pre-dawn cold outside the statehouse on Tuesday, waving rainbow and transgender flags. “I want transgender people to know they have a home here, a family here,” said Seymour Otterman, a nonbinary transgender person who testified to lawmakers on their experience living in the state. The legislative efforts to address transgender issues were spearheaded by Rep. Fred Deutsch, a Watertown Republican who introduced this year's proposal. After the bill was rejected in committee, he said he had heard from fellow Republicans that they would like to debate and vote on the bill in a meeting of the full House. Deutsch pushed a bill last year that would have banned puberty blockers and gender confirmation surgery for transgender children under 16. And in 2016, he introduced a bill that would have limited the bathrooms and locker rooms that transgender students can use. Other Republican lawmakers have pushed the state's high school athletics association to reconsider its policy of allowing transgender students to compete as the gender with which they identify. But Deutsch's efforts have increasingly struggled to gain traction: His 2016 bill cleared the House and Senate before being vetoed by former Gov. Dennis Daugaard, a Republican; his bill last year passed the House before being halted by a Senate committee; this year's bill failed to clear its first hurdle in the House and had to be revived by the “smoke out" procedure. Deutsch defended his efforts, saying he was not motivated by hate but by social importance. He argued that the state's judges have struggled with how to handle requests from people who want to change the sex on their birth certificates and that keeping vital records on sex is an important aspect of government business. “Either biology matters or it doesn’t,” he said. South Dakota courts have received 11 requests for updates to the sex listed on birth certificates since 2017, according to the court system. Rep. Kevin Jensen, a Canton Republican who supported the bill, said he doesn't feel it discriminates against transgender people, and that a birth certificate serves as an objective record of someone's sex at birth. But LGBTQ people see Deutch's efforts as an attack intended to send a message that they are not welcome in a state dominated by conservative politics. They warned that barring people from updating their birth certificates was dangerous, exposing them to violence, hate and discrimination. They could be unwillingly exposed as transgender when they apply for jobs, housing or health care. “It’s incredibly disrespectful that we have to address this every year. It’s infuriating,” said Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat from Sioux Falls. “We are disrupting the lives of a vulnerable population, and I think what we are missing today is empathy and compassion.” Opponents to the bill pointed out that similar bans, such as a 2018 law passed in Idaho, have been struck down by federal courts as unconstitutional. LGBTQ advocates have also pointed to President Joe Biden's order reversing a Trump-era Pentagon policy largely barring transgender people from military service as a sign that the federal government is taking a stronger approach to protections for transgender people. Otterman said Deutsch's proposed ban did not come as a surprise, even though they are struck by increasing waves of anger and sadness each January when the bills come. “In most places in South Dakota, it is a very lonely, isolating experience because of this sentiment,” they said. Healy said bills that delve into transgender issues can be harmful, even if they often fail. “It's an emotional roller coaster,” Healy said. “To be so happy and relieved that it died, only to see it resurrected and have that threat all over again.” Stephen Groves, The Associated Press
After a surprising performance in 2020, Calgary's housing market is expected to make modest gains this year — but some factors could temper its growth, the Calgary Real Estate Board reported Tuesday in its annual forecast. In spite of widespread job losses and spiking unemployment rates that led to a "roller-coaster" for housing markets across Canada last year, they defied expectations and rebounded in the second half of 2020, the CREB said. Calgary's sales were strong enough to nearly offset the initial losses it suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, though it didn't break records for sales or prices. The market's momentum in 2020 was driven by low lending rates and pent-up demand, said CREB's chief economist, Ann-Marie Lurie, at the board's annual fiscal conference on Tuesday. That momentum is expected to be carried into 2021, Lurie said, but she cautioned that market growth will likely be limited by ongoing fiscal hurdles. "While sales are expected to rise by nearly five per cent on an annual basis in 2021, persistent economic challenges are expected to prevent stronger growth in our housing market," Lurie said. What happened in 2020 After strong sales in January and February of last year, activity slowed to a crawl in the second-quarter — the first full quarter after COVID-19 began to weigh on the economy, the CREB said in its second quarterly report for 2020. However, sales started to resume in 2020's third-quarter. As initial fears about the pandemic eased, people seemed to become more comfortable listing their houses again, Lurie said. And by the fourth quarter, a surprising amount of growth led to the strongest sales the market has seen since 2014. But that recovery was not reflected evenly across all property types. According to Lurie, sales activity fell for apartment-style condominiums, while the gains were primarily driven by the detached market. "One thing to keep in mind, despite the fact that we had those strong gains in the second portion of the year, it wasn't quite enough to offset those losses in Q2," Lurie said. "So levels of sales stayed relatively flat compared to ." Supply and demand Calgary has also struggled with too much supply relative to demand in the housing market since the price of oil crashed in 2014, Lurie said, which has caused prices to trend downward. The third and fourth quarters of 2020 changed that: new listings fell by nine per cent, and the decline in supply moved the market toward more balanced conditions, the board reported. Midway through the year, prices began to improve — driven by the detached sector, and not enough for a year-over-year gain when compared with 2019. But in the context of 2020, Lurie said this is still notable. "In some ways, it's very remarkable to see price gains when you're facing things like the worst recession that we've had in history, as well as double-digit unemployment rates. So the question becomes, what happened?" Lurie said. Sales started to get traction toward the end of 2019 as mortgage lending rates began to fall, Lurie said. And in 2020, spurred by COVID-19, the Bank of Canada made dramatic moves to reduce its overnight target rate to 0.25 per cent — a rate not seen since the 2008 financial crisis — and signalled it would be held there for several years. It led to the release of pent-up demand, Lurie said. "We feel that these lower rates are really bringing a lot of people back in the market." Considerations and risks These factors — a balanced inventory, lower lending rates and pent-up demand — helped spur the surprising performance of 2020's housing market, and the board expects those trends to continue with restraint. But looking ahead, there are considerations and risks that Lurie acknowledges could destabilize the coming year. Though the CREB is optimistic that prices are set to increase by over one per cent, and sales may rise by nearly five per cent, Lurie also expects factors to temper some of that growth — including employment challenges, the energy industry downturn and COVID-related uncertainty. "The expectation is that our economy is not going to come back to levels that we had prior to the pandemic for at least another couple of years," Lurie said. "So you'll probably have another roller-coaster year [in 2021] in terms of what's happening in sales, but overall we do expect that progression and some improvements."
South Korea's LG Display Co Ltd reported its highest quarterly profit in over three years on Wednesday, with help from increased shipments of Apple Inc's new iPhones. The Apple supplier posted an operating profit of 685 billion won ($622 million) in the fourth quarter of 2020, compared with a loss of 422 billion won in the same period a year earlier. It was the display panel firm's highest quarterly profit since the second quarter of 2017, and soundly ahead of market expectations for a 286 billion won profit, according to a Refinitiv SmartEstimate derived from 12 analyst estimates.