From the shutdown of the live music touring industry to songs inspired by the social justice movement, here are some of the top music stories of 2020. (Dec. 20)
From the shutdown of the live music touring industry to songs inspired by the social justice movement, here are some of the top music stories of 2020. (Dec. 20)
WASHINGTON — It's a club Donald Trump was never really interested in joining and certainly not so soon: the cadre of former commanders in chief who revere the presidency enough to put aside often bitter political differences and even join together in common cause. Members of the ex-presidents club pose together for pictures. They smile and pat each other on the back while milling around historic events, or sit somberly side by side at VIP funerals. They take on special projects together. They rarely criticize one another and tend to offer even fewer harsh words about their White House successors. Like so many other presidential traditions, however, this is one Trump seems likely to flout. Now that he's left office, it's hard to see him embracing the stately, exclusive club of living former presidents. “He kind of laughed at the very notion that he would be accepted in the presidents club,” said Kate Andersen Brower, who interviewed Trump in 2019 for her book “Team of Five: The Presidents’ Club in the Age of Trump." “He was like, ‘I don’t think I’ll be accepted.'” It's equally clear that the club's other members don't much want him — at least for now. Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton recorded a three-minute video from Arlington National Cemetery after President Joe Biden's inauguration this week, praising peaceful presidential succession as a core of American democracy. The segment included no mention of Trump by name, but stood as a stark rebuke of his behaviour since losing November's election. “I think the fact that the three of us are standing here, talking about a peaceful transfer of power, speaks to the institutional integrity of our country,” Bush said. Obama called inaugurations “a reminder that we can have fierce disagreements and yet recognize each other’s common humanity, and that, as Americans, we have more in common than what separates us." Trump spent months making baseless claims that the election had been stolen from him through fraud and eventually helped incite a deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. He left the White House without attending Biden’s swearing-in, the first president to skip his successor's inauguration in 152 years. Obama, Bush and Clinton recorded their video after accompanying Biden to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider following the inauguration. They also taped a video urging Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Only 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, who has limited his public events because of the pandemic, and Trump, who had already flown to post-presidential life in Florida, weren't there. Jeffrey Engel, founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, said Trump isn't a good fit for the ex-presidents club "because he’s temperamentally different.” “People within the club historically have been respected by ensuing presidents. Even Richard Nixon was respected by Bill Clinton and by Ronald Reagan and so on, for his foreign policy," Engel said. "I’m not sure I see a whole lot of people calling up Trump for his strategic advice.” Former presidents are occasionally called upon for big tasks. George H.W. Bush and Clinton teamed up in 2005 to launch a campaign urging Americans to help the victims of the devastating Southeast Asia tsunami. When Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast, Bush, father of the then-current president George W. Bush, called on Clinton to boost Katrina fundraising relief efforts. When the elder Bush died in 2018, Clinton wrote, “His friendship has been one of the great gifts of my life," high praise considering this was the man he ousted from the White House after a bruising 1992 campaign — making Bush the only one-term president of the last three decades except for Trump. Obama tapped Clinton and the younger President Bush to boost fundraising efforts for Haiti after its devastating 2010 earthquake. George W. Bush also became good friends with former first lady Michelle Obama, and cameras caught him slipping a cough drop to her as they sat together at Arizona Sen. John McCain’s funeral. Usually presidents extend the same respect to their predecessors while still in office, regardless of party. In 1971, three years before he resigned in disgrace, Richard Nixon went to Texas to participate in the dedication of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidential library. When Nixon’s library was completed in 1990, then-President George H.W. Bush attended with former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford. Trump's break with tradition began even before his presidency did. After his election win in November 2016, Obama hosted Trump at the White House promising to “do everything we can to help you succeed.” Trump responded, “I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future” — but that never happened. Instead, Trump falsely accused Obama of having wiretapped him and spent four years savaging his predecessor's record. Current and former presidents sometimes loathed each other, and criticizing their successors isn’t unheard of. Carter criticized the policies of the Republican administrations that followed his, Obama chided Trump while campaigning for Biden and also criticized George W. Bush’s policies — though Obama was usually careful not to name his predecessor. Theodore Roosevelt tried to unseat his successor, fellow Republican William Howard Taft, by founding his own “Bull Moose” party and running for president again against him. Still, presidential reverence for former presidents dates back even further. The nation’s second president, John Adams, was concerned enough about tarnishing the legacy of his predecessor that he retained George Washington’s Cabinet appointments. Trump may have time to build his relationship with his predecessors. He told Brower that he “could see himself becoming friendly with Bill Clinton again," noting that the pair used to golf together. But the odds of becoming the traditional president in retirement that he never was while in office remain long. “I think Trump has taken it too far," Brower said. "I don’t think that these former presidents will welcome him at any point.” Will Weissert And Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Two COVID-19 cases reported in Nova Scotia in December are now linked to the United Kingdom and South African variants of the virus, the province announced Friday. Nova Scotia has been sending samples of positive tests, on a case-by-case basis, to the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg. The national lab sequences the genetic material of the virus to determine what variant the case is associated with. In a live briefing Friday, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, said the two samples were sent to the lab at the end of December. The two variants are concerning because they may spread more easily between people, with a possibility that the U.K. variant is associated with higher mortality. "The variants don't require us to do anything different in Nova Scotia," said Strang. "They're just a reminder of how we need to stay strong and vigilant in doing what we're already doing." The two cases were in the central health zone, which includes Halifax and surrounding areas, and are associated with travel outside Canada. Strang said there’s no evidence of community spread related to the cases. The person who had the U.K. variant was in self-isolation and had no contact with others. The person with the South African variant spread the virus to household members. Strang said it’s possible the household members also had the South African variant. The samples can’t be sent to Winnipeg for confirmation because they don’t contain a high enough number of virus particles for sequencing to work. Contacts of the household members were tested when the cases were first reported in December, with none testing positive. Strang said Nova Scotia is working closely with the national lab to further investigate the two cases. According to a news release, all positive samples from the first wave were sent to the lab for sequencing and none of them was determined to be of the U.K. or South African variant. Samples are submitted every two weeks for variant identification. All positive cases associated with travel outside Canada are sent to the lab. Public Health also considers cases involving a large number of contact testing positive or a very short incubation period. Nova Scotia is currently waiting for the national lab to complete identification of 20 to 30 samples, said Strang. Nova Scotia reported four new cases of COVID-19 on Friday – two cases in the western zone and one in the central zone, all related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. A positive case in the northern zone is a close contact of a previously reported case. One of the cases in the western zone is a student at Acadia University in Wolfville. The student had completed the required 14-day self-isolation and was attending classes when they got COVID-19 symptoms. The student tested positive shortly afterward and is self-isolating again. Strang said investigation shows that the student got COVID-19 before coming to Nova Scotia. Public Health is arranging testing for close contacts and anyone who might have been exposed to the virus at the classes the person attended. After Pfizer announced world-wide delays to vaccine shipment last Friday, Strang confirmed Nova Scotia will not be receiving any Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines next week. Strang said the delay is “short-term” and won’t affect Nova Scotia’s 90-day vaccine plan. “Everything we are hearing through our federal colleagues is that Pfizer remains committed to making up these remaining doses later in this first quarter of 2021.” In addition to the scheduled number of Moderna vaccine doses, the province will get a small number of Pfizer-BioNTech doses in early February. As of Jan. 21, 10,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 2,705 Nova Scotians have received their second dose. At the briefing, Premier Stephen McNeil announced that most public health restrictions, such as gathering limits and capacities for retail stores and gyms, will be extended until at least Feb. 7. Team and non-team sports can resume as of Monday, Jan. 25 without spectators. Residents of adult service centres and regional rehabilitation centres can go out into the community for work and volunteering also starting Monday. Nebal Snan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle Herald
A First Nations leader on Vancouver Island has launched an online campaign against racism toward his community amid COVID-19 — with an artistic twist. Stuart Pagaduan, elected councillor of Cowichan Tribes and artist, created a raised fist image the same day North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring denounced what he calls fear-based racist comments directed at the First Nations community that's been hit by the highly infectious disease. "[The] colours represent the people of the world," Pagaduan told Gregor Craigie, host of CBC's On The Island, with the colours of the fingers representing different cultures in his poster entitled I Stand With Cowichan Tribes. "Judging a person does not define who they are … It defines who you are," the artwork reads. "It [the poster] should inspire unity, and it should inspire you to take part in what's happening, not only in Cowichan but [also] … what's happening in your part of the world," Pagaduan said. The Cowichan Tribes, located on Vancouver Island between Victoria and Nanaimo, B.C., was the target of online vitriol as the number of COVID-19 cases climbed all last week. A Cowichan Tribes member was also denied service by a local dentist earlier this month due to COVID-19 fears. The First Nation has stopped publicly sharing its COVID-19 case numbers after racist comments were posted online. Pagaduan says his poster has received more than 100 supportive comments since it was posted Jan. 11, from people of different cultural backgrounds. "It [the poster's popularity] just goes to show you that the relationships that we create in the community are huge," he said. "They're our friends and they definitely do stand with us." The shelter-in-place order for Cowichan Tribes has been extended to Feb. 5. About 600 members have already received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and more vaccines are set to arrive in the community. Pagaduan says he's hopeful. "We will overcome this [pandemic] eventually." Tap the link below to hear Stuart Pagaduan's interview On The Island:
Seule femme noire au conseil d’administration de l’Ordre des infirmières du Québec, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa défend un système de santé à échelle humaine. Derrière ses traits tirés et une fatigue manifeste, elle raconte son histoire d’une voix assurée. « J’ai grandi avec des personnes qui étaient toujours en train d’aider les autres, pas parce que c’est leur job, mais parce que c’est leur façon d’être. » Née en République démocratique du Congo d’« une famille pauvre », la jeune Gracia a trois ans lorsqu’elle immigre en banlieue de Québec. Au sortir de son adolescence, un besoin de « justice sociale » la tiraille entre le droit et les sciences infirmières. « C’est important de me lever chaque matin et de pas avoir à me dire: qu’est-ce que je fais là? Chaque matin, je me lève et je suis certaine que je suis utile quelque part. » C’est en méditant sur ses origines qu’elle se destine au métier d’infirmière. « J’ai réalisé que c’est une chance pour moi d’être au Québec. C’est une chance, parce que ça aurait pu être ma cousine qui se retrouve ici et moi, j’aurais pu rester en République démocratique du Congo. Ça aurait pu être moi qui meurs en train d’accoucher parce qu’on a pas un système de santé fonctionnel. J’ai rapidement réalisé que c’était un privilège pour moi d’être ici, et que je n’ai pas le droit à l’erreur. » Et elle fait bon usage de son privilège. Après un baccalauréat à l’Université Laval, elle décroche une maitrise en administration publique. Ensuite, elle multiplie les implications sociales, jusqu’à entrer au conseil d’administration de l’ordre des infirmières en 2018. Sa victoire suscite beaucoup d’enthousiasme auprès de plusieurs infirmiers et infirmières de la diversité. «Je pense que beaucoup de ces personnes-là s’imaginaient que ça ne valait même pas la peine d’essayer d’y aller, parce que c’était rare d’avoir une Noire. Je pense que ça, c’est un gros gain.» Elle se dit bien consciente du rôle de modèle qu’elle peut inspirer parmi les quelque 76 000 membres de son ordre. « Peu importe la personne, de quelle diversité elle peut être, quand on est à une table, c’est toujours une pression de se dire qu’on représente tout le monde de notre catégorie. C’est d’abord une fierté et une responsabilité pour moi. » Une autre vision de la santé Comme administratrice sur l’île de Montréal, Gracia Kasoki Katahwa déconstruit les stéréotypes en santé. « C’est important de savoir que notre façon de voir la santé, ce n’est pas la seule. Ce n’est pas juste une question de savoir si je suis en face d’un Haïtien ou d’un Chinois. Chaque humain a une façon de vivre la santé. [...] Je le sais que ma façon de voir la vie, ce n’est pas la seule, parce que je suis minoritaire et je suis habitué de composer avec ça. Mais, quand on est majoritaire, des fois, il faut nous le rappeler. » Il faut « être l’écoute », insiste-t-elle, « regarder les signes sociaux » et être sensible aux gestes et paroles qui pourraient nuire aux patients. Elle prend pour exemple le décès tragique de Joyce Echaquan, qui a secoué le Québec l’an dernier. « La prochaine étape, c’est de s’assurer d’avoir des groupes et des discussions entre des personnes d’origines autochtones et la profession infirmière. Le racisme, c’est un enjeu de protection du public. » Critique des réformes centralisatrices, elle cherche aussi à décloisonner l’organisation des soins. « Il y a beaucoup d’énergie mise dans les hôpitaux, alors qu’il y a énormément de besoins dans la communauté. Le soutien à domicile, la collaboration avec les organismes communautaires, les réseaux de la protection de la jeunesse, toutes les résidences intermédiaires : il y a énormément de choses qui se passent sur le territoire à l’extérieur de l’hôpital. Mais beaucoup d’argent et d’énergie sont mis dans l’hôpital. Si on mettait de l’argent et de l’énergie à l’extérieur, il n’y aurait pas autant de gens qui se rendraient à l’hôpital. » L’importance accordée aux médecins pèserait lourd dans cette tendance « hospitalo-centriste », plaide-t-elle. « C’est beaucoup à l’hôpital qu’ils se font de l’argent. » Or, « enlevez les infirmières et le système n’existe pas. C’est difficile pour la profession de prouver ce que je viens de dire. C’est lié au fait qu’on est une profession historiquement féminine et ce qu’on fait, c’est tenu pour acquis. » Son mandat à l’ordre des infirmières et infirmiers du Québec se termine en 2024. D’ici là, elle espère pouvoir redessiner la profession au-delà de la COVID-19. Et aussi, prendre un peu de repos.Jean-Louis Bordeleau, journaliste à l'Initiative de journalisme local, Le Devoir
TORONTO — A ticket holder from the Prairies won Friday night's whopping $60 million Lotto Max jackpot. The draw also offered six Maxmillions prizes of $1 million each, and one of them was claimed by a lottery player in Quebec. The jackpot for the next Lotto Max draw on Jan. 26 will be approximately $15 million. The Canadian Press
Canada's ambassador to the United States says there's no chance of President Joe Biden walking back his decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline — so she's turning her attention to other pressing bilateral issues. "It's obviously very disappointing for Albertans and people in Saskatchewan who are already in a difficult situation," Kirsten Hillman said in an interview airing Saturday on CBC's The House. "But I think that we need to now focus on moving forward with this administration, and there are so many ways in which we are going to be aligned with them to our mutual interest that I'm eager to to get going on that." Biden vowed during last year's presidential campaign to rescind Donald Trump's permit for Keystone XL, which would have linked Alberta's oilsands with refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. And he did, making it one of the first executive orders he issued within hours of taking office on Wednesday. While the move was applauded by progressives in his Democratic Party and in Canada, it struck a heavy blow in Alberta. TC energy, the company building the pipeline, halted construction and laid off a thousand workers. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney lashed out this week at both Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accusing the federal government of abandoning the oil and gas sector. He released a letter to Trudeau on Friday calling on the federal government to retaliate by imposing economic sanctions on the United States or by demanding compensation for TC Energy and his government — which invested billions of provincial taxpayers' dollars into the project. The premier even took his case to Fox News on Friday. "It's very frustrating that one of the first acts of the new president was, I think, to disrespect America's closest friend and ally, Canada, and to kill good-paying union jobs on both sides of the border and ultimately to make the United States more dependent on foreign oil imports from OPEC dictatorships," Kenney told the Fox audience. "We don't understand it." Hillman didn't comment directly on Kenney's demands, insisting instead that Canada remains the "best partner" for helping Americans meet their energy needs. "But we have to recognize that the Biden administration has put fighting climate change at the centre of their agenda," she said. "Not only their domestic agenda but their international agenda." Goodbye, Keystone — hello 'Buy American' Keystone's abrupt death isn't the only recent challenge to a Canada-U.S. relationship that's been severely tested over the past four years by Donald Trump. Many Canadians see Biden as not only a more reliable partner but as a friend to this country. Some of his policies suggest otherwise. Hillman said she's already spoken to the White House about another Biden campaign promise — this one to restore "Buy American" requirements for major government contracts, a move that could freeze Canadian companies out of U.S. government work. "Less than an hour after the end of the inauguration ceremony, we were in touch with top-level advisers in the White House and discussed many things," she said. "Among them was Buy America." Biden is proposing a massive, $400 billion infrastructure program that would award contracts exclusively to U.S. companies. As big as that program is, it will be dwarfed by another Biden proposal — to invest $2 trillion in clean technologies and infrastructure. Hillman said such protectionist measures are not new. In the past, Congress has imposed restrictions to limit or exclude foreign companies from bidding on infrastructure projects, or from supplying U.S. companies that do. Canada has successfully negotiated exemptions to such policies before — most recently through the 2010 Canada-U.S. Agreement on Government Procurement, which gave companies in this country access to stimulus projects funded under the U.S. Recovery Act. No link between Keystone and carve-out, says Hillman Hillman was asked in The House interview if the federal government's muted response to the Keystone decision is tied to its hopes for getting a carve-out for Canadian businesses under Biden's Buy American policy. She said there's no connection. "Our job here is to work with the administration to demonstrate to them, factually, that as they pursue their domestic goals, the highly integrated supply chains that we have with the United States are essential to protect and preserve for their economic recovery objectives," she said. "I'm optimistic that we are going to be able to have meaningful conversations with them around how they can meet their policy objectives while also being sure that we protect our mutually supportive supply chains." Hillman said she sees other opportunities for cross-border cooperation in the Biden administration's decision to rejoin the Paris climate accord and the president's vow to meet the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Canada's hopes for a green tech boom Biden has nominated former secretary of state John Kerry as his special presidential envoy for the climate — a new cabinet-level position intended to underscore Biden's personal commitment to addressing climate change. "That provides a lot of opportunities for green tech, for Canadian clean energy, for working together on emission standards, for innovation in our automotive industry," Hillman said. The Trudeau government is trying to position Canada as a global leader in green technology fields. It introduced legislation requiring Canada to become a net-zero emitter by mid century and last month unveiled this country's first national strategy to develop hydrogen as a fuel source. That's the long game, of course. For now, the Trudeau government must also deal with the challenge here at home: preventing the fate of Keystone XL from becoming the dominant issue in Canada-U.S. relations that it was the last time a Democrat was in the Oval Office — and Joe Biden was his vice president.
WASHINGTON — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. It's the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. “I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there," Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate agent who posted a photo on Twitter of herself flashing a peace sign next to a broken Capitol window, told a Dallas-Fort Worth TV station. Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man photographed on the dais in the Senate who was shirtless and wore face paint and a furry hat with horns, has similarly pointed a finger at Trump. Chansley called the FBI the day after the insurrection and told agents he travelled “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021,” authorities wrote in court papers. Chanley’s lawyer unsuccessfully lobbied for a pardon for his client before Trump's term ended, saying Chansley “felt like he was answering the call of our president.” Authorities say that while up on the dais in the Senate chamber, Chansley wrote a threatening note to then-Vice-President Mike Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” Trump is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office. The charge this time is “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” His impeachment lawyer, Butch Bowers, did not respond to call for comment. Opening arguments in the trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the storming of the Capitol say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on. For weeks, Trump rallied his supporters against the election outcome and urged them to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to rage against Biden's win. Trump spoke to the crowd near the White House shortly before they marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” Later he said: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told supporters to walk to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically” make your voices heard. Trump has taken no responsibility for his part in fomenting the violence, saying days after the attack: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” Unlike a criminal trial, where there are strict rules about what is and isn’t evidence, the Senate can consider anything it wishes. And if they can show that Trump’s words made a real impact, all the better, and scholars expect it in the trial. "Bringing in those people's statements is part of proving that it would be at a minimum reasonable for a rational person to expect that if you said and did the things that Trump said and did, then they would be understood in precisely the way these people understood them," said Frank Bowman, a constitutional law expert and law professor at University of Missouri. A retired firefighter from Pennsylvania told a friend that that he travelled to Washington with a group of people and the group listened to Trump's speech and then “followed the President’s instructions” and went to the Capitol, an agent wrote in court papers. That man, Robert Sanford, is accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol Police officers. Another man, Robert Bauer of Kentucky, told FBI agents that “he marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so,” authorities wrote. His cousin, Edward Hemenway, from Virginia, told the FBI that he and Bauer headed toward the Capitol after Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue." More than 130 people as of Friday were facing federal charges; prosecutors have promised that more cases — and more serious charges — are coming. Most of those arrested so far are accused of crimes like unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors this week filed conspiracy charges against three self-described members of a paramilitary group who authorities say plotted the attack. A special group of prosecutors is examining whether to bring sedition charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison, against any of the rioters. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to convict. And while many Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky— have condemned Trump's words, it remains unclear how many would vote to convict him. “While the statements of those people kind of bolsters the House manager's case, I think that President Trump has benefited from a Republican Party that has not been willing to look at evidence,” said Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law who testified before the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's first impeachment hearings in 2019. “They stood by him for the entire first impeachment proceeding, thinking that the phone call with the president of the Ukraine was perfect and I’m sure they will think that was a perfect speech too. There is nothing yet to suggest that they would think otherwise," Gerhardt said. ____ Richer reported from Boston. Alanna Durkin Richer And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
Friday's Games NHL Toronto 4 Edmonton 2 Pittsburgh 4 N.Y. Rangers 3 (SO) Washington 4 Buffalo 3 (SO) Chicago 4 Detroit 1 Minnesota 4 San Jose 1 Dallas 7 Nashville 0 Arizona 5 Vegas 2 Colorado 3 Anaheim 2 (OT) --- NBA Toronto 101 Miami 81 Chicago 123 Charlotte 110 Houston 103 Detroit 102 Indiana 120 Orlando 118 (OT) Cleveland 125 Brooklyn 113 Philadelphia 122 Boston 110 Atlanta 116 Minnesota 98 Dallas 122 San Antonio 117 L.A. Clippers 120 Oklahoma City 106 Denver 130 Phoenix 126 (OT) Sacramento 103 New York 94 Washington at Milwaukee -- postponed Memphis at Portland -- postponed --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 22, 2021. The Canadian Press
Thousands of residents in Hong Kong were locked down on Saturday to contain a worsening COVID outbreak.View on euronews
A naked Florida man stole what news footage showed to be a marked police vehicle and crashed it in a wooded area, officials said. Joshua Shenker, 22, was arrested after Thursday's crash on charges including theft of a motor vehicle, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, depriving an officer of means of communication or protection and resisting an officer without violence, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report. Officers responded to reports of a naked man running along Interstate 10 in western Jacksonville shortly before noon Thursday. Shenker was lying in the the roadway when an officer stopped on the opposite side of the route, the report said. Shenker then ran across the highway lanes toward the officer, officials said. The redacted report didn't say how Shenker stole the vehicle. Authorities confirmed only that a vehicle belonging to the City of Jacksonville was stolen. First Coast News footage of the scene showed the crashed vehicle to be a marked patrol car. According to the police report, about $10,000 worth of damage was done to the vehicle. Officers noticed Shenker had road rash after the crash and he was taken to a hospital to be checked out, authorities said. Shenker was being held on $4,011 bail. Jail records didn't list an attorney for him. The Associated Press
The coastal city of Beira in Mozambique, which houses one of the country's most important ports, has seen mild damage to property and flooding after tropical cyclone Eloise made landfall early on Saturday, an official said in a television report. The cyclone has since lost its strength and has been downgraded to a tropical storm, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). "Beira had mild damage, but is too early to quantify the extent and scale of destruction," Luisa Meque, President of Mozambique's National Institute for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction (INGD), said in a television interview with national broadcaster TVM.
The new president of the United States described his inauguration on Wednesday as a moment to move forward. But moving forward properly requires a reckoning with the past. In Joe Biden's case, that reckoning came for the Keystone XL pipeline. The project's fate seemed to be sealed years ago, but it haunts us still. And now, with strident words from Alberta Premier Jason Kenney about a trade war, it could haunt Canadian politics indefinitely. Or, Canadian leaders could decide that it's time for them to move forward, too. The executive order that rescinded Keystone XL's permit on Wednesday states that "the United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership in order to achieve a significant increase in global climate action and put the world on a sustainable climate pathway." If that sounds familiar, it's because President Barack Obama said almost the same thing when he blocked Keystone in November 2015. "America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change," Obama said. "And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership." John Kerry — secretary of state in 2015 and now Biden's climate envoy — put an even finer point on the significance of Keystone in his own statement at the time. "The United States cannot ask other nations to make tough choices to address climate change if we are unwilling to make them ourselves," he said. A pipeline that became a referendum In his remarks, Obama argued that the practical value of the pipeline had been wildly overstated — by both sides. Keystone XL, he said, would be neither "a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others." But the economic arguments in favour of the pipeline could not overcome the profound symbolic value assigned to it by environmental groups and climate-focused voters. On its own, Keystone wouldn't spell the difference between a green future and a "climate disaster." But the pipeline became a referendum on the U.S. government's commitment to combating climate change — a tangible thing on which American activists could focus their energies. Trump, who actively sought to undermine attempts to fight climate change, revived the project. But the political frame that was placed around Keystone XL in 2015 never went away, while legal challenges to the project continued. By the fall of 2019, most of the major Democratic candidates for the presidency had pledged to rescind Trump's order on their first day in office. Last May, Biden insisted that he would kill the pipeline. After Biden's victory in the presidential election, the Eurasia Group said that rescinding the permit was a "table stake" for the Democratic president and that backing away would risk "raising the ire of activists, their committed followers, and — importantly — the left wing of the Democratic party in Congress." "Rescinding KXL would be one area the Biden administration could act [on] and deliver a win to a key political constituency with no congressional interference," the global consulting firm said. Bill McKibben, one of the activists who led the campaign against Keystone, wrote in the New Yorker on Thursday that he was grateful for Biden's decision and never doubted that the new president would follow through. "Even today," he wrote, "Keystone is far too closely identified with climate carelessness for a Democratic president to be able to waver." So the second death of Keystone shouldn't have surprised anyone. It might have seemed rude of Biden to not wait a day or two to allow Canadian officials to make a fuller presentation on the pipeline's behalf, but that only would have delayed the inevitable. The lingering costs of climate inaction Perhaps Biden thought he was doing his neighbours a favour by ripping the Band-Aid off quickly. What might have happened to Keystone XL had Canada and the United States taken more aggressive measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the years leading up to Obama's decision? It's an intriguing hypothetical. Keystone may have paid the price ultimately for decades of global inaction on climate change. In the here and now, any debate about Keystone will have to consider whether its additional capacity is even needed at this point. In the meantime, Premier Kenney wants Justin Trudeau's government to impose trade sanctions on the United States if Biden refuses to revisit his decision. Stephen Harper could be ungracious in his defence of Keystone — he famously said that approving it was a "no brainer" — but his government doesn't seem to have ever publicly threatened to impose sanctions if Obama rejected it. Nor does it appear anyone called for sanctions when Obama officially killed the project shortly after the Trudeau government came to office. Sanctions out of spite? This idea of reprisals seems to have originated recently with Jack Mintz, a Canadian economist, who also conceded that imposing tariffs could be akin to "cutting off our own nose to spite our face." Notably, Erin O'Toole's federal Conservatives have not joined the premier in calling for sanctions. Kenney — whose government is polling poorly and whose party is being out-fundraised by the opposition — is spoiling for a fight. He has seized on the fact that federal officials did not respond to Biden's decision in particularly strong terms — and the Liberals may not have struck the right tone for those listening in the Prairies. WATCH: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says Ottawa 'folded' on Keystone XL But before launching a trade war against this country's closest ally and its new leader, one should consider the potential results and opportunity costs. Would a trade war convince President Biden to brave the wrath of his supporters and reverse a campaign promise? Or would a renewed fight over Keystone XL simply consume political and diplomatic capital that could be put toward other things? Kenney has said sanctions might discourage the Biden administration from intervening against two other contested pipelines that originate in Alberta — Line 5 and Line 3. Writing in the New Yorker, McKibben did identify Line 3 as a target. But there's also a decent chance that sanctions would only inflame existing tensions around those projects. Threats and futility In May, 2015 — nearly six years ago — former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson wrote that it was time for the Canada-U.S. relationship to move on from Keystone XL. Robertson argued that there were too many other important things to talk about. Six years later, that list of important things includes fostering collaboration on clean energy, fending off 'Buy American' policies and combating China's aggression. Still, Kenney warned that if the Trudeau government does not do more to defend Keystone, "that will only force us to go further in our fight for a fair deal in the federation." But if the battle for Keystone was effectively lost more than five years ago, should the federal government's willingness to keep fighting it have any bearing on Alberta's relationship with the rest of the country? The death of Keystone XL will have a real impact on those Albertans whose jobs depended on it. There are real anxieties and questions that need to be addressed, not least by the federal government. But the question now is whether fighting over Keystone will do anything to address those concerns — or whether it's time to put that political energy toward other purposes.
Larry King, who quizzed thousands of world leaders, politicians and entertainers for CNN and other news outlets in a career spanning more than six decades, has died aged 87, his media company said in a statement on Saturday. King had been hospitalized in Los Angeles with a COVID-19 infection, according to several media reports. "For 63 years and across the platforms of radio, television and digital media, Larry's many thousands of interviews, awards, and global acclaim stand as a testament to his unique and lasting talent as a broadcaster," it said.
Ireland may have to slow the mass roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations, including for the elderly, due to reduced supplies of the AstraZeneca vaccine to EU countries, Prime Minister Micheal Martin said on Saturday. The British company has told European Union officials that production problems will mean a cut in deliveries of its COVID-19 vaccine to the bloc by 60% to 31 million doses in the first quarter of the year. "AstraZeneca was going to be the catalyst to be allowed to move from low level to mass vaccination," Martin told Irish broadcaster RTE in an interview, saying delivery delays would "put us in a problem".
WOLVERHAMPTON, England — Wolverhampton has signed Brazilian striker Willian José on loan from Spanish club Real Sociedad until the end of the season, the Premier League club said Saturday. The loan signing adds depth to the Wolves squad after forward Raúl Jiménez suffered a fractured skull against Arsenal on Nov. 29. Wolves said the deal remains subject to Willian José being granted a work permit and international clearance, and that it includes an option to buy at the end of the season. Wolves said he is unlikely to be available for the team's next game against Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday. Willian José has scored 62 goals in 170 games for Real Sociedad but scored only three times in 13 games in La Liga this season. He scored twice in his last game for the Spanish club in a 2-0 win over Cordoba in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
The weekend should dawn bright and sunny for most of B.C.'s South Coast, but a change in the weather is on the way. Saturday night is expected to bring the first snowfall of the winter for many neighbourhoods on the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and the Central Coast, and Environment Canada has issued special weather statements warning of the change in conditions. The snow is expected to continue into Sunday. Some of that snow might even linger on the ground for a little while, with accumulations of two to five centimetres in the forecast for most of the affected areas, and up to 15 centimetres in eastern and inland areas of Vancouver Island, including the Malahat Highway. By Sunday afternoon, the snow will be mixed with rain in many areas, forecasters say, but more snow is possible later in the week. In preparation for the wintry weather, the City of Vancouver says more than 100 vehicles and 3,000 tonnes of salt are ready to hit the roads this weekend. The city is also opening additional shelter spaces at the Powell Street Getaway, the Vancouver Aquatic Centre and the Creekside Community Centre.
WASHINGTON — It's taken only days for Democrats gauging how far President Joe Biden's bold immigration proposal can go in Congress to acknowledge that if anything emerges, it will likely be significantly more modest. As they brace to tackle a politically flammable issue that's resisted major congressional action since the 1980s, Democrats are using words like “aspirational” to describe Biden's plan and “herculean” to express the effort they'll need to prevail. A similar message came from the White House Friday when press secretary Jen Psaki said the new administration hopes Biden's plan will be “the base" of immigration discussions in Congress. Democrats' cautious tones underscored the fragile road they face on a paramount issue for their minority voters, progressives and activists. Even long-time immigration proponents advocating an all-out fight concede they may have to settle for less than total victory. Paving a path to citizenship for all 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally — the centerpiece of Biden's plan — is “the stake at the summit of the mountain,” Frank Sharry, executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice, said in an interview. “If there are ways to advance toward that summit by building victories and momentum, we’re going to look at them.” The citizenship process in Biden's plan would take as little as three years for some people, eight years for others. The proposal would make it easier for certain workers to stay in the U.S. temporarily or permanently, provide development aid to Central American nations in hopes of reducing immigration and move toward bolstering border screening technology. No. 2 Senate Democratic leader Richard Durbin of Illinois said in an interview this week that the likeliest package to emerge would create a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers. They are immigrants who’ve lived in the U.S. most of their lives after being brought here illegally as children. Over 600,000 of them have temporary permission to live in the U.S. under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Former President Barack Obama created that program administratively and Durbin and others would like to see it enacted into law. Durbin, who called Biden's plan “aspirational,” said he hoped for other elements as well, such as more visas for agricultural and other workers. “We understand the political reality of a 50-50 Senate, that any changes in immigration will require co-operation between the parties,” said Durbin, who is on track to become Senate Judiciary Committee chairman. He said legislation produced by the Senate likely “will not reach the same levels” as Biden’s proposal. The Senate is split evenly between the two parties, with Vice-President Kamala Harris tipping the chamber in Democrats’ favour with her tie-breaking vote. Even so, major legislation requires 60 votes to overcome filibusters, or endless procedural delays, in order to pass. That means 10 Republicans would have to join all 50 Democrats to enact an immigration measure, a tall order. “Passing immigration reform through the Senate, particularly, is a herculean task,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., who will also play a lead role in the battle. Many Republicans agree with Durbin's assessment. “I think the space in a 50-50 Senate will be some kind of DACA deal,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who’s worked with Democrats on past immigration efforts. “I just think comprehensive immigration is going to be a tough sale given this environment.” Illustrating the detailed bargaining ahead, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate who’s sought earlier immigration compromises, praised parts of the bill but said she wants more visas for foreign workers her state's tourism industry uses heavily. Democrats' hurdles are formidable. They have razor-thin majorities in a House and Senate where Republican support for easing immigration restrictions is usually scant. Acrid partisan relationships were intensified further by former President Donald Trump's clamourous tenure. Biden will have to spend plenty of political capital and time on earlier, higher priority bills battling the pandemic and bolstering the economy, leaving his future clout uncertain. In addition, Democrats will have to resolve important tactical differences. Sharry said immigration groups prefer Democrats to push for as strong a bill as possible without making any concessions to Republicans on issues like boosting border security spending. He said hopes for a bipartisan breakthrough are “a fool’s errand” because the GOP has largely opposed expending citizenship opportunities for so long. But prevailing without GOP votes would mean virtual unanimity among congressional Democrats, a huge challenge. It would also mean Democrats would have to either eliminate the Senate filibuster, which they may not have the votes to do, or figure out other procedural routes around the 60-vote hurdle. “I'm going to start negotiating" with Republicans, said Durbin. He said a bipartisan bill would be far better “if we can do it" because it would improve the chances for passage. Democrats already face attacks from Republicans, eyeing next year's elections, on an issue that helped helped power Trump's 2016 victory by fortifying his support from many white voters. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said Biden’s bill would “prioritize help for illegal immigrants and not our fellow citizens.” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., who heads the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the Senate GOP campaign arm, said the measure would hurt “hard-working Americans and the millions of immigrants working their way through the legal immigration process." Democrats say such allegations are false but say it's difficult to compose clear, sound-bite responses on what is a complex issue. Instead, it requires having “an adult conversation” with voters, Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., said in an interview. “Yeah, this is about people but it's about the economy" as well, said Spanberger, a moderate from a district where farms and technology firms hire many immigrants. “In central Virginia, we rely on immigration. And you may not like that, but we do." Alan Fram, The Associated Press
Larry King, the suspenders-sporting everyman whose broadcast interviews with world leaders, movie stars and ordinary people helped define American conversation for a half-century, died Saturday. He was 87. King died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Ora Media, the studio and network he co-founded, tweeted. No cause of death was given, but CNN had earlier reported he was hospitalized with COVID-19. A longtime nationally syndicated radio host, from 1985 through 2010 he was a nightly fixture on CNN, where he won many honours, including two Peabody awards. With his celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussions, King wasn't just an enduring on-air personality. He also set himself apart with the curiosity be brought to every interview, whether questioning the assault victim known as the "Central Park Jogger" or billionaire industrialist Ross Perot, who in 1992 rocked the presidential contest by announcing his candidacy on King's show. In its early years, Larry King Live was based in Washington, D.C., which gave the show an air of gravitas. Likewise King. He was the plainspoken go-between through whom Beltway bigwigs could reach their public, and they did, earning the show prestige as a place where things happened, where news was made. King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews. In 1995 he presided over a Middle East peace summit with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He welcomed everyone from the Dalai Lama to Elizabeth Taylor, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Barack Obama, Bill Gates to Lady Gaga. Relocated to Los Angeles Especially after he relocated to Los Angeles, his shows were frequently in the thick of breaking celebrity news, including Paris Hilton talking about her stint in jail in 2007 and Michael Jackson's friends and family members talking about his death in 2009. King boasted of never over-preparing for an interview. His non-confrontational style relaxed his guests and made him readily relatable to his audience. "I don't pretend to know it all," he said in a 1995 Associated Press interview. "Not, `What about Geneva or Cuba?' I ask, `Mr. President, what don't you like about this job?' Or 'What's the biggest mistake you made?' That's fascinating." At a time when CNN, as the lone player in cable news, was deemed politically neutral, and King was the essence of its middle-of-the-road stance, political figures and people at the centre of controversies would seek out his show. Interviewed Sinatra, Brando And he was known for getting guests who were notoriously elusive. Frank Sinatra, who rarely gave interviews and often lashed out at reporters, spoke to King in 1988 in what would be the singer's last major TV appearance. Sinatra was an old friend of King's and acted accordingly. "Why are you here?" King asks. Sinatra responds, "Because you asked me to come and I hadn't seen you in a long time to begin with, I thought we ought to get together and chat, just talk about a lot of things." King had never met Marlon Brando, who was even tougher to get and tougher to interview, when the acting giant asked to appear on King's show in 1994. The two hit it off so famously they ended their 90-minute talk with a song and an on-the-mouth kiss, an image that was all over media in subsequent weeks. 25-run year on Larry King Live After a gala week marking his 25th anniversary in June 2010, King abruptly announced he was retiring from his show, telling viewers, "It's time to hang up my nightly suspenders." Named as his successor in the time slot: British journalist and TV personality Piers Morgan. By King's departure that December, suspicion had grown that he had waited a little too long to hang up those suspenders. Once the leader in cable TV news, he ranked third in his time slot with less than half the nightly audience his peak year, 1998, when "Larry King Live" drew 1.64 million viewers. His wide-eyed, regular-guy approach to interviewing by then felt dated in an era of edgy, pushy or loaded questioning by other hosts. Meanwhile, occasional flubs had made him seem out of touch, or worse. A prime example from 2007 found King asking Jerry Seinfeld if he had voluntarily left his sitcom or been cancelled by his network, NBC. "I was the No. 1 show in television, Larry," replied Seinfeld with a flabbergasted look. "Do you know who I am?" Always a workaholic, King would be back doing specials for CNN within a few months of performing his nightly duties. Big following on Twitter He found a new sort of celebrity as a plain-spoken natural on Twitter when the platform emerged, winning over more than 2 million followers who simultaneously mocked and loved him for his esoteric style. "I've never been in a canoe. .Itsmy2cents," he said in a typical tweet in 2015. His Twitter account was essentially a revival of a USA Today column he wrote for two decades full of one-off, disjointed thoughts. Norm Macdonald delivered a parody version of the column when he played King on "Saturday Night Live," with deadpan lines like, "The more I think about it, the more I appreciate the equator." King was constantly parodied, often through old-age jokes on late-night talk shows from hosts including David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, often appearing with the latter to get in on the roasting himself. Born and raised in Brooklyn King came by his voracious but no-frills manner honestly. He was born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger in 1933, a son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe who ran a bar and grill in Brooklyn. But after his father's death when Larry was a boy, he faced a troubled, sometimes destitute youth. A fan of such radio stars as Arthur Godfrey and comedians Bob & Ray, King on reaching adulthood set his sights on a broadcasting career. With word that Miami was a good place to break in, he headed south in 1957 and landed a job sweeping floors at a tiny AM station. When a deejay abruptly quit, King was put on the air — and was handed his new surname by the station manager, who thought Zeiger "too Jewish." A year later he moved to a larger station, where his duties were expanded from the usual patter to serving as host of a daily interview show that aired from a local restaurant. He quickly proved equally adept at talking to the waitresses, and the celebrities who began dropping by. By the early 1960s King had gone to yet a larger Miami station, scored a newspaper column and become a local celebrity himself. At the same time, he fell victim to living large. "It was important to me to come across as a `big man,"' he wrote in his autobiography, which meant "I made a lot of money and spread it around lavishly." Married 8 times to 7 women He accumulated debts and his first broken marriages (he was married eight times to seven women). He gambled, borrowed wildly and failed to pay his taxes. He also became involved with a shady financier in a scheme to bankroll an investigation of President Kennedy's assassination. But when King skimmed some of the cash to pay his overdue taxes, his partner sued him for grand larceny in 1971. The charges were dropped, but King's reputation appeared ruined. King lost his radio show and, for several years, struggled to find work. But by 1975 the scandal had largely blown over and a Miami station gave him another chance. Regaining his local popularity, King was signed in 1978 to host radio's first nationwide call-in show. Originating from Washington on the Mutual network, The Larry King Show was eventually heard on more than 300 stations and made King a national phenomenon. A few years later, CNN founder Ted Turner offered King a slot on his young network. Larry King Live debuted on June 1, 1985, and became CNN's highest-rated program. King's beginning salary of $100,000 a year eventually grew to more than $7 million. A three-packs-a-day cigarette habit led to a heart attack in 1987, but King's quintuple-bypass surgery didn't slow him down. Meanwhile, he continued to prove that, in his words, "I'm not good at marriage, but I'm a great boyfriend." He was just 18 when he married high school girlfriend Freda Miller, in 1952. The marriage lasted less than a year. In subsequent decades he would marry Annette Kay, Alene Akins (twice), Mickey Sutfin, Sharon Lepore and Julie Alexander. In 1997, he wed Shawn Southwick, a country singer and actress 26 years his junior. They would file for divorce in 2010, rescind the filing, then file for divorce again in 2019. The couple had two sons, King's fourth and fifth kids, Chance Armstrong, born in 1999, and Cannon Edward, born in 2000. In 2020, King lost his two eldest children, Andy King and Chaia King, who died of unrelated health problems within weeks of each other. He had many other medical issues in recent decades, including more heart attacks and diagnoses of type 2 diabetes and lung cancer. Early in 2021, CNN reported that King was hospitalized for more than a week with COVID-19. Through his setbacks he continued to work into his late 80s, taking on online talk shows and infomercials as his appearances on CNN grew fewer. "Work," King once said. "It's the easiest thing I do."
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka’s health minister, who has faced criticism for consuming and endorsing a herbal syrup made by a sorcerer, has tested positive for COVID-19. A Health Ministry official on Saturday confirmed that Pavithra Wanniarachchi became the highest-ranking official to be infected with the virus. She and her immediate contacts have been asked to self-quarantine. Doctors have said there is no scientific basis for the syrup as remedy for the coronavirus. It's said to contain honey and nutmeg. Thousands of people gathered in long queues in December in the town of Kegalle, northeast of the capital Colombo, to obtain the syrup, just days after Wanniarachchi and several other government officials publicly consumed it. The maker of the syrup said he got the formula through his divine powers. In local media, he claimed the Hindu goddess Kaali appeared to him in a dream and gave the recipe to save humanity from the coronavirus. Sri Lankans are used to taking both the regular medicine and indigenous alternative drugs to cure ailments. Meanwhile on Saturday, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced that Sri Lanka will receive the first stock of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India on Jan. 27. He said India is giving this stock free of charge and his government is making arrangements to purchase more vaccines from India, China and Russia. On Friday, Sri Lanka approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid warnings from doctors that front-line health workers should be quickly inoculated to prevent the medical system from collapsing. The vaccine was the first to be approved for emergency use in Sri Lanka. The Health Ministry says the inoculation will begin by mid-February. Sri Lanka has witnessed a fresh outbreak of the disease in October when two clusters — one centred on a garment factory and the other on the main fish market — emerged in Colombo and its suburbs. Sri Lanka has reported 52,964 cases with 278 fatalities. ___ This story has been corrected to show that the town where people lined up for the syrup was Kegalle. ___ Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak The Associated Press
Canadian food policy analyst and writer Wayne Roberts died on Jan. 20 at the age of 76 after battling leukemia, leaving behind his wife and children, but also a legacy of advocacy rooted in food security. Roberts was highly respected for his work in food policy and his role as manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council from 2000 to 2010 where the Toronto Food Charter was developed under his leadership. But Roberts was not only known and well-respected for his work in food advocacy and sustainability — he was a friend to many. Anan Lololi, executive director of Afri-Can FoodBasket, considered Wayne Roberts a partner in advocating for food security, as well as a dear friend. Lololi says he was encouraged by Roberts' work in food policy and sustainability within his own work in fighting for food justice and food sovereignty. "He is the godfather of good food policy for Canada for the things that he contributed to food policy in Toronto and Canada at large," Lololi said. Roberts worked as a leading member of the City of Toronto's environmental task force and helped develop a number of plans, including the Environmental Plan and Food Charter, which was adopted by city council in the early 2000s. He was also a regular columnist for NOW Magazine focusing on issues of food insecurity, social justice and public health. The magazine named Roberts one of Toronto's leading visionaries of the past 20 years. Roberts was an author of a number of books including Get A Life!, Real Food For A Change, and The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food. Lololi says he remembers Roberts bringing humour and wit to every conversation, casual or professional. He described him as a people person who looked out for low-income folks and diverse communities within Toronto. The pair last got to work together with the Black Creek community of Jane and Finch where they looked into food as medicine, but his legacy will live on for years to come both locally and nationally. "As a person that's so highly respected in food policy development, it was an honour for me to work with him within this community," Lololi said. "He's that type of person who really wants to get to the bottom of what the issue is so he can work with that particular community." Roberts received the Canadian Environment Award for his contributions to sustainable living in 2002 and went on to receive the Canadian Eco-Hero Award in 2008. Tammara Soma, an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University says although she was not related to Roberts, his death hit her "very, very hard." Soma says Roberts was a "superhero" of hers. Originally from Indonesia, when Soma first came to Canada as an undergraduate student, she distinctly remembers meeting Roberts for the first time. He was dressed in a carrot costume handing out carrots at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. From that moment on, Soma says, Roberts offered his help and mentorship — something he would commonly do for anyone who wanted to take part in the food movement. Soma, one of the founding members of the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council, says Roberts' efforts in helping give a voice to the youth in particular has made him a hero to many, not only her. "He's a pollinator...he's like this beautiful dandelion, it just spreads everywhere, his positivity, his passion, his power," she said. "I will always be fully indebted to him because of that." Joe Mihevc, former Toronto city councillor, says one of his fondest memories of Roberts was his involvement in Toronto's re-integration of chickens in the city. Mihevc said during the last meeting of the Toronto Urban Hen project, he pulled a prank on Roberts by giving him two chickens. "The joy of that story is just the look on his face and I think it's the only egg that has ever been laid at city hall," he said. Mike Schreiner, Guelph MPP and Green Party of Ontario leader, said Roberts' influence on Toronto's local food scene was paramount. "When someone in Toronto goes to a farmers' market or they harvest from a community garden or they see that their local grocery store has more local food in it — Wayne played a vital role in making that happen," he said. Former Green Party leader Jim Harris said Roberts taught him a special lesson in life. "As he was dying, he and I would laugh a lot as we always did — and he and I coined the term 'radical happiest'," Harris said. "Living with joy I think is the greatest lesson that I've learned from Wayne."