An envoy hired to defuse tensions between Indigenous and non-Indigenous commercial lobster fishermen in Nova Scotia has released a bleak interim report highlighting poor communication and a lack of trust between both sides. The report by Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette found perhaps the only thing the fishermen can agree on is blaming the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the situation. "The lack of trust and respect has been presented to me by many of the individuals I interviewed," Surette said in his interim report filed with Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan and Carolyn Bennett, minister for Indigenous-Crown relations. "Firstly, I have heard from Indigenous and non-Indigenous parties of the lack of trust in government," Surette wrote. "Added to this level of the lack of trust and respect, some interviewed also expressed the lack of trust and respect within parties involved in the fishery and I also heard of the lack of trust and respect between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals, stakeholder groups and organizations." Appointed by Ottawa Surette was named special federal representative by the Trudeau government after an outbreak of violence and protests at the launch of an Indigenous moderate livelihood lobster fishery by the Sipekne'katik band in St. Marys Bay last fall. The band cited the Mi'kmaq's right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood, recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 but never defined by Ottawa. The fishery was conducted outside of the regulated season for commercial lobster licence holders in Lobster Fishing Area 34, who objected saying the fishery was a blatant violation of fishery regulations. The reaction included alleged assaults, arson, blockades, volleys of wharfside profanity and online venom. It garnered international attention. The blowup capped years of tensions over an escalating Sipekne'katik food, social and ceremonial lobster fishery in St. Marys Bay that was, in some cases, used as a cloak for a commercial fishery. Lobster caught under food, social and ceremonial licences cannot be sold. In one case, a Crown prosecutor said the lobster caught under those licences from Sipekne'katik supplied an international "black market operation." Despite a number of federal initiatives to integrate the Mi'kmaq into the fishery since 1999 — including half a billion dollars for training and buying out and providing commercial licences — there has been a lack of progress defining moderate livelihood and implementing the fishery. Expectations of the First Nations were not met, leaving many of them to doubt the sincerity of DFO, Surette reported. Debate over enforcement Surette said the issue is complex and will not be easily solved. Non-Indigenous fishermen have argued there is not enough enforcement when it comes to Indigenous lobster fishing while the bands have complained of harassment. "However, the point to note on this matter, and more closely related to my mandate, seems to be the lack of clear direction from the government of Canada and the multiple facets and complexity of implementing the right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood," he said in the report. Surette's mandate is not to negotiate but rather to "restore confidence, improve relations" and make recommendations to the politicians. His interim report calls for more dialogue to build trust, suggesting areas of declared common interest like conservation and marketing. A lack of information from DFO was a recurrent complaint from the commercial fishermen, said Surette. "There should be some type of formal process for the non-Indigenous to be kept up to speed, especially the harvesters, since this could affect their livelihood. Some process, even though they're not involved in negotiation, that they could have input or at least understand what's going on," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning on Friday. Improving communication He made three suggestions for improving communication: a clearinghouse for accurate information, a formal process for talks between the commercial industry and the government of Canada, and forums to create a "safe space" to talk on important issues without extreme emotions. Surette interviewed 85 people — 81 per cent were non-Indigenous. "In some cases, they were heavily focused on the fishery. Others said that they preferred dealing with the ministers at this present time," he told CBC News. Surette said he will be reaching out to gather more perspectives. MORE TOP STORIES
Saskatchewan will start to stretch out the time between COVID-19 vaccine doses, as supplies run short. Second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine will be administered up to 42 days after the first dose. Official guidelines say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is meant to be given as two doses, 21 days apart, while Moderna recommends spacing doses 28 days apart. The National Advisory Council on Immunization (NACI), a body made up of scientists and vaccine experts, say provinces should follow the dosing schedule as closely as possible, but the panel is now offering some wiggle room. WATCH | Canada's COVID-19 vaccine advisory committee approves delaying 2nd dose NACI recommends spacing out the doses up to 42 days when necessary. The recommendation is also supported by the World Health Organization and Canada's chief medical health officer. "The flexibility provided by a reasonable extension of the dose interval to 42 days where operationally necessary, combined with increasing predictability of vaccine supply, support our public health objective to protect high-risk groups as quickly as possible," reads a statement released Thursday from Dr. Theresa Tam, as well as the provincial and territorial chief medical officers of health. The same day, Saskatchewan announced it would further space out its doses. "Saskatchewan will be implementing these recommendations of up to 42 days where operationally necessary in order to deliver more first doses to eligible people," the government of Saskatchewan said in a news release. WATCH | Dr. Howard Njoo addresses questions on taking first and second dose of vaccine 42 days apart: Saskatchewan's supply runs short As of Friday, 96 per cent of the province's vaccines have been administered, and new supplies coming in are not enough to replenish what has been used. Pfizer has said it will not ship a single vial of its highly effective vaccine to Canada next week as the pharmaceutical giant retools its production facility in Puurs, Belgium, to boost capacity. Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer, Dr. Saqib Shahab, says it's very reassuring to have the length between doses extended to 42 days. "When there's a sudden, further disruption that does present challenges," Shahab said during a news conference on Tuesday. "Most provinces are able to give the second dose of both Pfizer and Moderna within 42 days ... and that becomes very important with the disruption of shipment." Scott Livingstone, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Health Authority, agreed. "It does mitigate some of the decreased doses coming in. We also know through contact with the federal government that once the Pfizer plant is back online, they'll be increasing our shipment," Livingstone said during Tuesday's news conference. Livingstone said the new shipments coming in will be allocated for an individual's first and second shot. WATCH | Canada facing delays in vaccine rollout More vaccines on the way Another shipment of vaccines will arrive in Saskatchewan on Feb. 1, says the government. The province is expecting 5,850 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and 6,500 doses of Moderna's vaccine. The government says they will be distributed to the Far North West, Far North East, North East and Central West. A second shipment of 7,100 doses from Moderna will arrive on Feb. 22, and will be distributed to the Far North East, North East and Central East. "Our immunization team is trying to be as nimble as possible knowing that we could at any time through the pandemic receive more vaccines, but also then having to readjust our targets and still focusing on the most needy in this Phase 1, and we will continue to do that as vaccine supply keeps coming back up," Livingstone said.
"He said: 'Choose, either I kill you or rape you'," the 25-year-old told Reuters at the Hamdayet refugee camp in Sudan where she had fled from conflict in Ethiopia's Tigray region. The doctor who treated her when she arrived at the camp in December, Tewadrous Tefera Limeuh, confirmed to Reuters that he provided pills to stop pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases, and guided her to a psychotherapist. "The soldier ... forced a gun on her and raped her," Limeuh, who was volunteering with the Sudanese Red Crescent, said the woman told him.
Le député fédéral de la circonscription de Mirabel, Simon Marcil annonce qu’il quittera la vie politique au terme de son présent mandat; une décision qui fait suite à un arrêt de travail pour des raisons reliées à sa santé mentale. En prévision de la rentrée parlementaire de cette semaine, l’élu se dit maintenant en parfaite condition et fin prêt pour reprendre ses responsabilités à la Chambre des communes, sise à Ottawa. Simon Marcil quittera la tête haute et sans aucun regret. En entrevue téléphonique, il partage un bilan somme toute chargé, que ce soit en matière de travail dans la circonscription, auprès des électeurs, ou encore au niveau législatif, au parlement canadien. «Ma priorité aura toujours été de servir nos concitoyens de manière efficace, de mentionner le député du Bloc québécois. Et nous continuerons à le faire jusqu’à la fin. Mais, pour ce faire, on souhaitait connaître notre monde. Mirabel est une circonscription vaste, rurale et urbaine. Il s’agit d’en ressortir les réalités différentes pour mieux servir nos concitoyens.» Il faut dire que M. Marcil connaît très bien ce territoire qui l’a vu grandir; et maintenant en tant que père de famille. Face aux défis reliés à la pandémie, son équipe, dit-il, s’est ajustée, afin de toujours mieux servir les citoyens. «Nous travaillions déjà en équipe et nous devions faire face à ces circonstances, comme tout le monde. Je suis très fier de mes collègues, qui ont tenu le fort, toujours, même lorsque j’étais absent. Ensemble, nous avons servi plus de 500 personnes, entreprises et organismes, en ces temps pandémiques.» Au niveau législatif, son passage aura notamment été marqué par ses efforts pour protéger la gestion de l’offre. En 2018, il a déposé un projet de loi afin d’assujettir, à la loi 101, les entreprises de juridictions fédérales, interdire les briseurs de grève et compenser adéquatement les femmes devant se prémunir d’un retrait préventif. De retour à 100 % Simon Marcil a fait les manchettes au cours des dernières semaines, en raison d’une absence à la Chambre des communes qui s’est étendue sur un an, jusqu’au lundi 11 janvier dernier. Le député a dévoilé la raison de celle-ci sur les réseaux sociaux. Atteint d’un trouble bipolaire, il s’était retiré pour prendre du mieux, se familiariser avec une nouvelle médication, trouver le bon dosage, et retrouver un équilibre et une hygiène de vie saine. «Je suis parti, à l’origine, car je me sentais en épuisement professionnel, explique M. Marcil. C’est ce que je pensais. En moyenne, et je généralise ici, une personne en épuisement professionnel se retire de son lieu de travail pendant quelques mois et revient en meilleure condition. Après sept mois, mon médecin s’est rendu compte que je n’allais pas mieux. J’ai passé les tests. Le diagnostic est venu. Je devais prendre une nouvelle médication.» D’un autre côté, Simon Marcil aura passé un an auprès de sa famille. Il se dit, en ce sens, très reconnaissant. «Ce n’est pas pour rien que je m’en vais. J’aime mon travail, la députation, servir la population. Pour une raison d’équilibre, avec mes enfants et ma femme; je dois partir. Avec le diagnostic que j’ai eu, faire 50 000 km par année, en voiture, c’est beaucoup. J’ai besoin de stabilité.» La santé mentale est un tabou. Mais, l’élu est d’avis que les gens, hommes et femmes de tous âges ne doivent pas hésiter à en parler et à consulter. «Il ne faut pas avoir honte, dit-il. Un trouble de santé mentale, ça ne définit pas une personne. Il faut s’informer, ne pas s’isoler, ou penser qu’on est la seule au monde à avoir ce genre de conditions. Nous ne sommes pas seuls!» Le député fédéral dit avoir reçu nombre de messages d’encouragement de la part de concitoyens, de membres de cabinets et de politiciens, de partout au Canada. Et maintenant, il conclura le mandat confié par les électeurs de Mirabel. Par la suite, il a pour projet de s’acheter une terre et de devenir agriculteur, dans sa circonscription. «Pour l’instant, je souhaite vraiment me concentrer sur moi et ma famille. Mais je reste toujours indépendantiste et je défendrai toujours cette idée», de conclure Simon Marcil. Nicolas Parent, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Éveil
The federal government is mulling a mandatory quarantine in hotels for returning travellers as the country's top doctor warns that easing COVID-19 restrictions too quickly could cause case numbers to shoot up again. The federal government is also looking at other options that would make it harder for people to return from foreign trips, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday. He said it's time to "kill the second wave of the virus." Monday will mark a year since the first recorded appearance of the novel coronavirus in Canada. Trudeau said it is understandable that Canadians are tired and fed up, but they must remain cautious. “We need to hang on and hold tight for the next few months,” he said. “We must get through to the spring and mass vaccinations in the best shape possible.” Trudeau said the next few weeks will be challenging for vaccine supply as Pfizer-BioNTech slows deliveries to Canada and other countries while the company retools its plant in Belgium. The prime minister said Pfizer-BioNTech has committed to ensuring Canada will receive four million vaccine doses by the end of March. Provinces have reported a total of 738,864 vaccine doses used so far. That's about 80 per cent of the available supply. COVID-19 cases began to spike across the country in December and January, which put a strain on hospitals. Quebec and Ontario were particularly hard hit and officials responded with restrictions. Quebec instituted a curfew, while Ontario brought in an order for people to stay at home except for essential purposes such as work, food shopping or health care. Daily case numbers have slightly decreased in Ontario in the last week. There were 2,662 new cases Friday and 87 more deaths. The seven-day average of new daily cases was 2,703, down from a high of 3,555 on Jan. 11. There were 1,512 people in hospital on Friday, a decrease of 21 from the previous day. COVID-19 continued to pressure some local hospitals, so Ottawa said it would send two federal mobile health units to the Greater Toronto Area, adding an additional 200 hospital beds. Quebec has been under its provincewide curfew for nearly two weeks. Health officials reported 1,631 new cases and 88 deaths Friday. Hospitalizations decreased by 27 people to 1,426. Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said that bringing down the second wave of COVID-19 has been a "trickier path" than the first wave last spring. Daily case counts are higher than they were then and have put increased pressures on the health-care system. "If we ease up too soon or too quickly, resurgence will be swift," she said. She also expressed concern that 31 cases of the United Kingdom COVID-19 variant, and three of the South African variant have been found in Canada. It's believed that both are more contagious. The cases were identified through screening smaller batches of tests. Tam said more needs to be done to understand the level at which new variants are circulating in communities. Nova Scotia reported four new COVID-19 infections on Friday, two of which were variant cases. Health officials said both cases were related to international travel. There were 731,450 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada and 18,622 deaths as of Thursday. Over the past seven days, there were a total of 42,555 new cases. The seven-day rolling average was 6,079. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
Nipissing First Nation Chief Scott McLeod says the public health directive supporting in-class learning in northern Ontario schools is more political than scientific. The community’s high school opted to keep Nbissing students online until at least February 16 after the province extended its COVID-19 pandemic emergency order. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is one of the few in Ontario to support in-class learning, a decision panned by many in light of it closing down toboggan hills, outdoor skating rinks and snowmobile trails. “We're just trying to deal with the Covid and we just shut our rinks down and we're just kind of monitoring what provinces and municipalities are doing and making sure that we're consistent or more stringent in areas like our school being closed,” McLeod said about Nbisiing Secondary School Thursday. “It's all online right now, despite the provinces still allowing it, at least in northern Ontario, the high schools are still open,” he said, noting that seems to be out of step with what some provincial experts are saying. “I was listening to Dr. Kevin Brown. He's the co-chair of the Covid Science Table for Ontario,” said Chief McLeod. “He was giving an update to the Chiefs of Ontario and he honestly can't understand why the schools in northern Ontario are still open. And you know, that, to me was troublesome, right? ‘You have one of the top epidemiologists saying that he doesn't understand. I was expecting ‘Here, this is the data, shows this or that,” because I like listening to the data, not just listening to people rant on Facebook. But, yeah, he was lost for an answer as to why it's still open. “And so obviously it's a more political call than a science one,” McLeod said. The school posted the update on its website, as did the community. “In response to Ontario’s second declaration of emergency and to align Nbisiing with Nipissing First Nation’s response to the provincewide stay-at-home order and shutdown restrictions, Nipissing First Nation (NFN) Council has approved changes to Nbisiing’s return to in-person learning date,” it reads. “In order to keep people home as much as possible to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in our community, protect vulnerable populations, and keep our school community safe, Nbisiing will continue to teach all classes virtually and will return to in-person learning on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 (Monday the 15th is Family Day).” Nipissing FN only closed its outdoor rink in Garden Village, which is enclosed with walls and roof, because they don’t want people from outside the community taking advantage of it while their rinks are ordered closed. “Our problem with the skating rinks, as soon as North Bay and Sturgeon closed, we have to close because they all come down hours and we don't want them there,” he said. Chief McLeod did what many others are doing in response by creating their own ice sheets, whether that’s in a yard or on the lake. They can control the numbers and make it safe by following the known protocols, he added. “Well, I made one in my backyard and I Facebooked all my family members saying, ‘You want to come skating with your family, book it … just message me so I know that there's no other family there and you can have it to yourself.’” Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada. Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca
When drug companies like Pfizer and Moderna learned to successfully incorporate messenger RNA technology into a COVID-19 vaccine, experts say they likely opened the door to a significant shift in the future of immunization.The milestone in vaccine development was met with enthusiasm from most, but the seemingly swift pace and novel approach is causing hesitancy in others. Experts say the new technique shouldn't dissuade people from getting the vaccine. While the mRNA method is new to inoculations, the actual technology has been around for decades. The difference now, they say, is scientists have ironed out the kinks to make a useful product."It sounds fancy, mRNA, but there's nothing outlandish about it," said Dr. Earl Brown, a virology and microbiology specialist with the University of Ottawa. "This is the way our cells operate — we live by mRNA."Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna were the first inoculations approved for humans to use mRNA, which provides our cells with instructions to make proteins. In the case of COVID vaccines, the injected material shows cells how to make a harmless piece of the coronavirus spike protein, which then teaches our immune system to recognize the virus and fight off a future infection.Scientists made the vaccine by programming genetic material from the spike protein into mRNA, a process that theoretically could work for other viruses."As long as you know how to create those instructions — that genetic code you need to convince your body to create that target — you can design an mRNA vaccine against any antigen," said Nicole Basta, an associate professor of epidemiology at McGill."But the question is whether it will be effective, and whether it will be safe."The development of future mRNA vaccines might be quick, Basta says, but they would need to go through the usual evaluation process and clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy. So vaccines for other viruses won't be popping up overnight.Still, Basta adds, there's potential for using mRNA to either improve upon existing vaccines or to develop new ones against other pathogens.Dr. Scott Halperin, a professor at Dalhousie University and the director of the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology, sees mRNA vaccines as "evolutionary rather than revolutionary."Part of the reason COVID vaccines came together so quickly was the technology had been developing for years, Halperin said. The global pandemic offered scientists a pressing opportunity — and unprecedented funding and collaboration — to try again for a viable injection.Previous research had been done on creating mRNA vaccines against Zika and other viruses, Halperin added, and there were earlier efforts focused on cancer treatments. Coronavirus-specific research was further sped up by spike protein analysis from SARS and MERS.While the mRNA technology itself is impressive, Halperin says improvements need to be made to create a more temperature-stable product before these types of vaccines and treatments "truly take over.""The logistics of delivering mRNA vaccines right now, we wouldn't want to have to do that for every vaccine we produce," he said, referencing the ultra-cold storage temperature that's currently needed. "But I do think it's an important milestone."Scientists are expected to continue advancing the technology, just as they did recently in solving two confounding problems with mRNA — its fragility and instability.Brown says fragility was resolved by packaging the mRNA in a fat coating, giving it something to help bind onto cells so it wouldn't disintegrate upon injection. The instability was conquered by modifying the uracil component of RNA, one of the four units of its genetic code."The technology application is new, but the science is mature," Brown said. "We've just reached the point at which we can apply it." Traditional vaccines typically contain a killed or weakened virus, Brown said. Those methods are still being used in COVID vaccine development, including by AstraZeneca-Oxford, whose product has not yet been approved in Canada.A benefit to using mRNA is the speed at which a vaccine can be developed or updated once scientists know what to target, Brown says. While experts believe current vaccines will work against recent variants of the COVID virus — including one originating in the U.K. that's more transmissible — Brown says mRNA's adaptability could theoretically come in handy if new strains emerged that necessitated an update. "In six weeks they could produce something," he said. "It would still have to go through Phase 3 trials, but it does give you more flexibility and a big leg up."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Melissa Couto Zuber, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — If his new movie, “ Our Friend, ” makes audiences cry, Jason Segel can sympathize. He recalls being on an airplane and watching a movie that made him break down so uncontrollably that it got the attention of a woman seated next to him. “I was weeping, full-on weeping, crying so hard, and this woman couldn’t resist trying to find out what I was crying at. And she, like, peeked over and it was ‘Dreamgirls.’ This grown man, bawling his eyes out to ‘Dreamgirls,'" the actor said, laughing, in a recent interview. “Our Friend," premiering Friday in theatres and video on demand platforms, certainly covers emotional territory. Segel plays Dane, the best friend of married couple Matt and Nicole (played by Casey Affleck and Dakota Johnson). When Nicole is diagnosed with terminal cancer, Dane moves in with the family to help them during the time she has left. It’s based on the true story of an experience written about by journalist Matthew Teague in 2015 for Esquire. He wanted to write about what going through a death is really like. “I felt so unprepared to meet death, even caring for somebody who was dying and that I felt even almost betrayed by the culture. In a way, I feel like we don’t discuss this very openly or very honestly," said Teague. Production on the film wrapped before the pandemic but Affleck understands it will strike a chord with viewers about grief and loss. “I think a lot of movies are probably going to be seen through the lens of the experience that we’ve all shared over the last year, whether or not they were intended to be about those things,” said Affleck. Johnson hopes the movie will remind others to “feel a bit more grateful and a bit more compassionate with themselves and others.” From experiencing his own loss, Teague offers advice on what to say to those who know someone who is going through it. “It’s hard to know what to say. And I think sometimes the best thing you can do is just be there and just offer yourself in some way and to not expect some emotional reaction. Even now, years have passed. I’ll still be in a restaurant and someone will come up and say, you know, ‘I’m so sorry for your loss.’ And I feel like there’s an expectation that I reciprocate emotionally in some way. And so something I learned is just let people grieve on their own terms.” ___ Follow Alicia Rancilio online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar —- This story corrects the spelling of Jason Segel's last name. Alicia Rancilio, The Associated Press
Staff at a Vancouver Value Village store returned over $85,000 in cash donated by accident, to the rightful owner, a senior who now lives in a long-term care home.
On Friday, Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam reported more than 731,000 cases of the novel coronavirus in Canada, including 18,622 deaths. Additionally, she said 31 cases of the U.K. variant have been identified, as well as 3 cases of the South Africa variant.
NBC will shut down the NBC Sports Network at the end of the year. NBC Sports Chairman Pete Bevacqua announced the move Friday in an internal memo to staff. “At the conclusion of 2021, we have decided that the best strategic next step for our Sports Group and the entire Company is to wind down NBCSN completely,” Bevacqua said in the memo. NBC Sports Network is best known for carrying NHL and English Premier League games as well as NASCAR and IndyCar races. It also carries a significant amount of programming during the Olympics. NBC will parcel out events between USA Network and its Peacock streaming service. Joe Reedy, The Associated Press
A Durham doctor and her husband, a Toronto paramedic, have been charged with failing to disclose information to local public health officials about contact they had with a U.K. visitor in light of the spread of a new variant of the COVID-19 virus present in Britain. The couple, Dr. Martina Weir and Brian Weir, are alleged each to have failed to provide accurate information about “all persons that the defendant may have had contact with during their period of communicability,” as well as “providing false information in relation to contact with anyone who travelled from the United Kingdom,” according to court documents. The non-criminal charges were laid under the province’s Health Protection and Promotion Act and relate to a Section 22 order put in place by Robert Kyle, the commissioner and medical officer of health for the Durham Region Health Department. Local public health officials have the power to enact the orders to require businesses or individuals to adhere to certain restrictions in order to curb the pandemic. The public health alleges the offences occurred December 25 and December 26, which is when the Province announced publicly that the first two cases of the variant had been found in a Durham couple. At the time, the Province said the cases had “no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts. Both individuals have been informed and are now in self-isolation as per public health protocols.” The U.K. variant is about 50 per cent more transmissible than the virus that has been in circulation in Ontario. According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, a Dr. Martina Weir works at Lakeridge Health sites in Bowmanville, Oshawa and Whitby. Lakeridge Health wouldn’t comment, stating the matter is before the courts. But a hospital spokesperson said in an email “we can confirm that the physician did not enter any Lakeridge Health facilities during December and did not work or provide patient care at any Lakeridge Health hospital during the month of December.” The hospital said it follows strict COVID-19 prevention guidelines for physicians, staff and patients and has had an active screening process in place since March last year, as well as prevention communication and education initiatives. “Physicians and staff must attest that they have not travelled outside the province or country or had contact with anyone travelling outside the province or the country,” said the spokesperson. The Star confirmed with a source that Brian Weir works for Toronto Paramedic Services, where he is a scheduler. TPS spokesperson Dineen Robinson said in an email that her organization does not “provide personal information in respect of our staff,” but said “we can confirm that Mr. Weir does not currently work in a public-facing position.” “We trust that all staff will follow public health guidelines and provincial regulations put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Robinson in the email. “In the event that we become aware of any staff member not respecting COVID-19 protocols required in the workplace, we will take appropriate action.” The allegations against the couple were set out in court documents filed by a Durham public health inspector before a justice of the peace in Whitby on January 12. Durham Public Health wouldn’t confirm they were responsible for the charges. The Province said it does not have any direct involvement with laying of charges. “Those are local enforcement matters,” said a ministry of health spokesperson in an email. The Section 22 order charges state that non-compliance can lead to a “fine of not more than $5,000 for every day or part of each day on which the offence occurs or continues.” The Star reached out to the couple last night for comment, but was unable to contact them. Patty Winsa Toronto Star Reporter and Jason Miller, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Toronto Star
The provincial government is getting proactive more than a year after it made an announcement to test the water quality of privately owned wells in North Kent, but one affected resident wants to see more community involvement. On Thursday, Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton announced the government established a panel of five individual experts, appointed by the Minister of Health, to lead a water well investigation following long-time concerns from residents that their water is contaminated with Kettle Point black shale. “I feel so great for those families who've had questions for many years. I remember hearing in 2012 the concerns families had regarding their well water. I feel quite proud that we listened to the community and kept the promise we made in 2018,” McNaughton told The Chatham Voice. The health hazard investigation was previously announced in July 2019, but since then nothing had been done, according to North Kent resident Kevin Jakubec. Jakubec was a member of Water Wells First, a group of citizens concerned about water contamination that the group alleges came from the North Kent Wind Farm which potentially led to Kettle Point black shale appearing into their water supply. One of Jakubec’s neighbours had gas and black shale “shooting up” from his water well, he said. Pattern Energy Group, Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., who constructed the North Kent Wind 1 and 2 projects with the support of the then-Liberal Ontario government, have said it had no effect on the water wells. According to health hazard protocol, the community that's affected is a stakeholder, and as a stakeholder should be consulted, which Jakubec said had not happened while forming the panel. “And there has been none of that done. That never happened from July 19, 2019 to right now,” he said. “They have to get involvement from the community in order to understand the extent of the problem.” Jakubec was concerned that a panel was started before the government even understood the extent of the problem or what kind of contaminants they could be dealing with. “They haven’t even sampled one teaspoon yet.” McNaughton said the COVID-19 pandemic is what postponed the work of the panel plus delays with a request for proposal for a contractor to do the testing. Jakubec isn’t buying it. “This investigation was supposed to get going way before COVID. COVID should have no bearing in any significant way on the health hazard investigation. And I say that because the investigation has been very poorly handled by the Ford government since it was announced,” Jakubec said. McNaughton said that he is confident the panel of five experts will give the public answers they can trust, and that the government will be reaching out to residents as soon as possible so they can be in the field by the end of the month. Jakubec said for the moment his water is fine but he is hoping the research will investigate how much microscopic black shale could potentially have contaminated his supply. “And a big concern is how does microscopic black shell clear the kidneys, that's something that should be addressed if you follow the protocol. They have to consider all the different exposures and that's something I'm going to be looking at very seriously.” The panel will sample up to 189 private wells that were part of the baseline water tests completed in 2018, before a nearby wind farm was built Englobe Corporation was selected to execute well water and sediment sample collection and testing. The panel consists of two toxicologists, an environmentalist health scientist, an epidemiologist who specializes in exposure measurement, and local geologist Dr. Keith Benn. The study costs more than $1 million, according to McNaughton. “How much of that was spent on the consultants and what did the public get for those tax dollars is a really huge question. We have no idea because we have no feedback from minister McNaughton. There's no community involvement with either of those offices on an ongoing basis,” Jakubec said. He added that to this date he had not received an e-mail back inquiring about the status of the health hazard investigation and was surprised when The Voice informed him about it. The term of the expert panel has been extended by one year, because of COVID-19, and will end on Dec. 31, 2021. McNaughton said he does not want to speculate what the results of the study will be and did not specify what would happen to the wind farm or water wells should there be a proven connection between the contamination and the turbines. Jakubec remains sceptical. “I'm reserved in my opinion until I see the kind of work that they've done and how they are going to follow the health hazard investigation protocol because it's not off to a good start. So I'm leery as to where this is going to go,” Jakubec said. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
A victim of sexual abuse at the hands of a teacher in the 1980s has secured an apology and $1.1 million in damages from School District 57.. The terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit seeking damages for the abuse he suffered at the hands of Wendell Diakiw, who taught at Austin Road elementary school in Prince George during the 1970s and 1980s. Had the school district not included an apology, Bruneau said he would have gone ahead with taking the matter to trial. As it stands, Bruneau was pleased with the school district's response. "The school district handled it so well and really did the right thing, which is unheard of, and I really want the news to reflect that and set a new precedent for other institutions to do the same," Bruneau said in an interview. According to a statement issued Thursday by London, Ontario-based Beckett Personal Injury Lawyers, the $1.1-million payout is understood to be the largest reported settlement of an individual teacher abuse case in British Columbia and will be covered by School District 57's insurer. Bruneau was a Grade 6 student at Austin Road when, according to the statement, the abuse began and continued for three years in the mid-1980s. Bruneau, in turn, played a key role in Diakiw's downfall. In 1986, Bruneau, then 16 years old, attended Diakiw’s house with a tape recorder and secured a taped confession, which led to police charges. In 1987, Diakiw was charged with a range of sexual offences in relation to six students, including Bruneau, and was sentenced to five years in jail later the same year. Bruneau was among four alleged victims for which Aaron Lealess, a lawyer at Beckett, had filed lawsuits against Diakiw and School District 57. The other three have also settled out of court but with the terms undisclosed due to confidentiality agreements. Court records show that Bruneau's case was the only one for which School District 57 did not file a response to the civil claim. Each of the claimants had sought as much as $3.2 million in damages. "At the very beginning of the claim, you just pick a high number - that's the maximum you could hope for basically, and then once more facts become known - you get all the medical records, education records, Mr. Bruneau was assessed by an expert psychologist - and so once you get all the information together, you get a bit better of an idea," Lealess said in an interview. "The plaintiff has their view of what the case is worth which is usually much higher than what the defence has their own view, which is much lower, and then this case was ultimately settled." Lealess said it was scheduled to proceed to trial this past November but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, "and ultimately we were able to get a settlement." Lealess said the $1.1 million represents the damage Bruneau has suffered in terms of the impact on his education and career and the expenses related to a lifetime of counseling, as well as inpatient treatment due to the psychological fallout. After living away from Prince George for 30 years, Bruneau has since moved back to the city. He expressed a degree of closure with the settlement and particularly the letter of apology. "It's a big shift in my thinking too, like the anger," Bruneau said. "Now it's a big thank you, I mean that's a huge difference." Diakiw was also named in the lawsuits and has been served but has not filed statements of response. As such, Lealess said they will be pursing a default judgment. "Now whether we can get a dime out of him is probably doubtful but we're going to continue to pursue the case against him," Lealess said. "It's more for the principal of the matter." Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince George Citizen
KINGS COUNTY – Lisa MacIntyre was backing a customer's truck into her shop before she learned a part had been stolen from it. The first thing she noticed is it was much louder than when she had looked it over the day before. Then, when the truck was hoisted up, she noticed the big gaping hole near its exhaust system – right where the catalytic converter was supposed to be. "You could tell that it was cut," she said. MacIntyre's business, Her Man's Shop in Morell, is one of many auto shops that has had converters stolen from on-site vehicles since at least late November. While The Guardian spoke with a few across Kings County, the RCMP's investigation is Islandwide, Staff Sgt. Darryl McMullin said. Surveillance footage showed a few individuals on MacIntyre's site at about 7:30 p.m. the night before she discovered the theft. "And we're right on the main highway, so it just seemed pretty bold." Out of the 10 to 15 vehicles on her site at the time, two trucks were hit. "The ones that they took were very easily accessible," MacIntyre said. "They'd never get through it that quickly with a hacksaw." Kevin Burke, owner of K Burke's Automotive Repair in Souris, figures the group that hit his shop would have had to use cordless power tools. One morning he happened to notice a vehicle's exhaust hanging lower than usual. For the thieves, extracting a converter was likely a 10-minute job, he said. "They know what they're going for," he said. "Quick and easy cash for them, I guess." McMullin, who's with the Kings District RCMP, said the converters can sell anywhere from $500 to $1,200. "And so you have more damage done to the vehicle as well." Many of the vehicles being hit belong to customers, meaning any damage done is at the expense of the business. "So, we'll have to replace it for the customer," Burke said. "I don't know if our insurance covers it or not." Jason Docherty, owner of Docherty's Auto Service in Montague, had eight vehicles hit over the Christmas holidays. Luckily, he considered many of them to be decommissioned. "But they're all still customer's vehicles." He learned of the theft after seeing all four tires removed from one of the vehicles. Another one had the exhaust manifold removed as well. "If they would have been vehicles that were going back on the road it'd be a substantial loss." McMullin notes the RCMP's investigation has seen significant progress and results across all three counties, which he hopes will be made public soon. He couldn't necessarily speak to whether the thefts were all connected because he's not spearheading the investigation, he said. "But I don't think we're dealing with 20 to 30 different people here. I think it's a tight-knit group that's going around." Twitter.com/dnlbrown95 Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian
FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's Edmundston region is moving into full lockdown as health officials try to curb rising infections in the area bordering Quebec. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell said today the 14-day lockdown begins midnight Saturday. The new health order forces the closure of all non-essential businesses as well as schools and public spaces, including outdoor ice rinks and ski hills. Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said today all non-essential travel is prohibited in and out of Edmundston, which borders northern Maine and Quebec's Bas-St-Laurent region. New Brunswick is reporting 30 new COVID-19 infections — 19 of which were identified in the Edmundston area. Russell says Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton will remain at the red pandemic-alert level, while she says Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi will stay at the lower, orange level. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
For years, Jordan Murphy longed to complete her weight-loss transformation with another round of cosmetic surgery. It was a matter of finding the right time. The Toronto social media influencer knew from her prior procedures that going under the knife could require weeks of bedrest. She was also conscious of the fact that medically altered beauty doesn't come cheap. But when the COVID-19 crisis cleared her calendar, Murphy found herself with a sudden abundance of time and money she would typically spend on travel and recreation. The 27-year-old filled the hours by scrolling through social media, sizing up how her body compared to others, particularly the before-and-after photos plastic surgeons posted to their feeds. "I think it just put the idea into my head: This is the perfect time to do this," said Murphy, adding that she's been barraged by questions from her online followers since documenting her "360 lift," an operation that removes excess skin and fat from the abdomen, waistline and back, last summer. "(The only downside is) that I haven't been able to dress up cute and go out anywhere to rock the new bod." Murphy is one of many Canadians who plan to emerge from lockdown looking leaner, lifted or augmented in all the right places as several clinics report an uptick in demand for cosmetic procedures during the pandemic. Some cosmetic physicians say more patients are seeking out their services as the crisis has afforded people more time to scrutinize their perceived flaws, and the flexibility to get work done without raising eyebrows among friends and coworkers. But critics worry that people could be rushing into serious medical procedures as the psychological toll of the pandemic has fuelled body image issues, in part because of the distorting powers of video-chat platforms and social media. Others in the medical community, including a Quebec doctors' association, say private clinics shouldn't be performing cosmetic surgeries as COVID-19 caseloads have strained the health-care system, forcing many patients to wait for medically necessary operations. There's little data available on the number of cosmetic procedures that are performed in Canada. But according to a Google Trends analysis published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, U.S. searches for some of the most popular ones dropped off in the early months of the pandemic, before rebounding to hit two-year peaks over spring and summer of last year. This is consistent with what Dr. Mathew Mosher, president of the Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is hearing from members who, in some cases, have been struggling to keep up with the increased interest in their services. "The sustained nature of the added interest has surprised many of us," said Mosher, who operates out of the YES Medspa and Cosmetic Surgery Centre in Langley, B.C. When private clinics started to reopen last spring, Mosher said surgeons were bracing for a backlog of postponed procedures, but didn't expect they'd be fielding an influx of calls from first-time patients and regulars. It's hard to gauge whether this spike in inquiries is translating into more surgical bookings, Mosher said, noting that COVID-19 precautions have curtailed many clinics' operational capacity. It also seems that demand has ebbed to some degree as many jurisdictions ramped up lockdown measures. Still, he said, it's clear that the pandemic has opened up new possibilities for patients to revamp their natural assets. While job losses have forced many Canadians into financial precarity, Mosher said those fortunate enough to have maintained a steady paycheque may have more money to spend on esthetic concerns. Moreover, he said, patients are able keep up with their professional duties while recouping at home. "Doing something that is in some ways empowering and positive has come up on the to-do list for a few more patients." While most of his patients are seizing the chance to move ahead with procedures they've been thinking about for a while, Mosher said he's also sensed a concerning "urgency" among clients who seem to be fixated on a newly detected imperfection or acting on an impulse to make a change during a stressful time. "I've seen more patients coming to the office where they frankly have been given poor advice," he said. Toronto dermatologist Dr. Julia Carroll said she credits the surge in demand for cosmetic services such as Botox, lip fillers and laser peels in part to what some have dubbed the "Zoom boom." As our conversations have shifted to video conference calls, many people are spending more time staring at their own faces, and some don't like what they see. "Most people get up in the morning, brush their teeth or put on their makeup, and they don't look at themselves for the rest of the day," said Carroll. "But now, you're seeing yourself in animation all day long.... So you see things that bother you." Carroll cautions that these virtual visages probably aren't accurate, because most webcams use short focal lengths that can warp how certain features appear onscreen. But while she doesn't think anyone "needs to look a certain way," Carroll says cosmetic procedures can boost a person's confidence. "For some people, there's a real disconnect between how they feel on the inside and what they present to the world," Carroll said. "I think a lot of patients are just trying to reconnect those two parts of themselves." Catherine Sabiston, a University of Toronto professor and Canada research chair in physical activity and mental health, says the lack of in-person social interaction under lockdown means people are spending more time online comparing themselves with filtered images of others, which can negatively impact body image. The internet is also filled with counterproductive messages about the COVID-19 crisis being a time for self-improvement, feeding into the guilt many feel about changes to their exercise and eating habits, she said. As these forces conspire to make people feel bad about themselves, Sabiston said it's no surprise that people are turning to the scalpel as a quick-fix solution. The fact that cosmetic surgeries are moving forward when many patients can't access cancer treatments speaks to the social disconnect that seems to prioritize people's appearance over their health, said Sabiston. She urged authorities to adopt a more balanced approach that would allow people to access the services they need to ensure their bodies are healthy and help them feel better in them. "Our bodies are miracles in so many ways, and yet, we hone in on the appearance aspects when there's so much more to what our bodies can do," she said. "We should be putting our emphasis on how to help people so that more plastic surgery isn't necessarily the bottom line." In a statement Wednesday, the Quebec College of Physicians called for all non-essential cosmetic procedures to be postponed in light of the measures the province is taking to limit COVID-19 spread. Health Minister Christian Dube told reporters last week that the province is considering how to address the medical staffing crisis, but suggested it would be easier to bring in intensive care personnel from other regions than to enlist nurses from private care and cosmetic surgery clinics. A spokeswoman for Quebec's health ministry added that staff from private cosmetic surgery clinics can still volunteer in the public health sector without shutting down operations. In Ontario, some clinics that offer cosmetic procedures have opted to scale back services or shut down altogether. While health practices remain open under the province's latest directive, a spokesman for Ontario's health ministry said "it's up to each professional's clinical judgment to determine what services should be offered," in accordance with the rules set out by their regulatory colleges. On its website, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario says regional restrictions on personal care services, such as facials and hair removal, apply to medical practices, but clinics can continue to offer procedures that can only be performed by health-care professionals. Mosher appreciates the frustrations front-line medical workers feel as the recent surge in infections pushes health-care systems to their limits, but argues that closing private clinics will do little to assuage capacity concerns. Cosmetic surgeons report relatively low rates of complications, so there's little risk that their patients will need urgent care in overburdened hospitals, he said. Mosher said the cosmetic surgery industry isn't large enough to provide the reinforcements that hospitals require, and while some cosmetic surgery providers work in both the private and public sector, many don't have the expertise to help much with urgent care. "Health-care workers that are involved in delivering (cosmetic surgery) services would be more than happy to step up and assist if we were called upon," he said. "But like everybody else, we rely on the guidance from the health authorities." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021 Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's admission Friday that he might have to improve the vetting for high-level appointments sparked criticism over why he didn't figure that out before he chose Julie Payette as governor general. Trudeau named the former astronaut as Canada's 29th governor general in 2017 after disbanding a non-partisan, arm's-length committee created by the previous Conservative government to recommend worthy nominees for viceregal posts. Thursday, she resigned over allegations she created a toxic work environment at Rideau Hall, an unprecedented move for a monarch's representative in Canada. Trudeau faced questions Friday about his judgment and his government's failure to check with Payette's former employers at the Montreal Science Centre and the Canadian Olympic Committee, where she faced similar allegations of harassing and bullying subordinates. "We will continue to look at the best way to select people for viceregal appointments," Trudeau told a news conference Friday outside his residence at Rideau Cottage. "It's an important role for Canadians and we will look at how we can improve it." But Trudeau would not commit to reinstating the non-partisan, arm's-length committee to choose her successor. Payette announced her resignation about a week after the government received the damning findings of an independent investigation into allegations of harassment and other workplace issues at Rideau Hall. Trudeau said he spoke with the Queen by telephone Friday to inform her that Chief Justice Richard Wagner is stepping in until a new governor general is named. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said earlier that the Queen was being kept informed and will leave the matter in the hands of the Canadian government. Trudeau said everyone deserves a safe and healthy workplace, including employees at Rideau Hall. He also said the work they have done has been "exceptional." But he deflected a question over whether he owed those employees and all Canadians an apology. NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said the choice of Payette was one of style over substance. "Really it comes down to Justin Trudeau, who was more interested in a flashy announcement of a governor general rather than doing the work of making sure it was the right selection," Singh said Friday. "And it seems to be an ongoing trend, this pursuit of a flashy headline instead of working to get the job done." Patricia Faison Hewlin, of McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management, said leaders with authentic leadership skills have never been more important than now. "During these uncertain and devastating times, we are in critical need of leaders who are skilled at connecting to people in meaningful ways — building unity, allaying concerns, and showing empathy," she said. "The days are over when leaders could skimp on emotional intelligence and building relationships. Employees are demanding more from their leaders." Trudeau's minority Liberal government could be defeated at any time and, were that to happen, it would fall to the governor general to decide whether to call an election or give Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole a chance to see if he can command the confidence of the House of Commons. Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said Thursday the government has begun discussions with those responsible for vetting, but the prime minister hasn't had time yet to reflect on the best way to choose Payette's successor. The government will have more to say on that likely next week, he said. He agreed the debacle of Payette's tenure shows a need to strengthen the process for vetting viceregal appointments. LeBlanc said the government report came to "compelling" and "stark" conclusions and that Payette's tenure shows that the vetting system for such appointments needs to be strengthened. "There always has been a process of vetting, of checks that are made when somebody is appointed to any government job. But clearly, the process can be strengthened, can be improved," LeBlanc said in an interview shortly after Payette's resignation. The government does not intend to release the report due to privacy issues and the promises of confidentiality made to all complainants, LeBlanc said. It will instead release a redacted version of the report in response to requests made under the Access to Information Act. LeBlanc would not discuss the contents of the report, but said it found Rideau Hall "was obviously an unacceptable workplace." LeBlanc said federal public servants "have the right to a secure, safe and healthy workplace and we are adamant … that standard be upheld at every institution of the government of Canada." He said the report "painted a picture that was not consistent" with that standard. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation called on Trudeau to stop paying the expenses of former governors general after they have left office. Former governors general also qualify for a pension of more than $140,000, the federation said. "Two years ago, the prime minister said he would review this program," said federation director Aaron Wudrick. "Nothing has happened since. It's time to save taxpayers money by scrapping this outrageously wasteful program." The Senate recently agreed to pay $498,000 in compensation to nine former employees of ex-senator Don Meredith, who was accused of sexually harassing, belittling and humiliating his staff. LeBlanc said there's been no consideration thus far — and no mention in the report — of paying compensation to Rideau Hall employees, some dozen of whom complained anonymously to the CBC about Payette yelling at, belittling and publicly humiliating staff, reducing some to tears and prompting some to quit. He said such questions will be handled by senior federal officials, who are planning to talk with all employees at Rideau Hall to plan next steps. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. Mike Blanchfield and Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press
Tanner Stewart can think of no better way to flush 2020 down the drain than by filling up a tub with his cannabis-infused bath bombs in 2021. Stewart, founder and CEO of St. Stephen-based Stewart Farms, said his new bath bomb, made with 50 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), 50 milligrams of cannabidiol (CBD) and essential oils, has been receiving rave reviews. "It's a really nice way to engage with a familiar thing like a bath bomb for a lot of consumers who already really like bath bombs and combine it with a cannabis-infused experience," he said. Stewart Farms makes three different types of bath bombs, each tailored with the help of the essential oils for a different experience. Trainwreck combines the scents of eucalyptus, sweet orange and Spanish rosemary to be uplifting and energizing. Bubba Kush is meant to be calming, with the scents of lavender, white grapefruit and cassia, and Blue Dream is meant to be a harmonizing bath bomb, with the scents of lemon grass, pepper, orange and lavender. CBD is a known anti-inflammatory, Stewart said, and THC is known to be antibacterial and anti-fungal. All of the products, which retail for $16.99 per bath bomb, are packaged individually in 100 per cent biodegradable packaging. Stewart said it's believed his farm is the first cannabis producer in Canada to use this type of packaging. He said environmental protection is a cannabis company’s responsibility. "We think that's setting a new precedent in the industry," he said. Stewart Farms' bath bombs have just sold out for the second time in multiple locations since launching about a month ago. Products are being sold in New Brunswick and in Alberta for now, with plans to expand from coast to coast by the end of 2021. Stewart said the bombs are a great, easy and harmless introduction for those who've never used cannabis products before, especially older people. "They need to be grabbing these things, and giving themselves a nice, well-deserved self-care treatment." Stewart said bath bomb users won't get high from the cannabis per se, but he's received feedback from customers that tell him their skin feels great after, they're relaxed and they have a great night's sleep. Some other say they feel clarity and it helps with pain, he added. Stewart, who's originally from Miramichi, said he's grateful the cannabis industry allowed him to move back to his home province in August 2019 from Alberta to start this business. "This industry has allowed me not only to come back home to my own province and have a job, but I'm able to build a business in a globally-leading industry." The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada. Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Canada Post is telling customers to expect delivery delays due to a COVID-19 outbreak at a key mail facility in Mississauga, Ont., that has sickened dozens of workers. A spokesman says testing at the Dixie Road site has found 39 positive COVID-19 cases over the last three days. Canada Post says 182 workers at the site have tested positive since the start of the new year. Spokesman Phil Legault says the Mississauga facility is central to the crown corporation's entire national delivery and processing network. Legault says the plant continues to operate and process heavy incoming parcel volumes, but there will be delays. More than 4,500 people work at the Mississauga site. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021. The Canadian Press