COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on a Toronto long-term care home, where at least 145 residents have tested positive for the virus and 26 have died. A family member and physician say the home is in a crisis mode and they’re worried about patient care.
COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on a Toronto long-term care home, where at least 145 residents have tested positive for the virus and 26 have died. A family member and physician say the home is in a crisis mode and they’re worried about patient care.
WASHINGTON — The patter of paws is being heard in the White House again following the arrival of President Joe Biden's dogs Champ and Major. The two German shepherds are the first pets to live at the executive mansion since the Obama administration. Major burst onto the national scene late last year after Biden, then president-elect, broke his right foot while playing with the dog at their home in Wilmington, Delaware. The Bidens adopted Major in 2018 from the Delaware Humane Association. Champ joined the family after the 2008 presidential election that made Joe Biden vice-president. The dogs moved into the White House on Sunday, following Biden's inauguration last week. “The first family wanted to get settled before bringing the dogs down to Washington from Delaware,” said Michael LaRosa, spokesperson for first lady Jill Biden. “Champ is enjoying his new dog bed by the fireplace and Major loved running around on the South Lawn.” The dogs were heard barking outside near the Oval Office on Monday as Biden signed an executive order lifting the previous administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military. Last week, the Delaware Humane Association cosponsored an “indoguration” virtual fundraiser to celebrate Major's journey from shelter pup to first dog. More than $200,000 was raised. Major is the first shelter dog to ever live in the White House and “barking proof that every dog can live the American dream," the association said. The Bidens had promised to bring the dogs with them to the White House. They plan to add a cat, though no update on the feline's arrival was shared on Monday. White House press secretary Jen Psaki predicted, while on video answering questions from members of the public, that the cat will “dominate the internet” when it arrives. Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, a self-described germaphobe, does not own any pets and had none with him at the White House. Just like they do for ordinary people, pets owned by the most powerful people in the world provide their owners with comfort, entertainment, occasional drama and generally good PR. “Pets have played an important role in the White House throughout the decades, not only by providing companionship to the presidents and their families, but also by humanizing and softening their political images,” said Jennifer Pickens, author of a book about pets at the White House. Pets also serve as ambassadors to the White House, she said. Pickens added that she hoped the Bidens' decision to bring a rescue dog to the White House might inspire others to adopt. President Theodore Roosevelt had Skip, who is described by the White House Historical Association as a “short-legged Black and Tan mongrel terrier brought home from a Colorado bear hunt.” Warren G. Harding had Laddie Boy, who sat in on meetings and had his own Cabinet chair. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had his beloved terrier Fala. At night, Fala slept in a special chair at the foot of the president’s bed. More recently, George H.W. Bush’s English springer spaniel Millie was featured on “The Simpsons” and starred in a bestseller, “Millie’s Book: As dictated to Barbara Bush.” Hillary Clinton followed Bush’s lead with a children’s book about family dog Buddy and cat Socks: “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to the First Pets.” When he declared victory in the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama told his daughters: “You have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House.” Several months later, Bo joined the family, a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy. A few years later, fellow Portuguese water dog Sunny arrived. Among the stranger White House pets was Calvin Coolidge and first lady Grace Coolidge’s raccoon Rebecca. She was given to the Coolidge family by a supporter who suggested the raccoon be served for Thanksgiving dinner, according to the White House Historical Association. But instead she got an embroidered collar with the title “White House Raccoon” and entertained children at the White House Easter Egg Roll. Some notable pets belonged to first kids, including Amy Carter’s Siamese cat, Misty Malarky Ying Yang, and Caroline Kennedy’s pony Macaroni. The Kennedy family had a veritable menagerie, complete with dogs, cats, birds, hamsters and a rabbit named Zsa Zsa. President Harry Truman famously said that “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog” — and many successors have followed Truman's advice. The first President Bush once said, “There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog to help you get through the rough spots.” ___ Associated Press writer Kevin Freking contributed to this report. Darlene Superville, The Associated Press
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Sarah Sanders, Donald Trump's former chief spokeswoman, announced she's running for Arkansas governor at a time other Republicans are distancing themselves from the former president facing an impeachment charge that he incited the deadly siege at the U.S. Capitol. But the former White House press secretary, who left the job in 2019 to return to her home state, ran the other direction with an announcement Monday that embraced Trump as much as his rhetoric. “With the radical left now in control of Washington, your governor is your last line of defence,” Sanders said in a nearly eight-minute video announcing her 2022 bid that prominently featured pictures of the president as well as some of his favourite targets. Trump, who publicly encouraged Sanders to run, wasted no time putting his seal of approval on her bid. The former president on Monday night backed Sanders' candidacy — his first official, public endorsement since leaving office — and called her a “warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct." The daughter of former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sanders is the most high-profile Trump official to seek major office and is doing so less than a week after the tumultuous end of his presidency. Her candidacy could showcase just how much of a hold Trump still has on the GOP. “Trump is simply not a liability here,” said Janine Parry, a political scientist at the University of Arkansas. “At least for the time being, we’re in a state where he remains an asset.” That’s even as the Senate is preparing for an impeachment trial over the Jan. 6 insurrection by Trump supporters that was aimed at halting the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over Trump. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell rebuked the president last week, saying he “provoked” the siege. Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters days before Biden’s inauguration he wanted Trump’s administration to end, though he also opposed the president’s impeachment. Sanders’ announcement makes a brief reference to the Capitol siege that left five dead, equating it with violence that occurred at some protests last year over racial injustice and the 2017 shooting at a congressional baseball practice that injured U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise and four others. “This is not who we are as Americans,” Sanders said in the video, but not mentioning Trump’s role in encouraging his supporters who stormed the Capitol. She joins a Republican primary that already includes two statewide elected leaders, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. The three are running to succeed Hutchinson, who is unable to run next year due to term limits. No Democrats have announced a bid to run for the seat. Griffin and Rutledge had already spent months positioning themselves ahead of Sanders’ entry by lining up endorsements, raising money and trying to stake their claims as the most conservative candidate. Griffin has called for the outright elimination of the state’s income tax, while Rutledge signed on to Texas’ ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit challenging the result of the presidential election. Following the riot, Griffin and Rutledge issued statements condemning the storming of the Capitol but not addressing Trump’s role in stirring up his backers. Combined, the two have raised more than $2.8 million for the race. Griffin on Monday criticized Sanders for promising in her video to cut off funding to so-called sanctuary cities that violate immigration laws. He noted a 2019 measure Hutchinson signed into law already does just that by cutting off funding to cities that don’t co-operate with immigration authorities. “It sounds like she needs to catch up on what’s been going on in Arkansas,” Griffin said in a statement. Rutledge, meanwhile, said in a statement the race was about “who has a proven record and not merely rhetoric.” The race could also get even more crowded. Republican State Sen. Jim Hendren, a nephew of Hutchinson’s, is considering a run for the seat and said he hoped to make a decision within the next three weeks. “Right now we have three announced candidates but they all do represent the far right part of the Republican Party,” said Hendren, who has been much more willing to criticize Trump and hasn’t ruled out an independent bid. “The question I have to decide is, is there room for a more pragmatic, centrist type of approach?” Sanders was already well known in Arkansas politics, going back to when she appeared in ads for her father’s campaign. She managed Sen. John Boozman’s 2010 election and worked as an adviser to Sen. Tom Cotton’s in 2014. During Sanders’ nearly two-year tenure at the White House, daily televised briefings led by the press secretary ended after Sanders repeatedly sparred with reporters who aggressively questioned her. She faced questions about her credibility, but she also earned reporters’ respect working behind the scenes to develop relationships with the media. She remains an unknown on many issues and wasn’t made available for interviews Monday, though she staked out some positions in her introductory video that include reducing the state’s income tax. Her introductory video indicates she’s leaning more on her time with Trump, with it featuring images of or calling out those who frequently drew his ire including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and CNN. Republicans hold a firm grip on Arkansas, with the GOP holding all statewide and federal seats. They also hold a majority in both chambers of the Legislature. Trump in November won the state by nearly 28 percentage points, one of the biggest margins in his ultimate loss to Biden. State Democratic Party Chairman Michael John Gray on Monday called the GOP primary a “race to the bottom.” But national party leaders indicated Sanders’ candidacy may draw more resources and attention to a long-shot race that will coincide with 2022 congressional midterm elections. “As we close the book on a dark chapter in our history, we must make sure Trump’s brand of politics stays in the past," Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison tweeted. “Now, Sarah Huckabee Sanders is running on his record." Hutchinson, who has remained generally popular since taking office in 2015, said he didn't plan on endorsing anyone at this time in the race. “I am a voter, so I will follow the campaign with interest, but I have a job to do for the next two years, and I will devote my energies to bring Arkansas out of the pandemic and to revitalize our economy," he said in a statement. ___ Follow Andrew DeMillo on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ademillo Andrew Demillo, The Associated Press
Canada's natural resources minister accused the Opposition of beating their chests in a show of support for the oil and gas industry, during an emergency debate in the House of Commons regarding the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project Monday evening. "Do we, as some are suggesting, start a trade war with our closest ally and largest trading partner, with the single largest customer for Canadian crude? ... I have not yet heard a single argument that would convince me a trade war is in the best interests of our oil and gas workers," Seamus O'Regan said. O'Regan said the new U.S. administration represents an opportunity to work together with a government aligned with Canada's priorities on clean energy, pointing to TC Energy — the Calgary-based company behind the Keystone project — committing to buying renewable energy to achieve net zero emissions. Last week, on his first day in office, U.S. President Joe Biden scrapped the pipeline's permit as one of multiple actions intended to fight climate change, effectively killing the $8-billion US project. If completed, the 1,897-kilometre pipeline expansion project, first announced in 2005, would have carried 830,000 barrels of oilsands crude from Hardisty, Alta., to Nebraska, where it would then connect with the original Keystone pipeline that runs to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. Opposition Leader Erin O'Toole called for the debate earlier on Monday, accusing the government of not doing enough to advocate for the expansion. During the evening's debate, which stretched until just past midnight in Ottawa, O'Toole described empty office towers and job losses in Calgary. "Canada has been dealt a serious blow … these are Canadians, thousands of them, being totally forgotten and left behind by this government," he said. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government has repeatedly said it supports the project, and Trudeau expressed his disappointment with Biden during a call between the two nations' leaders on Friday. "We will stand up and have our workers' backs.… Let's talk TMX. We approved it, we bought it, we're building it," O'Regan said, referring to the federal purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is under construction. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has called for sanctions against the U.S. in response to the permit's cancellation. Kenney's government invested $1.5 billion Cdn in equity in the project alongside billions in loan guarantees.The provincial opposition NDP is calling on the Alberta government to release documents containing details of that deal, calling it a risky one. The project had been rejected under former president Barack Obama's government. It was later approved under former president Donald Trump, but Biden had repeatedly stated he intended to rescind that permit once elected. Canada's ambassador to the U.S. has said it's time to respect that decision, however disappointing it may be to proponents, and move forward. WATCH | Keystone XL pipeline project 'appears to be dead,' says Rachel Notley Edmonton-Strathcona NDP MP Heather McPherson said Biden's decision should have come as no surprise given Biden's opposition and legal challenges of the project. "Remember when Jason Kenney gambled on Donald Trump. He didn't gamble his money — he gambled ours … that was his plan to get jobs for workers in my province," she said. "Now, he wants to start a trade war with the U.S., the customer for 95 per cent of our energy exports." Lakeland Conservative MP Shannon Stubbs said while the decision did not come as a shock, it underlines that Canada is in a vulnerable position when it comes to its energy industry as the U.S. has increased domestic production. "With the stroke of a pen thousands of people are out of work in the middle of a global crisis ... Canadians whose livelihoods depend on the oil and gas sector are rightfully anxious about their future," she said. O'Regan referred to climate change as an "existential crisis." "The market has an important role here. It is the leading role in determining how investment decisions should be made, but it is our government's duty to set the parameters on that and to incent what we believe to be extraordinarily important goals, namely net-zero emissions by 2050. That is the goal we have set for ourselves, and many of our friends, colleagues and competitors around the world have also set that goal for themselves. This is an existential crisis, there is no question." It's also an economic crisis for the many people across the country who worry they may be left behind, he said. "We cannot allow that to happen." Former Green Party Leader and Saanich-Gulf Islands MP Elizabeth May said it would be extremely unfair to say those who think the Keystone expansion cancellation was a good decision don't care about workers losing their jobs. "I would no more say that people who are supporting the oilsands are deliberately and consciously threatening my grandchildrens' future than I would say it's right to be celebrating when people suffer an immediate downturn in their economic prospects."
And you better believe Avril Lavigne is also having a pop-punk comeback.
COVID-19 has had devastating effects on the financial well-being of many recent immigrants, temporary foreign workers (TFWs) and international students in Canada, according to a new study. Migrants—regardless of their immigration status—are overrepresented in essential roles and industries that have been hardest hit and as a result, they have been disproportionately affected by job loss and by the virus itself, said the study by World Education Services. World Education Services Inc. is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to helping international students, immigrants, and refugees achieve their educational and workplace goals in the United States and Canada. The survey of 4,932 people involved applicants who received credential assessments between January 2018 and July 2020 for the purpose of immigrating to Canada, to better understand the impact of the pandemic on the three groups. The results are consistent with trends identified in other recent research and provide additional insight into the economic impacts on permanent residents, temporary and foreign workers. “To mitigate these risks, temporary workers need more direct and expedited pathways to permanent residency, particularly those working in high demand sectors and those doing essential work,” said the authors of the study. They are also calling for policy interventions aimed at addressing systemic issues that contribute towards mitigating disproportionate negative impacts on immigrants, temporary workers, and international students. Here are the reports key findings; The study comes in the wake of a new government policy to allow foreign nationals in Canada with an expired or expiring Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to apply for renewed open work permits valid for 18 months. This policy change is to allow former international students to remain in Canada, continue to seek employment and build their future in this country. International students contribute over $21 billion annually to Canada’s economy and support the vitality of the country’s communities, the government highlighted. “Their status may be temporary, but the contributions of international students are lasting. This new policy means that young students from abroad who have studied here can stay and find work while ensuring that Canada meets the urgent needs of our economy for today and tomorrow." “Our message to international students and graduates is simple: we don’t just want you to study here, we want you to stay here,” he said. Fabian Dawson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Canadian Media
Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Saqib Shahab will continue his work unabated after protests escalated to a new level on Saturday when a group of people stood with signs outside his Regina home. "The Ministry of Health has indicated that Dr. Shahab will not let this incident distract him from continuing his important ongoing work and is unavailable for comment today," Jim Billington, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan government, said in a statement Monday. Billington said Premier Scott Moe and Shahab would provide an update on current public health orders and vaccine delivery at a news conference on Tuesday. The current set of public health restrictions are scheduled to expire on Friday. Protests of Saskatchewan's public health orders and government policy have been common through the 10 months of the pandemic, but have largely stayed in public areas. Throughout the spring and summer, there were sporadic protests outside the Saskatchewan legislature and later at the T.C. Douglas Building where Shahab and workers within the Ministry of Health have offices. The protest moved to Shahab's residence on Saturday. "We had police respond immediately," Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said. Officers arrived at around 2:30 p.m. CST, with policing staying for about an hour until protesters left. "They were a group of protesters we're acquainted with. We've had interactions with them and discussions with them many times, most of them being around the legislature," Bray said. "The primary focus is on, is there any immediate risk to the safety of anyone, and if there isn't, then the investigative work is done to determine if any potential charges will come from that," Bray said. The Regina Police Service is currently working with Crown prosecutions to determine if any charges will be laid, according to Bray. Moe released his own statement Saturday, referring to the people who gathered outside Shahab's home as, "a group of idiots." "This harassment of Dr. Shahab and his family at their home is simply unacceptable, sickening and wrong," he said. "To those that did this — you should be ashamed of yourselves and your actions." Moe invited those with concerns about public health measures and decisions by government to contact him or their MLA. Shahab is a public servant and works under the umbrella of the Ministry of Health. He and his team make recommendations to government, but he does not have the authority to compel them to implement measures. On Saturday, the province said Shahab and his family were not harmed during the protest. On Monday, Billington said, "while appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the safety and security of Dr. Shahab, we are unable to provide information regarding security considerations." In November, Ontario Premier Doug Ford referred to people protesting restrictions outside his home as "buffoons." In October, people in Manitoba left cardboard tombstones on the front lawn of Premier Brian Pallister's lawn protesting his response to a wave of COVID cases. The Winnipeg Free Press reported on Saturday that anti-restriction protesters planned to demonstrate outside Pallister's home and police were on scene, but a protest never materialized. Protests move from the legislature to private residence In December, an event outside the legislature billed as a "Freedom Rally" drew criticism from Moe when a video showed one speaker making racist remarks toward Shahab. "Those comments are foolish and they should never be made. Quite frankly, they're nothing short of idiotic," Moe at the time, adding that he was "embarrassed" that people from Saskatchewan made those "disgusting" comments. "We have a chief medical health officer in this province who we should be very thankful to have. He didn't have to come to Saskatchewan. And he is among the very best, providing the very best public health advice that any province could ask for." Two organizers of that rally were fined $2,800 for violating public health orders. On Jan. 12, Regina Leader-Post photographer Brandon Harder captured security escorting Shahab to his vehicle after a media conference at the legislative building. A couple of people held signs near the vehicle, with one reading "Expose Mask Nazis." After that incident, Moe tweeted, "This kind of harassing behaviour is utterly unacceptable. Dr. Shahab deserves nothing short of our thanks and respect for his dedication to the health and safety of Saskatchewan people." Doctors group condemns protest On Monday, the association that represents Saskatchewan physicians condemned the protest outside Shahab's home. "Bringing a protest to Dr. Shahab's private residence is absolutely unacceptable, and the SMA condemns these actions," said Dr. Barb Konstantynowicz, president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, in a release. She said the SMA commended Moe for telling those that disagree with public health policy to contact elected officials and not civil servants. "Since the pandemic, physicians and all health-care providers have demonstrated their unwavering commitment to caring for and putting the safety of Saskatchewan citizens first. Everyone's effort to reduce the spread of this virus is critical," Dr. Konstantynowicz said. "The SMA is extremely grateful for Dr. Shahab's tireless, dedicated efforts in fighting the pandemic on behalf of the people of the province." CBC Saskatchewan wants to hear how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you. Share your story with our online questionnaire.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Two major casino companies announced deals Monday with daily fantasy sports providers as they seek to expand their reach and integrate different forms of fan engagement with professional sports into their gambling operations. In the first deal, announced Monday morning, Bally's continued its acquisition juggernaut by acquiring the daily fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight in an all-stock transaction that further widens the fast-growing company's drive to add casino, online sports betting and media companies. Later in the day, Caesars Entertainment announced a strategic investment in SuperDraft, a daily fantasy sports company launched in September 2019, with the option to acquire the whole company over time. Daily fantasy sports involves players assembling virtual rosters of professional athletes, and then competing against others based on the performance of those athletes in real life. It is played just for fun, as well as for cash. There has been growing synergy between daily fantasy sports and sports betting; two of the original dominant fantasy providers, DraftKings and FanDuel, have become leading sports betting bookmakers in the U.S. Providence, Rhode Island-based Bally's becomes the third U.S. sports betting company to have a daily fantasy sports component, along with DraftKings and FanDuel. Bally's has been on a tear in recent months, adding gambling and media properties as it aims to become a major national player. “With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth (daily fantasy sports) market," said George Papanier, the company's president and CEO. "Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset that we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms.” Bally's recent moves include the purchase of Bally's casino in Atlantic City, a media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group and its pending acquisition of Bet.Works. The company plans to integrate Monkey Knife Fight's geographic presence in 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, with Sinclair’s portfolio of 21 regional sports networks. Monkey Knife fight has about 180,000 registered users, 80,000 of whom have made monetary deposits in order to play. Papanier said Monkey Knife Fight will support Bally’s plans to develop a potential customer database in states that have not yet adopted sports betting but which are considered lucrative potential markets, including California, Florida and Texas, as well as in Canada. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021. Caesars did not divulge the amount of its investment in SuperDraft, which operates in more than 35 states. "We’re super excited to be part of Caesars’ powerful gaming ecosystem,” said Steve Wang, CEO and founder of SuperDraft. “Daily fantasy players deserve a breath of fresh air, and we’re here to transform the industry. SuperDraft is now well-positioned to accelerate its growth with financial staying power while broadening its consumer appeal with bigger contests and better rewards to players of all interest levels.” ___ Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC. Wayne Parry, The Associated Press
CINCINNATI — Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said Monday that he won’t seek reelection to a third term in 2022, expressing dismay with the deep partisanship and dysfunction in American politics. Portman, an establishment Republican who served in the House and in President George W. Bush's administration before joining the Senate, cited a political climate that has made it “harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress." “Our country is very polarized,” Portman said, adding that former President Donald Trump did not help with the polarization. “It’s shirts and skins right now. We need to tone it down.” The decision is one measure of the difficult politics facing many Republicans in Washington as they cede power in President Joe Biden's administration and watch their party split between hard-right Trump supporters and others eager to turn the page. Portman, who turned 65 last month, is among the longtime Republican lawmakers who often backed Trump, though not vociferously. Once dubbed “The Loyal Soldier” in a front-page profile story in his hometown Cincinnati Enquirer, Portman usually defended Trump or avoided criticism of him with carefully worded statements. After Trump called the presidential election rigged, citing no legitimate evidence, Portman said Trump had a right to a probe of any irregularities. But immediately after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob of Trump backers, Portman said Trump needed to go on national TV to tell his supporters to refrain from violence. “Both in his words before the attack on the Capitol and in his actions afterward, President Trump bears some responsibility for what happened,” Portman said. Portman’s announcement came the same day that the U.S. Senate is receiving the House impeachment article against Trump for his role in the Capitol riot. While some Republican senators have criticized going ahead with the trial with Trump out of office, Portman said last week that he would listen to the evidence presented by both sides before deciding how to vote. His retirement adds another open seat for the GOP to defend in 2022 as it seeks to regain control of a Senate that Democrats hold by virtue of Vice-President Kamala Harris being the tiebreaking vote. Republican Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania have said they plan to retire. Republicans have 20 seats up for reelection in 2022, compared to 14 for Democrats. Those GOP seats include presidential battlegrounds Wisconsin and Florida. Ohio, a perennial battleground for decades, has become more reliably Republican, carried by Trump by more than 8 percentage points in 2016 and 2020. But Portman, like many mainstream GOP lawmakers viewed as insufficiently supportive of Trump, was considered likely to face a primary challenge from the right. Portman twice won election to the Senate by landslide margins. Still, his departure offers a glimmer of hope for Democrats in the state. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown was reelected in 2018, but most other statewide officials are Republican. Ohio Democratic Party Chair Liz Walters said Portman should take “a long hard look in the mirror” before complaining about partisan gridlock and the end of civility in Washington. “Over the past four years, Rob Portman has been one of Donald Trump’s biggest defenders, so his attempt today to rewrite that history is ridiculous,” she said in a statement. Portman’s first federal government job started in 1989, when he served as an associate legal counsel in the George H.W. Bush White House. Portman considered Bush a mentor, one whose genteel style was far from that of the abrasive Trump and some of his Republican supporters in Washington Portman was elected to Congress from southern Ohio in a 1993 special election and won six more elections before President George W. Bush tapped him to serve as U.S. trade representative in 2005. He travelled the globe, negotiating dozens of trade agreements. Bush then nominated him to be White House budget director in 2006. Portman stepped down in 2007, then returned to politics in 2010 with a successful U.S. Senate run, and won again in 2016, both times by landslide margins. Ohio Republican Party Chair Jane Timken said in a statement after Portman's announcement that his service has been “invaluable.” Generally voting with his party, Portman broke ranks in 2013 to announce his support for same-sex marriage. He said his son Will had come out as gay. Portman and his wife, Jane, have three children. After a long career, Portman said Monday that he was looking forward to spending more time with his family and in his community. He pledged to focus on legislative work in his last two years, working on pandemic relief — he participated in testing of a new vaccine — and issues he’s long been involved with such as fighting drug misuse. ___ Follow Dan Sewell at https://twitter.com/dansewell By Dan Sewell, The Associated Press
A man banished from Onion Lake Cree Nation was arrested there on Dec. 8, 2020. RCMP arrested Terrance Stonechild, 32, on Onion Lake Dec. 8, 2020, and charged him with weapons and drug-related offences. Onion Lake Cree Nation band council “banished” 32 people from its community in 2020 as they continue to fight illegal drug and gang activity. The banished individuals have “contravened and violated peace and good order in the territory of the Onion Lake Cree Nation, and thereby are banished,” Okimaw (Chief) Henry Lewis posted on OLCN’s website Sept. 3, 2020. Names and photos of the banned individuals were posted on OLCN’s website. Lewis said the band council was exercising its authority and jurisdiction under convention law and land law. The OLCN band council asked people to call Onion Lake RCMP if they saw any of the banned individuals in the community. OLCN declared a state of emergency Jan. 22, 2020, after gang-related violence and drug activity. They drove out suspected gang members and boarded up about 15 suspected meth houses. Stonechild pleaded not guilty to the drug and weapons charges and elected to be tried by provincial court judge alone. A trial has been set in Lloydminster Provincial Court in June. OLCN has three townships spanning 188,000 acres and is on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster, Sask. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords News-Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
The number of active COVID-19 cases in Chatham-Kent is on the decline. In the last two weeks, the number of active cases has fallen by more than 40 percent, leaving the number of active cases to 80, as of January 21. The 80 active cases include 52 tied to close contact with other cases, 13 with an unknown cause, four with information pending and three in Chatham-Kent residents at an institutional outbreak not in Chatham-Kent. According to Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, while 80 is still higher than what he wants it to be, he is pleased it is moving in the right direction. “I am pleased that our number of active cases is very significantly dropping, which means that more patients are recovering than are arising as new cases,” said Colby. “We’ll just continue to monitor this.” In total, Chatham-Kent’s cumulative Covid-19 case total rose to 1,046. The region’s six active workplace outbreaks had a total of eight active cases in Chatham-Kent residents as of January 21. “The workplace outbreaks are, by and large, very small and have been contained very fast,” said Colby. “They’re not large outbreaks. I think that’s important for the public to know.” The outbreak at the Wallaceburg Walmart, where five employees tested positive, has not spread to customers, said Colby. He added they did mass testing of almost all the employees at Walmart and had no further positives. “There are no cases from the community that we could trace to that environment whatsoever,” said Colby. “We’re looking forward to declaring this outbreak over very, very soon.” As of January 21, five Chatham-Kent residents have died of COVID-19. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
Nak’azdli Whut’en is preparing for its annual general meeting (AGM) as Chief Aileen Prince looks toward the future. “I’d first like to express my condolences to all community members who have lost loved ones in these past few months,” Prince said in a Facebook video Friday, Jan. 22. “It’s been absolutely heartbreaking to see our loved ones being taken like this, and also condolences to all outlying communities and the losses that they’ve had,” she said. “It’s been very tough for our community not to be able to support them as well.” COVID-19 vaccines rolled out to the Indigenous community adjacent to Fort St. James Tuesday, Jan. 19. Prince encourages members and non-members living on reserve to make an appointment through their health centre to receive their vaccine. As the disease has resulted in Nak’azdli Whut’en staff working long hours to ensure the community’s safety, Prince provided a brief overview of upcoming projects. A 32 unit-housing project is being eyed for 2022-2023. Planning has also begun on an Elder’s housing project. “Our rental housing is doing really well and we’re actually in the black,” Prince added. “It’s really nice to see that we’ve finally reached that stage in our housing program where we are bringing in enough funding to be able to maintain the rental housing over the years and to be able to put some aside for some new rental housing.” Nak’azdli Whut’en has established a $25-million trust in which funding is set aside for the future from their impact benefit agreements. Prince said she hopes to provide members with a further update on the trust shortly. Council has developed a recreation committee and is looking forward to having their first meeting this week. With COVID-19 having shuttered their government offices, Prince said they would try to re-open them as soon as possible. A satellite office in Prince George is anticipated to open shortly. While it is too early to confirm if their AGM will be held in person or online this spring, topics will include membership code that Prince said they have been working on the past eight months and natural resources. “It is going to get better,” she said. “We just have to get through this part.” Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
B.C. health officials say they are extending the gap between shots to 42 days from 35 after learning fewer doses are on their way. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says B.C. is at a critical juncture.
She’s had Dex since he could fit in her hand. As a puppy, Dex had an overbite that made nursing impossible. So Cindi Ilchuk adopted and hand fed the dog until he was able to eat. Now he’s 10 years old, 65 pounds, and the two are inseparable. “Dex is a support dog. He’s not an officially trained support dog, but he fell into the job and he’s filled the role wonderfully,” said Ilchuk’s stepfather Wayne Pierce. “That dog is everything to Cindi. I don’t know what she’d do without him. He’s the one constant in her life.” On Jan. 17, Dex broke his paw in the panic that ensued when a fire engulfed the hallway at Ilchuk’s apartment — the Town Park Apartment C block fire that has displaced everyone who lived in the 15 units. RELATED: ‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months RELATED: Fundraiser started for tenants left hanging after apartment fire In the panic of the fire, Ilchuck slid down the drain pipe to escape the fire and smoke in the hallway. A friend tried to pass Dex down to her. She half-caught, half-broke the dog’s fall, but he landed on one paw breaking it badly. “Everyone heard him yelp when that happened,” Pierce said. If the break had been a few inches higher, a simple cast could have been used. But the paw was broken at a joint, and requires surgery. Dex has been at the North Island Veterinarian Hospital since the fire and is getting anxious for Ilchuk, staff told Pierce. Pierce will take Dex to Campbell River Veterinarian Hospital for surgery on Jan. 25, but isn’t sure how their family will cover the $4,000 bill, plus over $1,000 due to the North Island Veterinarian Hospital. Ilchuk is on disability income for a variety of health challenges, and now faces the imminent challenge of finding new housing. She has been living in Town Park Apartment C-block in Port Hardy for just over a year — the longest home Pierce can remember in the last 20 years. Ilchuk’s mother Ann Ilchuk has started a GoFundMe account to raise funds towards the surgery costs: https://gofund.me/70f1ef35. Staff at both veterinarian hospitals will also accept payments to Dex’s account. RCMP consider the fire suspicious and are investigating. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: email@example.com Zoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
TORONTO — Enthusiasm for TFI International Inc. and BlackBerry Ltd. offset some investor concerns to push the Canada's main stock index higher. The S&P/TSX composite index closed up 60.11 points to 17,906.02. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 36.98 points at 30,960.00. The S&P 500 index was up 13.89 points at 3,855.36, while the Nasdaq composite was up 92.93 points at 13,635.99. The Canadian dollar traded for 78.51 cents US compared with 78.64 cents US on Friday. The March crude oil contract was up 50 cents at US$52.77 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 14.2 cents at US$2.60 per mmBTU. The February gold contract was down US$1 at US$1,855.20 an ounce and the March copper contract was up 0.3 of a cent at US$3.63 a pound. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. Companies in this story: (TSX:GSPTSE, TSX:CADUSD=X) The Canadian Press
Le conseil municipal de la Saint-Sauveur-des-Monts a remis à plus tard les démarches visant l’édification d’un projet immobilier dans le secteur du Mont-Habitant. « Nous avons dû remettre à plus tard les consultations publiques pour l’évaluation de ce projet. Nous devons attendre après la Santé publique, afin de pouvoir réunir de 50 à 75 citoyens en un même endroit, à cause de la Covid. On préfère prendre notre temps, agir en toute transparence et voir ce que le promoteur voudra faire. Il est question de possiblement baisser le nombre de maisons mises en chantier », a décrit le maire de Saint-Sauveur, M. Jacques Gariépy. « J’aimerais rassurer les gens, qui me disent que l’on va perdre une belle montagne. Rassurez-vous, il n’est pas question de toucher à la station de ski. C’est un projet à part ». Le premier citoyen sauverien a tenu à souligner l’envoi à Québec d’une résolution de son conseil, demandant à la SQ d’exercer un contrôle plus serré auprès des personnes en provenance des zones rouges, vers la MRC des Pays-d’en-Haut. « Nous l’avons acheminé à la ministre de la sécurité publique, au premier-ministre Legault, au préfêt de la MRC, à notre députée/ministre Marguerite Blais, etc. On veut que tous les moyens soient pris pour garder notre taux de contamination bas ». Enfin, M. Garipéy espère conclure avant la période des fêtes une entente avec la MRC des PDH, afin que les résidents de Saint-Sauveur puissent utiliser gratuitement les sentiers du territoire de la MRC. Il y aura une collecte des encombrants les 3 et 4 novembre prochains. Les citoyens qui souhaitent utiliser ce service doivent s’inscrire en ligne sur le site de la municipalité avant le 30 octobre à midi. Le port du masque est maintenant obligatoire à l’écocentre, dès votre arrivée, pour protéger le personnel et les utilisateurs du site.Ève Ménard, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal Accès
The next 20 years will likely see big changes in small business ownership in New Brunswick as more owners look at retirement. The Atlantic Provinces Economic Council expects some 25,000 small businesses in Atlantic Canada could change hands or be shuttered as owners reach retirement age. It's yet another side effect of the region's aging population. Fred Bergman, a senior policy analyst with APEC, said in New Brunswick about 7,900 self-employed business owners may soon be looking to sell, transfer or close their businesses. Bergman said while this is a "fairly large number", it is all part of the natural life cycle of business. "Just like the life cycle of a person, a business also has a life cycle," said Bergman. "When that person ages, they're either going to transfer to one of their children or a relative, a family member, or they're going to want to sell it to someone else or they could close it. And in the extreme, if they're losing money, they may even go bankrupt or insolvent." Succession planning Bergman expects this will contribute to an economic slowdown over time because fewer businesses will be operating, and retiring owners may be on fixed incomes and spending less. "You're going to have a bit of a slowdown if some of these businesses don't change hands," said Bergman. "So succession planning becomes very important for these businesses." While simply selling or transferring a business is a possibility, he cites what his barber is going through with his business as a good example of what can be done. "He sold his business to another hairdresser," said Bergman. "He stayed on, along with one of his former employees, to kind of help introduce them to his customer base. So they're effectively taking over the old customer base, but the business as well to kind of maintain customers because it's very hard to acquire new customers versus retaining existing customers sometimes." Of course, Bergman said this takes planning and shouldn't be done too quickly. "You don't want to leave it to the last minute; you certainly want to do it within the last five years," said Bergman. "When you start seriously thinking about retiring, you should be planning ahead."
FREDERICTON — Bertha Higgs, the mother of New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs, passed away Monday at the age of 100. The news was made public on Twitter by Higgs's chief of staff, Louis Leger. Mrs. Higgs celebrated her 100th birthday on Dec. 31, 2020, at her home in Forest City, N.B., close to the border with Maine. The premier has said his mother was a school teacher and that up until Grade 6, his teachers were either his mother or his aunt. Higgs has said his mother was very inquisitive and would always ask him about what was happening in the province. Details on funeral arrangements will be forthcoming. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
The highly anticipated arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Chatham-Kent is placed on pause. For the past several weeks, Dr. David Colby, Chatham-Kent’s Medical Officer of Health, has been hopeful for the vaccine’s arrival. In fact, the region’s top doctor was optimistic it would arrive by the end of the month. But now, he isn’t sure when it will arrive. As it stands, shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine to Canada are delayed from Pfizer while the pharmaceutical company upgrades its factory in Puurs, Belgium. This is said to be done in order to increase production capacity. The factory is set to return to full production February 15. “The Pfizer slowdown resulting from a retooling of the plant in Belgium has thrown all plans into disarray,” said Colby. He suggested to the province the region starts with 5,000 doses of the vaccine for the Phase 1 vaccine rollout to get started and have a fairly broad base of vaccination. “All bets are off with regard to the Pfizer shortage,” said Colby. In the meantime, Colby said it is a waiting game, adding, “When we know, we’ll know.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to deliver a message of comfort to Canadians regarding the vaccine on January 21. “Today, I spoke with the CEO of Pfizer Global, Dr. Bourla, about the timely delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to Canada,” Trudeau tweeted. “He assured me that we’d receive four million doses by the end of March. We’ll keep working together to ensure Canadians can get a vaccine as soon as possible.” Canada’s vaccine rollout could happen faster if more vaccines are approved. The projections suggest based on all vaccines Canada has created, but have yet to be approved, as many as 23 million Canadians could be vaccinated between April and June. This would account for 61 percent of the population. Canada could have enough doses for up to 73 million people between July and September. If that were the case, there would be more than enough vaccines for everyone who wants one. Projections released January 21 by Federal Health Officials suggest Canada will be able to vaccinate three million people by the end of March. This accounts for eight percent of the entire population. Even if Canada doesn’t approve any more vaccines by the fall, estimates suggest doses from Pfizer and Moderna will cover 13 million Canadians, or 34 percent, by June and 36 million, or 95 percent, by September 30. Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News
WATERLOO, Ont. — BlackBerry Ltd. says there haven't been any major business changes to account for a trading frenzy that drove its share price higher today.Toronto-listed shares rose as high as $26.51 apiece by mid-afternoon, up more than 48 per cent from Friday's closing price of $17.86.Within the past year, the shares have traded for as little as $3.94 each, but have risen 61.5 per cent over the past five days alone.About 23 million Toronto-listed shares changed hands by 2:30 p.m. eastern, compared with an average day's trading volume of less than 7.7 million.The Waterloo, Ont.- based software company put out a statement saying there hasn't been any undisclosed or material change in its business that would account for the stock's activity.The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada briefly halted the stock this morning after the surge set off the regulator's circuit breaker, which slows down trading to ensure a fair and orderly market.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2021. The Canadian Press
A man is in critical condition following a two-vehicle collision in Mississauga, Peel Regional Police say. Police earlier said the man had died but later issued a correction indicating he had lost vital signs and was revived. Emergency crews were called to the area of Dixie Road and Winding Trail at 2:47 p.m, where the man had been found with life-threatening injuries. He was rushed to a trauma centre and by 4:23, police said he had died. Shortly afterwards, they said the man had in fact lost vital signs and that medical staff were able to revive him. Dixie Road has been shut down in both directions from Burnhamthorphe East to Winding Trail, with drivers asked to use alternate routes. Peel police's major collision bureau has taken over the investigation. Anyone with dashcam or surveillance footage is being asked to contact police.