Some stark words from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as COVID-19 cases soar in many parts of the country. Sarah MacDonald report.
Some stark words from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as COVID-19 cases soar in many parts of the country. Sarah MacDonald report.
WASHINGTON — Disputing President Donald Trump’s persistent, baseless claims, Attorney General William Barr declared the U.S. Justice Department has uncovered no evidence of widespread voter fraud that could change the outcome of the 2020 election.Barr's comments, in an interview Tuesday with the The Associated Press, contradict the concerted effort by Trump, his boss, to subvert the results of last month's voting and block President-elect Joe Biden from taking his place in the White House.Barr told the AP that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up specific complaints and information they’ve received, but “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election.”The comments, which drew immediate criticism from Trump attorneys, were especially notable coming from Barr, who has been one of the president's most ardent allies. Before the election, he had repeatedly raised the notion that mail-in voting could be especially vulnerable to fraud during the coronavirus pandemic as Americans feared going to polls and instead chose to vote by mail.More to Trump's liking, Barr revealed in the AP interview that in October he had appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham as a special counsel, giving the prosecutor the authority to continue to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe after Biden takes over and making it difficult to fire him. Biden hasn't said what he might do with the investigation, and his transition team didn't comment Tuesday.Trump has long railed against the investigation into whether his 2016 campaign was co-ordinating with Russia, but he and Republican allies had hoped the results would be delivered before the 2020 election and would help sway voters. So far, there has been only one criminal case, a guilty plea from a former FBI lawyer to a single false statement charge.Under federal regulations, a special counsel can be fired only by the attorney general and for specific reasons such as misconduct, dereliction of duty or conflict of interest. An attorney general must document such reasons in writing.Barr went to the White House Tuesday for a previously scheduled meeting that lasted about three hours.Trump didn't directly comment on the attorney general's remarks on the election. But his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and his political campaign issued a scathing statement claiming that, "with all due respect to the Attorney General, there hasn’t been any semblance” of an investigation into the president's complaints.Other administration officials who have come out forcefully against Trump's allegations of voter-fraud evidence have been fired. But it's not clear whether Barr might suffer the same fate. He maintains a lofty position with Trump, and despite their differences the two see eye-to-eye on quite a lot.Still, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer quipped: “I guess he’s the next one to be fired.”Last month, Barr issued a directive to U.S. attorneys across the country allowing them to pursue any “substantial allegations” of voting irregularities before the 2020 presidential election was certified, despite no evidence at that time of widespread fraud.That memorandum gave prosecutors the ability to go around longstanding Justice Department policy that normally would prohibit such overt actions before the election was certified. Soon after it was issued, the department’s top elections crime official announced he would step aside from that position because of the memo.The Trump campaign team led by Giuliani has been alleging a widespread conspiracy by Democrats to dump millions of illegal votes into the system with no evidence. They have filed multiple lawsuits in battleground states alleging that partisan poll watchers didn’t have a clear enough view at polling sites in some locations and therefore something illegal must have happened. The claims have been repeatedly dismissed including by Republican judges who have ruled the suits lacked evidence.But local Republicans in some battleground states have followed Trump in making unsupported claims, prompting grave concerns over potential damage to American democracy.Trump himself continues to rail against the election in tweets and in interviews though his own administration has said the 2020 election was the most secure ever. He recently allowed his administration to begin the transition over to Biden, but he still refuses to admit he lost.The issues they've have pointed to are typical in every election: Problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postal marks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost.But they've gone further. Attorney Sidney Powell has spun fictional tales of election systems flipping votes, German servers storing U.S. voting information and election software created in Venezuela “at the direction of Hugo Chavez,” – the late Venezuelan president who died in 2013. Powell has since been removed from the legal team after an interview she gave where she threatened to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.Barr didn't name Powell specifically but said: “There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven’t seen anything to substantiate that.”In the campaign statement, Giuliani claimed there was “ample evidence of illegal voting in at least six states, which they have not examined.”“We have many witnesses swearing under oath they saw crimes being committed in connection with voter fraud. As far as we know, not a single one has been interviewed by the DOJ. The Justice Department also hasn’t audited any voting machines or used their subpoena powers to determine the truth,” he said.However, Barr said earlier that people were confusing the use of the federal criminal justice system with allegations that should be made in civil lawsuits. He said a remedy for many complaints would be a top-down audit by state or local officials, not the U.S. Justice Department.“There’s a growing tendency to use the criminal justice system as sort of a default fix-all," he said, but first there must be a basis to believe there is a crime to investigate.“Most claims of fraud are very particularized to a particular set of circumstances or actors or conduct. ... And those have been run down; they are being run down,” Barr said. “Some have been broad and potentially cover a few thousand votes. They have been followed up on."___Associated Press writers Lisa Mascaro and Eric Tucker contributed to this report.Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Sixteen more families lost loved ones to COVID-19, Manitoba’s chief public health officer announced Tuesday. Dr. Brent Roussin extended his condolences to the related families, loved ones and caregivers. “Announcing a list such as this impacts all of us,” he said. “It’s a difficult list to read out. It’s a tragedy for all Manitobans. We know these are much more than numbers. These are people who are missed, right now. And we know we can’t continue to read lists such as this daily.” However, the case count and positivity rate for the day did show some indication that critical red public health orders are beginning to have an effect — with slight decreases across the board. “We can see that our case numbers haven’t been escalating. We’ve seen some variability. Today is another day. So we would hope that this is starting to show a more clear trend downwards,” Roussin said. “We know the lag period on this. We would see the early indicators, such as decreasing the amount of contacts per case. We’d see that followed by a reduction in the amount of total cases. And then … reduction in hospital admissions and ICU admissions and, finally, lagging to severe outcomes.” Nevertheless, Roussin continued with his daily messaging. “So we see our numbers, while not climbing rapidly, are still not where we need them to be. These numbers are still too high for us to sustain. Our hospitalizations and ICU numbers are too high,” he said. “We keep sending that message to stay home. To reduce the amount of contacts you have, to really bring the number of cases down rapidly.” Roussin enumerated his daily requests again: only go out for essentials, a minimum of people per household going out for those essentials, limit gatherings outside the home, limit crowding in workplaces, and limit socialization to the household, “This is all our responsibility. All Manitobans have that responsibility. Please step up right now to decrease the amount of contacts,” Roussin said. “It’ll always be true that these restrictions are tough. Pandemics are tough. We’re asking for a lot — for people to avoid things that they feel are very important to them. Things that are very difficult to give up even in the short term.” Roussin emphasized once again the situation is critical, and hospitals are reaching capacity and health-care workers are overwhelmed. One reporter asked where people are catching COVID-19. “We see it in workplaces. We see it in households. We see it in smaller gatherings within households. That’s pretty much where we’re where we’re seeing it right now,” Roussin said. He also said it’s too early to discuss what decisions will be made when the Dec. 11 approaches, the date of expiry for the current public health orders. What will happen with the Christmas school break is also currently unknown. Similarly, the province has not yet decided on a prioritized list for groups who will first receive the vaccine, when it comes. “We’re working on that list right now. We’re working here in the province. We’re working at a national level. We’ll have that list and a solid explanation to Manitobans on that process. But right now, we’ll wait till we have something to announce.” Tuesday’s provincial COVID-19 numbers Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief public health officer, reported 16 deaths Tuesday, including two elderly people from the Prairie Mountain Health region — a man in his 80s linked to the Fairview Personal Care Home and a woman in her 100s linked the Gilbert Plains Personal Care Home. That brings total deaths to 328 — 1.9 per cent of the 17,107 lab-confirmed cases Manitoba has seen since the beginning of the pandemic. The five-day COVID-19 test positivity rate was 13.1 per cent provincially, with 13.8 per cent in Winnipeg. There were 283 new cases of the virus. One case was removed due to a data correction, making the total 282. • 17 cases in the Interlake-Eastern region • 22 cases in the Northern region • 12 cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region • 54 cases in the Southern Health-Santé Sud region • 178 cases in the Winnipeg health region. There are 9,066 active cases and 7,713 recovered. There are 305 active cases in the Prairie Mountain Health region, with 724 recovered and 18 deaths. One Prairie Mountain Health patient is in ICU, and 10 are hospitalized. Three hundred thirty-eight people are in hospital in Manitoba, with 48 people in intensive care. Laboratory testing numbers show 2,253 tests were completed Monday, bringing the total number since early February to 357,707. » Source: Province of ManitobaMichèle LeTourneau, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun
VICTORIA — British Columbia recorded 656 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday as officials urged residents not to bend public health rules. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say in a joint statement that an additional 16 people have died, pushing B.C.'s death toll to 457. The new positive tests bring the total confirmed cases in the province since the pandemic began to 33,894, while about 70 per cent of those are considered recovered. The statement says there are 8,796 active cases in the province and another 10,123 people exposed to known cases are under active public health monitoring. There are 336 people are being treated in hospital and 76 are in intensive care. The majority of new cases are in the Fraser Health region, followed by Vancouver Coastal Health. "Without exception, follow the provincial health officer's orders in place," Henry and Dix say in the statement. Any events that gather people are not currently allowed, whether on a one-time, regular or irregular basis, they say. This includes religious, cultural or community events. "Do not gather at home with anyone other than your household or core bubble," the statement says. "Let's make today a day to slow community transmission and continue to protect everyone in our province." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
La vie politique a également été affectée par la pandémie. Ayant également été mise sur pause pendant quelques temps, Marilène Gill, pour sa part, s’est mise en mode action, afin de continuer d’aller à la rencontre des citoyens, et de les entendre sur des sujets importants de la circonscription qu’elle représente, mais également les valeurs de son Parti. Rares sont les journées où la députée n’émet pas un communiqué de presse, afin de faire état de certains points ou situations préoccupants. Ce qui semble fonctionner présentement pour Mme Gill est sans aucun doute ses rencontres sur la plate-forme Zoom, avec divers intervenants. La population peut bien entendu y assister. L’une des rencontres virtuelles qui a suscité de plus d’intérêt est celle sur le thème « Internet haute vitesse en région. Pour l’occasion, Mme Gill était accompagnée de Martin Champoux, député de Drummond et porte-parole en matière de Communications (Patrimoine). La déposition d’un projet de loi visant à protéger les fonds de retraites des travailleurs en cas de faillite d’entreprise a également suscité beaucoup d’intérêt. Côté intervention en Chambre des communes, il est difficile de ne pas nommer l’intervention de Mme Gill concernant le vaccin de COVID-19. « Quand est-ce que le Québec recevra ses premières doses, et combien de doses par semaine en recevra-t-il par la suite », questionne-t-elle par rapport au fait que le vaccin arriverait plus tard au Canada que dans les autres pays et qu’aucune réponse claire n’aurait été donnée par le Premier Ministre. La page Facebook de Marilène Gill est très active, et remplie d’informations et de liens permettant de suivre les sujets défendus par la députée de Manicouagan.Karine Lachance, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
Hollywood has churned out plenty of war movies about conflict in the Middle East in the past two decades _ but none quite like "Mosul." (Dec. 1)
HOUSTON — Thomas M. Reavley, the oldest active federal judge who served for 41 years on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has died. He was 99. Reavley died on Tuesday in Houston, the Texas Supreme Court announced. His health had been in decline during the past year, said Bryan A. Garner, one of Reavley’s former law clerks. He had served nine years on the Texas Supreme Court, the state’s top civil court, before being appointed to the appeals court by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Reavley took senior status in 1990 but maintained a mostly full caseload until 2019. His legal career spanned more than six decades. “He was a towering figure in Texas and a true champion of justice for the state and the country,” said Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan L. Hecht. Garner, an attorney and law professor, said Reavley typified the very best qualities of “our federal judiciary: complete integrity, a commitment to fairness, incisive intellect and human kindness." A lay Methodist minister and Sunday school teacher, Reavley’s nickname was “Pope of the Fifth Circuit.” Reavley is survived by his wife, Carolyn Dineen King, who is also a judge on the 5th Circuit, and four children. He had been married to his first wife, Florence Wilson Reavley, for 60 years. She died in 2003. He married King in 2004 and the couple had said that before Florence Reavley died, she told them to get remarried. Reavley grew up in Nacogdoches, graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1942 and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was a lieutenant who drove President Franklin Roosevelt to Roosevelt’s meeting with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at Yalta, where the post-World War II fate of Germany was discussed. He earned his law degree from Harvard in 1948 and served as a prosecutor, local judge and state government official before serving on the Texas Supreme Court and 5th Circuit. Funeral services in Houston are pending. The Associated Press
Regina– The morning of the Speech from the Throne, Nov. 30, the Buffalo Party of Saskatchewan didn’t have any members taking their seats. But they did have several of their failed candidates speaking on the front steps of the Legislature in a rally that focused on freedom. One person in the crowd carried a sign saying “Unmask the truth,” while another person’s sign said, “Freedom is essential.” Buffalo Party Leader Wade Sira spoke first, noting they didn’t know how many people would show up. (A few dozen did.) “We’re here because even though didn’t win any seats in this election, the first election we ran, we still feel very strongly about where we stood, and that’s rights and freedoms first, and only should be the right of the government. They should always make sure that your rights and freedoms are the number one thing that's preserved and protected.” He said Premier Scott Moe and the Saskatchewan Party government “needs to uphold the law of Canada, which means the preservation of your rights and freedoms should be held at the highest regard.” He said they should “take off the restrictions” with respect to COVID-19. Sira said CTV had reported last week that less than 200 deaths had occurred in Canada where people had died from COVID. “Everything else has relations with other diseases, illnesses. Therefore, we want to make sure that those who are vulnerable to sickness are protected. But everyone else has a right in a free democracy to live their lives, the way they want to live their lives within the law.” “We want to make sure that you the people have the right to decide who you're allowed to associate with, who's allowed in and on your home, and how many. This is a government living in your home, and telling you how to live your life.” He said the Public Health Act had been “weaponized,” and used in an infection of fear, and “control by fear.” “The misinformation that's being broadcast out there, it’s white lies. It's not full truth. They're only saying what is good for them,” he said. Sira said back in Biblical times, the people wanted to be free. “They always try to free them from slavery from the governments are overbearing, throughout history. Every war is about freedom. It’s not about the control of government. We have to end the control of government. “We have to hold the government to a higher standard. We have to make sure that they are protecting us, the free people. Let us live our lives. We know how to manage our health. They don't know how to manage our health. It's not their health. It’s ours.” Sira read out an open letter he had sent to the premier earlier in the day which called for, first and foremost, that COVID restrictions come off. Secondly, they want the province to “denounce the federal government, and Trudeau’s actions in September, about the ‘Great Reset.’” Sira said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was using “the current state of the pandemic to convert Canada into a full socialist country, by implementing the World Economic Forum global reset.” Sira said, “People have to keep standing up and tell the government enough is enough. We want to be free again.” He pointed out he might have to put on his neck warmer to enter the Legislature, adding, “I don’t wear a mask at all.” Phillip Zajac, who ran in Estevan, said, “A long time ago in 2019, if you had the flu, and you were sick, and it was Christmas, you wouldn't go to your senior parents’ home, because you didn’t want them to get sick. We know that. We don't need someone here to say, ‘Don't go to your parents if you're sick.’ “So what I want you guys to do, is it takes people to tell other people, tell people what's going on, because they don't know. Want to talk about fake media, fake news? It happens all the time.” Zajac said he had worn a mask in a hockey rink, carrying his gear down the stairs, and had a hard time breathing. “It's depriving you from oxygen. Putting mass on people who are not sick is not good for our health. It's not good for anybody. So you guys, we are all here. We're gonna keep spreading the word. We all need to do the same. Please do something. Tell somebody and keep talking to people.” Richard Nelson, who had run in Cut Knife-Turtleford, said, “We know who is susceptible to this disease. They're 70 years or older. Ladies and gentlemen, we know where to find people who are susceptible to this disease. They live in long-term care. If you're not 70, and you're not in long term care, please, enjoy your life. Go back to living it, and spend Christmas with your family!” he exclaimed. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Le Centre d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVAC) Côte-Nord a lancé le recueil de créations Reconnaître le courage et renouveler l’engagement qui réunit les œuvres de personnes touchées par un acte criminel ainsi que celles de ressources qui leur viennent en aide. « Au fil des pages, les lecteurs retrouveront des créations de personnes touchées par un acte criminel qui nous donnent accès à leur souffrance, mais aussi à leurs victoires », lit-on dans le communiqué. Le recueil contient également des œuvres de personnes accompagnant les victimes d’actes criminels qui témoignent de leur admiration pour ces survivants. Le recueil a été lancé dans le cadre de la Semaine des victimes et survivants d’actes criminels qui avait lieu du 22 au 28 novembre. Pour obtenir un recueil ou en savoir plus sur les services offerts par le CAVAC, composez le 1 866-962-2822 ou rendez-vous au www.cavac.qc.ca.Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is investigating whether there was a secret scheme to lobby White House officials for a pardon as well as a related plot to offer a hefty political contribution in exchange for clemency, according to a court document unsealed Tuesday.Most of the information in the 18-page court order is redacted, including the identity of the people whom prosecutors are investigating and whom the proposed pardon might be intended for.But the document from August does reveal that certain individuals are suspected of having acted to secretly lobby White House officials to secure a pardon or sentence commutation and that, in a related scheme, a substantial political contribution was floated in exchange for a pardon or “reprieve of sentence.”A Justice Department official said Tuesday night that no government official was or is a subject or target of the investigation. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday night: “Pardon investigation is Fake News!”The existence of the investigation, first reported by CNN, was revealed in a court order from U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell, the chief judge of Washington's federal court. In it, she granted investigators access to certain email communications connected to the alleged schemes that she said was not protected by attorney-client privilege. The investigative team will be able to use that material to confront any subject or target of the investigation, the judge wrote.The order was dated Aug. 28, and prosecutors had sought to keep it private because they said it identifies people not charged by a grand jury. But on Tuesday, Howell unsealed select portions of that document while redacting from view any personally identifiable information.As part of the investigation, more than 50 devices, including laptops and iPads, have been seized, according to the document.Pardons are common at the end of a president's tenure and are occasionally politically fraught affairs as some convicted felons look to leverage connections inside the White House to secure clemency. Last week, Trump announced that he had pardoned his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, even as a federal judge was weighing a Justice Department request to dismiss the case.___Follow Eric Tucker at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAPEric Tucker, The Associated Press
The Deh Gáh Got’îê Koe seniors' complex has reopened in Fort Providence following renovations. Seven additional units for seniors have been created. In a news release on Tuesday, the N.W.T. government said a local contractor and local workers had completed the project, which is designed to help more Elders remain in their home community. “Seniors are a key part of our community. Ensuring that seniors have housing in the community is important to us,” Fort Resolution’s mayor, Danny Beaulieu, was quoted as saying. “This renovation means that more of our seniors can reside in our community and spend time with family and friends.” Ensuring seniors can age in place is a stated priority of Caroline Cochrane's government. Paulie Chinna, the housing minister, said that was "a crucial part of ensuring the health and wellbeing of our Elders."Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Forge FC lost a heartbreaker to Haiti's Arcahaie FC in Scotiabank Champions League quarterfinal play Tuesday, conceding a cheap goal on a goalkeeping blunder in regulation time and then losing a penalty shootout.The win earned Arcahaie a berth in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League, alongside the confederation's elite club teams, while moving it into the final four of the CONCACAF League — a 22-team feeder competition that sends six teams to the top-tier CONCACAF tournament.Forge, the Canadian Premier League champion, has a chance to make the Champions League via a do-or-die play-in match next week.Guerry Romondt saved Forge's first two penalties — from Daniel Krutzen and Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson. Arcahaie substitute Ose Charles converted the decisive kick in the 4-2 shootout win.The game was knotted at 1-1 after regulation time with Forge dominating play. but unable to get the go-ahead goal."Obviously this is one that stings," said Forge coach Bobby Smyrniotis."We've played two games in the last 2 1/2 months. This is the third one," he added. "So there's some kind of rhythm that's not going to be there. And the toughest thing to do in this game is score goals." Forge looked in complete control up 1-0 early in the second half but conceded the tying goal in the 59th minute on a mistake by Triston Henry. He delayed playing a back pass from Kwame Awuah and his scuffed clearance attempt deflected in off onrushing Arcahaie forward Kervens Jolicoeur."That's something maybe that's going to happen once in his career," Smyrniotis said."This one kind of stings but he's fantastic. He's goalkeeper of the year in the Canadian Premier League for a reason. It's unfortunate that this comes at this moment but we've got to look past it," he added.After the tying goal the game was delayed by a hole in the Arcahaie goal netting, requiring several zip-ties to close the gap.Krutzen opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time from the penalty spot after David Choiniere was taken down in the box by Hantz Anacius. Romondt dove the right way but Krutzen's shot found the corner.Krutzen also converted a penalty — in second-half stoppage-time — to give Forge a 2-1 win over Panama's Tauro FC in the round of 16.The 24-year-old Belgian defender rattled a free kick off the Arcahaie crossbar in the 49th minute as Forge tormented the Haitians with set pieces.The four CONCACAF League quarterfinal winners qualify directly for the Champions League while the losing quarterfinalists compete in single-leg play-in games, with the two winners also qualifying.Arcahaie advances to play either Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa or Honduras' Club Deportivo Marathon, who played in a later game Tuesday, in the January COBCACAF League semifinal. Saprissa won the CONCACAF League last year.Forge will play the Saprissa-Marathon loser next week in the play-in match.Regulation time ended with Forge driving at the Arcahaie goal but unable to get the go-ahead goal. It was the same for the seven minutes of stoppage time with Arcahaie players going down like bowling-pins, delaying play.Tuesday's game went ahead despite one Forge staff member and two Arcahaie players testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of kickoff.CONCACAF said all three had been isolated. All other players and staff tested negative.Smyrniotis made two changes to his starting 11 with Johnny Grant returning from suspension to take over from Kadell Thomas and fellow midfielder Paolo Sabak replacing Elimane Cisse.Forge pressed from the opening kickoff while the Haitians looked to counter-attack. Choiniere almost scored for Forge in the opening minute but couldn't get a boot to a low ball sent across the front of goal by Grant.Forge dominated possession but could not translate it into scoring chance. And the Haitian side began to grow more comfortable on the ball as the deadlock continued.Romondt was called into action twice late in the first half, punching away Forge free kicks. Mo Babouli thought he had scored on the stroke off halftime, heading in another free kick, but was flagged offside.While Arcahaie was the home side, the game was played in the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo at the more suitable Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez.The Haitians advanced Nov. 5 with a 3-1 round-of-16 win over Waterhouse FC in Kingston, Jamaica. Forge dispatched Tauro two days earlier in Panama City.The Canadian side then returned home, serving the mandated 14-day quarantine. Forge arrived in the Dominican on Nov 21, training in Punta Cana before making the 170-kilometre trip to the capital on Monday.Arcahaie moved into the round of 16 when Belize's Verdes FC pulled out of their Oct. 20 preliminary-round match due to positive COVID-19 tests. That match was also scheduled for Santo Domingo.Forge defeated El Salvador's CD Municipal Limeno 2-1 in San Salvador on Oct. 22 in preliminary-round play.Forge, thanks to its triumph in the Island Games in Charlottetown during the summer, will also have another chance to qualify for the main CONCACAF club competition when it takes on Toronto FC in final of the Canadian Championship scheduled for the first quarter of 2021.Forge exited the CONCACAF League in the round of 16 last year, beaten 4-2 on aggregate by Honduras's Olimpia. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020The Canadian Press
Alberta’s top doctor is telling residents to prepare for a “much different holiday season” this year due to COVID-19. On Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said while it is still unknown what restrictions will be in place over Christmas, Albertans should still be preparing gatherings with as few people as possible. “It's been a long, hard year, and I know how important these holidays are,” Hinshaw said. The doctor said Albertans should be forgoing office parties, open houses and large gatherings this year, no matter what the restrictions look like over the Christmas holidays. Holidays with many people gathering together have accelerated the spread of COVID-19. Hinshaw said the province is still feeling the impacts of Thanksgiving and the cases that were diagnosed as a result of many people gathering indoors in groups. “It only takes one person to start an outbreak,” Hinshaw said. “I am encouraging Albertans to begin preparing for a much different holiday season and begin thinking of creative ways to celebrate safely.” She added people can get together virtually or safely outdoors while social distancing. Hinshaw said the lowest risk for spread is to celebrate with your own household and as few other people as possible. Hinshaw's recommendations come as Alberta outpaces every other province for COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. On Tuesday, the province identified 1,307 new cases of COVID-19 after conducting 15,800 tests. The provincial positivity rate sits at 8.4 per cent. There are currently 16,628 active cases with 479 people in the hospital and 97 of those in intensive care. There were 10 more deaths reported in the past 24 hours. “I know this is a difficult time to grieve,” Hinshaw said.Jennifer Henderson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, St. Albert Gazette
Newly minted Regina University MLA Aleana Young asked her first question in question period on Dec. 1, focusing on supporting small business owners during the COVID-19 pandemic. The New Democratic Party MLA is critic for economy, jobs, SaskBuilds and SaskPower. “Things are grim for many of our province’s small business owners, the heartbeat of the economy, and unfortunately, they're currently living in a worst of both worlds scenario. Businesses are being told to stay open, yet their customers are being urged to stay home,” Young said. “While this month should be the busiest for most retailers, the government has concocted a recipe for economic disaster that shuts many out from federal support. Not only are businesses shuttering and people losing their jobs, this government seems to believe its own spin that they haven't effectively shut down the economy. How many businesses, and how long does this government believe they can operate that 50 per cent, at 30 per cent, or at 25 per cent capacity, and for how long? What is this government's plan to help Saskatchewan small businesses?” In reply, Minister of Trade and Export Development Jeremy Harrison said, “The reality is that this government has stepped up with the most comprehensive supports for small business of any jurisdiction in the entire country. “We worked incredibly closely with our business community, through all facets of the pandemic. We came forward with the Small Business Emergency Payment early on in the pandemic, to support small businesses. Sixty-five hundred small businesses took advantage of that program, over $30 million distributed through that process. We then came forward with the Tourism Sector Support Program, which was the benchmark for supporting the tourism and hospitality industries in the entire country. Over $35 million allocated to that program, over 450 businesses supported directly and designed very closely in consultation with the leadership from that industry. The results have been positive. We've seen the lowest unemployment rate in the entire country, by a significant margin. We've seen merchandise exports leading the country in growth. We're going to be continuing and have been continuing to work very, very closely with our business community, and I would encourage the member opposite to stay tuned.” Young campaigned in the election during her last month of pregnancy, and gave birth to a daughter just days before election day. She won her seat in one of the closest races in the election, defeating incumbent cabinet minister Tina Beaudry-Mellor. Young has had her newborn daughter with her in the house at times. Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
Yukon's health minister says the territorial government has a plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccines when they become available.But neither Health Minister Pauline Frost nor Premier Sandy Silver would offer many details about what's actually in the plan.In Question Period Tuesday, Opposition Leader Stacey Hassard said the public needs more information."All we are asking for is for the minister to provide a copy of that plan to Yukoners so that they can understand what is going on here," he said.Frost both accused the Yukon Party of spreading false information and fear mongering without offering specifics. "For us to come out now and say 'Here's a whole bunch of plans for a whole bunch options,' we're not going to do that right now and we're definitely not going to make news announcements on the floor of the Legislative Assembly," Silver said.Silver did suggest that the government's exact plan will change based on which of the vaccines nearing regulatory approval the Yukon gets first.Pfizer's vaccine, for instance, has to be stored at -80 C to remain stable. That means special freezers are required to transport and store it. Yesterday, federal Procurement Minister Anita Anand said vaccines also require qualified shippers and promised details about distribution are coming soon."What the [health] department is doing is game theory, which is every single option, making sure we have considered all of the variables that would be used depending on who gets that authorization first from Health Canada, and when," Silver said. NDP Leader Kate White said the public deserves to know what the plan is."Plans can change and plans can be adapted, and no one argues or or disagrees with that," she said. "But even having an idea of what the starting [point] is, instead of speaking in generalities, I think what really folks are looking for right now is specifics."
Le Centre le Volet des femmes d’Aguanish reçoit un don de 25 000 $ de la part de Rio Tinto. Le centre fait partie des 12 refuges pour femmes et organismes locaux choisis par la multinationale, qui leur fait don d’un total de 360 000 $. La Maison des femmes de Sept-Îles et le centre d’hébergement Tipinuaikan d’Uashat mak Mani-utenam récoltent aussi 25 000 $ chacun. La contribution de Rio Tinto permettra à ces organismes de continuer à fournir différents services de soutien aux femmes et à leurs familles, dont des refuges sûrs, des conseils, des ateliers et des activités pour les enfants, entre autres. La coordonnatrice du Centre le Volet des femmes d’Aguanish, Francine Blais, se réjouit de ce don. « On est très heureux d’avoir été reconnus. Ça va nous donner un coup de pouce pour la poursuite de nos activités dans le milieu. » L’organisme n’a pas encore décidé de la répartition du montant entre les points de service d’Aguanish et d’Havre-Saint-Pierre ni de ce à quoi l’argent servira. L’annonce du don de Rio Tinto a été faite le 25 novembre, soit la Journée internationale pour l’élimination de la violence à l’égard des femmes.Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
Armanti Edwards is a receiver by trade but a quarterback at heart. The 32-year-old American continues to prepare for his first CFL season with the Edmonton Football Club after the league cancelled the 2020 campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But before coming to Canada, the five-foot-11, 183-pound Edwards was a standout college quarterback — including being at the helm for one of the most famous upsets in NCAA history.Edwards remains convinced he could've played the position professionally."If it was up to me I'd be playing quarterback but I'm the employee, not the employer.," Edwards said during a telephone interview Tuesday. "There's no doubt in my mind I could, otherwise I wouldn't have been playing the position to begin with."My quarterback days are long gone now . . . I've moved on. Obviously at the beginning of my professional career it was very disappointing because that's the position I played since I was six years old and was one of the reasons why I was in love with the game."Edwards enjoyed a successful tenure at Appalachian State, leading the North Carolina school to its second and third straight Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division 1-AA) titles in 2006 and 2007. In the latter year, Edwards led the Mountaineers to a stunning 34-32 upset of Michigan, passing for 227 yards and three TDs while rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown before more than 109,000 fans at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.Edwards became the first player to win the Walter Payton Award — given annually to the FCS's top offensive performer — in consecutive years (2008-09) and twice overall. He started 49-of-51 college games, passing for 10,392 yards with 74 touchdowns and 33 interceptions while rushing for 4,361 yards (5.8-yard average) and 65 TDs.Edwards was taken in the third round, No. 89 overall, of the 2010 NFL draft by Carolina. But he had twice as many catches (six for 131 yards) as pass attempts (three, completing two for 11 yards) ) over four seasons with the Panthers and Cleveland Browns before being among the Chicago Bears' final 2014 cuts.Edwards was out of football until 2016 when he joined the CFL's Saskatchewan Roughriders as a receiver. He was dealt to Toronto the following year and spent three seasons with the Argonauts — winning a Grey Cup in 2017 and registering career highs in catches (69), yards (1,014) and touchdowns (seven) in 2019 — before signing with Edmonton as a free agent.Based upon his background and experience at quarterback, Edwards wasn't the least bit surprised Sunday when receiver Kendall Hinton struggled mightily in his first NFL start at QB for the Denver Broncos.Denver activated Hinton, a rookie, from the practice roster hours before its 31-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Hinton, who played quarterback at Wake Forest before switching to receiver in his senior season, was pressed into action after all four of Denver's quarterbacks went on the reserve/COVID-19 list.Predictably, Hinton had trouble, finishing 1-of-9 passing for 13 yards with two interceptions."There's a lot of hard work and preparation that goes into it," Edwards said. "It takes all of training camp and sometimes even a few games into the season for a starting quarterback to get into sync with everything and everyone."All season you have a quarterback working with his receivers, the running backs and offensive line and now you've got a guy back there who hasn't played the position all season? That's pretty hard."In his younger days, Edwards looked up to former NFL star Michael Vick, a fellow left-hander who routinely made big plays with his arm and legs. At six feet and 215 pounds, Vick was bigger than Edwards. Often in pro football, players are judged more for their physical traits than playing ability."It's all an eye test, that's what today's game is all about," Edwards said. "It's not about what you've done on film, to me personally."And although Edwards said making the transition to receiver wasn't easy, he credits the CFL for reigniting his love for the game."Before I decided to go across the border, I'd pretty much hung up my cleats," Edwards said. "But I didn't want to end my career like that so coming to Canada rekindled that love."I was given the opportunity to actually play the position of receiver in games and that's what helped me to continue to grow."While the cancellation of the '20 CFL season wasn't ideal, it has provided Edwards some benefits. He's had the chance to heal physically and spend time with his wife and their two children (a 15-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son)."At this point and time in my career, I'm in my 30s so I pretty much know how my body responds and I listen to my body," he said. "It's been a blessing to be able to sit down and let my body heal and enjoy my family."But I'm looking forward to getting to Edmonton and playing with a guy like (quarterback) Trevor Harris who's been on playoff and Grey Cup-contending teams before. I know what's at stake and the opportunity we have and that's what I'm looking forward to, (winning) a Grey Cup ring."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.Dan Ralph, The Canadian Press
RCMP in southern Alberta are asking for the public's help in finding a missing 41-year-old woman and her three children. Police say Jessie Foyston and her children were last spoken to by a family member during the first week of November. Bow Island RCMP also say neighbours have not seen Foyston recently. They say she is new to the community of Bow Island and has no other connections to the area. Foyston is believed to be driving an older model white Chevy Suburban, but police say the licence plate is unknown. Police say she has a 12-year-old son and two daughters ages 10 and five. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is threatening to veto a defence policy bill unless it ends protections for internet companies that shield them from being held liable for material posted by their users.On Twitter Tuesday night, Trump took aim at Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, which protects companies that can host trillions of messages from being sued into oblivion by anyone who feels wronged by something someone else has posted — whether their complaint is legitimate or not.Trump called Section 230 “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” adding, “Therefore, if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill.”Trump has been waging war against social media companies for months, claiming they are biased against conservative voices.In October he signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies to ask independent rule-making agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, to study whether they can place new regulations on the companies.Since losing the presidential election, Trump has flooded social media with unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. Twitter has tagged many such Trump tweets with the advisory, “This claim about election fraud is disputed.”Tuesday's veto threat is another potential roadblock for the passage of the annual defence policy measure, which is already being held up in Congress by a spat over military bases named for Confederate officers. The measure, which has passed for 59 years in a row on a bipartisan basis, guides Pentagon policy and cements decisions about troop levels, new weapons systems and military readiness, military personnel policy and other military goals.The Associated Press
Tuesday was the final day for Saskatchewan schools to submit funding applications to the Ministry of Education for the second round of COVID-19 funding. “The second round of COVID contingency funding will ensure schools remain a safe place for students, staff and families,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said. “These applications are in addition to our $51 million allocated in the first round of applications.” The funding comes from the more than $150 million in the COVID contingency fund for education from provincial, federal and school division savings. The funds will be used for sanitation, furniture and equipment, remote learning (for immunocompromised and other students) and IT costs not associated to remote learning. Applications are expected to be submitted by school divisions, qualified independent schools and historical high schools. The ministry will then adjudicate the applications based on the criteria and will notify applicants in early December. According to the Ministry there is $64 million remaining for the second round of applications in the COVID contingency fund for education. Before school began in September, $51 million was committed toward the first round of funding for school divisions and school applicants for emergent, one-time expenses associated with a safe return to school. Prior to the first funding intake, school divisions spent a combined $30 million on one-time school capital initiatives and preparations for the school year. The Ministry of Education has allocated $10 million for personal protective equipment expenses, of which $3.4 million has been spent to date. In the second round of COVID contingency funding for education applications, recipients of the first round of funding are required to report their detailed use of funds to the Ministry of Education.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
After nine long months of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns people around the world are truly feeling the emotional and physical crunch. Humans are social creatures and this pandemic has succeeded in separating us from one another more than anything else in recent memory. In our desperate attempts to slow the spread of the virus throughout our communities, much of what we commonly experience together as communal acts of collective joy have become greatly restricted or shut down completely. One of the areas hardest hit is the live music industry. Venues have closed up, and over time we have seen repeated announcements in the news that many will not be able to ride out the storm and reopen in the future. Festivals both large and small were forced to go on hiatus this year sending out waves of financial crisis through the entire industry, from the producers at the top to the thousands upon thousands of musicians who rely more than ever on live performance engagements for their livelihood. In an attempt to utilize digital media to bridge the wide physical expanse, many organizations working in the music industry have turned to live streaming over the Internet to remain connected with their audiences. One organization operating as a music industry hub is the non-profit Canada's Music Incubator - Canada's Music Incubator (CMI). “We’re national. So we're based out of Toronto, but we also do a lot of our programming in the west as well in Alberta, out of the National Music Centre,” said CMI Live Events director Jesse Mitchell. The centre is a music performance venue located in Calgary. Much of the work that CMI does involves live music curation, as well as connecting musicians and managers with promoters and performance opportunities. But the organization also goes beyond that by producing music industry workshops and mentorships which serve to educate music creators and to invigorate the Canadian music landscape. Because of CMI’s success over their 10-year history, Mitchell and his associates were approached by representatives at the TD Bank, an organization with a long and prominent history of sponsoring and supporting many high profile music and cultural events across Canada. During these times of quarantine TD was seeking alternatives to sponsoring live events and approached CMI to spearhead a nationally-produced streaming performance program. Together the two partners came up with the Connected Music Series. Produced over the last few months and premiering on CMI’s YouTube channel, the Connected Music Series features 20 performances by Black, Indigenous and South Asian musicians. The artists selected were asked to stage their performances at venues in their community that held significance to that place. CMI also had a mandate to include local creators and media production crews to capture the performances. “The series has a focus on showcasing artists, but at the same time we’re interested in also showcasing significant spaces,” Mitchell explained. “But because this is online and it’s being videoed, we’re also highlighting media creators who work in these different communities.” The Connected Music Series features 20 prerecorded 30-minute musical performances airing between Nov. 19 and Dec. 20. The series hosts an incredible selection of Canadian talent, including many acclaimed Indigenous artists such as 2020 JUNO Indigenous Artist of the Year Celeigh Cardinal; Mi'kmaq Rapper Wolf Castle; two-spirit Mohawk singer Shawnee; Cree R&B; musician Sebastian Gaskin; Mohawk musician Logan Staats, and Dene singer-songwriter Leela Gilday. The venues chosen by the performers range from the Ociciwan Contemporary Art Centre and the Art Gallery of Alberta, both in Edmonton, and the Pabineau First Nation Band Hall in Bathurst, N.B., to intimate locations like The Garden Strathcona in Vancouver and community-minded retail spaces like hip hop fashion store Friday Knights in Winnipeg. “There's lots of beautiful and incredible places where I could have taped my performance, but it was already winter here,” said Gilday, who makes her home in Yellowknife. “So shooting a half-hour performance outside in winter here is not possible because I play guitar.” “I chose the Bullock’s Bistro, which is our local fish and chips place, and it's like an iconic Yellowknife location.” Gilday appreciates the Yellowknife restaurant’s attraction as a community and tourist hub, established over the past three decades, and how “it’s connected to the water in a very special way.” Owners “Renata and Sam Bullock get their fish fresh out of Great Slave Lake literally a hundred feet away.” For Gilday, that speaks to her deeply about “food security and that connection to the water.” Whether locked down within the vast urban landscape of a city like Toronto or tucked in for the winter in the remote communities of Northern Canada there’s no denying the significance of how much digital media is helping to keep everyone connected in these trying times. Many of the artists featured in the series would normally be touring and performing in various corners of the world. During the pandemic, however, sponsored streaming events have been adopted by many producers and promoters to serve as an antidote to the moratorium placed on public gatherings and live music events. The Connected Music Series returns Dec. 3, streaming dynamic performances from unique Canadian locations by acclaimed Canadian BIPOC musicians and creators right through until Dec. 20. Visit the Connected Music Series YouTube channel to view the recorded performances so far. Windspeaker.com By David Owen Rama, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Windspeaker.com, Windspeaker.com