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
A fourth company has submitted its COVID-19 vaccine candidate for Health Canada approval, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Monday.Hajdu called the request for vaccine approval by Janssen Inc., a pharmaceutical subsidiary of U.S.-based multinational Johnson & Johnson, "a promising development for Canadians."Ottawa announced a deal with Janssen on Aug. 31 to secure up to 38 million doses of the vaccine — which requires only one dose to provide immunity instead of two.Janssen's vaccine is a non-replicating viral vector vaccine — based on viral material that has been genetically engineered so it can't replicate and cause disease.Johnson & Johnson began Phase 3 clinical trials in September, with a massive study that would test the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the United States, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.The trial was put on hold in early October as the company investigated an "unexplained illness" among one of the study's participants, but it was restarted just weeks later after the company reported finding no evidence that the vaccine had caused the volunteer to fall ill."Janssen is committed to bringing an affordable COVID-19 vaccine to the public on a not-for-profit basis for emergency pandemic use," the company said in a statement. Health Canada is evaluating three other vaccine candidates as part of what it calls a "rolling review process" that allows companies to submit data from clinical trials even as those trials are still underway.The regulator must approve a vaccine as safe and effective before it can be administered to Canadians. Health Canada is currently evaluating vaccine candidates from U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, from U.S. biotechnology company Moderna and from British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca. Canadians anxiously await vaccine approvalThe question of when a vaccine will be approved and distributed has become the subject of intense speculation and debate in Canada, as other countries, such as the U.S., U.K. and Germany, have announced plans to begin distributing their vaccines in December.Opposition politicians, some premiers and public health experts have criticized the Liberal government for falling behind other countries when it comes to approving vaccines and planning for their distribution.Despite the criticism, none of those countries has granted final approval for a vaccine as of yet.WATCH | Prime minister is asked about Johnson & Johnson's new vaccine candidate:The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a meeting for Dec. 10, during which independent public health experts will discuss whether to grant emergency-use approval to Pfizer's vaccine. Moderna's vaccine will be considered at a similar meeting one week after that.The European Medicines Agency — the regulator for the EU — will meet on Dec. 29 to consider data about the safety and efficacy of Pfizer's vaccine, and it could meet as early as Jan. 12 to consider Moderna's product.At a technical briefing with reporters last week, Health Canada's chief medical adviser said Health Canada is on track to make a decision on timelines similar to those of the U.S. and European regulators."Canadians can be sure that whatever Canada approves, in terms of vaccines, will only be done when it's entirely safe to do so," Hajdu told reporters on Tuesday.Premiers want answers on vaccine delivery The federal government has secured agreements with seven companies for up to 429 million doses — the most per capita of any country in the world, according to research from Duke University's Global Health Institute. By securing doses from a variety of vaccine makers before they are approved, Ottawa says it is increasing the chances it will have priority access to a successful vaccine even if some on the list don't make it through clinical trials.Officials have said an estimated six million doses could arrive in the first three months of 2021, but they have provided little detail on exactly when those doses will arrive or how they will be distributed.Ontario Premier Doug Ford said on Monday that he isn't satisfied with the lack of information coming from the federal government and called on the prime minister to specify a delivery date for the province's share of vaccines, adding that "the clock is ticking."Ford said he would speak directly to Pfizer on Monday afternoon to ask for details but expected to be told the information must come from Ottawa.Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole said the government's inability to specify a delivery timeline showed an "absence of leadership."Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has defended his government's procurement plan, arguing that Canada has secured access to a wide variety of potential vaccines that provide the country with multiple options.LISTEN | Trudeau speaks to Matt Galloway on CBC Radio's The Current:"Everyone wants to know when this is going to be over," Trudeau told CBC Radio's The Current on Tuesday. "What Canadians can know is we have the plan necessary to get through this, to get the vaccines here, to get the vaccines into people's arms, and we're going to do it with the provinces who have a high degree of expertise on this."Trudeau said Health Canada is working with the same data as regulators in the U.S. but that Canada will make its own decision on when and if to approve a vaccine."It is so important that these vaccines be safe for Canadians, and we're not going to cut any corners on making sure that, when Health Canada gives the thumbs up, that this vaccine is safe to go and to release into the population, [that] people can know that it will indeed be safe," Trudeau said.Last week, the federal government appointed Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the current chief of staff to the Canadian Joint Operations Command and a former commander of the NATO mission in Iraq, to lead the national COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort.
La Loche Mayor Georgina Jolibois says more inclusion and support for northern and Indigenous communities is key to surviving the pandemic. Jolibois handily won municipal elections in the northern village with 60 per cent of the vote in a three-way race when results were confirmed on November 10. Incumbent Robert St. Pierre announced in October that he would not seek reelection and retired from politics. “I'm very humbled and thankful for the support that I got. This election I saw a lot of young people in line to go vote,” Jolibois told the Daily Herald. Jolibois brings 12 years of mayoral experience to the table having previously served as mayor of La Loche from 2003 to 2015. She then served as NDP MP for the riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River until 2019 when she lost her bid for re-election to Conservative Gary Vidal. Jolibois said she will ensure that the community gets the support it needs to survive the pandemic and that issues facing La Loche, such as access to healthcare and economic opportunity, are part of a bigger problem in northern Saskatchewan. “Right now I am the mayor of La Loche and I represent the Northern Village of La Loche. However, the concerns that we have here, the issues that we have here, are similar throughout the north. Government ministries, provincial and federal, still have to do their part and support northern Saskatchewan,” Jolibois said. Jolibois said she’s concerned that conspiracy theories and misinformation about the coronavirus are taking a toll on her community, as they have throughout Canada and the United States. “The challenge that we face is that it's everywhere on social media, the conspiracy theories and the misinformation floating around saying that COVID-19 is not real, that is false. COVID-19 is very real,” Jolibois said. “There are people who are ill with COVID-19. And there are people who are in self isolation because they had contact with someone and those people in isolation and those people who are in recovery require support to ensure that they make it through and recover. The onus is on each individual to do their part to slow the spread and stop the spread of COVID-19.” She said she’s taking a teamwork approach with the health authority and regional leaders to tackle the problem. “It is very important for every leader to take this seriously. To take precautions as necessary. We're inundated with information on our TV channels, social media, YouTube, everywhere else. Precautions do work, wash your hands, wear a mask, maintain physical distance. So far in the community I support people who are taking this seriously, who are self-isolating and doing their part and who are recovering from COVID-19,” Jolibois said. “There are people who don't wear masks, there are people who don't believe that COVID is real but it's everywhere. So the message is that the government has to be consistent.” Unnecessary travel south is being discouraged, but Jolibois hopes that discrimination against northerners who do need to make trips south will stop. “The challenge that we faced in the spring, the horrific backlash that the community faced. I didn't appreciate the racism and the discrimination that people faced. We were denied appointments, because we were from La Loche or the northwest,” Jolibois said. “I felt that no one came to the community’s aid to say that discrimination is happening, racism is happening, let’s stop this. Many people feel and felt that that didn't happen. That was the labeling and negative impact. Now in Saskatchewan every region is a hot zone. Every region has COVID-19.” Jolibois said that poverty as a social determinant of health could be alleviated if more investments by government and industry circled back to where wealth is generated. While industries that operate in the north are “making Saskatchewan and Canada wealthy” she said that wealth isn’t being distributed the way that it should. “It is nice to get a few social programs, but other things are required. Like dollars for infrastructure, building facilities, employment, not just at the entry level, but the most senior levels,” Jolibois said. “It is important to acknowledge that there are First Nations and to also acknowledge there are Métis in our communities, and also to acknowledge northern municipalities. All three play a critical role in our communities. But when it comes to the government, ensuring that industry directly work with all three levels of government, it’s hit and miss.” Jolibois said that in order to prosper there needs to be an equal seat at the table for the north in Saskatchewan. “First of all, the government really should acknowledge that northern Saskatchewan is part of Saskatchewan. And show us that you really do mean working with us by providing us with the appropriate resources. To be at the standard of the rest of Saskatchewan,” Jolibois said. “It's important for northern Saskatchewan to have voices, and to speak to issues, Indigenous issues and other issues. It's important that our language and culture is protected. Our cultural identity and being Cree or Dene or Métis, First Nation or Inuit. It is important that truth and reconciliation happens for all of us. It's important for all of us to work toward betterment in our communities.” Michael Bramadat-Willcock, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Northern Advocate
TRAVAIL. S’inquiétant que la rémunération des salariés de l'administration publique accuse un retard grandissant par rapport à celle de l'ensemble des salariés québécois, le député de Rosemont et responsable pour Québec solidaire en matière de services publics, Vincent Marissal, appelle le gouvernement à commencer dès maintenant à combler cet écart dans le cadre des négociations avec les employés du secteur public. «La pandémie qui a frappé le Québec de plein fouet cette année nous a fait réaliser à quel point on a besoin d'une fonction publique forte pour offrir des services publics de qualité aux citoyens. L'écart important entre la rémunération des salariés de l'administration publique et celle des autres salariés a clairement un impact négatif sur la capacité du secteur public à attirer et retenir les travailleurs dont il a besoin pour remplir sa mission», déplore Vincent Marissal. Pour le député de Rosemont, cet écart de rémunération est un signal alarmant que l'État québécois doit offrir une meilleure rémunération aux salariés de l'administration publique. «Il est plus que temps que le gouvernement mette les bouchées doubles pour s'assurer que les salariés du secteur public bénéficient de rémunérations à la hauteur de l'importance de leur travail. La Présidente du Conseil du trésor ne peut plus faire fi de cette réalité et cela doit se refléter dans le cadre des négociations des employés du secteur public, qui doivent être l'occasion d'un début de rattrapage qui est plus que nécessaire», ajoute-t-il. Rappelons que selon les chiffres dévoilés par l'Institut de la statistique, l'écart de la rémunération globale entre les salariés de l'administration québécoise et les autres salariés du Québec est passé de 6,1 % en 2011 à plus de 9,2 % en 2020. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
L’Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) a présenté à la mi-novembre sa 12e édition du Panorama des régions du Québec. Parmi les faits saillants pour la Côte-Nord, l’ISQ indique un déclin marqué de la population depuis 2016, la croissance du produit intérieur brut (PIB) et une baisse du taux de chômage. D’une part, la Côte-Nord est la région québécoise qui a enregistré le déclin le plus marqué de sa population entre 2006 et 2019 avec un taux de -7,3 pour mille. Qui plus est, des six municipalités régionales de comté (MRC) qui composent la région, aucune ne comptait plus d’habitants en 2019 qu’en 2016. Au cours de cette période, la Minganie est passée de 6592 à 6445 résidents. La démographie négative de la Côte-Nord se chiffre à environ 6000 individus qui ont quitté le territoire depuis 2006. Le rapport note une perte de population chez les 64 ans et moins, dont une perte accentuée chez les 0-19 ans (23 423 versus 19 134 personnes). La région connaît cependant une hausse du nombre de 65 ans et plus. En 2019, un Nord-Côtier sur cinq est âgé de plus de 65 ans. De plus, l’âge moyen est passé de 38,8 ans en 2006 à 43,3 ans en 2019. L’amalgame de ces données laissent entrevoir que la région est bel et bien vieillissante. D’autre part, l’ISQ constate une hausse significative du taux d’emploi pour le regroupement Côte-Nord/Nord-du-Québec avec + 7,5 points entre 2009 et 2019. Le regroupement des deux régions fait partie des territoires qui ont enregistré la plus forte hausse du taux d’emploi pour cette période. Par ailleurs, le taux de chômage pour le regroupement a baissé de moitié depuis 2009, passant de 10 % à 4,8 % (2019). Le revenu disponible par habitant de la Côte-Nord augmente régulièrement depuis 2015, pour atteindre 29 426 $ en 2018, tout juste sous la moyenne québécoise (29 924 $). À l’échelle de la province, c’est dans la MRC de Caniapiscau que le revenu disponible par habitant est le plus élevé avec 40 385 $. En Minganie, il s’élève à 30 335 $. Pour une seconde année consécutive, le PIB nord-côtier est en croissance. Après + 3,7 points en 2017, le rapport signale une hausse de 6,1 points en 2018. La Côte-Nord est notamment la région qui enregistre la plus forte augmentation du PIB par habitant pour la même année (6,9 %). La région se distingue également par sa croissance de 15,3 % de production dans l’industrie d’extraction minière, de l’exploitation en carrière et de l’extraction de pétrole et de gaz. À noter que l’activité minière provinciale se concentre principalement en Côte-Nord, en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (+ 13,8 %) et dans le Nord-du-Québec (+ 9,4 %). La Côte-Nord est d’ailleurs passée au second rang des régions administratives en termes de valeur des livraisons minérales avec 2,61 milliards de dollars, soit le quart de la valeur totale de la province (10,73 G$). La valeur des livraisons minérales nord-côtières a bondi de 41,2 % par rapport à 2017. En ce qui a trait à l’éducation, un tiers de la population de 25 à 64 ans du regroupement Côte-Nord/Nord-du-Québec (28,7 %) détient un certificat ou un diplôme d’une école de métiers comme plus haut niveau de scolarité en 2019. Un peu moins d’un quart possède un certificat ou est diplômé au niveau collégial, et 17,5 % sont des diplômés universitaires. Le rapport précise aussi que plus d’hommes que de femmes ont fréquenté une école de métiers (35,6 % vs 20,4 %), mais que plus de femmes que d’hommes ont un certificat ou diplôme universitaire (11,6 % vs 24,6 %). Le taux d’obtention du diplôme d’études secondaires (DES) est similaire entre les deux sexes : 15,4 % pour les hommes et 14,6 % pour les femmes. Le Panorama des régions du Québec de l’ISQ dresse chaque année un portrait socioéconomique des 17 régions administratives de la province et des MRC qui les composent.Laurence Dami-Houle, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Portageur
CHICAGO — A federal judge on Tuesday struck down two Trump administration rules designed to drastically curtail the number of visas issued each year to skilled foreign workers.The changes applying to the H-1B visa program announced in October include imposing salary requirements on companies employing skilled overseas workers and limits on specialty occupations. Department of Homeland Security officials deemed it a priority because of coronavirus-related job losses and estimated as many as one-third of those who have applied for H-1B's in recent years would be denied under the new rules.U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in California said the government didn't follow transparency procedures and its contention that the changes were an emergency response to pandemic job losses didn’t hold water because the Trump administration has floated the idea for some time but only published the rules in October.“The COVID-19 pandemic is an event beyond defendants’ control, yet it was within defendants’ control to take action earlier than they did,” White wrote.The U.S. issues up to 85,000 H-1B visas each year in sectors including technology, engineering and medicine. Usually, they’re issued for three years and renewable. Most of the nearly 600,000 H-1B visa holders in the U.S. are from India and China.The H-1B rules announced weeks before the election were part of President Donald Trump's wider agenda to curb nearly all forms of immigration. In June, he issued an order temporarily suspending the H-1B program until the end of the year.The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and universities including the California Institute of Technology sued in California, arguing there wasn’t adequate notice or time for the public to comment on the changes. They also said the rules, particularly related to requiring a prevailing wage for visa-holders, would have a drastic impact on new hires and “sever the employment relationship of hundreds of thousands of existing employees in the United States."The University of Utah cited an example where an H-1B employee seeking renewal was paid an $80,000 salary but would have to be paid $208,000 under the new rule.The judge agreed that the federal government didn’t make a case for implementing the rules under the Administrative Procedure Act, which makes agencies accountable to the public by requiring a detailed process for enacting regulations.“Defendants failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the APA’s notice and comment requirements,” White wrote.The rule on wages, proposed by the Department of Labor, took effect in October, while the Homeland Security rule on occupations and other issues was supposed to take effect Monday. It also would have placed limits on “offsite” firms that employ and contract out H-1B visa holders to other companies; their visas would have been limited to one year at a time."This is incredibly important decision to preserve the H-1B program,” said attorney Paul Hughes, who represented the plaintiffs. “This ruling enables those individuals to maintain their jobs and their families in the United States.”The Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that the ruling “has many companies across various industries breathing a huge sigh of relief,” with the visa changes having "the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the operations of many businesses.”Messages left Tuesday for spokespeople with the Labor and Homeland Security departments weren’t immediately returned.The wage rule has prompted at least two other federal lawsuits in New Jersey and Washington, D.C.___Follow Sophia Tareen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sophiatareen.Sophia Tareen, The Associated Press
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times Eastern):7:50 p.m.British Columbia is reporting 656 new cases of COVID-19 today, with 8,796 active cases across the province.There have been 16 additional deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities to 457 since the pandemic began.In a joint statement, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix say 336 people are being treated in hospital for COVID-19, and 76 of them are in intensive care.Another 10,123 people are being monitored after they were exposed to a known case of the novel coronavirus.\---2 p.m.Nova Scotia is reporting 10 new cases of COVID-19.Public health officials say all the new cases were found in the central zone, bringing the province's total active case count to 142.Rapid testing was administered at pop-up sites Monday in both Wolfville and Halifax and no cases were found at either site.A total of 4,138 COVID-19 tests were administered in the province Monday.\---1:50 p.m.Public health officials in New Brunswick are reporting seven new cases of COVID-19 in the province Tuesday.Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says there are four new cases in the Saint John zone and three new cases in the Fredericton zone.There are currently 116 active cases in the province, and there have been 508 cases in New Brunswick since the pandemic began.There have been seven deaths and no one is in hospital.\---1:35 p.m.Manitoba is reporting 282 new COVID-19 cases and a record 16 deaths. The test positivity rate remains high at 13 per cent, and Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on business openings and public gatherings may have to remain in place for some time.\---1:10 p.m.Quebec Premier Francois Legault says his government will decide in 10 days whether the province's COVID-19 situation will allow for multi-household gatherings at Christmas.He says an increase in hospitalizations is straining the health-care network, and some hospitals are nearing the limit of how many COVID-19 patients they can treat.The premier says the situation in hospitals and the toll on health-care workers will be the most important factors in determining the plan for Christmas, adding that things are not headed in the right direction.Legault had announced last month that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed between Dec. 24 and 27.\---1 p.m.Another measure to limit the spread of COVID-19 took effect in Yukon today, as masks are now mandatory in all indoor, public spaces.Yukon's chief medical officer of health Dr. Brendan Hanley says everyone over the age of five who does not have a medical exemption will be required to wear a mask.The order imposed under Yukon's Civil Emergency Measures Act carries a fine of up to $500 but Hanley says Yukon residents will first be given a chance to adapt before any enforcement begins.Premier Sandy Silver reports eight new cases of COVID-19 in the territory since the briefing last Tuesday, bringing the total number to 47 since the start of the pandemic.Seventeen cases are still considered active, but none related to community transmission.\---12:55 p.m.Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says when looking at people experiencing the most severe illness, older Canadians are more at risk than younger Canadians with pre-existing conditions.She says that suggests after the initial round of vaccines goes to people in high-risk living or work situations, like long-term care centres and hospital staff, the next round of immunizations should be done by age, with the oldest Canadians at the front of the line.\---12:52 p.m.Manitoba handed out 100 tickets to people not following public health orders last week.The provincial government brought in restrictions three weeks ago to deal with surging COVID-19 case numbers that set strict limits on public gatherings and require non-essential businesses to close.Two churches that held services recently are among the establishments that have been ticketed.\---12:50 p.m.Newfoundland and Labrador is reporting one new case of COVID-19.The case affects a man in his 50s who returned to the province from work in British Columbia.Health officials say the man is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway.Newfoundland and Labrador has 33 active COVID-19 cases, with 339 cases confirmed since the onset of the pandemic.\---12:35 p.m.Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister says restrictions on public gatherings and business openings could continue into the winter.Pallister says with cold weather ahead, there's a risk of greater COVID-19 transmission as more people stay, and perhaps gather, indoors.Manitoba's daily rise in cases has levelled off somewhat after spiking last month, but health officials say it is still straining the health-care system.\---12:25 p.m.Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Canada was one of the first countries to sign a deal to get doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna.She says it was also the fourth to sign a deal with Pfizer, and the first country without the ability to mass produce the vaccine domestically to sign with AstraZeneca.Anand says there has been "significant misinformation" about the doses procured and when they will arrive.\---11:50 a.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is taking on billions of dollars in more debt to protect Canadians from having to do the same thing.Trudeau says the average credit card interest rate is more than 19 per cent, and that it makes more sense for Ottawa to shoulder more of the burden through the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn because it can borrow at rates now close to zero.The prime minister also says his government has no intention to start cutting spending at this time, saying now is not the time for austerity.The fall economic update released Monday proposed $25 billion in new spending to help Canadian businesses and workers make it through a COVID-19 winter promised tens of billions more to help the country recover once the pandemic passes.\---11:40 a.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government is launching efforts to support two more northern communities that are struggling with COVID-19.The Canadian Red Cross is sending specialists to the predominantly Inuit community of Arviat in Nunavut, which has seen dozens of cases.The Canadian Rangers are also being deployed to Hatchet Lake First Nation in northern Saskatchewan, where Trudeau says they will provide health services and support elders.\---11:35 a.m.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says 80 per cent of the money spent to support and protect Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic has come from the federal government.The prime minister says that includes tens of millions of rapid tests that are starting to be distributed across the country, as well as billions of doses of yet-to-be-delivered COVID-19 vaccines.Trudeau says Canada is guaranteed to receive some of the first doses of the vaccine produced by U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna once it has been approved by Health Canada.The Moderna vaccine candidate is one of four currently being reviewed by the department.\---11:30 a.m.Prince Edward Island's chief health officer says she expects the COVID-19 vaccine to begin arriving in her province in January 2021.Dr. Heather Morrison says discussions are continuing between the federal and provincial governments around vaccine allocation, distribution, procurement and logistics.She says P.E.I. will be following the national recommendations for priority groups to be immunized, but all Islanders who want the vaccine will receive it over time.Morrison says it will take many months for all Islanders to be immunized.She said the arrival date and the actual number of doses will be made public once the details are known.\---11:05 a.m.Quebec is reporting 1,177 new cases of COVID-19 today and 28 additional deaths associated with the novel coronavirus.According to public health authorities, three of those deaths took place during the past 24 hours and the rest occurred earlier.The Health Department says 719 people are currently in hospital, an increase of 26 from the previous day. Of those, 98 people are in intensive care, an increase of four from the previous day.Quebec has reported 143,548 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 7,084 deaths associated with the virus.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.The Canadian Press
Ottawa's finance and economic development committee approved a revitalization strategy for the ByWard Market on Tuesday — a plan that would see wider sidewalks, a new "destination building," and fewer cars in the downtown neighbourhood. City staff expect the plan to cost $129 million but there's no clear plan yet of who would pay for it. Tuesday's report said funding would come from a combination of sources, including: government, public-private partnership as well as borrowing against assets where it makes sense to do so.The ByWard Market public realm plan has been in development for two years and includes input from local businesses, the ByWard Market Business Improvement Area, public consultations, online surveys as well as comments from local residents, the city's report said.The neighbourhood is currently "struggling," the report said, and the public realm plan intends to physically transform the area "to ensure it remains a place befitting to define Ottawa's image."Among the changes, the plan would see York Street closed to traffic for special events, the expansion of sidewalks and other pedestrian spaces, an incremental reduction to car traffic, more greenery and trees, better lighting, additional meeting spaces and benches, as well as the construction of a "destination building" at 70 Clarence Street.The new facility would provide accessible washrooms, indoor bike parking and, potentially, underground parking, according to the plan. The current ByWard Market Building would however remain the "anchor" for the district. "A key goal of the public realm plan is to shift the perception of the market from a vehicular-oriented space to one where pedestrians come first," said the city's report.City council considers the plan at its next meeting on Dec. 9.
Two crew members on a container ship anchored in Vancouver's English Bay were seriously injured after a lifeboat unexpectedly plunged into the water during a drill on Tuesday.According to the Canadian Coast Guard, the accident happened at about 1:15 p.m. Both crew members were on the lifeboat when it was released from the ship, and it was sinking when rescuers were called.Coast guard officers, the Vancouver Police Department's marine unit and the Vancouver Port Authority all responded to the mayday call.A vessel from the Kitsilano Coast Guard station was on scene within 10 minutes, according to a spokesperson, and paramedics treated the two injured people for "significant injuries."According to B.C. Emergency Health Services, the patients were taken to hospital in serious condition, but they are both stable.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed dined at a posh Napa Valley restaurant the day after California's governor was there. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo went to his parents' house for Thanksgiving. And a Los Angeles County supervisor dined outdoors just hours after voting to ban outdoor dining there.All three local officials were on the hot seat Tuesday after various reports that they violated rules aimed at controlling the spread of the coronavirus — or at a minimum, violating the spirit of the rules as they repeatedly urged others to stay home.Breed joined seven others at the three Michelin-starred French Laundry on Nov. 7 to celebrate the 60th birthday of socialite Gorretti Lo Lui, the mayor's spokesman confirmed to the San Francisco Chronicle. She dined in the same kind of partially enclosed indoor/outdoor room Gov. Gavin Newsom celebrated in a day earlier.Newsom, who has appealed to Californians to “do your part" and stay home, apologized when the 12-person dinner was reported, then again when photos emerged showing him, his wife and others sitting close together at the same table without masks.Breed's spokesman, Jeff Cretan, called the mayor's French Laundry dinner a “small family birthday dinner." He did not immediately respond to a telephone message Tuesday inquiring whether the dinner involved more than three different households, which are prohibited under the state's rules.Before the Chronicle's story was posted Tuesday, Breed thanked residents for doing their part by limiting contact with others, saying on a live stream that “as someone who basically lives alone, it’s been a tough year for me personally."Earlier in the day, Liccardo apologized for attending a Thanksgiving get-together at his parents' home that included people from five different households.“I apologize for my decision to gather contrary to state rules, by attending this Thanksgiving meal with my family," Liccardo said in a statement. “I understand my obligation as a public official to provide exemplary compliance with the public health orders, and certainly not to ignore them. I commit to do better.”Liccardo said there were eight members from five different households and that they all dined outside at separate tables on the back patio, wearing masks when they were not eating.The outing was first reported by KNTV in San Jose.A day earlier, Liccardo tweeted that cases were spiking because people were letting their guard down with family members and friends. “Let’s cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on keeping each other safe," he wrote.Meanwhile, KTTV in Los Angeles reported that LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl enjoyed an outdoor meal at a restaurant just hours after voting last week to ban outdoor dining at the county’s 31,000 restaurants over coronavirus safety concerns.Kuehl was seen eating outside on Nov. 24 at Il Forno Trattoria near her home in Santa Monica, the station reported. Earlier in the day, Kuehl was among the supervisors who voted 3 to 2 to prohibit outdoor dining in Los Angeles County. Indoor dining has been banned for months during the pandemic.“She did dine al fresco at Il Forno on the very last day it was permissible," Kuehl’s office said in a statement Monday. "She loves Il Forno, has been saddened to see it, like so many restaurants, suffer from a decline in revenue. She ate there, taking appropriate precautions, and sadly will not dine there again until our Public Health Orders permit."Los Angeles County imposed a new stay-at-home order for its 10 million residents effective this week as coronavirus cases surge across the state and country.During last week's Board of Supervisors meeting, Kuehl referred to outside dining as “a most dangerous situation” because of the possibility of virus transmission among unmasked patrons.“This is a serious health emergency and we must take it seriously,” Kuehl said.Juliet Williams, 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
WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government has signed a pay agreement that will allow nurses to be shifted to priority areas in the fight against COVID-19. It says the agreement with the Manitoba Nurses Union will allow nurses to be redeployed in personal care homes, intensive care units and designated COVID-19 units. Health Minister Cameron Friesen says it will allow for changes to work assignments, locations, schedules and shifts to support the changing needs of hospital patients and care home residents. He says nurses affected by these changes, including those already working in facilities dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, will get extra pay. The agreement also establishes a COVID-19 northern allowance for staff redeployed to the north, as well as an allowance for current northern nurses who work in one community but pick up additional shifts elsewhere in the region. Union president Darlene Jackson says the deal will help keep nurses on the job and give them some security and recognition. "Nurses have played a critical role on the front line of Manitoba's pandemic response and they have stepped up to the challenge, working countless long hours to provide quality care for patients and residents," Jackson said Tuesday in a release. Friesen said the government’s top priority is ensuring patients and care home residents are provided with the best possible care. "Thousands of nurses working in personal care homes and hospitals across the province are making an enormous difference in our province's fight against COVID-19," he said in a release. "This agreement also recognizes many nurses on the front line of the COVID-19 response for their dedication, commitment and compassion at a critical time." Details of the agreement, which is to be in place for the duration of the pandemic, were not released. The union says it has 12,000 members and represents registered nurses, registered psychiatric nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners and operating room technicians. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020 The Canadian Press
British Columbia has seen more COVID-19 deaths over the past two weeks than the preceding two months because the virus has found its way back into nursing homes. And with long-term care workers exhausted and families frustrated, it's not clear what can be done.
DELTA, B.C. — A man has critical injuries after the vehicle he was driving plunged about nine metres from a BC Ferries exit ramp to the pavement below. BC Ferries spokeswoman Deborah Marshall says the incident occurred Tuesday at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal as vehicles were leaving the vessel Coastal Renaissance, which had arrived from the Duke Point terminal near Nanaimo. She says the vehicle accelerated sharply after it left the vessel and crashed through a concrete barrier on the upper exit ramp, landing on its roof on the road below. A statement from BC Emergency Health Services says several paramedic crews were dispatched to the scene and the patient was transported to hospital in critical condition. Marshall says the man, who was driving a crew-cab pickup truck, was the lone occupant of the vehicle and no one else was hurt. Marshall says the man was conscious and talking after the incident. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020. The Canadian Press
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
NEW YORK — Authorities on Tuesday announced the indictment of 18 people, including New York City rapper Casanova, in connection to a litany of gang-related crimes including racketeering, murder, drugs, firearms, and fraud offences.Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss and other law enforcement officials issued a statement accusing those named in the indictment of being part of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang, operating in New York City and part of New York state.Authorities said 17 of the 18 named in the indictment were in custody. The FBI’s New York office issued a tweet saying Casanova, whose legal name is Caswell Senior, was still being sought.“Members of Gorilla Stone committed terrible acts of violence, trafficked in narcotics, and even engaged in brazen fraud by exploiting benefits programs meant to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," Strauss said in the statement.One of those indicted was accused in connection with the Sept. 21 killing of a minor in Poughkeepsie, New York. The others were indicted in connection to charges including assault, drug distribution and weapons possession. Two people were charged with falsely using other people's identity information to file for COVID-19 unemployment benefits.Casanova, currently signed to Roc Nation, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and firearms possession.Emails were sent to Roc Nation and the rapper's representative seeking comment.The Associated Press
MADISON, Wis. — President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Wisconsin seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state's two most Democratic counties, a longshot attempt to overturn Joe Biden's win in a battleground state he lost by nearly 20,700 votes.Trump filed the day after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and the chairwoman of the Wisconsin Elections Commission certified Biden as the winner of the state's 10 Electoral College votes. Trump asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to take the case directly, rather than have it start in a lower court, and order Evers to withdraw the certification.The Wisconsin Supreme Court gave Evers until 8:30 p.m. Tuesday to respond to the lawsuit, an unusually tight deadline that speaks to how quickly the court is likely to decide the case.The state's highest court, controlled 4-3 by conservatives, also is considering whether to hear two other lawsuits filed by conservatives seeking to invalidate ballots cast during the presidential election. Separately, two Wisconsin Republicans filed a new federal lawsuit Tuesday that mirrors some of Trump's claims and asks a judge to declare him the winner in Wisconsin.Trump's lawsuit repeats many claims he made during a recount of votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties that large swaths of absentee votes were illegally cast. Local officials rejected his claims during the recount, and Trump is challenging procedures that have been in place for years and never been found to be illegal.Trump is not challenging any ballots cast in conservative counties he won.Biden campaign spokesman Nate Evans called the lawsuit “completely baseless and not rooted in facts on the ground." Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said it was “without merit.”Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, noted that the lawsuit doesn't allege that anyone was ineligible to vote, but instead seeks to create a two-tiered election system where voters in Dane and Milwaukee counties are disenfranchised “under much stricter rules than citizens in the rest of the state.”Trump's Wisconsin attorney, Jim Troupis, said in a statement that voters "deserve election processes with uniform enforcement of the law, plain and simple.”Similar Trump campaign lawsuits have failed in other battleground states.In Phoenix, a judge has scheduled a Thursday trial in Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward’s lawsuit that seeks to annul Biden’s victory in the state. A judge is letting Ward’s lawyers and experts compare the signatures on 100 mail-in ballot envelopes with signatures on file to determine whether there were any irregularities. Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office, which certified Arizona’s election results on Monday, said there was no factual basis for conducting such a review.Trump is running out of time to have his legal cases heard. The Electoral College is scheduled to meet on Dec. 14 and Congress is to count the votes on Jan. 6.Trump's Wisconsin lawsuit seeks to discard 170,140 absentee ballots where there was not a written application on file and all absentee ballots cast in person during the two weeks before Election Day.People who vote in person early fill out a certification envelope for their ballot that serves as the written record. But the vast majority of absentee requests these days are made online, with a voter’s name entered into an electronic log with no paper record.Trump wants to toss 5,517 ballots where election clerks filled in missing address information on the certification envelope where the ballot is inserted. The practice has been in place for at least the past 11 elections, and the state elections commission told clerks it was OK.Trump also challenges 28,395 absentee ballots where a voter declared themselves to be “indefinitely confined” under the law. Such a declaration exempts voters from having to show photo identification to cast a ballot. The Wisconsin Supreme Court in March ruled that it is up to individual voters to determine whether they are indefinitely confined, a designation used by nearly four times as many voters this year than in 2016 due to the coronavirus pandemic.Trump also alleges that Madison opened illegal voting sites when the city held events at parks where election workers accepted 17,271 completed absentee ballots from voters looking to avoid crowds and mail delays. City officials said the poll workers at the 220 parks served the same purpose as ballot drop boxes.The federal lawsuit came from Bill Feehan, the La Crosse County Republican Party chairman, and Derrick Van Orden, who ran unsuccessfully for Congress this year in western Wisconsin. Sidney Powell, a firebrand conservative attorney who was removed from Trump's legal team, is among the lawyers.Van Orden said after the lawsuit was filed that he had spoken with someone in Powell's office about the case but had not given permission to be named as a litigant. Van Orden said he tried calling Powell to ask that his name be removed but could not get through. Powell did not immediately respond to an Associated Press email seeking comment.“Why they would want me on there, I'm not quite sure,” Van Orden said.The same lawsuit asks for 48 hours of security footage from the “TCF Center,” which is in Detroit, not in Wisconsin.Also Tuesday, Republicans on the Wisconsin Elections Commission asked the Democratic chairwoman to resign after she finalized election results on Monday. They argued the commission should have been involved with that process, while the chair, who refused to resign, said she was following state law and precedent.Scott Bauer, The Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A second inmate at an Alaska prison experiencing a coronavirus outbreak has died from complications related to COVID-19, as the total number of active cases at the state's largest prison has reached 480, the Alaska Department of Corrections said Tuesday. The 77-year-old with underlying health issues, who was serving sentences for sexual abuse and release violations, died Monday after being taken to a Palmer hospital on Nov. 22, the department said. It's the second death of an inmate related to COVID-19 that has been reported by the department. The first was last month. In each case, the department declined to release the names of the individuals, citing privacy concerns. Both were inmates at Goose Creek Correctional Center near Wasilla, which has been experiencing a coronavirus outbreak. The department said it offered tests to about 1,300 inmates at the prison to try to find undetected cases. Results brought the facility's active case count to 480, with results in 120 cases pending and another roughly 190 inmates considered recovered, the department said. Sarah Gallagher, a department spokesperson, said it “can only offer and recommend testing" — not require it — but she said there were few refusals to be tested. The total inmate population at the prison stood at about 1,260 on Tuesday, she said. In housing units that have had positive tests, those who have tested negative are retested every three days until there are no additional positive results in the unit for 14 days, the department said. Dr. Robert Lawrence, the department's chief medical officer, said “testing sweeps” provide a picture of spread that has occurred and allow officials to "target isolation and quarantine strategies to particular areas in the facility in order to flatten the curve of the spread.” Inmate housing is determined by test results and clinical status, and staff members are required to wear masks in the prison and undergo screenings before their shifts, the department said. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and death. The Associated Press
Leftover garbage is hardly part of anybody's good memories about their backcountry experience, but a Kelowna couple has managed to collect and recycle an impressive amount of it during their vacations. And, over the seven years they've been doing it, they have donated all the proceeds, nearly $13,000 from hundreds of thousands of returned cans, to local charities. This year, Okanagan farmer Raymond Imbeau and his partner Barbara Kitz made out a cheque for $3,200 to Central Okanagan Search and Rescue after returning 32,000 cans that were collected over the past 12 months.Half of the cans were collected along their summer trails in the Okanagan and Similkameen region from June to October of this year. The other half were collected in downtown Kelowna from last October to this June.Imbeau crushed all the empty cans at home before dropping them into 111 separate garbage bags, making numerous trips to recycling depots.It's the largest amount they've ever collected in a single year during the seven years they've been picking up recyclables on their all-terrain vehicle.It turns out there's no shortage of empty cans in the backcountry."We found Bud and Bud Light and Milwaukee [beer cans]," said Kitz.But the pair also discovered other kinds of rubbish during their trips, which they couldn't pick up. "This year, [there was] a microwave, bread machine, a barbecue … mattresses, a leather couch," she said. "[This] just makes me sick to my stomach … People are literally just dumping their refuse."Imbeau feels that he has the obligation to clean the trails. "I spend all my time outdoors and I just didn't like seeing all the garbage thrown out," he said.In the previous two years, the couple recycled a total of 28,000 cans and also donated the proceeds to Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. Before that, they donated their recycling refunds to other non-profits, including the Salvation Army.
Muskan Jiwa might be too young to drink espresso, but knowing how to spell the word helped her win a national spelling bee.Jiwa, a Grade 7 student at Edmonton's Dr. Donald Massey School, won the junior category of the Spelling Bee of Canada championships on Nov. 29. Junior spellers are aged nine to 11. After placing third in last year's competition, Jiwa made winning her goal.An avid reader, she spent hours preparing for the competition by looking up new words in a dictionary and studying lists of words with her mother."I'm really happy that my hard work paid off," she said Monday in an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active.Jiwa said the most difficult word she encountered during the virtual competition was "umu," which is a Maori open-air oven.Though she ended up spelling it correctly, the word threw her at first because many previous rounds had featured words with European roots.Jiwa was also asked to spell the word "Hansard" — the official record of parliamentary debates in Commonwealth countries — and set herself apart by correctly capitalizing its first letter."I love debate," she said, explaining why she immediately recognized it as a proper noun.Mark Raspopov and Leena Jalees of Ontario won the competition's primary and intermediate categories.A 90-minute recap of the spelling bee will be available to watch on CBCSports.ca and on the CBC Sports YouTube Channel starting at 11 a.m. MT on Dec. 6.