Treacherous driving conditions with heavy flurries and wind across Newfoundland and Labrador.
Treacherous driving conditions with heavy flurries and wind across Newfoundland and Labrador.
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
Emma Corrin just won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Princess Diana.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
With its support in polls dropping, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party is considering changes to electoral laws which could rescue its prospects in elections due to be held by 2023, three AK Party officials say. Polls show combined support for the AK Party and its MHP ally has fallen to just 45%. For the first time, pollsters say, disenchanted supporters who drifted away from the AK Party appear unlikely to be won back.
Ontario's cultural heritage minister announced a $25 million investment in the arts sector on Tuesday, with $24 million going toward 140 arts organizations and communities. The remaining $1 million will go directly toward individual artists, said Ontario Heritage Minister Lisa MacLeod. This funding will be distributed as grants, with details on eligibility to be listed on the Ontario Arts Council's website. The funding comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic "to support the sectors that have been the hardest hit, will take the longest to recover, and were hit first," MacLeod said. "Today I'm committed to ensuring that our artists, our creators, our dancers, our writers, our musicians, our painters, our visual artists have a fighting chance to be global leaders when this pandemic is over." Lisa MacLeod, Ontario's minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, announced on Tuesday morning $25 million in financial support for the arts sector to offset COVID-19 losses. Some of the organizations receiving the most support are the Stratford Festival, the National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company. Each has had to significantly limit and adapt its operations in the face of pandemic restrictions. The National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company were forced to cancel their 2020/21 seasons early on in the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, Stratford Festival organizers announced that the 2021 edition would take place under outdoor canopies, with the audience size limited to 100 people and in "socially distanced pods." Ontario has continued to see the highest total COVID-19 cases in Canada, though active cases have declined in the past few weeks across the country. The province reported 1,023 new cases on Monday as nine public health units moved to different restriction tiers and two regions were moved back into lockdown.
Regina–SaskEnergy is warning of a potential telemarketing scam targeting its residential customers. The warning comes a week after its sister Crown corporation, put out a warning of a scam targeting its customers. SaskEnergy said in a release on March 2 it has received reports that individuals claiming to be associated with either SaskEnergy, or the federal government, are contacting customers regarding their eligibility for various rebates, including: carbon tax, furnace replacement and equipment maintenance. These callers are not associated with SaskEnergy, and are not offering rebates on behalf of SaskEnergy, the Crown corporation emphasized. SaskEnergy rebates are not offered through solicitation or door-to-door sales. All SaskEnergy rebates are offered through participating SaskEnergy Network Members only. For more information about SaskEnergy current rebates and programs, and a list of qualified Network Member companies, visit www.saskenergy.com. Anyone who has received calls of this nature should make a report to the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) of the Government of Saskatchewan at 1-306-787-5645 or 1-877-880-5550 (menu option #1), SaskEnergy said, adding, “If you have provided personal financial information, including bank account or credit card information over the phone, you should report the matter to local police, as well as immediately contact your financial institution.” Brian Zinchuk, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Estevan Mercury
The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) took another major step in improving high-speed broadband internet access in Eastern Ontario on Monday. Quinte West Mayor Jim Harrison, Belleville Mayor Mitch Panciuk and Prince Edward County Mayor Steve Ferguson joined with EORN Chair J. Murray Jones, Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus Chairwoman Debbie Robinson, Eastern Ontario Mayors’ Caucus Chair Dianne Therrien and wardens and mayors of surrounding regions to send a letter to Laurie Scott, Ontario Minister of Infrastructure and Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, in regards to EORN’s Gig Project proposal. Representing 1.2 million people and thousands of local businesses across the region, the letter explains how COVID-19 has exacerbated the already present frustrations from constituents about the poor or limited access to high-speed broadband services. As the pandemic continues, many citizens of Ontario are experiencing difficulty working from home or accessing online learning platforms reliably due to this issue. “Residents and businesses need to be assured that they will have access to the kinds of technologies that many in large cities already enjoy,” wrote the 21 mayors and wardens. “They also tell us that they want solutions that will last for years to come because they know demand is growing exponentially every year for more and more bandwidth at higher speeds.” The letter acknowledged that there are many ways to tackle the problem and bring broadband infrastructure to homes and businesses across the region and that undertaking this project would be a major commitment for any government. The wardens and mayors collectively expressed their support and the need for all levels of government, along with the private sector, to come together to connect residents and businesses to the right high-speed services that they require and deserve. Expectations among residents and businesses in eastern Ontario continue to rise with the announcement of the provincial ICON program and the federal UBF broadband funding programs. While a regional strategy with a coordinated approach may not be readily available in many areas of Ontario, the letter explains the strong belief that a coordinated, comprehensive regional project for the 113 municipalities of eastern Ontario is the best way to address the challenge of getting the region from 65 per cent coverage with access to even 50/10 speeds to 95 per cent coverage. “We stand ready to push forward with the Gig Project,” stated the letter. “Let EORN be your vehicle to connect the more than 550,000 premises across eastern Ontario that deserve the same fibre optic technology that is available in most large cities today.” Quick, efficient and effective, Eastern Regional Ontario Network is a non-profit organization that addresses the digital divide by improving rural connectivity and supporting economic growth. The organizations represented in the letter understand the critical importance of access to world-class broadband technologies to local economies. The letter closed by asking the addressed ministers Scott and Monsef to partner with and help fund the EORN Gig Project set in motion. Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
The latest news on COVID-19 developments in Canada (all times eastern): 11:15 a.m. Quebec is reporting 588 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus. Health officials say hospitalizations rose for a third consecutive day, up by 16 today, for a total of 628. The number of people in intensive care dropped by one, to 121. The province says it administered 16,458 doses of vaccine Monday, the first day of Quebec’s mass vaccination campaign for the general public. Quebec has reported a total of 288,941 COVID-19 infections and 10,407 deaths linked to the virus. --- 10:30 a.m. Ontario is reporting 966 new COVID-19 cases and 11 more deaths from the virus. The new data is based on 30,737 tests. There are 284 hospitalized people in intensive care and 189 people on ventilators. The province says it administered 22,326 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine since the last daily report. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
It's clear that when girls and young women are at the forefront of major social justice movements, the old structures of patriarchy and misogyny can be challenged and hopefully dismantled.
Another GTA region has begun inoculating seniors 80 years of age and older. Shallima Maharaj has the story.
VANCOUVER — The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver says the market is heating up so fast that home sales in the region doubled between January and February and have climbed by more than 70 per cent since last year. The board says February sales in the B.C. region totalled 3,727, a 73.3 per cent increase from the 2,150 sales recorded the year before and a 56 per cent spike from the 2,389 homes sold the month before. February sales were so strong that REBGV says they were 42.8 per cent higher than the month's 10-year sales average. The board says the region saw 5,048 new listings in February, up from 4,002 the year prior. The MLS home price index composite benchmark for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver reached just over $1 million in February, a 6.8 per cent increase. REBGV says the market is shifting in favour of sellers because housing supply listings aren't keeping up with the demand and competition among homebuyers is pushing up prices. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
Pedal power is coming to Mitchell’s Bay after council officially awarded a contract for the construction of a bike lane. On Monday, Chatham-Kent council awarded Armstrong Paving and Materials Group Ltd. with a $291,290.73 contract for the project. North Kent Coun. Jamie McGrail said the Mitchell's Bay Area Association has been working hard to get this project off the ground and completed for months. The association also contributed $25,000 toward the project. “They're excited that hopefully come June or July, we invite everybody to come down to Mitchell's Bay and take advantage of this new trail, because it really does complete an awesome trail system that's already here,” she said. The bike lane will be constructed along Bay Line which is the only roadway leading into the waterfront community. The 1.5 metre-wide paved shoulder will extend west from Winter Line Road to Dover Beach Park and connect to Memorial Park and Trail, the South Lakeshore Trail, and surrounding residential neighbourhoods. The route has been identified as a key connector for The Great Trail – a cross-Canada 24,000-kilometre system of greenways, waterways, and roadways – and the Great Lakes Waterfront Trail. “Both of these national and provincially promoted routes are identified on the respective organizations’ mapping as a key connection. This route is also identified in the Chatham-Kent trails master plan through the implementation plan,” reads a report to council. Public consultation also took place with only one opposition expressed toward the project. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
After a flight home from Europe, and a mandated stay in an approved quarantine hotel in Montreal, Charles Philibert-Thiboutot is finishing his required 14 days of isolation in Edmonton. It wasn't how the middle-distance runner planned to be spending this time — the federal government tightened travel restrictions around COVID-19 just after he left for Europe. But it's a small price to pay to chase his Olympic goals. The 30-year-old from Quebec City said thankfully the timing works. He usually takes a few days off in March between the indoor and outdoor seasons. "So it's doable," said Philibert-Thiboutot, who was billed $1,100 for three hotel nights, but passed his COVID-19 test in 12 hours. "But I would say it's probably the last time that 14 days (off) is going to be possible." LIke so many Canadian athletes, Philibert-Thiboutot is chasing Olympic qualifying standards while trying to navigate all the pandemic restrictions. Because Philibert-Thiboutot, a semifinalist in the 1,500 metres at the Rio Olympics, was sidelined with an injury for 2019 and the 2020 season was wiped out by the pandemic, he hasn't run the qualifying standard for Tokyo (three minutes 35 seconds). His best time is 3:34.23, set in 2015. Before his recent races in Europe, he had no world ranking, which is another qualifying route. He lived and trained at INSEP — the National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance on the outskirts of Paris — and his month of racing was the closest thing to a season he's been able to string together since 2018. "I'm starting from scratch," he said. Philibert-Thiboutot ran a Quebec record in the 3,000 metres in his first race in Europe, a World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Karlsruhe, Germany. He recorded an indoor personal best of 3:40.21 in the 1,500 metres in Dortmund, Germany. In his last race on Friday in Toulon, France, he went well for 3,500 of the 5,000-metre race, but ran out of gas. "The results I had in Europe were a bit sub-par, I had better expectations to be honest, but it definitely got the ball rolling," he said. "Getting back into (racing) was definitely a milestone, something I needed to be able to accomplish, I think, before I could carry on with the rest of the season. So there's some positives, there's some negatives. But all in all, I think I'm off to a good start." The next step is more travel. In September, he and his wife Beatrice packed up the car and drove to Edmonton where she's doing a fellowship in medicine. The winter weather is too cold for decent outdoor training, and the indoor track is closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. "It's all shut down. They won't even let (national team) athletes train, which I think for that reason, makes it the worst province to be in during the pandemic, to be honest," he said. Philibert-Thiboutot has been travelling to Vancouver to train, and will resume doing that. He'll likely head back to Europe in May, and because of the 14-day quarantine requirement, probably won't come back home until after the Olympics. "I cannot afford on a fitness and training level to come back and sit down for 14 days right in the middle of the season," he said. "It's a big sacrifice to make this year, obviously the pandemic's done that." It will mean a few months away from his wife. "I don't like to think about it in advance because it's going to be rough for sure, thinking about it kind of makes me sad," Philibert-Thiboutot said. "But that's the sacrifice I'll probably have to make to go to the Olympics this year." Countless athletes are in the same boat, facing a time crunch to qualify for Tokyo, and are limited both by Canada's border restrictions, and facility access by various lockdowns. Caroline Ehrhardt and husband Taylor relocated this week to California for the next few months for the competitive opportunities and warm-weather training — she announced the news on Instagram. She's a triple jumper and he's a decathlete. They'd been part of a group of athletes training in a hockey arena in London, Ont. "Leaving the country for the foreseeable future in the middle of a pandemic feels reckless," Ehrhardt posted. "A lot of stress and fear went into this decision. But the only thing scarier to me than this leap of faith is the thought of me never getting the chance to see what I'm truly capable of." Athletics Canada isn't making attendance at the national championships mandatory to crack the Olympic team this year, to ease the travel burden on athletes training abroad. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Dr. Seuss Enterprises released a statement that the company will stop the sale and publication of six books that "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong."
ALGIERS, Algeria — Hundreds of students restarted their weekly Tuesday protest marches that were called off last spring because of the coronavirus. The march came eight days after the Hirak pro-democracy movement reappeared in streets around the country to mark its second anniversary and days after the weekly Friday marches restarted. Hirak's peaceful protests helped force long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office in 2019. His successor, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has promised reform of the system marked by corruption under Bouteflika and with the shadow of the army ever-present. “Civilian state and not a military state,” one group of students cried out, hoisting high a banner reading “We don't go home until the demands of Hirak are met.” Police watched, their vans blocking some streets, as marchers detoured around security forces, moving through winding streets at the bottom of Algiers' famed Casbah toward the imposing central post office, the traditional rallying point for the Hirak. Demonstrators sang and waved flags with no incidents reported. The Associated Press
The Ontario government is implementing new rules for towing in the province, including a pilot project that introduces restricted towing zones on highways and a joint team to address violence and fraud in the industry. Starting summer 2021, four sections of highways in the GTA will become restricted tow zones. Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney says the new tow zones will allow only a single company to operate within the areas, cutting down on dangerous practices like so-called "accident chasing." She says additional tow companies will only be able to operate within the zones with permission of provincial police or the government. The pilot project will run for two years with the potential for one-year extensions after that time. Mulroney says the government is also drafting legislation to further regulate the sector, including exploring licensing tow truck drivers. Meanwhile, the government is forming a "Joint Forces Operation" team run by the Ontario Provincial Police and local police services to target criminal activity in the industry, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said. In May 2020, Ontario police made 19 arrests after finding that towing companies had been defrauding insurance companies and using violence and property damage to seize territory and control of the industry. Four drivers were killed as a result of the turf war and at least 30 trucks had been burned, police said at the time. The Ontario government established a task force in June 2020 in response, which found that there was a "patchwork of requirements'' across the province and insufficient government oversight. Its recommendations included restricted tow zones, new legislation to provide oversight, a required licence to operate a commercial tow truck and a joint police task force to investigate criminal activity. A map released by the province, showing new restricted towing zones on highways in the GTA.(Government of Ontario) The four restricted towing zones will be: Restricted Tow Zone 1: Highway 401 from Highway 400 E. to Morningside Avenue Restricted Tow Zone 2: Highway 401 from Highway 400 W. to Regional Road 25 Highway 427 from QEW to Highway 409 Highway 409 from Highway 427 to Highway 401 Restricted Tow Zone 3: Highway 400 from Highway 401 to Highway 9 Restricted Tow Zone 4: QEW from Highway 427 to Brant Street
Alberta may follow British Columbia's lead and lengthen the time between administering first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Health Minister Tyler Shandro says. Evidence from the United Kingdom, B.C., and Quebec suggests the first dose of the two vaccines currently being distributed in Alberta can provide 90-per-cent protection against the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and that protection can last for months. Alberta health officials and physicians are now reviewing that new evidence and examining whether the province can further delay second shots, Shandro said at a Tuesday news conference. WATCH | Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Alberta is considering following B.C.'s lead when it comes to vaccines "It's going to give us an opportunity to get more people vaccinated more quickly, which is going to be fantastic news for Albertans," he said. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, said Tuesday an expert panel hopes to make a decision soon about whether to extend the recommended window of time for second doses. "As we're looking at decisions — as we are in Alberta — about how to best protect our population, that we're using real-world experience and real-world evidence and that we're making decisions based on that," Hinshaw said, referring people who received vaccines outside of clinical trials. Infectious diseases doctor says now time to make the switch Manufacturers' instructions say the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses should be given 21 days apart and Moderna doses should be 28 days apart. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization said prolonging the wait to 42 days is acceptable in places where there's high community transmission, strain on the health-care system and limited vaccine supply. Alberta guidelines currently recommend people receive their second shot within six weeks of their initial vaccination. On Monday, B.C.'s provincial health officer said new evidence was prompting that province to extend the wait between doses for up to four months. That change, plus Health Canada's approval of a third vaccine, manufactured by AstraZeneca, would allow everyone in B.C. who wants a first dose to receive one by the end of July. Alberta's plan aims to have mass vaccination by September. Dr. Jim Kellner, a pediatric immunology specialist in Calgary and member of the national COVID-19 immunity task force, said the Alberta government should act fast if it wants to reap the potential advantages of delaying doses. With a relative scarcity of COVID-19 vaccines available, postponing second doses could help grow the number of vulnerable people protected by a first dose, he said. "Putting [the decision] off some number of weeks, a few months, isn't going to provide the benefit that we're looking for now, which is to provide as many doses as possible to those at highest risk," he said. He said current evidence shows a six-week pause between shots for COVID-19 is fine. Predictions about the effect of delays any longer than that are based on knowledge of how other vaccines work, he said. Vaccine manufacturers can't recommend off-label use, because they don't have clinical trial data to support it, he said. It's important for people to ultimately receive that second dose, he said, as boosters for other vaccines have been shown to improve longer-term protection against disease and better prevent asymptomatic spread. Alberta could also shorten its recommended dose gap when vaccine supplies improve, he said. University of Alberta infectious diseases expert Dr. Lynora Saxinger said she would have been comfortable waiting longer for a second dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, knowing the first dose offers good protection within a couple of weeks.(CBC) Edmonton infectious diseases expert Dr. Lynora Saxinger, co-chair of the COVID-19 scientific advisory group to Alberta Health Services, says the decision is a gamble on how long that first shot offers adequate immunity. Even with vaccines less effective than the ones Alberta has received, some modelling has shown that waiting longer between doses to inoculate more people would save more lives, she said. "I think people have concerns that they're not adequately protected after one dose, and I can see how that would create some anxiety," she said. "But the actual literature really suggests that that excellent protection against hospitalization, death, severe disease, really does start quite early after the first dose." If vaccine supplies slow down, it would be reasonable to look at a three- or four-month delay between shots, she said. "You want a strategy where you're vaccinating the highest-risk people with at least their first dose as quickly as possible." More important is a health system being agile enough to change the timing of vaccine doses, should new evidence emerge, she said. As of Monday, 88,539 Albertans had received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Alberta Health. Nearly 68,000 Albertans have received a single dose.
The New Brunswick Museum is looking for reviews from visitors and their ideas new for how it should grow. The engagement survey, found on the museum's website, is designed to help organizers learn about expectations of the Saint John museum and how visitors engage with it. "We just want to hear what people have to say about the museum," said Bill Hicks, outgoing CEO of the New Brunswick Museum. "Does it mean anything to them? What should it mean to them? What to do to make the museum relevant in this day and age?" COVID-19 causes impact on revenue The museum has been undergoing a lot of changes this year. It's trying to move forward with a new three-year strategic plan — all while the COVID-19 pandemic has slashed its revenues. "We realize that it's had a huge impact in terms of visitation and how we do things," Hicks said. "But it's also going to be around for a while." Talks of a new strategic plan came about last year. The previous plan had become outdated and COVID-19 was not yet present in New Brunswick. The strategic plan will look at every facet of the museum, its facilities, how it's organized and how histories of groups of people are interpreted. It will look at the different exhibits and collections and why they're there. It will also look at how to boost revenue and explore partnerships with other cultural institutions around the world. "We really want to stop talking about things and start doing things related to diversity and inclusion." Searching for a new CEO The 178-year-old museum is also in the process of hiring a new CEO, as Hicks plans to retire at the end of the month. That process is a partnership with the province's Department of Tourism. Hicks said they're looking for someone with museum or cultural facility experience, who also understands how collections, research and conservation works. The museum has been on the lookout for someone since the middle of December. "At the end of the day there will be a great new person at the New Brunswick Museum who really wants to take on these challenges."
WARSAW, Poland — A Polish court on Tuesday acquitted three activists who had been accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for producing and distributing images of a revered Roman Catholic icon altered to include the LGBT rainbow. The posters, which they distributed in the city of Plock in 2019, used rainbows as halos in an image of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. Their aim was to protest what they considered the hostility of Poland’s influential Catholic Church toward LGBT people. The court in the city of Plock did not see evidence of a crime and found that the activists were not motivated by a desire to offend anyone’s religious feelings, but rather wanted to defend those facing discrimination, according to Polish media. The conservative group that brought the case, the Life and Family Foundation, said it planned to appeal. “Defending the honour of the Mother of God is the responsibility of each of us, and the guilt of the accused is indisputable,” the group’s founder, Kaja Godek, said on Facebook. “The courts of the Republic of Poland should protect (Catholics) from violence, including by LGBT activists.” The case was seen in Poland as a freedom of speech test under a deeply conservative government that has been pushing back against secularization and liberal views. Abortion has been another flashpoint in the country after the recent introduction of a near-total ban on it. One defendant, Elzbieta Podlesna, said when the trial opened in January that the 2019 action in Plock was spurred by an installation at the city's St. Dominic's Church that associated LGBT people with crime and sins. She and the other two activists — Anna Prus and Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar — faced up to two years of prison if found guilty. An LGBT rights group, Love Does Not Exclude, welcomed the ruling as a “breakthrough.” “This is a triumph for the LGBT+ resistance movement in the most homophobic country of the European Union,” it said. The image involved an alteration of Poland’s most-revered icon, the Mother of God of Czestochowa, popularly known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. The original has been housed at the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa — Poland's holiest Catholic site — since the 14th century. Podlesna told the Onet news portal that the desecration provision in the penal code "leaves a door open to use it against people who think a bit differently. “I still wonder how the rainbow — a symbol of diversity and tolerance — offends these feelings. I cannot understand it, especially since I am a believer,” Podlesna told Onet. Podlesna was arrested in an early morning police raid on her apartment in 2019, held for several hours and questioned over the posters. A court later said the detention was unnecessary and ordered damages of about $2,000 awarded to her. Because of all the attention the altered icon has received, it is now a very recognized image in Poland, one sometimes seen at street protests. Vanessa Gera, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Kohl's reported mixed results for its fiscal fourth quarter, delivering a 30% increase in profits but a 10% drop in sales. Results handily beat Wall Street estimates. Online sales growth remained strong, up 22% for the latest quarter, and accounted for 42% of net sales. The Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, company also issued a per-share forecast for the current year whose top range beat analysts' expectations. It also expects solid revenue growth. The earnings report comes out as Kohl’s is fighting back against an investor group’s efforts to take control of the department store chain’s board, arguing that it would derail its progress and momentum. The investor group nominated nine members for Kohl’s board of directors as it looks to boost the company’s stock and its financial performance. The group owns a 9.5% stake in Kohl’s. Kohl's has been pushing various initiatives to attract shoppers including expanding its activewear and home area. The department store's program with Amazon to accept eligible Amazon items, without a box or label, has done well. It said Tuesday the initiative has resulted in 2 million new customers in the past year of whom a third are younger. Late last year, the department store chain announced that Sephora will replace all cosmetics areas at Kohl’s with 2,500 square foot shops, starting with 200 locations in the fall. It will expand to at least 850 stores by 2023. Kohl's CEO Michelle Gass told The Associated Press during a phone interview on Tuesday that the chain is seeing a momentum in its business, and called the Sephora shops a “game changer." And while shopping at its stores are not yet back at a normal rate, she believes that Kohl's will recover some of that. She also noted that Kohl's will be ready when shoppers start going out more, but that casual dressing will still be important. Kohl's earned $343 million, or $2.20 per share, for the quarter ended Jan. 30. That compares with $265 million, or $1.72 per share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings was $2.22, well ahead of the $1.01 per share that analysts forecast, according to FactSet. Sales reached $6.14 billion, down from $6.83 billion in the year-ago period. But results surpassed the $5.88 billion that analysts had expected, according to FactSet. Kohl’s expects net sales for the current year to increase in the mid-teens percentage range. The company also forecasts that per-share range should be anywhere from $2.45 to $2.95 for the year. Analysts forecast $2.65 per share, according to FactSet. Shares rose 50 cents to $57.49 in late morning trading. Anne D'Innocenzio, The Associated Press