Chris Mei takes us through the devastating track of Eta as it strengthens on its way to Florida.
Chris Mei takes us through the devastating track of Eta as it strengthens on its way to Florida.
PHILADELPHIA — President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges' assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign's error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign's request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday's ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.___Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MaryclairedaleMaryclaire Dale, The Associated Press
SANTÉ. Dans le cadre de la Semaine nationale de sensibilisation aux dépendances, les centres de réadaptation en toxicomanie Portage souhaitent rappeler l'enjeu majeur que représente la crise des opioïdes, aggravée par le contexte de la COVID-19. «L'isolement et l'anxiété causés par les mesures sanitaires nécessaires pour contrer la pandémie ont sans équivoque aggravé leur situation déjà précaire, menant à une augmentation de la consommation d'alcool et d'autres drogues. Par exemple, en Ontario, on constate une augmentation de 25 % du nombre de décès par surdoses pendant les trois premiers mois du confinement, pour un total de 621 décès. Face à une prolongation assurée de la crise sanitaire, il est plus important que jamais de soutenir les personnes aux prises avec une dépendance et de les informer des services spécialisés adaptés à leur situation», indique-t-on en rappelant que la crise ne date pas d'hier. En effet, le rapport du Centre canadien sur les dépendances et l'usage des substances, paru en juillet dernier, témoigne de la gravité de la crise alors qu'il montre que le nombre d'hospitalisations causées par des intoxications aux opioïdes a augmenté de 27% au cours des cinq dernières années et que 3 823 décès ont été enregistrés en 2019, un taux de 10 décès par 100 000 habitants. Constatant cet enjeu majeur depuis quelques années, le Comité de santé et sécurité de Portage a pris la décision d'équiper tous ses centres de naloxone et de former ses intervenants pour qu'ils soient en mesure d'administrer ce médicament, qui peut inverser les effets d'une surdose. À propos de Portage Depuis 47 ans, Portage a aidé des milliers de personnes aux prises avec des problèmes de toxicomanie à vaincre leur dépendance. L'organisme gère des centres de réadaptation en toxicomanie à Montréal, à Prévost, à Québec et à Saint-Malachie. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's attempt to call out the Conservative Party for promoting misinformation about COVID-19 stumbled tonight when PMO staff sent out a draft statement that itself contained misinformation.Trudeau and Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole had a call scheduled for this evening. The usual practice after these calls is for both parties to put out a statement — a "readout" — describing what was discussed during the call.Shortly after 4:30 p.m. this evening, the Prime Minister's Office issued just such a note saying Trudeau "raised concerns around COVID-19 misinformation being promoted by Conservative members of Parliament, given Conservative MPs recently downplayed the deaths of Canadians in Alberta due to COVID-19 and compared COVID-19 to the flu."The call with O'Toole was not scheduled to take place until 5:15 p.m. Peter MacKay's former director of communications director Michael Diamond saw the message and was quick to retweet out an image of part of the statement with the caption, "Why is the PMO pushing out misinformation? This is very concerning."The premature press statement also said the pair spoke about U.S. president-elect Joe Biden's incoming administration, the fight against COVID-19, climate change, trade, NATO, support for Canadian detainees Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor in China, the Keystone XL project and the Buy America policy. A spokesperson for the PMO told CBC that staff typically draft a readout before the call to act as a placeholder, updating it once the meeting is over.The spokesperson said a member of the prime minister's staff accidentally sent out the draft readout early.Later in the evening, the PMO sent out an edited readout saying the two leaders talked about the issues mentioned in the premature statement. It made no mention of Trudeau chastising O'Toole over misinformation, however.After the call, O'Toole's office put out a statement describing the discussion — which touched on many of the subjects the PMO mentioned in its premature statement earlier in the evening.O'Toole's statement also mentioned a call for Trudeau to work harder to counteract China's recent acts of aggression and the Conservatives' disappointment with the prime minister's efforts to date.On the climate front, the Conservative leader's readout expressed a willingness to support "net zero legislation" providing it supports Canada's energy industry.
On Day 8 of his second-degree murder trial, Justin Breau took the stand and admitted to shooting Mark Shatford on Nov. 17, 2019. While the Crown has painted a picture of a "drug ripoff" gone bad, Breau told the court that he went to buy drugs from Shatford and his fiancée, Melissa Daley, when he was suddenly attacked by Shatford. Breau said he thought Shatford was going to kill him when he pulled the trigger. His testimony differed from that of four other people who were in the apartment at 321 Duke St. West at the time of the incident. Breau, 37, said he was at home with his mother and daughter on Nov. 16, 2019 and had fallen asleep in his room. He said he was awakened by a woman he had been seeing and the two of them drove to Rockwood Park before going to a "drug house" on Peter Street. He said the "establishment", which he compared to an after-hours bar, ran out of drugs. He said they waited around with several other people for the stock to be replenished, when he got a message from Daley's Facebook account through Messenger. It was a hand-wave emoji. Breau texted back asking if they had any "raw" — slang for pure cocaine. She responded by saying she only had "cut," which Breau described as a weaker form of cocaine, as a result of other substances added to it. The two texted back and forth and eventually settled on two grams of "cut" in exchange for 15 zopiclone pills and $70 cash. When she testified earlier this week, Daley said it wasn't her sending the messages from her account. She said it must have been Shatford. She said the two were both in bed watching a movie together at the time. One of the last messages sent from Daley's Facebook account was that the door was open. Breau said he had gone to 321 Duke St. West 30 or 40 times since the summer of 2018 — specifically to buy drugs. He said his preference was pure cocaine. Sometimes he paid cash, sometimes he traded zopiclone pills — often referred to as zops — and sometimes he didn't pay at all. Breau told the court that he had racked up a drug debt to Daley and Shatford of about $1,000, but had managed to get it down to $700 at the time of the shooting. Breau said he arrived at 4:20 a.m., made his way through the apartment, and knocked on the door of the master bedroom. Breau said he heard the chain lock being slid across and when the door opened, Shatford was standing there with Daley a few feet behind him. He said Shatford grabbed his $100 bill, reminded him of the money owed, and said Breau wasn't going to get anything that night. Breau testified that when he tried to grab the money back, Shatford hit him in the head with a long, shiny metal object. He said Shatford hit him two more times before he managed to get away. He said he fled the apartment, but that Shatford caught up to him on the stairs and hit him again in the back, causing him to fall down the stairs. Breau said he went as quickly as he could to the car he borrowed from his friend, who he identified as Angie Snodgrass. Breau said he dropped the keys as he got to the vehicle. He said he thought about opening the first door he came to and just jumping in and locking the doors, but he said he knew Shatford had a temper and worried that the would smash his way into the vehicle, drag him into the street "and beat me to death." So, instead, he reached in and grabbed a shotgun that he said he hadn't known was there until he opened the door. He said Shatford was in the midpoint of swinging the long metal object, described by other witnesses as a torque or socket wrench, when he pulled the trigger. Breau said the wrench "went ting, ting, ting on the ground" as it fell from Shatford's hand. He said Shatford took a few steps back and slowly fell to the ground. That's when he grabbed the car keys he had dropped, jumped in and drove away. He said one of the two men who went with him was in the vehicle, but he doesn't know what happened to the other man. Under cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Joanne Park asked Breau if he knew what a "drug rip off" is. Breau laughed and said he didn't really know. Park explained that it's when someone sets up a drug deal, but then, instead of going through with the deal when they meet up, the prospective buyer robs the dealer. Breau interrupted Park's explanation and said he "never heard of that." At the end of her questioning, Park suggested to Breau that it was a drug rip off and that Shatford "was just trying to get you out of the house." Breau didn't answer directly but said, "You're trying to put words in my mouth." Breau was the only witness called by defence lawyer Brian Munro before he closed his case on Friday afternoon. The jury will be back in court on Tuesday afternoon for final arguments from the Crown and defence. Mr. Justice Thomas Christie told the jurors to expect to receive final instructions from him Wednesday morning. Before they start deliberating, however, one of the 13 jurors will be selected at random and dismissed. The law only allows 12 jurors to deliberate.
Harold Hague, a Navy veteran of the Second World War’s D-Day battle in northern France and a longtime-owner of Loggie’s Shoes in downtown Regina, died Thursday night of liver cancer. He was 99 years old. Born in Earl Grey north of Regina in 1921, Hague was a signalman among a flotilla of seven Canadian minesweeper ships tasked with finding and destroying underwater German mines at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. Amid heavy shelling, the drowning deaths of his fellow soldiers and two destroyed minesweepers, he survived the decisive battle, managing to see his 23rd birthday a week later. “I was just happy to be alive,” he told the Leader-Post a few years back while participating in a film about D-Day. “We were looking forward to that 100th birthday,” his wife Jan said Friday morning. Her husband’s death came quickly. “He went into hospital about 10 days ago. He had fallen twice within a few hours, so I wanted him to go get tested to see if there was something causing this. “As a result of an ultrasound they found a large mass on his liver, which we didn't know about,” she said through tears. After the war ended, Hague returned to Regina and took a job at local staple Loggie’s, eventually becoming a partner and then an owner in 1978. In a short documentary about the store’s closure in 2014, he said, “the store was my life, my blood and my heart; it was everything. It was the reason for my life." Had it not been for Loggie’s, he likely wouldn’t have met Jan, who grew up in Ontario. “I met him in Toronto … he would come buy things for his shoe store, and that's how we met,” she said. “He wrote me to say ‘thank you’ for my service and it just went on from there." "It was just an instant connection with each other ... you couldn't help but like him." Jan moved to Regina to be with him in 1979. His fellow Canadian forces members said he was a gentleman. Retried Brig.-Gen. Cliff Walker commended Hague for his work on the board of governors with the Commissionaires south Saskatchewan division. “He spent 47 ½ years on the board trying to help his fellow veterans," Walker said. “(Harold) had a grounding and a sense of understanding of what he had gone through; he was able to avoid some of the nightmares and the PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).” Retired Army Col. Randy Brooks, an Afghanistan War veteran who served with the Royal Regina Rifles, said Hague was often mentoring younger forces members, even if they weren’t with the Navy. The danger of the minesweepers' work wasn’t lost on Brooks, who has deep knowledge of the D-Day invasion. “They were trained to just get on with the job … come hell or high water, and it was both,” he said. Hague’s military and business service earned him numerous awards throughout his life. Among them are the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Military Service Medal and the Regina Chamber of Commerce Paragon lifetime achievement award. Harold's son Kelly said there won't be a service for him, in light of COVID-19 restrictions. He asked that any donations be made in his dad's name to the Royal Canadian Legion. firstname.lastname@example.orgEvan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
SÉCURITÉ. Avec les premières bordées de neige qui tombent, les Québécois ajustent leur conduite. Il demeure que des accidents peuvent survenir. À ce sujet, sauriez-vous quoi faire en cas de collision avec un poteau électrique? Grande règle de base: restez dans votre véhicule et signalez le 911. Cependant, si le fait de rester dans votre véhicule mettait votre vie en danger, voici les étapes à suivre suggérées par Hydro-Québec : 1\. Ouvrez grand la portière en restant dans le véhicule et en ne touchant qu’à la poignée. 2\. Collez vos deux pieds ensemble et placez-les sur le pas de la portière. Gardez les bras près du corps. 3\. Sautez à pieds joints hors du véhicule de manière à ne jamais entrer en contact en même temps avec le véhicule et le sol. 4\. Éloignez-vous en faisant des petits bonds, en gardant toujours les pieds joints, jusqu’à ce que vous ayez atteint une distance d’au moins 10 mètres du véhicule ou des fils au sol. De même, si vous êtes témoin d’une collision avec un poteau électrique et que vous devez porter secours aux victimes, composez d’abord le 911 pour signaler et décrire l’accident. En tout temps, tenez-vous à une distance d’au moins 10 mètres du véhicule et des fils au sol. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor has a message for people who don't follow a provincial order to wear a mask in indoor public spaces: order takeout, shop online or stay home.Dr. Bonnie Henry said Friday she was saddened after hearing about store and restaurant employees facing aggressive customers who refuse to wear masks as COVID-19 numbers rise."I remind all of us about the severity of this illness and the fact that we have people who are suffering in our hospitals right now, and their families are suffering too," she said. The RCMP say they arrested a shopper at a Walmart in Dawson Creek this week after he allegedly assaulted an employee who asked him to wear a mask.B.C. set another single-day record with 911 cases of COVID-19, Henry said, adding that a total of 30,884 cases have been diagnosed in the province.Eleven more people have died, bringing the number of fatalities to 395, while a record 301 patients are in hospital.Some faith leaders have questioned Henry's order to ban even limited gatherings at churches, temples and other faith locations while restaurants and bars remain open.Henry said outbreaks have occurred in multiple faith locations despite safety measures in keeping with what is happening around the world."I'd like to be clear that these locations are not doing anything wrong," she said, adding COVID-19 precautions were being followed at the majority of worship places."These are not decisions that we make lightly," she said."We are facing a storm surge, and that is something we are facing globally."Henry said events that were safe even a few weeks ago now threaten the most vulnerable people who attend them as well as entire communities.However, she said most faith leaders understand the measures as they support their congregants from a distance."It is a cruel irony in many ways that when we most need to be with people, that is the most dangerous thing that we can do with this level of transmission we are seeing in communities across the province."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2020.The Canadian Press
Peterborough County politicians are shocked by the tragic death of a one-year-old baby boy who was fatally shot on Thursday after being abducted by his father from a home in Trent Lakes. “There’s now a mother out there without a little boy and I would expect grandparents without a grandson … it’s just a tragic series of events,” said Joe Taylor, former warden of Peterborough County and mayor of Otonabee-South Monaghan Township. The incident began at about 8:48 a.m. Thursday when Peterborough County OPP officers were called to a location northeast of Bobcaygeon in Trent Lakes after a 33-year-old father abducted his son in what police called a domestic dispute involving a firearm. The baby was found dead of a gunshot wound in his father’s pickup truck after it collided with an OPP cruiser on Pigeon Lake Road, east of Lindsay, which was followed by altercation in which three officers shot at the man. Emily Poulin, executive director at Victim Services of Peterborough Northumberland (VSPN), said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been a huge increase in the need to help high-risk victims of domestic violence. While there are many tools the agency offers, as well as several service providers that do work in tandem to try and support these high-risk individuals in both Peterborough city and county, Poulin said there also needs to be prevention of domestic violence. “With COVID, we’re seeing a lot of differences in the way people are arrested and released, because they don’t want to overcrowd the jails, but when you’re talking high-risk offenders, more has to be done on that end,” she said. “It can’t all be on the victim to try and stay safe. There should be more measures put in place to try and keep offenders from doing this in the first place.” Lisa Clarke, executive director at the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, said in just six months of the pandemic, their crisis services at the centre have doubled those of the MeToo movement in 2017 and 2018. “There are alarming rates of sexual and gender-based and internet-partner violence happening in this community, and the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre encourages all families and friends to check in and support and listen without judgment, to those who may be experiencing family violence in the home,” she said. There are many barriers for people living in rural areas to seek services, Clarke said. “Everybody knows everybody and so it can feel like reaching out means that family and friends will know what’s happening in the home. Our services are confidential and can be anonymous. We recognize that those are the types of services needed for people in rural areas to reach out and we have many survivors each year reaching out from more rural areas of our region,” she said. What happened is incomprehensible, Poulin said. “I mean it’s an absolute tragedy what happened and my heart goes out to the family and friends,” she said. The loss of a life, but particularly the loss of a young life, is heartbreaking, said Andy Mitchell, deputy warden of Peterborough County. “It’s a really, really tragic event and my heart is heavy and sorrowful for all of the folks that are being impacted by this,” he said. Trent Lakes Mayor Janet Clarkson said the outcome of Thursday’s incident is extremely unfortunate. “It’s hard to say when it all comes out, just exactly what happened,” she said. Taylor said he believes the community is going to do what they can to support the family in this time of need. “There’s no point in trying to understand it, or rationalize it, or explain it, or make any sense out of it,” he said. “It’s just really, really sad.” The Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre’s 24/7 crisis phone line is 1-866-298-7778. Their new 24/7 crisis text line is 705-710-5234. VSPN’s toll-free number is 1-888-822-7729 and its website is at victimservicespn.ca/. Marissa Lentz is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. Her reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Reach her via email: email@example.comMarissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
Port Hardy has its first publicly confirmed case of COVID-19. Lawrence O’Connor shared in a Facebook post that he tested positive for the disease while in quarantine after a trip to the U.S. “There’s nothing pleasant about this painful illness; I feel like I’ve been eaten by wolves, and s**t off a cliff,” he wrote. The good news, if there is any, is that O’Connor has self-isolated since arriving at the Vancouver Airport Nov. 16, so there’s been no one for the B.C. Health Authority to do contact tracing with. “I was lucky enough that I didn’t stumble around in public, not knowing I was carrying it,” he told the Gazette over the phone. O’Connor travelled to Las Vegas to participate in a charity stock car race for Amnesty International. Planning ahead for the required 14-day traveller quarantine, he’d enlisted friends to drop off food and supplies at his door. After a few days of hanging around the house, he started to feel body aches. By Saturday (Nov. 21) it was full on sickness. He contacted B.C. Health and scheduled a drive-through COVID-19 test for Sunday. We’ll call within 48 hours if it’s positive, they told him. Two days passed. I’m in the clear, he thought until at hour 48-and-a-half, he got the call. O’Connor is determined to keep the virus contained to himself, and plans to stay home even though his quarantine is technically over this weekend. “Hopefully this particular strain will die inside of me. That’s the only way this thing will be defeated, is contact tracing and isolation.” He was surprised to learn from the B.C. Health officer who called with the positive test news that for someone at his level of viral load, he’s only contagious for two days before and 10 days after symptoms start to show. B.C. Health confirmed that this is generally the case, but recommendations are adjusted on a case-by-case basis. O’Connor sat beside one person on the plane from Las Vegas to Vancouver, but felt he had to insist that the CDC take his flight and seat numbers. They said they’d post it on their website, but he didn’t get the impression they were going to contact other passengers. B.C. Health does not have purview over flight contact tracing, but confirmed that 48-hours before symptom onset is the standard for regular contact tracing. As for the stock car race, it wasn’t his best, but he’s glad that the event raised a lot of money for Amnesty International. Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZoë Ducklow, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, North Island Gazette
The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) released a ruling on Nov. 25, which impacts how First Nations children can access funding for services. The ruling says that First Nations children who live on or off-reserve, who do not have Indian Act Status, but who are recognized by their respective Nations for the purpose of applying for funding through Jordan’s Principle, can now apply for support. The ruling also opens up funding for children living on or off reserve who “are not eligible for, Indian Act status, but who have a parent or guardian with, or eligible for, Indian Act status.” The ruling comes after years of pressure from the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (the Caring Society) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) to address health service inequities, including delays or denial of services, that First Nations children experience. In memory of the late Jordan River Anderson, of Norway House Cree Nation, Jordan’s Principle is a principle that ensures “First Nations children get the services they need when they need them,” according to the Caring Society. Anderson, who was born with complex medical needs, spent more than two years in hospital while both the federal and provincial governments argued over who should finance his home care. Jordan died at the age of five, never having spent a day at home with his family. Jordan’s Principle calls on the government to pay for a child’s services and seek reimbursement later, so the child does not get caught in the middle of a similar dispute. Beginning in 2007, the Caring Society and the AFN filed an official complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) saying Canada was “racially discriminating against First Nations children.” According to a timeline by the Caring Society, the Tribunal case found that the inequitable funding for First Nations child welfare was insufficient and ‘amounts to discrimination.’ In 2016, the Tribunal found that the Government of Canada was “racially discriminating against 165,00 First Nations children and their families,” and that Canada was “failing to implement the full scope of Jordan’s Principle.” In this recent ruling, the Tribunal emphasized its “commitment to respecting First Nations self government,” saying that recognition of the right to self-determination is consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.Anna McKenzie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Andrea Bolitho discusses this week's arts and entertainment news.View on euronews
Par ailleurs, 22% des adultes québécois qui ne possèdent pas déjà un des appareils intelligents évalués dans l'enquête ont l'intention de s'en procurer, ce qui représente une augmentation de 7 points de pourcentage par rapport à 2019. Malgré tout, plusieurs freins persistent, comme c'était le cas en 2019. Le principal frein à l'acquisition d'appareils intelligents pour le foyer demeure la perception d'un manque d'utilité ou de pertinence (62 %). Par ailleurs, plus du tiers des non-détenteurs d'appareils intelligents interrogés affirment qu'ils repoussent l'achat de ce type de produits parce qu'ils ne croient pas qu'ils les utiliseraient assez souvent (39 %). Parmi les deux freins à l'achat ayant la plus forte augmentation depuis 2019, nous retrouvons le prix (37 %) avec une augmentation de 11 points de pourcentage de même que la confidentialité et la sécurité des données (36 %) avec une hausse de 7 points de pourcentage. À propos de l'Académie de la transformation numérique (ATN) L'Université Laval, en partenariat avec le gouvernement du Québec, a créé l'Académie de la transformation numérique (ATN) pour répondre aux besoins des entreprises, des organismes publics, des ministères et des municipalités en matière de transformation numérique. Stéphane Lévesque, Initiative de journalisme local, L'Hebdo Journal
The New Brunswick Legislature could be holding virtual sittings within the next two weeks.MLAs from four parties sitting on the legislative administration committee agreed Friday to get equipment and technology installed quickly so the assembly can resume its business.It adjourned on Tuesday because almost half of the MLAs are from the two zones that were under COVID-19 orange phase restrictions at the time. The province is discouraging travel into and out of those zones.Since then, a third zone, which includes the legislature itself, has been put into the orange phase.MLAs from the Green Party complained Tuesday that there was still no set-up for virtual sittings eight months after COVID-19 first appeared in New Brunswick.Liberal Leader Roger Melanson said in a statement that a service provider will start installing the system on Monday."The legislature must keep on working through COVID-19 outbreaks and beyond," he said. "This system will allow us to do just that."The new hybrid system could be up and running in time for committee hearings on legislation scheduled for next week.MLAs are scheduled to return for full sittings Dec. 8. Speaker Bill Oliver said he hopes the system will be ready for then, though that date could be pushed back if necessary.
A provocative Aylmer church pastor, who’s pushed the envelope on COVID-19 restrictions, made sure everyone knew he was ticketed by London police for attending a rally against public health measures to fight the spread of the virus. When officers showed up at his house to give Henry Hildebrandt his court summons, his son, Herbert, filmed the exchange that went straight to Facebook, with the Church of God pastor striking a defiant tone as he addressed the camera. “Police were just at my door here. I apparently just received a ticket,” he says in the video. “We will see where it goes from here.” He continues: “I intend to do nothing with it because we have the right, according to our constitution, to have a peaceful protest and that is what I attended.” Friday, Hildebrandt told The Free Press he plans to speak at an anti-restrictions rally in Toronto on Saturday and keep spreading the word that constitutional rights are under attack by COVID-19 safety curbs imposed under an Ontario emergency law. “It’s not about me or our church . . . We stand behind the people and, whatever it takes, we’ve got to wake the people up and that’s what these rallies are all about,” he said. Hildebrandt was among about 200 protesters at a so-called “freedom rally” held in London’s Victoria Park last Sunday. Three organizers are facing charges under the emergency law that bans such large gatherings in the face of COVID-19. “I did expect sooner or later that they (authorities) would cave in to pressure from the public” and charge him, Hildebrandt said. London police released no names but confirmed a 57-year-old Aylmer man was charged for taking part in an outdoor gathering exceeding provincial crowd limits, and that others who took in Sunday’s rally may also be ticketed. Hildebrandt has been a lightning rod in the anti-restrictions movement, starting with drive-in church services he held in Aylmer — even after authorities warned him not to — when church buildings were still closed amid the pandemic. Eventually, such drive-in sessions were permitted. Since COVID-19’s second wave erupted, Hildebrandt has been a frequent fixture at lockdown backlash rallies in Southwestern Ontario. Besides Sunday’s gathering in London, authorities have charged organizers of similar rallies held recently in Chatham and Aylmer, and St. Thomas police have warned they’re warming up to lay charges in another such gathering held there. Under the emergency law, those convicted of organizing a gathering of more than 25 people amid COVID-19 can be fined $10,000 to $100,000, and be jailed up to a year. But that law was never meant to curb freedom of speech, said Michael Bryant, a former Ontario attorney general who now heads the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. He said authorities need to find a balanced approach to permit protest gatherings against the COVID-19 restrictions. “The problem is, the only way to protest this law is to violate it,” he said, adding he believes such protests should be allowed as long as people spread out to guard against the spread of COVID-19. Bryant said rally participants charged could offer a defence of freedom of speech, or, where some but not all are charged, argue they’re “unfairly targeted by the police.” “Charging people is not the solution because, as we see from this case, it ends up being quite arbitrary who gets charged,” he said. In the video, live-streamed to Hildebrandt’s Facebook page, a London police officer is seen issuing the pastor a ticket and court summons on his doorstep. In the nearly five-minute-long video, two officers approach Hildebrandt’s door, one doing the talking and leaving the ticket and summons in the pastor’s mailbox. "Is everyone receiving a ticket that was there?" Hildebrandt asks the officer. Const. Sandasha Bough said London police are still trying to identify rally participants. "If members of the public have been identified (as attendees), they could face charges," she said. "If anyone has information, please contact us." With files by Dale Carruthers, Free Press reporter email@example.comMax Martin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King expressed some concerns Friday about whether or not his capital budget will pass — if it doesn't, it would be a vote of non-confidence in the government, which would trigger an election. King says he wants Opposition support to approve the budget, but said the tone of debate in the legislature right now suggests that might not happen."If we have a couple of members who are not in the house because they're sick or otherwise, it's very realistic that this budget may not pass because it doesn't seem to have any support from the Opposition," King told reporters. "That would be a tragedy — I hope that doesn't happen — but I think that Islanders want us to keep doing what we've been doing as a legislature to serve the interests of Islanders, nobody wants an election and I hope one isn't thrust upon us."Opposition leader Peter Bevan-Baker told reporters that's not something his caucus intends to have happen."Nobody wants an election at this time for a whole host of reasons," Bevan-Baker said. "We have no intention of bringing government down."Bevan-Baker said he wouldn't seize a moment when some PC members are absent to vote down the capital budget."We have no interest in doing that whatsoever," he said, adding he doesn't think an election is in the best interest of Islanders.Opposition feels 'blocked'However, Bevan-Baker said the tone of debate has changed — he said the Opposition has been frustrated that it has not been getting answers to its questions on the capital budget. "We weren't able to provide the sort of level of scrutiny that I have become used to," Bevan-Baker said. "It felt blocked, in the last week."Taxpayers' dollars, how we spend them, is of utmost importance," he said, adding government's capital budget does not provide enough detail on programs it has planned, nor has government been able to answer the Opposition's questions on projects on which they are spending tens of millions of dollars."I'm not going to pass that section of the budget until I know what I'm saying yes to," he said. King said his PC party is still trying to work as collaboratively as it did when they were in a minority position for the last year. He also said it is a "false narrative" to assume Speaker Colin LaVie will always vote with the government if he must break a tie."We're just doing our best to provide the answers. If we don't have them, we provide that information back as quickly as we can," King said. Debate on the capital budget is scheduled to continue in the legislature next week.More from CBC P.E.I.
All of Fort Chipewyan’s stop signs are now in Cree, Dénesųłiné and English. Mayor Don Scott says similar traffic signs will be put up across the region next year, including in Fort McMurray. The signs are part of an effort to promote the Indigenous languages of the Wood Buffalo region. In a video announcing the news, Scott said boosting Indigenous languages is part of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. “This has always been a diverse region, and our rich culture and heritage make it truly a special place to call home,” he said. This is the first municipal initiative promoting Indigenous languages, although they are not the first Cree and Dénesųłiné signs in Fort Chipewyan. The community has welcome and grocery signs in the three major languages at the K’ai Tailé Market and outside the Athabasca Delta Community School. “Our languages are slowly disappearing because of the effects of residential schools,” said Teri Villebrun, councillor for Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN), in an interview. Fort Chipewyan was the site of the Holy Angels Residential School, which closed 1974. Between 1880 and 1953, 89 students died at the school. “These signs recognize the needs of promoting our Indigenous languages.” Villebrun said people are excited about the new signs in a community that has centuries of history to share. Founded in 1788, Fort Chipewyan is Alberta’s first European settlement. It was established as a trading post and named after the Chipewyan people already living in the area. “We do really have a sense of pride in our community,” she said. “It’s our traditional land of the Dene, Cree and Métis and we are so proud of our culture.” According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), three-quarters of Indigenous languages in Canada are “definitely,” “severely” or “critically” endangered. The most recent data on languages spoken in Canada comes from the 2016 census, which found only 20 per cent of First Nations people could converse in an Indigenous language. This is a six per cent drop from 2006. “If we continue down the current path, First Nations languages, like many Indigenous languages around the world, may be lost,” states a 2019 report from the Assembly of First Nations. “It is essential that drastic actions are taken to offset the erosion and loss of First Nations languages.” The municipality has posted to its website its own efforts and resources on meeting the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. An October 2019 report commissioned by the municipality also surveyed the attitudes First Nation and Métis leaders had towards their place in the region. At the time, the report found the administration of the day was “proactive” in incorporating the calls to action into its organizational structure, but was lagging on delivering, or lobbying for, basic services in rural communities. firstname.lastname@example.orgSarah Williscraft, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort McMurray Today
Concerns are growing about the number of hospitals dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks in Alberta.According to information published by Alberta Health Services, there are more than 160 COVID cases connected to active hospital outbreaks right now — and at least 20 deaths.Dr. Leyla Asadi, an infectious disease specialist in Edmonton, says such trends are a sad inevitability when it comes to a virus that has such widespread community transmission."It's just such a sneaky virus, and that's why you can try your best to protect those who are vulnerable," Asadi said. "You can try your best to keep areas safe from it. But it just hasn't worked."Hospitals with outbreaks or on watchIn Calgary, every hospital aside from the South Health Campus is either battling COVID outbreaks or has units on watch. Being on watch means there is evidence a confirmed case had recently interacted or stayed in the unit."Essentially, if there's an exposure that's concerning, you would call that a unit on watch," said Dr. Ash Sonpar, an infection prevention and control physician in Edmonton. "If there's a case that was acquired on the unit, then you would call that an outbreak. So as you see more community cases, you are going to have units on watch."As of Friday, AHS said Calgary hospitals with COVID-19 outbreaks or units on watch included: * Foothills Medical Centre has two units on outbreak. Two units at Foothills are now under watch. * Peter Lougheed Centre has four units on outbreak. One unit is currently under watch. * Rockyview General Hospital has four units on outbreak. One unit is currently under watch. * Alberta Children's Hospital has one unit currently under watch.In addition, a single site order is in place for Unit 59, a transition unit at Rockyview General Hospital, with at least 19 cases. That means staff, such as nurses, health-care aides and administration, cannot work on any other unit.AHS said in a memo to staff that there may be ongoing transmission on the ward, but the source isn't yet known. The possibility of worker-to-worker transmission has not been ruled out.Susan Slade, a vice-president with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, said many health-care workers are exhausted, with many working double shifts when colleagues go into isolation."It's a scary world in health-care right now, and it's just a tragedy what's happening in the health-care system right now," Slade said.
Edmonton peace officers now have the authority to hand out $1,000 fines to people violating Alberta's COVID-19 public health orders, city managers confirmed Friday. The city had been waiting for the green light after Premier Jason Kenney announced Tuesday the province would extend the authority to municipal officers. Interim city manager Adam Laughlin told city council's emergency advisory committee just as he received an email confirmation from the Justice and Solicitor General's office. "We are going to be more aggressive in our enforcement," Laughlin said. "We're at the point where we need to make sure we're doing everything to reduce this." The move comes as COVID-19 cases in the Edmonton zone spike to over 6,000, nearly half the total cases in Alberta and the province imposes new restrictions. Justice Minister Kaycee Madu announced Friday that about 700 peace officers in the province would be given the authority to enforce the province's health orders. Previously, only police and Alberta public health inspectors have the authority to fine businesses and people found breaking provincial health orders in the city. About 150 peace officers will get training in the next week to be equipped with enforcing the orders and coordinating with police and health inspectors. The authority will not be extended to municipal bylaw officers, who have the power to give out fines to people violating the city's face-covering bylaw that's been in effect since Aug. 1. To date, the city has been trying to educate and raise awareness to encourage the public to follow health measures. Laughlin said people will likely notice stronger, quicker actions. "Folks will get upset but quite frankly that's what we need to do at this point in time," Laughlin said during a news conference after the meeting. "Folks need to start honouring these measures that are in place." Public health orders include maintaining two-metre distance from others, no indoor social gatherings, and 25 per cent capacity in retail stores and entertainment venues. The city will explore further restrictions under the Municipal Government Act if cases aren't down by Dec. 15, Laughlin added. Laughlin is also asking people to limit non-essential travel in the city, and shop local Mayor Don Iveson noted that Edmonton's infection rate is 500 per 100,000 people. "In any given group of 200 people passing in and out of any place, one of them is going to have the virus at this point." Iveson said as the risk compounds, he's hearing health experts and university professors call for stronger measures, "which I would personally support." 22 arenas closed The city is closing 22 arenas from Dec. 1 to 18. Laughlin noted a lack of bookings and the provincial restrictions banning group fitness classes until Dec. 13. The Downtown Community Arena will remain open under the provincial exemption granted to the IIHF World Junior Championship. Three city-run senior centres and the St. Francis Xavier Sports Centre will also close. All indoor events and group activities at City facilities will be cancelled. Starting Dec. 1 at recreation facilities and the Edmonton Valley Zoo, anyone not wearing a mask will be refused entry, regardless of the individual's exemption status. Patrons are still allowed to remove their masks while exercising. The perennial favourite Candy Cane Lane will be a drive-thru-only this year. Business concerns Some restaurants have voluntarily closed in-house dining and switched to take out and curb-side pick up because of the risks to staff and patrons, Iveson said. Because it's their choice to close and not an order in Alberta, they're not eligible for a top-up of the federal rent subsidy, Iveson said. "That represents an inequity and a concern for those businesses relative to other parts of the country — where with much lower infection rates than we've seen here, closure orders have come into place." Iveson said the city is going to see whether there's anything they can do to support the entrepreneurs who've chosen to close. Coun. Aaron Paquette said he's worried about businesses not being able to sustain themselves amid dwindling consumer confidence about safety. "I'm deeply concerned," Paquette said. "I'm actually horribly concerned that our economy is being driven into the ground and it will take much longer to recover through inaction." Paquette said Edmonton isn't generating enough revenue and the municipality needs help from the federal government. "I'm just wondering, is there some way that we can move forward, that we can actually help these businesses to shut down, in order to access federal funds?" Paquette asked. Laughlin said the city is reviewing the Municipal Government Act to weigh options of "certain industry closure, depending on what's appropriate." They haven't had enough time to assess the risks associated with that, Laughlin added. @natashariebe
EDMONTON — A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths on railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed was one of the biggest factors.The research, published earlier this week in Nature's Scientific Reports, studied animals killed by trains between 1995 and 2018: 59 bears; 27 wolves, coyotes, cougars and lynx; and 560 deer, elk, moose and sheep."The top predictor was train speed," said lead author Colleen Cassady St. Clair, a biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta. "More animals died where trains were travelling faster."Next was distance to water, then the (amount of) water near the site and then curvature in the tracks."Train speed and track curvature, she said, make it difficult for wildlife to detect trains, while being close to water — particularly a lot of water — hinders their ability to get off the tracks before being hit.The study builds on a five-year research project funded by Parks Canada and Canadian Pacific Railway from 2010 to 2015 that focused on grizzly bears being struck by trains in the same two parks. It concluded that giving grizzlies better travel paths and sightlines along the railway was the best way to keep them safe.Cassady St. Clair said she hopes the latest study "will make it possible to identify types and locations for mitigations that will reduce the problems for all wildlife, not just grizzly bears."The research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and the ability of wildlife to see trains, especially at curves in tracks near water.Canadian Pacific noted in a statement Friday that the company has worked with Parks Canada for the last decade to learn more about how wildlife interacts with the railway."CP has engaged with Parks Canada and the University of Alberta throughout this program to ensure the mitigation measures CP implemented were based on science," it said.The statement didn't address whether the company would consider reducing train speeds.Co-author Jesse Whittington, a wildlife ecologist for Banff National Park, said trains are one of the leading causes of death for animals in the two parks."The trains (that) travel through Banff and Yoho national parks kill almost 30 animals a year," said Whittington, who added that animals use rail lines for travel and access to food.The latest study, he said, helps Parks Canada understand where wildlife are getting killed, why they are getting hit in that location and the time of year when they are most likely to get hit."Mortality risk was highest in areas where animals had difficulty detecting trains and where they had difficulty escaping trains," he said. "Animals had challenges detecting trains where trains were travelling fast and in areas with high curvature."Trains can be surprisingly quiet when they are travelling downhill or coming around a corner."Whittington gave as an example an adult female grizzly bear killed by a train in September. She was in an area with a steep slope next to the Bow River."There were few places for her to get off the tracks."The latest study also found that grizzly bears were more likely to be killed in late spring when, Whittington noted, water in the Bow River is often higher. Other carnivores and ungulates were more likely to get hit by trains in the winter."When we have deep snows, we'll often find elk and deer along the tracks."Whittington said some of his Parks Canada colleagues have been working to enhance travel routes for animals away from the rail line by creating more trails through the forest. The agency's fire crews have also been working to create better wildlife habitat throughout the park with prescribed fires."We have a lot of thick shrubs and deadfall that has accumulated over the years that makes it difficult for animals to travel across the landscape," he said. "To date, we've cleared over 50 kilometres of wildlife trails throughout Banff — both in areas around these hot spots and in other areas that are pinch points. "We're hopeful that will help."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2020.Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press
THUNDER BAY — A Brampton, Ont., man facing charges in connection with an alleged home takeover case where Thunder Bay police arrested five people and seized various drugs from a Limbrick Street residence was granted bail on Friday. Nathaniel Joshua Matthews, 22, is charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking, possession of oxycodone for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and failure to comply with a judicial release. On Friday, Nov. 27, a Thunder Bay justice of the peace granted Matthews bail after approving his proposed surety. Both Matthews and his surety promised to pay a total of $6,000 for his release. Before Matthews can be released, $1,000 needs to be deposited to an Ontario courthouse. His release conditions will require Matthews to reside in Brampton, Ont., and remain in his residence at all times except for certain conditions including medical emergencies. He is also not to be in the city of Thunder Bay except for court purposes. He is not allowed to communicate with his co-accused: Anthony Kaplanis, Dana Nobis and Amanda Owen. A 17-year-old male youth from Brampton, Ont., was also arrested by police in connection to this case. The youth accused, whose name cannot be published per the Youth Criminal Justice Act, was on a court-ordered condition not to attend the city of Thunder Bay, according to a previous media release by police. Police were initially called to a Limbrick Street address on Nov. 15 following complaints of a possible home takeover. Officers located five unwanted individuals inside the residence and located suspected fentanyl and percocet pills, cash and drug trafficking paraphernalia. Owen and Nobis were granted release from custody earlier this week. Kaplanis is scheduled to appear in court next on Nov. 30 for bail planning. Matthews is scheduled to return to court in January.Karen Edwards, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Thunder Bay Source