Some municipal employees clean the streets of the popular resort destination Cancun after tropical storm Zeta hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
Some municipal employees clean the streets of the popular resort destination Cancun after tropical storm Zeta hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
LANSING, Mich. — President Donald Trump did not ask Michigan Republican lawmakers to “break the law” or “interfere” with the election during a meeting at the White House, a legislative leader said Sunday, a day before canvassers plan to meet about whether to certify Joe Biden's 154,000-vote victory in the battleground state.House Speaker Lee Chatfield was among seven GOP legislators who met with Trump for about an hour on Friday, amid his longshot efforts to block Biden's win.“There was this outrage that the president was going to ask us to break the law, he was going to ask us to interfere, and that just simply didn't happen,” he told Fox News of the highly unusual meeting. He did not elaborate on what was discussed, except to say the delegation asked for additional federal aid to help Michigan's coronavirus response.Michigan’s elections agency has recommended that the Nov. 3 results — including Biden's 2.8-percentage point victory — be certified by the Board of State Canvassers, which has two Democrats and two Republicans. The Republican National Committee and the state Republican Party want the board to adjourn for 14 days to investigate alleged irregularities in Wayne County, the state's largest and home to Detroit.Staff for the state elections bureau said that claimed irregularities, even if verified, would not significantly affect the outcome. The Michigan Democratic Party said the total number of Detroit votes implicated by imbalanced precincts — where the number of ballots does not equal the number of names on the pollbook — is at most 450, or “0.029% of the margin” separating Biden from Trump.“The certification process must not be manipulated to serve as some sort of retroactive referendum on the expressed will of the voters. That is simply not how democracy works,” chairwoman Lavora Barnes wrote to the board on Sunday.If the board does not confirm the results and the Michigan Supreme Court does not subsequently order it to do so, Chatfield said “now we have a constitutional crisis." He and other Republicans, however, have indicated that they would not undermine the voters' will.“Michigan election law clearly requires that the state’s electors must be those nominated by the party that received the most votes — not the Legislature,” says a stock email House Republicans are sending in response to people who contact their offices.Experts on Michigan election law have said the state board's authority is limited in scope and that it must certify the results now that all 83 counties have reported theirs to the state. There is concern, though, because Trump personally called the two Republicans on Wayne County's board last week and they said a day later that they were rescinding their previous vote — following an earlier deadlock — but it was too late.Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican who met with Trump, suggested in a Sunday tweet that the state canvassers might “take the full time allowed by law to perform their duties" instead of voting Monday and said “it's inappropriate for anyone to exert pressure on them."The deadline is Dec. 13, but that is five days after the federal “safe harbour” date — when Congress cannot challenge any electors named by that date in accordance with state law.There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the 2020 election. In fact, election officials from both political parties have stated publicly that the election went well and international observers confirmed that there were no serious irregularities.The issues Trump’s campaign and its allies have pointed to are typical in every election.Republican U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan's current longest-serving member of Congress, told CNN on Sunday that “the voters spoke" and the state had no razor-thin presidential race.“No one has come up with any evidence of fraud or abuse,” he said. He called the request to delay the certification “out of bounds.”The trip to the White House has come under heavy scrutiny. The lawmakers stayed at the luxury Trump International Hotel, and two of them were photographed with expensive drinks at the hotel bar after the meeting.Spokespeople for Shirkey and Chatfield said the legislators covered their expenses and that no taxpayer money was used. However, they did not say if the men paid for the trip themselves or if it was paid for in some other way such as by them tapping into their non-profit “administrative” accounts that can accept contributions from corporate or other donors.Finding out about who runs such lawmaker-connected organizations, who donates to them and what the money is spent on can be extremely difficult, according to a 2016 joint investigation by MLive and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. Such accounts can be used to reimburse legislators for travel.___Follow David Eggert: https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00David Eggert, The Associated Press
The Dukling, a traditional Chinese junk boat frequently spotted around Hong Kong's picturesque Victoria Harbour, has readjusted its tour routes to survive the coronavirus pandemic, now mainly catering to locals. Its 12 staff serve mainly foreign tourists looking to see Hong Kong's glitzy skyline from a different angle. "This disease has had a massive impact on the entire planet and Hong Kong is really dependent on trade and tourism,” said Li, seated in the wooden boat.
Le 24 octobre dernier, le restaurant 28 on the Lake de New Liskeard, anciennement connu sous le nom de Rooster’s Bar and Grill, recevait le chansonnier Simon Rivard. Pour souligner le mois de l’Oktoberfest, le propriétaire tentait une nouvelle formule, soit un spectacle en plein après-midi mettant en vedette un artiste bien connu dans le nord de l’Ontario. Originaire d’Earlton, habitant maintenant à Temiskaming Shores, Simon Rivard est un véritable passionné de musique depuis sa tendre enfance. La COVID-19 l’ayant tenu loin de la scène pendant quelques mois, c’est avec beaucoup de fébrilité et d’excitation qu’il retournait enfin devant un public, une dose d’énergie et d’adrénaline qui lui avait particulièrement manqué. Le spectacle au 28 on the Lake qui devait se dérouler de 14 h à 16 h s’est finalement poursuivi un peu plus longtemps que prévu. « Une fois parti, j’ai vraiment de la misère à arrêter… j’ai joué jusqu’à 5 h. » Pour gagner son public, le chanteur et musicien emploie la même recette depuis longtemps et celle-ci est infaillible. « Mon objectif, quand je fais un spectacle, c’est d’aller chercher la foule. Je commence toujours tranquillement. Peu importe que ce soit une noce, un festival, un restaurant, un party privé, je commence doucement parce que le monde n’est pas encore réchauffé. Au restaurant, j’ai donc commencé lentement. Après la première heure, j’avais réussi à embarquer le public. Dans le restaurant, ça tapait des mains, ça chantait avec moi. Plus le spectacle avançait, plus le monde embarquait. Là, à 4 h, c’était le temps d’arrêter, mais rendu là, il fallait que je continue et le propriétaire du restaurant était bien correct avec ça. » L’artiste, qui s’accompagne à la guitare, chante de tous les genres, tant en français qu’en anglais. Il passe du country au rock, de la musique pop à la chanson plus folklorique. Son style varié permet de rejoindre un vaste public. Simon Rivard sera de retour au 28 on the Lake les samedis 14 et 28 novembre de 14 h à 16 h. Son parcours La musique fait partie de l’ADN de la famille Rivard et ce, depuis plusieurs générations. « Ma passion vient de mes parents. Ils ont toujours été intéressés par la musique francophone. Ils écoutaient Claude Barzotti, Francis Cabrel, Diane Dufresne, Offenbach. Dans nos partys de famille, ç’a toujours été des chansons à répondre. » En 2e année, il chante pour la première fois devant un public, invité par Sœur Lucille à chanter à l’église, le dimanche matin. En 7e année, son talent n’est plus un secret pour personne; on lui confie le Minuit Chrétien lors d’un spectacle d’école présenté en soirée devant la communauté. Ensuite, il délaisse la musique quelque temps pour se consacrer aux sports. La passion refait surface en 11eannée alors qu’il est sélectionné pour faire partie du Spectacle Apollo de l’École secondaire Sainte-Marie de New Liskeard. « C’est là que j’ai développé mon talent et mes connaissances comme les techniques de chant, les vocalises, les respirations, la voix, la mise en scène, comment aller chercher un auditoire. On faisait 15-20 spectacles en tournée. Le processus des auditions, le fait d’être sélectionné, ça m’a apporté plus de confiance en moi. » En 1997, Simon participe au concours Ontario Pop dans le cadre du Festival franco-ontarien à Ottawa. Finaliste d’abord, il gagne ensuite dans la catégorie « interprète », ce qui lui permet d’offrir une performance devant 3 000 personnes. Il partage la scène avec le pianiste François Cousineau et le chanteur Claude Dubois qui était le porte-parole de cette édition du festival. Gagner ce concours lui permettait de se rendre directement à la demi-finale du Festival international de la chanson de Granby. « Quand j’ai reçu mon dossier d’informations avec le formulaire d’inscription, j’étais dans ma chambre, à Earlton, dans mon village de fermiers. L’été, je faisais les foins. Je ne pensais pas à la grosse scène. En juillet, je devais envoyer mon inscription pour le festival qui est en septembre. Quand j’ai regardé ça et que j’ai vu le nom de tous les artistes qui avaient déjà leur nom de scène, j’ai paniqué. Moi, je suis Simon Rivard, d’Earlton. Je m’en vais à l’Université Laurentienne en éducation physique. J’ai eu « la chienne » et j’ai décidé de ne pas y aller. Au lieu de foncer, j’ai reculé. » Longtemps, il fut rongé par les regrets. Aujourd’hui, son regard est tout autre. Maintenant père de trois enfants, il est conscient qu’il aurait peut-être passé à côté d’une vie de famille dans laquelle il est parfaitement épanoui s’il avait opté pour la musique à temps plein et à grande échelle. Malgré son désistement au festival, la musique a toujours continué à faire partie de son univers. Il donne plusieurs spectacles par année; parfois en solo, d’autres fois avec sa femme et ses enfants et bien souvent avec Claude Lapointe, un ami de Timmins avec qui il partage la scène une quinzaine de fois par année. La musique, il est fier de la léguer en héritage à ses enfants. « Mon plus vieux joue de la guitare, ma fille joue du piano et du ukulélé en plus de chanter et mon plus jeune joue de la batterie et il chante. Mon épouse chante et joue du piano elle aussi. C’est familial, notre affaire. Et c’est fou tout ce que ça apporte comme joie, comme bonheur, quand on crée de la musique ensemble. » Après ses journées de travail, ce directeur adjoint d’une école secondaire est bien content de retrouver sa guitare et son garage pour partager sa musique. Il est donc possible de voir quelques-unes de ses prestations sur sa page Facebook.Dominique Roy, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
JANESVILLE, Wis. — U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a statement from the Republican lawmaker, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district.The congressman said he began experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend and contacted his health care provider while at home in Janesville, Wisconsin.Steil said he spent all of last week working in Washington, D.C.“Following CDC guidelines, I am immediately quarantining and will continue serving the people of Southeast Wisconsin from my home in Janesville,” he said.Steil was first elected in 2018 and held on to his seat in November for Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district, which includes Kenosha and Racine counties and portions of Milwaukee, Rock, Walworth and Waukesha counties.The Associated Press
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Kevin Molino scored two goals, Robin Lod added another and Minnesota United beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Sunday night for the first playoff victory in franchise history.Fourth-seeded Minnesota, unbeaten in its last nine games, will play top-seeded Sporting Kansas City in the conference semifinals. Sporting beat San Jose in a shootout earlier Sunday.Molino rolled a left-footer from the top of the area inside to post to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.Dayne St. Clair, a 23-year old in his first playoff appearance, had six saves for Minnesota.Lod ran onto a long through ball from Emanuel Reynoso at the top of the area, cut back to evade a defender and flicked in a left-footed side-netter to make it 2-0 in the 54th minute. Jan Gregus tapped a cross to a charging Molino who chipped it over sliding goalkeeper William Yarbrough to cap the scoring in the 79th.Molino also scored twice in Minnesota's 3-0 win over Dallas in the regular-season finale.Colorado had won three in a row heading into the playoffs.The Associated Press
CALGARY — The Alberta Liberal Party says its leader, David Khan, is stepping down.A news release from the party on Sunday evening says Khan is accepting a new job in law.It says the party's board of directors will meet shortly to decide on its next steps.Khan failed to win a seat in Calgary Mountain-View in the April 2019 vote, an election in which the Liberals failed to win any seats.A lawyer specializing in Indigenous rights and land-claims litigation, Khan won the party's leadership in 2017.The Liberals were once the province's official Opposition, but after a high of 32 seats in 1993, the party suffered from ups and downs until it fell to third-party status in the legislature in 2012 and elected only one member in 2015.“During my time as Alberta Liberal Leader, we were powerful advocates on significant issues including regulating Political Action Committees, remediating orphan wells, eliminating school segregation rooms, and addressing the 'red alerts' crisis with EMS," Khan said in the news release."We pushed the provincial government to take action on these matters of concern to Albertans. We also raised awareness and grew support for Universal Basic Income, and the necessity of a sales tax. I was proud to advance these forward-thinking ideas to improve the lives of Albertans."The party thanked Khan, noting in the news release he "developed bold new policies, modernized party operations and recruited a new generation of young Albertans to the Alberta Liberal Party."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Les membres de la communauté autochtone Wolf Lake sont une centaine à habiter au sud du Témiscamingue et à North Bay, et environ 140 vivent ailleurs au Canada. S'ils sont aussi dispersés, c'est parce qu'ils n'ont pas de territoire attribué, bien que Wolf Lake soit reconnu en tant que Première Nation. Pour pallier ce manque, le centre de santé et de bien-être Mahingan Sagahigan (Wolf Lake en langue algonquine) situé à Témiscaming se propose comme l'élément rassembleur de la communauté. En offrant des services touchant aux domaines de la santé, de la culture et du sport, l'équipe veille à ce que les 240 membres anichinabés et leur famille immédiate soient bien servis. Un centre tout-en-un « On donne des soins qui sont culturellement adaptés, c'est-à-dire que chacun d’eux est axé sur la culture, qui est au centre de tout. On intègre le mental, le spirituel, le physique et l'émotionnel », explique Jessie Bond, gérante de programme au centre et infirmière. Native de Témiscaming et membre de Wolf Lake First Nation, elle a joint le centre Mahingan Sagahigan il y a trois ans afin de retrouver ses origines et redonner à sa communauté. Lorsqu'elle a débuté au centre, celui-ci était établi déjà depuis quelques années, mais l'offre de service se limitait à la santé et au transport médical. Maintenant, en plus de ces services, des activités culturelles sont organisées, des guérisseurs traditionnels sont invités, de l'aide alimentaire est distribuée à une soixantaine de famille et un accès à des entraînements physiques est offert. En santé, le centre fait de la prévention et accompagne ses membres dans leurs défis en santé mentale, dépendances et tabagisme. Une psychologue native de Timiskaming First Nation voit des patients deux fois par mois et une hygiéniste dentaire sera aussi prochainement disponible. La culture, pandémie ou non À la fin de l'été, les membres de la communauté avaient droit à une série de sept ateliers virtuels sur une variété de pratiques traditionnelles. La pêche, la cuisine, la cueillette de baie et la fabrication de paniers ne sont que quelques exemples. Pour tous les ateliers nécessitant du matériel, le centre Mahingan Sagahigan avait tout prévu : des boîtes contenant le nécessaire étaient distribuées aux gens de la région et d'autres étaient envoyées par la poste pour ceux habitant à l'extérieur. « C'était notre moyen de livrer notre programmation malgré la pandémie », souligne Jessie Bond. Elle a aussi constaté avec joie que la livraison des ateliers « en boîte » permettait aux membres de Wolf Lake ailleurs au Canada de s'intégrer plus facilement que lorsque les cours se donnaient en personne. Un endroit juste pour eux Près d'un an d'efforts plus tard, l'un des projets les plus marquants pour madame Bond verra le jour prochainement : l'inauguration d'un healing lodge (pavillon de ressourcement) et d'un site culturel sur une terre près de la ZEC de Kipawa. Ce sera l'endroit idéal pour que les membres de la communauté puissent finalement se rassembler et tisser des liens intergénérationnels. « Ce qu'on veut, c'est ramener le monde sur le territoire. On pense que cette connexion est super importante pour la guérison de la communauté. On veut aussi commencer à montrer à nos enfants des choses qui ont été perdues justement parce que Wolf Lake n'a pas de réserve et que nous sommes dispersés. Beaucoup de savoirs traditionnels et de cérémonies ont été oubliés parce que nous n'avons pas eu la chance d'avoir cette transmission de savoir », estime la gérante de programme. Par exemple, l'équipe souhaite offrir de l'enseignement de pêche sur glace et de fabrication de raquettes traditionnelles pour l'hiver à venir. Les échanges entre les jeunes et les aînés de la communauté pourront aussi se faire plus naturellement à ce lieu. Le pavillon sera en quelque sorte un cercle de partage. Une travailleuse sociale sera sur place si des dialogues sont plus difficiles pour certains. « C'est comme avoir une approche traditionnelle et d'ajouter un peu de moderne en même temps », constate Jessie Bond. Un statut particulier Bien que les réserves autochtones soient controversées, madame Bond considère qu'obtenir un territoire officiel serait bénéfique pour la Première Nation de Wolf Lake. L'accès au financement de soins de santé adaptés à la réalité autochtone serait plus simple et la vie culturelle serait enrichie si les membres étaient tous réunis. La Nation est toujours en processus de revendication particulière de territoire (négociation) avec le gouvernement fédéral. À venir Récemment, le Mahingan Sagahigan Health and Wellness Centre inaugurait une petite bibliothèque dans ses locaux où des auteurs autochtones garnissent les étagères. Une première planification stratégique est en route et des ressources culturellement adaptées pour contrer l'intimidation dans les écoles sont en développement. Plusieurs projets sont sur la table pour 2021 et viendront donc s'ajouter à l'éventail de services offerts pour la communauté.Bianca Sickini-Joly, Initiative de journalisme local, Reflet Témiscamien (Le)
Health officials in B.C. say the latest restrictions meant to slow COVID-19 infections will put on hold popular holiday events across the province.On Thursday, the officials brought in sweeping new measures meant to slow the rate of infections.They included the suspension of all indoor and outdoor community and social events until Dec. 7, even if they're under 50 people.That means holiday-themed events like Vancouver's Bright Nights in Stanley Park and VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights will not be able to go ahead until at least Dec. 7.On Friday the Vancouver Park Board initially said it was seeking clarification about what the new orders meant for its events.On Sunday, Health Minister Adrian Dix confirmed that the two events, and other similar ones, would fall under the new order.'Very unfortunate'"These are great events, all of them and they (like many others) have worked hard to meet the test of the orders pre-last Thursday," he said in a message to CBC News."It is very unfortunate. Obviously, the provincial health officer will be reviewing the impact on COVID-19 over the next two weeks."Dix said the new orders are needed now, despite the consequences for holiday events."Alas, there are many many gatherings that are beloved and affected."A Park Board spokesperson said on Sunday that anyone who had already purchased tickets to either event would be able to apply for a refund.Bright Nights in Stanley Park was scheduled to run from Nov. 26 to Jan. 1, while VanDusen Botanical Garden's Festival of Lights was set to begin on Nov. 27 and run until Jan. 3.
More than 2,000 people have signed an online petition demanding that students at Dawson College not be forced to do in-person exams at the end of term.Most of the school's end-of-term tests will be done online, but a handful of science programs have decided to schedule on-site exams.The student union has come out in opposition to the plan, saying it puts students at risk, especially as COVID-19 cases in Montreal continue to rise."It is in a red zone, we cannot possibly go in school in the centre of this pandemic," said Kevin Contant-Holowatyj, chair of the Dawson Student Union.The union released a statement saying that student health should come first."Finals are already a stressful time for students, and we believe that having to be in a room with other students can augment the stress to many of the student population. While we understand that some students and faculty may be concerned with academic integrity, this cannot outweigh in any way the risk of contracting the virus," reads the statement.The petition, which has a goal of 2,500, had more than 2,100 virtual signatures as of Sunday evening.Dawson students also circulated a petition asking for online exams in the summer term, which only garnered 500 signatures.For its part, Dawson said the decision to hold some exams in-person was made to protect academic integrity, and was done in consultation with public health experts.It said the decision could be revisited if new health concerns come to light.
BAIE-COMEAU, Que. — Brandon Frattaroli scored twice while Nathael Roy scored the shootout-winning goal as the Baie-Comeau Drakkar vanquished the Val-d'Or Foreurs 3-2 in Baie-Comeau on Sunday afternoon.Frattaroli scored his first of the game in the second period, before scoring the game-tying goal with 10:01 to play in the third. Jacob Gaucher and Marshall Lessard scored for the Foreurs.Roy and Julien Hebert scored in the shootout for Baie-Comeau. Justin Ducharme scored in the shootout for Val-d'Or.Olivier Ciarlo turned aside 31 shots for Baie-Comeau. William Blackburn saved 16 shots for Val-d'Or. Val-d'Or outshot Baie-Comeau 33-18. The Drakkar (4-8-0) went 1-for-2 on the power play. The Foreurs (7-1-4) went 0-for-3 with the man advantage.ARMADA 4 VOLTIGEURS 1BOISBRIAND -- The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada defeated the Drummondville Voltigeurs 4-1 in Blainville-Boisbriand on Sunday evening. Luke Henman, Alexis Gendron, Yaroslav Likhachev and Zachary Roy also scored for the Armada.HUSKIES 3 OCÉANIC 2RIMOUSKI -- The Rouyn-Noranda Huskies defeated the Rimouski Océanic 3-2 in Rimouski on Sunday afternoon. Xavier Bouchard scored the game winning goal for the Huskies at 13:26 of the third period.OLYMPIQUES 3 SAGUENÉENS 2 (OT)CHICOUTIMI -- The Gatineau Olympiques beat the Chicoutimi Saguenéens 3-2 in overtime in Chicoutimi on Sunday afternoon. Samuel Savoie scored the game winning goal for the Olympiques at 2:44 of overtime.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
FRASERVILLE — A Fraserville resident has made it to the quarter-finals of a global baking contest. Michelle Laroche was nominated by a friend for The Greatest Baker competition, which was established and is hosted by Jen Barney, a two-time Food Network baking champion and the owner of Meringue Bakery and Cafe. From a field of 324 bakers, only 16 could advance to the quarter-finals and Laroche was one of the 16 to do so on Friday. Laroche said her mom knew she advanced to the quarter-finals before she did. “My mom is over the moon. She called me this morning and she said, ‘You did it, you did it, you did it,’” Laroche said. She said there’s the option of one daily free vote, or the option of unlimited paid votes, and there were people she didn’t know who bought votes for her. “It was so insane to see. As a contestant, every time a vote was purchased you could see. So, I was blown away by some of the amounts of money people were spending on me,” she said. The competition is based solely on work that contestants have already done. In the nearly 50 photos Laroche displays on her profile, they exemplify cake work she’s done throughout her career as a baker, ranging from a cake shaped like a Doritos bag, to a cake with an Eiffel Tower on it. Laroche, who owns From Scratch With Love, said she never thought she would make it this far in the competition. “I went through some of the profiles on there and …. wow. So, I’m pretty excited. There’s some amazing competition out there,” she said. Laroche said she’s received so much support from the community, along with friends and family. The contest’s grand prize for the first-place winner is $10,000, a year’s supply of Stuffed Puffs and the chance to be featured in Bake from Scratch Magazine. “I plan to put a deposit on our own home so we can stop renting. I have four children and if I got that, that would be a house,” she said. To keep up with the contest, visit greatestbaker.com.Marissa Lentz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner
Saskatchewan announced 236 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases in the province to 2,683.Of the new cases, 82 are in Saskatoon, 52 in Regina and 24 in the north central region of the province.17 of the cases are in the north west zone of the province, with 13 in the south west. The central west, south central and north east zones of the province all have nine cases.The far north west reported eight new cases, the south east reported six while the far north east and the central east both reported two new cases. The far north central part of the province reported one new case of COVID-19.Two cases are pending residence information.Hospitalizations are now at a record high with 99 people receiving care. 80 people in in-paitent care and 19 people in the ICU.Ninety more people have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered people to 3,757There are now 6,473 total reported cases of COVID-19 in the province.The province said the seven-day average of daily cases increased to 211, with 17.4 new cases per 100,000 population.It said that daily cases numbers are expected to fluctuate as a result of factors such as weather-related and logistical delays in lab specimens reaching the testing centre.
With more and more parts of the country imposing restrictions and implementing lockdowns to try and stop the second wave of COVID-19, small business owners are worried about surviving the economic crisis even as a new aid program launches Nov. 23. Grace Ke reports.
Why do bees have sticky hair? Because they use honey combs.Tristan Kennedy, 5, shared that joke and more than 100 other knee-slappers outside his home in Pitt Meadows, B.C., this spring in an effort to brighten up the days of his neighbours during the pandemic. For 155 days straight starting in April, Kennedy and his mother Naya Kohout searched for jokes and then shared them at the end of their driveway, with the setup written up and posted on one side and the punchline on the other. "The idea was that you would see the set-up for the joke as you started walking past our house, then have the 30-feet until you reached the answer to ponder it," said Kohout.What became a neighbourhood fixture was only supposed to happen once, but when their mail carrier caught Kennedy setting up the first one and asked what he was doing, the boy suggested it would be a daily offering. "I wanted to make everybody smile," Kennedy said.Kohout said they heard that people were making a point to walk past their house and see what the daily joke would be."If we were just inside our house playing Lego or something in the living room, we could hear people reading the joke out loud and then laughing," Kohout said. Tristan's joke bookDespite hearing a few groans from those bemoaning the dad jokes, the response was so positive they asked passersby if they would be interested in a book of jokes.Kohout says the demand was there, so they put together an offering. To date, they have sold more than 120 books, and raised more than $1,200, which they are donating in equal parts to the Ridge Meadows Senior Society and the Friends in Need Food Bank."It just made sense that we would be able to donate the proceeds of the book to charity to continue to make people smile, and to continue to try and have some positive impact with all the negative stuff that was going on," Kohout said.Kennedy has the day off school on Monday so Kohout is taking him down to each organization to hand deliver the cheques. As it turns out, news of the daily jokes had already reached the executive director of the Ridge Meadows Seniors Society when Kohout approached them about donating. "I knew right away what she was talking about," said Maria Perretta, whose son's daycare teachers would frequently take the kids on a walk to see the joke of the day. "A different child got to read the riddle each day and they would all try to guess the answer. I would hear all about it when I returned home from work," Perretta said. "I'm also sure it warmed many other local residents' hearts too, and gave them something to look forward to on their daily walks for fresh air."Though the family stopped posting the jokes when Kennedy started Kindergarten, they hope to continue selling the books and raising more money for the two local charities. The books can be requested for $20, plus $5 in shipping for out of town orders from firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined leaders from the world’s 20 richest nations on Sunday in a promise to work together to keep trade flowing, fight climate change and provide COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries.The promises are contained in a final communique issued by G20 leaders at the end of two days of largely closed-door virtual discussions ostensibly focused on co-ordinating an international response to the pandemic.Despite the pledges, however, experts say the summit represented a missed opportunity for addressing the biggest issues facing the world today — in part because most of the commitments are not new.The promises also do not come with any new money, including for vaccines in Africa and elsewhere, while the communique made no mention of human rights — despite the summit having been hosted by Saudi Arabia.Trudeau did raise human rights with his counterparts throughout the virtual summit, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. He also pushed leaders on climate change, free trade and equal access to vaccines and other COVID-19 support for all people.“Only together can we tackle the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow, and create a more resilient world that works for everyone,” Trudeau said in a statement after the meeting.“The G20 virtual leaders’ summit was an opportunity to expand global efforts to fight COVID-19, restore economic growth, and combat climate change.”Yet if the meeting was supposed to mark the start of a new era of international partnership, more than a decade after the group first came together in earnest to address the 2008 financial crisis, experts say it did anything but.“Often with these events and communiques, you can point to five or six things on which there was some progress that was notable,” said retired Canadian diplomat Thomas Bernes, now a distinguished fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.“Unfortunately, on this occasion it's a missed opportunity for the world.”Trudeau went into the G20 leaders’ summit looking for strong commitments on the provision of vaccines and other medical support to poor countries struggling with COVID-19. He also planned to push the fights against protectionism and climate change.While Canada has committed $440 million to a global program designed to ensure equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine when it is ready, observers had hoped that G20 countries would pony up another US$4.5 billion to address a funding shortfall.That didn’t happen, said John Kirton, co-director of the University of Toronto’s G20 Research Group. “The G20, which has spent, as they proudly declare, $15 trillion to counter COVID just this year, couldn't even agree to write down that they would come up with $4.5 billion to get those vaccines delivered around the world,” Kirton said.A similar lack of details and concrete commitments was found when it came to many other issues, with leaders largely committing to a steady-as-she-goes approach to the pandemic as well as climate change, infrastructure spending and international trade.That is despite Canada and many other countries now scrambling to respond to a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, which is causing untold health and economic damage as well as triggering massive amounts of government spending.Trudeau has framed that spending as an opportunity to address many of the inequities and root problems in the international economic system, including weaning the world off dirty energy and creating more sustainable infrastructure.Such ideas were reflected in the communique, but without specifics or new timetables. Rather, it included numerous caveats giving countries plenty of wiggle room.There was also no mention of restrictions on foreign companies bidding for infrastructure contracts. That is emerging as a source of concern for Canadian companies hoping to take advantage of such work in the U.S., in particular.Kirton and Bernes attributed the lack of ambition and progress during the summit and in the communique to the fact the meeting was held virtually, which eliminated much of the energy, side conversations and spontaneity that typically mark such summits.The fact it was held by Saudi Arabia, which is not accustomed to hosting such gatherings, and included what Bernes described as a “lame duck” U.S. president in Donald Trump, also contributed to the summit being what he called a “non-event.”While Kirton described Trump’s participation, the arrival of Joe Biden as U.S. president next year and Italy taking over as president of the G20 as reason for optimism that the grouping is still relevant, Bernes said its failure on Sunday is a blow to global co-operation.“The communique certainly identifies the challenges, but has made no substantive, significant progress in addressing COVID, climate change, the debt situation in many developing countries,” Bernes said.“... It further erodes confidence in a multilateral system and makes the challenges therefore just much more difficult as we go forward.”This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Tim Melia stopped all three of San Jose's shootout attempts and Sporting Kansas City converted all of its tries to beat the Earthquakes on Sunday after they finished overtime tied at 3 in the Western Conference semifinals.Top-seeded Sporting advanced to face play No. 4 Minnesota or No. 5 Colorado.Gianluca Busio scored in the first minute of stoppage time to give Sporting Kansas City a 3-2 lead, but Chris Wondolowski scored about six minutes later, heading home a high cross to the far post by Cristian Espinoza to force extra time. It was just the second career playoff goal for Wondolowski, who has an MLS-record 166 goals in the regular season.In the shootout, Johnny Russell opened the tiebreaker with a goal, Melia stopped Oswaldo Alanís, and Ilie Sánchez connected for Sporting. Jackson Yueill was stopped, Khiry Shelton scored, and Melia stopped Espinoza to end it.Melia is 6-0 in shootouts. The 34-year old goalkeeper went into the match allowing goals on just 54% (14 of 26) of the penalty kicks he’s faced, the lowest percentage in MLS history.Kansas City's Roger Espinoza opened the scoring in the fourth minute. Carlos Fierro answered in the 22nd, and Shea Salinas scored in the 34th minute to give the Earthquakes a 2-1 lead.Sánchez put away a corner kick by Busio in the 47th minute. It was the 10th goal off a corner kick by Sporting Kansas City this season, most in MLS.The Associated Press
Toronto police's homicide unit is investigating after a woman died in a stabbing in the city's east end on Sunday.According to Const. Ed Parks, calls came in around 1:30 p.m. for reports of a stabbing in the area of Victoria Park and Lawrence avenues. Parks said officers arrived on scene to find a woman suffering from multiple stab wounds. She was transported to hospital, where she later died. Toronto police were able to locate and arrest a male suspect, who had a knife. He now remains in police custody. Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators at 416-808-2222 or 416-808-7474.
Dozens of activists constructed green "foam domes" for unhoused people at a demonstration outside Mayor John Tory's condo on Sunday to make the point that there is a housing crisis in Toronto.The event, part of National Housing Day, was held to draw attention to the plight of people living in encampments. Snow fell as the activists put together the insulated foam structures that will be distributed to people experiencing homelessness across the city.Organizers said volunteers built 14 insulated foam structures on Sunday. The event, on Bedford Road near Bloor Street West, also drew a handful of uniformed police officers from 53 Division.Lesley Wood, a member of the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, told the activists that there is a city-wide movement to support unhoused people in Toronto, but that the city must do more now to prevent deaths this winter."It's cold here today and it's only starting to get colder. It's National Housing Day and it's the beginning of a second lockdown with this pandemic," Wood said in front of the condo at 1 Bedford Rd."People are going to die and there's no need for it. This is a rich city, these are rich buildings, this is a rich mayor. And people have a right to housing and they also have a right to survive."Wood said Toronto residents need to take care of each other as the pandemic continues."We need to make sure that people are survive together in the way that makes sense for them in this city," she said. "This city needs to step up."Wood urged the city to meet the demands of the Encampment Support Network, made up of groups of volunteers delivering essential supplies to people in encampments. The network wants the city to make an investment in "permanent, safe, dignified and affordable" housing, implement a moratorium on evictions, stop the criminalization of encampments, issue a moratorium on the clearing of encampments, and ensure all shelters and supportive housing are user-friendly and have overdose prevention and harm reduction services."People trying to survive is not a crime. People helping people to survive is not a crime. Nobody should be ticketed or harassed by police or security for living in a park," she said.After she spoke, Wood told CBC Toronto that the event was held outside the mayor's condo because activists believe he is not listening.Street pastor Doug Johnson Hatlem poked fun at the mayor, reading a passage from A Christmas Carol, a novella by Charles Dickens, to suggest that "Mayor Ebenezer John Scrooge McTory" needs to have a change of heart and make fighting poverty a priority."This mayor, who lives in this plush condo, has failed to use his emergency powers to stop evictions," Hatlem said.Don Peat, spokesperson for Tory, said in a statement on Sunday that the mayor and city have been "working non-stop" during the pandemic to help homeless people and provide safe housing options."Since the COVID-19 emergency began, the City and community organizations have helped more than 1,100 people move from encampments to safe indoor spaces. That work on safe housing is continuing and will continue because we are committed to helping people move from homelessness into safe, indoor housing," Peat said."This is on top of the more than 6,000 people the City works to shelter every night in a system that has been dramatically expanded in the last few years and further expanded across Toronto to respect physical distancing and other public health requirements to keep people safe," he added.Estimated 1,000 people living outside in TorontoAccording to the city, the foam domes are made of "rigid" polystyrene, a material considered highly flammable. The city said using the foam domes close to any flame or heat source is dangerous."Our Toronto Fire officials have been absolutely clear that these temporary structures featured at the protest today are not safe. Longstanding laws focused on public safety also preclude these kinds of temporary structures being located in public parks," Peat continued."The Mayor and City Council have been clear that all governments need to work together to provide more safe housing options, especially supportive housing, to tackle homelessness."According to the activists, the foam-based sleeping structures are outfitted with LED lights, air vents and a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. The activists said the foam domes are made with a fire retardant and are safer than highly flammable and freezing cold tents. Homeless advocates estimate that there are roughly 1,000 people living outside in Toronto, while the city estimates the number is closer to between 400 and 500 people.
HALIFAX — About 150 people showed up to the Dome nightclub in Halifax on Saturday night, but it wasn’t to dance or get a drink.They were there to get a rapid COVID-19 test, as part of a pilot screening program aimed at bar staff and patrons in downtown Halifax. The Nova Scotia government launched the project amid growing concerns about community transmission in Halifax, particularly among young people.“We are having a problem with 18- to 35-year-olds,” Premier Stephen McNeil told a press conference on Friday afternoon. “They are going out when they are feeling sick, they are going out in large groups, and quite frankly different groups, and they’re not distancing. They’re living as if COVID does not exist.”Of the approximately 150 rapid tests done on Saturday night, one patron's test came back positive, according to a Sunday release from the provincial department of health. That positive test was not included in the 11 new cases announced in the province on Sunday. Instead, officials are waiting for the results of the person’s regular COVID-19 test, which they say is much more accurate.Nova Scotia reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total number of active infections in the province to 44. Saturday and Sunday’s case increases were the largest the province has seen in several months. "The majority of new cases we are seeing involve social interactions -- people who may or may not be symptomatic going downtown with friends and staying for several hours," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, in Sunday’s release. "Last night's pilot provides us more information as our testing and screening strategy continues to evolve."Dalhousie University also confirmed Sunday that two of its off-campus students are among the province's latest cases. In a release, the school said the students are self-isolating and studying virtually, and that they are “not associated with our residence community.”Beginning Monday, anyone in the province eating at a restaurant will have to provide their name and phone number for contract tracing and close social gatherings in most of the Halifax Regional Municipality will be limited to five people.Nova Scotia has had 1,170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, including 65 deaths.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 22, 2020.The Canadian Press
Sask. Premier Scott Moe stood his ground on the topic of locking down the province in a radio interview yesterday, even after the province announced a record 439 new cases of COVID-19.Moe was on CORUS Entertainment's The Roy Green Show to discuss his strategy around COVID-19 and how to prevent a "disastrous" circuit-breaker lockdown in Saskatchewan. Shutting down would dramatically impact small businesses in Saskatchewan and in Canada, he told Green."That's why we are looking at every other lever that we have to control the spread of this virus … and minimize the impact on our small businesses," Moe said. His comments on The Roy Green Show were made shortly after Moe's press secretary released a statement, expressing concerns about Saturday's record high COVID-19 cases totals on his behalf.On Sunday NDP Leader Ryan Meili said Moe's interview showed the premier was gambling with the lives of Saskatchewan people and taking huge risks with the provincial economy by preventing a short-term lockdown.To Meili, Moe's comments showed he was ignoring what experts have said, what health professionals have said and what's happening in other provinces.The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses criticized the government's measures as not enough earlier this month, adding the organization to a growing list of health professionals and advocates calling on the government to do more. In Manitoba wide-scale lockdowns were enacted once that province's health-care system was overwhelmed by a second wave of COVID-19, something Meili warned could happen here soon."[Moe is] stuck with his own ideas and the fact of the matter is, is that his ideas on this are dumb," Meili said. "He doesn't have a good understanding of what's going on. He's in over his head and he's making the wrong choices and we're all going to pay for it."NDP continues calls for circuit-breaker lockdownLast Tuesday, when asked why the government wasn't introducing measures to shutter non-essential businesses — and could be seen as choosing jobs over minimizing spread of the COVID-19 — Moe said it wasn't the time for a lockdown and maintained new measures announced that day would be effective."One: it reduces the spread temporarily. Two: we are not sacrificing one for the other. We've always said that's not the choice that needs to be made," he said."We feel that we are at a stage here where a slowdown will work. We may get to a lockdown in the days ahead."Moe added thousands of Saskatchewan residents and families were still recovering from the economic burden of the first lockdown.A day after Moe made his comments, the NDP called on the government to enact a three-week-long circuit-breaker lockdown to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan. On Sunday Meili reiterated his party's call for a temporary shutdown and said while such a move would have a negative impact on the provincial economy, it would hurt businesses less than a full-scale, indefinite lockdown would."Having the circuit breaker is about making sure that we have the least possible damage," Meili said. "You need to do two things: One, you need to do it early and briefly, so you actually get the cases under control — and then allow the economy to restart again — and then you have to have the financial support in place."Following the NDP's initial call for a circuit-breaker lockdown Merriman's office issued a statement rejecting the idea and said it would continue consultations with the hospitality, faith, recreation and athletic communities on further measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Meili said in acting without seriousness, Moe's actions will be damaging to the provincial economy and human life in Saskatchewan and it's frustrating to see this approach from a person who's supposed to be in charge.The statement issued by Moe's press secretary on Saturday said the Premier and Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab would have more to say about COVID-19 early in the coming week.Meili said he and his party hope the government introduces measures that show it is taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously when more information is provided next week."It's hard to watch this being so badly handled and all we can do is push," he said.