York Regional Police say two people are dead and three others are injured, including a young child and an infant, after a reported stabbing in East Gwillimbury on Saturday. The SIU has invoked its mandate. Morganne Campbell has more in this report.
York Regional Police say two people are dead and three others are injured, including a young child and an infant, after a reported stabbing in East Gwillimbury on Saturday. The SIU has invoked its mandate. Morganne Campbell has more in this report.
Hello, royal watchers. This is a special edition of The Royal Fascinator, your dose of royal news and analysis. Reading this online? Sign up here to get this delivered to your inbox. The revelations just kept coming Sunday night as Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, gave Oprah Winfrey — and a worldwide television audience — their view on why they had to leave the upper echelons of the Royal Family. The reasons were many, but amid all they had to say, there was one statement that stood out and seems particularly serious for the House of Windsor: Meghan's declaration that a senior member of the Royal Family had worries about the colour of the skin of their first child before he was born. In an interview Monday on CBS This Morning, Winfrey said Harry told her neither Queen Elizabeth nor Prince Philip were part of conversations about Archie's skin colour. "I think it's very damaging — the idea that a senior member of the Royal Family had expressed concern about what Archie might look like," Carolyn Harris, a Toronto-based royal author and historian, said in an interview late Sunday night. Meghan told Winfrey the concern had been relayed to her by Harry, and when questioned further on it, Harry refused to offer more specifics, saying it's a "conversation I'm never going to share." And that, Harris suggests, speaks to the seriousness of the matter. "It's very clear that Harry didn't want to go into details feeling that it would be too damaging for the monarchy." WATCH | Royal Family expressed concerns about son's skin colour, Meghan tells Oprah: It will take time to digest the impact of all that Harry and Meghan had to say to Winfrey. But some early comments in the British media this morning suggest Harry and Meghan's account will have a profound impact. "They have revealed the terrible strains inside the palace. They have drawn a picture of unfeeling individuals lost in an uncaring institution. They have spoken of racism within the Royal Family. This was a devastating interview," the BBC's royal correspondent, Jonny Dymond, wrote in an online analysis. "But Harry describing his brother and father as 'trapped,' and Meghan revealing that she repeatedly sought help within the palace only to be rebuffed is a body blow to the institution." 'A damning allegation' The Guardian reported that Harry and Meghan telling Winfrey of conversations in the Royal Family about Archie's skin colour is "a damning allegation that will send shockwaves through the institution and send relations with the palace to a new low." Many themes and issues developed over the two-hour broadcast, which sprinkled lighter moments — they're expecting a girl, they have rescue chickens and Archie, age almost two, has taken to telling people to "drive safe" — with much more serious concerns, including the lack of support they say they received, particularly as Meghan had suicidal thoughts. WATCH | Meghan had suicidal thoughts during royal life: "A theme that emerges again and again, and it's something that Harry explicitly states in the interview, is the Royal Family being concerned with the opinion of the tabloid press," said Harris. "This may very well have influenced decisions not to speak out about the way Meghan was being treated and that may have influenced some other decisions as well." One of those might be the question of security, something that was of considerable concern to the couple when they learned royal support for it would be withdrawn. "The Royal Family has frequently in the past received bad press regarding minor members ... receiving security,"said Harris. 'Negative headlines' "There were a lot of negative headlines regarding Beatrice and Eugenie continuing to receive security and their father's [Prince Andrew's] insistence they receive security despite being comparatively minor members of the Royal Family who do not undertake public engagements representing the Queen." There was also a sense out of Sunday's interview that issues that troubled the Royal Family in the past may still be a worry now. "Even in the 21st century after all of the problems that the Royal Family encountered in the 1990s with the breakdowns in the marriages of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew … there still doesn't seem to be a consistent means of mentoring new members of the Royal Family," said Harris. Meghan said she had to Google the lyrics for God Save the Queen, and was filled in at the last minute about having to curtsy to Elizabeth just before meeting her for the first time. Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, pose for a picture at a Buckingham Palace reception following the final Queen's Young Leaders Awards ceremony in London on June 26, 2018. Both Meghan and Harry spoke warmly of the Queen during the interview Sunday night.(John Stillwell/Reuters) Throughout the interview, Harry and Meghan repeatedly expressed respect and admiration for the Queen, if not for how the Royal Family as an institution operates. But there is considerable murkiness around just who may be responsible for some of the more serious issues they raised. "We know they respect the Queen and have a good personal relationship with the Queen. We know that Meghan had a conflict with Kate but says Kate apologized and Meghan forgave her and she doesn't think Kate's a bad person," said Harris. Lacking 'specific details' "But when it comes to who made racist comments about Archie's appearance or who was dismissive directly of Meghan's mental health, [on] that we don't have specific details." High-profile royal interviews such as this — particularly one by Harry's mother Diana, in 1995 — have a track record of not turning out as the royal interviewees may have intended, and it remains to be seen the lasting impact of this one. Harris sees parallels with Diana's interview, as she "spoke frankly" about a lack of support from the family, and felt that she had been let down by Prince Charles. Meghan spoke with Winfrey before they were joined by Harry.(Harpo Productions/Joe Pugliese/Reuters) Harry talked of hoping to repair his relationship with his father — "I will always love him but there's a lot of hurt that happened" — but said he felt really let down, and noted a time when his father wasn't taking his calls. Harris expects the interview will prompt further critical scrutiny of Charles, and Harry's older brother Prince William. The relationship with William has already been under intense scrutiny, and is clearly still a delicate matter for Harry, who hesitated noticeably before responding as Winfrey pressed him on it. "Time heals all things, hopefully," Harry said. How Buckingham Palace responds to all this remains to be seen. Generally, the public approach in matters such as this is silence, and a determination to be seen as carrying on with regular duties. Whether a member of the family might make a more informal comment — say in response to a question from someone at a public event — also remains to be seen. WATCH | Meghan says Royal Family failed to protect her and Prince Harry: But from what did emerge Sunday evening, there is a sense that whatever efforts the House of Windsor has made to put a more modern face on the monarchy, they appear not to have yielded the fruit that might have been hoped. "There's been some elements of modernization, but it's very clear that the institution has difficulty adapting to the needs of individuals who marry into the Royal Family," said Harris. "It's clear that Meghan came away from her experiences feeling that she was not supported or mentored in her new role." Sign up here to have The Royal Fascinator newsletter land in your inbox every other Friday. I'm always happy to hear from you. Send your ideas, comments, feedback and notes to email@example.com. Problems with the newsletter? 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OTTAWA — A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there's still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. The poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with women far more likely than men to say equality remains elusive in a host of fields. Overall, 63 per cent of respondents to the poll, conducted by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies, said equality between men and women has not been achieved. But female respondents were far more pessimistic: 73 per cent said equality has not been achieved, compared to 53 per cent of men. Overall, a majority said equality has definitely or "to some extent" been achieved at home, in social settings, in the media, at work, in sciences and in politics. Just 44 per cent said the same of sports. But again male respondents were far more likely than women, by as much as 20 percentage points, to say equality has been achieved in those areas. For instance, 80 per cent of men, but just 68 per cent of women, said equality has been achieved, at least to some extent, at home. The same gender gap was evident on the questions of whether equality has been achieved in other settings: social settings (71 per cent of male respondents said it has versus 58 per cent of women), in the media (73 per cent versus 57 per cent), at work (68 per cent versus 50 per cent), in sciences (64 per cent versus 48 per cent), in politics (64 per cent versus 44 per cent) and in sports (48 per cent versus 41 per cent). Similarly, 73 per cent of female respondents said men are paid more than women for doing the same work. Just 49 per cent of male respondents agreed. A majority of women (57 per cent) said public organizations should implement quotas to ensure minimum numbers of women on their boards of directors. Just 34 per cent of men agreed. The online poll of 1,532 adult Canadians was conducted Feb. 26 to 28. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based surveys are not considered random samples. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada is set to receive 910,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses this week as pharmaceutical companies ramp up deliveries to make good on their contractual obligations by the end of the month. The Public Health Agency of Canada says the country will receive nearly 445,000 shots from Pfizer-BioNTech for the second week running as the companies settle into a rhythm following a lengthy lull in January and much of February. The remaining 465,000 shots are expected from Moderna, as the pharmaceutical firm steps up its delivery schedule from once every three weeks to once every two. The influx of new shots comes as the federal government looks for vaccine-makers to finalize delivery of a total of eight million doses by March 31. That includes 5.5 million from Pfizer-BioNTech — up from the four million originally expected — and two million from Moderna. Canada received 500,000 doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine last week. The federal government is not expecting any new deliveries from AstraZeneca-Oxford, nor does it anticipate receiving shipments of the newly approved vaccine from Johnson & Johnson until next month. At that point, however, both manufacturers are on tap to deliver millions of shots per month. That includes more than a million doses per week from Pfizer-BioNTech starting in the last week of March and into the following month. "In April, we are anticipating a steep increase in vaccine availability," Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, the military officer overseeing Canada’s inoculation distribution effort, said last week. “This includes 23 million doses of both Pfizer and Moderna between April and June, and at least 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeneca Serum Institute of India vaccine arriving by mid-May.” Johnson & Johnson, whose single-dose vaccine received Health Canada approval on Friday, is the fourth inoculation to receive the green light from the regulator. It uses a modified common-cold virus to carry a piece of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 to convince the body to mount an immune response to prevent future infections. Clinical trials found it to be 66 per cent effective against moderate COVID-19-related illness, 85 per cent effective against severe illness, and 100 per cent effective against death. "We can be really increasingly optimistic in our outlook and that is really great," Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, said on Friday. Procurement Minister Anita Anand said the government has now confirmed total deliveries of 36.5 million vaccine doses by Canada Day which would be more than enough to get a single dose to each adult Canadian by then. That doesn't include any of the 10 million doses purchased from Johnson & Johnson, and includes none of the 20 million doses coming directly from AstraZeneca. Every vaccine except Johnson & Johnson's is given in two doses, but provinces are moving to implement new guidance from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization stating those shots should be spaced out up to four months apart rather than three or four weeks. Provinces are making the move to get more people vaccinated with a first dose, after real-world evidence showed strong data that one dose is highly effective on its own. Nearly 1.7 million Canadians have now received at least one dose, and the pace of vaccinations has accelerated in the last two weeks. In the past seven days alone, more than 457,000 people were vaccinated, 2 1/2 times as many as in a similar period two weeks before. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
Sport P.E.I. has launched a new poster campaign called She's Got It All, featuring five Island athletes talking about the barriers that girls and women face in sports. The five posters have been released every Monday leading up to International Women's Day. The athletes featured in the posters are wrestler Hannah Taylor, sprinter Bailey Smith, archer Kristen Arsenault, hockey goalie Ava Boutilier and curler Lauren Lenentine. "It's different for many females in terms of their particular sport, and the barriers that may exist for that sport," said Gemma Koughan, executive director of Sport P.E.I. "Based on a lot of the information and research that is out there, women and girls do face more barriers than boys and men. So the idea of the campaign is to try to highlight those barriers, and try to promote girls and women in sport." Own message Koughan said the athletes selected for the posters have been involved with other Sport P.E.I. programs promoting girls and women in sport. The five posters have been released every Monday leading up to International Women’s Day. (Sport P.E.I. ) They wanted to involve athletes from both team and individual sports. "What we did was identify a few of those typical barriers, and reach out to these athletes and ask them, did any of these resonate with them in terms of some of the things that they faced?" Koughan said. "Invariably each of them had one that kind of sat with them, and that's why they gravitated each to their own messaging." Ava Boutilier says her poster talks about the equal opportunities for women to make a viable career in the sport that they're playing.(Sport P.E.I.) Ava Boutilier, a goaltender at the University of New Hampshire, said she was excited to be part of the campaign. "Being a female athlete in a sport, ice hockey, that's primarily dominated by men, there are some difficult barriers that we face, whether it's at the Division 1 level, at the minor hockey level, even at the professional level," Boutilier said. "So I was really excited to get involved in something like this, and have my face attached to a message that I really believed in." Boutilier says while there are professional leagues now for women's hockey, the top female players only make thousands of dollars a year and usually have to work another full-time job, as well as play hockey.(Submitted by Ava Boutilier) Boutilier said her poster talks about the equal opportunities for women to make a viable career in the sport that they're playing. She said while there are professional leagues now for women's ice hockey, the top female players only make thousands of dollars a year and usually have to work another full-time job, as well as play hockey. "The main goal of the posters is just to kind of get that conversation started, opening people's eyes more to what exactly our female athletes are facing, what are these barriers that they have to overcome, and what can we do to help that," Boutilier said. "I think the more that we can have these conversations, the more that we can try to design actionable plans to overcome some of these barriers, the better it will be for not only females in sport, but everybody in sport." Double standard Curler Lauren Lenentine said she wanted to focus on the different ways that male and female curlers are perceived. "My poster is about emotion, showing emotion on the ice," Lenentine said. "Male curlers are often seen as focused and intense, whereas as a woman, a female curler, we're seen as maybe cranky, or not having fun. So just bringing awareness to that barrier." Curler Lauren Lenentine said she wanted to focus on the different ways that male and female curlers are perceived.(Sport P.E.I. ) Lenentine said she felt that double standard recently, at the national curling championship. "I just played at the Scotties and I received so many messages telling me to just have fun, and to be sure that I smile, and I'm sure that male curlers aren't receiving those same messages whenever they're playing at the Brier," Lenentine said. "I didn't take it too personally because we were focused and we wanted to be intense. We were out there to win. We didn't want to just have fun." Lauren Lenentine says she wants it to be OK to look focused and intense when she is on the ice. (Katie Zacharias) Seeing the other posters, Lenentine realized some female athletes face barriers that she doesn't. "Curling is kind of different. We're really lucky, actually, that the male and female prizes are the same, we get the same TV coverage," Lenentine said. "I just played at the Scotties and in a typical year, it is usually sold out. So I'm pretty lucky in the sport that I play." Body image Summerside wrestler Hannah Taylor said her poster focuses on body image, "how women are constantly faced with a bunch of negative messages — from the media, or from parents, coaches, friends, everyone around them — about their body image." She imagines someone looking at her poster and thinking: "'OK, Hannah Taylor doesn't have the conventional standard of beauty for her body. She has big shoulders. She's a small girl. She's very muscular, pretty toned.'" Hannah Taylor says this is one of her favorite wrestling pictures. She had just beaten the world champion at the Olympic trials in the semifinals. (Sport P.E.I.) Since that is not typically what you see in the media, "I hope women look up to me and be like, 'Wow, she's encouraging women to just live happy, and forget about body image, and don't let that hold them back.'" Taylor said it was eye-opening to be part of the group of women featured in the campaign. "It's pretty cool to see that there's so many different barriers in sport that affect each sport differently, and seeing how us women are overcoming them," Taylor said. Taylor said it was eye-opening to be part of the group of women featured in the campaign. (United World Wrestling) Koughan said she is encouraged by the group of women who are featured in the campaign. "Yes, it's a sport-driven message, but these are female leaders of the future, for our province and for our sports," Koughan said. "I couldn't be more pleased with their their ability to articulate their experiences, and be role models for young girls. It's fantastic." The poster campaign was funded through a partnership between Canadian Women & Sport, the province of P.E.I. and Sport P.E.I. More from CBC P.E.I.
OTTAWA — Newly released documents show Statistics Canada considered delaying this year's census until 2022 over pandemic-related health concerns that could erode the quality of data relied on by policymakers across the country. An agency document noted the plan for the 2021 census was developed in a "normal operating context" where tens of thousands of staff and temporary hires would interact with each other and Canadians. In a pandemic, the document noted, that plan had "a high probability of failure." The behind-the-scenes look at how Statistics Canada rethought this year's census operation is contained in 50 pages of internal reports and presentations obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. The agency ultimately decided to forge ahead with the census for this year using a plan that relies more heavily on Canadians filling out census forms online than on face-to-face interactions. Jan Kestle, president and CEO of Environics Analytics, said the census needed to go ahead as planned this year to get a baseline reading on how families, communities and businesses are faring to guide decision-making for a post-pandemic recovery. "It's not like we're in a period where there's something weird for a month. We have lived for a year (with the pandemic) and we're going to live with the implications of this for a long time," she said. "Having a census that's as good as it can be, is extremely important to the economic recovery, and the health of Canadians." Census results can help reshape electoral ridings and determine federal funding to provinces for health care, and to cities for infrastructure. Local officials use the census to decide where to plan new transit services, roads, schools and hospitals. A census takes seven years between the start of planning to the release of data. "This is a large piece of machinery that does not turn on a dime," said Michael Haan, an associate professor of sociology from Western University, and director of the school's Statistcs Canada Research Data Centre. "If they were going to shift courses by perhaps extending the census for a year, or whatever they may have chosen to do, they needed to have those deliberations well in advance of the census moment." Waiting until 2022, after the widespread distribution of vaccines, could lead to a more "normal" operation , officials wrote in one document, adding that results would better reflect typical trends rather than "an atypical year of widespread societal disruption." But it would also miss some impacts of COVID-19, including connecting detailed income data from the Canada Revenue Agency to different neighbourhoods to see the full effects of pandemic aid programs. "We have a bit of a sense of this already, but nothing as accurate and as complete as the census for giving a true picture of how much hardship the (Canada Emergency Response Benefit) may have saved us," Haan said. In July, officials said no to adding any pandemic-specific questions to the census form because it was "not the right vehicle" for collecting the information. As well, adding a question on short notice could be problematic since every question has to be thoroughly tested. "When you introduce new subject matter into a questionnaire, you run the risk of changing the way people respond to other questions," Haan said. It also takes the agency months before it can release the data for public consumption, meaning the information could be far out of date by 2022 given the fluidity of the pandemic. Statistics Canada's plan for this year's census relies more on online responses and telephone follow-ups than going door-to-door, opening up the internet option to everyone in the country for the first time. Geoff Bowlby, director general at Statistics Canada responsible for the census, said the agency expects about eight in every 10 people to respond to the census online. Enumerators going door-to-door will be masked and get responses from outside the home rather than inside as in previous census cycles, Bowlby said. Hundreds of workers hired as administrators for enumerators are going to work from home rather than temporary office space, he added. Some work can't be done remotely, such as in the scanning centres that turn paper returns into digital data. Bowlby said the agency has adjusted the number of workers in the facility, split them into cohorts, and put in a health and safety plan that includes the provision of N95 masks. "At the end of the day, we do expect to have high response to the census and that data will be of high quality, the same quality that Canadians expect from the census, and it will be a safe operation," he said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021. Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
They call her 'Mama' and they're missing her right now. Karen Huxter of Springdale has been running a children's home and school in Deschapelles, Haiti, for about 20 years.(Submitted by Karen Huxter) A Newfoundland woman who left Haiti at the beginning of the pandemic is just waiting to be vaccinated so she can return to where she says she belongs. A school in Haiti started by Karen Huxter of Springdale reopened last week, after being closed due to turmoil, insecurity and unrest in the Caribbean nation. Huxter has worked with children in Haiti for more than two decades, opening a children's home and school. Now, she's just biding her time to get back there. Being away for nearly a year has been difficult, she says, for her and for the children. "They write me, and the oldest one calls me. And they say, 'Mama, we need you, Mama. Please come back, Mama,'" said Huxter in an interview with CBC Radio's Newfoundland Morning. Students returned last week to the school, which had been closed due to unrest in the Caribbean country.((C) Jim Steer) Keeping everyone safe Huxter's family in Canada wanted her to come home when the pandemic started, out of concern for her health due to a lung condition. At the age of 75, Huxter would also be considered at risk of serious illness from COVID-19. But there have been no COVID-19 cases at the children's home or school in Deschapelles, Haiti, for which Huxter credits her co-director, Luckner Estimable, who is Haitian and who moved his family onto the mission site when she had to leave. "He made sure that they were protected from COVID, and they're doing very well," said Huxter. Theses are some of the students at the school founded by Huxter.(Submitted by Karen Huxter) Facing fear But the people of Haiti are not only dealing with a pandemic in the poorest country in the Western hemisphere; they are also grappling with political instability, unrest, and the threat of kidnapping and other violence. Huxter said she will seek advice on picking a time when it might be safest for her to return to Haiti and to make the three-hour drive from the airport to the mission site. "People thought it was bad when I moved there [back in the 1990s], and it was a piece of cake compared to what it is now. I could go anywhere, I could walk where I liked, but now you can't," said Huxter. It was the heightened risk of violence while children were on their way to school that forced its most recent closure. "They had to close it down for the safety of the children," said Huxter. But she says they were anxious to get back when the school reopened in late February. Huxter says travel within Haiti has become so dangerous, with the threat of kidnapping and violence, that she can no longer leave the school compound without armed security.(Submitted by Karen Huxter) Troubling times With all that's going on with the pandemic worldwide, she doubts the international community even realizes how bad things are in Haiti, with a president whose term in office has expired but who is refusing to relinquish power, and with gangs running freely, leaving citizens in fear and peril. She wants to raise awareness about the state of things in Haiti, but while she'd like people to be able to help, she doesn't know what they can do that would actually make a difference. "It is unreal to somebody that lives in the safety of Canada and especially the safety of Newfoundland," said Huxter. And while she's not confident things will change for the better in the country that's become her home, she is anxious to get back. "I love it here [in Newfoundland], but this is not where I'm supposed to be right now." Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island has another two cases of COVID-19, both contracted by men in their 20s. There are now 28 active cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I., which is currently more than Nova Scotia. For the first time since Feb. 12, Nova Scotia on Monday reported no new cases of COVID-19. It has 24 active cases. A rotational worker from eastern P.E.I. is calling on the province to ease restrictions put in place in December. Charlottetown police say they have responded to six separate complaints of large gatherings at city residences since Thursday. Premier Dennis King says he's "open to any conversation" about the province sending some of its COVID-19 vaccine supply to harder-hit provinces. King also said he expects the Atlantic bubble to be put back in place this spring. The province released more details of how Prince Edward Island's vaccine campaign will roll out in the coming months. P.E.I. has had 143 diagnosed cases since the outbreak began. New Brunswick reported five new cases on Monday, bringing its number of active cases to 36. Newfoundland and Labrador's three new cases Monday bring its active total to 84. Also in the news Further resources Reminder about symptoms The symptoms of COVID-19 can include: Fever. Cough or worsening of a previous cough. Possible loss of taste and/or smell. Sore throat. New or worsening fatigue. Headache. Shortness of breath. Runny nose. More from CBC P.E.I.
A New Brunswick tree planter is branching his volunteer-based planting efforts to more provinces this year, COVID-19 permitting. Jonathan Clark's tree planting company Replant has an environmental division that plants trees in New Brunswick's forests and develops community parks with the help of volunteers and private donations. "This year there has been so much interest that we're expanding to at least five provinces and possibly seven," said Clark. Clark said the operations will expand to British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. He said Replant had the means to expand in 2020, but couldn't due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Clark is relying on an Atlantic Bubble for it to happen this year. It's nice to think that the trees we're planting are good for just being trees - Jonathan Clark Clark said Replant's environmental division, based in Sackville, planted 10,000 trees in New Brunswick in 2020. This year, it's goal is to plant 250,000 across the country. "There's certainly demand for it, there's a lot of people who want to see more trees in Canada, partly because of the environment and partly because it's good for public recreation," he said. He said donations are growing every year and, because of this will likely have the ability to plant 1 million trees within the next two years, but declined to give figures. Clark said there are a handful of volunteers in New Brunswick who consider themselves professional tree planters. He expects to have a dozen volunteers in the province this year. Group is working on 2 community forest projects Replant's environmental division is currently working on two community forest projects in New Brunswick, that will take three years to complete. These parks will have picnic areas and trails for public use. Clark said another part of Replant's volunteer work involves buying privately-owned woodlots that have been harvested for firewood and other purposes. Once they're fully cleared, the owners no longer has a use for the land and typically look to sell the lots cheap. A Replant volunteer poses with 12,000 seedlings. (Submitted by Jonathan Clark) He said he uses this opportunity to buy and refill these harvested plots. "Our expectation is we don't want to let those trees be harvested in the future. We want to have a lot more forest that just becomes an old-grown forest eventually," he said. "It's nice to think that the trees we're planting are good for just being trees." He said Replant is looking to expand its operations through New Brunswick, by partnering with Fundy National Park and provincial parks throughout. Replant contacts these parks offering to provide its volunteers and cover the cost to replenish the forests and add diversity in tree populations. Current tree populations not sustainable Balsam fir are New Brunswick's most common tree species, which are best-suited for extremely cold climates. As temperatures rise, this species becomes more vulnerable. Clark said Replant is putting a focus on planting hardwood trees, including Birch and Mountain Ash species, as they're more adaptable to the climate, better at collecting and storing carbon, and are preferable for Canada's wildlife. "This is good for climate change adaptation, certainly a lot of wildlife prefer to see hardwood trees," said Clark. He said the challenge is these seedlings aren't popular or easy to find. A longtime tree planter Clark began his 30-year-long tree planting career travelling between British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Replant began as an educational website for prospering tree planters, to learn about job opportunities and planting techniques. Clark said the company grew to offer larger scale commercial reforestation contracts and forestry consulting engagements. Just a few years ago, he opened the environmental branch of Replant in Sackville.
Lebanon's president told the army and security forces on Monday to clear roadblocks after a week of protests over a collapsing economy and paralysed government, but the army chief warned that troops should not get sucked into the political deadlock. President Michel Aoun issued the call to open up the roads across the country after a meeting with top officials while the army's top commander held a separate meeting with military commanders at which he stressed the right to peaceful protest. Army chief General Joseph Aoun also berated Lebanon's sectarian-based politicians for their handling of the crisis, warning of an unstable security situation.
NEW DELHI — Thousands of female farmers held sit-ins and a hunger strike in India's capital on Monday in protests on International Women's Day against new agricultural laws. The demonstrations were held at multiple sites on the fringes of New Delhi where tens of thousands of farmers have camped for more than three months to protest against the laws they say will leave them poorer and at the mercy of big corporations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government says the laws are necessary to modernize agriculture. About 100 women wearing yellow and green scarfs sat cross-legged in front of a makeshift stage in Ghazipur, one of the many protest sites. Holding the flags of farm unions, they listened to female farm leaders speak from the stage and chanted slogans against the laws. At least 17 took part in a day-long hunger strike. “Women are sitting here, out in the open, in protest, but Modi doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about mothers, sisters, and daughters. He doesn’t care about women. That’s clear,” said Mandeep Kaur, a female farmer who travelled 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) from Chhattisgarh state to participate in the protests. Multiple rounds of talks between the government and farmers have failed to end the stalemate. The farmers have rejected an offer from the government to put the laws on hold for 18 months, saying they won’t settle for anything less than a complete repeal. They fear the laws will make family-owned farms unviable, eventually leaving them landless. Women have been at the forefront of the protests, which have posed one of the biggest challenges to Modi since he took office in 2014. Many accompanied thousands of male farmers who arrived at the protest sites in late November and have since organized and led protest marches, run medical camps and massive soup kitchens that feed thousands, and raised demands for gender equality. “Today Modi is sending wishes to women across the country on International Women’s Day. Who are these women he is sending wishes to? We are also like his daughters, but he clearly doesn’t care about us,” said Babli Singh, a farm leader. International Women’s Day, sponsored by the United Nations since 1975, celebrates women’s achievements and aims to further their rights. Women often embody what agricultural experts call an “invisible workforce” on India’s vast farmlands that often goes unnoticed. Nearly 75% of rural women in India who work full-time are farmers, according to the anti-poverty group Oxfam India, and the numbers are expected to rise as more men migrate to cities for jobs. Yet, less than 13% of women own the land they till. Demonstrations were also held at Jantar Mantar, an area of New Delhi near Parliament where about 100 women held placards denouncing the new laws and calling for their withdrawal. “Today we are finding ourselves under attack at all fronts. As women, as peasants, as workers, as youth and students," said women rights activist Sucharita, who uses one name. “We are opposed to the laws that have been passed in favour of corporations." ___ Associated Press video journalist Shonal Ganguly contributed to this report. Neha Mehrotra And Rishi Lekhi, The Associated Press
Seabird biologists are concerned about medical masks ending up in the province's waterways and entangling birds and other wildlife after images were posted online of a gull at Quidi Vidi Lake trapped in the ear loop of a mask. "It's incredibly disheartening and discouraging. It would be anyway, but this lake has an international designation as an important bird area," said Holly Hogan, who has been studying marine birds for 30 years. Hogan told CBC Radio's The Broadcast another image from the same set shows another gull with the plastic rings from beer cans around its beak. Hogan said an awareness around plastic pollution in the environment, specifically the ocean, already exists, but when single-use personal protective equipment became a staple during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said pollution was the first thought that occurred to her. "Everybody disposing of these single-use masks, I thought 'where are they going to go?' and well, we know where some of them are ending up, unfortunately," she said. Hogan said about 129 billion face masks and 69 billion disposable gloves were used every month in 2020. "Not surprisingly, a large number of these ended up in the ocean, and there are very conservative estimates between 1.5 and two billion face masks ended up in the ocean in 2020," she said. Single-use mentality Hogan said there's a feeling of stepping backwards in the public's attempt to limit plastic use. Using bulk food retailer Bulk Barn as an example, she said people used to be able to bring reusable containers to the store, but during the pandemic, the store handed out single-use plastic gloves to be worn while shopping and didn't allow reusable containers. "Some of it is certainly justified, people need to protect their health and that is the number one priority," Hogan said. "Not to pick on the Bulk Barn, I mean they're doing it for our safety, but it seems like in the face of the pandemic, people are almost in a state of panic." A second gull was entangled in plastic rings used for soda or beer cans. (Lancy Cheng/Facebook) Not many people are aware that the single-use non-medical masks they're buying and discarding are made from plastics, meaning they won't break down in a landfill, Hogan noted. She said masks break down into micro-plastics, creating other health problems for the environment. "As an intact mask, with its loops, it entangles creatures, potentially. But it is, and it remains, plastic waste in the environment doing the damage that all plastics do," she said. So, what's the solution? Hogan says awareness and education should be the main focus. "These things don't disappear when they leave your hands or when they leave your face," said Hogan. "Cut off the ear loops so that if they do unintentionally end up in the environment then they're not suddenly a nuisance for some animal." Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
An old storage shed with no heat or electricity is where the bodies are kept in Gjoa Haven, Nunavut. "It is not a very nice place to put someone you love," said the community's MLA, Tony Akoak to CBC. Tony Akoak, MLA for Gjoa Haven has been raising the issue for years. Still nothing has been done. (Courtesy Tony Akoak) The shed is used as the local morgue with none of the convenience of a real facility. "It's not a pretty sight to see if you go into that building," said Akoak, in the legislature Thursday. The interior is covered in dust and there is cut up wood on the floor. The lack of electricity makes it cold and dark, said Akoak. This shed has been the local morgue ever since he can remember. He brought the issue to the legislature in 2019 and again this October. Still, nothing has been done. Resident said he was shocked at the condition Akoak received a letter from a Gjoa Haven resident, James Dulac, in January, outlining a horrific experience with the building. A friend of his died by suicide and with the family's permission he was going there to dress the body for the burial. "I was shocked for what I saw," said Dulac, in the letter. His friend lay on the floor in an plastic RCMP bag, and a different body lay on his friend's feet. Dulac opened his friend's body bag to find him covered in blood with his shoes still on, his arms and legs twisted and frozen in place. It was a "clear indication that he did not get cleaned properly prior to be taken to the [morgue]," Dulac wrote. His friend's body would not fit into the coffin, because of how his friend was placed. They had to use a large plywood box, he said. The inside of the shed used as a morgue. Empty boxes are piled to the roof. (Submitted by James Dulac ) "Our loved ones, our people when saying goodbye to this world, deserve respect, deserve to be treated with dignity, deserve better treatment," said Dulac in the letter. "Having a morgue at least with all the necessary needs, it is not a [luxury], it is a right, it is a need," he wrote. Dulac said he brought the issue to the municipality but has not seen any solution yet. In an email to Akoak, Dulac offers two weeks of his salary to be put toward getting a proper morgue. Akoak says this space has been used as a morgue ever since he can remember. (Submitted by James Dulac ) Government has unused portable morgues The Department of Community and Government Services bought two portable morgues in May 2020. The morgues cost $77,520 and the department said they are part of an inventory the government is building to respond to community emergencies. The containers arrived in June and have been sitting in Iqaluit ever since. Community and Government Services Minister Jeannie Ehaloak committed to contact the municipality of Gjoa Haven about the issue.
A wind energy project that's not wanted in a tiny community in northeast New Brunswick could find a new home just down the road. A local non-profit group that was trying to lure wind turbines to Pokeshaw and Black Rock, on the Acadian Peninsula, says it would welcome Fredericton-based Naveco Power relocating its project from nearby Anse-Bleue. "We would certainly be willing to accommodate Naveco. We're very close to a transmission line," says Kevin Whelton, head of the Pokeshaw and Black Rock Recreation Council. The council was working with a Quebec-based developer, Potentia Renewables, to build five wind turbines in the area overlooking the Bay of Chaleur. But NB Power turned down Potentia's request last year for a one-year extension to its deadline to get the turbines built and operating. Instead the utility gave the project just three months to resolve supply chain problems brought on by COVID-19. "It was just impossible to do it within that time frame," Whelton says. Kevin Whelton, head of the Pokeshaw and Black Rock Recreation Council(Submitted by Kevin Whelton) The recreation council has been pursuing wind-energy projects for more than a decade and Whelton says it would now consider partnering with Naveco. He says there hasn't been nearly the same opposition to wind farms in the community as there has been in Anse-Bleue. "We've had a lot of meetings, we've been very open, very, very transparent, and I think the majority of the residents of the two communities, Pokeshaw and Black Rock, do agree to the windmills," he says. "You have to have social licence. You have to have transparency." The Pokeshaw site is even closer to the NB Power grid than Anse-Bleue, so there would be a shorter distance, and fewer properties, to cover with transmission lines needed to connect. Naveco's plan to build five wind turbines in Anse-Bleue, about 15 kilometres away, has met with fierce opposition there. One issue now being studied as part of the environmental impact assessment is whether the turbines would be visible from the Village Historique Acadien, a major tourist site. Last October Naveco CEO Amit Virmani told CBC news he was looking at an alternate site in southern New Brunswick that would involve First Nations and would not require restarting the environmental impact assessment from scratch. He said walking away from Anse-Bleue would require NB Power's agreement to change their contract. But last month Anse-Bleue residents said Naveco's local representative was again meeting with people in the area, a sign the company was shifting its focus back to the community. Virmani and NB Power wouldn't comment on whether the utility had rejected a change of location. Virmani says the utility has asked him not to speak publicly about his project so he can't comment on the idea of moving to Pokeshaw. Naveco Power CEO Amit Virmani(Jacques Poitras/CBC) "That's something I'd like to say more on, in terms of if we could come there or not," he says. He says he's disappointed to hear that the Pokeshaw project is dead. "That's horrible to hear and that's quite unfortunate, considering it was a competitively bid project that was going to create local jobs," he says. Both projects would come under a provincial law that allows NB Power to buy up to 20 megawatts of power from small-scale renewable energy projects that are majority owned by a municipality, non-profit community group or First Nations band. NB Power won't comment on whether it would amend its contract with Naveco to allow the project to move from Anse-Bleue to Pokeshaw. The possible locations of the wind farm turbines pitched by Naveco Power southwest of Anse-Bleue on the Acadian Peninsula. (WSP Canada Inc.) "We cannot discuss either project as we must respect the confidentiality terms of the respective project agreements," said spokesperson Sheila Lagacé. While he wouldn't comment on his own project, Virmani said a recent report by Auditor General Kim Adair-MacPherson on NB Power's huge debt underscores the importance of wind projects in general. "Wind is their cheapest form of energy," he said. "It's cheaper than even buying from Hydro-Quebec." The Pokeshaw project would have generated enough electricity for 6,000 homes, according to a 2019 press release from Potentia announcing its stake in the project.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam on Monday said the city's government “fully welcomes” changes to the city’s electoral system that will substantially increase central government control over Hong Kong politics and exclude critics of Beijing. Chinese authorities have said the draft decision before China's National People’s Congress would mean the largely pro-Beijing committee that elects Hong Kong’s leader would also choose a large part of the legislature to ensure the city is run by “patriots.” The Election Committee would also have the right to vet candidates for the Legislative Council, weeding out any people suspected of being insufficiently loyal to China and the ruling Communist Party. Currently, half of Hong Kong’s legislature is directly elected by voters, although the mass resignation of opposition legislators to protest the expulsion of four of their colleagues for being “unpatriotic" means the body is now entirely controlled by Beijing loyalists. “There are loopholes in the electoral systems, there are also flaws in the systems in Hong Kong,” Lam said at a news conference after she returned from the National People's Congress in Beijing. “I fully understand that this is not a matter that can be addressed entirely by the government.” “I’m glad that the central authorities have, again, exercised its constitutional powers to help address this problem for Hong Kong,” she said. She declined to elaborate on the views she had shared with the central authorities regarding electoral reforms, and said many pieces of legislation in Hong Kong would have to be amended. The NPC, China’s ceremonial legislature, will all but certainly endorse the draft decision, though it may not take immediate legal effect. The planned electoral changes have drawn criticism in Hong Kong and abroad, including from the United States. On Friday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price denounced them, saying, “These are a direct attack on Hong Kong’s autonomy, Hong Kong’s freedoms, and the democratic processes, limiting participation, reducing democratic representation, and stifling political debate in order to defy the clear will of the people of Hong Kong and to deny their voice in their own government and governance." On the same day, China rallied its allies at the U.N., with Belarus — a country whose security forces have cracked down brutally on opponents of longtime authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko — speaking in support of the changes. “That a large number of developing countries have once again joined hands to raise their voices for justice at the U.N. Human Rights Council fully reflects that facts speak louder than words and will always prevail," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Monday. “China’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering." Unconfirmed reports say the legislation will also expand the size of the Legislative Council from 70 to 90 and the Election Committee from 1,200 to 1,500. Seats on the Election Committee now reserved for directly elected district counsellors will also be eliminated, further cementing Beijing's control over the body. Lam also said she could not confirm whether legislative elections — already postponed last September for one year, ostensibly because of the coronavirus pandemic — would be further deferred due to the electoral reforms. She said central government authorities are “very sincere and very committed in trying to move towards the objective of universal suffrage,” which was promised to Hong Kong under the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution that was drawn up when the British handed Hong Kong to China in 1997. Universal suffrage would give Hong Kong voters the right to vote for the city’s leader, although only candidates approved by Beijing would be allowed to run. Hong Kong has in recent months cracked down on dissent, and most of the city's prominent opposition figures — including pro-democracy activists and former lawmakers — are in jail or in exile. About 100 people, most of whom are pro-democracy activists and supporters, have been charged under the city's sweeping national security law since it was implemented in June. The NPC imposed the law on Hong Kong, bypassing the Legislative Council, saying it was necessary to restore order after increasingly violent anti-government protests in 2019. The legislation criminalizes secession, subversion, collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the city's affairs and terrorism. Zen Soo, The Associated Press
Ontario pharmacists start a COVID-19 vaccine program this week at 330 locations to provide the AstraZeneca vaccine to customers aged 60 to 64 as lockdown restrictions ease in two major regions.
NEW YORK — Before posting a selfie with her COVID-19 vaccination card on Twitter, Aditi Juneja debated whether to include an explanation for why she was eligible for a shot. “The first draft of the tweet had an explanation,” says Juneja, a 30-year-old lawyer in New York City. After some thought, she decided to leave out out that her body mass index is considered obese, putting her at higher risk of serious illness if infected. A friend who disclosed the same reason on social media was greeted with hateful comments, and Juneja wanted to avoid that. The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. is offering hope that the pandemic that has upended life around the world will finally draw to an end. But as distribution widens in the U.S., varying eligibility rules and unequal access to the coveted doses are also breeding guilt, envy and judgement among those who’ve had their doses — particularly the seemingly young and healthy — and the millions still anxiously awaiting their turn. Adding to the second-guessing about who should be getting shots is the scattershot feel of the rollout, and the sense that some might be gaming the system. Faced with a patchwork of confusing scheduling systems, many who aren’t as technically savvy or socially connected have been left waiting even as new swaths of people become eligible. The envy and moral judgements about whether others deserve to be prioritized are understandable and could reflect anxieties about being able to get vaccines for ourselves or our loved ones, says Nancy Berlinger, a bioethicist with the Hastings Center. “There’s the fear of missing out, or fear of missing out on behalf of your parents,” she says. Stereotypes about what illness looks are also feeding into doubts about people's eligibility, even though the reason a person got a shot won't always be obvious. In other cases, Berlinger says judgements could reflect entrenched biases about smoking and obesity, compared with conditions that society might deem more “virtuous,” such as cancer. Yet even though a mass vaccination campaign is bound to have imperfections, Berlinger noted the goal is to prioritize people based on medical evidence on who’s most at risk if infected. Nevertheless, the uneven rollout and varying rules across the country have some questioning decisions by local officials. In New Jersey, 58-year-old software developer Mike Lyncheski was surprised when he learned in January that smokers of any age were eligible, since he knew older people at the time who were still waiting for shots. “It didn’t seem like there was medical rationale for it,” says Lyncheski, who isn't yet eligible for the vaccines. He also noted there's no way to confirm that people are smokers, leaving the door open for cheating. The suspicions are being fueled by reports of line jumpers or those stretching the definitions for eligibility. In New York, a Soul Cycle instructor got vaccinated after teachers became eligible in January, the Daily Beast reported, and later apologized for her “terrible error in judgement.” In Florida, two women wore bonnets and glasses to disguise themselves as elderly in hopes of scoring shots. Hospital board members, trustees and donors have also gotten shots early on, raising complaints about unfair access. It's why some feel obligated to explain why they were able to get the vaccine. In an Instagram post, Jeff Klein held up his vaccination card and noted he was given a shot as a volunteer at a mass vaccination hub. “I definitely mentioned it on purpose, because I didn’t want people to get the wrong idea,” says Klein, a 44-year-old musician in Austin, Texas. As she waited for a shot in Jacksonville, Florida, 33-year-old Amanda Billy said it could be frustrating seeing people her age in other states posting about getting vaccinated. She understood that state rollouts vary, but felt anxious because she has a medical condition that makes COVID-19 “very real and scary.” “I’m just happy for them that they got it. But also, I want it,” she said in an interview before getting her first shot. Others are finding they are opening themselves up to criticism when sharing news that they got a shot. Public figures in particular might become targets of second-guessing by strangers. In New York, local TV news co-host Jamie Stelter posted a photo of herself after getting the first shot earlier this month. Many replies were positive, but others noted that she didn’t look old enough or that she must “have connections.” Afterward, Stelter's co-host Pat Kiernan weighed in and tweeted that the “you don't look that sick to me” commentary she received was “evidence of the hell that COVID has placed us in.” For Juneja, the decision to get a shot after becoming eligible wasn't easy, given the struggles she knew others were having securing appointments because of technology, language or other barriers. But she realized it wouldn't help for her to refrain from getting vaccinated. “It’s not like with other types of things where I could give my spot to someone else who I think is more in need,” she says. “We are sort of all in this situation where we can only really decide for ourselves.” ___ Candice Choi, a reporter on The Associated Press' Health & Science team, has been covering the pandemic and vaccine rollout in the United States. Candice Choi, The Associated Press
The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. ET on Monday March 8, 2021. There are 886,574 confirmed cases in Canada. _ Canada: 886,574 confirmed cases (30,268 active, 834,067 resolved, 22,239 deaths).*The total case count includes 13 confirmed cases among repatriated travellers. There were 2,489 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 79.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18,880 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 2,697. There were 26 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 245 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 35. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 58.52 per 100,000 people. There have been 25,159,921 tests completed. _ Newfoundland and Labrador: 1,006 confirmed cases (91 active, 909 resolved, six deaths). There was one new case Sunday. The rate of active cases is 17.43 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there has been 19 new case. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 1.15 per 100,000 people. There have been 201,814 tests completed. _ Prince Edward Island: 141 confirmed cases (26 active, 115 resolved, zero deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 16.29 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of nine new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is one. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 112,416 tests completed. _ Nova Scotia: 1,659 confirmed cases (29 active, 1,565 resolved, 65 deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.96 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 18 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 6.64 per 100,000 people. There have been 366,679 tests completed. _ New Brunswick: 1,455 confirmed cases (36 active, 1,391 resolved, 28 deaths). There were two new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 4.61 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 25 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is four. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there has been one new reported death. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is zero. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.02 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 3.58 per 100,000 people. There have been 242,695 tests completed. _ Quebec: 292,631 confirmed cases (7,100 active, 275,059 resolved, 10,472 deaths). There were 707 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 82.8 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 4,891 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 699. There were seven new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 79 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 11. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.13 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 122.13 per 100,000 people. There have been 6,452,036 tests completed. _ Ontario: 308,296 confirmed cases (10,389 active, 290,840 resolved, 7,067 deaths). There were 1,299 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 70.51 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 7,480 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 1,069. There were 15 new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 87 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is 12. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.08 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 47.96 per 100,000 people. There have been 11,205,314 tests completed. _ Manitoba: 32,225 confirmed cases (1,130 active, 30,188 resolved, 907 deaths). There were 56 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 81.93 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 366 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 52. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 12 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.12 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 65.76 per 100,000 people. There have been 541,269 tests completed. _ Saskatchewan: 29,709 confirmed cases (1,517 active, 27,794 resolved, 398 deaths). There were 116 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 128.7 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 1,062 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 152. There were two new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 13 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is two. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.16 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 33.77 per 100,000 people. There have been 590,938 tests completed. _ Alberta: 135,837 confirmed cases (4,949 active, 128,974 resolved, 1,914 deaths). There were 300 new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 111.92 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,333 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 333. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 28 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.09 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 43.28 per 100,000 people. There have been 3,445,307 tests completed. _ British Columbia: 83,107 confirmed cases (4,975 active, 76,752 resolved, 1,380 deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 96.64 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 2,653 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is 379. There were zero new reported deaths Sunday. Over the past seven days there have been a total of 25 new reported deaths. The seven-day rolling average of new reported deaths is four. The seven-day rolling average of the death rate is 0.07 per 100,000 people. The overall death rate is 26.81 per 100,000 people. There have been 1,969,444 tests completed. _ Yukon: 72 confirmed cases (zero active, 71 resolved, one deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.38 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,232 tests completed. _ Northwest Territories: 42 confirmed cases (one active, 41 resolved, zero deaths). There were zero new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 2.21 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of zero new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is zero. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is zero per 100,000 people. There have been 14,849 tests completed. _ Nunavut: 381 confirmed cases (25 active, 355 resolved, one deaths). There were four new cases Sunday. The rate of active cases is 63.53 per 100,000 people. Over the past seven days, there have been a total of 24 new cases. The seven-day rolling average of new cases is three. There have been no deaths reported over the past week. The overall death rate is 2.54 per 100,000 people. There have been 8,852 tests completed. This report was automatically generated by The Canadian Press Digital Data Desk and was first published March 8, 2021. The Canadian Press
For Tendai Dongo, the stress and anxiety was just too much at times. A project manager at a digital education company based in Calgary, she has spent much of the pandemic balancing her job with the needs of her young daughters. With her husband's insurance job requiring him to be out of the house frequently, the majority of the child-care responsibilities fell to her. Everything came to a head in December. "I felt that I had to quit," said Tendai Dongo, who works at Xpan Interactive Ltd. "I had to choose … a full-time career or my mental health." The mother of two girls aged five and eight years old told her employer that working full-time from home while parenting was causing her a lot of stress and anxiety. "I was just going to throw in the towel. I did not have any other opportunity out there waiting for me," said Dongo. But the chaos of watching employees juggle school closures, virtual learning, quarantines and their jobs could lead to more empathetic workplaces. Some companies, including Dongo's, are thinking creatively about how to build more flexible work arrangements for their employees. A year into the pandemic, parents are feeling the effects of being tugged in all directions — particularly women. An online survey of 1,001 working Canadians conducted between Feb. 9 and 15 by ADP Canada and Leger found half of working mothers (50 per cent) reported experiencing high stress levels due to balancing child-care obligations and work, compared to 40 per cent of working fathers. Data released by Statistics Canada also shows pandemic job losses are disproportionately affecting women. In January, for example, the employment decline for woman was more than double that of men, with 73,000 fewer women working that month compared to 33,500 fewer men. The numbers also showed the decline in employment was pronounced among mothers whose youngest child was between the ages of six and 12. Their employment rate fell 2.9 percentage points, compared to a drop of 0.9 percentage points for all working adults. 'It's really, really impossibly hard' For Danielle Ellenor, working a full-time job as an account associate for a printing company that offered little flexibility while she was home with her young children was too overwhelming. "It takes a huge toll on your mental health, on your kid's mental health," said Ellenor, an Ottawa mother of two girls aged six and seven. "It's really, really impossibly hard." Her partner has been working from home too, but his management job in software sales has him in virtual meetings most of the day. Ottawa mother of two Danielle Ellenor quit her job in December for a more flexible career.(Mathieu Thériault/CBC) In December, knowing that more school closures were coming, Ellenor left the company she had been with for almost 10 years to focus on her kids and transition to a more flexible career in real estate. "It's a gamble that I decided to make," said Ellenor. There's concern that many other women may drop out of the workforce permanently. 'We could lose an entire class of future leaders' McKinsey & Company conducted an online survey of more than 40,000 workers across Canada and the United States between June and August 2020. The survey found that one in four women were contemplating downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce. "We would lose an entire class of future leaders and in some cases existing leaders, because it spans all the way to the highest levels of organizations," said Alexis Krivkovich, a senior partner at the global consulting firm. But amidst the crisis comes opportunity, she said. Some companies are finding creative ways to retain their employees, such as flexible time-off schedules, re-imagining performance management and thinking differently about working hours. "We need more of that creative thinking now to make sure that the one in four women who are saying, 'I'm not sure I can make it through this moment' come out the other side," Krivkovich said. Letting employees chart their own paths Vancouver-based software company Bananatag has embraced flexibility during the pandemic by coming up with a "choose your own adventure" schedule for its 130 employees. "We are quite flexible on location, preferred work style, preferred hours," said Agata Zasada, vice-president of people and culture at Bananatag. Agata Zasada, vice-president of people and culture at Vancouver-based Bananatag, says the company's 'choose your own adventure' schedule has kept all of their staff employed over the course of the pandemic (Dillon Hodgin/CBC) With about 50 per cent of their workforce made up of women and many parents on staff, the company wanted to remove a level of uncertainty for all of its employees. "We haven't lost anyone through the pandemic due to not being able to be flexible enough," said Zasada. Post-pandemic Bananatag will continue to let employees choose their own schedules. The company also plans to become even more flexible by entertaining the idea of job sharing and becoming more project-based. Carly Holm, founder and CEO of Holm & Company, a human resources company, is hopeful that some good will come out of this challenging year. "We've proven that we can be flexible and still be successful and be productive and that nine-to-five is irrelevant," said Holm. "It is completely arbitrary and doesn't work for a lot of people." Holm's firm offers HR services for small to medium-sized businesses. She says results of her client's employee engagement surveys show that employees are happier when given flexibility, and that companies offering it are performing better. "The companies that encourage that and have kind of that flexible, remote work, they're going to be the ones that are going to retain the people, retain women," said Holm. COVID ... has catapulted institutional mindsets around flexible work into the future - Jennifer Hargreaves, founder of Tellent When Dongo, the project manager in Calgary, told her boss she couldn't mentally handle being a full-time employee and a mother right now, her workplace took action. Instead of letting her quit, Xpan Interactive came up with a solution that she says is working well. The company dropped her workload from eight clients to one and reduced her to part-time flexible hours. She now works when she wants and when she can. Dongo's salary has also been reduced. She admits she and her husband have had to start dipping into their savings, but she appreciates that her company came up with a solution that allows her to stay in the workforce. "I still have that sense of purpose that I am still continuing in my career," said Dongo. Creating your own flexibility Since 2016, Jennifer Hargreaves has been an advocate for more flexibility and has successfully placed women in flexible higher paying jobs through her virtual networking platform. "One of the benefits … of COVID is that it has catapulted institutional mindsets around flexible work into the future," said Hargreaves, founder of Tellent, a network that provides women with access to flexible job opportunities. Jennifer Hargreaves, founder of networking platform Tellent, says the need for flexible work among her members has skyrocketed.(Submitted by Jennifer Hargreaves) Among her 10,000 members, she says the need for flexible work has skyrocketed. The first step in finding that flexible job, according to Hargreaves, starts with your current employer. She encourages women to approach their companies, as Dongo did, to see if they can draw up new arrangements. "There's no better time like right now to negotiate what you want because everything's up in the air," Hargreaves said. "Employers are starting from scratch and they're trying to figure out what this looks like as well."
The women behind a new grassroots group are taking on an enormous fight for language revitalization. They're called Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' (which translates to, "we are becoming fluent") and are supporting advanced Kanien'kéha (Mohawk language) speakers from across Canada and the United States. Taiawentón:ti' Chelsea Sunday said it's important to help others as they continue to lose elders. "There are going to be people who are going to have to sit there and replace them. We're trying to support those people to get there," said Sunday, who is from Akwesasne, on the Ontario-Quebec-New York state border. "If we can focus on however many people we can get to those high levels of fluency, then we at least have a fighting chance of saving our language." Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ means 'we are becoming fluent' in Kanien’kéha.(Submitted by Karonhiióstha Shea Skye) She travelled back and forth to Kahnawake, Que., for two years to take Ratiwennahní:rats, a two-year adult immersion program offered by the Kanien'kehá:ka Onkwawén:na Raotitióhkwa Language and Cultural Center. Upon graduating in 2019, she co-founded the group with her classmate Karonhiióstha Shea Skye as a way to continue their language learning journey. "We recognize the need to connect with one another, not just now, but especially when the time comes when there's no first language speakers," said Skye, who is from Kahnawake and co-ordinates the group. Similar immersion programs now exist in Akwesasne, as well as in Six Nations of the Grand River, Ont. Each year, Skye said, new cohorts of students are taking these programs but with few avenues to increase fluency and proficiency post-graduation. Every Thursday night, Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ hosts immersion conversations over Zoom to bring together language learners and elders.(Submitted by Karonhiióstha Shea Skye ) All dialects on 'definitely endangered' list Despite the many language revitalization efforts in each Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) community, all dialects of the language are on UNESCO's list of "definitely endangered" languages in Canada. Statistics Canada data from 2016 shows that Kanien'kéha was spoken by roughly 2,350 people in Canada with about half as their mother tongue. Skye said Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' focuses on developing immersion environments throughout the summer, where a group of advanced learners' full-time job is to continue their studies, talk to elders all day and research aspects of the language that interest them. Ionkwahronkha’onhátie’ strives to provide an immersion environment for advanced language learners.(Submitted by Taiawentón:ti' Chelsea Sunday) But like many activities, the pandemic has brought the group online. They host weekly conversation nights over Zoom that bring together students and elders from many communities. "The common theme around anything that we've done is just for it to be an immersion setting and for us to use language," said Skye. "There's a difference between learning about fishing words or swimming words in the classroom and then actually being in that situation and using the words.... You never know what's going to actually come up until you're in that situation and you don't know how to say it." Throughout the experience, the group hopes to contribute to broader research into second language programs and language revitalization efforts. Teyútkwʌ Jimerson, who is from Oneida, Wis., is also a graduate of Ratiwennahní:rats. She joined Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' last year to assess and document the program. One of the things she noticed is that the group was helping to fill many gaps in language usage. "For the first two years of my language learning, I was going somewhere to learn and I was sending my kids to an immersion school to learn. And we were so busy doing that, we didn't bring it home together," said Jimerson. "This is what Ionkwahronkha'onhátie' did in my home. It took us out of programs. We filled all these gaps that we have in our life, like our friendships. My children know that when I'm with my friends, we speak Kanien'kéha."
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In his first public address since the end of the Trump administration, former Vice-President Mike Pence is travelling to South Carolina, set to speak to a conservative Christian non-profit in the state that plays a crucial role in the presidential nominating process. Next month, Pence will keynote a dinner hosted by the Palmetto Family Council, a Pence aide told The Associated Press on Sunday. The aide spoke on the condition of anonymity due to a lack of permission to discuss the plans publicly. The Palmetto Family lobbies for what it considers to be “biblical values,” such as heterosexual marriage, and most recently helped push through a ban on most abortions in South Carolina. That law is now being challenged in court. Pence, who since leaving the administration has been doing work with the Heritage Foundation and Young America's Foundation, has not indicated if he plans a future run for office, but his choice of making his post-administration debut in South Carolina helps set down a marker for a potential 2024 presidential bid. The state holds the first presidential primaries in the South, and candidates of both major parties typically spend more than a year in the state ahead of those votes, introducing themselves and trying to secure support. As vice-president, Pence made numerous trips to South Carolina, meeting several times with Gov. Henry McMaster for coronavirus-related forums. He also recently campaigned in the state for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace. Throughout his political career, beginning as an Indiana congressman-turned-governor, Pence has long advocated for restrictions on abortion and has voiced support for the overturn of Roe v. Wade. The speech to Palmetto Family is advantageous for Pence in a state that Republican candidates use as a proving ground to test their “pro-life” mettle. The Pence aide described the former vice-president's speech as one that will focus on traditional conservative talking points but will also tout what Pence sees as the accomplishments of the Trump administration. According to Dave Wilson, president of Palmetto Family, Pence will speak to between 450 and 600 guests at a ticketed, sponsored dinner at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center on April 29. Wilson told AP that he considered Pence a “prime person” to address the organization due to the “level of faith” the former vice-president embodied while in office. “Vice-President Mike Pence ... is very reflective of the ideas, policies and direction that we at Palmetto Family want to see in South Carolina: bringing faith to the forefront and growing the next generation of conservative leaders for our state,” Wilson said. ___ Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com.MegKinnardAP. Meg Kinnard, The Associated Press