Both presidential candidates have heavily campaigned in Pennsylvania. Farah Nasser is in the northeastern part of the swing state, which is an area that some say helped give Donald Trump the presidency.
Both presidential candidates have heavily campaigned in Pennsylvania. Farah Nasser is in the northeastern part of the swing state, which is an area that some say helped give Donald Trump the presidency.
The cousin of Antoinette Traboulsi, who was found dead on a beach in Cuba earlier this month, says Global Affairs Canada confirmed an arrest has been made in her death. Traboulsi, a 52-year-old Montrealer who worked at Sacré-Coeur Hospital and had four children, often vacationed in Cuba, which her cousin, Sami Soussa, called her second home.Soussa says the only information he received from Global Affairs was that an arrest had been made and that a suspect is in custody. He says he was given no details about the person's identity. But he says he's received eight messages from people he doesn't know, all pointing to one person they believe is responsible for her death."We're getting hopeful with the situation but at the same time it's not a lot of info for us to cheer and claim victory. But it does give a little light in our days," Soussa said. "The family is pretty happy with this information, but at the same time we're trying to be reasonable until we get the full conviction of the suspect."
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Trump administration on Wednesday effectively killed a contentious proposed mine in Alaska, a gold and copper prospect once envisioned to be nearly as deep as the Grand Canyon and could produce enough waste to fill an NFL stadium nearly 3,900 times — all near the headwaters of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.The Army Corps of Engineers “concluded that the proposed project is contrary to the public interest” and denied a permit to build the Pebble Mine under both the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act, the agency said in a statement.The rejection was a surprise. It's at odds with President Donald Trump’s efforts to encourage energy development in Alaska, including opening up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling, and other moves nationwide to roll back environmental protections that would benefit oil and gas and other industries.The Corps of Engineers also seemed to signal just a few months ago that after almost two decades of political wrangling, Pebble Mine was on a fast track to approval, a reversal from what many had expected under the Obama administration.But unlike drilling elsewhere in Alaska, the mine proposed for the southwestern Bristol Bay region could have negatively affected the state's billion-dollar fishing industry. Conservationists and even Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., sounded the alarm on the project before the administration changed course again.The CEO of the Pebble Limited Partnership, the mine’s developers, said he was dismayed by the decision, especially after the corps had indicated in an environmental impact statement in July that the mine and fishery could coexist.“One of the real tragedies of this decision is the loss of economic opportunities for people living in the area,” CEO John Shively said in a statement. The environmental review “clearly describes those benefits, and now a politically driven decision has taken away the hope that many had for a better life. This is also a lost opportunity for the state’s future economy.”He said they are considering their next steps, which could include an appeal of the corps’ decision.“Today Bristol Bay’s residents and fishermen celebrate the news that Pebble’s permit has been denied; tomorrow we get back to work,” said Katherine Carscallen, executive director of the group Commercial Fishermen for Bristol Bay.The group wants Congress to pass laws protecting the region. “We’ve learned the hard way over the last decade that Pebble is not truly dead until protections are finalized,” Carscallen said.In July, the Corps of Engineers released an environmental review that the mine developer saw as laying the groundwork for key federal approvals. The review said that under normal operations, Pebble Mine “would not be expected to have a measurable effect on fish numbers and result in long-term changes to the health of the commercial fisheries in Bristol Bay.”However, in August, the corps said it had determined that discharges at the mine site would cause “unavoidable adverse impacts to aquatic resources” and laid out required steps to reduce those effects.Canada-based Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., which owns Pebble Limited Partnership, said it had submitted a mitigation plan on Nov. 16.Even if the corps had approved the project, there was still no guarantee it would have been built. It would have needed state approval, and President-elect Joe Biden has expressed opposition to the project.Critics saw Pebble Mine as getting a lifeline under the Trump administration. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency withdrew restrictions on development that were proposed — but never finalized — under the Obama administration and said it planned to work with the corps to address concerns.However, Trump’s eldest son was among those who voiced opposition earlier this year. After senior Trump campaign adviser Nick Ayers tweeted in August that he hoped the president would direct the EPA to block Pebble Mine, Trump Jr. responded: “As a sportsman who has spent plenty of time in the area I agree 100%. The headwaters of Bristol Bay and the surrounding fishery are too unique and fragile to take any chances with.”The president later said he would “listen to both sides.”“The credit for this victory belongs not to any politician but to Alaskans and Bristol Bay’s Indigenous peoples, as well as to hunters, anglers and wildlife enthusiasts from all across the country who spoke out in opposition to this dangerous and ill-conceived project," said Adam Kolton, executive director of the Alaska Wilderness League.Alaska’s two Republican U.S. senators, who support oil and gas development and mining, hailed the rejection of the Pebble Mine permit. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the decision affirmed her position that it’s the wrong mine in the wrong place.“It will help ensure the continued protection of an irreplaceable resource — Bristol Bay’s world-class salmon fishery,” she said.Sen. Dan Sullivan said he would remain an advocate for good-paying jobs derived from resource development.“However, given the special nature of the Bristol Bay watershed and the fisheries and subsistence resources downstream, Pebble had to meet a high bar so that we do not trade one resource for another,” he said. “Pebble did not meet that bar.”___Associated Press journalist Becky Bohrer in Juneau contributed to this report.Mark Thiessen, The Associated Press
When Treyton Middleton found out who was suspected of shooting his stepfather in the street outside their home on Saint John's lower west side, he looked him up on Facebook. On Wednesday afternoon, the jury heard that Middleton, now 19, sent a message to the man that night, threatening to round up some friends and kill him. In fact, when Const. Connor Bodechon arrived at 321 Duke St. West to take photos about an hour after the shooting, Justin Breau's Facebook profile is on the computer screen photographed in Middleton's bedroom. Breau, 37, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of 42-year-old Mark Shatford. He is accused of shooting Shatford at about 4:25 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2019. Despite numerous surgeries at the Saint John Regional Hospital, Shatford died on Dec. 18. During testimony on Wednesday, Middleton said he awoke to banging and yelling in the early morning hours of Nov. 17, 2019. He peeked out of his bedroom and saw two masked men moving through the second-floor apartment where he lived with Shatford, his mother, three siblings, and his sister's boyfriend. Middleton said he followed the men down the stairs and managed to grab one of them at the front door. He said he threw the man to the ground outside and started punching him. As he continued to fight with the man, he saw his mother and Shatford pass by, heading to a vehicle parked on the street. Middleton said he continued to fight with the man until he heard a gunshot. As he turned, he said, he saw Shatford fall to the ground. He immediately went to Shatford's side. He testified that the man with the gun then pointed it at him and his mother and told them to shut up. Middleton said he tried to grab a large wrench that Shatford had dropped, but his mother wouldn't let him take it. As the vehicle pulled away, Middleton said, he threw the wrench at it but missed. What became of the wrench before police seized it in January remains unclear.Middleton and his mother, Melissa Daley, both testified they don't know how the wrench got back inside the apartment. But pictures taken by Bodechon, who arrived at the scene at 5:50 a.m., appear to show the item on top of the fridge. Bodechon took several pictures inside the home, including the one that show's the computer screen in Middleton's bedroom. "I did that on my own," Middleton said of the Facebook search. "I just wanted to see him."It was under cross-examination by defence lawyer Brian Munro that Middleton was asked about sending a Facebook message to Breau not long after the shooting. Middleton admitted sending a message that he was going to round up some people and kill Breau. He was also asked about his actions immediately after the shooting. Middleton said he went to a "buddy's" place but the person wasn't at home. He was repeatedly asked to name the "buddy" but he refused each time. "I'm not answering it," he insisted, before the jury was led out of the courtroom. After a short time — and some discussion in the absence of the jury and Middleton — the jury was brought back in and cross-examination resumed. Middleton was again asked to name the person and said it was his ex-girlfriend, Bella McCutcheon. He told the court that he called her "buddy" because they were not dating at the time. The trial is scheduled to resume Thursday morning.
Two special announcements were made at Monday night’s town council meeting to recognize individuals who have made a difference in Fort Frances. As part of the town’s regular Committee of the Whole meeting, Mayor June Caul announced the winner of the 2020 award, along with a special recognition for another deserving volunteer in the community. “This is one of the exciting parts of the job that I get to do, is to actually finally announce the Citizen of the Year,” Caul began. “It gives me great pleasure this evening to announce that our citizen of the year for 2020 is Gabby Hanzuk. This year the Citizen of the Year committee decided to give a second recognition as well. There was a young man who still goes to high school this year and is very involved in the community at a young age, and we felt that he needed to be recognized as well. This young fellow’s name is Ray Calder.” Hanzuk was nominated by Dale Gill, and Caul read a portion of the nomination letter that was submitted to the committee for consideration that highlighted just some of the efforts Hanzuk has given her time to in the past. “Without Gabby’s 30 years of service to Special Olympics, Fort Frances probably wouldn’t have a contingent of athletes,” Caul read from the nomination letter. “Our athletes think the world of her, and she is always their go-to person. As a valued leader of the Voyageur Lions Club, Gabby is always there for meetings and fundraisers. She has been president, treasurer and secretary of our club. Gabby has also been awarded the Melvin Jones award from Lions Club International for her dedicated humanitarian services, as well as a Medal of Hope from the Lions Foundation of Manitoba and northwestern Ontario for her work in the community that gives hope to the lives of the less fortunate.” In addition to her work with Special Olympics and the Voyageurs Lions Club, Hanzuk was also recognized for her time on the board at the Volunteer Bureau and participating in the tax clinics there, as well as her efforts volunteering at the Family Centre. Hanzuk is also the co-ordinator of the Meals on Wheels program, and though that is a paid position, Gill’s letter noted she performs her job well above what is required of her. “She makes sure that our seniors who can’t cook for themselves get a healthy meal every night, even if she has to deliver them by herself,” Caul relayed to council. “Not to mention every one of them get a Christmas goodie bag from her every Christmas. Along the Christmas line, Gabby has volunteered for the Community Christmas dinner for many years.” Caul then took a moment to speak from her own experiences of working alongside Hanzuk, agreeing that she has been a vital part of the Community Christmas Dinners for years. “I know that she is one of the members of her church choir, and that takes added work as well, and that’s all volunteer work,” Caul said. “She also sings on the Choraliers choir at Christmas time every year so, on top of all the things Dale mentioned about Gabby, those are a few extra ones that I know she’s also involved with. So Gabby, it gives me great, great pleasure to name you the Citizen of the Year for Fort Frances 2020.” Calder’s nomination was submitted by a group consisting of Kim McKinnon, Cathy Gagne, Julia McManaman and Erika Handberg, whose letter to the Citizen of the Year committee highlighted the work he did in the early days of the pandemic. “Due to COVID, Canadians were asked to isolate in our homes to protect ourselves and others in our community,” Caul read from the nomination letter. “Only one person per household was allowed in stores to shop for groceries. There were long lineups outside of stores and people were encouraged to wear a mask. Everyone was on edge about how COVID would affect our lives. Ray Calder saw an opportunity to support members of his community. On March 13, 2020, he realized there was going to be community members that due to age, illness or fear, would not be able to get their own groceries. He took initiative to reach out to potential volunteers and organized a Facebook group.” Calder was 16 at the time he created the Rainy River District COVIDelivery Facebook group that served to connect those who were in need of groceries but unable to go to the store themselves, with a volunteer who would pick up their food and drop it off, in one of the earlier examples of contactless delivery in the area. The group would eventually expand to more than 25 active volunteers and complete more than 100 orders in the district. “While working his job as lifeguard at the arena, Ray facilitated the Facebook group to help his local community,” the letter read. “Just a high school student, Ray balanced all the phone calls, messages and organized all the volunteers. Ray helped many community members during a fearful time.” Caul noted that she had a personal connection to Calder that stretched back to before her time as mayor. “When I was still teaching, Ray was in my junior kindergarten class,” she said. “I knew then what a wonderful young man he is and that he will do great things in his life. He is polite, he is kind, he is generous, and he’s just an all around wonderful young man. So congratulations to Ray.” Both Hanzuk and Calder will be officially recognized and presented with a plaque and certificate respectively at a later date. “Once again, congratulations to Gabby and to Ray, our two recipients for this year,” Caul said. “Thank you again to both for all that you do for our community.”Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
Alberta is now under a public health emergency declaration, with various new province-wide restrictions affecting social gatherings, school and businesses, some starting as early as Nov. 24. Areas with enhanced measures such as the County of Grande Prairie and the towns and village within it are also subject to tougher restrictions as COVID-19’s second wave continues. “I’m sure (the restrictions) are quite disappointing and discouraging for many people, but in the same breath it’s for a short time,” said county reeve Leanne Beaupre. Restrictions will apply for the next three weeks, premier Jason Kenney said during Tuesday’s press conference. “I think they tried to find the balance between bringing the numbers down and recognizing people still need to work and continue to have the economy operate,” Beaupre said. “A total lockdown would be devastating to many people, including in the County of Grande Prairie.” Kenney cited a need to avoid overloading the health care system as a reason for the measures. Throughout the province, indoor social gatherings are banned and outdoor gatherings are limited to 10 people, according to the new restrictions. Additionally, festivals and events can’t go forward for three weeks, according to the government. Wedding and funeral ceremonies are limited to an attendance of 10 and receptions can’t be held. Non-compliance can result in $1,000 fines, health minister Tyler Shandro said Tuesday. In enhanced-status areas like the county, churches are now limited to one-third capacity and masks are required. Across the province, grades 7 to 12 students will be going back to online learning Nov. 30. Kindergarten to Grade 6 in-person classes will continue until Dec. 18. The Christmas break has been extended a week, with in-person classes set to resume for both groups Jan. 11. Kenney justified the move by saying teenagers are likelier to transmit the virus than younger children. The new measures don’t apply to post-secondary schools, said Christine Myatt, Kenney’s press secretary. Diploma exams will be optional, including August 2021 diplomas, according to the Alberta government. In the county and all other enhanced-status areas, banquet halls, conference centres, trade shows, concert venues and community centres will close Friday. Indoor playgrounds and all levels of sport will also close Friday, according to the provincial government. Retail, grocery stores, pharmacies, farmers markets, theatres, libraries and museums can remain open at 25 per cent capacity. Restaurants can remain open with a six-person maximum per table, all from a single household, Shandro said Tuesday. Pools and gyms can remain open but without indoor group fitness activities, a measure the Beaverlodge pool and Crosslink County Sportsplex have already voluntarily implemented. Barbershops and other personal services as well as hotels and professional services like lawyers and accountants can remain open but are limited to being by appointment. Provincial mandatory masks for indoor workplaces apply to the Calgary and Edmonton zones only, but the City of Grande Prairie has a mandatory mask bylaw in effect. County council rejected a mandatory mask bylaw in September. Beaupre said there’ve been no proposals to revisit the decision. For having more than 50 cases per 100,000 people, the city and county have been under enhanced status since Nov. 6. At press time the county has 41 active cases, including five in the west county and 36 in the east and central portions, while the city has 78. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
The Salvation Army and 93.1 The Border are joining forces again this year for an event that’s a little different than what they’ve done in the past. Following the decision to hold off on their annual “Burst a Bus” program, which generally sees toys collected for the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, the two organizations are going to try out a different way to ensure kids in the area get something new and exciting on Christmas morning. “Last year we had Burst A Bus, but due to the circumstances we’ve had to modify that a little bit,” said Salvation Army corps officer Arthur Heathcote. “The Border has been very inventive in coming up with 93.1 the Border Toy Drive this year. On November 28 they’ll be broadcasting all day asking children and families to come to the Salvation Army at 351 Scott Street and drop off new, unwrapped toys to us.” The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive ill run from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 28, allowing people in town to stop by the Salvation Army and drop off their toys for the organization to distribute. While the season corresponds with the Salvation Army’s Christmas hamper program, Heathcote stressed that the organization is encouraging people with food donations to drop them off sometime other than November 28. “Every family that applies for a hamper, we make sure that each child receives a toy for Christmas,” Heathcote explained. “On [Nov 28] it’s a toy drive: toys, toys, toys.” Heathcote said that throughout the day, the radio station will be holding a special broadcast with hosts David Hannah and Johnathan Price that will feature dignitaries from the Salvation Army, including Heathcote himself. However, the excitement of the day won’t just be limited to what;s on the radio. “On that day we have a very special guest coming to Fort Frances for the first time ever,” he said. “Sally Ann will be making an appearance all day at the Salvation Army. She’ll be waving at families and children from our front plate glass windows as well. She was so excited that the Border was on top of this that she cleared her schedule and is going to come down to Fort Frances and spend the day with us.” The COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes in almost every event that’s usually held in Fort Frances over the course of the year. If a function hasn’t been outright cancelled, like the Fort Frances Bass Tournament, then organizers have had to think outside and around the box to come up with a pandemic-friendly way to hold their events. The 93.1 the Border Toy Drive is functionally similar to the usual Burst a Bus in that it is collecting toys for those in need, and Heathcote said that both events are all about coming together for a good cause. “Every year this community comes through with toys,” Heathcote said. “It’s about letting people know that the community is here for them. It’s about support, and more than anything at this stage of the game, we need to know we’ve got each others back. That’s what the toys do. It’s one thing to be confronted with Christmas looming and wondering how you’re going to get toys for the kids, and just to know that the community cared enough that they came together and made sure that there were toys available for their children makes all the difference in the world.”Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
Government and election officials frequently call on shredding companies to dispose of personal and sensitive documents that are no longer needed.But in a suburban county of Atlanta this week, those routine waste removal appointments were twisted into yet another election misinformation story when social media users falsely claimed shredding trucks were destroying ballots and “evidence of voter fraud.”The unfounded allegations continue to spread online as Georgia officials carry out a machine recount of ballots after certified results showed Joe Biden had a 12,670-vote lead over President Donald Trump. Trump requested the recount, which follows a statewide hand tally.L. Lin Wood Jr., a conservative attorney who had unsuccessfully sued in an attempt to block the certification of Georgia’s election results, on Tuesday shared a series of videos taken by a Georgia resident. They showed a shredding truck outside the West Park Government Center in Marietta.“Evidence of voter fraud is being destroyed in Cobb County, GA TODAY,” Wood captioned one of his tweets. “Many people, powerful & not so powerful, are going to PRISON.”The real explanation for the truck’s visit was far less scandalous: a routine shredding of county tax documents.The county tax commissioner’s office, which shares a building with the county’s main elections office, has documents shredded twice a month, according to Ross Cavitt, communications director for the county.“No items from Cobb Elections were involved,” Cavitt told The Associated Press in an email.The false claims built on similar rumours from last week, when the same Georgia resident captured photos and video of a truck destroying election-related waste outside the Jim R. Miller Event Center in Marietta and claimed it was evidence of “ballots being shredded.”After Wood amplified those photos and videos on Friday, Cobb County officials refuted the claim, explaining that the shredding company was summoned to destroy non-relevant election materials, as happens after all elections.“Everything of consequence, including the ballots, absentee ballot applications with signatures, and anything else used in the count or re-tally remains on file,” Janine Eveler, the county’s director of elections and voter registration, said in a statement.Some of the photos shared on Friday appeared to show a trash can with a paper labeled “ABSENTEE BALLOT” inside. But Eveler said that was an inner privacy envelope used by voters to seal absentee ballots, and had “no evidentiary value.” County officials will hold on to the actual absentee ballots, as well as the outer envelopes signed by voters, for two years.Wood did not respond to a telephone call and email seeking comment.Despite the county’s responses, Wood’s tweets with the debunked claims continued to receive massive engagement on Wednesday, collectively amassing more than 200,000 retweets. And a separate Facebook user’s post falsely claiming a shredding company was “hired by Democrats” to destroy evidence was viewed nearly 150,000 times.County officials told the AP they have not seen any evidence of fraud or anomalies in vote tabulation in the 2020 election.“People nowadays, they post stuff immediately without asking any questions and without any proper context, and it spreads like wildfire,” Cavitt said of the false claims.Jude Joffe-Block And Ali Swenson, The Associated Press
The government of the Northwest Territories is extending the public health emergency until Dec. 8, it announced in a press release Wednesday.Julie Green, the minister of health and social services, made the decision on the advice of N.W.T. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola, according to a press release issued Wednesday.It is the 18th time the government has extended the public health emergency, which gives the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer the ability to create and enforce public health orders. It also allows the government to respond to needs for personal protective equipment, isolation space, enforcement and travel checkpoints during the COVID-19 pandemic."The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated considerably across Canada in recent weeks as the country's caseload surged to its highest point in the pandemic," the news release reads.According to the N.W.T. government's latest statistics, there have been 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all of which have recovered.As of Wednesday, the N.W.T. is currently the only province or territory in Canada without any active cases of COVID-19.Public health emergencies expire in two weeks unless they are extended by the minister of health of health and social services.
Two men accused of human trafficking appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Nov. 24 and Nov. 25. There is now a court ordered ban on publication of the two men’s names. At their first appearance the court placed a publication ban on the identity of the woman who was allegedly being held captive by the two men. One man is a 23-year-old from Kindersley and the other is a 30-year-old from Saskatoon. The Kindersley man is charged with trafficking persons, material benefit from trafficking, two counts of uttering threats, theft under $5,000, breach of a release order, and breach of a conditional sentence order. He was denied bail. The Saskatoon man is charged with trafficking persons, uttering threats, and two counts of breach of a release order. He was granted bail during a show cause hearing in October. The Saskatoon Police Guns and Gang Unit arrested the two men in the 1500 block of Rayner Avenue on July 2. The Guns and Gang Unit became involved after the Saskatoon Police received a report June 29 that a 23-year-old woman was being held at a residence over a period of time. The Saskatoon VICE Human Trafficking Unit assisted police and warrants were issued for the two men. The Saskatoon man is scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial court Dec. 10 to enter a plea and elect how he wants to be tried. The Kindersley man is scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court Dec. 9 to enter a plea. firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords News-OptimistLisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Following a lengthy discussion and input from council, the decision to rename the pair of Colonization Roads in Fort Frances has been postponed, for now. A high-visibility item on Monday night’s town council agenda, mayor and council had the opportunity to discuss the movement to rename Colonization Road East and Colonization Road West, following a motion introduced by councillor Doug Judson last week. The impetus for the name change revolves around reports from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and a letter to municipalities from the Ontario Human Rights Council (OHRC). Both call for language pertaining to practices that are considered derogatory or racist, such as the concept of colonization, to be removed from public spaces as an act of reconciliation to Indigenous populations in Canada. A similar motion was introduced and subsequently voted down in 2017. While mayor and council were not against the idea that the names could be changed, it was decided that the town would push the process back, something mayor June Caul recommended and said was partly in response to the exceptional year Fort Frances has seen. “At this time, I believe the diligent way for council to handle this issue at hand would be to table the discussion to a later date, which will give staff an opportunity to plan and full investigate the effects on all residents, businesses and the general public,” she said. “All matters that come to council are investigated by staff, discussed in an executive committee, and then a recommendation is given to council for a decision. This has been a very busy and difficult year as we deal with COVID-19 and a loss of revenue. Now we need to try to develop a balanced budget for 2021, all while trying to determine a tax rate that will not impact our residents any further as COVID-19 continues to affect our community and residents.” While the mayor expressed her concerns surrounding the amount of work that goes into deciding the budget that town staff is already tasked with, she acknowledged that the name change is something that everyone is town should be open to learning about, if not necessarily agreeing with the change itself. “The most important decisions and policies that council should make going forward is to ensure people of all race, colour, religion, gender identity and ancestry be respected,” Caul said. “I hope people would welcome any educational opportunities to learn about the history of unfair and degrading practices not only here in our own community but around world and how those practices bullied and marginalized people for generations and still have an effect on them today. Nothing we do will erase the history of disrespect and abuse inflicted on our Indigenous people, but going forward we should be willing to learn and be understanding and sympathetic. What happened in the past still affects their lives today and will continue to affect people for generations. Our decisions going forward must create a positive outcome for all the people so that our future history does not negatively impact any group.” Councillor Judson addressed council in order to clarify the origins of his motion, and what having a road named “colonization” means to people who are coming to and visiting Fort Frances. “Since 2015, Canadians have been on a swift journey to acknowledge what has been missing in how we understand the words that tell our story,” Judson said. “That year, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its landmark report, which exposed, with evidence, the devastating inter-generational impact that ‘colonization’ has had on Indigenous people.” “When I speak to people in the community, and particularly young people with young families, they tell me that Colonization Road is an obstacle to our progress,” he continued. “When I speak to Indigenous people, they tell me that by avoiding conversations about what colonization stands for it looks like Fort Frances is only interested in the upside of reconciliation, such as economic partnership and joint strategies, without internalizing the facts of our history... While many people who think of colonization envision homesteaders moving to the Rainy River District with grants of free land to start a new life, that depiction fails to account for the toll colonization has taken on those who were already here. The choice to frame historical accounts in this way has, itself, been part of the project of colonization.” Councillor Wendy Judson, who is the only member of council who was serving at the time of the previous name change motion, offered her take on the possible difficulties of continuing with the name change at this point in time, though she continues to be supportive of the initiative. “For those of you who are not aware, I was the one dissenting vote in the last term of council to keep the name unchanged,” she said. “My reasons at the time, which remain the same, are that if we want to be seen as a welcoming and inclusive community, we need to make this change... The one concern I do have about renaming the road is that there are many residents and businesses who will have to go to Service Ontario to have their documentation changed, and in the midst of winter and a pandemic, we could possibly see long lineups outside the Service Ontario building.” While Brunetta said there would be ways to deal with this in the event the name change began, such as bringing a Service Ontario representative to a location like the council chambers to keep people out of the cold and assist with process, she reiterated that she supported the name change, whenever it is finally decided. “Changing the name will not change our past, but can change the future,” she said. “We can change how our community is viewed by visitors and neighbours. This is one small step we can take towards reconciliation. It’s short term pain for long term gain. It’s the right thing to do in my mind. I do agree mayor Caul that this is an issue we all need to really put a lot of thought into. we all take our jobs as councillor very seriously, and I would agree to delaying it or deferring it as you say, so we can get more information going forward.” Councillors Andrew Hallikas, Mike Behan, Rick Wiedenhoeft and John McTaggart all voiced their support of the mayors suggestion of not shutting down the conversation, but instead moving it further down the line in order to give it as much time and consideration as possible. The topic will be sent to the Operations and Facilities Executive Committee and the Planning and Development Executive Committees for a decision on when to bring it back before council. In a statement released following the meeting, Judson called the decision to send the item to committee for consideration a “positive development” though he noted it “does not preclude me or any other council member from bringing a resolution forward to our next meeting, on December 14.” “Obviously, there are a number of opinions on this topic and many people have practical questions,” the statement read. “That’s why I decided to defer a vote on my proposed resolution in order to give councillors more time to confer with their constituents and conduct their own independent research... I am confident that the executive committees can develop a proper timeline and process related to the request to rename Colonization Road.” Judson will also be hosting an online panel titled “Colonization in Context” on his Facebook page beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday night. The event will feature a handful of panelists who will discuss the local history of colonization and “enduring impacts of colonization in the Fort Frances area” according to the event page.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
The Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) has cancelled its senior men’s ‘AA’ 2020/21 season, but league officials are keeping the door open to the possibility of exhibition games in the new year. The league includes the Terrace River Kings and teams in Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Smithers, Hazelton, Williams Lake and Quesnel. “We had a schedule to start December 4th but with recent restrictions feel that in in any circumstances less than a super miracle vaccination, we would probably not return to play with spectators in time to salvage a 20-21 season,” said Ron German, CIHL President, in a media release. German thanked the communities, fans, volunteers and sponsors for their support. He said that if conditions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic change in 2021, the league would explore the possibility of playing exhibition games if BC Hockey and local guidelines could be met.Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
Residents of the city of Halifax say the closure of indoor dining is necessary to stop the recent upward trend in COVID-19 cases in the region. Yeah Yeahs Pizza manager Josh Fagan says the restaurant has plans to boost takeout orders to ensure a steady revenue stream over the coming weeks.
OTTAWA — Irwin Cotler, a former Liberal cabinet minister and longtime advocate for human rights, has been appointed Canada's first special envoy for Holocaust remembrance and combating anti-Semitism.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment Monday, saying Jewish communities in Canada and around the world face rising anti-Semitism.Cotler emphasized that between 1942 and 1944, 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the Nazi extermination camp, and were systematically murdered. Of them, 1.1 million were Jews."Anti-Semitism, itself, did not die in Auschwitz. It remains the bloody canary in the mine shaft of global evil today," Cotler said in an interview. "It's, in effect, an assault on our common humanity. And it will require an international coalition of conscience to combat it."Cotler said Trudeau offered him the job this past summer. But they agreed to hold off announcing it until he could clear up other advocacy work, including on behalf of imprisoned activists in Iran and with an international commission that is trying to strengthen the legal protections for journalists who are increasingly under siege in the world. The 80-year-old lawyer founded the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights in Montreal after retiring from federal politics in 2015, a career that included serving as Canada's justice minister under former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin. Earlier this month, Cotler released a report he wrote on behalf of a coalition of international lawyers calling for a new global charter to protect the rights of imprisoned journalists in an increasingly hostile world.Cotler will lead Canada's delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and will also work domestically to promote Holocaust education, remembrance and research.Trudeau affirmed Canada's solidarity with Jewish people and the need to preserve the stories of the Holocaust in the face of hate and intolerance."Irwin Cotler will use his vast knowledge and experience to promote Holocaust education, remembrance, and research as we continue working with partners in Canada and around the world to fight against hate and intolerance," Trudeau said in a statement.Cotler said he has been advocating for the creation of the special envoy position for more than a decade, as he watched Canada’s top allies — France, Germany, Britain, the U.S., Italy — create similar positions."Ironically, we are amongst the last to do this, though we were amongst the first to recognize the importance of Holocaust remembrance and education."This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020.Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
A request for the names, addresses and Farm Business Registration (FBR) numbers of Ontario farmers has been withdrawn. According to the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA), a Freedom of Information request (FOI) asking for potentially sensitive information on farmers in the province has been withdrawn following a period of mediation led by the OFA and supported by their legal counsel. Initially received by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) in June, the FOI request was made by an unknown individual and sought to access a list of Ontario farmers that included the names of their businesses, where they were located and their FBR number, an identifier that’s is issued to any farm businesses in Ontario that make declare a gross farm income of $7,000 or more. An FOI request can be made by members of the public under Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which says “every person has a right of access to a record or a part of a record in the custody or under the control of an institution,” with exceptions. OFA president Keith Currie celebrated the FOI withdrawal, citing concerns around how the information in the FOI could have been misused to harm farm owners’ businesses. “Together, our farm organizations strongly opposed the release of this information as it has the potential to greatly impact the health, safety and security of our farm operations,” Currie said. “We are very pleased to report that the matter has been resolved, the FOI has been dropped and we can move forward with the significant priorities of the Ontario agriculture sector.” While there was no evidence that the names and FBR numbers that stood to be acquired through the FOI were planned to be used maliciously, the OFA and other farm organizations in the province moved quickly to stall the request when it was first made, citing concerns that bad actors could use the information on a large scale, targeting businesses with protests or making their information public to others. Additionally, online sources speculated that the information could be used to create a database like one created in Australia following a similar information request. That database was subsequently used by activists to stage protests around the country. At the time the FOI request was still pending, Rainy River Federation of Agriculture (RRFA) president Lisa Teeple noted that while the request in and of itself wasn’t reason for area farmers to panic, the uncertainty of who was requesting the information and what they intended to use it for caused the most concern. “The original request, we don’t know where it came from,” Teeple explained at the time. “Who was asking for this information? Is it a university study looking to do a study on farm economics? Is it a think-tank group and how they market more to farm businesses? We don’t know. Is it an environmental activist group? That potentially gives a reason for pause, because we are in a business where environmental and animal activists have been known to be destructive. The big thing is ‘who asked for it’? We can’t find that out.” The OFA, Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO and the National Farmers Union–Ontario (NFU-O) collaborated to file a formal appeal against the FOI before the request was withdrawn.Ken Kellar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Fort Frances Times
A provincial court judge in Wynyard has set Jan. 12 as the date for former music teacher Gerard Loehr to be sentenced for his three sexual assault convictions. Judge Lloyd Stang found Loehr guilty on Nov. 13 of sexual assaults committed while working as a music teacher with the now-defunct Shamrock School Division in the early to mid-1990s. The case returned briefly to court this week to set a sentencing date. The school division covered the Foam Lake area, between Wynyard and Yorkton. Six former students, all women now, accused him of sexual assault when they were teenagers, all 14 years old or younger. Loehr was in his late 20s and early 30s at the time. He previously pleaded not guilty and the charges went to trial in Wynyard over the summer. Loehr is facing multiple sex-related charges in Ontario related to his work as a music teacher in Ottawa. — with files from The Canadian PressEvan Radford, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Regina Leader-Post, The Leader-Post
From learning Inuktitut to appreciating jingle dresses, these videos are a must-watch.
L’enseignement du fait laïque doit être à l’ordre du jour. Cela ne passe-t-i pas avant tout par une formation initiale et continue des enseignants beaucoup plus partagée ?
OTTAWA — Newly released documents show the navy will need help resupplying its fleets at sea even after two multibillion-dollar support vessels are built. The documents obtained by The Canadian Press show that the navy plans to rely on Chantier Davie's MV Asterix and allies to ensure there is no “capability gap” even after the two new joint support ships are finished in next few years. Canada originally planned to buy three new navy support ships when it launched the project more than a decade ago, but cost overruns saw the order cut down to two. The vessels are being built in Vancouver at a combined cost of $4 billion. Yet navy officials have continued to indicate that two support ships are not enough to meet the maritime force's long-term needs, as the government’s policy requires the military be able to operate two fleets at sea at the same time. The fear is that the navy will be hamstrung whenever one of the two so-called joint support ships is out of commission, either for repairs or for some other reason. While the documents play down such a threat, they also acknowledge that to prevent a “capability gap,” the navy will need to rely on the Asterix as well as “sailing with and leveraging allies and partners who have support-ship capabilities.” Canada was forced to rely on allies when its previous two support ships were taken out of service earlier than expected in 2014. Yet such an approach has been criticized as undermining the Canadian military’s autonomy and flexibility, which is why the government decided to start leasing the Asterix from Davie in January 2018 until the two new joint support ships arrived. The vessel is in the midst of a five-year leasing arrangement between Ottawa and the Quebec company, with an option to extend the lease by another five years in 2023. The government could also buy the vessel. Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux last week estimated the cost of buying the Asterix at $633 million, while extending the contract could cost more than $500 million. Giroux estimated Asterix’s sister ship, MV Obelix, could cost $797 million. The Liberal government has so far resisted calls to purchase the Asterix or Obelix, despite pressure from opposition parties as well as Davie and the Quebec government. It has instead repeatedly described the Asterix as a stopgap until the two new joint support ships arrive, the first of which is due in 2023. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s spokeswoman Floriane Bonneville repeated that message Wednesday. “Our investment into the new joint support ships will provide the full suite of military requirements for at-sea support that the Royal Canadian Navy requires to do the challenging work we ask of them to protect Canadians,” Bonneville said in an email. “Until the arrival of the two Protecteur-class joint support ships … the RCN is mitigating its gap of at-sea support capability through the interim auxiliary oiler replenishment commercial-based service contract involving MV Asterix and collaboration with Canada’s allies.” In a separate email, Defence Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande said a decision on whether to buy the Asterix or extend the lease with Davie “will come in due course and while considering the broader context of the needs of the CAF as a whole.” The Asterix, which was at the heart of the failed prosecution of now-retired vice-admiral Mark Norman, is currently docked in Halifax. Since entering service with the navy, it has sailed on a number of Canadian military missions around the world. Conservative defence critic James Bezan, who has been among those pushing the government to buy the Asterix as well as the Obelix, said it is clear the Navy needs the vessels to be able to function properly at sea. "We believe that Asterix should stay in service, that Obelix should be built and that both (joint support ships) be built so that we have the ability to maintain that blue-water fleet,” Bezan said. “That way we can send the navy out and if one of our supply ships happens to be out of service, we can backfill it with (Asterix or Obelix)." NDP defence critic Randall Garrison said it has long been clear that Canada needs more than two support ships to ensure the navy isn't impaired whenever one is out of service, though he questioned whether the Asterix is the best fit. The military has previously said the new joint support ships have better systems to avoid mines, protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, a better propulsion system, a bigger helicopter hangar and more self-defence capabilities. "We've always supported three joint supply ships," Garrison said. "Can the Asterix serve as the third in some capacity even though it has reduced capability? I think we should ask the navy that." Davie spokesman Frederik Boisvert in a statement described the Asterix and Obelix as "a class-leading design which has become the envy of global navies." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2020. Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press
A British-Australian academic on Thursday thanked her supporters and diplomatic efforts to secure her freedom after she was released from jail in Iran following more than two years of imprisonment. Kylie Moore-Gilbert, who was detained in Iran in 2018 and sentenced to 10 years in prison on espionage charges, was released in exchange for three Iranians who had been detained abroad, Iran's state broadcaster IRIB reported. The New York Times reported that the three Iranians had been held in Thailand since 2012 over a bomb plot.
DC Charity Society President Sandra Biddulph says the Dawson Creek based non-profit is gearing up for the Christmas season, with 18 hampers ready to go through its Adopt a Family program. Donations are being taken up to Dec. 1. “Most of these people are in the working class, they work but end up in situations beyond their control,” said Biddulph. “We’ve got quite few people here who fall through the cracks.” Hampers are often food based, says Biddulph, helping families and seniors in need. The Adopt a Family program provides families with the full holiday experience: Christmas dinner with all the fixings, candy and chocolate, stockings, and gifts. The non-profit has also helped individuals pay for rent, medical bills, and other unexpected expenses that cause residents financial hardship. The organization recently made the switch to becoming a registered society in August after operating for over eight years, and has approached the Peace River Regional District for funding. Funding would be used to store goods, food, supplies, along with a kitchen space to provide meals for seniors. A building located in Pouce Coupe is the proposed location. “We’re thinking of going with a warehouse type situation, because we do plan on going a bit bigger with our food hampers. The need is there,” said Biddulph. Freezer, shelves, and other storage supplies would also need to be donated or purchased to outfit the space. Anyone making to look a donation can contact email@example.com, check them out on Facebook, or send a cheque or money order to Unit 16, 10200-8th St, Dawson Creek, BC, V1G 3P8. Email reporter Tom Summer at firstname.lastname@example.orgTom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News