The chief of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation is urging residents to get tested for COVID-19 following a recent cluster of cases. As of Thursday, there were 26 active cases on the reserve in Lambton County. The community's school was closed on Monday to help contain the virus. Chief Jason Henry said residents had done great job of not letting the virus is in to the community throughout the pandemic and he's urging them to follow public health measures. "We let our guard down a little bit and the virus crept in," Chief Jason Henry said in a Facebook video on Wednesday. He said there were 50 tests administered on Monday and all of the 20 results received so far were positive. Anyone in the community should get tested for COVID-19 if they have attended gatherings or had contact with anyone outside their household in the last 10 to 14 days, he said. "I can't put enough stress on the importance of being tested because getting tested early in this is going to stop it from going farther and farther," he said. The community's first COVID-19 vaccination clinic will open on Tuesday.
TORONTO — Many Canadians are getting a hand from gadgets meant to help keep fingers off high-touch surfaces, but Toronto's public health authority says people should be careful how they use them. While devices that allow people to open doors, press elevator buttons and hang onto bus or subway poles are being marketed as a way to limit exposure to COVID-19, Toronto Public Health said such items are unnecessary and may pose their own risks. If you're washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, covering your face with an elbow or tissue when you sneeze and using your arm to push buttons and open doors, "using an additional device or tool when in contact with high-touch surfaces is not required," said a spokesperson for the health authority, in an email. "These devices themselves may also become another high-touch surface and will need to be cleaned and disinfected often," they added. TPH's warnings don't appear to have deterred shoppers or entrepreneurs. A quick search of e-commerce platforms reveals dozens of Canadians making and marketing such products and even more international businesses shipping them to customers within the country. Troy Cosby, an Ottawa machine shop worker, is behind one of the many gadgets available, but unlike others, he said his addresses Toronto Public Health concerns. His LINC looks like a hook with two knuckles attached to it and comes in aluminum, plastic and copper-plated versions that can be used with touchscreens or buttons and can pull open doors, even if they have rounded knobs. "We went the extra mile to make sure that our tools are antimicrobial, or have antimicrobial properties … to keep it cleaner," said Crosby. He also had concerns like TPH's in mind from the start and designed it to be carried on a lanyard or to hook onto bags and belts, so users are reducing their contact with parts of it that touch handles or other surfaces. The KoalaGrip — a removable handle that can attach to transit poles or pull open doors — also currently comes with a carabiner, which can clip the gadget to a bag when not in use, minimizing contact between users and handles or poles. When asked about TPH's concerns, founder William Martin said in a statement Thursday that "It's important to have options like the KoalaGrip to give people a stronger sense of security and some confidence to access familiar spaces." Martin, his cousin and his girlfriend came up with the device after having to commute during lockdowns. "Public transit was pretty sketchy before, but then with (coronavirus) it was almost a no-go," said Martin, in a call from B.C. on Wednesday. "We bought some bikes for the summer, but didn't really have a solution for the winter." They sketched prototypes on a napkin roughly three months ago, hired a designer on freelance platform Upwork and found a 3D printer in Toronto to make the devices. By late February, they were selling the grips to people across Canada, Europe and Asia and marketing solely on TikTok, where they racked up hundreds of thousands of views on demonstration videos filmed on Toronto Transit Commission vehicles. While the transit commission hasn't thrown its support behind individual products, it said in an email, "we understand that people are looking for ways to stay safe on the TTC and if they want to use doodads, gadgets or gizmos like these, we don’t have any concerns." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press
« Ça fait trois élections qu’on nous parle d’Internet haute vitesse et ça n’a jamais avancé », déplore le préfet de la MRC du Domaine-du-Roy. L’objectif de Québec, qui veut brancher l’ensemble de la région et la province d’ici septembre 2022, est irréaliste à ses yeux. Vendredi dernier, la ministre fédérale du Revenu, Diane Lebouthiller, et la ministre québécoise des Affaires municipales, Andrée Laforest, ont annoncé un investissement conjoint des deux paliers gouvernementaux de 2,5 M$ pour desservir 1 944 foyers au Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. C’est le secteur du Saguenay qui a la plus grosse part du gâteau, avec les municipalités de L’Anse-Saint-Jean, de Sainte-Rose-Du-Nord et Saint-Ambroise qui sont concernés par l’annonce. Au Lac-Saint-Jean, seule Saint-Félicien est concernée. Plus précisément, 93 foyers dans le secteur du Bôme de Saint-Méthode. « Si on regarde ce qu’ils ont annoncé, le haut du lac n’est pratiquement pas concerné. Maria-Chapdelaine, il n’y a pratiquement rien. Saint-Félicien, on parle de quelques foyers dans le secteur du Bôme de Saint-Méthode, mais on n’a pas le nombre exact », signale-t-il. Québec garde la cap Questionné sur l’échéancier, l’adjoint parlementaire du premier ministre du Québec pour le dossier d’Internet haute vitesse, Gilles Bélanger, a insisté pour rappeler que son gouvernement avait la ferme intention de couvrir l’ensemble du Québec d’ici 2022. « On n’espère pas pouvoir le faire d’ici 2022, mais bien, on va le faire d’ici 2022 », a-t-il assuré. Yannick Baillargeon émet toutefois de sérieux doutes sur le réalisme d’un tel chantier. « Aujourd’hui, ils annoncent pouvoir desservir 1 944 foyers, mais ils en ont 170 000 à brancher à Internet d’ici septembre 2022. Comment vont-ils faire? », se questionne-t-il. Si certains secteurs n’ont pas encore Internet, d’autres n’ont pas encore de ligne téléphonique filaire fiable. « Certains secteurs de La Doré peuvent passer deux jours sans téléphone filaire opérationnel. On a un restaurant dans ce secteur, il n’est même pas capable de prendre des réservations. Et le réseau cellulaire ne s’y rend pas », ajoute le préfet. Technologie dépassée Il estime également que le gouvernement a du mal à rattraper la technologie, en raison de la vitesse offerte dans les secteurs ruraux. « La technologie évolue tellement rapidement qu’ils ont de la misère à la rattraper. Ils parlent de 50-10 mégaoctets, mais cette vitesse-là ne sera probablement pas assez élevée l’an prochain avec toutes les formes de télétravail. De plus en plus de gens écoutent la télé via Internet, les services se font de plus en plus sur Internet », conclut le préfet de la MRC du Domaine-du-Roy. Julien B. Gauthier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Lac St-Jean
NORTH HURON – North Huron councillors approved Tuckersmith Communications' request for a supportive letter, even though the fibre optic cables won't reach North Huron. Reeve Bernie Bailey told councillors that the talks with SWIFT and other local internet providers are moving very slowly. He feels that North Huron will be last on the list. Councillor Chris Palmer hopes that sending out a letter of support to Tuckersmith Communications will either "light a fire under Huron-Tel," or encourage "the little guys" to look into funding. The need for rural internet has never been more vital with the pandemic forcing many people to work from home; online classrooms and meetings have also become a new normal. The project, if approved, would start in 2022 and end in 2026. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
The Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) has established a working group to assist municipalities in navigating the uncharted waters of legal cannabis production. In December, AMO launched a new staff working group on personal and designated medical cannabis grow operations. Brian Rosborough, AMO’s executive director explained the working group was established to, “examine municipal and community experiences with these types of cannabis production operations.” “The group will also look at the policy and regulations governing them to improve understanding and inform AMO’s policy development and advocacy,” Rosborough said. Currently the working group consists of 18 members from municipalities across the province, including Brantford, Leamington, Norfolk County, Ottawa, Sudbury, Tecumseh, Thunder Bay, Caledon, New Tecumseth, and Tweed. Michael Benner, director of planning and building services for the municipality of Grey Highlands is also a member. According to Rosborough, the rules surrounding designated and personal cannabis operations can be complex. “While these types of growing operations are required to be located in appropriately zoned areas and conform to building and electrical codes, the confidential nature of patient information means that municipalities often have little information to enforce their by-laws,” he explained. “In extreme cases, law enforcement has found that some producers may use the medical personal and designated growing rules to produce cannabis for sale in illegal markets, causing safety and security concerns,” Rosborough continued. With the group forming in late 2020, AMO reports the group's work has not yet begun. However, the organization is hopeful the collaboration of experts from across the province will help to build more resources for local municipalities. Previous to launching the working group, AMO also contributed FCM’s Guide to Recreational Cannabis Legalization for Municipal Governments. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
Sundridge Coun. Barbara Belrose wants her community to be able to host a significant Santa Claus Parade in a post-COVID-19 environment. Last year the pandemic wiped out numerous winter parades because organizers said it would be too difficult to maintain social distancing with people lining the streets of their communities. Belrose says the Santa Claus Parade Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Recreation Committee, has sent letters to the townships of Strong and Joly. In addition, Belrose says Machar and South River have also been sent letters asking both to be participants in the parade. The letters are asking for donations as the parade committee tries to raise $6,000 for the event. Belrose hopes her own town council can donate $1,000. “We have extensive plans and want something to work with,” Belrose told her colleagues as she made the pitch for money. “I think this year the Santa Claus Parade may be the main thing we have to present to our communities. We need funds in that account to do what we want to do.” Belrose didn't let any details out but did say the committee will need to buy a lot of lumber for this year's parade. But the lumber purchase is a one-time event. “The first year of the parade will be where the money is to go for things,” she said. “After that it will be easier because everything will be stored carefully and kept for (future) years.” Belrose says the rationale for starting with the municipalities first is to gauge how much interest there is in donating to the parade. “Then after that, we'll know what we have to do,” Belrose said, adding the committee intends to also approach the local chamber of commerce for help as well as private businesses. Sundridge council held off committing the $1,000 donation. Mayor Lyle Hall wants the parade committee chairperson to bring back a budget to council so elected officials can further discuss the donation request. “It gives us a better idea of how much we want to spend,” Hall said. Meanwhile, Councillor Steve Hicks at first expressed reservations about donating any money for an event that's at the mercy of COVID-19. Hicks said considering how COVID continues to affect many communities, he believes little will change for the better as the year moves forward. “You can expect much the same for the second half of the year,” Hicks said. However, Hicks then acknowledged that even if Sundridge makes a donation and there's no parade again this year, the money isn't lost. “It's not like we're throwing money away,” he said. “A donation that isn't used this year can get used next year.” In response, Belrose said the committee will continue to monitor how COVID plays out, but she also said planning for the parade can't be a last-minute thing. “You can't plan an extensive Santa Claus Parade in October and hope it's going to go (well),” she said. “We have to get started soon, as soon as the weather clears.” The parade committee chairperson may appear at Sundridge council as early as its next meeting March 10. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
NORTH PERTH – At its council meeting on Feb. 22, North Perth agreed to enter into a partnership with the Township of Perth South, the Township of Perth East, the Municipality of West Perth and Perth County to launch a new service delivery model for planning services. “Council will recall our efforts in addressing the creation of a single planning service for Perth County and some of the effort during the process… was to establish… revised fees,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. “The guiding principle of the costs to be fully covered by developers and no longer subsidized for land and planning matters.” As of March 1, planning services for Perth County will be streamlined to provide services in a new single-tier model. The new model will allow for a more coordinated approach, creating one-window access to all planning services in each lower-tier municipality. “Certainly if all the fees are the same across the board, which I suspect they should be, it would be advantageous to have one-stop shopping,” said Coun. Allan Rothwell. A working group consisting of the Perth County warden, mayors and CAOs was formed to oversee the development of an implementation plan, and a planning staff advisory team was established in 2019. As a result of the review, the recommendation was to implement a single-tier service model delivered by the county. This was supported by the five municipalities. Following analysis of neighbouring communities, the county provided a planning application chart for the upper and lower tiers. Through the analysis, it was noted that current application fees are on average covering only 45 per cent of the service cost. “As the mayor said these fees are intended to cover the true costs of planning applications and not have them subsidized through the tax levy,” said CAO Kriss Snell. “This is a significant jump in the fees so I just want that to be noted. Staff recognizes that as well.” Within the new model, planners will be assigned responsibility to deliver planning services in each of the lower-tier municipalities. They will be on-site in each municipality to provide a local presence and resource for all types of planning applications and services. Also, there will be centralized support at the county for the administrative side of operations. Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is setting aside $3 million to accelerate the process of awarding land titles in historically African Nova Scotian communities. Many African Nova Scotians live on land without clear title bequeathed to them by ancestors, limiting their ability to obtain mortgages, access housing grants or to sell their homes. African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince said today the money will help resolve claims without requiring residents to go to court. Government officials say the $3 million investment will help speed up a process that began in 2017 to help residents of North and East Preston, Cherry Brook/Lake Loon, Lincolnville and Sunnyville get clear land titles at no cost. Premier Iain Rankin says after working with African Nova Scotian communities, he learned there are barriers that need to be removed in order to ensure the success of the initiative. To date, the Land Titles Initiative has cleared 194 land parcels from more than 500 applications and more than 850 eligible parcels of land. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
Takedown NOTICE Please DO NOT USE story slugged LJI-Ont-South-Bruce-POW-NNW-letter headlined South Bruce responds to POW-NNW letter. This story has been killed by its news editor. Regards, Local Journalism Initiative AVIS d'annulation Prière de NE PAS PUBLIER l'article identifié LJI-Ont-South-Bruce-POW-NNW-letter et intitulé South Bruce responds to POW-NNW letter. Cet article a été annulé par le rédacteur en chef de la publication. Merci de votre collaboration, Initiative de journalisme local Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
It's an understatement to say COVID-19 has changed how businesses carry out their affairs. And the maple syrup industry is no different. Lori Costello, who co-owns Bella Hill Maple Syrup in Nipissing Township with her husband Dan, says there's no doubt the pandemic changed their business. However, it may not be all bad. Last year and again this year, COVID has seen the cancellation of the Powassan Maple Syrup Festival, an event Lori Costello says generated about 10 per cent of Bella Hill's annual income. But while nothing replaced last spring's festival, organizers believe they may be able to hold a festival this year in late summer or early fall. “A fall festival would coincide with the fall colours,” said Lori Costello, adding maple syrup festivals in the northern American states like Vermont and New Hampshire are a regular occurrence and very big. “They've been more popular to go then because the weather is nicer,” she said. “So maybe we can also piggyback on the great weather.” The Costellos make enough maple syrup to sell year-round, so there's no risk of running out of the product if the local festival takes place about six months later. So when you're handed lemons in a COVID environment, you find a way to turn those lemons into lemonade, as the Costellos did when last year's festival was cancelled because of the pandemic. The Costellos introduced porch pick-up of their products to limit client contact because of the virus, but the big and noticeable change was turning to e-commerce. New to the Bella Hill Maple Syrup website is the ability to now buy its products online. Costello says people all over began ordering online more often than ever before once COVID restricted where they could go. So the Costellos joined the throngs of businesses that added online buying to their respective sites. “People could already see on our website what we had to offer, but e-commerce made it easier so we decided to go there,” she said. “I'm not sure we would have gone to e-commerce if it hadn't been for COVID.” Costello says online orders have increased and adds the process of selling online is quick because the customer pays at the same time when placing an order. The Costellos re-tap their two thousand trees each year and it's a process that takes them four to five days. With above freezing day-time temperatures expected to begin after this weekend, the sap will start running and the Costellos are ready. On average they'll produce 3,000 litres of maple syrup each year, but last year was a bumper crop and they came away with 3,300 litres. But Lori and Dan Costello don't limit themselves to just maple syrup. Lori Costello says the syrup they produce helps them make a total of 17 value-added products. She says among those value-added goods are maple butter, maple sugar, maple jelly and sugar candy. In addition, the Costellos also make maple mustard, maple barbecue sauce and a concoction of wild blueberries infused with maple syrup. Costello says although the value-added goods are sold online, they're mostly for sale at the North Bay Farmers' Market on Wednesdays and the Temagami Community Market on Saturdays. The Costellos also appear at the Powassan Farmers' Market. There are four colour classes of maple syrup; golden, amber, dark and very dark. The golden and amber colours are made early in the maple syrup season and they are the Costellos' main focus. They make some dark coloured maple syrup but avoid the very dark syrup because by then the trees have started to bud and Costello says the taste becomes stronger. Lori Costello says the golden colour maple syrup is what Bella Hill uses in the production of its value-added goods like sugar candy and maple butter. And the husband and wife team have had enormous success with those value-added products and have the hardware to backup the claim. At the Royal Winter Fair in 2018, Bella Hill Maple Syrup won the John David Eaton World Championship Cup when their product won in the golden/delicate taste category at the fair. In addition to selling its maple syrup to the public, Bella Hill Maple Syrup can also be found at Krause Farms in Powassan, Foodland in Callander, Freshmart in Astorville and The Green Store in North Bay. The small business also offers free deliveries to Powassan, Nipissing and North Bay residents. Costello says with this year's sap just about ready to start running, she expects Bella Hill Maple Syrup ready for sale before the end of March. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative, The North Bay Nugget
As a single dose COVID-19 vaccine, the Johnson & Johnson product will be especially helpful for people who sometimes have difficulty accessing health care, says Dr. Lisa Bryski, a retired ER doctor in Winnipeg.
NORTH HURON – North Huron council deferred the decision to approve the fire dispatch agreement with Owen Sound, pending clarification of a new clause. The recent amendment included an increase in the amount of time required for termination notice. The new clause reads, “If either party wishes to terminate the agreement, it may do so upon giving a minimum of 18 months prior written notice, and the effective date of termination shall be the end of that fiscal year after the year in which notice is given. “For example, if either party wishes to terminate the agreement on Dec. 31, 2024, the party providing notice shall provide written notice of termination no later than June 30, 2023. If termination happens prior to the end of the year, North Huron is liable to pay all fees to the end of the year. The previous agreement stated six months notification and no mention of paying to year end.” Fire Chief Marty Bedard agreed to request clarification from the Owen Sound Police Services on why the increase went from a six-month to an 18-month notification period. Councillors were otherwise on the same page with the agreement's renewal and said they were pleased with the services. Council will vote on the agreement at the next regular council meeting, scheduled for March 15, and pass the bylaw once they have an answer to their question. Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times
Toronto-area residents seeking to make their homes greener must wade through a confusing array of online information to find out about financial incentives to reduce costs. Urban Retrofit wants to help cut through the noise. “There is just a ton of information (online), and hidden beneath that information are all these grants that are there, and nobody really knows about them unless you're going through every page that shows up on the Google search, going to every municipality and researching through them,” said Rahemeen Ahmed, one of the group’s founders. “We wanted a very comprehensive source, just one platform where everyone could come and get their basic information and get access to what resources there are available to them,” said Ahmed, who graduated last year from the University of Toronto’s civil engineering program. So that’s exactly what Ahmed and her teammates — high school and university students or recent grads — in Youth Challenge International’s Innovate MY Future program built. Urban Retrofit's website presents a collated list of the various grants and loans currently available — from municipalities, utilities and others — complete with deadlines and other details that help homeowners calculate whether they can afford to install new windows, extra insulation or a reworked heating and cooling system. More than half of Toronto’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, mostly from the use of natural gas to heat indoor spaces and water, and the city needs to cut emissions in half in order to hit its target of a 65 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2030. The Urban Retrofit team focused mostly on those who currently own a single-unit dwelling, since they have the most direct agency to make such changes, but aim to collect more information useful for residents of apartments and condos to share with building owners when advocating for improvements. “It's a resource that you can use to increase your knowledge and advocate for more retrofits or advocate for specific types of retrofits to be implemented in your community or in your building,” AHmed said. Urban Retrofit also took to Instagram to engage younger people in the project. “We wanted to empower youth. Maybe they’re not in the position now but have someone — their parents, extended family — who are in that position. We don't want to ignore an entire demographic that is essentially going to be the future of our world.” The team has just wrapped its involvement with YCI and is now looking to grow the project independently, with plans to develop a calculation tool so potential retrofitters can plug in numbers to see what a project will cost and how much it will save. “We want to focus more on more tangible numbers, tangible benefit-cost ratios, so people understand how it will be useful for them in the future,” Ahmed said, adding the team has also started reaching out to housing associations and other resident groups around the region to see what other help they might appreciate. Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer Morgan Sharp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
Results from an online survey indicate widespread unhappiness over the decision to hold a provincial election prior to mass vaccination in Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as overwhelming disapproval of Elections NL's handling of the entire process. Following the election's postponement due to last month's COVID-19 outbreak and a return to Alert Level 5, CBC's Vote Compass asked voters five questions to gauge their sentiments on the unprecedented pandemic election. Half of the 841 people surveyed said they strongly agreed the entire process should have waited until most people had been vaccinated. Another 18 per cent chose "somewhat agree," with the two categories combined representing 68 per cent of respondents. Liberal Leader Andrew Furey has stood by his decision to call the winter election, a move heavily criticized throughout the campaign, even prior to the outbreak, by opposition parties. That partisanship was reflected in the survey: when results are broken down along party lines, only 11 per cent of Liberal voters strongly agree the election should have waited, compared with 77 per cent of Progressive Conservatives and 63 per cent of NDP voters. Sixty-one per cent of all people surveyed thought adults over the age of 65 should have been vaccinated prior to heading to the polls. Updates to the province's widescale vaccine rollout have only come in the last week, as supply problems have dogged the entire country's ability to receive shipments since the start of 2021. Satisfaction with Elections NL, headed by chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk, was low among survey respondents.(Paul Daly/The Canadian Press) Elections NL disapproval, integrity concerns The majority of people surveyed also weren't happy with how the entire election has proceeded — a process still underway, as Elections NL says it could be April before the results are known. Ninety-two per cent of PC voters, 80 per cent of NDP and 47 per cent of Liberals said in the survey they either disapproved or strongly disapproved of Elections NL's management thus far. Carrying out the election hit the rocks as COVID-19 cases surged in the week preceding the Feb. 13 election day, with Elections NL staff resigning en masse out of pandemic fears or because they were in self-isolation. Alongside that, confusion ensued as to whether chief electoral officer Bruce Chaulk or the chief medical officer of health had the authority to delay in-person voting. It was only after the confirmation that the contagious B117 variant was driving the outbreak and the entire province was moved into Alert Level 5 — on the evening before election day — that Chaulk announced the entire election would be held by mail-in ballot. The mailing process has since been dogged by extensions, adjustments and concerns, such as a lack of translation of ballots into Indigenous languages. The survey indicates mixed results for how people felt about the election's integrity. Fifty-six per cent of respondents overall felt either "not confident at all" or "not very confident" in its integrity. But breaking down respondents by party suggests distinct partisanship: 75 per cent of Liberals surveyed were either "very" or "somewhat" confident in the election, compared with 22 per cent of PCs and 30 per cent of NDP voters. That pattern leans into the three main party's leadership stances. While Furey has said the Liberals will accept the election's outcome as legitimate, PC Leader Ches Crosbie has said a legal challenge to results is "almost inevitable." NDP Leader Allison Coffin has voiced concerns about voters disenfranchised through the process. The election is on track for a record-low turnout of 51 per cent, if all mailed ballots are returned by the Mar. 12 deadline. Online polls don't have the same margin of error as traditional polls do, but Vox Pop Labs, the company that ran the survey, said a comparative sample of 841 people would have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The survey was conducted between Feb. 24 and March 2. Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador
A hundred years since Charlie Chaplin directed and starred in his first feature-length film "The Kid", some of the silent comic's best-known movies are being restored to be released in cinemas worldwide. French film company mk2 and international distributor Piece of Magic said in a statement they had teamed up to mark the centennial. The Paris-based company's 2k and 4k restorations of Chaplin's films include classics "The Gold Rush", "City Lights", "The Circus", "Modern Times" and "The Great Dictator".
(ANNews) – On Feb. 23, the Siksika Nation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Alberta Health Services that commits to improving health services for Siksika members. The relationship agreement is aimed at understanding, addressing and preventing inequities in health services, policies and programs for nation members. “The MOU forges a strong relationship and partnership model between Alberta Health and Siksika Nation that will give the Nation increased control and access to quality health services, and an opportunity for government to explore innovative health services with a First Nation partner,” said the Siksika Nation is a press release. Tyler Shandro, Minsiter of Health stated, “By creating meaningful relationships and listening to our Indigenous partners, I am confident we can work collaboratively with Siksika Nation to ensure community members can access culturally appropriate health services where and when they need them, both on and off reserve.” The Memorandum, which is also known as a relationship agreement, is the first agreement in Alberta history to include the Blackfoot language. It is working to eliminate racism and bring positive, transformative change to the health care for Siksika. The agreement acknowledges Siksika Nations Elders’ Guiding principles, said the press release. The agreement includes commitments to:; "Pursue a lasting and cooperative relationship; Acknowledge that the status quo is not acceptable; Commit to bringing about positive and transformative change in healthcare and socioeconomic outcomes for Siksika." It also sets out to: "Reduce jurisdictional uncertainty; Address social and economic determinants of health; Eliminate systemic racism within the healthcare system in Alberta, where it exists, and ensure that Siksika members are provided culturally safe healthcare services." Nioksskaistamik, Chief Ouray Crowfoot, Siksika Nation, said that the “tremendous strength of Siksika Nation is its extensive and effective range of health services. This Relationship Agreement with Alberta Health will further empower Siksika Nation to deliver comprehensive programming and services that are holistic, community-based, and put the health and wellness needs of Siksikawa first. “Today’s signing represents an important step forward in Siksika Nation’s relationship with Alberta Health as we endeavour together towards equitable health outcomes.” “At all times, and particularly throughout the pandemic over the past year, Siksika has worked hard to make sure our people are taken care of, and also to take care of our neighbours. This has been a real priority for Siksika Nation: to be intentional about creating relationships that are of mutual benefit. This agreement we are signing today is one such example,” said Chief Crowfoot. As part of the relationship between the Siksika Nation, Elder Clement Leather gifted Minister Shandro with a Blackfoot name of great significance: Ksiistsikomipi’kssii (pronounced: KSIS-TSII-KO-MII-PIIK-SI), which means Thunderbird. “Around this time next month is when we hear first thunder,” said Elder Clement Leather. “This is when our spiritual people start preparing themselves for ceremony; first thunder is like a wakeup call for people to get ready for what’s to come.” Siksika Councilor, Kent Ayoungman provided context: “Our people have a strong kinship with the whole of our surroundings, with creation. In today’s ceremony, blessings are going to be asked for by the Elder; he is going to call on this special kinship to honour you with a name today. For our people this is very important, it is one of the highest honours a person can receive. Given your work alongside our people here in Siksika, this is why we have chosen to give you a Blackfoot name today.” Shandro, said he felt honoured to be gifted with his new Blackfoot Name. “It’s an amazing honour,” he said. “I didn’t know this was going to be happening today. I don’t have any words to describe it, but it is an incredible honour that I can’t put words to.” The Siksika Nation , a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy, is located one hour east of Calgary, Alberta. Jacob Cardinal is an LJI reporter for Alberta Native News. , Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Alberta Native News
NORTH PERTH – Council approved a request on Feb. 22 to all the local Headwaters Delta Waterfowl Chapter to continue using municipal stormwater management ponds for duck nesting projects. “Four years ago, we approached council to get permission to install nesting structures on behalf of Delta Waterfowl,” said Parry Blanke, chair of the local Headwaters Delta Waterfowl Chapter. “These structures were installed behind Westfield Public School at the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex as well as the pond on Tremaine by the St. Mary’s Catholic School.” He said that the nests have proven to be very successful over the past couple of years. “Of the eight we checked out this past season, I believe six were used and successful, the other two were unused, putting about 12 to 14 ducklings into the population,” said Blancke. “We’re looking for permission to continue maintaining these duck nests, both the box and the nesting tubes, as well as installing a few more. Ponds listed are near Hutton Street, the pond on Connor Drive and the pond on Line 84, north side of the highway.” Delta Waterfowl hen houses are the most cost-effective tool to increase mallard production. Targeted to areas of the highest mallard breeding density, hen houses consistently boost nest success to more than 60 per cent and commonly to 80 per cent — in areas where ground-nesting mallards typically achieve nest success of less than 10 per cent. Delta maintains hen houses across the key breeding areas of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, North Dakota, Minnesota and Ontario. By 2022, Delta will have nearly 10,000 hen houses available for hens, with over 45,000 ducklings hatching in them annually. “We perform the maintenance during the winter months while it’s frozen for ease of access,” said Blanke. “While we install the nesting structures usually after the thaw when water levels are safe to do so.” Coun. Terry Seiler told Blancke Listowel residents have been commenting on the benefits of hen houses to the municipality. “I wish you the best of success with the work you are doing,” he said. Council voted in favour of allowing the Delta Waterfowl project to continue and to expand. “We wish you much success with your continuing conservation efforts,” said Mayor Todd Kasenberg. Colin Burrowes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Listowel Banner
LONDON — Prince Philip has been transferred from a specialist cardiac hospital to a private facility to continue his recovery after a heart procedure, Buckingham Palace said Friday. The palace said the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II underwent a successful procedure for a pre-existing heart condition at St Bartholomew’s Hospital on Wednesday. He was moved to King Edward VII's hospital on Friday and is “expected to remain in hospital for continuing treatment for a number of days,'' the palace said. Philip was admitted to the private London hospital on Feb. 16, where he was treated for an infection. On Monday he was transferred to the specialized cardiac care hospital. Philip’s illness is not believed to be related to the coronavirus. Both Philip and the monarch received COVID-19 vaccinations in January and chose to publicize the fact in order to encourage others to also take the vaccine. Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, retired in 2017 and rarely appears in public. Before his hospitalization, he had been isolating at Windsor Castle, west of London, with the queen. Although he enjoyed good health well into old age, Philip has had heart issues in the past. In 2011, he was rushed to a hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains and was treated for a blocked coronary artery. The longest-serving royal consort in British history, Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947. He and the queen have four children, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. His illness comes as the royal family braces for the broadcast on Sunday of an interview conducted by Oprah Winfrey with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Meghan and husband Prince Harry quit royal duties last year and moved to California, citing what they said were the unbearable intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media. The Associated Press
LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government is facing criticism for spending 2.6 million pounds ($3.6 million) to renovate part of a government building for televised media briefings that have yet to take place. The cost of the work at 9 Downing St., two doors from the prime minister’s residence, was reported Friday by the Press Association news agency after it filed a freedom of information request. The government said the expenses included “audio-visual equipment, internet infrastructure, electrical works and lighting.” It said the spending was in the public interest because the broadcasts “will increase public accountability and transparency about the work of this government now and in the future.” The opposition Labour Party accused the government of spending money on “vanity projects” when health care workers, who have endured a year of pandemic, have been told they will get a 1% pay raise. Johnson’s Conservative government announced plans in July to shake up its political communications by holding White House-style televised briefings. For years political journalists have been briefed on the record, but off camera, by government spokespeople. Johnson said the format would allow the government to have more “direct engagement” with the public. Former journalist Allegra Stratton was hired as the prime minister’s press secretary to deliver the briefings, but their start date has been repeatedly delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Associated Press
Inspectors from Ontario's Ministry of Labour will be conducting an enforcement campaign in Windsor-Essex this weekend. Inspectors, who conducted a local blitz on big-box stores in January, will be focusing on small businesses on Saturday. The inspections will occur in two stages, according to a Wednesday press release from the ministry. First, small businesses, particularly those closed during the provincial shutdown, will receive guidance and education, then follow up visits focused on enforcement. Dr. Wajid Ahmed, the region's medical officer of health, said Thursday that the health unit's officers would be participating in the campaign. Ahmed said he couldn't specifically comment on why the blitz was focusing on small businesses, but he referenced the previous campaign involving larger stores, and said enforcement has to be "across the board." "It's not about big or small businesses. I think it's more about making sure that our businesses in the community are safe," he said at the health unit's daily briefing. Six businesses — two personal service providers and four restaurants — were charged by the health unit's officers with violating COVID-19 restrictions late last month. The charges laid were during the first weekend after the region entered the red "control" zone after being in lockdown since mid-December.