WASHINGTON — The words of Donald Trump supporters who are accused of participating in the deadly U.S. Capitol riot may end up being used against him in his Senate impeachment trial as he faces the charge of inciting a violent insurrection. At least five supporters facing federal charges have suggested they were taking orders from the then-president when they marched on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 to challenge the certification of Joe Biden's election win. But now those comments, captured in interviews with reporters and federal agents, are likely to take centre stage as Democrats lay out their case. It's the first time a former president will face such charges after leaving office. “I feel like I was basically following my president. I was following what we were called to do. He asked us to fly there. He asked us to be there," Jenna Ryan, a Texas real estate agent who posted a photo on Twitter of herself flashing a peace sign next to a broken Capitol window, told a Dallas-Fort Worth TV station. Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man photographed on the dais in the Senate who was shirtless and wore face paint and a furry hat with horns, has similarly pointed a finger at Trump. Chansley called the FBI the day after the insurrection and told agents he travelled “at the request of the president that all ‘patriots’ come to D.C. on January 6, 2021,” authorities wrote in court papers. Chanley’s lawyer unsuccessfully lobbied for a pardon for his client before Trump's term ended, saying Chansley “felt like he was answering the call of our president.” Authorities say that while up on the dais in the Senate chamber, Chansley wrote a threatening note to then-Vice-President Mike Pence that said: “It’s only a matter of time, justice is coming.” Trump is the first president to be twice impeached and the first to face a trial after leaving office. The charge this time is “inciting violence against the government of the United States.” His impeachment lawyer, Butch Bowers, did not respond to call for comment. Opening arguments in the trial will begin the week of Feb. 8. House Democrats who voted to impeach Trump last week for inciting the storming of the Capitol say a full reckoning is necessary before the country — and the Congress — can move on. For weeks, Trump rallied his supporters against the election outcome and urged them to come to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to rage against Biden's win. Trump spoke to the crowd near the White House shortly before they marched along Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. “We will never give up. We will never concede. It doesn’t happen,” Trump said. “You don’t concede when there’s theft involved. Our country has had enough. We will not take it anymore.” Later he said: “If you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” He told supporters to walk to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically” make your voices heard. Trump has taken no responsibility for his part in fomenting the violence, saying days after the attack: “People thought that what I said was totally appropriate.” Unlike a criminal trial, where there are strict rules about what is and isn’t evidence, the Senate can consider anything it wishes. And if they can show that Trump’s words made a real impact, all the better, and scholars expect it in the trial. "Bringing in those people's statements is part of proving that it would be at a minimum reasonable for a rational person to expect that if you said and did the things that Trump said and did, then they would be understood in precisely the way these people understood them," said Frank Bowman, a constitutional law expert and law professor at University of Missouri. A retired firefighter from Pennsylvania told a friend that that he travelled to Washington with a group of people and the group listened to Trump's speech and then “followed the President’s instructions” and went to the Capitol, an agent wrote in court papers. That man, Robert Sanford, is accused of throwing a fire extinguisher that hit three Capitol Police officers. Another man, Robert Bauer of Kentucky, told FBI agents that “he marched to the U.S. Capitol because President Trump said to do so,” authorities wrote. His cousin, Edward Hemenway, from Virginia, told the FBI that he and Bauer headed toward the Capitol after Trump said “something about taking Pennsylvania Avenue." More than 130 people as of Friday were facing federal charges; prosecutors have promised that more cases — and more serious charges — are coming. Most of those arrested so far are accused of crimes like unlawful entry and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors this week filed conspiracy charges against three self-described members of a paramilitary group who authorities say plotted the attack. A special group of prosecutors is examining whether to bring sedition charges, which carry up to 20 years in prison, against any of the rioters. Two-thirds of the Senate is needed to convict. And while many Republicans — including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky— have condemned Trump's words, it remains unclear how many would vote to convict him. “While the statements of those people kind of bolsters the House manager's case, I think that President Trump has benefited from a Republican Party that has not been willing to look at evidence,” said Michael Gerhardt, a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law who testified before the House Judiciary Committee during Trump's first impeachment hearings in 2019. “They stood by him for the entire first impeachment proceeding, thinking that the phone call with the president of the Ukraine was perfect and I’m sure they will think that was a perfect speech too. There is nothing yet to suggest that they would think otherwise," Gerhardt said. ____ Richer reported from Boston. Alanna Durkin Richer And Colleen Long, The Associated Press
WOLVERHAMPTON, England — Wolverhampton has signed Brazilian striker Willian José on loan from Spanish club Real Sociedad until the end of the season, the Premier League club said Saturday. The loan signing adds depth to the Wolves squad after forward Raúl Jiménez suffered a fractured skull against Arsenal on Nov. 29. Wolves said the deal remains subject to Willian José being granted a work permit and international clearance, and that it includes an option to buy at the end of the season. Wolves said he is unlikely to be available for the team's next game against Chelsea in the Premier League on Wednesday. Willian José has scored 62 goals in 170 games for Real Sociedad but scored only three times in 13 games in La Liga this season. He scored twice in his last game for the Spanish club in a 2-0 win over Cordoba in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
CKLB Radio's Saturday request show is already appointment listening for many country music fans in the Northwest Territories. But this Saturday, the station is doing something special to generate support for one of the territory's few coronavirus-stricken communities. A release sent Friday announces that the territorial government is sponsoring a special edition of the show dubbed "Dear Fort Liard," where guests will air messages of hope for the hamlet of 500 that has been under tight restrictions since COVID-19 was discovered in the community. "It is our pleasure to join forces with them ... to ensure our friends and family in Fort Liard know that we all wish them the best," reads a quote attributed to Rob Ouellette, CEO of the Native Communications Society, which owns CKLB. "The communities of the Nahendeh riding are small and residents can feel secluded from others — this makes connecting and supporting with one another especially important," reads another attributed to Shane Thompson, the local MLA. The request show, which airs Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m., will kick off "a weeklong campaign soliciting supportive messages from across the territory," the release says. That will include voicemail messages and cell phone videos shared on social media and played over the airwaves to residents in Fort Liard. The territorial government will also "collaborate with Fort Liard's community radio station to provide audio from the request show free-of-charge for those who may want to re-listen." As of Friday morning, Fort Liard had six confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 50 people in isolation, after its first case led to a community cluster and concerns of further spread. In response, the chief public health officer mandated a 14-day local containment order, banning gatherings, closing schools and shuttering non-essential businesses, among other restrictions. "We're amid a local crisis that's tested our faith in everything good," reads a quote attributed to Chief Eugene Hope of Acho Dene Koe First Nation in Fort Liard. "However, we do believe our people and community will come through this with a strong resolve." "This situation brings to light the need for everyone to be good to one another, to remain calm and come together and support each other." The campaign is set to run until Jan. 30, when local restrictions are set to lift, "and may be extended depending on the status of the cluster in Fort Liard." Northerners can participate by calling 1-855-966-2552 to leave a message to be played on the air. Between 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, you can also make a live request. Videos can be sent to email@example.com anytime before Jan. 30. "Start your message with 'Dear Fort Liard…', and build your message of support from there," the release suggests.
A large trailer sits in a parking lot behind the Mount Royal Metro station. It's bright and colourful, adding life to a parking lot that is otherwise washed out with snow and construction. Large letters are written on its side: "Wapikoni: First Nations travelling audiovisual and creation studio." Wapikoni is a not-for-profit based in Montreal. They once used the trailer to hold audiovisual workshops for Indigenous youth, but during the pandemic it serves a different purpose. Sheri Pranteau and her team of support workers use it as a home base for the Indigenous Support Workers Project. Watch | Learn more about the project on Our Montreal: The project was founded in 2018 to help people who are Indigenous and homeless in Montreal. At the time, at least 12 per cent of Montreal's homeless population identified as Indigenous, according to a survey conducted by I Count MTL. Since then, the project has expanded to include three more team members. Pranteau was the first support worker to be hired. Her job was to search the streets for people who are homeless and Indigenous, and offer her support. She would brave the cold with nothing more than her coat and what she could carry on her back. But now, Pranteau uses the Wapikoni trailer to collect donations, store equipment and serve hot beverages to people who ask for it. Julia Dubé is a project co-ordinator at Wapikoni. She explained that, due to pandemic restrictions, the organization reduced their programming and stopped providing in-person workshops in the trailer. "Because we weren't using our equipment for our regular activities, the trailer was just kind of sitting there," she said. "So the idea here was to offer some support in terms of equipment." With the addition of the trailer, Pranteau says she and her team can better support people on the street. "[The team] is small but mighty," she said. Every day they do the rounds, walking as far as Place des Arts to meet people, provide support and listen to what they need. If ever they don't have something on hand, they head back to the trailer to get it. But beyond the physical needs, Pranteau also explains the importance of connection. "A lot of them just need acknowledgement," she said. "That's all it takes sometimes, to be acknowledged and to be told, 'you matter.'" She explained that her personal background helps in this regard. She identifies as Cree Anishinaabe, and has had her own experiences that help her empathize with the people she's helping. "I went down a lot of dark roads," she said. "And I paid dearly for those." She credits her community and her elders for helping her get back on her feet. Now she's focused on paying it forward, helping people on the street stay connected to their culture. "Food is one of our things that brings healing, it brings us together," she said. This is why she regularly bakes bannock and brings it with her on her outings. "I just want to help, and see our people rise up and not continue to die and freeze to death," Pranteau said. "I can't save everyone, but I wouldn't want to do anything else."
A New Brunswick RCMP officer committed serious, charter-infringing misconduct by denying a man arrested for impaired driving access to a lawyer, a court decision states. The case involved Pier-Paul Landry, who was convicted of impaired driving, but was initially denied access to a lawyer by the investigating officer on the 2017 case. Landry was acquitted on appeal of the conviction. The decision names RCMP Const. Kalbarczyk as the investigating officer but does not include his first name. The Crown sought leave to appeal the acquittal, leading to the New Brunswick Court of Appeal decision issued Thursday. Justice Charles LeBlond, who wrote the decision on behalf of the three-judge panel, upheld the acquittal. "[T]he facts of this case expose the police officer's usual practice which prevented Mr. Landry from availing himself of his right to retain and instruct counsel at the scene of his arrest, despite the Supreme Court of Canada's explicit and well-known instructions to that effect, dating back more than thirty-three years, which have been reiterated in several decisions of this Court," LeBlond wrote. He added that his hope is that the "clear signal" the appeal court sent in a previous ruling regarding access to a lawyer, and "reiterates in these reasons will be clearly understood." According to the decision, Landry was stopped at 2:48 a.m. on Dec. 2, 2017, in Inkerman Ferry, a community northeast of Tracadie-Sheila. Kalbarczyk detected alcohol on Landry's breath. Landry admitted he had been drinking. He failed a roadside screening test around 3:10 a.m., leading the officer to arrest him. The decision says Kalbarczyk advised Landry of his rights, which include the right to retain and instruct legal counsel without delay. Landry told the officer he had a lawyer and wanted to speak with him immediately. However, Kalbarczyk refused to allow him to do so until at a police station, which LeBlond wrote was the first breach of Landry's rights. I cannot conceive that the RCMP, with all its resources and means of communicating with its members, would not have alerted its members about how they should conduct themselves - Justice Charles LeBlond "[T]he case law could not be clearer on the issue of when an accused is entitled to avail himself or herself of his or her right to counsel," LeBlond wrote. "The right applies immediately following arrest and reading of constitutional rights, insofar as the circumstances of the case allow. No evidence may be obtained before the right is exercised." The judge said Kalbarczyk should have let Landry use his cellphone instead of the officer threatening to seize the device. At the police station, Landry repeatedly tried to call several lawyers without success. After several more attempts, the officer read Landry what's known as a Prosper warning. It indicates a suspect has changed their mind about contacting legal representation or hasn't clearly responded to the officer about seeking legal representation. It is used before questioning the suspect. But the warning didn't apply, LeBlond wrote, and Landry wasn't aware of the legal significance of the warning. Kalbarczyk testified Landry told him, "I do not waive it, but what do you want me to do?" Instead of allowing Landry to exercise his right within a reasonable time, the decision says the officer told Landry there was nothing more to be done. Four minutes later, Landry was turned over to another person who collected breath samples to determine his blood alcohol level. LeBlond described Kalbarczyk's actions as "very serious Charter infringing misconduct." The officer testified that he followed his usual practice in such circumstances. "I cannot conceive that the RCMP, with all its resources and means of communicating with its members, would not have alerted its members about how they should conduct themselves, especially in light of the fact that the expected conduct was established by Canada's highest court more than thirty years ago," LeBlond wrote. Impaired driving is one of the most frequent criminal offences and one of the most common offences heard by criminal courts, according to Statistics Canada. LeBlond ruled the violations mean evidence of Landry's blood alcohol evidence cannot be used, upholding Landry's acquittal. Const. Hans Ouellette, a spokesperson for RCMP in New Brunswick, responded to a request for comment about the decision by saying the force "respects the decision of the court." Coreen Enos, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Public Safety, said the decision is being reviewed "to determine its implications" and declined further comment.
An arts organization in Chatham-Kent is looking for contributions for a unique community project to mark Black History Month. The theme of the project is "celebrating Black lives" and the Thames Art Gallery and ARTspace are seeking submissions from the public for original works of art on the theme. The art can be any media, including painting, drawing and writing. The public submissions will be combined and set up in a pandemic-friendly public display. "What we're having people do is produce a piece of work and then photograph it and then send it to us and we will print it out and then assemble it in the form of a quilt," Phil Vanderwall, curator of the Thames Art Gallery, said on CBC Radio's Windsor Morning on Friday. The completed work will be displayed in the window of the ARTspace gallery on King Street in downtown Chatham. "So it's a nice public space," he said. The 'quilt' format of the project allows for community participation while preventing close contact. Both ARTspace and the Thames Art Gallery are closed due to COVID-19. Vanderwall said quilt-making is currently undergoing a bit of a revival. "This seemed like a good opportunity to explore that," he said. Submissions are already coming in and the deadline is Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. The quilt will be unveiled Feb. 5 and will remain on display until Feb 26.
OTTAWA — A Senate committee should examine the hurdles that make it difficult to use secret intelligence in Canada's courts, says the government representative in the upper chamber. Sen. Marc Gold says "a fresh look" at the vexing issue would help highlight possible solutions that could make terrorism and espionage cases unfold more smoothly. "This is not an issue that's going to go away," Gold said in an interview. "There are reasons we are where we are." A former high-ranking U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation official recently spoke out about how the challenges caused delay and frustration in putting handcuffs on Jeffrey Delisle, a Canadian navy officer who was selling secrets to the Russians. Frank Figliuzzi, who was the FBI's head of counter-intelligence, said it fell to him to tell the RCMP about Delisle's betrayal even though the Canadian Security Intelligence Service had been monitoring the sub-lieutenant. CSIS, acting on legal advice, opted to keep its investigation sealed for fear of exposing sources and methods of the intelligence trade in open court. The Liberal government has acknowledged that federal agencies face challenges when attempting to use intelligence in a form that is admissible as evidence. Shortly before being appointed government representative in the Senate, Gold, a constitutional law expert, proposed that a committee delve into the subject. "The fear that sensitive information may ultimately be disclosed may lead our intelligence agencies to decide not to share it with law enforcement, with a corresponding and very real risk to public safety," he told the Senate. "And lest you think this is merely a hypothetical example, you may remember that CSIS chose not to share with the RCMP information it had in the period leading up to the bombing of Air India Flight 182 in 1985, which killed 329 people aboard." This "dilemma or conundrum" has led to "very complicated provisions" governing disclosure of evidence, including parallel proceedings in which designated judges of the Federal Court wrestle with the issues while a trial takes place in a different court, Gold noted. It can also mean the use of closed hearings where the affected party — often someone facing criminal charges — is not privy to the intelligence information, as well as the use of amicus curiae, or friends of the court, in certain legal proceedings or security-cleared special advocates in other cases, he said. "These mechanisms have their proponents and their critics, but all stakeholders tend to agree that the intelligence-to-evidence issue has potentially serious impacts on criminal prosecutions for terrorism, administrative proceedings regarding immigration, and on national security and public safety itself." Gold's motion evaporated when Parliament was prorogued last year, but he said in the interview he remains hopeful the Senate national security and defence committee will do a study. "I continue to believe that the issue is one that should be looked at in a serious and comprehensive and non-partisan way." A committee examination would also cast a light on a shadowy topic many know little about, which could help build public support for police and security agencies — something that is critical if they are going to protect Canadians and "the values that define us," Gold said. CSIS, the RCMP and the Department of Justice are working to improve their collaborative approach, Mary-Liz Power, a spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Bill Blair, said recently. Briefing materials prepared for Blair in late 2019 said work on the question had found that the legal framework was largely sound and that a drastic legislative overhaul to mandates or machinery was not needed. The way forward, instead, consisted of "significant operational reform" at key agencies, complemented by targeted policy and legislative measures. The changes could also involve "significant budgetary considerations," including money for new personnel and advanced information-technology systems, the notes said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press
Yulia Navalnaya was taking part in a protest to demand the release of her husband when she was taken into a police vehicle.
Fifteen people — including patient attendants, kitchen staff, maintenance workers and cleaners — have packed their bags and said goodbye to partners, parents and children to move into the Manoir Stanstead seniors' home where they work. Also taking up residence is a bulldog-Shih Tzu mix named Snow White. Last spring, staff did the same thing for a month and managed to keep COVID-19 at bay while maintaining a normal life for the residents. This time around, the decision came after the province announced seniors' homes should serve meals in individual rooms instead of the dining hall. "We just don't think that's human," said Manoir Stanstead assistant director and patient attendant Donna Rolfe. "By us locking in, they can go to the dining room and eat and socialize, which is very important for them." Rolfe says the residence is like "one big family," and forming a communal bubble means they can all enjoy bingo, movie nights, hockey games on TV and more socializing. However, staff members are still wearing masks and keeping a two-metre distance from residents, whenever possible. "They're doing fine," Rolfe said. "They're happy with the dog, of course, but they're also happy we've moved in and they feel loved." The move meant big sacrifices for some people, including patient attendant Angèle Trudel, who has a partner and five children at home. But Trudel said her family was understanding and supported her decision. "We do some FaceTime," she said. "It's not the same as being all together but it's good." And Trudel brought Snow White with her, who enjoys rides around the home on seniors' walkers. Rolfe said the staff and their families understand the importance of what they're doing by moving into the residence. She said thankfully there aren't many COVID-19 cases in Stanstead but in the small town, even one case in the residence could be disastrous. "We got all the support from the families that they will not come in while we're doing this," she said. "They'll FaceTime or call, but they won't come in. So this way we're in our own little bubble and the residents can get out of their rooms, not just four walls." It's the second time the staff at Manoir Stanstead has moved in. "We learned a lot from the last time, so it's going really well this time," Rolfe said. She said she's trying to keep life and routine as normal as possible for the residents and staff, including giving employees privacy in their own rooms when they're off the clock. Rolfe says the staff will move out Feb. 8, regardless of whether the province extends its current restrictions. By Jan. 23, all of the patient attendants at Manoir Stanstead will have received the COVID-19 vaccine.
France's top health advisory body on Saturday recommended doubling the time between people being given the first and second COVID-19 vaccinations to six weeks from three in order to increase the number getting inoculated. The gap between the first and second injection in France is currently three weeks for people in retirement homes, who take priority, and four weeks for others such as health workers. The Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS) said spacing out the two required vaccinations of the Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna vaccines would allow the treatment of at least 700,000 more people in the first month.
If he were alive today, even St. Paul would be texting, Tweeting and firing off emails to get the news out, Pope Francis said on Saturday in his message for the Roman Catholic Church's World Day of Social Communication. St. Paul, who lived in the first century of the Christian era, spread the new faith into Europe and Asia Minor and is believed to have written a great part of the New Testament. "Every tool has its value, and that great communicator who was Paul of Tarsus would certainly have made use of email and social messaging," the pope said in the message, titled "Come and See".
Less gas, more green. That is the motto behind the Indigenous Off-Diesel Initiative, a federal program that recently awarded $800,000 toward green energy projects in Inuvik — one of the biggest consumers of diesel in the north. The money was awarded to Grant Sullivan, president of Nihtat Energy Ltd., a Gwich'in development corporation. Sullivan said he is hopeful to put the money to use this summer. "The Gwich'in Tribal Council supports innovative energy projects developed by our own Gwich'in participants, like Grant Sullivan, for the benefit of our communities," Gwich'in Tribal Council Grand Chief Ken Smith said. Two solar projects slated The new funding is set aside to pursue solar projects in the Beaufort Delta region, according to the federal press release. The projects include a 2021 solar project at the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility, with funds to help with implementation and training, and planning for a grid-connected solar farm in Inuvik, slated to start in 2021 and be completed by 2022. Nihtat Energy Ltd. has a history of green initiatives and collaborations in the north. Last year, the company teamed up with The North West Company to install 640 solar energy panels on the roof of the Inuvik Northern store, saving approximately $60,000 in electricity expenses annually. The announcement comes four months after the federal government also pledged $8 million for eight clean energy projects in the territories.
The Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie issued a decree concerning Ontario’s state of emergency last week, detailing how the Catholic church is responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Bishop Thomas Dowd consulted with three regional public health agencies as well as the church’s College of Consultors, chairs of the diocese’s pastoral regions, and bishops of neighbouring dioceses before writing the decree. Mass services in all churches of the diocese are closed to the public until Feb. 11, but priests are encouraged to celebrate mass for broadcast from within their church, whether online or via FM radio. “I think it’s important for people to see that the building may be closed, but the church is still open. The community is still open, and we are still here to serve,” said Dowd. Many priests in the diocese have already developed online services, he added, and if a church has an FM broadcast system, parishioners are allowed to attend mass from their cars in the parking lot. “It’s a creative way for people to come together. They remain in their cars, and have no contact with each other, so there’s no danger of an infectious event,” he said. “That would allow the services in the church, such as the priest’s sermon, and people would be able to be there and tune in.” Priests who are broadcasting services, whether online or over radio, may be assisted by a small team of people in the organization of the mass as long as the total number of people remains below ten and all public health protocols are respected. All pastors of parishes still have an obligation to celebrate pro populo mass on Sunday. “For all other masses with a scheduled mass intention, the person who requested the mass should be contacted to see if they would prefer to reschedule the mass for that intention,” said the decree. “If the person cannot be contacted or they wish to continue to have it on that day (for example, because it is a special anniversary of the death of a loved one) the mass should still be celebrated, albeit privately.” Other worship services, like celebrations of baptism, reconciliation, anointing of the sick, marriage, blessings and funeral services, are still permitted provided that the limit of ten people is respected along with other health protocols. “Just as there are some exceptions to the law, for us, there are also exceptional circumstances. If someone is ill, for example, and they would like to receive the anointing or what some call last rights, that strikes me as very important,” said Dowd. “By nature, some of the services we’re allowed to do, don’t gather big groups of people, and it is possible to do them in a limited number.” Dowd also included in the decree that the “pastoral care of the people of our diocese must continue despite the stay-at-home order.” Parishes are “exhorted” to continue providing pastoral counselling, catechism, times of fellowship and faith sharing, pastoral visits and outreach, and opportunities to pray together. It’s also important for parishes to “examine their means of communicating with their parishioners (phone lists, email lists, websites) and make sure they are maintained and efficient. “This is not just about providing religious rites. It’s about being in contact and checking on people, paying attention when people are suffering or in particular need,” said Dowd. “There’s physical health – that is protecting ourselves from the virus. There’s mental and emotional health – that’s our connection with people. And there’s our spiritual health. “You know, a lot of people are asking themselves the big questions – like what is the meaning of life and all of this? I don’t expect public health authorities to tackle that one. That’s us.” Faith, he added, is especially important during unprecedented times like these. “I don’t want us to say, oh, we’re closed, so let’s just kind of give up. No – we have to keep up the fight. We’ve got to beat this thing,” he said. “In the future, I hope to write a pastoral letter for our people and make some suggestions about how we can be a part of the solution. How can we continue, not just to practise our faith for ourselves, but to be protagonists in beating this virus?” Dowd, who recently took over the role of Bishop in the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, moved to Northern Ontario from Montreal. He served as the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Montreal from 2011-2020. While he was there, he took part in creating an online outreach program to help those struggling with mental health questions in the context of the pandemic, and he hopes to continue working to support parishioners in Northern Ontario. He was sit in on a conference call with religious leaders across Canada and federal public health authorities as part of that work. “Speaking personally, I hate this virus. One of my best friends, his father died of COVID-19. I had to do the saddest funeral because almost nobody could be there. This was early on in the pandemic,” he said. “Another one of my friends, her 30-year-old brother, wound up intubated in the hospital for weeks. It’s not just older people – anybody can catch it. Thankfully, he’s better but he’s still suffering health problems. My own brother died last summer, and we had to have a drive-through service.” He understands how tough lockdowns can be, but he also understands the dangers of the virus. “This decree is really our attempt to be good citizens and to respond to the needs of our time. I think this is what Jesus would want us to do.” Instructions on the distribution of ashes on Ash Wednesday are forthcoming. The decree took effect as of Jan. 16, 2021. Anyone with questions about its implementation is encouraged to contact the Chancellor of the diocese, Father Jean Vézina. The Local Journalism Initiative is made possible through funding from the federal government. firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @SudburyStar Colleen Romaniuk, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Sudbury Star
Top-seeded tennis stars under strict lockdown at Melbourne's Grand Hotel are smashing balls against the closed curtains of their rooms to maintain their form for the upcoming Australian Open. Players and support staff whose chartered flight landed in Australia last week immediately began two weeks of quarantine to limit the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the year's first Grand Slam tournament, which runs Feb. 8-21. Some are allowed to leave their hotel for limited training, but 72 players are facing stricter quarantine measures after six people on those chartered flights tested positive for COVID-19. Ottawa's Gabriela Dabrowski, ranked 10th in the world in women's doubles, is in Melbourne. She spoke to CBC's Ottawa Morning. The conversation has been edited for length. What type of quarantine are you under? Unfortunately, I was deemed a close contact as three people tested positive on my flight, so I'm in full isolation where I am not permitted to leave my room for 14 days. On flights where there were no positive cases, players and their teams are allowed to train for about four hours a day, plus one hour of allotted time for nutrition at the venue. So a total of five hours. How did you get the news, and how did you react to it? I got the news via email. For about five minutes I had a full-on mental breakdown, but after talking to my parents and my doubles partner and a couple friends, I calmed down and put things in perspective. The first day was definitely a challenge. I was trying to figure out how to train in the room, and what Tennis Australia and the government would allow us to have in our rooms to help, equipment-wise. It was a whirlwind that first day. We've seen video of the American Coco Gauff slamming tennis balls against curtains in her hotel room to practise. To what extent are you practising? I don't really want to do that. I'm still in a hotel, it's not my property, I'm not going to risk breaking anything. I'm not really sure exactly how much hitting the ball against a mattress or a window can really help you, but sometimes it's just believing something will help, like a placebo effect. I had a stationary bike, but it was a little bit broken and I couldn't fix it, so I'm going to get another bike. They've graciously given us some weights. I've got a kettlebell and some dumbbells to keep up with strength training. You mentioned that players on unaffected flights are allowed to leave their rooms for several hours a day to practise on the tournament grounds. Do you feel that gives them an unfair advantage? Of course they have an advantage, but at the same time, I would not subject anyone else to this. I know it's been extremely tough for Australians because they've been through a very, very tough lockdown for many months. Now things are open and COVID is pretty much non-existent here. I fully respect how they've handled the pandemic. I just hope that everybody can come out of it injury-free, and I'm sure there'll be some adjustments made for us to have priority physio and court time once we get out of it. Since discovering that you were a close contact on the charter flight, have you had another COVID test? Yes. Every day. And every day, the results have been negative. Some of the players have likened the conditions of their hotel quarantine as being like jail, but with Wi-Fi. Australians have been very critical of that reaction. What do you think? I have a huge amount of respect for what Australians have gone through to be living COVID-free right now. So on one hand, I agree with them, and making a comment like that seems quite insensitive. On the flip side, we've technically been working since age seven and eight, dedicating our entire lives to our craft. We were invited to come here. Yes, there were exceptions made for us, but I think most people can agree that the Australian Open and tennis tournaments in general are a huge benefit to the local, national and international tennis community. I won't be making any comments about the conditions, because while they are difficult, there are absolutely worse things that are going on in the world. Have you been vaccinated yet for COVID-19? No. Do you think that athletes should be fast-tracked for vaccinations? That's a hard question. I feel like there are other people that should get vaccinated ahead of us, but if more vaccines were available, then that could be something that's looked at. I've had a couple of people tell me that maybe I should hold off on getting vaccinated even if it is available, just to see how people react. What is your strategy for the next 14 days of quarantine? I'm catching up on some shows and some books that I didn't have time to get to during my preparations before heading over here. I've also got some school courses that I've just started. We've got a bunch of player calls to keep us occupied. There's no real reason to be bored. Dabrowski will team up with Croatia's Mate Pavic in mixed doubles and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in women's doubles.
MONTREAL — Fear that Quebecers will catch a new variant of COVID-19 on vacation is what's driving demands by the Quebec premier for Ottawa to ban non-essential flights to the country. Premier Francois Legault repeated once again this week that his government believes it was vacationing Quebecers during spring break in 2020 who brought the virus home, allowing it to spread earlier and more widely in the province than elsewhere in Canada. Legal experts say a ban on non-essential travel would violate the mobility rights guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states, "Every citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada." The question, experts say, is whether a ban can be justified. "The Constitution is very clear that Canadians have the right to enter and leave Canada," Johanne Poirier, a McGill University law professor who specializes in Canadian federalism, said in a recent interview. But like other rights, she said, it can be limited — if the limitation is justified, reasonable and proportionate. And given the worldwide pandemic, the courts might offer the government more flexibility, she said. "These would not be cases where the courts would be extremely taxing or demanding on the government," she said. "But the government would still have to justify it, because there's no doubt that there's a violation of rights." Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday his government is considering new measures that would "significantly impede" Canadians' ability to return to the country. Forcing returning travellers to quarantine in a hotel — at their expense and under police surveillance — is also on the table, he said. Trudeau said earlier in the week he wouldn't close the border to Canadians because the Constitution protects their right to enter the country. The prime minister, however, has restricted access to the country to foreigners since the start of the pandemic. Michael Bryant, head of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said forcing people to quarantine at a government-supervised location would be justified if the state has data showing current health orders around travel aren't working. But Bryant said in a recent interview he hasn't seen evidence the rules are failing. "I don't think that they have that data." Canadians who return from abroad are required to isolate at home for two weeks and violators risk heavy fines and jail time. A September ruling in Newfoundland and Labrador offers an idea of how the courts would interpret the legality of travel bans, Poirier said. A judge in that province affirmed the government's ban on interprovincial travel to limit the spread of COVID-19, despite arguments the order violated charter rights. "I think the courts would be very reluctant in the short term to stand in the way of a government that wanted to ban travel," she said. As of Thursday, there were five cases in Quebec of the new COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the U.K. Four of those cases — detected in December — were related to travel to that country. Officials have said the source of the fifth case remains unknown. Bryant said he doesn't believe fears of new COVID-19 variants justify added restrictions on mobility rights, especially if more proportionate responses — such as increased testing of people arriving in the country — are available. Meanwhile, data from the federal government indicates travellers are being exposed to COVID-19 as they fly back to the country. Since Jan. 6, passengers on 164 international flights arriving in Canada have been exposed COVID-19 while flying, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Thirty-two of those flights have been to Montreal and one to Quebec City. But Montreal-based airline Air Transat said travel has been associated with relatively few cases of COVID-19. "And yet, even with travel accounting for only one per cent of COVID-19 cases, there has been an enormous amount of attention dedicated to it over the last few weeks," Air Transat spokeswoman Debbie Cabana wrote in an email. "Perhaps part of that attention should be redirected to the factors that contribute to 99 per cent of COVID-19 infections." If the government wants to ban travel, Cabana said, it should ban it — and give airlines financial support. "You cannot ask a company fighting for survival to continue to operate while taking away its customers." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press
As Dustin Ritter picks up his pencil and starts to draw, he immediately breaks into a smile. The portrait artist may not see perfectly, but his pencil lines are clear and purposeful. "I think people are really surprised that I can draw because of my condition and, again, I have to explain how it works for me," he said. "I do have what people call an invisible disability." Ritter said it can take him hours to complete a piece — longer than it would other artists — but his time spent drawing isn't wasted. "I want people to feel as good as I did making it when they get it. And I guess just to explain to them that I enjoyed the process so much because it helped me centre myself." Ritter has a type of macular dystrophy. It's a blind spot in the centre of each eye that affects his perception of details and depth. His ophthalmologist has told him it's not the typical type of macular dystrophy as his eyes don't seem to be getting worse with age. Despite having the blind spot since he was a young child, Ritter has been drawing for as long as he can remember. With his condition, Ritter has to create his artwork differently than others. He can't work with a live model and instead uses reference images that he can hold close to his face to see the details. He said his eye condition is something other people point out more than he notices it himself. "Like, I won't notice that I'm holding my phone right in front of my face until someone says that. And I'm like, 'You don't do that?'" Ritter said with a laugh. "I think you get so used to doing things a certain way that you have your routines." As a teenager, Ritter moved away from drawing, thinking he needed to get a "real job." In 2018, he rediscovered his passion and started drawing again, "just for therapeutic reasons, like wanting to just draw and relax. Now I'm fully addicted to doing it again, and it's been a really good time." Ritter said drawing offers him something to focus on and helps counteract anxiety, but more than that, it offers him a purpose. "Drawing was always a kind of escape for me," Ritter said. "I can put a lot of time into that where other things are more of a challenge and more of a chore." For example, Ritter said cooking can be a struggle as he needs to read ingredient lists or small print. When other things are frustrating, that's when he turns to drawing. Two years and hundreds of commissions later, the 37-year-old has made artwork his career. He has a month-long exhibit up at Bushwakker Brewpub in Regina. For commissions and his latest exhibit, Ritter has been creating custom frames with the help of his dad. They use wood from their family farm, where a 100-year-old barn recently blew over, and they also salvaged pieces from an old grain elevator. On top of doing commissions, Ritter teaches art classes at the Paper Crane Community Art Centre in Regina and tutorials for Ranch Ehrlo Society youth. Ritter also does client-centred murals where he sketches out the mural and the youth help fill it in. "Being a person with a disability, it makes it easier for me to work with someone with a disability because I can kind of empathize with them and realize how scary it is for them to start something," Ritter said. "I think everyone has a fear of starting something because you won't be good at it, right? So if someone else kind of starts it for you and gives you the tools to do it on your own, you can still feel good with the finished product." Ritter credits Bushwakker for good exposure, hopes to continue doing murals and challenging himself to grow as an artist. "Art is kind of like music, where everyone can kind of enjoy it and get some sort of fulfilment out of it," Ritter said. "It's something that drives me to do it more because I feel it does help people who need it."
As a passionate ice fisherman, there isn't much that can keep Ron Estey from his favourite hobby — except maybe this year's ice conditions. "I'm almost 40 years old and I've never seen the ice like this," he said. "It's just been a terrible year for ice production." While some bodies of water "in the back country" may have four to six inches of ice, most waterways still aren't safe, says Estey. "I would definitely use extreme caution anywhere in the southern part of the province right now." Estey is the moderator of the New Brunswick Ice Fishing page on Facebook and has travelled the province and beyond for ice fishing. While he has managed to do some ice fishing already, including last week at Killarney Lake in Fredericton, most of his favourite spots are far from ready. Glancing out his work window aboard the Belleisle Bay ferry, he said many waterways froze for the first time this week. "We haven't had a freeze up in the bay until just this week," said Estey, adding that he could still see open areas on the bay from his vantage point. "The river system is definitely not safe," he said. Estey, who lives in Hammondvale near Sussex, said his threshold for ice fishing is a minimum of four inches (10 cm) of ice. He's been keeping a pretty close eye on the two-week weather forecast and he's hopeful that continuing cold temperatures will mean the ice will be thick enough in a few days. Snowmobilers are also being warned about unsafe conditions. Ross Antworth, the general manager of the New Brunswick Federation of Snowmobile Clubs, says the responsibility lies with individual operators to ensure the ice is safe before they venture out. "Snowmobilers are responsible to check ice crossings themselves," he said Friday. "This has always been the case, and with a late start to winter and unseasonably warm temperatures, we would caution anybody, before they put themselves, or their snowmobile, on any ice." With such a late start to the ice season, this isn't exactly a great year to launch a new ice fishing business. But that's exactly what Brett O'Neill has done. O'Neill owns The Shacks, which rents out fishing huts at the Renforth ice fishing village in Rothesay — or it would if there was enough ice. He has three huts that come with everything one would need to give ice fishing a try — holes, poles, bait, and wood for the stove. O'Neill, who operates the business with his girlfriend, Maya Dempsey, is disappointed that the start of his first season is delayed, but he's hopeful that with a few more days of cold temperatures, they will still have two solid months of operations. "I don't know if anybody's out there yet right now. It wouldn't surprise me if people were out there tomorrow or the day after. That wouldn't surprise me one bit … Somebody has to be the tester." Ecological impact The late freezing of waterways could also have an effect on the ecosystem, explained Tommi Linnansaari, a fish ecologist and associate professor at the University of New Brunswick. The normal accumulation of ice and snow provides a more predictable environment for the aquatic world beneath, explained Linnansaari. With a solid ice surface and a decent layer of snow, temperatures are stable and the amount of light is reduced. Linnansaari said aquatic creatures "have evolved through eons of time with conditions where ice cover is the norm." They assume those conditions will continue and they prepare for winter accordingly, often slowing their metabolism and food intake. Warmer temperatures and more light lead them to be more active, thereby expending more energy, he explained. "So there might be repercussions to the energy balance of the fish." Linnansaari likens it to battery life. He said fish have a finite wintertime battery life. "Some may basically run out of battery, so they'll die. That would be the extreme outcome." He said some fish species are more at risk than others, particularly the ones that are "completely inactive" in the winter — species like yellow perch and minnow-type fish. Warmer winter temperatures may also have further implications on the food chain, said Linnansaari. Warmer water temperatures could trigger certain invertebrates to hatch earlier, creating a "temporal mismatch," which means that they may not be available as a food source for species that count on them at critical stages of their development — salmon hatchlings in June, for example. "These are the sorts of things that we don't know yet if they'll manifest, but it's conceivable that that is what is going to happen," he said.
Humane Canada has been seeing a growth in farm sanctuaries across the country — and an operation run by Brandy and Ryan Mooney and their family just west of Montague, P.E.I. is one of the latest. The Mooneys bought an old farm last year, moving to the Island from Ontario to fulfil their dream of setting up a small sanctuary for unwanted farm animals to live out their lives. So far their Valleyfield Farm Sanctuary has a flock of more than 50 chickens, domestic ducks, a couple of goats, four pigs and three steers. They accept animals from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick as well as P.E.I. "Not that we shame others, but our way of life is plant-based, so we try to save as many lives as we can," Brandy Mooney says. "There's no reason in today's world that you need to eat animals. There's so many options as a vegetarian or vegan where you don't need that any longer." To save them from someone's stockpot, we took them in. — Brandy Mooney Mooney said they didn't always feel this way — she grew up on a poultry farm and her husband on a beef farm, and helped care for the animals. But after growing up and raising their own family, they gradually changed their minds and their diets. "We all decided enough was enough," she said. 'We took them in' To support the farm and the family, Mooney's husband Ryan works as a service technician at a local garage. Back in Ontario, Brandy worked as a nurse and as an office administrator, but now she works on the farm full-time. She said the family has chosen to do without a lot of life's luxuries like newer cars, a fancy house and brand-name clothing to be able to afford feed, shelter and veterinary care for the animals. The sanctuary also solicits donations online, and sells branded T-shirts. "A lot of animals that do come do need vet care immediately," she said, citing "bad situations" that left them injured or underweight. Some of the poultry came from backyard chicken farmers who tried the trend during the COVID-19 pandemic and decided it wasn't for them, or discovered they were contravening municipal bylaws, she said. They have 40 hens and a "bachelor flock" of about 15 roosters — often rejected because they're loud — as well as about 30 ducks, some of which people tried to keep in apartments (like in the TV show Friends). The hens do lay eggs, Mooney said, but the family doesn't eat them or profit from them — they feed them back to the chickens. "We have two 11-year-old chickens right now," she said. "We do have some some elder girls that stopped laying and in order to save them from someone's stockpot, we took them in." Animals come from variety of sources A couple of goats were given to them by the family of a man who died, she said, and their two commercial pigs came from the SPCA in New Brunswick, where they were found running down Main Street in Saint John this summer. They found a Jersey calf advertised for sale on Kijiji, she said. Others have been donated by like-minded people who have purchased them at livestock auctions in the Maritimes. They also periodically receive rabbits, cats and dogs, Mooney said. Sometimes they are left at the farm, while other times people ask them to take them because their housing situation has changed. The family has rehomed some to what Mooney considers good homes, and has also kept some of the cats — Ryan especially falls in love with the cats and finds it hard to give them up, he said. The Mooneys have decided the sanctuary is at capacity and are not accepting more animals until they can build more shelter, run electricity where they need it and fence more pasture, which they are planning for this coming spring. The couple's three children help out on the farm, and Brandy Mooney's brother and his wife also live there and help out. 'This is our form of activism' The Mooneys said they think the way most farm animals are treated, especially on P.E.I., is excellent, and they realize farmers care for the livestock. "I give all the farmers so much credit here," Brandy Mooney said. "Especially dairy cows are treated like gold here… it's just the end result sucks. "It's not that they're not taken care of while they're alive; it's just we don't need to eat them." We have certainly seen a growth in farm sanctuaries across Canada and this indicates to us a needed and welcome shift in the way Canadians view farmed animals. — Darcy Boucher, Humane Canada She said response from neighbouring farmers to their operation has been positive — she has become friends with some, and one even helped her when her calf was sick in the middle of the night. They said they don't plan to take their activism any further than peacefully taking in animals. "Having a sanctuary, this is our form of activism," Mooney said, stressing they don't want to make "too many waves." They don't believe they can change the agri-food system — they just want to change their place in it. "If we can only save, say, one animal, well that's one life. We've been blessed so far to be able to save 100 lives." 'It can become overwhelming very quickly' The P.E.I. Humane Society looks after pets including cats and dogs and is not mandated to care for farm animals. Spokesperson Jennifer Harkness urges this sanctuary and people looking to set up others to proceed with caution. "You have to think long and hard about capacity to care and your financial capacity. It's very hard to run an animal welfare organization. "It can become overwhelming very quickly." Their parent organization, Ottawa-based Humane Canada, says it has seen an increase in the number of farm sanctuaries. "We have certainly seen a growth in farm sanctuaries across Canada and this indicates to us a needed and welcome shift in the way Canadians view farmed animals. They are no longer just a food commodity; Canadians are recognizing them as sentient beings with complex lives deserving of love, compassion, and sanctuary," Humane Canada's marketing and communications manager Darcy Boucher said via email. The P.E.I. government does not have a separate set of rules for animal sanctuaries — they must follow the Animal Welfare Act, the same as all farms and pet owners. And they should have a premises identification number, required in regulations of P.E.I.'s Animal Health Act. (The Mooneys do.) There are no inspections of sanctuaries, but the province will send an animal protection officer to investigate if there are complaints of an animal in distress. The P.E.I. Department of Agriculture is currently surveying Islanders about their knowledge about animal welfare, even though they say they are still proud of the relatively new 2017 Animal Welfare Act. A spokesperson said via email the province "is interested to learn Islanders' perspective related to reporting animal welfare concerns and laws in P.E.I. This survey allows us to see if the act and our animal welfare work are meeting the public's expectations." 'We stand by our livestock sector' The P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture's executive director Robert Godfrey said the federation represents the sanctuary since it is a farm, along with all the other more traditional operations. "Everybody's entitled to their beliefs," Godfrey said. "We respect their point of view." But it also represents the livestock sector, and Godfrey responded this way to the fact that the sanctuary says it "rescues" farm animals: "We believe the farmers of this province are exemplary when it comes to their livestock. We stand by our livestock sector… our farmers are world class and respect the welfare of their animals." He noted there is a strong local demand for the eggs, meat, and dairy products that Island farms produce, and they are held to high standards. He noted it is extremely rare for farms to face complaints under the P.E.I. Animal Welfare Act. There are a few other animal sanctuaries on P.E.I. including several run by Buddhist monks, but most of them cater to horses, and are often at capacity. The Mooneys are seeking non-profit status for the sanctuary and they hope to eventually receive charitable status so they can issue tax receipts for donations they receive. More from CBC P.E.I.
HONG KONG — Thousands of Hong Kong residents were locked down in their homes Saturday in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the city. Authorities said in a statement that an area comprising 16 buildings in the city's Yau Tsim Mong district would be locked down until all residents were tested. Residents would not be allowed to leave their homes until they received their test results to prevent cross-infection. “Persons subject to compulsory testing are required to stay in their premises until all such persons identified in the area have undergone testing and the test results are mostly ascertained,” the government statement said. The restrictions, which were announced at 4 a.m. in Hong Kong, were expected to end within 48 hours, the government said. Hong Kong has been grappling to contain a fresh wave of the coronavirus since November. Over 4,300 cases have been recorded in the last two months, making up nearly 40% of the city’s total. Coronavirus cases in Yau Tsim Mong district represent about half of infections in the past week. Approximately 3,000 people in Yau Tsim Mong had taken tests for coronavirus thus far, according to the Hong Kong government, joining the thousands of others around the crowded city of 7.5 million who have been tested in recent days. Police guarded access points to the working-class neighbourhood of old buildings and subdivided flats and arrested a 47-year-old man after he allegedly attacked an officer. The man had reportedly been told he would have to be tested after coming into the restricted area and would not be allowed to leave until he could show a negative test result. Sewage testing in the area picked up more concentrated traces of the virus, prompting concerns that poorly built plumbing systems and a lack of ventilation in subdivided units may present a possible path for the virus to spread. Hong Kong has previously avoided lockdowns in the city during the pandemic, with leader Carrie Lam stating in July last year that authorities will avoid taking such “extreme measures” unless it had no other choice. The government appealed to employers to exercise discretion and avoid docking the salary of employees who have been affected by the new restrictions and may not be able to go to work. Hong Kong has seen a total of 9,929 infections in the city, with 168 deaths recorded as of Friday. Zen Soo, The Associated Press
President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that COVID-19 vaccinations will begin in the coming weeks in Iran, the Middle East’s worst hit country. “Foreign vaccines are a necessity until local vaccines are available,” Rouhani said in televised remarks, without giving details of what foreign vaccines would be used. Earlier this month Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority, banned the government from importing vaccines from the United States and Britain, which he said were possibly seeking to spread the infection to other countries.