In announcing a planned phone call on Friday between U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the White House's intended message was clear: Traditional allies are back in favour while despots, dictators and the killers of dissenters are on the outs. The way press secretary Jen Psaki announced the scheduled call with Trudeau was revealing, as it came in response to a question that had nothing at all to do with Canada's prime minister. She was asked about Vladimir Putin. Specifically, she was asked when Biden would speak with the Russian leader. Psaki replied that it wasn't an immediate priority. "[Biden's] first foreign leader call will be on Friday with Prime Minister Trudeau," she said. "I would expect his early calls will be with partners and allies. He feels it's important to rebuild those relationships." U.S. plans to investigate Russia Psaki elaborated on Putin in a separate news conference where she described Russia as "reckless" and "adversarial." She said Biden has tasked the intelligence community with reporting on a variety of alleged Russian transgressions: cyberattacks on U.S. companies, interference in U.S. politics, the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, and Russian-paid bounties on U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. Yet the goal of rebalancing relationships away from rivals toward like-minded countries has been tested already. Some Canadians, notably Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, want trade retaliation against the U.S. following the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Day 1 of the new administration. The decision undermines Canada's No. 1 export to the United States: oil. WATCH | The National's report on Keystone XL: Biden's foreign policy ambitions will keep being tested as international relationships undergo unwieldy twists on any given issue due to practical and political considerations. Here is what we already know about the Biden administration's approach to other countries after its first couple of days in office. The moves so far The administration will release a report on suspected Saudi government involvement in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, an issue the last administration showed little interest in pursuing. It is also threatening to cancel support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is willing to consider new NATO expansion on Russia's doorstep, into Georgia, and in fact is staunchly supportive of the international military alliance. And Biden has rejoined previous alliances the U.S. was either scheduled to exit (the World Health Organization) or had already left (the Paris climate accord). These activities are intended to signal a dramatic change in foreign policy from Biden's predecessor, Donald Trump, who frequently bashed the leaders of democracies and international institutions while simultaneously cultivating friendly relationships with non-democratic leaders in the Middle East, Russia and North Korea. There will be contradictions in Biden's approach — as there were in Trump's. For example, while Trump often had kind words for dictators, he also sanctioned their countries on occasion, including Russia and China. Also, don't count on an ambitious foreign policy from Biden. Early on, the new administration will be busy juggling domestic crises, said Edward Alden, an expert on Canada-U.S. relations. "I think we are going to see an approach to alliances that looks a lot like [Barack] Obama's — engaged, respectful, but not overly ambitious," said Alden, a senior fellow at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. "The United States has enormous problems at home, and those are going to take priority for some time." Alden said he does expect some new international initiatives, such as more active co-operation on global vaccine distribution. Biden wants changes on Canada-U.S. pandemic travel On COVID-19, Biden also wants to immediately connect with Canada and Mexico to establish new rules within 14 days for pandemic-related travel safety measures. Alden also expects an attempt to rework and revive the international nuclear deal with Iran, and establish greater co-ordination with other countries in confronting China. For example, Biden has proposed a summit of democracies where countries can share ideas for countering autocracies. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, told his confirmation hearing this week that the last administration had a point in reorienting policy toward Beijing. "President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Blinken said. "The basic principle was the right one, and I think that's actually helpful to our foreign policy." He got into a testy exchange at that hearing with Sen. Rand Paul, a libertarian-minded Republican who favours a hands-off approach on foreign affairs. When Blinken said he was open to expanding NATO membership to Russia's neighbour Georgia, Paul called that a recipe for war with Russia. Blinken argued the opposite is true. After years of Russian incursions in non-NATO Georgia and Ukraine, recent evidence suggests Russia is most belligerent with countries outside NATO's shield, he said. Keystone XL: The early irritant Biden and Trudeau are expected to discuss new travel measures to control the spread of COVID-19, as well as Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion that would run south from Alberta to Nebraska. So far, Trudeau has shown little desire to escalate the pipeline issue. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, on the other hand, has demanded retaliatory action, and some trade experts say potential legal avenues do exist. WATCH | Kenny on the fate of Keystone XL: But they're skeptical they will achieve much. Eric Miller of the Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, a cross-border consulting firm specializing in trade and government affairs, said the best that pipeline-backers can hope for is to sue the U.S. government for financial compensation for the cancelled project. He said the Alberta government and the project's developer, TC Energy, can try suing under the investor-state dispute chapter in the old NAFTA, which will remain in effect for two more years for existing investments. "[But] nothing is going to force the Biden administration to deliver the permit," Miller said. "One has to be clear that there is no world in which Joe Biden [retreats on this]." Canada-U.S. trade lawyer Dan Ujczo said he doubts complaints from Canada will make a difference. He said the most politically effective argument for the pipeline would come from Americans — from the companies and unions that would have serviced the project. The Ohio-based lawyer said challenges under U.S. laws, such as the Administrative Procedures Act, could potentially work, but he cautioned: "They're high hurdles."
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health’s (WDGPH) roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine will be seeing impacts with pause in production lines at Pfizer’s facility. WDGPH announced on Monday (Jan. 18) that they would be making changes to their vaccine program in response to the recent announcement from Pfizer that some production lines at their facility in Belgium are working to increase their overall capacity. Public Health, in a press release, said that the pausing in production will be felt in Ontario and affect deliveries to Guelph for a short period. WDG Public Health will be continuing to move forward with the vaccine supply that they have on hand, but will be making changes to the vaccination clinic; with rescheduling of appointments unavoidable. Those who will be affected by the pause will be contacted directly. Residents, staff, and essential caregivers in long term care and retirement homes will continue to be prioritized for vaccinations. Individuals who have already received the vaccine will be able to get their second does, although for some it will be delayed. Public Health said that the delay in the second dose will not affect individuals developing immunity to the second dose. “Everyone wants to see vaccines arrive as quickly as possible to the region,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin- Guelph Public Health. “This delay is only temporary and will allow the manufacturer the ability to provide increased vaccine to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph in the coming weeks. As an agency, our commitment remains, vaccinating as many people as quickly as possible according to the provincial schedule.” For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca/vaccine. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
VANCOUVER — The B.C. Lions have signed Canadian wide receiver Shaq Johnson to a contract extension. The six-foot, 185-pound native of Brampton, Ont., recorded career highs in receptions (39) and yards (597) in 2019 while also scoring a pair of touchdowns. Johnson has appeared in 54 games for the Lions over the past four seasons, making 97 catches for 1,454 yards and seven touchdowns. In his first full season as a pro in 2017, Johnson was the Lions' nominee for the CFL's most outstanding Canadian. Johnson was selected in the fourth round, 32nd overall, of the 2017 CFL draft. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Russia has ordered TikTok and other social networks to restrict online calls for nationwide protests in support of detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.View on euronews
You can pass through Penville and not real-ize the area was once a thriving village that was settled by early pioneers in the 1830s. The area has no real reminders of a village that would have had all the amenities needed to keep a small town viable at the time. It was located at what is now the 5th Line and 19th Sideroad of New Tecumseth. There are now several houses surrounding the site but almost all are of a relatively recent design. Penville was founded in the 1830s when the area was unpopulated and wild.With no real roads leading into the region, settlers would have had a tough life arriving, probably by ox cart, and building their fi rst home from the materials on the land. The Penfield, Ausman, and Dale families are recorded as being the first to arrive in the area and they began clearing the land for farming operations. They were all Scottish immigrants.Presumably, the Penfield family lent its name to create the village on a map. The village attracted more settlers to the area.So many arrived that a Town Hall was built in 1858 at a cost of $450.00 with the fi rst Reeve being recorded as Robert Cross. Black’s Methodist Church was built in 1850 and a cemetery established in 1858. There is no record of a tavern in the area, however almost every new town in Ontario had at least one local watering hole, and some had several, so most likely some enterprising entrepreneur set up some kind of hotel or tavern in the town. By 1871, the town had grown to a thriving village of 130 souls. By early Ontario standards, that was a sizable population for a pio-neer settlement. Most likely the town would have had a blacksmith, cabinet maker, and a saw mill, which were pretty much standard business in pioneer towns at the time. Like many small towns in Central Ontario, Penville reached its peak in the late 1800s. Over time, residents began to leave to search for more opportunities in other places. By the time the twentieth century arrived, the village was all but abandoned. The church was still standing as late as the mid 1950s, but by that time hadn’t had servic-es in decades and was being used as a granary. The church was demolished sometime in the 50s although the cemetery remains.There are 18 recorded interments in the cemetery, with the last person buried in 1933. After the demolition of the church, the remaining headstones were grouped together in a cairn in the middle of the property. It has been suggested that many of the graves in the cemetery were moved to other cemeteries in the area in the late part of the 19th century, however there is no offi cial record of that. Penville had a good start; however, like many small early settlements, it faded into history as residents moved on to fi nd their fortunes elsewhere. Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
The Canadian Women’s Foundation has launched a new program, Safer + Stronger Grants, to provide financial support for organizations addressing and combating gender-based violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There’s a lot of research that shows that gender-based violence does increase in times of disaster and this is something that’s global and Canada of course is no exception to that rule,” said Andrea Gunraj, vice president of public engagement at Canadian Women’s Foundation. “We’ve been seeing that that increase in gender-based violence tends to be because folks might be more isolated, folks might have less access to services, maybe communities are struggling with the disaster response and therefore the response or the services available for gender-based violence are limited.” The Canadian Women’s Foundation launched the grant program back in December after receiving a $19.6 million investment from the Department of Women and Gender Equality (WAGE). The grant will provide organizations with funding for a number of activities and expenses such as crisis intervention, digital resources, staffing, operating cost and COVID-19 prevention. “It’s very open in terms of what organizations could say they need uniquely in their community and the whole idea is we want to make sure that organizations get what they need in this emergency period, to be able to meet those needs of their communities.” With the new grant Canadian Women’s Foundation said through that they will be particularly committed in advancing initiatives in rural, remote and Northern areas which can see increased risk with less available support. “Statistics Canada has found that women in rural areas really do experience the highest rates of violence of intimate partner abuse, and of course some groups within those rural areas experience higher rates as well,” said Gunraj. “We also see that there might be greater barriers for folks who are in rural and remote northern areas, which could be that the shelter is not available for them, if they want to find emergency shelter programs they may not be available in their areas, there may be issues with trying to get to the services because of the distance between and lack of affordable housing options, affordable transportation options,” explained Gunraj. “Resources may be scarce for them, there’s the isolation and the difficulty in leaving a violent situation is going to be more difficult in those areas.” During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic police calls for domestic disturbance increased through March and June. Women’s Shelter Canada reported that 52 percent of 266 shelters surveyed reported seeing clients experiencing more severe forms of violence. In a survey from Statistics Canada, released in April 2020, it showed that 1 in 10 women were very or extremely concerned about the possibility of violence in the home. Family Transition Place (FTP) a local organization that provides services for women and children back in July said at the peak of the first wave they initially saw a decrease in calls for help, but as restrictions lifted they saw numbers begin to rise again. With the second wave of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns, Canadian Women’s Foundation says there is higher risk of intimate partner violence and that the emergency grant will help support stretched organizations. Deadlines to apply for the Safer + Stronger Grant are Feb. 1 and 15. For more information on the grant go to www.canadianwomen.org. Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press
OTTAWA — It will likely be another year before a federal review of the government's key transparency law is complete. Newly released terms of reference for the government study of the Access to Information Act say a report will be submitted to the Treasury Board president by Jan. 31 of next year. The review, announced last June, has prompted skepticism from open-government advocates who point to a pile of reports done over the years on reforming the access law. The law, introduced in 1983, allows people who pay $5 to ask for a range of federal documents, but it has been widely criticized as antiquated and poorly administered. Ken Rubin, a longtime user of the access law, says putting the government in charge of reviewing its own secrecy and delay problems was never a good idea. He says the Liberals should either present a new transparency bill before the next general election or let Parliament and the public figure out how to improve access to federal records. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
Williams Lake First Nation (WLFN) Chief Willie Sellars asked for continued co-operation while also being optimistic the community’s COVID-19 numbers among on-reserve members will begin to drop. From his home, with a picture of his late grandfather wearing goalie pads in the background, Chief Willie Sellars began his Jan. 20 community Facebook address on a sad note. “We have heavy hearts in the community today with the passing of another loved one,” Sellars said, confirming the passing of community member Michelle Wycotte. Wycotte’s death follows the recent passing of another WLFN member, Byron Louie. Her cause of death, as well as Louie’s, have not been released. As of 4 p.m. Jan 20, Sellars said 34 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed within the WLFN community of Sugar Cane. “Of those 34, the good news is 11 have now fully recovered and are completing their 14-day isolation,” he said. “That leaves 23 active cases in the community.” Sellars also provided an update on COVID-19 cases within the Cariboo Chilcotin region which does not include 100 Mile House and Quesnel. He said there are 156 active COVID-19 cases and that it was WLFN’s understanding Interior Health would be declaring a COVID-19 cluster within the Cariboo Chilcotin region later today (Jan. 20). “We encourage our membership, the community at large, not to panic or become anxious in light of the declaration,” Sellars said. “This declaration is being done with transparency in mind and will allow Interior Health to provide area-specific COVID-19 numbers and updates to the Williams Lake community.” A limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is anticipated to be distributed at the Elizabeth Grouse Gymnasium by the end of the week. While encouraged and optimistic the number of cases will drop by the end of the week at Sugar Cane, Sellars said it will be individuals’ actions that will prevent any spread. Three of six beds at two fully-furnished duplex units complete with groceries and supplies are available for self-isolation. “The greatest challenge our EOC team has faced to date is being a matter of self-isolation practices and ensuring individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 have the opportunity to isolate away from their family members who have tested negative,” Sellars said. Rebecca Dyok, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Williams Lake Tribune
Bernie Sanders won't be the only one needing warm mittens this week. British Columbians are in for the coldest stretch of the year as a winter high pressure zone settles into place across the province. In Metro Vancouver that means clearing skies and sub-zero temperatures beginning Thursday night. Friday is forecast to be clear with a wind chill of –6 C, according to CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe, with daytime temperatures rising to 4 C. Friday night into Saturday is set to be the coldest night this season at –3 C to –5 C. Saturday stays sunny until a low-pressure system brings in a wintry mix overnight into Sunday, including a couple of centimetres of snow. The snow will change into rain on Sunday — but the long-range forecast shows a chance of more snow falling next week. Vancouver opening warming sites As part of Vancouver's extreme weather response, the city is opening more shelter space starting Thursday to provide people with a safe place during cold winter months. Directions Youth Services Centre at 1138 Burrard St. can provide overnight accommodation for a small number of youth who are up to 24 years old. Shelter spaces for adults will be available at: Evelyn Saller Centre, 320 Alexander St. Tenth Church, 11 West 10th Ave. Langara YMCA, 282 West 49th Ave Powell Street Getaway, 528 Powell St. More shelter spaces are being added on Saturday at: Vancouver Aquatic Centre, 1050 Beach Ave. Creekside Community Centre, 1 Athletes Way. The city says measures are in place at shelters and warming centres to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
If you have been shopping for a new or used car over the past few months, you prob-ably noticed that local dealerships are starting to look a little bare as their lots don’t have the same amount of inventory they had a year ago. A check with one dealership noted that they usually have around 150 units on the lot but had been reduced to around 20 .It is a two-fold problem. During a visit to a prominent dealer in the Orangeville area, it was explained that dealerships are having trouble getting new vehicles delivered to their lots. Disruptions in trans-portation due to the current pandemic means dealerships can’t get the inventory they need. On top of that, the recent province-wide lockdown has seen a drop in sales as custom-ers aren’t as willing to make appointments to visit a dealership. One sales person said, “It happened almost overnight. People just stopped coming in.” The shortage of vehicles has also impacted the used car market. With fewer people trad-ing in their old cars, there isn’t a lot of inven-tory on the pre-owned side of the dealership lots. “Used cars are going fast,” one salesperson said. “There’s not a lot of vehicles coming in. When we get a nice one it won’t be here long.” The latest concern in the auto industry is a shortage of parts that is causing delays in pro-duction. The parts shortage has affected pretty much every auto manufacture, not only in North America but around the world. In Brampton, the Chrysler plant has already seen temporary layoffs and also suspended operations at its plant in Mexico. The Alliston Honda plant has announced it will stop production on one of its lines during the week for January 25. The problem is a shortage of semiconductor microchips.After a slow down in production earlier in the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, semiconductor manufacturers allocated more capacity to meet the soaring demand from consumer-electronics makers. Microchip makers favour consumer-electronics customers because their orders are larger than those of automakers. The annual smartphone market alone is more than 1 billion devices compared to fewer than 100 million for cars. The pandemic has resulted in an increase in sales in phones, game consoles, smart TVs and laptops, as people are spending more time at home. New cars are using more and more micro-chips in their vehicles to handle everything from navigation systems to traction control.Industry experts say the situation will most likely turn around in the next three months. Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times
German researchers have enabled mice paralyzed after spinal cord injuries to walk again, re-establishing a neural link hitherto considered irreparable in mammals by using a designer protein injected into the brain. Spinal cord injuries in humans, often caused by sports or traffic accidents, leave them paralyzed because not all of the nerve fibers that carry information between muscles and the brain are able to grow back. But the researchers from Ruhr University Bochum managed to stimulate the paralyzed mice's nerve cells to regenerate using a designer protein.
Kingston Police Chief Antje McNeely spoke to City Council on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, invited, she said, to explain how the force uses their capital and operating budget. Specifically, McNeely said she was asked to talk about “how the police budget has been constructed to deal with the concerns raised by BIPOC and Black Lives Matter, and how these elements are related to other priorities within the police budget.” “I’ve received probably 100, if not more, emails wondering about the City being able to ‘defund the police,’ using that term that comes largely from the States,” Councillor Robert Kiley noted during the meeting. There are, in fact, 15 Canadian regions registered at Defund.ca, including Katarokwi / Kingston. The co-founder of Black Lives Matter, and a leading advocate of the defund movement, is Canadian writer and activist Sandy Hudson. For Kiley and his colleague Jim Neill, their concern was an apparent misconception by some constituents that they, as councillors, could control the police budget. “My understanding is that actually isn’t something Council can do,” Kiley said. McNeely explained that under the Provincial Police Services Act, the Kingston Police department must submit capital and operating budgets to Council. “We submit that to our board, our board then submits that to yourselves,” she said. McNeely explained that Council is not bound to accept the budget, but does not have the authority to disapprove certain items, line by line. “If the [Police] board is not satisfied that the budget established for it by the Council is sufficient… the board may request that the Commission determine the question, and the Commission, after holding a hearing, will do so,” she explained. “I want to thank you because we haven’t had an appeal for your budget in over a decade, so clearly you’ve been working closely with our treasurer,” said Councillor Neill. McNeely said that, as a percentage of the gross municipal budget over the past 12 years, Kingston Police budget has declined from 11.49 per cent in 2008 to 10.87 per cent in 2020. In contrast, members of the local Defund organization, Defund YGK, argue that it dwarfs funding of municipal social services. “The published budget for Housing and Social Services for 2020 is $17.25M. This is just 4.3 per cent of the city budget,” they wrote in a December Medium article. “The trend over the last five years is only making matters worse; the budget for Housing and Social Services has steadily decreased while the Police Services budget has increased by 15 per cent,” they said. The Black Lives Matter movement gained widespread momentum in Canada and the United States this summer after a Black Minneapolis man, George Floyd, was killed by police officers in broad daylight. Floyd had allegedly used a counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes from a convenience store. His death was captured in a disturbing, widely circulated video, rallying people from cities across North America to decry police brutality, disproportionate use of force against people of colour, and systemic racism. The subsequent “defund” movement has accelerated calls from people at all levels of society to reallocate government spending from police budgets to other social services, in order to reduce the criminalization of marginalized peoples. In Canada, and Kingston, activists for the defund movement have pointed to examples of Black and Indigenous people facing violence or even dying during wellness checks or mental health calls where police are the first responders. “The Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police has, for years, been part of the larger discussions at the provincial level about how we, as a society, can adequately fund social and healthcare services, many of which have had their budgets cut or been underfunded by government,” McNeely said. “The fact is that police do not want to be the primary responders when it comes to addictions, mental health, or homelessness calls. Policing is the only service that operates 365 days a year, seven days a week and 24 hours a day. Other social service agencies are not there 24/7 when these calls come in,” she continued. “The reality is that there has to be a solution developed for a better alternative based on evidence, research, and partnerships. We are committed to working with government and community partners to build such a response.” She described protocols and operations that Kingston Police have developed to respond to mental health and addictions crises, such as the Mobile Crisis Rapid Response Team, and the Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST model), which partners police with addictions and mental health workers. She said that in 2019, working in collaboration with the City’s CFO and Treasurer, Desirée Kennedy, Kingston Police put a strategy in place to reduce the annual 2021 capital budget requested by just under $1 million so that the City could invest additional money into affordable housing. “As a result, some of our capital projects were deferred to the following year,” she said Internally, McNeely noted that officers undergo cultural awareness training, including education on perspectives of the Indigenous community and the impact of residential school. She also explained how the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategies at Kingston Police are evolving and expanding, with plans to improve recruitment and retention of a more diverse workforce. She added that officers are required to “respect the rights and freedoms of the community. Members practice bias-free policing, and we are committed to do our part to address systemic racism.” As a baseline, McNeely said that all leaders need to acknowledge and presume the existence of systemic racism. “Leaders of every organization have to assume that there is systemic racism within their organization because our systems and institutions are often based on ideas that may not be objective and therefore differentially impact our diverse community,” McNeely said. “This is not limited to the justice sector, but to all sectors, including health, education, media, and government, to name but a few.” City Council is set to review City budgets, City-funded agency budget submissions and municipal utility budgets next week. A presentation by Kingston Police Services Board is on the agenda. Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, kingstonist.com
Chatham-Kent approved it’s list 2021 to-do list and longer-term investments for its capital budget at Monday night’s council meeting. Around $6.3 million was earmarked for the 2021 capital budget. On the list of stuff getting done this year is a plan to introduce traffic calming strategies throughout Chatham-Kent’s streets in an attempt to reduce speeding. The costs will amount to $300,000 put aside for 2021. Traffic calming strategies could include items such as speed bumps, raised intersections or narrowing roads. “One of the issues we have within Chatham-Kent is speeding. So often we call upon our police to ensure there's compliance - it’s very effective to have officers issue compliance, but the real solution, the long-term solution, is to design in speed reduction and you do that through what we term traffic calming,” Thomas Kelly said. Kelly said the municipality received a number of complaints regarding three-way and four-way stops installed throughout Chatham-Kent which has proved not to be an effective strategy. He explained that roads such as King Street where parking is available on both sides and the street is narrow, are the ideal design to reduce speeding. A report on specific traffic strategies and the locations will be issued to council at a future date. Also on the list are plans to upgrade cemeteries throughout Chatham-Kent, after starting to save for the project in 2018. Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham, as well as the Blenheim, Dresden and Wallaceburg cemeteries, will all get upgrades and paved roadways for vehicles. Kelly said the upgrades should hopefully last for 30-40 years. The most costly work to be done this year will be Grand Avenue East upgrades set to cost $1.5 million from the budget and a grand total of $7 million. Chatham-Kent is also closer to it’s $24.8 million goal for the Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund (DMAF) which was announced in 2019. The project involves reinforcing shorelines on the Thames River, Sydenham River and McGregor Creek. The 6th Street Dam will also be replaced in order to reduce potential flooding and ice jams from the nearby rivers. More than $3.5 million sitting in the capital reserve fund was transferred to the DMAF projects. The municipality has 10 years to come up with its target in order to receive a $16.6 million contribution from the federal government. In 2020, the municipality managed to save $16.4 million, resulting in a current municipal shortfall of $8.5 million. Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice
The federal judge who is hearing both the U.S. Justice Department and state antitrust cases against Google said on Thursday that he wanted the states to begin turning documents over to the search and advertising giant on Feb. 4 as part of preparation for trial. Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the states, led by Colorado, to begin next month to turn over materials they planned to use in the case, rejecting a mid-March date the states has suggested. With regard to the Justice Department case, John Schmidtlein, an attorney for Google, said the material the search engine and software unit of Alphabet Inc had received so far from the government did not include anything provided by Microsoft Corp, a Google rival.
TORONTO — Experts at a leading children's hospital say schools need to ramp up COVID-19 testing and masking in order to have all kids return to the classroom as soon as possible. The guidance comes a day after Ontario said it would permit just seven public health units in southern Ontario resume in-person learning Monday, while students in hot-spot regions will continue with online learning until at least Feb. 10. They join others in northern regions that returned to class last week, but areas including Toronto and Peel were deemed too-high risk to return to class. The new guidelines, led by experts at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, urge COVID-19 tests for all staff and students exposed to a confirmed case, while indoor masking be made mandatory for all those Grade 1 and up. The report's co-author Dr. Ronald Cohn says the current protocol is that testing is only required for those who display symptoms. He also stresses the social and mental-health needs of young children, recommending kindergartners be cohorted so they can play and interact with their peers. Cohn, president and CEO, SickKids, said schools closures should be "as time-limited as possible." "It is therefore imperative that bundled measures of infection prevention and control and a robust testing strategy are in place," he said Thursday in a release. The report also cautions against rapid tests using molecular or antigen tests because of their lower sensitivity and less effectiveness with asymptomatic cases. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. The Canadian Press
The Tahltan Nation and the owners of the Silvertip mine in northern British Columbia, 90 kilometres southwest of Watson Lake, Yukon, have signed an impact and benefit agreement. The Tahltan Central Government says in a release it wants to implement the deal with Coeur Mining immediately. "We have a shared vision of empowering Tahltan workers, entrepreneurs and companies while working together to mitigate the mine's impacts to our Tahltan territory, culture and values," said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan central government. The silver-lead-zinc mine suspended operations almost a year ago because of low lead and zinc prices. At the time, the company said mining would not likely resume until late this year. Terry Smith, senior vice president and chief development officer for Chicago-based Coeur Mining, said the agreement will help with the process of re-starting operations. "[It] lays the foundation for a strong partnership and shared benefits between Coeur Silvertip and the Tahltan Nation by aligning our interests across several key measures of success at Silvertip, including environmental protection, employment and economic opportunities.for surrounding First Nations communities," said Smith. When operations were suspended last year, the mine had more than 160 employees. In its most recent quarterly report, Coeur Silvertip stated it's been drilling on the site to determine the size of the silver-lead-zinc deposit. It's also looking at ways it can expand the capacity of the mill at the site. The mine site is in the traditional territories of both the Tahltan Nation and the Kaska Dena Council which represents a number of Kaska First Nations in Yukon and northern B.C.. The company already has an agreement with the Kaska nations.
Alleged street gang associates accused of shooting at police who were pursuing them during a high-speed chase on Onion Lake Cree Nation had appearances in Lloydminster Provincial Court Jan. 20. Crown Prosecutor Oryn Holm from North Battleford, told the court he was opposed to the release of Twaine Derek Buffalo, 39, Glynnis Larene Chief, 37, and Tyler Ryan Wolfe, 35, all from Onion Lake Cree Nation. Buffalo and Wolfe have show cause hearings on Feb. 3, and Chief has a hearing on Jan. 28. Melissa Lee McAlpine, 32, of Lloydminster, Sask., appeared by CCTV from Pine Grove Correctional Centre for women and the appearances for the rest of the defendants were waived. The Crown agreed to McAlpine’s release. Defence Cameron Schmunk from Legal Aid in North Battleford told the court he was only representing McAlpine that day as duty counsel. She is scheduled to appear again on March 3. The case against Danny Lee Weeseekase, 38, from Makwa Sahgaiehcan First nation, was adjourned to Feb. 3. Buffalo, Chief, Weeseekase, Wolfe and McAlpine were all arrested on Jan. 1, 2021. The incident started at about 2 p.m. on Jan. 1 when Onion Lake RCMP received a call from a resident in a rural area west of Onion Lake that a black SUV came into their private yard, drove off and smashed through their fence. RCMP patrolled the area in search of the SUV and found it driving at a high rate of speed on Highway 17 about four kilometres south of the Chief Taylor Road junction. They followed the SUV down Highway 17 and then onto Chief Taylor Road. That’s when police saw a long-barreled firearm come out of the SUV window and shots were fired at police. Police continued to pursue the SUV, which stopped in front of the Onion Lake Cree Nation high school. Two men, including the driver and a front passenger, jumped out of the SUV and fled on foot into an open field. Police chased the fleeing suspects on foot and additional RCMP officers arrested the remaining three passengers, including one man and two women. RCMP found the driver, Tyler Wolfe, hiding inside a garbage bin and the passenger in a nearby baseball field. From the SUV, police seized two SKS rifles, one sawed-off shotgun, one sawed-off 22-caliber rifle and different types of ammunitions. RCMP say the occupants of the SUV were identified as street gang associates. North Battleford Provincial RCMP General Investigation Section took over the investigation. Wolfe, Weeseekase, Chief and Buffalo were charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, careless use of a firearm, possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, possession of a prohibited weapon, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. Wolfe is additionally charged with flight from police and dangerous driving. Weeseekase is additionally charged with breach of recognizance for possessing a weapon. McAlpine was charged with discharging a firearm with intent to endanger life, being an occupant of a vehicle knowing there was a firearm, and assault of a police officer with a weapon. The charges against Wolfe, Weeseekase, McAlpine, Chief and Buffalo haven’t been proven in court. Onion Lake state of emergency Onion Lake Cree Nation declared a state of emergency in January 2020 after a string of drug and gang-related violence threatened the safety of the community, including three murders in as many months. If anyone has any information that could assist investigators, please contact Onion Lake RCMP at 306-344-5550. Information can also be submitted anonymously to Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com. If you are associated with a gang and want to leave it, contact STR8 UP in northern Saskatchewan at 306-763-3001, STR8 UP in central Saskatchewan at 306-244-1771, or Regina Treaty Status Indian Services in southern Saskatchewan at 306-522-7494 to get assistance. Onion Lake Cree Nation borders the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and is located about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster. email@example.com Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Battlefords Regional News-Optimist Lisa Joy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist
Après avoir vécu quatre années tumultueuses sous Donald Trump, les États-Unis ont maintenant un président qui s’engage à plaider pour l’unité et la guérison.
HALIFAX — A new study says the number of seniors in Atlantic Canada will increase by 32 per cent over the next 20 years, putting added pressure on the region's health-care system and labour market. The study released Thursday by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council says the most rapid growth will be among older seniors. Policy analyst Fred Bergman said the number of Atlantic Canadians aged 75 and older will double by 2040. The independent think-tank says these changes in demographic patterns will have significant implications for the region's economy. Atlantic Canada's population is already the oldest in Canada. By 2040, there will be three seniors for every two young people in the region, the council says. "We estimate Atlantic health care costs will rise by 27 per cent by 2040 simply due to the population aging." Bergman said in a statement, adding that the region will need an additional 25,000 beds in nursing or seniors homes. This so-called grey tsunami, which refers to the large wave of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age, is also having a profound impact on the labour market, the study says. In 1990, there were 20 young workers entering the job market for every ten retirees. Thirty years later, there are just seven, and APEC does not expect that number to change any time soon. The region's primary industries — agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and oil and gas — have the oldest workforce in the region. Meanwhile, the working-age population — those between 25 and 64 — has fallen by almost 50,000 in the past 10 years. During that time, the number of seniors has surpassed the number of people under the age of 19 for the first time. Buried in the latest statistics, however, is some uplifting news: retirees today have 44 per cent more disposable income than seniors just 20 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. As well, the region's charities and non-profit organizations are sure to benefit from the fact that seniors, on average, serve as community volunteers for over 200 hours every year, which is 50 per cent more than the rest of the population. And there will be opportunities for businesses that take advantage of the trends outlined in the report, APEC says. "Seniors will be a growth sector," the report says. "Senior homes, assisted living, and care workers will be in demand, as well as personal services to help those aging at home. Products and services that cater to or are adapted for an aging population will be in demand." The new numbers will not come as a shock to the region's politicians and business leaders, who have been receiving similar reports for years. In 2014, for example, the Nova Scotia government was handed a report from a panel of experts who warned the province was doomed to endure an extended period of decline unless population and economic trends were reversed. The report, written by a five-member panel led by then Acadia University president Ray Ivany, predicted that by 2036, the province could expect to have 100,000 fewer working-age people than it did in 2010. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2021. Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press
There are 32 new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick and an outbreak has been declared at another Edmundston care home, Dr. Jennifer Russell said at a live-streamed COVID-19 update Thursday. The update was the first since the Moncton, Saint John and Fredericton regions — Zones 1, 2 and 3 — were rolled back to the red phase of recovery on Tuesday. They joined the Edmundston region, which was already in the red phase. The three remaining zones are in orange. The situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, remains "gravely concerning," Russell said. There are now 113 cases in that area, "the largest number of any zone in the province." Russell said outbreaks have spread to workplaces and to special care homes in the region, including a new outbreak at the Le Pavillon Le Royer. Russell also noted that the outbreak at Parkland Riverview's Canterbury Hall care home has been declared over, with no new cases in 14 days. All residents at the facility were being vaccinated Thursday. 32 new cases reported, 19 of them in Zone 4 The cases announced Thursday break down in this way: Moncton region, Zone 1, five cases: an individual 30 to 39 an individual 40 to 49 an individual 50 to 59 an individual 60 to 69 an individual 80 to 89 Saint John region, Zone 2, three cases: two people 20 to 29 an individual 40 to 49 Fredericton region, Zone 3, three cases: an individual 19 or under an individual 40 to 49 an individual 60 to 69 Edmundston region, Zone 4, 19 cases: an individual 19 or under two people 20 to 29 two people 30 to 39 two people 40 to 49 five people 50 to 59 three people 60 to 69 an individual 70 to 79 three people 80 to 89 Campbellton region, Zone 5, two cases: two people 19 or under All of the individuals are self-isolating and their cases are under investigation. The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 1,057, with 719 recovered and 324 currently active cases. There have been 13 deaths, and three patients are now hospitalized, two of them in intensive care. As of Thursday, 179,582 tests have been conducted, including 1,902 since Wednesday's report. There have been 10,436 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered in New Brunswick, with 2,567 people fully vaccinated with two doses and 7,339 doses held back for second doses and planned clinics. Mount Allison confirms off-campus case Mount Allison University has confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in its campus community. In an email to students and staff Thursday, the university said it is the first positive case this term and the second since the start of the pandemic. "At this point there are no other confirmed cases related to Mount Allison," Anne Comfort, acting vice-president of international and student affairs, said in the email. The individual is an "off-campus member" of the Mount Allison community, Comfort said. "They are asymptomatic, have been self-isolating by themselves, and will continue to self-isolate." Contact tracing is underway, and Public Health will contact anyone who needs to take further precautions, she said. Not aware of student-to-student transmission: Russell Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, again faced questions Thursday about the decision to keep schools open during the red phase, and about the risk to students and staff. Asked at the COVID-19 update if she was aware of any "student-to-student transmission" in schools, Russell said no such cases have been brought to her attention. "The only cases I've been made aware of are adult-to-adult transmission among staff in schools or adult-to-child," Russell said, adding that doesn't mean student-to-student transmission has not happened. Under the revised red phase rules, if a positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed at a school, the school will be closed for a minimum of three days to allow for contact tracing. On Wednesday, when Zones 1, 2 and 3 entered the red phase, attendance records showed more than 14,000 students stayed home. 'There may be delays': Higgs on vaccines Premier Blaine Higgs provided an update on the province's vaccine rollout at Thursday's briefing, noting that the province continues to roll out vaccines "as they become available." But that availability has been hampered recently, with no shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine this week and reduced shipments expected next week. Because of that, "some facilities have had to reduce the number of vaccines that will be administered," Higgs said Thursday. "There may be delays … this is why very early on in the process we set aside a number of vaccines, so that everyone who received their first dose could receive second dose and be fully vaccinated." Currently, 2,567 New Brunswickers have been fully vaccinated. More than 1,300 people were to receive their first dose of the vaccine at clinics in 10 long-term care homes that began Tuesday and concluded Thursday, Higgs said. Clinics are also being planned on Saturday for health-care workers in the Edmundston, Bathurst, Fredericton and Saint John areas. Why 3 zones are staying orange, for now Three zones in the province are seeing stabilizing, low or even non-existent case numbers, the province's chief medical officer of health said Thursday. Zones 5, 6 and 7 — the Campbellton, Bathurst and Miramichi regions — are in the orange phase of recovery. There are 26 active cases in Campbellton, nine in Bathurst, and Miramichi hasn't had a confirmed case since Boxing Day. So why are they not being eased into the least-restrictive yellow phase? Russell said it's a case of caution mixed with proximity, noting the zones will remain in orange "until we see further progress in the surrounding red zones." She has previously cautioned against assuming a zero case count means a region is COVID-free. "You have to remember that case numbers are a snapshot" of what was happening seven days prior, "so even if there were no cases a week ago, it doesn't mean COVID isn't in the community today." Russell has also previously noted that testing rates are very low in the Miramichi region, something she again pointed to at Thursday's update. "When we see case numbers not very high in a certain area, I can't imagine they're not experiencing any symptoms whatsoever," Russell said. "So again, my message is 'Please get tested. Even if you have only one symptom. Even if it's mild.' " Russell noted there are plans to open "four or five" more testing locations, including some in rural areas. A new assessment centre opened Thursday in Clair, in Zone 4, Russell said. Full lockdown likely for Edmundston region Dr. Jennifer Russell, the chief medical officer of health, and Premier Blaine Higgs both addressed the "deeply worrying" situation in the Edmundston region, Zone 4, at Thursday's update. The fact that outbreaks are creeping into adult residential facilities and workplaces is a concern, Russell said. She noted that 24 of the cases in Zone 4 are directly linked to the Nadeau poultry plant, including six of the 19 cases announced Thursday in Zone 4. An outbreak was declared earlier this week at the plant, which remains closed. Edmundston is also the site of outbreaks at two special care homes, the Manoir Belle Vue and Le Pavillon Le Royer. Premier Blaine Higgs, who also spoke at Thursday's update, said that a complete lockdown of the Edmundston region has been discussed and looks "likely" to happen in the days ahead. It would be similar to what New Brunswickers saw in March when the entire province was in shutdown, he said. Higgs shares details of stepped-up enforcement efforts Rising case numbers throughout much of the province have made it "more important than ever to follow ... and enforce" Public Health rules, Premier Blaine Higgs said Thursday. He noted that, since Saturday, 179 house visits have been conducted to ensure people are self-isolating. There were just four cases of non-compliance. Enforcement officers conducted 327 site visits between Sunday and Thursday, with the following results: 20 non-compliance orders issued. 20 tickets issued under Emergency Measures Act. 23 stop-work orders under WorkSafeNB. 12 orders under WorkSafeNB. One administrator penalty. Public exposure warnings Public Health has identified a positive case in a traveller who may have been infectious on the following flight: Jan. 3 – Air Canada Flight 8910 from Toronto to Moncton, arrived at 11:23 a.m. Public Health has also issued the following potential COVID-19 exposure warnings: Edmundston region: Sparta Progression Gym, 113 44th Ave. D., on Jan. 13 and Jan. 15 between 7 and 9 a.m. Moncton region: Goodlife Fitness Centre, 175 Ivan Rand Dr. E., on Jan. 13 from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Moncton North After Hours Medical Clinic, 1633 Mountain Rd., on Jan. 14 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Edmundston region: Jean Coutu Kim Levesque-Cote Pharmacy, 276 Broadway Blvd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Parts for Trucks,21 Powers Rd., Grand Falls, on Jan. 11, 12 and 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. What to do if you have a symptom People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online. Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included: A fever above 38 C. A new cough or worsening chronic cough. Sore throat. Runny nose. Headache. New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell. Difficulty breathing. In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes. People with one of those symptoms should: Stay at home. Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor. Describe symptoms and travel history. Follow instructions.