China's embassy in the Philippines has denounced the United States for "creating chaos" in Asia, after a visiting White House envoy backed countries in disputes with China and accused Beijing of using military pressure to further its interests. During a trip to Manila on Monday, national security adviser Robert O'Brien underscored the U.S. commitment to Taiwan and told the Philippines and Vietnam, countries both locked in maritime rows with China, that "we've got your back". "It shows that his visit to this region is not to promote regional peace and stability, but to create chaos in the region in order to seek selfish interests of the U.S.," the embassy said in a statement issued late Monday.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday vowed to defend the democratic island's sovereignty with the construction of a new fleet of domestically-developed submarines, a key project supported by the United States to counter neighbouring China. Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has been for years working to revamp its submarine force, some of which date back to World War Two, and is no match for China's fleet, which includes vessels capable of launching nuclear weapons. At a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a new submarine fleet in the southern port city of Kaohsiung, Tsai called the move a "historic milestone" for Taiwan's defensive capabilities after overcoming "various challenges and doubts".
The staff tested positive last week and Maxwell was checked for the virus on Nov. 18 using a rapid test which was negative, the prosecutors said in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. Maxwell was placed in quarantine at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for 14 days, said the letter. Maxwell has not shown any symptoms of COVID-19 and will be tested again at the end of her two-week quarantine.
Grand River watershed — The Grand River Conservation Authority held an emergency board meeting this week to discuss the province’s proposed changes for conservation authorities and to plan its response. “I’m asking us to be as thoughtful as possible about what is non-negotiable going forward,” Grand River Conservation Authority Chair Helen Jowett said to open the discussion. In its summary, the staff report detailing the changes expressed the significance of the planned changes: “If enacted, some changes will significantly impact the role of a conservation authority board to establish programs and services. “As well, the proposed amendments will enable Regulations that will either limit or completely change the role of conservation authorities to protect Ontario’s environment and ensure people and property are safe from natural hazards.” The most impactful proposed change is to mandate that only municipal councillors will be allowed to sit on a conservation authority board, and that board members’ fiduciary duty must be to their individual municipalities rather than to the conservation authority, according to Samantha Lawson, the Chief Administrative Officer for the Grand River Conservation Authority. Lawson and Jowett both feel this will put individual interests of municipalities above the watershed as a whole. “We work together to look after the entire watershed because water knows no boundaries. And it works for us,” says Jowett. “We are concerned that it could undermine that watershed approach, which is very successful currently.” Other changes introduced in schedule six of Bill 229 — the Protect Support and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures) — include: allowing the province to intervene in the conservation authority permitting process at any time and make any decisions with or without use of watershed-level science remove or limit a conservation authority’s ability to appeal decisions to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and remove a conservation authority’s (not yet proclaimed) ability to give a stop work order in the case of harmful activity. Staff at the Grand River Conservation Authority feel the proposed changes will limit any meaningful authority, and interfere with the watershed approach. The Grand River Conservation Authority board voted to approve the report prepared by staff. A cover letter summarizing the conservation authority’s stance will be added. Together these will be sent to the Premier, Ministers of Environment, Conservation and Parks, Natural Resources, Municipal housing and Affairs and Finance, watershed MPPs, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, the Rural Ontario Municipal Association and circulated to watershed municipalities. The entire staff report can be viewed on the conservation authority’s website.Leah Gerber, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Waterloo Region Record
B.C.'s health-care workers are pleading with the public to heed health orders while bracing for difficult working conditions as COVID-19 cases in the province continue to rise.On Monday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced there were another 1,933 cases of COVID-19 over the last three days and 17 more deaths.This comes just over two weeks after restrictions were initially put in place in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities, and a few days after those restrictions were extended to cover the entire province. Christine Sorensen, president of the B.C. Nurses' Union, says nurses are frustrated when they see people continue to gather in groups and not follow the guidelines because that increases transmission and puts additional pressure on the health-care system."It puts greater demands on the staff that also fairly tired, looking for a bit of a rest and a break and really not seeing anything coming in the next few months, particularly with the holiday season coming and people wanting to mix and mingle with their friends and family," Sorensen said. Dr. Kathleen Ross, the president of Doctors of B.C., says the prospect of burnout is looming closer for many front line health-care workers. "Many of us are afraid to go home for fear of infecting our loved ones and many more of us drop our clothes at the door and run to the shower before we even greet our family," said Ross. "We're adjusting to the new normal ... but of course we cannot expect that surge capacity to last forever."And both Ross and Sorensen point out it is not just front line health-care workers shouldering the burden, but additional staff like cleaning crews and maintenance workers who keep the whole health-care system operational."There are lots of unsung heroes in the system, not just in the emergency rooms where there are doctors and nurses taking care of our most acutely ill," Sorensen said. Sorensen says she worries the spike in cases could escalate to point where essential health-care workers are kept on the job even if they've been exposed."[I'm] very concerned [about that]. Nurses are dedicated and they do want to continue working, but if we get enough nurses exposed or sick, we won't have enough nurses to deliver healthcare," she said. Ross says this is a crucial moment."If everyone does their part, if we all step forward and follow the public health guidelines as they have been laid out, then we'll get there. But we have to do it all together."
WASHINGTON — Janet Yellen is in line for another top economic policy job — just in time to confront yet another crisis.Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's apparent choice for treasury secretary, served on the Federal Reserve's policymaking committee during the 2008-2009 financial crisis that nearly toppled the banking system.She became Fed chair in 2014 when the economy was still recovering from the devastating Great Recession. In the late 1990s, she was President Bill Clinton's top economic adviser during the Asian financial crisis.And now, according to a person familiar with Biden's transition plans, she has been chosen to lead Treasury with the economy in the grip of a surging viral epidemic. The spike in virus cases is intensifying pressure on companies and individuals, with fear growing that the economy could suffer a “double-dip” recession as states and cities reimpose restrictions on businesses.Yet many longtime observers of the U.S. economy see Yellen as ideally suited for the role.“She is extraordinarily talented,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at auditing firm Grant Thornton. “She is the right person at this challenging time. She has worked every crisis."If confirmed, Yellen would become the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in its nearly 232 years. She would inherit an economy with still-high unemployment, escalating threats to small businesses and signs that consumers are retrenching as the worsening pandemic restricts or discourages spending.Most economists say that the distribution of an effective vaccine will likely reinvigorate growth next year. Yet they warn that any sustained recovery will also hinge on whether Congress can agree soon on a sizable aid package to carry the economy through what Biden has said will be a “dark winter” with the pandemic still out of control.Negotiations on additional government spending, though, have been stuck in Congress for months.Yellen has favoured further stimulus, including more money for state and local governments, which she has said need “substantial support” to avoid further job cuts. Rescue aid for states has been a major sticking point in congressional negotiations.Nathan Sheets, chief economist at PGIM Fixed Income and a former senior Fed and Treasury official, said that Yellen could effectively use the “bully pulpit” during what are likely to be difficult negotiations with Senate Republicans."Yellen," Sheets said, “has a unique ability ... to communicate about economics and economic policies in terms that resonate with individuals.”She will also have the opportunity to work with Fed Chair Jerome Powell, with whom Yellen enjoys a close relationship after having worked together at the Fed, to restart several emergency lending programs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last week that the programs will expire, as scheduled, at the end of this year — a decision that critics warn will unnecessarily hamstring the Fed.Powell objected to the Treasury's move, though he agreed to return money that Congress had authorized to backstop the lending.The most likely credit programs to be renewed, economists say, would be one that supported states and cities and a second, the Main Street Lending program, that targeted small and mid-sized businesses.Neither program has made very many loans. But just the understanding that those backstops existed lent confidence to the financial markets. Economists say Yellen could allow Powell to offer more generous terms to increase the programs' use.The 74-year-old Yellen, long a path-breaking figure in the male-dominated economics field, was the first woman to serve as Fed chair, from 2014 to 2018.“She is an icon,” said Stephanie Aaronson, a vice-president at the Brookings Institution and a former top economist at the Fed. “Having a female chair meant a lot to a lot of people.”Yellen was known as a highly prepared, sometimes demanding but down-to-earth manager who was popular with the Fed's staff.“I have never met anyone who has worked for or with Janet who has an unkind word to say about her," said Claudia Sahm, a former Fed economist. "She is the kind of person who uplifts her staff.”Under Yellen's tenure, the central bank began a seminal shift of its policy focus away from fighting inflation, which has been quiescent for decades, to trying to maximize employment, the second of its two mandates. That process culminated this summer when Powell announced that the Fed planned to keep rates ultra-low for a time even after inflation has topped the central bank's 2% annual target level, rather than raising rates pre-emptively.As Fed chair, Yellen won praise for her attention to disadvantaged groups, including the long-term unemployed, at a time when financial inequalities were widening across the economy. She made numerous visits to employment training centres to spotlight the need for training programs to equip people for good jobs.During the 2008-2009 financial crisis, transcripts of the Fed's meetings show that Yellen was more prescient than most other Fed officials about the potential for a deep recession and weak recovery afterward.Yellen is well-known on Capitol Hill after years of testifying as Fed chair to Senate committees about the economy and interest rate policy. During those years, she frequently clashed with Republican lawmakers who accused her of keeping rates too low for too long after the 2008 financial crisis. Some of them charged that Yellen and her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, had elevated the risk of runaway inflation and asset bubbles that could destabilize financial markets.None of those fears came to pass. On the contrary, under Bernanke and Yellen — and later, under Powell — the Fed's more difficult challenge became raising inflation merely to the Fed's annual 2% target level. It has yet to do so consistently.Yellen, a Democrat, had served only one four-year term as Fed chair when President Donald Trump decided to replace her with Powell, a Republican, despite Yellen’s desire to serve another term. That move broke a four-decade tradition of presidents allowing Fed chairs to serve at least two terms even if they had first been nominated by a president of the opposing party.After leaving the Fed, Yellen became a distinguished fellow in residence at the liberal Brookings Institution in Washington, signalling her continuing interest in financial policymaking.When she stepped down from the Fed in early 2018, Shawn Sebastian, co-director of the Fed-Up coalition, a collection of progressive groups, called Yellen's departure “a loss for working people across the country." He hailed her efforts to take on “economic inequality, racial disparities in the economy, the role of women in the workplace and the need for more diversity at the Fed.”Yet some progressives have also criticized Yellen for the Fed's December 2015 decision to raise its benchmark rate from near zero, where it had been pegged since late 2008 in the midst of the financial crisis. That rate hike, which caused a sharp increase in the value of the dollar, contributed to a slowdown in U.S. economic growth in 2016 and is now seen by many economists as having been premature.Yellen is married to George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize-winning economist whom she met in a Fed cafeteria in 1977. They have one son, Robert, who is an economics professor.___AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.Christopher Rugaber And Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
The company's Executive Vice President for Europe and Canada told Euronews that once approved the vaccine could be distributed "very fast" across all EU member states.View on euronews
Salt that crystallizes with sharp edges is the killer ingredient in the development of a reusable mask because any COVID-19 droplets that land on it would be quickly destroyed, says a researcher who is being recognized for her innovation.Ilaria Rubino, a recent PhD graduate from the department of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Alberta, said a mostly salt and water solution that coats the first or middle layer of the mask would dissolve droplets before they can penetrate the face covering.As the liquid from the droplets evaporates, the salt crystals grow back as spiky weapons, damaging the bacteria or virus within five minutes, Rubino said."We know that after the pathogens are collected in the mask, they can survive. Our goal was to develop a technology that is able to inactivate the pathogens upon contact so that we can make the mask as effective as possible."Rubino, who collaborated with a researcher at Georgia State University in Atlanta to advance the project she started five years ago, was recognized Tuesday with an innovation award from Mitacs. The Canadian not-for-profit organization receives funding from the federal government, most provinces and Yukon to honour researchers from academic institutions.The reusable, non-washable mask is made of a type of polypropylene, a plastic used in surgical masks, and could be safely worn and handled multiple times without being decontaminated, Rubino said.The idea is to replace surgical masks often worn by health-care workers who must dispose of them in a few hours, she said, adding the technology could potentially be used for N-95 respirators.The salt-coated mask is expected to be available commercially next year after regulatory approval. It could also be used to stop the spread of other infectious illnesses, such as influenza, Rubino said.Dr. Catherine Clase, an epidemiologist and associate professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton, said the "exciting" technology would have multiple benefits.Clase, who is a member of the Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials in the engineering department at McMaster, said there wasn't much research in personal protective equipment when Rubino began her work."It's going to decrease the footprint for making and distributing and then disposing of every mask," she said, adding that the mask could also address any supply issues.The Public Health Agency of Canada recently recommended homemade masks consist of at least three layers, with a middle, removable layer constructed from a non-woven, washable polypropylene fabric to improve filtration.Conor Ruzycki, an aerosol scientist in the University of Alberta's mechanical engineering department, said Rubino's innovation adds to more recent research on masks as COVID-19 cases rise and shortages of face coverings in the health-care system could again become a problem.Ruzycki, who works in a lab to evaluate infiltration efficiencies of different materials for masks and respirators, is also a member of a physician-led Alberta group Masks4Canada, which is calling for stricter pandemic measures, including a provincewide policy on mandatory masks.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020.Camille Bains, The Canadian Press
An opposition lawmaker called on Tuesday for Malaysia to outlaw online hate speech, accusing authorities of downplaying the gravity of an issue highlighted by a Reuters investigation into abuse on Facebook of Rohingya refugees and undocumented migrants. Citing the Reuters report on rising xenophobia online in Malaysia in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, lawmaker Chan Foong Hin asked the Communications and Multimedia Ministry last week to state its plans to combat such hate speech.
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Miss Vickie's Canada says some of its potato chips that were part of a recall in Eastern Canada earlier this month due to possible glass contamination were inadvertently shipped west. The company says the chips were only shipped to retail customers in Alberta, Brandon, Man., and Moose Jaw, Sask, and that it's working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to co-ordinate a voluntary recall. It says 630 bags are involved, and they have very specific "guaranteed fresh" dates and "manufacturing codes." Consumers who have purchased the chips should not eat them and are urged to throw them out or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund. At the beginning of November, Miss Vickie's recalled some chips sold online and in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada due to what it said was "isolated reports of the presence of a small piece of glass found at the bottom of the bag." The CFIA says on its website there have been reported injuries associated with the products. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. The Canadian Press
A B.C. surgeon who called his preteen patient a "loose woman" during an appointment has been fined and reprimanded by his professional regulator.Dr. Bruce Taro Yoneda, an orthopedic surgeon based in Victoria, has admitted that he "engaged in unprofessional conduct by using sexualized language during a surgical consult," according to a public notice posted Friday by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.Yoneda also acknowledged telling the same young patient he would give her a "lube job," and admitted he did not give her a full explanation before he began questioning her about her menstrual cycle.The college's inquiry committee, which investigates complaints against doctors, "was critical of the registrant's admitted conduct and concluded that his use of inappropriate language displayed a lack of insight," the notice says.As part of a consent agreement with the college, Yoneda has been fined $7,500, received a formal reprimand and has had his registration as a doctor transferred to "conditional" status. He's also agreed to take courses in clinical communication and professionalism.
Residents were given proper notice of a vote to remove Fort Simpson's liquor purchasing restrictions, according to N.W.T. finance minister Caroline Wawzonek. MLA for Nahendeh Shane Thompson – also a minister – posted to Facebook on Monday regarding concerns constituents had raised about the plebiscite held on November 12. Specifically, the post related to concerns about how much public notice was provided leading up to the vote and how to contact the official in charge of it. Residents ultimately voted overwhelmingly in favour of lifting alcohol restrictions in the community. Of 730 eligible voters, 240 cast a ballot and 175 of those were in favour of removing restrictions. The Department of Finance, which oversees liquor regulations in the N.W.T., is now in the process of implementing the result, which may take several weeks. Thompson's post relayed a message he had received from Wawzonek addressing concerns. “Based on all of the information I have received to date, I am confident in the integrity of the plebiscite held in the village of Fort Simpson,” Wawzonek's message to Thompson reads. Wawzonek states some residents who attend school away from Fort Simpson believe they did not receive adequate notice of the plebiscite. She concludes, however, that there was sufficient notice within the village, on Facebook, and through the media in the weeks and months before the vote. She adds returning officer Tammie Cazon fulfilled her duties in the Local Authorities Elections Act by providing public notice of the plebiscite, including details on how and where to vote. Wawzonek says Cazon met legislative requirements by posting public notices in five locations – the bank, the Northern store, the Unity store, the Nahanni Inn and Pandaville restaurant. “It is not the responsibility of the returning officer to locate and notify every resident of the community who may not be currently living in the community. That would be an impossible task," Wawzonek writes. "Voters bear some of the responsibility for informing themselves about how to exercise their democratic right to vote.” The final concern regards the returning officer’s email address and confusion about how to reach Cazon. Wawzonek again asserts faith in the process, saying her department confirmed with Cazon only one email address was distributed for voters to use. Proxy voting was an option in the plebiscite but, according to Wawzonek, Cazon did not receive any emails related to proxy voting. The community of Fort Simpson requested the plebiscite after a petition with more than 150 signatures from residents was turned in to the village council late last year, asking for action to try to remove the restrictions. Restrictions are set to be lifted in the coming weeks, though an exact date has not been set. Once the regulations are changed and restrictions lifted, the village is still bound to pandemic-related alcohol restrictions, which limit customers to a maximum of $200 per day at any liquor store in the territory and six mickeys (375-ml bottles) of spirits in a 24-hour period.Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
An RCMP major crimes unit is investigating how an infant from eastern Saskatchewan died last weekend.Shortly after 1 a.m. last Saturday, Mounties responded to a call about a one-year-old boy needing urgent medical attention inside a home in Canora, Sask., a town roughly 200 kilometres northeast of Regina, police said.The family had tried resuscitating the child before police arrived. Police took over resuscitation until paramedics came on the scene, but they were ultimately unsuccessful.Paramedics pronounced the young child dead at the scene.Saskatchewan RCMP Major Crimes Unit South (MCU-S) have taken over the investigation because of the infant's injuries and initial information gathered by police, RCMP said.An autopsy is supposed to take place in Saskatoon some time Monday, police added.The family was connected to RCMP victim services to get support needed, and next-of-kin have been notified.Meanwhile, MCU-S will continue investigating with help from detachments in Canora, Kamsack and Yorkton, as well as the Saskatchewan Coroner's Service, Yorkton Child and Family Services and an RCMP investigator from the Regina Children's Justice Centre.The Canora home is still taped off by police for further investigation.More from CBC News:
OTTAWA — A new poll suggests many Canadians are gaining weight because they're eating more and exercising less during COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly one-third of respondents in the survey conducted by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies said they have put on weight since March, compared to 15 per cent who said they lost weight over that time.As well, about one-third of respondents said they're exercising less, while 16 per cent said they're working out more since the first wave of the pandemic landed in Canada in the spring.Jack Jedwab, president of the Association for Canadian Studies, suggested that one reason may be a rush for comfort food to deal with pandemic-related anxieties.Respondents in the survey who said they were "very afraid" of COVID-19 were more likely to report gaining weight, eating more and exercising less. "The more anxiety you have, the more likely it is that you know you're eating more," Jedwab said."People who are least anxious about COVID (are) the ones that are not eating more than usual and are not gaining weight."The online survey of 1,516 Canadians was conducted Oct. 29-31 and cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered random samples.Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an associate professor of family medicine at the University of Ottawa, said there are plausible reasons to connect weight gain or loss with the pandemic, but he hadn't seen any studies to convince him that's the case. Some people are "not reliant on restaurants constantly" and "cooking more frequently in their homes," which Freedhoff said may be leading to weight loss or better dietary choices. Others are eating more, he said, relying on comfort food "because they're anxious as a consequence of the pandemic, or the tragedies that have gone on in their lives."Jedwab said the country needs to also be mindful of mental health issues that can affect the physical health of Canadians. "With the winter coming, it'll be even more challenging, in some parts of the country, to maintain a healthy lifestyle in terms of walking, in terms of doing basic things that will help us address our anxieties," he said, pointing to lack of access for some to gyms subject to local lockdowns.Some of those exercise classes have gone online. Gabriel Shaw, a kinesiologist from Victoria, B.C. said he has offered virtual classes to give his clients an chance to be physically active.Shaw said the classes don't provide people with a sense of community like in-person classes, which he said is important for some people to exercise consistently. "The best bet for people is to find a way they can enjoy it. That might be going out for a social distance walk or hike or run or bike with a friend," Shaw said. "That might be finding a Zoom thing that you can get on like dancing or even other activities where you have friends."Shaw said people should also try learn a new skill like dancing, yoga, rock climbing, or take up running to keep things fresh and enjoyable, which is key to exercising long and well. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2020—— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press
On Sunday evening the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) identified a positive COVID-19 case in three individuals at Ecole St. Mary High School in Prince Albert. In a news release by the Prince Albert Catholic School Division on Sunday evening the division explained that communication has been shared with the specific classroom/cohort, as well as the school community. These cases have not been school acquired according to the division. There had been several cases reported in October at St. Mary. The SHA is proceeding with their assessment of the situation, and all individuals deemed to be close contacts are being notified. “The classrooms/cohorts impacted by this case, barring any other cases, are required to Self-Isolate until midnight on Dec. 1 and these classrooms/cohorts will be move to remote learning until the isolation period is complete,” the division said in a release. These specific classrooms/cohorts are advised to contact 811Healthline for advice. “École St. Mary High School will resume classes Nov. 23 for all other students and staff that are not deemed to be close contacts. Public Health officials are advising all students and staff to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms daily and not to enter the school if ill.” No further information was made available citing privacy concerns. “Our thoughts and prayers are with this member of our school community, and we hope they are doing well.” They emphasized that everyone has a shared responsibility to decrease the risk of COVID-19 entering schools. “Thank you to everyone for continuing to be diligent in performing daily health screening, staying home if ill, calling HealthLine 811 if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, practicing proper hand hygiene, maintaining physical distancing as much as possible, wearing a mask when appropriate and doing everything we can to keep each other safe,” the release stated.Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald
By Melissa Renwick Esowista, BC - A member within Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation has tested positive for COVID-19. The Esowista resident started displaying symptoms upon returning home from a trip to Port Alberni and contacted the nation’s Emergency Operations Centre. A COVID-19 test was issued and once it was confirmed positive on Nov. 22, community members were notified. “We knew going into the second wave that we were going to experience this at some point,” said Elmer Frank, Tla-o-qui-aht Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) chair. “It’s unfortunate that it did happen, but our community was ready.” As COVID-19 cases began to rise across the province, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation returned to Stage One of their recovery plan at the beginning of November. “We needed to put our action plan in place and start ramping up our measures so that when a virus came into our community, we’d be ready for it,” Frank said. The community’s EOC is recommending that only one person per household leave the community for essential services, like picking up prescription medication and collecting groceries. “Now that the virus is here, I think that community members are starting to see how quickly it could spread,” said Frank. “There’s a lot of cooperation and understanding when we’re making these recommendations.” Frank said that the COVID-19 patient has been fully transparent, which has helped the EOC respond to contact tracing effectively. Anyone who was in direct contact with the patient has been notified and is self-isolating, he said. While the nation is taking all of the necessary steps to keep its members safe, Frank said that citizens need to keep their guards up. “The virus is spreading so quickly because we’re letting our guards down,” he said. “It’s our friends, it’s our family, it’s our loves ones – we have got to trust them in a different way at this time.” Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has urged British Columbians to do their part in restricting social gatherings and non-essential travel, a sentiment that Frank echoed. “At the end of the day, we’re hoping we become a COVID-19 free community,” said Frank. “Tla-o-qui-aht and Nuu-chah-nulth member have to be very careful on how we all act and discipline ourselves moving forward for the best interest of ourselves, our communities and our most vulnerable – our elders.”Melissa Renwick, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa
ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler said Monday that she will return to public campaigning after she got a second straight negative coronavirus test.The Georgia Republican is facing a Jan. 5 runoff in one of the state’s twin U.S. Senate races.Loeffler took a rapid COVID-19 test Friday evening that came back positive, a day after she campaigned with Vice-President Mike Pence and U.S. Sen. David Perdue, who also faces a Jan. 5 runoff.A test Saturday came back inconclusive and a test Sunday came back negative, Loeffler’s campaign said. She had isolated after the Friday test and said she was consulting with medical experts and following guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention“She continues to feel great, and has no symptoms,” spokesperson Stephen Lawson said in a statement. “She looks forward to getting back out on the campaign trail.”Perdue said before Loeffler’s negative test was announced Sunday that he would remain at home as he awaited Loeffler’s results. He returned to public campaigning on Monday, appearing with Iowa Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in Griffin, south of Atlanta.At that event, when questioned by a bystander, Perdue backed up his previous call for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign over claims by Perdue and Loeffler that Raffensperger mishandled the presidential election in the state.“We called for the resignation of our secretary of state," Perdue said at event at a shooting range. "We’re calling for lawsuits right now. We’re doing a lot. Every legal vote should be counted for Donald Trump. And you know what? They should be counted for me, too. Absolutely.”Neither Perdue nor Loeffler has detailed what they think Raffensperger did wrong, although they want election officials to re-examine the signatures on envelopes of mailed-in absentee ballots, a move Raffensperger says is pointless because the ballots cannot be traced back to envelopes once separated.Perdue and Ernst are scheduled to appear Tuesday in Cordele, Thomasville and Hahira as part of a Perdue bus tour.Pence staffers did not indicate whether he was tested for the coronavirus after campaigning with Loeffler or whether he would isolate.Loeffler has held several rallies in recent weeks with crowds packed into close quarters and many audience members not wearing masks.Loeffler is facing Democrat Raphael Warnock in a Jan. 5 runoff election — one of two races that will determine which party has control of the Senate. The other race will feature Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff.If the Republican wins either race, then the party will keep control of the U.S. Senate.Jeff Amy, The Associated Press
The Town of Gananoque is considering introducing development charges in the near future. Development charges (DCs) are an additional fee charged to developers, usually on a flat rate per lot system, at the time that a building permit is issued. Before considering development charges, the town had to conduct a full development charge study comparing DCs in neighbouring municipalities, the impact on development within Gananoque, and the amount that could be charged based on population growth, as well as the town’s asset management needs, saod Mayor Ted Lojko. "Development charges are a discretionary mechanism to recover capital costs," said Peter Simcisko fo consulting firm Watson and Associates, addressing council on Nov. 20. In order to consider implementing development charges, a study is required by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, explained Lojko. "Development charges are an increasingly common tax issued by municipalities. They propose a trade-off between affordability and municipal revenue," said Evan Veenstra, of Riverton Homes in Gananoque. Development charges vary depending on municipal asset management plans and growth projections. According to Lojko, municipalities are being encouraged by the province to look at how best to attract development but also how best to ensure that the residents of the municipality do not continually pay for various infrastructure required when condos and subdivisions are being planned. Yet developers say development charges are simply passed on to the consumer or taxpayer. "As home values increase, home assessments for taxation purposes also increase. Through implementing development charges, a municipality can collect new revenue, along with additional revenue through increased residential taxation," said Veenstra. At this time, developers in Gananoque are already required to install all infrastructure that will serve their developments. "A developer is responsible for the installation of infrastructure such as water and sewer, roads, sidewalks, streetlights etc., which is undertaken through the subdivision approval process. A municipality will assume the infrastructure upon inspections and the completion of the subdivision. This is outlined in a subdivision agreement," said Brenda Guy, the town's manager of planning and development. According to Guy, DCs are intended to address growth-related costs such as the need to purchase a new snowplow or an expansion to the water and wastewater system. "Development charges are applied over and above the engineering, plumbing and building permits required, but municipalities already gain new taxes from the new residents in subdivisions, and they gain new water and wastewater ratepayers who were not on the books before," said Joe Gallipeau, a developer out of Smiths Falls. Most municipalities in the immediate area already impose DCs on new developments, including North Grenville, Kingston, Brockville, Rideau Lakes and Prescott. Meanwhile, councils can retain the option of waiving DCs to provide an incentive to encourage certain types of development. "Development charges could be seen by some individuals as a deterrent but council has the option of waiving development charges for certain sectors to provide an incentive to encourage some types of development, for example: Industrial development. Several municipalities have also waived development charges to encourage affordable housing and/or seniors' housing," said Lojko. The province has also introduced community benefit charges on new developments, which are separate from DCs. Community benefit charges can provide funding for community projects and assets such as parks and parking lots that are needed to service the increase in population. However, according to Lojko, community benefits charges are not part of the current study in Gananoque. There are still numerous steps that have to be completed before DCs can come into effect – a process that can take up to a year, according to Lojko. "Once consultation with the community, with the community members of the planning advisory committee, as well as various stakeholders are completed, Gananoque town council will then determine if and when they wish to implement the development charge bylaw," said Lojko. Council will likely make a decision in 2021 on whether to adopt a development charges bylaw. At this time, Council has requested that staff move to the public process, which will start soon, explained Guy. "Put to good use, this increased revenue (from DCs) can lead to incredible improvements throughout the community. We are very confident in the new home market in Gananoque, and are entirely committed to our community. If development charges are implemented in Gananoque, we will view them as an opportunity to continue supporting a community that has been incredibly supportive of us," said Veenstra.Heddy Sorour, Local Journalism Initiative, Brockville Recorder and Times
VANCOUVER — An Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the BC Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. Maxwell Johnson's complaint says both he and his 12-year-old granddaughter were detained last December by Vancouver police officers when they tried to open an account at the Bank of Montreal using their Indigenous status cards. His complaint alleges that the bank called 911 over an identification issue because they are Indigenous, while it accuses the police of racial profiling that led to their detention and the use of handcuffs. Johnson released details of the human rights complaint in a news release issued on the website of the Heiltsuk First Nation. He and his granddaughter are members of the First Nation in Bella Bella. He said in an interview on Monday that the incident has led to a resurgence in his panic and anxiety attacks. "It's affected me quite a bit," Johnson said. "When this happened to us, my anxiety just went through the roof. I started counselling again. It's affected my motivation, my thought process, quite a bit of stuff." Johnson is seeking compensation and wants a public apology from the Vancouver Police Board, the police department and the bank. Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver Police Department said in a statement that the circumstances are regrettable and that the actions of the responding officers are being investigated by the Office of Police Complaints Commissioner. The department is also reviewing its policy for future situations with a report to be submitted to the police board, she said. The Bank of Montreal said in a statement that it "deeply regrets the situation that took place in Vancouver in December 2019 involving Mr. Johnson and his granddaughter." The bank apologized again and said it was "humbled and honoured" to be invited by the Heiltsuk Nation to participate in a healing ceremony for the Johnson family in Bella Bella. Since then, it has established an Indigenous advisory council and conducted cultural training for bank staff. "We continue to seek ways to ensure we are doing better for our Indigenous customers," the statement says. Johnson questioned the actions of police, particularly why officers placed him and his granddaughter in handcuffs if they were only being detained. "It was so hard when we were detained. We had to prove who we were and where we came from," he said. "It gets so tiring trying to prove who you are as a First Nations person." Marilyn Slett, the chief councillor of the Heiltsuk First Nation, said her community wants to see changes in the way the Bank of Montreal and the Vancouver Police Department handle Indigenous issues. "We're a long ways away from reconciliation when these types of things happen to our people when they're trying to open up a bank account," she said in an interview. This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23, 2020. Nick Wells, The Canadian Press
NEW YORK — “Jeopardy!” record-holder Ken Jennings will be the first in a series of interim hosts replacing Alex Trebek when the show resumes production next Monday.Producers announced Monday that Jennings, who won 74 games in a row and claimed the show's “Greatest of All Time” title in a competition last year, will host episodes that air in January.A long-term host to replace Trebek, who died of cancer on Nov. 8, will be named later.“By bringing in familiar guest hosts for the foreseeable future, our goal is to create a sense of community and continuity for our viewers,” the show's executive producer, Mike Richards, said.The show is in its 37th year of syndication, and Trebek was its only host. It is still airing shows that Trebek filmed before his death.Art Fleming hosted earlier editions of the game show, including the original “Jeopardy!” that debuted in 1964 on NBC and aired for a decade.Richards said “Jeopardy!” will air repeat episodes for the holiday weeks beginning Dec. 21 and 28, meaning Trebek's final week of shows will air starting Monday, Jan. 4.Jennings' episodes begin on Jan. 11.The Associated Press