Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton
Details with meteorologist Tyler Hamilton
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
BENTONIA, Miss. — With callused hands, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes plucks an old acoustic guitar at the juke joint his parents started more than 70 years ago. He checks the cafe’s inventory: jars of pickled eggs, beef jerky, pork hocks. He tends to the wood-burning stove, made from an oil-field pipe. And every morning, he eventually settles in on a stool behind the counter, waiting — hoping — that someone who wants to hear him play will drop in. Holmes, 73, is the last Bentonia bluesman, the carrier of a dying musical and oral storytelling tradition born in this Mississippi town of less than 500 people. And now, he's a Grammy-nominated artist, with a recent nod in the Best Traditional Blues Album category for Cypress Grove, a record he hopes will help preserve the Bentonia blues long after he’s gone. The world has changed around Holmes and his Blue Front Café, the country's oldest surviving juke joint. Across the South, the venues — historically owned and frequented by African Americans — have shuttered as owners pass away. Blues experts believe Holmes is the only American running a juke joint owned by his parents. It's quiet outside the Blue Front, a small building with cinder block walls off a dusty rural Mississippi road. Across the street are the railroad tracks that run through Bentonia; next door sits an old cotton gin. It's here, at the Blue Front, that Holmes will watch the March 14 ceremony and learn whether he won the Grammy. He can't go in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, and that suits him just fine. He'll be surrounded by musicians from across Mississippi who want to play with him. “I’ll be here in this hole in the wall every day, for as long as I can, so that people don’t forget,” Holmes said. “We’re trying to make sure it doesn’t die.” ___ When the Blue Front opened in 1948, it was the first African American-owned retail business in Bentonia, then a majority-Black farming community. Holmes was just a baby. His parents, Carey and Mary, were sharecroppers. Mary ran the Blue Front during the day while Holmes worked with his father in the fields. By age 9, Holmes was operating a tractor by himself. The Holmeses' business was a community gathering place. People came to have their laundry pressed, get a haircut, or pick up salt, pepper and other nonperishables. And they came for the blues. Musicians lined up outside to play the Blue Front, with guitars strapped to their backs and harmonicas in their pockets. During cotton-picking season, the Blue Front was open 24 hours a day to accommodate farmworkers, who came in for a hot plate of Mary’s famous buffalo fish. On weekends, people stayed all night drinking moonshine, dancing and playing music. The town was never home to more than 600 residents, but its location on the Illinois Central Railway drew visitors. Later, the only roadway from Memphis to Jackson passed directly through Bentonia, furthering its popularity. Historians travelling through Mississippi to document blues musicians discovered Bentonia's style. It's described as haunting and eerie; its minor tonality isn't found in the better-known blues styles of Delta and hill country. Growing up, Holmes learned from his neighbour, "the father of the Bentonia blues." Henry Stuckey, an aging World War I veteran, played to entertain Holmes and his 13 siblings on their porch. The style is passed from one musician to the next — it can't be learned using sheet music. "The old-timers I learned from couldn't read, and they couldn't read sheet music," Holmes said — he doesn't read music, either. “They didn’t know what a count was, didn’t know about minors or sharps or open or closed tuning. They was just playing. They had no idea there was a musical language to what they were doing.” Dan Auerbach, producer of Cypress Grove and a member of the band the Black Keys, said the beauty of Holmes' music is the improvisation. Holmes never plays the same song twice. Each performance is a snapshot in time. “Those songs, they're like a living organism, almost. They're changing daily," he said. “You can feel the realness and the immediacy of the music. It’s very idiosyncratic, and that’s what makes it so special. “Now, in this day and age, it’s like everything’s homogenized and we’re all on the same server. Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes lives in a world that time forgot — it hasn’t changed.” —— Today, a four-lane highway diverts traffic away from Bentonia. Businesses of Holmes' youth have shuttered; buildings are torn down. More than a quarter of residents live under the poverty line. The train passes through town daily but doesn't stop. “People my age was tired of going to the cotton fields,” Holmes said. “As soon as they got a chance, they got away from Bentonia, to Chicago, California, New York. There wasn’t nothing here." Holmes never imagined leaving. He lives on the same farm where he was raised, about a mile from the Blue Front. His presence has become Bentonia's biggest draw. Visitors come from all over the world and the music industry to see him, to hear the music, and to learn the tradition. Before the pandemic, Mississippi musicians performed at the Blue Front every other Friday, sometimes more, playing different blues styles. In 1972, Holmes started an annual blues festival, now the longest-running in Mississippi. He holds Bentonia Blues workshops. And every day that he sits behind the counter at the Blue Front, he's willing to teach anyone who walks in. Some fans are surprised he's so accessible, said Robert Connely Farr, a Mississippi native who's been visiting Holmes for years for guitar tips, all the way from Vancouver. But for those who know Holmes, it makes perfect sense. “His whole goal in life is to give that sound away, is to perpetuate or further the Bentonia sound," Farr said. “I think it’s important to Jimmy, that his place is open and that it constantly has music. He wants there to be life in that building.” Holmes has performed in Europe, South America and across the U.S. He opened for the Black Keys in the nation's capital in 2019. But he always comes back home. “I would hate if someone took time out of their day to come see me, and I wasn't here,” he said. “I appreciate it, that people want to travel from Asia and Europe because they want to know about the blues. I like to be here when they come.” Two large portraits at his juke joint pay homage to his mentors, Stuckey and Jack Owens. Owens continued to teach Holmes after Stuckey died in 1966. “It was a blessed gift they gave to us,” Holmes said. “And they were so generous with it. What they gave us changed the world.” Holmes laments that no young people in Bentonia want to learn. They say it's too complicated. People don't appreciate how the blues influenced popular music today, how every genre has roots dating back to it, Holmes said. But he keeps spare guitars around the Blue Front, just in case someone wants to play. “It will survive somehow," Holmes said one gray morning in his empty juke joint. "I learned enough that I was able to carry it on, and probably once I’m gone, somebody will be sitting around here playing, someone who picked up the things that I was doing. I have to hope. I have to hope.” ___ Leah Willingham is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Leah Willingham, The Associated Press
No one was harmed after a sour-gas leak on Range Road 92 near Township Road 704 south of Huallen Monday, said Matthew Smith, Wembley Fire Department chief. “There was a significant leak,” Smith said. “We’re glad it went the way it did, and no one was hurt or injured.” Smith said the department received a 911 call from a resident reporting “a dirty vapour or dirty cloud” near an oil-and-gas facility. When the firefighters arrived, they found several pickup trucks belonging to the energy company were on site and the leak had been stopped. Smith said he was unsure how long the leak lasted. The Wembley firefighters checked with residents living downwind from the incident. They reported smelling something funny but no one was ill, he said. Smith encouraged anyone who observes similar incidents related to oil-and-gas facilities to keep a distance and call 911. Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News
Around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 3, McDougall Fire Department responded to a call that a building had exploded at the Tim Horton’s Memorial Camp in McDougall. The camp is located on Lorimer Lake Road and McDougall’s fire chief Brian Leduc said that maintenance staff was onsite and just beginning their day when the incident happened. “The Jack and Jill dormitories – big buildings about 8,000 square feet each, wood frame construction and it was the Jill building, which is where the female children would be housed,” said Leduc. There was a major explosion inside the building and as a result the fire broke out, destroying the building. However, nobody was in the buildings at the time and no one was injured. Both McDougall fire stations responded to the call and had tanker assistance from McKellar Fire Department and fire crew assistance from the Town of Parry Sound. The cause of explosion is currently under investigation. Sarah Cooke is a Local Journalism Reporter with the Parry Sound North Star, and Almaguin News. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com
Ikea's new plant-based meatballs are different from the existing veggie balls.
The chief of the Miscouche fire department says he welcomes news that firefighters will be among those next in line for COVID-19 vaccinations on P.E.I. The province announced on Tuesday that police, firefighters and other first responders will be offered the vaccine in early April. However, Chief Jason Woodbury said he wishes they could have had it sooner. "I believe that we should have been part of the Phase 1," he said. Woodbury said firefighters respond to a number of emergencies, including motor vehicle accidents or entering homes where people could be in self-isolation because of COVID-19, and having the vaccination would make them feel safer. "Over the course of the year, our essential workers, particularly fire and police, continue to respond to the normal calls that they have done prior to the pandemic. So, you know, we were during the lockdowns, we were in close contact with many Islanders as we didn't really have a choice that we couldn't respond." Woodbury said it's difficult for firefighters to practise physical distancing when they are trying to save lives. Firefighters have continued to respond to calls throughout the pandemic, including entering homes where people could be in self-isolation, says Miscouche Chief Jason Woodbury.(Miscouche Fire Department/Facebook) "I use the example of the Le Chez-Nous fire. Not one of our members were vaccinated and we were dealing directly with rescues in a building with vulnerable people." Last month, a member of the St. John's fire department tested positive for COVID-19, which has prompted the department to send 16 other employees home to self-isolate. That's in addition to 20 firefighters who were already in isolation for other possible exposure unrelated to the workplace. "That very well could happen here," Woodbury said. "And 36 members in isolation in Miscouche would close our department. And we can't have that." More from CBC P.E.I.
MONTREAL — A well-known Quebec lawyer says she's mounting a legal challenge to provincial laws that don't grant common-law spouses the same rights as married couples in the event of a breakup. Anne-France Goldwater said today Quebec family law treats unmarried women as having less value than their married counterparts because they aren't entitled to the same alimony and property rights. Goldwater previously argued the issue all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, which ruled in 2013 that Quebec's family law regime was constitutional and did not have to be changed, even though the court found there was discrimination against common-law couples. The case, known as "Eric and Lola," involved a woman and her former lover, a prominent Quebec businessman who contended he should not have to pay alimony because they were never legally married. Goldwater, who represented "Lola" in the case, has filed a new motion in Quebec Superior Court contesting the constitutionality of all the articles relating to family law in Quebec's Civil Code as well as the section of the provincial Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that deals with rights and obligations of married and civil union spouses. The case she's arguing concerns a common-law couple called "Nathalie" and "Pierre," who were together 30 years and have four children. Goldwater told reporters today the years that have passed since the Supreme Court of Canada decision have reinforced the need for the law to change. She notes in her court submission that successive provincial governments have promised to reform the province's family law without ever doing so. "Quebec family law perceives non-married women and their children as having less value than married families and it's even worse for women who are common law without children," Goldwater said. "Why are Quebec women not equal under Quebec law?" she said. The 2013 Supreme Court decision noted that while there was discrimination toward common-law couples, it could be allowed under a section of the Canadian charter which allows for the limitation of rights in certain circumstances. Goldwater says she believes the current situation represents a form of "systemic sexism" that has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which she says has had a disproportionate impact on women. "Why do we have to have a pandemic to convince the leaders that women are economically disadvantaged?" she said. Under Quebec's current law, common-law spouses aren't entitled to alimony, division of the family patrimony or the right to occupy the home after the split. While any children stemming from the relationship have a right to support, the fact that the parent doesn't get alimony or a share of the wealth will result in a lower standard of living for the children, Goldwater says. She argues this creates "two sets of rules" for children: one for those whose parents married, and another for children whose parents were common-law spouses. Like others before it, Premier Francois Legault's government has promised to reform the province's family law, which has not been overhauled since 1980. Goldwater says the change could be made with the "stroke of the pen," namely by adding de facto spouses to the definition of couple and family, as was done for same-sex spouses when they were granted the same rights and benefits as heterosexual married couples in Quebec. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. Pierre Saint-Arnaud, The Canadian Press
Ahuntsic-Cartierville - La vaccination contre la COVID-19 semble prendre son envol sans trop de turbulences, malgré quelques petits problèmes dans les premiers jours de la campagne, notamment au site de vaccination des Galeries Normandie. En raison d’un problème informatique, entre 200 et 300 places excédentaires ont été ouvertes pour des rendez-vous cette fin de semaine au site de vaccination des Galeries Normandie. Le Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux (CIUSSS) du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal a donc dû contacter les personnes qui s’étaient inscrites à ces rendez-vous afin de les déplacer. Cette opération a nécessité le blocage de la prise de rendez-vous au site des Galeries Normandie pendant quelques heures mardi. Une lectrice du JDV avait contacté le JDV en constatant qu’on ne lui offrait par la possibilité de se faire vacciner à cet endroit. Le CIUSSS explique avoir pris le temps de joindre tous les usagers pour lesquels il fallait déplacer le rendez-vous avant de rouvrir les inscriptions aux Galeries Normandie. La résidante qui avait contacté le JDV a confirmé, par la suite, qu’elle avait finalement pu prendre rendez-vous pour sa vaccination aux Galeries Normandie. Des scènes de cohue avaient aussi été rapportées dans les premières heures de la campagne. On avait notamment vu des files importantes se former devant le centre de vaccination la semaine dernière.. L’approvisionnement en doses devrait s’accélérer dans les prochaines semaines, alors que le Canada vient d’approuver un troisième vaccin, celui d’Astra Zeneca. D’ici la mi-mars, le vaccin sera d’ailleurs également offert en pharmacie a annoncé le gouvernement du Québec. Si vous faites partie des groupes prioritaires déjà appelés, et que vous désirez prendre rendez-vous EN LIGNE pour vous faire vacciner, cliquez ici. Si vous faites partie des groupes prioritaires déjà appelés, et que vous désirez prendre rendez-vous PAR TÉLÉPHONE pour vous faire vacciner, cliquez ici. Simon Van Vliet, Initiative de journalisme local, Journal des voisins
NEW YORK — Five Canadians highlight this year's NBA Rising Stars Team World roster. Nickeil Alexander-Walker (New Orleans), RJ Barrett (New York), Brandon Clarke (Memphis), Luguentz Dort (Oklahoma City), and Mychal Mulder (Golden State) were named to the team Wednesday. Because of COVID-19, there will be no actual Rising Stars game played on what's being condensed into a one-day event Sunday. Of the six countries represented on the World Team roster, Canada led the way with the five players. Miami's Precious Achiuwa (Nigeria), Washington's Deni Avdija (Israel) and Rui Hachimura (Japan), Denver's Facundo Campazzo (Argentina) and Oklahoma City's Theo Maledon (France) round out the World Team roster. NBA all-star and Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and last year's rookie of the year Ja Morant of the Grizzlies headline the U.S. Team. They're joined by LaMelo Ball (Charlotte), Anthony Edwards (Minnesota), Tyrese Haliburton (Sacramento), Tyler Herro (Miami), De'Andre Hunter (Atlanta), Keldon Johnson (San Antonio), Michael Porter Jr. (Denver), and James Wiseman (Golden State). The league's assistant coaches selected four frontcourt players, four guards and two additional players at any position for each team. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
The province's top court says a sentencing judge went too far in banishing a man with a past conviction for manslaughter from a southern Saskatchewan village. Nikki Sixx Serafino pleaded guilty in September 2020 to a charge of criminal harassment, following what a court document called "a campaign of harassing and intimidating conduct." That included ensuring people in the village of Abernethy knew he had killed before, the court document says. He was sentenced to one year, less 71 days for time on remand, for the harassment, to be followed by 18 months probation. The probation order included, among other things, a condition that prohibited him from being in the village of Abernethy "unless he has the prior written permission of his probation officer or designate or the court," according to the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruling. Serafino appealed that term of his probation order. The appeal court agreed and struck that provision. 2012 manslaughter conviction The appeal court ruling laid out the background of the criminal harassment charge and Serafino's troubled history in British Columbia. Serafino and his partner moved from B.C. to Abernethy in May 2019. It was less expensive to live in the village, about 100 kilometres southwest of Yorkton, than to remain on the West Coast. Serafino also had a significant criminal history in B.C., including a conviction for manslaughter in 2012. Serafino was arrested in April 2010 and originally charged with second-degree murder in connection with the shooting of a man in Surrey, B.C. News stories at the time noted that Serafino was a fan of the rock band Motley Crue and had legally changed his name to match that of the band's bass player, Nikki Sixx. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to six years. He also had a prior conviction for criminal harassment in 2002 and convictions for uttering threats in 2007 and 2010, the appeal ruling said. 'Come out of retirement' The trouble in Abernethy began about six months after Serafino bought a house on an acreage, the court document said. It all turned on a set of propane tanks that Serafino had moved onto his property. The tanks did not comply with the village bylaws. A member of council hand-delivered a letter to that effect. "[The councillor] opened the door to the residence and placed the letter inside. Mr. Serafino viewed this as an unlawful entry of his home and let [the councillor] know of his displeasure. Things went downhill from there," according to the court document. "Over the course of the next six months, Mr. Serafino engaged in a campaign of harassing and intimidating conduct." Mr. Serafino made reference, on more than one occasion, to the fact that he'd killed someone in the past and suggested that he may have to 'come out of retirement.' - Court document Part of this campaign included letting everyone in the village know he was capable of lethal violence. "Mr. Serafino made reference, on more than one occasion, to the fact that he'd killed someone in the past and suggested that he may have to 'come out of retirement.'" In June, he was charged with criminal harassment after the targeted councillor heard an intoxicated Serafino talking loudly on a phone, saying that he was "planning on getting a gun" and that when he did so, he would not hesitate to walk into the house of "that f---tard" and "gun them down." The sentencing judge described his behaviour as "intimidating, confrontational, aggressive, threatening, frightening and at times even terrifying." The Court of Appeal ruled that the sentencing judge made the mistake of banishing Serafino without giving his lawyer the chance to argue against it. The Crown had not asked for that provision. "It was an error for the sentencing judge to impose a term of probation — banishment from the community — that was not part of the submissions by counsel and not the subject of an invitation for counsel to make further submissions."
The Town of Kensington is reminding snowmobilers in the area that sidewalks and roads are off-limits. The Kensington police chief and the mayor have both noticed snowmobiles that aren't keeping to their designated paths within the community, and they want to raise awareness about what's allowed. "I suspect that it could be just a matter of not being ... informed as well as they need to be and not recognizing that there's a safe corridor to travel off the streets in Kensington," said Mayor Rowan Caseley. The mayor believes having snowmobiles travelling on the sidewalks is dangerous. "You could be hitting somebody that's walking," he said. "It also packs down the snow on the sidewalks and makes it slippery for the other people." Kensington Mayor Rowan Caseley stands by the sign that tells snowmobilers where they can safely travel in the town. (Laura Meader/CBC) Casely stressed that the town and its businesses do appreciate having snowmobiles around. "We do have a corridor marked off between the train station and the downtown … where operators can travel and get to the downtown core to get their gas and coffee, etc.," he said. "Travelling on streets is certainly frowned upon — and I think it's actually probably illegal." New snowmobilers less familiar? The president of the Kensington Area Snowmobile Association said the snowmobilers who are cutting away from the designated corridor could be unaware of where they're allowed to go. "We're seeing a lot of new snowmobiling this year, a lot of people that haven't snowmobiled in years or haven't snowmobiled at all," said Russell Jollimore. "These people need to be made aware of the dos and don'ts." Jollimore said that as soon as the Kensington police chief spoke to him about the issue, he posted a reminder on the group's Facebook page. He noted that the town has set aside parking for machines near the gas station and the train station. "People can walk, you know, a few hundred feet to get to their restaurant or down for their coffee or or whatever. They don't need to be going up and down the side of the road. That's just not acceptable." More from CBC P.E.I.
HALIFAX — Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan released a plan Wednesday outlining conditions for Indigenous lobster fishers to participate in moderate livelihood fisheries during commercial seasons. The Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs, however, said Ottawa's latest overture is "unacceptable." Jordan said her plan would allow moderate livelihood fishing activity during the commercial, federally regulated season, through licences issued under the Fisheries Act. She said her idea wouldn't increase the total amount of fishing conducted in the country's waters. "I need to make sure the stocks are health and sustainable," she said in an interview Wednesday. "And we have the seasons for that purpose: to make sure that this is orderly, it's regulated and it does meet our conservation objectives." The plan would also allow First Nations communities to sell moderate livelihood catches to processors, which is currently illegal under Nova Scotia regulations. "The difference is we are now authorizing a moderate livelihood fishery, which is completely separate from a commercial fishery," Jordan said. She said the plan — which she said can be long-term or yearly — can be used while First Nations communities and the government negotiate an overarching Rights Reconciliation Agreement on Indigenous fishing rights. She said there are a number of banked licences that can be used to give access to First Nations communities, adding that she hopes there can be some voluntary buyouts of existing commercial licences. The Fisheries Department, she said, will work with First Nations communities to develop moderate livelihood fishing plans that could be unique to each community. The minister said the interim plan is a "path" that is "flexible and adaptable" and is based in the implementation of First Nations treaty rights, the conservation and sustainability of fish stocks, and transparent management of the fishery. The Sipekne'katik and Potlotek First Nations have launched lawsuits against the Nova Scotia government, with both saying existing regulations interfere with their treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. Indigenous fishers in Nova Scotia argue that a 1999 Supreme Court of Canada decision affirms the Mi'kmaq treaty right to fish for a "moderate livelihood'' when and where they want — even outside the federally regulated commercial fishing season. That decision was later clarified by the court, however, which said Ottawa could regulate the Mi'kmaq treaty right for conservation and other limited purposes. Sipekne'katik Chief Mike Sack said his band is not impressed with the government's new plan. The First Nation launched its own moderate livelihood fishery last fall in St. Mary's Bay, outside of the federally regulated season. Members of the band encountered violence from non-Indigenous residents that resulted in the destruction of a lobster pound and the burning of a band member's van. Sack said it was "kind of the same old stuff" when asked about Jordan's plan. "We are strongly for not having the department issue our licences and we want to exercise our right and have our own season," he said. "It's way off the mark." Sack said Sipekne'katik plans to go ahead with its own fishery this spring, likely in June. Meanwhile, the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaw Chiefs said in a news release on Wednesday the plan by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans was "unacceptable." "Minister Bernadette Jordan ... has also made unilateral decisions and asserted a position ... having full control over our Rights-based fishery. This is unacceptable. "DFO is continuing to impose rules without consultation with, accommodation of, or agreement with, the Assembly." Gordon Beaton, president of Local 4 of the Maritime Fishermen's Union, said commercial fishers are open to allowing First Nations participation as long as any agreement adheres to three primary pillars: in-season fishing only, no overall increased fishing, and the same basic rules for all fishers. "If there is some different kind of access, the industry has no problem with that as long as it's under the same rules," Beaton said. "As always, it will be what's in the (plan's) details." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press
WHITEHORSE — Yukon's premier says COVID-19 vaccine uptake has been "fantastic" as just over half the territory's residents have received their first dose, but he's concerned about rising numbers of variants elsewhere in Canada. Sandy Silver says the territory is focusing on meeting its goal of vaccinating 75 per cent of the population to reach herd immunity before lifting current restrictions despite zero cases in Yukon. He says a clinic for everyone aged 18 and over opened in Whitehorse this week and mobile clinics are returning to smaller communities to provide second shots to people over 60. Silver says as of Monday, 11,503 Yukon residents had received their first shot while second shots were administered to about half that number. He joined chief medical health officer Dr. Brendan Hanley in saying numbers on vaccine uptake would not be provided for specific areas to prevent pitting communities against each other. Hanley is urging residents to continue taking all precautions as clinics go "full tilt" in the territory. "If cases, and particularly variants, lead to increased COVID our risk of importing variants will go up day by day," he says. Seventy-one Yukoners have recovered from the illness and one person has died since the pandemic began. Hanley says 850 people were immunized in the mass clinic on Tuesday, and he would be among those lining up for a shot in the arm on Wednesday. Yukon and other territories have received a higher allocation of vaccine doses because remote areas have limited access to specialized care. "While we recognize that immunizing the territories is the right thing to do for Canada this incredible opportunity should provide us with extra motivation to step up and get a vaccine," Hanley says. However, he says "vaccine hesitancy is a reality" and it will be important to address people's questions so they're comfortable being immunized in order to protect everyone. Hanley says despite four weeks without any active cases, the restrictions will remain because the territory is in a "nebulous" time and on guard against variants. "This is a huge consideration for us because regardless of whether we have zero or 10 cases right now we are always managing risk of importation," he says. "Vaccine uptake is so critical to getting to a place where we can be much more confident about being able to propose a solid framework for opening up." This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
It has been more than a year since the government issued a temporary extension on renewing health cards, driver's licences and licence plate stickers. The pause was implemented to prevent line ups at Service Ontario during the pandemic. So what's the status on that now? Jessica Nyznik has the details.
LEIPZIG, Germany — Yussuf Poulsen scored as Leipzig reached the semifinals of the German Cup with a 2-0 win Wednesday over a Wolfsburg team which hadn't conceded a goal for eight games. Wolfsburg had the chance to seize control of the quarterfinal when it was awarded a first-half penalty after a video review found Christopher Nkunku had fouled Kevin Mbabu while trying to clear the ball. However, top scorer Wout Weghorst slipped as he took the spot kick and sent the ball high over the crossbar. Poulsen picked up a pass from Alexander Sorloth in the 64th minute and powered past two defenders before hitting the ball past goalkeeper Koen Casteels. Hwang Hee-chan made sure of the win in the 88th when he lashed in a rebound after Casteels parried a close-range shot from Emil Forsberg. Leipzig and Wolfsburg are also rivals for Champions League qualification, sitting second and third respectively in the Bundesliga table. Leipzig lost the cup final in 2019 and is bidding to win its first major trophy. Also Wednesday, second-division Holstein Kiel powered into the semifinals with a 3-0 win over Rot-Weiss Essen, which was bidding to be only the second fourth-tier club ever to reach the semifinals after Saarbrücken managed the feat last year. Kiel knocked out last year's cup winner Bayern Munich in the second round in January. Borussia Dortmund booked its place in the semifinals on Tuesday when Jadon Sancho scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over local rival Borussia Mönchengladbach. The other quarterfinal between Werder Bremen and second-division Jahn Regensburg was due to be played Tuesday but was called off the day before when a number of Regensburg's players and staff tested positive for the coronavirus. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Associated Press
Earlier this week the Grey Bruce Health Unit (GBHU) moved into the green zone of the province’s reopening framework. At the same time, Collingwood’s restrictions were heightened to the grey-lockdown zone. The vast difference in restrictions between the two neighbouring communities has raised some questions about the logic behind the shift. “Changing the colour zones is not related to the locality of one town to another or the discrepancy between the red and the green and one area,” said Dr. Ian Arra, medical officer of health for GBHU. Arra explained that moving a region between the varying colour-coded zones is a provincial decision based on data points related to epidemiology, such as case count, per cent positivity, hospital and ICU capacity. “The Chief MOH will ask each MOH about the situation on the ground – where we see the region going. So, we have some input but the decision is absolutely provincial,” Arra said. Arra added the data set the province looks at to make its decision is essentially from three weeks prior to the shift. “So right now, if you go back two weeks, then the week before those two weeks, that's the set of data that is used,” he said. Arra added that he cannot comment on the specifics taking place in Simcoe County, as every health unit manages its own caseload and epidemiology data sets, but said in Grey-Bruce he has been confident with the decisions that are being made on a provincial level. “I don't know all the details that go there that led to the decision, but I know first-hand from dealing with provincial officials on a weekly basis or sometimes daily basis, I know that they're doing really a fine job. I can't comment on their decisions, but I can comment from my experience that they're doing a great job,” Arra said. However, Collingwood’s town council may beg to differ. At a meeting held last night the Collingwood council passed a motion that calls on the province to change the town's lock down designation. Collingwood Mayor Brian Saunderson said the stark difference between restrictions in the two neighbouring municipalities is “unconscionable.” “We’ve got two halves of a large economic engine that are now at opposite ends of the spectrum,” said the mayor. The Town of the Blue Mountains Mayor, Alar Soever said while he sympathizes with the situation Collingwood is in, he would prefer to keep politics out of the conversation when it comes to COVID-19 as he believes politicians should not make or influence decisions about public health. “I don't think what zone you're in should be a political decision. There are criteria that are based on case counts and where the transmission is happening. I would leave any and all of these decisions to the health professionals,” Soever said. Jennifer Golletz, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, CollingwoodToday.ca
MONTREAL — Quebec provincial police say a man in his 50s is dead after the small plane he was flying crashed into a lake in Gore, northwest of Montreal. Provincial police spokesman Sgt. Stephane Tremblay says the man was the only person aboard the plane. He says witnesses who saw the crash, which took place around 8:30 a.m., called emergency services. The pilot was removed from the plane by the local fire department and transported to hospital, where he was declared dead. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada says it has sent a team of investigators to determine the cause of the crash of the Wag-Aero amateur-built aircraft. Tremblay says provincial police investigators are on the scene to determine whether any crimes were committed and the coroner's office is also investigating to determine the cause of the death. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. ——— This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
ÉMILIE PELLETIER Initiative de journalisme local — Le Droit La santé publique de l’Ontario rapporte de moins en moins de cas de coronavirus depuis près d’une semaine. Le plus récent bilan de la santé publique fait état, mercredi, de 958 cas de COVID-19 enregistrés la veille. C’est la deuxième journée de suite que la province rapporte moins de 1000 infections quotidiennes. L’Ontario a enregistré jusqu’à présent 552 cas du variant de la COVID-19 provenant du Royaume-Uni, 27 de l’Afrique du Sud et trois du Brésil. En tout, 303 763 infections à la COVID-19 ont été répertoriées dans la province. Mardi, 52 613 tests de dépistage ont été effectués à travers l’Ontario, où plus de 11 millions de tests ont été effectués jusqu’à présent. Décès Au cours de la journée de mardi, la COVID-19 a emporté 17 Ontariens, portant le bilan à 7014 décès causés par ce virus depuis le début de la pandémie. Mardi, 668 personnes étaient hospitalisées pour soigner des symptômes de la COVID-19. Parmi ces patients, 274 étaient aux soins intensifs avec des symptômes plus graves, dont 188 sous respirateur. FSLD En foyers de soins de longue durée (FSLD), trois résidents et neuf employés ont reçu un diagnostic de COVID-19, mardi. La province ne rapporte aucun décès causé par le coronavirus dans ces établissements au cours des dernières 24 heures. En FSLD, 3745 résidents et 11 employés ont perdu la vie en raison du virus. Mardi, un nombre record de 27 398 Ontariens ont roulé leur manche pour recevoir une dose du vaccin contre la COVID-19. Jusqu’à maintenant, 266 710 personnes ont reçu leurs deux doses du vaccin contre la COVID-19 en province. En date de mardi à 20h30, un total de 754 419 doses du vaccin y avaient été administrées. Émilie Pelletier, journaliste, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Droit
Northern Ontario is on high alert amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in the region that has hit the homeless community particularly hard. The health unit covering the Thunder Bay area returned to a lockdown this week after reporting more COVID-19 cases last month than in all of 2020. The Northwestern Health Unit, which covers the city of Kenora and other areas, says it’s closely watching the situation in Thunder Bay. It’s asking people to avoid travel to that city and to reduce contact with others for two weeks after returning home if they do. The health unit says it will hold a meeting with regional partners this week to discuss measures to prevent the virus from spreading among the homeless population. An Thunder Bay isolation centre for people exposed to or infected with COVID-19 is applying for extra funding after demand skyrocketed along with rising infections among the homeless. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
There were two deaths related to COVID-19 reported in the province on Wednesday. Both deaths were in the 80 plus age group and were located in Regina and Saskatoon. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 in the province is now 389. The North Central zone, which includes Prince Albert, reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. This was among 121 new cases reported in Saskatchewan. North Central 2, which is Prince Albert, has 19 active cases. North Central 1, which includes communities such as Christopher Lake, Candle Lake and Meath Park, has 30 active cases and North Central 3 has 15 active cases. There are currently 153 people in hospital overall in the province. Of the 133 reported as receiving in patient care there are 14 in North Central. Of the 20 people reported as being in intensive care there is one in North Central. The current seven-day average 154, or 12.5 cases per 100,000 population. The high was 312 reported on Jan. 12. Of the 29,059reported COVID-19 cases in Saskatchewan, 1,431 are considered active. The recovered number now sits at 27,239after 180 more recoveries were reported. The total number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 29,059 of those 7,437 cases are from the North area (3,024 North West, 3,259 North Central and 1,154 North East). There were 1,358doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered yesterday in Saskatchewan bringing the total number of vaccines administered in the province to 81,597. There were 232 doses administered in the North Central zone yesterday. The other zones where vaccines were administered were in the North West, Far North Central, Central East, Far North Central, Far North East, Saskatoon and Regina. According to the province as of March 2, 50 per cent of Phase 1 priority healthcare workers received a first dose. This percentage includes healthcare workers from long term care and personal care home facilities. Pfizer shipments for the week of March 1 have arrived in Regina (3,510) and Saskatoon (3,510). North Battleford (2,340) and Prince Albert (4,680) shipments are expected by end of day March 3. There were 2,588 COVID-19 tests processed in Saskatchewan on Feb. 28. As of today there have been 582,829 COVID-19 tests performed in Saskatchewan. Michael Oleksyn, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Albert Daily Herald