WILMINGTON, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget is quickly emerging as a political battle that could disrupt his efforts to swiftly fill out his administration.Some Republicans are expressing doubt that Neera Tanden could be confirmed by the Senate after she spent years attacking GOP lawmakers on social media — and many panned the choice.Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton claimed Tanden’s rhetoric was “Filled with hate & guided by the woke left.”Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said Tanden's “combative and insulting comments" about Republican senators created “certainly a problematic path." He called her “maybe (Biden's) worst nominee so far" and “radioactive.”Potential Budget Committee Chair Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was less hostile, telling reporters, “Let's see what happens." Moderate Susan Collins, R-Maine, a target of Tanden's, said, “I do not know her or much about her, but I've heard she's a very prolific user of Twitter.”Such sentiment is notable considering the GOP's general reluctance to criticize President Donald Trump's broadsides on Twitter. But like all of Biden's nominees, Tanden has little margin for error as she faces confirmation in a closely divided Senate.That could be especially daunting for Tanden, the former adviser to Hillary Clinton and the president of the centre-left Center for American Progress, given her history of political combat.Biden's transition team released a litany of praise for Tanden from figures including Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.Other Democrats also rushed to defend Tanden's nomination. Former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett said Tanden “grew up on welfare and lived in public housing. She experienced first hand the importance of our social programs. Her extraordinary career has been devoted to improving opportunities for working families. She is an excellent choice to lead OMB.”“Neera Tanden is smart, experienced, and qualified for the position of OMB Director,” added Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a member of the party’s progressive wing. “The American people decisively voted for change - Mitch McConnell shouldn’t block us from having a functioning government that gets to work for the people we serve.”On the Senate floor, Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said it's impossible to take Republicans' criticism of Tanden seriously.“Honestly, the hypocrisy is astounding. If Republicans are concerned about criticism on Twitter, their complaints are better directed at President Trump,” Schumer said.At OMB, Tanden would be responsible for preparing Biden’s budget submission and would command several hundred budget analysts, economists and policy advisers with deep knowledge of the inner workings of the government.If Democrats should win runoff elections for Georgia’s two GOP-held Senate seats, Tanden’s job would become hugely important because the party would gain a slim majority in the chamber. That would allow them to pass special budget legislation that could roll back Trump’s tax cuts, boost the Affordable Care Act and pursue other spending goals. OMB would have a central role in such legislation.Top Democrats, Biden included, supported anti-deficit packages earlier in their careers, but the party has since changed. Biden was a force behind the establishment of the Obama deficit commission, which was created to win votes of Democratic moderates to pass an increase in the government’s borrowing cap and was chaired by former Clinton White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles.Tanden shares a commonly held view among Democratic lawmakers that Republicans usually profess concerns about deficits only when Democrats are in power, pointing to tax cut packages passed in the opening year of Trump’s administration and former President George W. Bush’s 2001 tax cut.___Taylor reported from Washington.Zeke Miller And Andrew Taylor, The Associated Press
VICTORIA — The B.C. government has launched a new land registry that it says will help combat money laundering and make the real estate market more transparent. Beginning Monday, any corporation, trustee or partnership that buys land in B.C. must disclose the interest holders of that land through the Land Owner Transparency Registry. Existing registered land owners have one year to register and disclose their interest holders. The government says in a news release the information provided may be used by tax and law authorities to investigate and crack down on illegal activity. It says the registry was formed after an expert panel on real estate said the disclosure of beneficial ownership is the "single most important measure" that can be taken to address money laundering. The panel's 2019 report estimated that $7.4 billion was laundered through B.C. in 2018, including $5 billion through real estate. "British Columbians expect that when they buy a home, they are entering a housing market based on fairness. But for decades, that didn't happen when they were in competition with fraudsters flush with illicit cash," Finance Minister Selina Robinson said in a news release. "This first-of-its-kind registry will help return transparency and moderation to housing markets throughout B.C." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020. The Canadian Press
An outbreak of COVID-19 cases, compounded by repeat power outages and abysmal weather, has forced an isolated Vancouver Island Indigenous community into lockdown.The Ehattesaht First Nation, home to about 100 people, is located on the northwest coast of the island near Zeballos, B.C. On Nov. 14, one positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the community following a four day power outage. Within a week, there were 16 cases and now half the residents are in isolation."We are learning some hard lessons and the best advice we can give to communities like ours is just to stay home — it's the only way we can keep people safe," said Chief Simon John in an interview on CBC's On The Island.John says while no one has been hospitalized yet, some people have been moved into hotels to be closer to medical services if they should need them.The North Island Hospital in Campbell River is almost three hours away by car. And the road in and out of Ehattesaht territory, which, John says, is well-maintained by the Ministry of Forests, can still easily be blocked by a downed tree or two.And it's a distinct possibility right now, as the region has been repeatedly battered by high winds and stormy weather in recent days, causing the community to already lose power twice while people are dealing with the impact of the virus.Environment Canada issued another wind warning for B.C.'s north coastal region Monday, warning that winds of up to 100 km/h are a possibility until Tuesday.COVID-19 exposing other issuesJohn said people in the community have rallied to provide food and what care they can for people isolated at home. He said the current situation may have a silver lining in that the pandemic is exposing issues the nation has been up against for years."It's a really good time to move a lot of our situations forward. Like, our health or even our connectivity to the world could change because of this," said John, adding he hopes the B.C. and Canadian government take notice and help.That help, he said, could include improving hydro and internet connections, as well as access to health services.John said the nation would also like to look at options to expand its land base so it can add more housing for its members. At present, he said many people are isolating in close quarters together.Four people in the community have recovered from COVID-19 so far, according to John.To hear the complete interview with Chief Simon John on CBC's On The Island, tap the audio link below:
WINDSOR, Ont. — Public health officials have declared COVID-19 outbreaks at two hospitals in Windsor, Ont.Windsor Regional Hospital's Ouellette Campus has confirmed four cases of infection in staff on its 7th floor.The hospital says patients and other staff on the floor have tested negative.Meanwhile, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare has reported three staff and two patients in its rehabilitation unit have COVID-19.The hospital has closed new admissions on the third floor of the unit and has temporarily suspended non-essential staff from entering.Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says it is working with hospital administrators to determine the outbreaks' source of transmission and risk to staff and patients.This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020.This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.The Canadian Press
For over five years, the owner of Runway Bridal, Brooke Miller, had been dreaming of a new space for the ever-growing bridal business. Last Thursday, Mayor Mitch Panciuk, Belleville Chamber of Commerce CEO Jill Raycroft, Bay of Quinte MP Neil Ellis, Bay of Quinte MPP Todd Smith representative David Joyce and Executive Director of the Belleville Downtown District BIA Marijo Cuerrier congratulated Miller on her new expanded boutique located at 282 Front Street. Working closely with a contractor and the property owners at 282 Front Street, Miller transformed her vision of the perfect bridal boutique into reality. “The new store is more aligned with our brand,” said Miller. “It’s warm yet modern and elegant. It also gives me a chance to grow the business further.” The new space for Runway Bridal features over 2,000 square feet of shopping space that will allow for exciting opportunities and events in the future. The new boutique also has large private changing rooms and plenty of Instagram worthy backdrops. “Moving your business is scary at any time, but I’m happy I did it, there will never truly be a perfect time” said Miller. “With COVID restrictions we could only have one appointment at our old location. With this beautiful new space, we can double our capacity, and when the pandemic settles, even more clients at one time.” Runway Bridal provides individual and unforgettable service in the locally owned boutique, showcasing some of the most sought-after exclusive wedding dresses in the area. From veils and jewelry to bridesmaids’ dresses, tuxedos, prom dresses, Runway Bridal offers the complete formal wear experience. Runway Bridal is a full-service bridal boutique that offers clients a fun and exciting experience. The boutique has drawn attention from brides seeking the perfect dress across the country. Runway Bridal has begun planning for wedding and prom seasons for 2021 and encourage residents interested in visiting the boutique to schedule an appointment online at www.runwaybridal.ca or call 613-966-0122.Virginia Clinton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Intelligencer
CINCINNATI — Ohio’s Democratic Party chair is stepping down after six years during which Republicans, including Donald Trump, dominated statewide elections, he said Monday. David Pepper, a former Hamilton County commissioner and Cincinnati council member, sent a letter to party officials saying he will resign at year’s end. He suggested those interested in succeeding him could speak at the Dec. 15 executive committee meeting, with a special meeting later in December to choose. Once considered a bellwether and swing state, Ohio has swung to the GOP, which won the last three elections for governor and nearly all other statewide offices. Trump carried it twice, by some 8 percentage points each time. Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown won reelection in 2018, but Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman handily won 2016 reelection and Republicans swept state Cabinet races in 2018. Pepper pointed with pride to the way Democrats showed enough support in the state for former Vice-President Joe Biden to make Trump divert time and resources from other battleground states. “Our effort here in Ohio, where we battled Trump to the final days, forcing him to return again and again, contributed to the historic national victory that ensured Trump would be a one-term president,” Pepper wrote. He also pointed to gains on the state Supreme Court, including the election of Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, in November, and the “Main Street” program that for five years has provided training, guidance and support to candidates for local offices across the state. Pepper also expressed hope that Democrats will be able to undo GOP gerrymandering of congressional and legislative districts. Aftab Pureval, a Democrat twice elected to be Hamilton County clerk of courts sandwiched around an unsuccessful congressional bid, said he and other Ohio Democrats are grateful for his leadership. “I’ve had no stronger ally and champion than David Pepper,” Pureval posted on Twitter. ___ Follow Dan Sewell at https://www.twitter.com/dansewell. Dan Sewell, The Associated Press
Students in grades 7-12 have now moved to online classes until at least Jan. 11, and diploma exams will now be optional for the rest of the school year. Nailah Fuko, a Grade 10 student at Edmonton's W.P. Wagner School, said she found out she'd be back to learned online while scrolling through Instagram. "I came upon this post that was talking about the government saying that we were moving online," Fuko said in an interview on Edmonton AM. "And I was like, 'Oh, this is new.'" Rebecca Boroditsky, a Grade 10 student at Ross Sheppard, said she's not worried about the academic implications of going virtual. Hear the students talk about their next month online: "For the socializing portion, I'm kind of sad," she said. "I've made friends and I won't really get to talk to them anymore until January." Boroditsky said she had been enjoying the quarter system schools brought in instead of the usual two semesters. In quarters, the classes are longer and Boroditsky said she had been liking her ceramics class she's taking. "We have more time to really get into it and do lots of project things, whereas with the shorter classes ... there's less time because you have to designate time to clean up and get set up, and that eats into a good portion of the class if it's shorter," she said. Fuko said she prefers a semester setup. "I think they sped up a lot of the material and it wasn't as easy to learn," she said. One practical difference is that online learning will make it easier to physically distance. Boroditsky said that was much easier in classrooms than in hallways or at lunch. Fuko said her friends are being careful and do care about safety and what's going on with COVID-19. "I definitely think students particularly are very worried and trying to do their best with what the rules are and how to follow the rules," Fuko said.
Vancouver police say several fines were issued over the weekend after officers were called to break up four separate gatherings, all of which violated provincial COVID-19 protocols.On Friday night, police were called to a downtown party after a concerned mother said her teenaged daughter and several other youth were at a party with adults where the parent suspected drug use, according to a statement posted to the Vancouver police website Monday.Officers found 16 people from different households inside the condo in question, the statement said. Officers broke up the party and issued a $2,300 violation ticket to the primary resident and the teenaged girls were released to a guardian, the VPD statement said.In a separate incident late Saturday, only two of six people discovered inside a broken-down limousine stalled on Stanley Park Drive were found to have come from the same household.In addition, police said the driver, who did not have a licence or permit to operate a limousine, was fined $2,300 for violating COVID-19 protocols.Highly intoxicated, hostile party-goers Later that same evening, police were called to two separate parties inside two different condo buildings, the statement said.At one of those, about 10 people were celebrating a birthday, police said. Despite the group being apologetic and remorseful for violating protocols, the condo owner was issued a $230 fine.But the other group of about 15 partiers, who police said were "highly intoxicated", became hostile when officers tried to break up the gathering, according to the statement.That owner was issued a $2,300 COVID-19 violation ticket by police.
The province tightened COVID-19 rules in Haldimand-Norfolk on Monday, with the local health unit expecting even more restrictions if the situation worsens. With the region adding 57 positive cases in the past two weeks and managing outbreaks at a Simcoe farm and Dunnville long-term care home, the Ford government moved Haldimand-Norfolk into the orange restrict category of the province’s COVID-19 response framework. That means limited operating hours and seating capacity at bars and restaurants, additional physical-distancing requirements inside fitness centres, and an end to personal services that require the removal of face masks, such as beard trimming at hair salons. Gathering limits of 10 people indoors and 25 outside are unchanged. Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, Haldimad-Norfolk’s medical officer of health, says he hopes the new rules help slow the advance of COVID-19 in the two counties. “I’m hopeful that with more public health measures, we’ll be able to stabilize the number of cases,” he said. “But it would not surprise me that the case counts continue to climb (and) we may have further restrictions over the next few weeks.” There are currently 48 active positive cases between the two counties, when as recently as early October the active caseload was in the single digits and days would pass without a new diagnosis of the disease. The health unit traced some of the new cases to households visiting and eating together inside, which Nesathurai said is an especially high-risk activity for transmitting the virus. “In this health district, we have seen clusters of cases associated with family members dining with (people) from other households. That is one of the concerns,” he said. Having people who don’t live together spending extended time in close quarters without wearing masks is “one of the concerns” as the holidays near, he added. “That leads to clusters and cases, and more people disqualified from going to work and going to school,” Nesathurai said. “This is part of the broader advice to stay within your families and try to avoid gatherings (with) individuals from other households.” In moving Haldimand-Norfolk to the orange level, the province considered the region’s limited number of ICU beds and proximity to COVID-19 hot spots like Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area. Since the pandemic began, Haldimand-Norfolk has seen 658 lab-confirmed positive cases of COVID-19, with 573 recoveries and 32 deaths. Five people who had COVID-19 died of other causes. To this point, the health unit has been able to trace contacts of infected residents within 24 hours, which Nesathurai called a “cornerstone” of his approach to containing the spread of the virus. “At some point, if we don’t get control of our case count, we’ll be saturating our public health resources related to doing contact management,” Nesathurai said. “I just worry that we won’t be able to sustain this level of demand on the public health service.” The board of health agreed to hire 17 new staff to help the beleaguered health unit manage the pandemic, but Nesathurai said other programs like postpartum support and smoking cessation are currently sidelined due to a lack of staffing.J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator
CALGARY — An environmental law group has lost its bid to pause Alberta's inquiry into where critics of its oil and gas industry get their funding. Ecojustice sought an injunction in the summer to suspend the inquiry until there is a ruling on whether it is legal. Court of Queen's Bench Justice Karen Horner dismissed the application with costs on Friday. “The court’s decision, while disappointing, won’t stop Ecojustice from continuing to challenge the Kenney government’s inquiry into ‘anti-Alberta’ activities and expose it for the sham that it is," executive director Devon Page said in a statement Monday. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservative government contend foreign interests have long been bankrolling campaigns against fossil fuel development. In 2019, forensic accountant Steve Allan was tapped to lead the $2.5-million inquiry. Allan's report was initially due in July, but after two extensions and a $1-million budget increase, it is now expected by Jan. 31. Energy Minister Sonya Savage must publish the final report within 90 days of receiving it. “The Government of Alberta is pleased to see the courts strike down a nuisance injunction application by Ecojustice designed to slow down the Public Inquiry into Foreign Funded Campaigns," Alberta Energy spokesman Kavi Bal said in a statement. Ecojustice filed a lawsuit last November alleging the inquiry is politically motivated, biased and outside provincial jurisdiction. "Its purpose really was to shut up opponents to Alberta oil and gas and it was something that was driven directly by the premier," Page said in an interview Monday. Ecojustice wanted Allan's work paused because if his findings were to be released before a court ruled on the lawsuit, environmental groups could suffer reputational harm in the meantime. Horner said in her decision that Ecojustice had to prove there is a serious issue to be tried, it would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction isn't granted and it would suffer greater harm than its opponent if the injunction is refused. The judge ruled Ecojustice satisfied the first test but failed the other two. "Mr. Page suggests that a risk of harm exists in the 'possibility' of being called to respond to the inquiry that may have no legal foundation. However, I am not convinced that a mere 'possibility' amounts to evidence of irreparable harm that is both clear and not speculative," Horner wrote. "The allegations of improper purpose, bias, and lack of jurisdiction are issues to be examined and resolved in the upcoming judicial review."The lawsuit was scheduled to be heard in April, but the COVID-19 pandemic put in on hold. Page said December or early-February hearing dates are now being discussed. Page, who has criticized the inquiry for its lack of transparency, said he's recently heard from groups who have received letters from Allan requesting clarification on publicly available tax information. "It just makes us more confused about what's going on."One Nov. 6 letter to a group, whose name had been removed because Page did not have their permission to publicize it, requested written or oral responses by Dec. 4. "Basically it looks like (Allan is) on a fishing expedition to get the information that he's had 18 months to accumulate," said Page."So what's he been doing?"This report by The Canadian Press was first published November 30, 2020.Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Canada's International Trade Minister Mary Ng was unable to offer a firm guarantee that MPs will see a bill to ratify the new provisional Canada-Britain trade agreement before Parliament is due to break for Christmas on Dec. 11. Ng also revealed that officials in both countries are still working on the final text of the agreement. The update by Ng to the House of Commons trade committee on Monday left opposition members across party lines surprised and pressing for answers on how a delay would affect Canadian exporters who could face new British tariffs if the deal isn’t finalized by a Dec. 31 deadline. Canada's current agreement with Britain under its European Union trade pact expires when Britain's divorce from the EU takes effect at the start of the new year. Without a new deal to replace it, a series of new British tariffs on Canadian exports such as seafood, beef and automobiles would be triggered. Ng said both countries are working on "mitigation measures" to provide stability to businesses and prevent new tariffs. But she offered no specifics after being repeatedly pressed by opposition MPs. At one point she didn't want to make policy "on the fly." "I don't want to provide uncertainty. What I want to do is provide certainty for businesses," Ng said in response to one of several questions on the topic. "I would be pleased to talk about them once that work … is concluded." Ng's testimony came nine days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his British counterpart Boris Johnson announced with great fanfare a new interim trade deal between their two countries had been struck. Their announcement came in a hastily-called Saturday morning teleconference with no accompanying briefings for journalists about the content of the deal, as was the case when the original Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA, between Canada and the EU was struck. Conservative trade critic Tracy Gray was one of several MPs to press Ng on Monday for more specifics on what could be done to paper over problems that Canadian exporters might now be facing on Jan. 1. Gray chided Ng for not laying out a timeline for when a bill would be tabled in the Commons and the Senate. "I don't understand how we can have certainty and continuity when we don't have a plan when this will be coming to Parliament," Gray said. "It sounds like you haven't plotted out a plan over the nine days since this splashy announcement, when this would play out." New Democrat trade critic Daniel Blaikie asked Ng to walk the committee through "scenarios" in the event the deal is not finalized by Dec. 31. "What kinds of contingencies are you putting in place? And what does supporting Canadian business in the event that a deal isn't enacted by Dec. 31 look like?" he asked. Ng thanked him for the question and replied: "We are looking at a range of options that will mitigate the impact of any delays that may occur." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2020. Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press
The Northwest Territories and federal governments have announced $1 million in new funding aimed at curbing substance abuse.The funding, allocated to the territorial government will be spent over five years on engagement sessions to develop public awareness campaigns in collaboration with Indigenous governments and NGOs."There is no one-size-fits-all approach to addressing substance abuse," reads a quote attributed to N.W.T. Health Minister Julie Green in a release sent Monday morning."It is only by working with Indigenous governments and communities on a coordinated approach to take action on alcohol and substance misuse that we will be able to see progress on addressing this serious public health issue."The release highlights the findings of the 2018 N.W.T. addictions survey, which showed that nearly half of men in the territory and four in 10 women reported heavy drinking in the past month, significantly higher than elsewhere in the country.In 2017, the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse and Addictions estimated the per person cost of addiction in the N.W.T. to be more than $2,300 per year. And last year, the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that youth in the N.W.T. were more likely to be hospitalized due to substance abuse than anywhere else in the country. The new funding comes from the Northern Wellness Agreement, which provides additional health funding to territorial governments on an annual basis.The work of the engagement sessions will be led by the Territorial Committee on Problematic Substance Use, which includes representatives from the territorial government, the NWT Association of Communities and members of the public.
No matter what's been thrown their way, organizers of this year's Jasper Santas Anonymous program are doing their best to see that families have food and gifts to enjoy this Christmas season. This year, more families than ever will be accessing Santas Anonymous due to the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to more unemployment, isolation and financial stress. Pattie Pavlov, general manager of Jasper Park Chamber of Commerce, said this year, as many as 100 families are participating. In years past, it has hovered around the 70, 80 point. She and Ashley Chorley, operations manager with Chamber, are working with "the new and different nuances" that have been presented by the COVID pandemic. With COVID as one of the primary concerns, they wondered how they would get items to families safely, Pavlov said. "It's very important that we adhere to COVID (protocol), in collecting and distributing the items donated," she said. "We did consult with the Edmonton Santas Anonymous group. We were on the right track. We just wanted to confirm we were doing this properly. It was a learning experience." Chorley some items, including fabric, plush items, plastics and toys have to be put in isolation to discourage COVID transmission. For example, she said, plastic items have to sit for about 72 hours and plush items for a week, which complicates packaging them. Fortunately, with a list of families in the program already started, she and Pavlov can organize items by group. Some of the usually-held get-togethers have been cancelled, including Skate with Santa at Mildred Lake, and a photo opportunity with Santa at Bearhill Lodge. Pavlov said, “With the (allowable) gathering of 10, how are you going to restart the number of families? Pieces of the puzzle just don't come together." But other plans are coming together: the Mitten Line fundraiser at TGP, for example. At the grocery store, mittens are available at the cash registers with values of $10, $20, $50 and $100 with proceeds going to Santas Anonymous. "Some people have already purchased mittens and we're excited about that,” Pavlov said. Shoppers at TGP can also designate a portion of the money paid for groceries to the campaign at the time of purchase. Then there's The Snowball Fight. "We cut out a quantity of snowballs and we are giving them to banks specifically, and encouraging them to compete against others - a friendly competition," Pavlov said. "We're asking them to be creative with their displays." Folks can purchase a snowball for whatever amount they choose, with proceeds going to Santas Anonymous. The pastry team at Jasper Park Lodge has also added to the festive mix of fundraisers. Pavlov said they created an “absolutely unbelievable” gingerbread cottage to be raffled off. The detail in the house is something to behold - there are books on bookshelves, the inside of the log cabin lights up, and there's a pond outside with cattails along the shore. “It's big and so beautiful," Pavlov said. The masterpiece is on display at the Santas Anonymous Facebook page and tickets can be purchased at $5 apiece from Jasper Community Team Society board members. "As has been the tradition since Santa's Anonymous started," Pavlov noted, "there have been collection boxes placed throughout town. Anything you want to support Santas Anonymous with can be done through donations - toys, toques, mitts." Sites include Pharmasave, IDA Rx Drug Mart, Jasper General Store, Ransom, the Jasper Library and Nesters Market. Pavlov said the Chamber will also accept donations at Robson House. "Give us a call and we'll grab it (where it has been safely left),” she said. “I'd also encourage people to bring gift cards.” Another way to donate in a contactless way is via e-transfer to email@example.com. The winning ticket for the gingerbread house will be drawn on Dec. 17. Proceeds from the Snowball Fight and Mitten Line fundraisers will be announced on Dec. 22.Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh
The government unveiled a record deficit of $381 billion in its fiscal update, along with spending plans for more pandemic relief and a huge stimulus plan to jolt the economy post-pandemic.
The NDP of P.E.I. has passed a resolution that would allow newcomers with permanent resident status to take out a party membership.Permanent resident is a status granted to someone who has the right to live and work in Canada while holding citizenship in another country. Permanent residents are not eligible to vote in Canadian elections, as all voters must hold Canadian citizenship, but many parties allow permanent residents to join regardless."We want to be inclusionary to Islanders and newcomers, and so part of that was definitely putting it in our provincial constitution," said provincial party president Jason Alward."We would welcome anybody to come on and join as an NDP member and again, push for a policy that reflects their situation, their concerns."> We want to work with different groups on the Island because we feel that those voices need to be heard. — Jason AlwardP.E.I.'s Green Party also allows those with permanent resident status to join the party, as do all of the major federal parties.A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident.Virtual AGM The resolution was passed at the party's annual general meeting over the weekend, which had about 40 people attend virtually. Alward said the newcomers will have full voting privileges for elections within the party, like the executive, or in a contested race to choose who would represent the party in an upcoming election."We want to work with different groups on the Island because we feel that those voices need to be heard," he said. "Come on and push our policy forward and create policy that includes those voices that might not be heard in the legislature."The president said the P.E.I. New Democrats are also looking at other ways to be inclusive of all Islanders, including establishing new committees.He said the party launched a Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) committee and a sexual orientation, gender identity committee recently.The hope is "to bring in people into the party and have their voices heard in those groups," he said."There's definitely a matter of privilege in the legislature and I don't think a lot of those voices are being heard by the three parties in there right now."P.E.I.'s NDP has not had a member elected to the legislature since then party leader Herb Dickieson in 1996. NDP candidate Lynne Thiele received 37 votes in the District 10 byelection earlier this month. The party is currently without a leader after Joe Byrne stepped down in September after two years. Alward said the party will have more news to share about the leadership in the coming days.More from CBC P.E.I.
LAS VEGAS — The coronavirus pandemic’s widespread impact has reminded Las Vegas officials that they need to diversify their economy beyond tourism.There hasn't been a lack of trying but the need has been laid even more bare thanks to COVID-19, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.With people afraid to enter hotels and casinos and residency shows postponed till next year, there have been wrenching job and revenue losses. Resort operators themselves have tried to broaden their offerings to all ages on casino and hotel floors. But it's not enough for some.“We've got all our money in one stock,” North Las Vegas City Manager Ryann Juden said.The region has successfully wooed many businesses and real estate developers in the last decade with tax breaks and a relatively cheap cost of living. Between 2010 and 2019, Nevada officials passed a combined $728.7 million in tax breaks for more than 180 companies setting up shop in Clark County. Southern Nevada has also become a distribution hub for online retailer Amazon, baby products maker The Honest Co. and other ventures that don't involve casinos.But there have also been ventures that fizzled. Faraday Future had proposed a 3.4 million-square-foot factory that would build up to 150,000 electric vehicles annually. Lawmakers even passed a $335 million incentive package. Faraday officials broke ground in 2016. But in 2017, the project went nowhere after reports of financial troubles. The company took over an existing facility in California instead.Some analysts say Southern Nevada still doesn't have the assets that some are looking for. Sin City's party image, underperforming schools and a shortage of doctors don't appeal to families.Bob Potts, deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said a good jolt in the local economy would be some sort of industrial park south of Las Vegas near the California border.But, “you don’t build those kinds of things overnight," Potts said.The Associated Press
TORONTO — Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange: Toronto Stock Exchange (17,205.43, down 191.13 points.)Suncor Energy Inc. (TSX:SU). Energy. Down $1.64, or 7.32 per cent, to $20.77 on 26.1 million shares. Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Up 3.5 cents, or 7.07 per cent, to 53 cents on 24.4 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up $1.51, or 10.99 per cent, to $15.25 on 21.5 million shares.Hexo Corp. (TSX:HEXO). Health care. Up 29 cents, or 25.44 per cent, to $1.43 on 15.5 million shares.Score Media and Gaming Inc. (TSX:SCR). Telecommunications. Up 26 cents, or 18.31 per cent, to $1.68 on 14.6 million shares.Northland Power Inc. (TSX:NPI). Utilities. Down $1.80, or 3.89 per cent, to $44.51 on 13.6 million shares.Companies in the news: Nutrien Ltd. (TSX:NTR). Down 20 cents to $64.10. Nutrien Ltd. is calling on other members of the fertilizer industry to join its fight against climate change as it launches an agriculture carbon program to drive improved environmental sustainability and boost profits for farmers. The Saskatoon-based company said Monday it plans to use its role as the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services to help growers plan, plant and track practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, trap and store carbon and measure the resulting improvements. It will then help farmers make money from their environmental efforts by facilitating the purchase and sale of carbon credits used by industries to offset their emissions and reduce carbon taxes. Nutrien is to pilot its new carbon program in certain regions across North America in 2021 and plans to later take it to South America and Australia.Bombardier Inc. — Bombardier has named veteran executive Bart Demosky as chief financial officer effective immediately. The company says Demosky replaces John Di Bert, who will be leaving the company. Demosky joins Bombardier after serving in senior roles at some of the biggest names in corporate Canada. He has served as the chief executive of Universal Rail Systems Inc., chief financial officer for Canadian Pacific Railway and chief financial officer for Suncor Energy. Bombardier has been working to transform itself from a maker of trains and aircraft into a company focused on business jets. The company is expected to complete the sale of its railway division to French company Alstom early next year.Artis Real Estate Investment Trust (TSX:AX.UN). Down 10 cents to $10.72. Artis Real Estate Investment Trust says four trustees have tendered their resignations and both its chief executive officer and chief financial officer will retire as part of a deal reached with private equity firm Sandpiper Group which sought changes at the trust. Under the terms of the agreement, Artis chief executive Armin Martens will retire effective Dec. 31 and chief financial officer Jim Green will retire after the trust's 2021 annual meeting of the unitholders. Sandpiper's slate of five nominees, including Sandpiper chief executive Samir Manji, will join two of the existing trustees — Ben Rodney and Lauren Zucker — to make up the new board. Artis proposed a plan in September that would see it spinoff its retail portfolio into a new real estate trust and focus on its North American industrial and office businesses. The Canadian Press
Jesse Wente says that there is power in truth-telling moments. And the truth he spoke about on Nov. 25, was the truth of Indigenous sovereignty. “Canada wants to assert and maintain its own sovereignty, while Indigenous Peoples never lost theirs, and want that fact recognized by Canada,” says Wente. “That impasse is at the core of all the issues we are seeing between our communities.” Wente spoke during an online event, as a part of Vancouver Island University (VIU)’s sixth annual Indigenous Speakers Series —a partnership between the university and CBC Radio. During the talk, Wente asked listeners to recognize the motivation behind government policies, such as residential schools, as a “tool of Canadian sovereignty.” “This view is ultimately how we must all see all of Canada’s policies towards Indigenous People, where the state grants itself authority,” says Wente. “As an exercise in asserting Canadian sovereignty over people of other nations.” Wente acknowledges that he is not the first person to speak this truth. There are carefully documented Indigenous-led documents which provide context, oral history, answers, and ‘truth’ in the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2019, he says. And before that, in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015, and before that, in the Report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996. Yet, Wente says that there’s often a refusal to own these truths and that this denial is precisely why Canada is “stuck” in its place in the reconciliation process. “I see this failure to accept the truth in the denials that we now hear around things like systemic racism,” says Wente. “For adults to not recognize these truths is willful and ultimately harmful. As long as some in power refuse to name systemic racism, they are refusing to combat it, and by refusing to combat it they allow it to continue and they do so on your behalf.” Wente is a member of the Serpent River First Nation, centrally located on the eastern edge of the so-called “Great Lakes” in Ontario. He’s a journalist, cultural critic and chairperson of the Canadian Council for the Arts. According to his event bio, he has “committed himself to supporting Indigenous storytellers and advocating for Indigenous narrative sovereignty.” During his talk he shared his own story, which he says, is fundamentally one of joy. “Too often when First Nations Métis or Inuit are asked to tell stories, we’re asked to tell sad stories, stories of pain and trauma,” says Wente. “ I guess on some level I understand. Our pain is part of the Canadian story. Our trauma in service of the goal that is Canada.” He spoke about his experience returning to his home territory with his children near the shores of Lake Huron, and a pivotal moment on the drive back to the city. “There was a clairity in that moment that has stuck with me,” Wente remembers. “I thought about how much effort was put into separating my family from this place, not just the harm done to us… to gain what in the end?” As Wente spoke his truth, he spoke of his own children and his hopes for their futures, asking the audience to “do the work” in this era of so-called reconciliation. “Right now decisions are being made that will mean our children will face inequality, racism, sexism and the outcomes related to those issues,” says Wente. “It’s our job to try and alleviate those issues to avoid the generational harm.” Proof that this work is beneficial exists, he says, including stories of Indigenous youth reconnecting with their cultures. He spoke about the increase in conversation around LandBack, defunding the police, and his experience of increased support when Indigenous peoples march or protest. “This sort of solidarity is healing,” says Wente. “It allows us to heal each other, as well as ourselves.” Wente ended his talk by sharing his thoughts on the power of Indigenous art and storytelling. He says he has seen an “eruption” of Indigenous talent in the last few years, and this excites him. “They’re already changing the country and its stories,” says Wente. “All of this brings me tremendous joy…. More importantly to the change we have already seen, is the change that is yet to come.” Wente’s talk was moderated by Nahlah Ayed of CBC’s Ideas and will be available this winter for national broadcast. Bayleigh Marelj, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Discourse
Jac’s Boutique in Kemptville held a silent auction to raise money for Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary. It was Jac’s Boutique employee, McCall Laframboise, who came up with the idea for the auction. Big Sky Ranch is in desperate in need of support, because they had to close their doors to the public due to the pandemic. This meant that many of their programs, which usually help with fundraising throughout the year, had to be cancelled. “They do great things at Big Sky Ranch,” McCall says. “This way I could support them and support Jac’s Boutique.” Big Sky Ranch’s Office Manager, Pauline Lafleur, says they were thrilled when McCall reached out to them to offer their support. “We were very happy and grateful that the animals were remembered, even though we have been closed since March because of COVID-19,” she says. “The animals are still in people’s hearts!” Jac’s Boutique ran the auction through their Facebook page and raised $655, with everything going for above the starting bid. Owner, Jackie Taylor, decided to match the dollars raised, bringing the grand total to $1,310. “It feels amazing, especially around the holidays,” McCall says about the success of the auction. “I know they need food for the animals, and it’s great that we were able to help out in this way.” This time of year is difficult for the sanctuary, because of higher costs. They also have to keep in mind that hay will have to be ordered for the spring, so this auction couldn’t have come at a better time. “We are humbled and amazed by the dedication, generous hearts, kindness, and community spirit of everyone in Kemptville, and all the surrounding communities,” Pauline says. Big Sky Ranch is still open for adoptions and surrenders, and they currently have about 119 animals at the sanctuary, most of whom are now in the barns for the winter. The ranch has been in operation for 15 years and has found forever homes for over 3,500 animals, and housed many others who needed a safe, comfortable place to spend the rest of their lives. They are currently in need of Lysol wipes, Clorox bleach spray, and bleach, as well as feed for the animals, which can be purchased at Willows Agriservices in the South Gower Business Park. Monetary donations can also be made through their website www.bigskyranch.ca.Hilary Thomson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Grenville Times
CANOE COVE – For three-year-old Jake Kislingbury, it sure is good to be home from the hospital. "He was just petrified for such a long time," his mother Verity said. The Canoe Cove boy started having bad headaches in May. He was soon airlifted to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax due to a rare, aggressive form of cancer called Burkitt lymphoma, which had spread so rapidly from his sinuses it's left him permanently blind. Jake, the son of Verity and Dave Kislingbury, had to stay at the hospital from May to October, and he and his family still have a long road ahead. So, in support of the Kislingburys, the community is using its annual Christmas event to raise funds for their neighbours this December. "That's what the community is here for," neighbour Chrys Jenkins said. This marks Chrys and Doreen Jenkins' 10th year hosting the Drive-Thru Living Nativity at their farmhouse in Canoe Cove. Organizers welcome everyone to witness the Jenkins' Christmas light display and nativity scene – complete with farm animals and in-character volunteers – from the comfort of their vehicles Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. each night. Plans for the drive-thru nativity started in September and there will be a few differences from past years, such as the addition of Santa and his sleigh. "Instead of the (usual) choir," Doreen said, "because of COVID." Jake and Verity got to check out the sleigh in advance of the event. Jake would often hold his mother's hand while walking around, and he had a fun time meeting the Jenkins' animals, playing with his toys and chatting it up as any three-year-old would. "He's gained his character back," Verity said. "We lost that for a while." During his time in the hospital, there were many nights where she would have to sleep in his bed to help comfort him. He clutched to his parents' promise that they would get him and his brother, William, a dog after treatment, which they'd train as a service dog, Verity said. "That's what got him through," she said. "It was tough." "But we got through," Jake said, unprompted, in response to his mother. The Kislingburys had volunteered with the drive-thru nativity for several years before and are grateful for the Jenkins' generosity in hosting it. All freewill donations will go toward general expenses incurred from Jake's treatment, and possibly toward a trust fund for his future. "It's a whole life change for all of us, really," Verity said. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95Daniel Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Guardian