Credit: Parliament Live TV
Credit: Parliament Live TV
In the opening moments of a Golden Globes night even more chaotic and confounding than usual, co-host Tina Fey raised a theoretical question: “Could this whole night have been an email?” Only the next three hours would tell. Well, sure, it could have been an email. But then you wouldn't have had Chadwick Boseman’s eloquent widow, bringing many to tears as she explained how she could never be as eloquent as her late husband. Or Jane Fonda, sharply calling out Hollywood for its lack of diversity on a night when her very hosts were under fire for exactly that. Or Chloé Zhao, making history as the first woman of Asian descent to win best director (and the first woman since 1984.) Or 98-year-old Norman Lear, giving the simplest explanation for his longevity: never living or laughing alone. Or Jodie Foster kissing her wife joyfully, eight years after very tentatively coming out on the same telecast. Of course, there were the usual confounding results and baffling snubs, compounded here by some epic Zoom fails. But then we had the kids and the dogs. And they were adorable. Next year, can we still have the kids and the dogs, please? Some key moments of the first and hopefully last virtual Globes night: AN OVERDUE RECKONING The evening began under a cloud of embarrassing revelations about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its lack of inclusion, including the damaging fact that there are no Black members in the 87-person body. Fey and co-host Amy Poehler addressed it early: “Even with stupid things, inclusivity is important." Winners like Daniel Levy of “Schitt's Creek” and presenters like Sterling K. Brown referred to it. Jane Fonda made it a theme of her powerful speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award. And the HFPA made a hasty onstage pledge to change. “We recognize we have our own work to do,” said vice-president Helen Hoehne. “We must have Black journalists in our organization.” “I DON'T HAVE HIS WORDS” The best-actor award to Chadwick Boseman for “Ma Rainey's Black Bottom” had been expected. That did not dull the emotional impact of his victory. His widow, Taylor Simone Ledward, tearfully accepted in his honour, telling viewers that her husband, who died of colon cancer at 43 before the film was released, “would say something beautiful, something inspiring, something that would amplify that little voice inside of all of us that tells you you can. That tells you to keep going, that calls you back to what you are meant to be doing at this moment in history.” But, she said poignantly, “I don't have his words." Co-star Viola Davis could be seen weeping as Ledward spoke. She was not alone. PREDICTABLE ZOOM FAILS It was obvious there were going to be awkward Zoom fails. It started early, when the very first winner, Daniel Kaluuya for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” was on mute as he accepted his award, leaving presenter Laura Dern to apologize for technical difficulties. Thankfully, the problem was resolved in time for the actor to speak. Jason Sudeikis, whose charmingly rambling speech ("This is nuts!") and rumpled hoodie signalled he hadn't expected to win, finally realized he needed to “wrap this puppy up.” And winner Catherine O'Hara ("Schitt's Creek") had some perhaps unwelcome help from her husband, whose efforts to provide applause sounds and play-off music on his phone while she spoke lost something in translation, causing confusion on social media. Oh yes, and there were those conversations between nominees before commercials — did they know we heard them? KIDS AND PETS, STILL BRINGING JOY Still, the virtual acceptances from winners stuck at home had a huge silver lining: happy kids and cute pets. When Mark Ruffalo won for “I Know This Much is True,” two of his teens could not control their joy enough to stay out of the camera shot. Not to be outdone, the adorable young daughter of Lee Isaac Chung, writer-director of the Korean-American family drama “Minari,” sat in his lap and hugged him throughout his acceptance for best foreign language film. “She’s the reason I made this film,” said Chung. Winner Jodie Foster ("The Mauritanian") also had a family member in her lap: her dog. Also seen: Sarah Paulson's dog, and Emma Corrin's cat. LOVE FOR BORAT, SNUB FOR BAKALOVA ... AND EXPOSURE FOR GIULIANI Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova, breakout star of Amazon’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm,” had been widely expected to win, but lost out to Rosamund Pike ("I Care a Lot") who saluted Bakalova's bravery. In her movie, Pike said, “I had to swim up from a sinking car. I think I still would rather do that than have been in a room with Rudy Giuliani.” The former New York mayor's infamous cameo was also the butt of jokes from “Borat” star Sacha Baron Cohen, who called Giuliani “a fresh new talent who came from nowhere and turned out to be a comedy genius ... I mean, who could get more laughs from one unzipping?” Baron Cohen, who won for best actor in a comedy, also joked that Donald Trump was “contesting the result” of his win. A FIERY FONDA Did you expect anything less from Fonda? In her memorable DeMille award speech, the multiple Globe winner extolled the virtues of cinematic storytelling — “stories can change our hearts and our minds” — then pivoted to admonishing Hollywood. “There's a story we’ve been afraid to see and hear about ourselves,” she said, “a story about which voices we respect and elevate and which we tune out: a story about who’s offered a seat at the table and who’s kept out of the rooms where decisions are made.” She said the arts should not merely keep step with society, but lead the way. “Let's be leaders,” she said. ZHAO MAKES HISTORY When Zhao won best director for her haunting and elegant “Nomadland,” she was the first Asian American woman ever to win that award. But that wasn't the only way she made history: it was the first directing Globe for a woman in nearly 40 years, since Barbra Streisand won for “Yentl." Her film, a look at itinerant Americans, “at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing,” Zhao said. “For everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, we don’t say goodbye, we say: See you down the road.” With Zhao's win, the road widens for other female directors. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Norman Lear is 98, not 99. Jocelyn Noveck, The Associated Press
Emma Corrin just won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of Princess Diana.
As COVID-19 vaccine supplies ramp up across the country, most provinces and territories have released details of who can expect to receive a shot in the coming weeks. Here's a list of their plans to date: Newfoundland and Labrador The province says it is in Phase 1 of its vaccine rollout. Health-care workers on the front lines of the pandemic, staff at long-term care homes, people of "advanced age" and adults in remote or isolated Indigenous communities have priority. Chief medical health officer Dr. Janice Fitzgerald has said Phase 2 will begin in April if vaccine supply remains steady. The second phase prioritizes adults over 60 years old, beginning with those over 80, as well as Indigenous adults, first responders, rotational workers and adults in marginalized populations, such as those experiencing homelessness. Adults between 16 and 59 years old will be vaccinated in the third phase of the rollout, and Fitzgerald has said she expects that to begin this summer. --- Nova Scotia Health officials in Nova Scotia announced Tuesday that vaccination rollout plans for the month included the province's first pharmacy clinics. Prototype pharmacy clinics will launch in Halifax and Shelburne on March 9, Port Hawkesbury on March 16 and Springhill on March 23. Nova Scotia plans to have vaccine available to at least 75 per cent of the population by the end of September 2021. --- Prince Edward Island Health officials in Prince Edward Island say they will shift their focus to getting a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine to all adults by July 1, even if it means delaying the second shot for some. Chief medical officer Heather Morrison has said people over the age of 80 will get a second dose based on their existing appointments. Going forward, she said, other residents will get a longer interval between their first and second doses, but she didn’t specific how long that will be. --- New Brunswick The province is also focusing on vaccinating those living in long-term care homes, health-care workers with direct patient contact, adults in First Nations communities and older New Brunswickers in the first phase, which lasts until at least March. The next phase is scheduled to begin in the spring and includes residents and staff of communal settings, other health-care workers including pharmacists, first responders and critical infrastructure employees. The government website says once the vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the shots. --- Quebec Quebec started vaccinating older seniors Monday, after a first phase that focused largely on health-care workers, remote communities and long-term care. In Montreal, mass vaccine sites including the Olympic Stadium opened their doors to the public as the province began inoculating seniors who live in the hard-hit city. The government announced last week it would begin booking appointments for those aged 85 and up across the province, but that age limit has since dropped to 70 in some regions, including Montreal. Quebec announced Tuesday it had reached a deal with pharmacies that will allow them to start administering COVID-19 vaccines by mid-March. Health Minister Christian Dube said about 350 pharmacies in the Montreal area will start taking appointments by March 15 for people as young as 70. The program will eventually expand to more than 1,400 pharmacies across the province that will administer about two million doses. The Montreal region is being prioritized in part because of the presence of more contagious variants, such as the one first identified in the United Kingdom, Dube has said. --- Ontario The province began vaccinating people with the highest priority, including those in long-term care, high-risk retirement home residents, certain classes of health-care workers and people who live in congregate care settings. Several regions in Ontario moved ahead Monday with their plans to vaccinate the general public, while others used their own systems to allow residents aged 80 and older to schedule appointments. Toronto also began vaccinating members of its police force Monday after the province identified front-line officers as a priority group. Constables and sergeants who respond to emergency calls where medical assistance may be required are now included in the ongoing first phase of Ontario's vaccine rollout, a spokeswoman for the force said. A day earlier, Toronto said the province expanded the first phase of its vaccination drive to include residents experiencing homelessness. The provincial government has said it aims to begin vaccinating Ontarians aged 80 and older starting the week of March 15, the same day it plans to launch its vaccine booking system, which will offer a service desk and online portal. It has said the vaccine rollout will look different in each of its 34 public health units. When asked about the lack of provincewide cohesion, Health Minister Christine Elliott said that public health units know their regions best and that's why they have been given responsibility to set the pace locally. She also says the province will soon share an updated vaccine plan that factors in expected shipments of the newly approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The province will do that after getting guidance from the federal government on potentially extending the time between first and second doses, like B.C. is doing, of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to four months, Elliott says She also says Ontario seniors won't receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine since there's limited data on its effectiveness in older populations. --- Manitoba Manitoba is starting to vaccinate people in the general population. Appointments are now available for most people aged 94 and up, or 74 and up for First Nations people. Until now, vaccines have been directed to certain groups such as health-care workers and people in personal care homes. Health officials plan to reduce the age minimum, bit by bit, over the coming months. Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of the province's vaccine task force, has said inoculations could be open to all adults in the province by August if supplies are steady. --- Saskatchewan The province is still in the first phase of its vaccination rollout, which reserves doses for long-term care residents and staff, health-care workers at elevated risk of COVID-19 exposure, seniors over the age of 70 and anyone 50 or older living in a remote area. In all, nearly 400,000 doses are required to finish this stage. The next phase will be focused on vaccinating the general population by age. It hopes to begin its mass vaccination campaign by April, but there if there isn’t enough supply that could be pushed back to June. Saskatchewan will begin immunizing the general population in 10-year increments, starting with those 60 to 69. Also included in this age group will be people living in emergency shelters, individuals with intellectual disabilities in care homes and people who are medically vulnerable. Police, corrections staff and teachers are among the front-line workers not prioritized for early access to shots. The government says supply is scarce. The province said this week that it may follow British Columbia's lead in delaying a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine to speed up immunizations. The government says it hopes a national committee that provides guidance on immunizations will support waiting up to four months to give people a second dose. If that happens, the province could speed up how soon residents get their first shot. --- Alberta Alberta is now offering vaccines to anyone born in 1946 or earlier, a group representing some 230,000 people. Appointments are being offered through an online portal and the 811 Health Link phone line. Shots are also being offered to this cohort at more than 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton starting in early March and the government has said there are also plans to include doctors’ offices. Health Minister Tyler Shandro has said all eligible seniors should have their first shots by the end of March. But he said Monday that the province will not give Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone over the age of 65 after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization expressed concerned there is limited data on how well it will work in older populations. The first phase of the vaccine rollout also included anyone over 65 who lives in a First Nations or Metis community, various front-line health care workers, paramedics and emergency medical responders. Phase 2 of the rollout, to begin in April, is to start with those 65 and up, Indigenous people older than 50 and staff and residents of licensed supportive living seniors’ facilities not previously included. --- British Columbia British Columbia will extend the time between the first and second doses of COVID-19 vaccines to four months so all adults could get their initial shot by the end of July. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says evidence from the province and around the world shows protection of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. The province launched the second phase of its immunization campaign Monday and health authorities will begin contacting residents and staff of independent living centres, those living in seniors' supportive housing as well as homecare support clients and staff. Seniors aged 90 and up can call to make their appointment starting next Monday, followed a week later by those aged 85 and over, and a week after that by those 80 and up. Henry says the approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine means some people will get their first shot sooner than planned. She says B.C. will focus its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine among essential workers, first responders and younger people with more social interactions who would have to wait longer to receive their first doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. It's now possible that all adults could get their first shot by July, Henry says. --- Nunavut The territory says it expects enough vaccines for 75 per cent of its population over the age of 18. After a COVID-19 vaccine is administered, patients will be tracked to ensure they are properly notified to receive their second dose. Nunavut's priority populations are being vaccinated first. They include residents of shelters, people ages 60 years and up, staff and inmates and correctional facilities, first responders and front-line health-care staff. --- Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories its priority groups — such as people over 60, front-line health workers and those living in remote communities — are being vaccinated The territory says it expects to vaccine the rest of its adult population starting this month. --- Yukon Yukon says it will receive enough vaccine to immunize 75 per cent of its adult population by the end of March. Priority for vaccinations has been given to residents and staff in long-term care homes, group homes and shelters, as well as health-care workers and personal support workers. People over the age of 80 who are not living in long-term care, and those living in rural and remote communities, including Indigenous Peoples, are also on the priority list for shots. --- This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
ALGIERS, Algeria — Hundreds of students restarted their weekly Tuesday protest marches that were called off last spring because of the coronavirus. The march came eight days after the Hirak pro-democracy movement reappeared in streets around the country to mark its second anniversary and days after the weekly Friday marches restarted. Hirak's peaceful protests helped force long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from office in 2019. His successor, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has promised reform of the system marked by corruption under Bouteflika and with the shadow of the army ever-present. “Civilian state and not a military state,” one group of students cried out, hoisting high a banner reading “We don't go home until the demands of Hirak are met.” Police watched, their vans blocking some streets, as marchers detoured around security forces, moving through winding streets at the bottom of Algiers' famed Casbah toward the imposing central post office, the traditional rallying point for the Hirak. Demonstrators sang and waved flags with no incidents reported. The Associated Press
SAINTE-SOPHIE, Que. — A second woman has died of her injuries following an assault Monday in a house in Quebec's Laurentians region. Quebec provincial police confirmed Tuesday that a 28-year-old woman who was taken to hospital in critical condition has died. A 60-year-old woman, who is a relative of the other victim, was previously declared dead. Provincial police Sgt. Marie-Michelle Moore says the case is now considered a double homicide. Police received a 911 call around 9:15 p.m. on Monday about an incident in Ste-Sophie, about 65 kilometres north of Montreal. They say they believe the incident is connected to a car crash in nearby St-Jerome, Que., in which a driver hit another car around the same time police discovered the two victims at the Ste-Sophie home. The 33-year-old driver, who is considered a suspect, was seriously injured and taken to hospital along with the other driver involved in the collision. Police say the injuries of the two drivers are no longer considered life-threatening. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
Negotiations over President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill go into overdrive this week as the U.S. Senate begins debate over the sweeping legislation and lawmakers jockey to include pet projects, while tossing others overboard. Senator Angus King, an independent aligned with Biden's Democrats, has been pushing for billions of dollars to expand high-speed broadband service in rural areas - an idea that could attract Republican support. But Democrats should not expect much, if any, Republican backing for the entire bill.
TORONTO — Ontario's health minister says the province won't administer the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to seniors. Christine Elliott says the province plans to follow the advice of a national panel recommending against using that vaccine on people aged 65 and older. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended the shot not be used for seniors due to concern about limited data on how it will work in older populations. Elliott says the vaccine could more easily be used in sites like correctional facilities because it does not need to be stored at the same cold temperatures as other vaccines already in use. She also says the province is waiting for recommendations from the immunization committee on whether Ontario can extend the interval between administering first and second vaccine doses to four months. Elliott says Ontario will share its updated vaccine rollout plan once that advice is received, factoring in expected supply of Oxford-AstraZeneca doses as well. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
Dr. Seuss Enterprises released a statement that the company will stop the sale and publication of six books that "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong."
Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole says the Liberal government doesn't have a plan to achieve economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. He says the Liberals talk about "building back better," which means they will leave sectors they don't like out of their vision for the country.
SURREY, B.C. — RCMP say a third suspect has surrendered to police after a youth was assaulted with a weapon Monday in an attack outside a school in Surrey, B.C. Two other youths were taken into custody shortly after the assault outside Panorama Ridge Secondary School. Police say the third suspect surrendered later on Monday and all three youths remained in custody overnight. The suspects were scheduled to appear in court Tuesday and investigators say none of them are known to police. The victim was taken to hospital in stable condition Monday and police have not released further details about what led to the assault. A statement issued Tuesday by RCMP says the attack is believed to be related to an ongoing dispute among the teens and is not linked to gang activity, and there's no indication of any continuing risk to safety at the school. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. The Canadian Press
The territory needs to improve screening of residents for colorectal cancer to help early detection of the disease, says Inuvin Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler. Quoting health authority data, Semmler said the Beaufort Delta has the highest number of residents with colorectal cancer but the lowest take-up of testing. “I can honestly say most people in my region have been affected by this disease,” she said. “We need to make sure our residents are aware of the screening criteria and ensure we see our screening rates rise so we can prevent any further deaths for our loved ones.” According to the N.W.T. health authority, men and women aged 50 to 74 who are considered to be at an average risk should be screened every one or two years. Those at increased risk should begin screening at age 40, or 10 years earlier than the youngest age at which the disease has been diagnosed in their family. In the N.W.T., colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. Cure rates are almost 90 per cent when detected early but drop to 12 per cent if detected in its later stages, according to the 2019-2020 N.W.T. Health and Social Services annual report. From October 2019 to February 2020, community engagement program kits were sent to each community to raise awareness about colorectal, cervical and breast cancer. According to its annual report, the territory is nowhere near the national minimum target for colorectal cancer screening. The national screening goal for colorectal cancer was 60 per cent for the period studied. The N.W.T. only screened 21.9 per cent of its targeted population. Health minister Julie Green said a pilot project launched in the Beaufort Delta a year ago did improve participation. The project saw self-screening kits mailed to people while nurses followed up with information and assistance. Green said more kits were sent in November 2020. A total of 1,157 kits were distributed. Screening in smaller Beaufort Delta communities beyond Inuvik rose from seven per cent to 15.6 per cent. Including Inuvik, the figure went from 6.7 per cent to 11.8 per cent. People who receive a positive result from their self-screening test must currently wait an average of 88 days for a colonoscopy, a delay Green says the territory is working to shorten. “We are now working on a pilot project that will help us identify where we can make improvements to reduce the amount of time that it takes to go from a positive test to a colonoscopy,” the minister said. Semmler said she worried about potential delays the pandemic had introduced to the process of diagnosing cancer and treating patients, such as travel restrictions potentially disrupting access to the Alberta Cross Cancer Institute. Green said services remain as available as they were pre-pandemic and, though some residents have been hesitant to leave the territory for medical care, there was regular communication between the N.W.T. and the Alberta facility. In addition, the minister said, two specialist cancer clinics are offered virtually from Yellowknife’s Stanton Territorial Hospital. Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio
It's clear that when girls and young women are at the forefront of major social justice movements, the old structures of patriarchy and misogyny can be challenged and hopefully dismantled.
The Creative City Network of Canada identifies arts and culture as powerful tools contributing to positive change within any community. Activities help create dialogue between community members and a safe space for leadership and activism to be taught and learned. The Vancouver-based organization is made up of municipalities and corporations across the country that want to support cultural development in their communities through different forms of art. The City of Brampton has suffered on this front for years. It’s last arts-related organization, the Brampton Arts Council (BAC) was dismantled in 2015 after the City changed the way it was funding community organizations, following years of wide scale mismanagement under the leadership of former mayor Susan Fennnell, who divided and politicized the arts community. BAC was founded in 1978 and received most of its funding from the City in the 13 years before it ceased operations. The group had obvious problems of its own. Sharon Vandrish, co-chair of the Brampton Arts Coalition Committee (BACC), told The Pointer there was no regular communication between the BAC and the leaders of different arts groups they were to assist, making their agenda unclear. Despite the problems, funding still flowed, but once the BAC was disbanded, Brampton’s local arts community was left without any support. To change this, the BACC, made up of local artists and industry professionals, has been advocating for some sort of revival for the past three years. In a February 2019 presentation to council, the group illustrated just how bad things were in the city. At the time, using a conservative population estimate of 594,000 residents, the city was putting less than a dollar per person toward the arts, the lowest among Canada’s big cities. Brampton had no city staff or board members dedicated toward an arts council. Mississauga was putting $2.76 toward the arts for each resident, and had 4 staff members and 17 arts directors at the time. Changes were desperately needed. Vandrish and other local artists received some hope at a council meeting a little over a year ago. In January 2019, council approved the creation of the Arts, Culture and Creative Industry Development Agency (the Agency for short) to help revive Brampton’s creative industries. These industries are a key focus of the city’s future planning, as summarized in Brampton’s 2040 Vision, a detailed document outlining Brampton’s long-term growth model. The creation of the Agency was a talking point in the City’s first Cultural Master Plan. Approved in 2018, it helped highlight why Brampton’s art scene was struggling and proposed a body devoted to arts and cultural development, which would help the city implement programs under one organized structure. “The lack of such a [master] plan has led to an uncoordinated and reactive approach to issues as they emerge. Without a guiding strategy to provide course and direction, there has been confusion and some frustration amongst those active in the arts and cultural community,” the Master Plan states. Nuvi Sidhu was hired last month as the chair of the panel that will incorporate the Agency. Sidhu, a project management consultant who has worked with local artists, will be responsible for hiring the rest of the panel. It’s unclear how the hiring for the position was handled. The Pointer sent the City questions about the process and the project’s future but did not receive a response. Vandrish said she was “pleased” with the announcement of the new hiring. While the original goal was to have the hiring done in the fall, given ongoing challenges due to the pandemic, she’s glad the hiring was even done. While it’s a step in the right direction, there are still concerns around the project. Besides the chair, the seven-member panel will include program lead Michael Vickers who was hired alongside Sidhu, one member of council, a local artist, and one creative entrepreneur, among others. While Vandrish said she understands the importance of having panel members who specialize in finance, legal, and project management, to help run a successful organization, artists are the ones who know their craft and associated challenges because they face them every day. She doesn’t believe having only one artist on the panel is a good model to follow because there isn’t going to be enough input from the community. “Who knows better what's going on and how to make things work in the arts groups than the arts leaders themselves,” Vandrish questioned. “In my opinion, it's still potentially flawed in having fair and equal balance for the arts leaders that are here, that are local.” Having more than one artist on the panel could help address the problem of silos, as outlined in the Cultural Master Plan. This happens when the city’s arts communities don’t work together given many residents don’t see themselves represented in traditional cultural mediums, such as theatre (or a particular theatre) even if inclusivity is emphasized. The concern is that in such a diverse city, cultural and artistic expression needs to be supported in an incredibly broad, inclusive way that doesn’t leave groups and communities on the sidelines. It’s a problem Vandrish has faced. She’s having trouble getting members of the South Asian-Canadian community, who make up a majority of Brampton’s residents, to come out and see a musical, or go to another arts event and celebrate culture as a group. Similarly, the team behind Vibrant Brampton, a South Asian festival, says an issue they have is attracting members outside of the South Asian community, Vandrish said. In such a plural community, programming for all the unique and diverse cultural interests can be impossible. In the past, Brampton, and its small number of arts groups, did a poor job of reflecting the demographics of the city. But efforts have been made at City Hall to ensure municipal venues like the Rose Theatre focus on arts and cultural offerings that appeal to a broader range of Brampton’s residents. It remains hard to bring everyone together, Vandrish said. There are other concerns around the timing of the project. The goal for the Agency is to become a self-funding organization that does not need taxpayer support. The plan, presented by staff in January 2020, states this won’t happen until 2024. “We can’t wait three more years,” Vandrish said. Between 2020 and 2024, the City will put more than $3.3 million toward the project. It’s not clear if the pandemic will have an impact on the timeline or the project’s final cost. The staff report states $576,000 will go toward the plan this year, but a funding source is not included. The 2021 budget does not specifically mention the project. Maintaining independence and being separated from politics is important, Vandrish said, as doing so will remove the “backroom conversations” from the mix. She says some arts groups believe the only way to get interest around their initiatives is to speak with a member of council privately and develop a connection with them, eventually gaining funding that may not be offered to other groups. It’s a reality when properly formulated processes do not exist. Fennell came under fire for her relationship with arts groups, which were drawn into her broader network of political supporters, in exchange for her help. It was a fraught period highlighted by an acrimonious end to the once venerated Brampton Symphony Orchestra, considered one of Canada’s best community symphonies. It folded shortly after 2013, when the City, under Fennell’s watch, banned it from performing in municipal venues such as the Rose, its previous home, following a feud with Fennell over funding irregularities by the former mayor’s private arts gala. These types of political entanglements are something many artists want to avoid. “I believe that the council should designate an amount of funds that the City will provide, and that the council is independent of political influence…[artists] shouldn’t be at the mercy of who they know,” Vandrish said. According to the staff report, the city councillor named to the panel will be the last member designated. While staying independent from the City is the goal, having a council representative in such groups is standard. The new hiring is bittersweet news for an industry that has struggled to survive throughout the pandemic, a dark drama Vandrish has had a front seat for as the president of the Brampton Music Theatre. The group was forced to move out from its previous home over the summer because of a lack of funds. Three other groups at the facility met the same fate, and one has since gone under, Vandrish said. “We’ve all just been focused in the last year on trying to stay alive,” she said. “Performing arts in general has been destroyed by the pandemic.” Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @nida_zafar Tel: 416 890-7643 COVID-19 is impacting all Canadians. At a time when vital public information is needed by everyone, The Pointer has taken down our paywall on all stories relating to the pandemic and those of public interest to ensure every resident of Brampton and Mississauga has access to the facts. For those who are able, we encourage you to consider a subscription. This will help us report on important public interest issues the community needs to know about now more than ever. You can register for a 30-day free trial HERE. Thereafter, The Pointer will charge $10 a month and you can cancel any time right on the website. Thank you. Nida Zafar, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Pointer
An all-candidates forum took place virtually via Zoom on Feb. 23, 2021 for the Coast Mountains School District trustee by-election to fill the Terrace seat vacated when Art Erasmus moved away last year. All seven candidates participated via Zoom, and the forum was streamed live on the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. Sarah Zimmerman, executive director of communications for Coast Mountains College served as the moderator for the event. Dave Crawley, Ed Harrison, Peter Lambright, Roger Leclerc, Lynn Parker, Diana Penner and Kate Spangl are all vying for the Terrace seat. The forum lasted two hours, and there were some disruptions with the online format as some candidates found themselves muted occasionally and had to start their answer over. Two candidates were given one minute to respond to a question, and other candidates could use one of two rebuttals to respond to a question that they were not asked. All candidates were given an opportunity to share what they would most like to accomplish should they be elected. Here are their responses in the order that candidates answered. Peter Lambright: “If I am successful for the next couple years while I sit on the board, I strongly believe we should be lobbying and hitting up the provincial government fast and hard so that we can start updating our failing infrastructure. As Terrace is growing, and it is the hub of the north, we have a lot of young people moving here for work and jobs, and once again if we did this together as Terrace, Tsimshian, Gitxsan, Haisla and Nisga’a, with their support and our support and our working forward for the greater future of our school district, we can start to get a lot of the different benefits if we started doing it all as one, and as someone who’s been in Aboriginal relations and is related to pretty much everybody around here, and as a former chief I know most of the leaders and I know they would step forwards for the greater good of their kids.” Ed Harrison: “I think the five-year plan is actually the critical component of the district’s thrust in terms of the new curriculum because it truly asks the district to seriously look at and analyze what parents, students, guardians are saying about the school system and gives it a basis to build on over the next five years, and it also does seriously hold people accountable for what it is they are saying they want to do, so I would see that as the critical component.” Lynn Parker: “From my platform it is accountability, it is to ensure, and it will go along with what I said before about the five-year plan, if we are to work on more ways to support a student in reading, writing, math or science to excel in their education and acknowledge employees needing to feel value for their work efforts, if we are to help get this five year off the ground by ensuring each child has their say in class about what supports they need, I think we need to hear from the students and hear from the staff, so we need that somehow, so I think our biggest pressure is to ensure that they are heard.” Kate Spangl: “I think for me the biggest priority is what I said in my opening, is communication, is open, flowing, timely, respectful communication that we are seeking from our community, from our parents, from our students. I echo what Lynn and Ed said about our five-year plan, we have to have that communication from all of our partners in order for that five-year plan to be solid and to be meaningful. I think opening up more lines of direct communication is what I would really like to achieve in the next year and a half.” Dave Crawley: “I think for me, first of all would be to help guide the schools through the pandemic to get us past the COVID-19 and onto a better way and then the five-year plan is very important so I believe that having a direction, having goals and then checking along the way to see that we are on track and that we are moving in the right direction is essential to the success of the schools and to the learning of the students, all of them.” Roger Leclerc: “I think exiting out of COVID-19 is going to take a while and its going to really affect the delivery of programs and services at the school district, and I agree with the district’s plan, that we need to get this done but along with that we need to have an implementation strategy, that we take that plan and implement it in the district, just the plan itself needs to have that next step to go with it, so those are my priorities.” Diana Penner: “I think over and above the biggest thing for me is teamwork, I think we’ve discovered more and more that every time when something falls off the radar screen the quickest way that we fall off with it is that we’re not all on the same page, so for me it’s always been teamwork. It’s about our 4,000 students, hearing their voices heard, the 770 staff, hearing their voices heard, it’s about all of our 19 schools being on the same page, all of us wanting the same thing for one another and working with one another. So having said that technology I think right now is the place where we are falling off the quickest so I think that for me, staying abreast with what’s going on with technology and this is a prime example with our mics and all that sort of stuff, it’s a hard track to stay on.” The entire all candidates forum can be viewed on the Terrace & District Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. General voting day is March 6 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Terrace Sportsplex Multipurpose Room. There is also an advance voting day and that is March 3 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Terrace Sportsplex Multipurpose Room. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
HALIFAX — Racial justice advocates say systematic racism has led to the overrepresentation of Black and Indigenous people in Nova Scotia's criminal justice system. The group told a legislative committee today that systemic and structural racism in Canada has disproportionately affected Black and Indigenous people. Emma Halpern, executive director of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, says there needs to be mandatory anti-racist training for police and other front-line workers who encounter African Nova Scotian and Indigenous residents. Robert Wright, spokesperson for the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition, says despite the group's advocacy for the end to police street checks, the practice continues to be supported by the province. Wright says his group has seen a disappointing lack of commitment to anti-racism initiatives in the province's criminal justice sector. Halpern says government departments need to have a more "human-centred approach" for offering services to racialized people in the criminal justice system. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021. — — — This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship. The Canadian Press
A Toronto man has been charged with impaired driving in Parry Sound following a motor vehicle collision. West Parry Sound OPP say that they responded to the incident on Bowes Street around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. As a result of an investigation, police arrested and charged 54-year-old Gregory Coleman of Toronto with operating a motor vehicle while impaired, blood alcohol concentration of 80 plus, and having open alcohol outside of a licensed establishment, residence or private place. He was given 90-day driver's license suspension and his vehicle was impounded for seven days. Coleman will appear in Parry Sound court on April 1. Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star
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The Sun Peaks Pharmacy will remain closed for the remainder of the week, but curbside and delivery service is available after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Clancy O’Malley, owner of the pharmacy, said the plan is to continue operating in this fashion until staff is able to safely return to work in compliance with COVID-19 guidelines. “At this point, I’m planning on keeping it as delivery only and curbside pickup until the other staff is able to safely return to work, as per Interior Health [guidelines],” said O’Malley. Last week, The Sun Peaks Pharmacy informed the community of a positive COVID-19 case involving one of its staff members. The individual was likely positive with the virus as far back as Feb. 16 or 17, 2021. Another staff member, who was a close contact, is now self-isolating as well as a precaution, said O’Malley. O’Malley said that he was not in close contact with the staff. “Thankfully, I haven’t really been working up here much, so I didn’t have any close contact with them,” he explained. O’Malley is now filling orders himself. He added that the public can purchase off-the-shelf items as well. Dr. Shane Barclay of the Sun Peaks Health Centre informed the community 33 COVID tests were conducted on Friday, Feb. 26 resulting in zero positive cases. “This is very encouraging,” stated Barclay in the public letter. “We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the community aware of any developments. Thanks to everyone for your continuing vigilance and safety measures.” The possibility of transmission between the staff members and the public is thought to be low, as precautions, such as mask-wearing, were in place. COVID testing is available in both Sun Peaks and Kamloops. More information on testing and information on booking a test can be found here. To voice any concerns or inquire about orders, you can contact O’Malley directly at email@example.com or (778) 996-4245. Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.
Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby will miss Tuesday night's game against Philadelphia after being placed on the COVID-19 protocol list. Head coach Mike Sullivan made the announcement Tuesday morning. The Penguins did not hold a morning skate ahead of the game, in line with the league’s COVID-19 guidelines. The news comes a day after the NHL had a season-low four players in the COVID-19 protocol. Crosby leads the Penguins with 18 points and is tied for the team lead with seven goals. Pittsburgh currently sits fifth in the highly competitive East Division, two points behind the Flyers. Philadelphia swept a pair from the Penguins at home to start the season. The cross-state rivals are playing in Pittsburgh on both Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday night’s game will be the first game with fans in attendance at PPG Paints Arena since last March. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf eased coronavirus restrictions on Monday, allowing 15 per cent attendance at indoor venues. The Penguins plan to cap attendance at 2,800 fans. The Canadian Press
Barrhead Victim Services has a new program manager. Kristina Kyllonen has been working closely with the outgoing program manager since the end of November to ensure a smooth transition. Originally from British Columbia, Kristina has lived in Stony Plain for 15 years and has worked with Victim Services in some capacity over the last five years. The Barrhead Victim Services Unit (VSU) provides services to both Swan Hills and Fort Assiniboine. They work closely with the Barrhead and Swan Hills RCMP detachments to offer assistance to people who have been affected by crime, trauma, or tragedy. The VSU is able to support its clients through the entire process of a police investigation, traumatic events or crises, and the criminal justice process. Their volunteer advocates provide information, referrals for further resources, and support for their clients with courtesy, compassion, and respect. The Barrhead VSU supports their clients through incidents such as: · Domestic Violence · Family Violence · Sexual Assault · Assault · Child Abuse · Sudden Deaths · Stalking and Harassment · Property Crimes · Other Traumatic Events The pandemic has affected some of the services offered by the VSU and how those services are delivered. COVID-19 protocols prevent the VSU’s volunteer advocates from responding to the scene of traumatic events in “crisis call-outs.” The usual training activities for the VSU’s workers have been disrupted as well. In addition, many court dates have been cancelled due to the pandemic, which in turn filters down through the experiences of many of the VSU’s clients. Some significant changes are coming to the Barrhead VSU and other VSUs around the province, but unfortunately, the specific details of these changes haven’t yet been announced. The Barrhead VSU is a non-profit organization that is partially funded through the Justice and Solicitor General Victims of Crime Fund. Some of the possible changes to come could see VSUs become provincial or municipal government entities or go to a zonal organizational structure. This uncertainty has been stressful for the people who work in the VSUs, mainly because these proposed changes would fundamentally change the VSUs themselves and how they operate. On a happier note, the Barrhead VSU has recently concluded an extremely successful fundraising campaign. After being overwhelmed with exceedingly generous donations from nearby municipalities, local businesses, and private donors, they put together ten themed gift baskets for a raffle, which then sold out completely. Beginning on March 1, 2021, the Barrhead VSU will draw the winners for 2 of the gift baskets live on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Barrhead-Victim-Services-1884640488298862) each day this week. The Grizzly Gazette would like to congratulate Barrhead Victim Services on a successful fundraising campaign and thank them for all that they do for the communities that they help and support. Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette