A report by the International Chamber of Commerce says that developed countries will still be hit hard by COVID-19 if poorer countries don't get better access to vaccines.
A report by the International Chamber of Commerce says that developed countries will still be hit hard by COVID-19 if poorer countries don't get better access to vaccines.
Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) now says the maximum interval between the first and second doses of all three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Canada should increase to four months in order to boost the number of Canadians being vaccinated. For the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, that means going from a three week interval to a full four months. "NACI recommends that in the context of limited COVID-19 vaccine supply, jurisdictions should maximize the number of individuals benefiting from the first dose of vaccine by extending the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine up to four months after the first," the committee said in a statement. Prior to this new recommendation, NACI had said that the maximum interval between the first and second shots of the Moderna vaccine should be four weeks, the interval for the Pfizer-BioNTech product should be three weeks and the interval for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should be 12 weeks. "While studies have not yet collected four months of data on vaccine effectiveness after the first dose, the first two months of real world effectiveness are showing sustained high levels of protection," NACI said. Since first doses of all three vaccines have been shown to dramatically increase immunity to the disease, or to significantly reduce the illness associated with contracting COVID-19, the committee said stretching the interval would help protect more Canadians sooner. NACI said that it reviewed evidence from two clinical trials that looked at how effective the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were after a single dose. Those studies, NACI said, showed the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines started providing some level of protection 12 to 14 days after the first dose. By the time the second dose was administered — 19 to 42 days after the first — the first shot was shown to be 92 per cent effective. Population studies find lower protection Outside of clinical trials, NACI looked at the effectiveness of a single shot of these two vaccines in the populations of Quebec, British Columbia, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. NACI said that analysis showed the effectiveness of a single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine was between 70 per cent and 80 per cent among health care workers, long-term care residents, elderly populations and the general public. "While this is somewhat lower than the efficacy demonstrated after one dose in clinical trials, it is important to note that vaccine effectiveness in a general population setting is typically lower than efficacy from the controlled setting of a clinical trial, and this is expected to be the case after series completion as well," NACI said. The committee said that published data from an AstraZeneca clinical trial indicated that delaying the second dose 12 weeks or more provided better protections against symptomatic disease compared to shorter intervals between doses. Earlier this week, before NACI changed its interval advice, B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that the province would be extending the interval between doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to 16 weeks. Henry said data from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control and countries around the world showed a "miraculous" protection level of at least 90 per cent from the first dose of the Moderna or the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The head of Moderna's Canadian operations, Patricia Gauthier, said Monday that the company's own trials, and the conditions under which the vaccine was approved by Health Canada, are tied to a four-week interval. "That being said, we're in times of pandemic and we can understand that there are difficult decisions to be made," Gauthier said. "This then becomes a government decision. We stand by the product monograph approved by Health Canada, but governments ... can make their own decisions." Gauthier said she was not aware of any studies done or led by Moderna on what happens when the interval between the first and second doses is changed from four weeks to four months. 'We have to do it safely and watch carefully' Dr. David Naylor, who has been named to a federal task force charged with planning a national campaign to see how far the virus has spread, said the data have been "very encouraging." "The evidence is there for the concept of further delay," Naylor told CBC News Network's Power & Politics today. "We [had] trial data from earlier showing that going out from 90 days, a single dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective. So things are triangulating." He said health officials need to pay close attention to the data coming out of other countries to determine if the protection provided by the first dose remains strong four months after it was administered. "We do it because we can cover more people with a single dose of the vaccine, spread the protection, prevent more severe disease and prevent fatalities, and the evidence is clear that that's what you can do if you spread those doses out widely. But we have to do it safely and watch carefully," Naylor told host Vassy Kapelos. Watch: The evidence is there for the 'concept of further delay' of second doses: Dr. Naylor: Storage and transport recommendations also changed Health Canada also announced today that after reviewing a submission from Pfizer-BioNTech, it would authorize changes to the way the vaccine is handled in Canada. The new rules allow the vaccine to be stored and transported in a standard freezer with a temperature of between -25 C and -15 C for up to two weeks, instead of the previous requirement that it be stored in ultra-cold conditions of -80 C to -60 C. Vials of the vaccine stored or transported at this higher temperature for no longer than two weeks remain stable and safe and can then be returned to ultra-cold freezers once, said the department.
WASHINGTON — The Defence Department took more than three hours to dispatch the National Guard to the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol despite a frantic request for reinforcement from police, according to testimony Wednesday that added to the finger-pointing about the government response. Maj. Gen. William Walker, commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, told senators that the then-chief of the Capitol Police requested military support in a 1:49 p.m. call, but the Defence Department's approval for that support was not relayed to him until after 5 p.m., according to prepared testimony. Guard troops who had been waiting on buses were then rushed to the Capitol. That delay stood in contrast to the immediate approval for National Guard support granted in response to the civil unrest that roiled American cities last spring as an outgrowth of racial justice protests, Walker said. As local officials pleaded for help, Army officials raised concerns about the optics of a substantial National Guard presence at the Capitol, he said. “The Army senior leadership” expressed to officials on the call “that it would not be their best military advice to have uniformed Guardsmen on the Capitol,” Walker said. The Senate hearing is the second about what went wrong on Jan. 6, with national security officials face questions about missed intelligence and botched efforts to quickly gather National Guard troops that day as a violent mob laid siege to the U.S. Capitol. Even as Walker detailed the National Guard delay, another military official noted that local officials in Washington had said days earlier that no such support was needed. Senators were eager to grill officials from the Pentagon, the National Guard and the Justice and Homeland Security departments about their preparations for that day. Supporters of then-President Donald Trump had talked online, in some cases openly, about gathering in Washington that day and interrupting the electoral count. At a hearing last week, officials who were in charge of security at the Capitol blamed one another as well as federal law enforcement for their own lack of preparation as hundreds of rioters descended on the building, easily breached the security perimeter and eventually broke into the Capitol. Five people died as a result of the rioting. So far, lawmakers conducting investigations have focused on failed efforts to gather and share intelligence about the insurrectionists’ planning before Jan. 6 and on the deliberations among officials about whether and when to call National Guard troops to protect Congress. The officials at the hearing last week, including ousted Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, gave conflicting accounts of those negotiations. Robert Contee, the acting chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department, told senators he was “stunned” over the delayed response and said Sund was pleading with Army officials to deploy National Guard troops as the rioting rapidly escalated. Senate Rules Committee Chair Amy Klobuchar, one of two Democratic senators who will preside over Wednesday's hearing, said in an interview Tuesday that she believes every moment counted as the National Guard decision was delayed and police officers outside the Capitol were beaten and injured by the rioters. “Any minute that we lost, I need to know why,” Klobuchar said. The hearing comes as thousands of National Guard troops are still patrolling the fenced-in Capitol and as multiple committees across Congress are launching investigations into mistakes made on Jan. 6. The probes are largely focused on security missteps and the origins of the extremism that led hundreds of Trump supporters to break through the doors and windows of the Capitol, hunt for lawmakers and temporarily stop the counting of electoral votes. Congress has, for now, abandoned any examination of Trump’s role in the attack after the Senate acquitted him last month of inciting the riot by telling the supporters that morning to “fight like hell” to overturn his defeat. As the Senate hears from the federal officials, acting Capitol Police Chief Yogananda Pittman will testify before a House panel that is also looking into how security failed. In a hearing last week before the same subcommittee, she conceded there were multiple levels of failures but denied that law enforcement failed to take seriously warnings of violence before the insurrection. In the Senate, Klobuchar said there is particular interest in hearing from Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, who was on the phone with Sund and the Department of the Army as the rioters first broke into the building. Contee, the D.C. police chief, was also on the call and told senators that the Army was initially reluctant to send troops. “While I certainly understand the importance of both planning and public perception — the factors cited by the staff on the call — these issues become secondary when you are watching your employees, vastly outnumbered by a mob, being physically assaulted,” Contee said. He said he had quickly deployed his own officers and he was “shocked” that the National Guard “could not — or would not — do the same." Contee said that Army staff said they were not refusing to send troops, but “did not like the optics of boots on the ground” at the Capitol. Also testifying at the joint hearing of the Senate Rules Committee and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees are Robert Salesses of the Defence Department, Melissa Smislova of the Department of Homeland Security and Jill Sanborn of the FBI, all officials who oversee aspects of intelligence and security operations. Lawmakers have grilled law enforcement officials about missed intelligence ahead of the attack, including a report from an FBI field office in Virginia that warned of online posts foreshadowing a “war” in Washington. Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of the report at the time, even though the FBI had forwarded it to the department. Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the report was disseminated though the FBI’s joint terrorism task force, discussed at a command post in Washington and posted on an internet portal available to other law enforcement agencies. Though the information was raw and unverified and appeared aspirational in nature, Wray said, it was specific and concerning enough that “the smartest thing to do, the most prudent thing to do, was just push it to the people who needed to get it.” Mary Clare Jalonick And Eric Tucker, The Associated Press
“You never count your money,” sang Kenny Rogers, “when you’re sitting at the table. There’ll be time enough for countin,’ when the dealin’s done.” As it turns out, council for the MD of Pincher Creek was able to deal out some much-needed help to local organizations after gathering restrictions affected normal operations last year. The provincial and federal governments helped provide funding to municipalities through the Municipal Operating Support Transfer, which saw the MD receive $305,233. Under half of that amount will be used by the MD to make up for lost tax revenue in 2020; $50,000 of that portion was used to cover additional work-from-home expenses for MD staff, which included upgrading the IT system to improve software speed. Ironically, the MD’s system provider has been slow in making the upgrade to faster software and cannot guarantee the change will occur before March 31, which is when all of the MOST funding must be spent. Upgrading the system, said director of finance Meghan Dobie, remains a priority despite the hiccup. “It is something administration still wants to do to help improve the speed at which our IT software is working.” Rather than gambling on missing the deadline, council followed the finance department’s advice and approved using $6,700 from the tax rate stabilization reserve during its Feb. 23 regular meeting. Council also approved distribution of the remaining MOST funds — a total of $171,390.72 — to community organizations that experienced financial difficulties due to the pandemic. Twenty-six groups petitioned the MD for financial assistance, which totalled $431,000 in requested funds. While unable to meet the requested amount, the MD was able to deal out donations to 19 of those groups. Some of the more significant contributions include $10,000 to Chinook Lanes, $20,000 to the Family Resource Centre, $11,400 to the Livingstone Ski Academy Society and $21,434.50 to the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce. A full list of organizations approved for MOST funding can be found on the MD’s website at https://bit.ly/MD_MOST. Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
China wields so much power on the global stage these days that it is less concerned about how foreign media makes the country look than in the past, says Keith Richburg, director of the University of Hong Kong's Journalism and Media Studies Centre and a former China correspondent for the Washington Post.
Après avoir été élu une première fois en 2017, le maire de Port-Cartier, Alain Thibault, a pris la décision de solliciter un deuxième mandat à la mairie lors de l’élection municipale qui se déroulera le 5 novembre 2021. Alain Thibault affirme ne pas avoir eu véritablement d’hésitation à se représenter et que sa réflexion pour solliciter un deuxième mandat n’a pas été longue. « Mon intérêt est toujours là pour servir les citoyens », précise-t-il. Le maire se dit particulièrement fier du travail accompli au cours de son mandat. Il donne en exemple la réalisation de plusieurs projets comme le parc éolien Apuiat, l’ouverture d’un bureau satellite de la MRC de Sept-Rivières à Port-Cartier, la fin du litige avec ArcelorMittal avec une entente pour le paiement des taxes municipales et l’ouverture d’un bureau de la Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec. Parmi les projets que le maire souhaite faire avancer s’il obtient un deuxième mandat, plusieurs sont reliés au développement économique. « On va mettre l’emphase sur le transport maritime des composantes pour ainsi générer des revenus à notre quai municipal », explique Alain Thibault. L’autre dossier économique important pour M. Thibault est celui de la relance de l’usine de biocarburant et du complexe intégré de Port-Cartier. « On a plusieurs beaux projets à Port-Cartier qui avancent bien et pour les réaliser il me faut un deuxième mandat », affirme M. Thibault. Finances publiques S’il est réélu en novembre, le maire Thibault assure qu’il continuera à avoir un style conservateur en ce qui concerne la gestion des finances publiques de la ville. Il ne souhaite pas imposer des hausses de taxe trop élevée pour les citoyens. « Maintenir le compte de taxes des citoyens à son plus bas niveau est un objectif que je me donne. Je suis conscient de la capacité de payer des citoyens. Je suis proche d’eux et je sais que certains ont des situations financières difficiles », explique le maire. Pour M. Thibault, de nombreux défis se présenteront au niveau des finances publiques notamment avec le projet d’agrandissement de l’usine d’eau à Port-Cartier et le projet de construction d’une usine d’eau à Rivière-Pentecôte qui demandera des investissements importants pour la municipalité. D’ailleurs, si d’autres candidats se présentent à la course à la mairie, l’actuel maire souhaite que la campagne porte notamment sur l’entretien des infrastructures de la ville et le respect de la capacité de payer des citoyens. Il affirme : « La Ville de Port-Cartier compte 6 500 habitants. Il faut donc administrer les finances de la Ville de façon responsable. Il ne faut pas se lancer dans des projets grandioses. Il faut avoir le moyen de nos ambitions.» Le maire de Port-Cartier conclut l’entrevue en affirmant que s’il est réélu, il continuera d’être à l’écoute des citoyens, peu importe leurs classes sociales. Alain Thibault a été élu maire de Port-Cartier pour une première fois en 2017. Il avait été conseiller pour deux mandats auparavant. Vincent Berrouard, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nord-Côtier
Physical distancing measures meant to keep Canadians safe during the pandemic have had an unintended consequence for the people keeping tabs on the nation's spies: they can't always access the classified information they need to do their jobs. The National Security and Intelligence Review Agency (NSIRA), the watchdog set up to monitor the activities of Canada's national security and intelligence sector, says the pandemic has slowed its work. "The COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in response times and provision of briefings from departments under review," said NSIRA spokesperson Tahera Mufti. "These were compounded by limitations on workers allowed in our own offices at a given time, due to public health considerations." The pandemic problems were flagged in NSIRA's recently published plan for the coming year. "The physical distancing precautions required by the COVID-19 pandemic might continue to be needed in 2021–22. This would limit employees' access to NSIRA offices and to classified physical and electronic documents," says NSIRA's plan for 2021-2022. "Such restrictions could slow NSIRA's ability to deliver on its mandate in a timely way and limit the frequency and type of outreach NSIRA can do in person." Because of the nature of the material they work with, NSIRA staff operate in a top secret environment with strict rules about holding, analyzing and exchanging classified security and intelligence information. Those rules make it almost impossible for staff to take work files home. NSIRA was launched in the wake of the Liberals' national security legislation overhaul in 2019. It's tasked with providing independent, expert review of national security and intelligence activities across all federal departments and agencies. It also reviews all national security complaints against the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the Communications Security Establishment, as well as complaints involving security clearances. "The resource constraints of those organizations might continue to be compounded next year by disruptions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. This presents a risk of hindering NSIRA's ability to deliver on its mandate in a timely way," says the 2021-2022 plan document. Mufti said the pandemic has slowed NSIRA's hiring process. The agency employs about 75 people but needs about 100, including many with top secret security clearances. "The typical challenges associated with hiring highly skilled, security-cleared staff were compounded by the pandemic," Mufti said. In its first annual report, started before the pandemic but published late last year, NSIRA found the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service's use of publicly available geo-location data without a warrant might be breaking the law.
A prominent French-Canadian scientist who chairs France’s High Council on Climate says Canada needs to commit to a 2025 carbon pollution reduction target and strengthen its net-zero advisory body. Originally from Canada, Corinne Le Quéré is an accomplished researcher who is a professor of climate change science at the University of East Anglia and a member of the U.K.’s Climate Change Committee. She has worked at Princeton University, the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, and the British Antarctic Survey. Le Quéré has led a new scientific analysis of global emissions, published March 3 in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change, that found global pollution cuts need to increase tenfold to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement — a signal that much greater ambition is needed from many countries around the world. The analysis, “Fossil CO2 emissions in the post-COVID era,” points out that Canada is one of 150 countries where emissions increased between 2016, after the Paris Agreement was adopted, and 2019, the year before the pandemic. Canada’s emissions grew 0.1 per cent during this period, while emissions decreased in 64 other countries — including in all the other G7 nations. In an interview Tuesday, Le Quéré said Canada should be asking itself why other high-income countries can succeed at reducing emissions, and then “make a plan of action that is commensurate with the ambition.” That means Canada’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 is too distant, she said. “Clearly, Canada needs to have targets that are much closer than 2050. It needs to have a 2025 target, a 2030 target. It needs to send really clear signals,” said Le Quéré. “The target that Canada should set for 2030 should be as ambitious as is feasible. That would be my message: If you want to be at net- zero emissions in 2050, you need to do most of the investments in infrastructure. All the electrification of cars, that needs to happen now, electric heating, you need industry to also be based on low-carbon electricity. All these investments need to happen now.” Le Quéré said experts in Canada’s energy system should be either setting the climate targets, or at least recommending them to the Canadian government, rather than the government coming up with targets for itself. Last week, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced a 14-member Net-Zero Advisory Body that is tasked with providing advice on “the most likely pathways for Canada to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050,” as well as advice on the “emissions reductions milestones leading up to 2050” and “near-term actions” to support the net-zero goal. These “milestones” are defined in the federal government’s legislation, Bill C-12, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, as being the years 2030, 2035, 2040 and 2045 — meaning the government does not anticipate setting an earlier target in 2025. The lack of a 2025 milestone provoked criticism when the bill was introduced, prompting Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to respond that Canada would be “meeting and exceeding our 2030 targets” and noting the bill “lays out a framework of accountability and transparency” to ensure Canada reaches its net-zero goal. The legislation also gives the minister the power to determine the Net-Zero Advisory Body’s terms of reference, which Wilkinson revealed in February alongside the body’s membership. They show that the panel won’t be given its own secretariat, but instead will draw “logistical, administrative, and policy support” from the minister’s department, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and pull economic analysis and emissions modelling from other government departments. Wilkinson will also consult with the members “at regular intervals” on what they will be working on, and can “refer lines of inquiry” to the body. The terms of reference make it clear that the members will be expected to draw from “existing” research and analysis and commission new studies “where original research is necessary.” Le Quéré said independent outside scrutiny of Canadian policy is “vital” to achieve real emissions reductions. She said strong governance is what makes the difference over the long term. “The advisory board needs to be independent ... it needs support. It needs its own budget, it needs capacity to do analysis of Canada’s trajectory. And it needs to be able to criticize, every year, Canadian policy,” she said. “If you have a committee that has not got support, that doesn’t control its own budget, that doesn’t determine what it works on, then you never reach that level of expert independent scrutiny that really can accompany a change of that size.” Wilkinson has said the advisory body demonstrates Canada is “serious” about addressing the climate crisis and meeting global market demand. “By providing expert advice on how we can meet Canada’s goal of getting to net-zero emissions by 2050, the Net-Zero Advisory Body will help ensure we can continue to meet the environmental goals and economic ambitions of Canadians at the same time,” he said in a statement. The study released Wednesday showed both “good and bad news,” said Le Quéré. The researchers, hailing from the University of East Anglia, Stanford University and the Global Carbon Project, found annual cuts of 0.16 billion tonnes of CO2 on average among the 64 countries where emissions decreased during the 2016–2019 period compared to 2011-2015. That is about 10 per cent of the one billion to two billion tonnes annually that they calculated would be needed at the global level to meet the Paris goals. “We looked at where we were since the Paris Agreement, before COVID-19 — were we actually acting on tackling climate change? And what our study shows is actually, yes — there were lots of things in motion, many countries were succeeding in cutting their emissions, and there was a movement forward,” said Le Quéré. “But if you actually look at how big the cuts were, they’re very small compared to what we need to actually have an effective result in tackling climate change. That part really means that we’ve not understood the scale of the action.” Carl Meyer / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer Carl Meyer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, National Observer
WASHINGTON — Maine Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday she will support New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland to be Interior secretary, the first Republican senator to publicly back a nominee set to become the first Native American to lead a Cabinet agency. The announcement makes Haaland's confirmation by the Senate nearly certain and follows Haaland's endorsement last week by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Manchin, a moderate from West Virginia, had been publicly undecided through two days of hearings on Haaland’s nomination by President Joe Biden. Manchin caused a political uproar last month by announcing plans to oppose Biden’s choice for budget director, Neera Tanden, a decision that played a key role in Tanden's withdrawal on Tuesday. Collins, a moderate who frequently sides with Manchin, said she differs with Haaland on a number of issues but appreciated her role in helping to lead House passage of the Great American Outdoors Act. The landmark law, co-sponsored by Collins in the Senate, authorizes nearly $3 billion on conservation projects, outdoor recreation and maintenance of national parks and other public lands. Collins said she also appreciated Haaland’s support on issues important to Maine, such as Acadia National Park, “as well as her deep knowledge of tribal issues, which has earned her the support of tribes across the country, including those in Maine.'' Interior oversees the nation's public lands and waters and leads relations with nearly 600 federally recognized tribes. The Senate energy panel is set to vote on Haaland's nomination Thursday. Several Republicans, including Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, the top GOP senator on energy, oppose Haaland, saying her opposition to fracking, the Keystone XL oil pipeline and other issues made her unfit to serve in a role in which she will oversee energy development on vast swaths of federal lands, mostly in the West, as well as offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Barrasso said a moratorium imposed by Biden on oil and gas leases on federal lands “is taking a sledgehammer to Western states’ economies.? The moratorium, which Haaland supports, could cost thousands of jobs in West, Barrasso said. Matthew Daly, The Associated Press
The first recorded treaty was ratified 3,279 years ago between ancient Egypt and the Hittite empire. Signed in 1258 BC, the treaty ended over two centuries of conflict between the two powers. A copy of the agreement is displayed in the United Nations headquarters in New York City as a reminder of the importance for parties with different backgrounds to come to the table together. To that end, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and the MD of Pincher Creek have carried on a small portion of a tradition thousands of years in the making with the creation of a new intermunicipal collaboration framework. The agreement was finalized back in January, and both councils approved it during their Feb. 9 regular meetings. Creating the ICF, said Mayor Blair Painter, “was a smooth process.” “This document,” added Coun. Dean Ward, “between the recreation and what we’re doing with the airport, shows a good spirit of co-operation between the two municipalities.” Unlike the ICF agreement signed with the Town of Pincher Creek last summer, the MD and Crowsnest Pass ICF contains only two specified financial obligations between the municipalities: a $25,000 commitment from each for developing the regional airport (an amount already agreed upon with the Town of Pincher Creek), and $25,000 from the MD to Crowsnest Pass to contribute to the municipality’s recreation programming and facilities that MD residents often utilize. The ICF is valid for a term of five years, though discussions will occur between the two municipalities as needed. Recognizing Crowsnest Pass has developed a more urban culture while the MD has remained agricultural, the ICF establishes procedures for differences to be embraced. Avenues for better communication between the municipalities are also laid out, creating an ability to provide better service levels to their respective ratepayers. Requirements to communicate on major capital projects that may impact the other municipality are described, along with commitments to co-operate in lobbying higher levels of government for mutually beneficial regional services. Both municipalities have also agreed to provide information regarding funding to organizations within the other respective municipality. Previous agreements concerning emergency services, solid waste management and intermunicipal development plans are acknowledged by the ICF, alongside plans for the airport. Future considerations will be given for supporting recreation and exploring agricultural services such as weed, pest and animal disease control. Formalizing the agreement comes at a time when many residents in both municipalities are at odds over potential coal mine development in the area. The debate leached into MD council discussions regarding the $25,000 recreation contribution, with Division 1 councillor Quentin Stevick voting in opposition due to comments made by Crowsnest Pass councillor Lisa Sygutek on CBC Radio while voicing her support for the mines. Though not backing down from her statements, Coun. Sygutek apologized to her fellow council members. “I just want to apologize to council that my views regarding our coal mine had to be taken to an extreme by one councillor,” she said. “At no time did I expect a decision where something I said personally could affect the community the way that councillor made it.” “I’m glad that the rest of the people on that committee had enough decency to recognize personal opinion versus me as a councillor,” Coun. Sygutek added. While acknowledging the different stances taken by each respective municipality on mining and other issues, Reeve Brian Hammond stressed the ICF is a document that supersedes differences and is mutually beneficial. “Regardless of ongoing difficulty between jurisdictions, for the most part it’s provided a new opportunity to open a channel of communication with our neighbours we probably didn’t have before,” he said. Establishing a formal framework of communication, he continued, provides an opportunity to identify areas of common interest and concern, creating a closer and more open relationship that will help provide solutions to problems. “Going forward it provides an ongoing structure, a procedural format, for how you can open up another dialogue or expand on the dialogue with your neighbours. I think that’s a good thing,” said the reeve. The ICF can be viewed online at http://bit.ly/MD-CNP-ICF. Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze
A King Township artist’s work is part of the charge, improving awareness for our province’s “sheroes.” Schomberg’s Giovannina Colalillo has applied her talents to promotional art for the Ontario Federation of Labour. The OFL’s March 8 Project has been supporting women’s organizations across Ontario as they rise, resist, and organize for equality across our province. This year, as the project enters its 11th year, they are honouring this work with the theme: “Sheroes Persist.” According to the organization, it has been an unprecedented past year for everyone around the globe, especially women, who are predominantly front-line workers, and the proverbial grease in more economic engines. The image includes a fist, which represents fighting for the rights of women from all backgrounds. The rose represents the rise from a special poem during the suffrage movement. “Bread and Roses” is a political slogan as well as the name of an associated poem and song. It originated from a speech given by American women’s suffrage activist Helen Todd. A line in that speech about “bread for all, and roses too,” inspired the title of the poem Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim. The poem was first published in The American Magazine in December 1911. The phrase is commonly associated with the successful textile strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, between January and March 1912, now often referred to as the “Bread and Roses strike.” The slogan pairing bread and roses, appealing for both fair wages and dignified conditions, found resonance as transcending “the sometimes tedious struggles for marginal economic advances” in the “light of labor struggles as based on striving for dignity and respect,” as Robert J. S. Ross wrote in 2013. “I have incorporated a rose in all the posters and pin for the past 11 years. Its like finding Waldo.” She said she’s thrilled with the outcome. “I love working with the Ontario Federation for 11 years,” she said. The reaction so far has been very positive and the images will be released for the International Women’s Day celebrations. Her work also contains something more, a poignant message. “As an illustrator, I create images that deliver a message. I use my art medium to convey messages that are important to me such as anti-racism, women rights, etc.” Colalillo pointed out she recently refused a big illustration project for a vaping company owned by a huge U.S. tobacco company, because she believes these products are not good for one’s health and that they aim their advertising towards young people. “My illustration designs would have had cancer causing health warnings across the top of them. My mother died of cancer at a young age.” Colalillo is continually quoting on various freelance illustration and design projects. She recently quoted on an book illustration project. For more, visit her website at http://www.giovannina.com or email email@example.com Mark Pavilons, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, King Weekly Sentinel
Trois-Rivières – L'artiste Jean Beaulieu ne mâche pas ses mots envers le traitement accordé à sa mère et à d'autres occupants de la résidence pour aînés Saint-Pie X à Trois-Rivières qui ont été évincés des lieux après qu'une plainte ait été déposée contre l'établissement. Il soutient que le CIUSSS a été «sauvage» dans sa façon de procéder et sans considération pour les personnes âgées qui y demeuraient. «Le CIUSSS m'a appelé pour me dire que j'avais 48 heures pour sortir ma mère de là parce qu'il était question de maltraitance physique et mentale», explique M. Beaulieu, qui assure pourtant n'avoir jamais été témoin de tels gestes. Il précise que sa mère était très heureuse de se trouver à cette résidence. «Ça faisait seulement six mois qu'elle était là. Ma mère a 90 ans. Elle avait dit au CIUSSS de me parler pour être sûr. Et là, je découvre que malgré ça, ils ont parlé à ma mère sans que je sois là», exprime-t-il. Selon lui, il est insensé et irrespectueux d'exiger des proches de trouver un nouveau logis à leur parent en 48 heures. «Il a fallu que je trouve une autre place pour elle. En 48 heures, ce n'est pas facile et le nouvel endroit coûte 900$ de plus par mois. Il n'était pas meublé, en plus», affirme-t-il, en colère. L'aide suggérée par le CIUSSS jusqu'à maintenant ne remplit pas ses critères. «Ils m'ont dit qu'ils pouvaient m'aider pour trois mois et qu'après, je devrais m'arranger. Ça n'améliore rien.» «Ce que je veux, c'est que le CIUSSS assume la différence, tout simplement, parce qu'ils n'ont rien expliqué», précise M. Beaulieu. «Ils veulent sûrement que ma mère aille en CHSLD. Ma mère n'ira pas dans un nid de COVID», assure-t-il. Ce dernier a d'ailleurs dénoncé la difficulté à discuter avec la direction du CIUSSS pour traiter du sujet. «Je me suis tanné. Personne n'était rejoignable ou disponible. Je suis allé m'asseoir dans les bureaux avec mon lunch et j'ai dit que je ne partirais pas tant que je n'aurais pas parlé au PDG. Il n'y a jamais personne qui est responsable! C'est sauvage. Un moment donné, ça suffit.» D'ailleurs, l'organisation assure être sensible à la cause de M. Beaulieu. «On veut travailler avec M. Beaulieu et notre PDG Carol Fillion est bien sûr ouvert à le rencontrer. On souhaite trouver un lieu qui conviendra aux besoins de la mère de M. Beaulieu», raconte Geneviève Jauron, chef de service aux communications externes au CIUSSS. Jean Beaulieu a été exaucé, alors qu'une rencontre est prévue mercredi à 11h avec des dirigeants du CIUSSS. Marc-André Pelletier, Initiative de journalisme local, Le Nouvelliste
WASHINGTON — The United States is at a COVID-19 crossroads — and public health officials are worried about which path it will choose. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is urging Americans not to let their guard down. For a second straight day, Walensky is warning about the potential for highly contagious COVID-19 variants to undo the country's hard-won progress. Her message is competing with a torrent of seemingly good news. President Joe Biden says the U.S. will have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses in stock for every adult American by the end of May. And a number of states are easing their pandemic restrictions, most recently Texas, which is planning to reopen completely by next Wednesday. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 3, 2021. The Canadian Press
ASML Holding NV has extended a deal to sell chip manufacturing equipment to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp, China's largest chipmaker, until the end of this year, the Dutch company said in a statement on Wednesday. ASML made the statement after SMIC on Wednesday disclosed a volume purchase agreement under which it has already spent $1.2 billion with the toolmaker. In a clarifying statement issued several hours later, ASML said the agreement began in 2018 and was slated to expire at the end of 2020, but the two companies agreed in February to extend the deal to the end of this year.
Terrace RCMP arrested two men that had visited someone in COVID-19 isolation and tried to hit a police officer with a chair, according to an RCMP media release. On Feb. 17, RCMP received a report about two men who were visiting a person in COVID-19 quarantine at the Sunshine Inn. The occupant of the room, who is a client of ‘Ksan Society, called the front desk for help after the men refused to leave. The front desk called ‘Ksan Society, who then called who called the RCMP. When police arrived, they told the men they were unwelcome and needed to leave. “The men became combative with police, lifting a chair and attempting to strike the member with it, shouting expletives and threatening to kill police officers on scene,” the release states. The men were arrested for assault with a weapon, resisting arrest and uttering threats. They were later released by police undertaking to address the matter in court. Ben Bogstie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Interior News
After massive Black Lives Matter protests across the world last year, 23-year-old Clarisse Bosco and 25-year-old Gallican Buki were feeling hopeful. They saw so many people sharing resources, research and initiatives. But soon after, they both felt that support die down. Their social media feeds went back to how they had been before. "I kind of felt like my skin was a trend for two weeks, not really something to be taken seriously," Bosco said. They set out to change that with their new project: Living With Black Skin, which they rolled out over Black History Month. They wanted to showcase the unique lives of other young, Black people like themselves. Bosco came up with the idea. Buki shot the photos and videos that went along with it. The editing and packaging was a collaborative process. The project rolled out with videos, photos and quote cards on both of their Instagram accounts. For Buki, the project was an outlet for his passion for photography, but also a way of sharing Black history and knowledge through channels he knows people will watch. "As a Black person, you're not always represented fairly when it comes to the arts, but also just when you're being edited, you're blown out, you are just insanely contrasted, or sometimes people just don't want to put the work in and will just put you black and white," he said. For Bosco, interviewing her friends and peers was a solid reminder that she's not alone out there. "As Black people, we kind of forget to check on each other," Bosco said. She said some of their close friends are among the people they interviewed for the project. "We can go and talk to them about anything," she said. "But we never really talk about things like the struggle that we have as Black people. We don't talk about the struggles, you know, within the community and just keep our head to ourselves and keep pushing." Response to Living With Black Skin has been overwhelming, according to the pair behind it. Teachers have approached them to ask if they can use the material in classes. "[We've had] friends that we know that we may have grown up with or have lost touch with reach out and say how appreciative they are of the videos and how much they've learned," Bosco said. The goal was always to spark conversation, and to keep authentic representation of Black lives at the front, something Buki said the project did really well. "To see that [these conversations are] truly happening within various homes and also to just hear stories about how like this has definitely opened their eyes into seeing how that this is still happening right now: the micro-aggressions, the systemic racism and just, the hate towards Black people," he said. "Because sometimes when you put statistics out there or stories or even newsletters, people are like, 'Hey, this is of the past. Why are you still bringing up the past?' But no, honestly, the support and the love and just the conversations that came out of that was just amazing." The pair are considering continuing the project in some way, but haven't settled on anything concrete. In the meantime, it's their hope that the conversation doesn't just fade away now that Black History Month is over. "These stories and these things that we live don't get to just end after a certain month or end after a certain trend," Bosco said. "There's things that we still live with today and still carry forward. And if we stop talking about it, we stop making room for growth and for change." (CBC) For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Capitol Police say they have intelligence showing there is a “possible plot” by a militia group to breach the U.S. Capitol on Thursday. The revelation was detailed in a statement from the Capitol Police. It comes at the same time the acting police chief is testifying before a House subcommittee. The statement differs from an advisory that was sent to members of Congress by the acting House sergeant-at-arms this week, saying that Capitol Police had “no indication that groups will travel to Washington D.C. to protest or commit acts of violence.” The threat comes nearly two months after thousands of supporters of then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in a violent insurrection as Congress was voting to certify Joe Biden’s electoral win. So far, about 300 people have been charged with federal crimes for their roles in the riot. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died. The threat appears to be connected to a far-right conspiracy theory, mainly promoted by supporters of QAnon, that Trump will rise again to power on March 4, which was the original presidential inauguration day, until 1933, when it was moved to Jan. 20. Many of the accounts that helped promote and organize the Jan. 6 riots on platforms like Facebook and Twitter have since been suspended, making it more difficult for the groups to organize. ___ Associated Press writers Nomaan Merchant, Colleen Long and Alan Fram contributed to this report. Michael Balsamo, The Associated Press
Une simple photo relative à une histoire du vaccin de la COVID-19 qui au départ devait être somme toute banale est devenue virale sur le web au point ou des gens ont été injuriés, insultés et même menacés de se faire attaquer physiquement. Cette fameuse photo sur les réseaux sociaux indique que «l’hôpital de Baie-Comeau a trois cas de paralysie chez les employés qui ont reçu la première dose du vaccin. Il n’y a plus personne qui le veut maintenant à Baie-Comeau», peut-on lire une fois les fautes d’orthographe corrigées et la phrase restructurée. Une des personnes ciblées a contacté macotenord.com pour mettre en garde les journalistes contre les choses dites sur le web. «Il faut faire attention à tout ce que l’on rapporte et ce que l’on dit». Ensuite, elle a accepté de raconter les faits sous le couvert de l’anonymat par peur de représailles étant toujours à l’emploi du Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Côte-Nord. «Oui j’ai la paralysie de Bell. Et oui je travaille ici. Mais rien ne confirme le lien de ce diagnostic et le vaccin.» Elle ajoute: «ce sont des risques qui vont avec tous les vaccins. Les autres causes possibles de la paralysie de Bell sont le virus de l’herpès buccal ou le réveil du zona.» Cette dame assure que les médecins suivent l’évolution de son état de santé. Au CISSS, on a confirmé à Radio-Canada qu’un cas de paralysie faciale a effectivement été observé chez une personne ayant reçu une dose de vaccin contre la COVID-19 il y a quelques semaines. Le CISSS mentionne que la paralysie faciale n’a jamais été associée statistiquement à aucun vaccin. Néanmoins, ce cas a été compilé au registre du fichier central des effets secondaires post-vaccinaux par la direction de la santé publique de la Côte-Nord. Réactions vives Chose certaine, cette histoire de vaccins a créé un tollé sur les réseaux sociaux. Un tsunami de commentaires, parfois injurieux, ont inondé la toile. On parle de plus d’une centaine en moins d’une heure. «Ça ressemble à une belle fausse nouvelle de conspis. Je vais y croire quand une employée de cet hôpital va en parler», peut-on lire parmi tous ces commentaires pour la plupart peu élogieux. «Fake news pour faire peur au monde. Je travaille à l’hôpital et je me suis informée auprès de collègues, médecins, personne n’a entendu parler. Alors ne croyez pas tout ce qui se dit sur les réseaux sociaux», a écrit une internaute. «Un gars m’a menacé de contacter Facebook pour faire fermer mon compte uniquement parce que j’avais partagé la dite photo, sans émettre aucun commentaire» a publié un autre internaute précisant être un résident de Baie-Comeau, sans plus. Le CISSS précise que plus de 17 629 doses ont été injectées dans la région jusqu’à présent. Stéphane Tremblay, Initiative de journalisme local, Ma Côte-Nord
SAN FRANCISCO — Teresa Parada is exactly the kind of person equity-minded California officials say they want to vaccinate: She's a retired factory worker who speaks little English and lives in a hard-hit part of Los Angeles County. But Parada, 70, has waited weeks while others her age flock to Dodger Stadium or get the coronavirus shot through large hospital networks. The place where she normally gets medical care, AltaMed, is just now receiving enough supply to vaccinate her later this month. Parada said TV reports show people lining up to get shots, but “I see only vaccines going to Anglos.” “It’s rare that I see a Latino there for the vaccine. When will it be our turn?” she said. Gov. Gavin Newsom has repeatedly called equity his “North Star" for vaccinating a diverse state of nearly 40 million. He partnered with the federal government to set up mass vaccination sites in working-class neighbourhoods in Oakland and Los Angeles. And it's a big part of why he tasked insurer Blue Shield with centralizing California's patchwork vaccine system, asking the hospital chain Kaiser Permanente to assist. Yet officials at community health centres that serve as the safety net for the poor in the U.S., focused on health equity, say they are not receiving enough doses for their patients — the very at-risk residents the state needs to vaccinate. In California, nearly 1,400 such centres offer free or low-cost services to about 7 million people, many in communities with a higher concentration of low-income families and few providers who take Medicaid, which is known in California as Medi-Cal. Many of their clients speak a language other than English, work long hours, lack transportation and want to go to the medical care professionals they trust. Dr. Efrain Talamantes, chief operating officer for AltaMed Health Services, said it was disheartening to watch initial doses go elsewhere while his patients continued to test positive for the virus. “There is a clear disparity every single time there’s a resource that’s limited,” he said. Most states are grasping for ways to distribute limited vaccine supply, resulting in a hodgepodge of methods in the absence of a federal plan. Tennessee is among the states dispensing doses based on county populations, while California allocates them by eligible groups including teachers and farmworkers. The free-for-all has allowed people with the most resources to score scarce vaccinations. Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, said it seems obvious that the best strategy to get vaccines to hard-hit communities is to turn to the places where residents already get care. But big-box administrators tend to think of community health centres as less efficient because of their smaller size, she said. “We’re not very imaginative in the way we deliver vaccine efficiently. Our only creative solutions are to build mass vaccination sites, and maybe give people preferential access to those sites,” she said. As California has ramped up vaccination efforts through mobile and pop-up clinics at churches, work sites and schools, state data show how relatively few shots have gone to Latinos and Blacks compared to their populations. African Americans have received 3% of vaccine doses while they make up 6% of the state. Latinos, who make up 39% of the state, have received 17% of doses. Blue Shield officials say they plan to keep open health centres that are already administering vaccines, but the clinics worry they won't get enough doses. State vaccine spokesman Darrel Ng said the governor's plan for equitable vaccination includes setting aside vaccines for “disproportionately impacted communities and ensuring that providers who serve these communities are part of the network." He said in a statement that it includes sending mobile clinics to places like Black churches. Andie Martinez Patterson, vice-president of government affairs at the California Primary Care Association, said while large-scale health systems can vaccinate people quickly, they likely won’t reach the targeted residents. Community health centres have worked hard to persuade their patients to take the shot, said Alexander Rossel, chief executive of Families Together of Orange County, adding his centre has inoculated 95 per cent of its patients age 65 and over. Health centres watched in dismay as vaccine for health care workers initially went to larger hospitals in December. Then they watched as more affluent, internet-savvy English speakers with time to navigate web portals and drive long distances for appointments flocked to inoculation arenas. When Orange County started opening large-scale vaccination sites in mid-January, community health centres asked for doses too, said Isabel Becerra, chief executive of the Coalition of Orange County Community Health Centers. “We don’t have transportation. We don’t speak English. We don’t understand the technology you’re asking us to use to register and get in line. So, can we vaccinate the 65 and older population in the comfort of their own facilities?” she said. Jodie Wingo, interim president of the community health association for Riverside and San Bernardino counties, said member clinics were scaling up to inoculate more of their 500,000 patients. But now they’re receiving only a few dozen doses at a time. “Everybody is working toward equity, yet it doesn’t look equitable. At all,” she said. AltaMed, in Los Angeles and Orange counties, recently started receiving 3,000 doses a week from the two counties. The supply should allow clients like Parada, who is originally from Mexico, to receive her vaccine this month. AltaMed will send a vehicle to take her to a clinic for the shot that will protect her when she heads out, double-masked, to shop for the family. “I’m the one who has to go out. I have to protect myself,” she said. Amy Taxin And Janie Har, The Associated Press
NEW YORK — A short time after Broadway shut down last year, Elizabeth Stanley went on a tiny rescue mission. She was offered a chance to get back into her dressing room at the Broadhurst Theatre — home of her musical “Jagged Little Pill” — and to grab anything she needed. “I went and retrieved a bunch of plants,” she says, laughing. “I knew they won’t survive in a room with no windows and no water.” That strong nurturing side of Stanley was also clearly evident from the stage before the pandemic closed theatres. She earned her first Tony Award nomination playing the mom of a Connecticut family spiraling out of control in the musical set to the music of Alanis Morissette's 1995 album of the same name. Stanley is seemingly comfortable singing anything, from complicated Stephen Sondheim show tunes to rock songs by Morissette, classics by Leonard Bernstein and modern gems by Jason Robert Brown. “In some ways, people didn’t know what to do with me always and I think that’s honestly worked out to my benefit most of the time,” she says. “I didn’t just get stuck playing one singular type of part.” Eva Price, the three-time Tony Award-winning producer behind “Jagged Little Pill,” says Stanley has put her entire heart and soul into her latest character ever since workshops started. “She actually created a multi-dimensional, 360-degree, completely layered, contemporary female protagonist in a way that none of us knew we even had on the page or in our minds,” said Price. Stanley made her Broadway debut in the 2006 revival of “Company” and has had roles in “Cry-Baby,” “Million Dollar Quartet” and “On the Town.” A Tony nomination this time is welcome, indeed. “It’s a dream I’ve had for the whole time I’ve been performing and pursuing a career in the performing arts," she says. "So I feel like whatever crazy year it came in, I’ll take it.” The musical is about a family confronting drug addiction, sexual assault, struggles with gender identity and transracial adoption. Morissette has told the cast she hopes the musical can be a hopeful beacon. “She wants us to be a story about healing and connection," says Stanley. "And I think that’s such a beautiful sort of takeaway that she’s infused the piece with and that has always been in her music. I think it’s like this rallying cry for transparency and authenticity.” Stanley — as the mom, Mary Jane — is the spine of the musical, trying to connect with her workaholic husband and aloof teenage kids. She's also hiding an addiction to Oxycodone developed after being prescribed the opioid following a car accident. During the musical, her character also reveals her own history with sexual assault. “There’s so many layers to get into that I think it took me a long time to really find all of her,” says Stanley. “In fact, I don’t even think I’m done. That’s one of the reasons I’m anxious to get back to the show — I don’t feel done with this part yet.” The “Jagged Little Pill” musical is so rooted in contemporary issues facing America that she believes the discussions and marches over racial justice will find voice whenever Broadway restarts. “I think it will influence our interpretation of it as a cast, but it will also influence the audience and how they will see that,” she says. "Going to see a piece of theatre allows us to receive a message and feel it in a more palatable way than watching a three-hour news cycle about something.” During the past year, Stanley has been part of “Jagged Little Pill” online concerts and appearances. She also went through a series of crafting phases — baking, sewing and tie-dying. She made new throw pillows for her couch. COVID-19 ruined what was to be one of her happiest days: her wedding. Engaged in January 2020 to actor and teacher Charlie Murphy, the couple were supposed to tie the knot in September. They even put down — and lost — a security deposit at a venue. Now they're rethinking what they really want when COVID-19 releases its grip on the city. The original idea was to have an intimate affair with just family and a few close friends. “Now I really want to party with a lot of people,” she says, laughing. “Now I need everyone there that I haven’t been able to see, and I’m surrounded by all of my friends and we’re just being crazy.” ___ Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
Publicly shaming those who have COVID-19 could lead to fewer people getting tested for the virus, according to a Dalhousie University professor who has been studying the issue for three months. In December, Robert Huish, an associate professor in Dalhousie's department of international development, started gathering the experiences of people in the Maritimes who were diagnosed with COVID-19 and experienced shaming or stigma. "For those who have experienced it, it's pretty bad. It's enough to really impact the livelihoods of people who feel that they have been essentially excluded from communities that they had formerly been very active and a part of," Huish told Laura Chapin on CBC's Island Morning. "We heard a lot of health workers saying that there was sort of quiet aggression even when they would take their kids to playgrounds," he said. He said they have also heard shaming experiences from people such as truck drivers and other essential workers who have to leave the region periodically for employment reasons. It's enough to really impact the livelihoods of people who feel that they have been essentially excluded from communities that they had formerly been very active and a part of. - Robert Huish As well as affecting the mental health of the people being shamed, Huish said another consequence could be that people who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms won't want to come forward and be tested for fear the same could happen to them. That could be a factor contributing to the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia, he said, especially since contact tracers in P.E.I. are having difficulty finding the source for some recent cases. "That's a big fear ... If people aren't being upfront or honest with contact tracers … that's another consequence of stigma," he said. Because the Maritimes has had so few cases overall since the pandemic began, when cases increase, the reaction is stronger, said Huish. "If there is an uptick, there's an immediate public reaction to say, 'Who's responsible, who did this? Now why do we have to lock down again?' And that thinking there just isn't helpful." No positive outcome to shaming Huish said there is no positive outcome to this type of stigma, and that despite what some believe, it won't help people follow the rules. "If an individual has made a mistake, you know, rather than trying to … get the pitchforks and torches up and going and try to find blame, try to find answers about what could be done for the next step to make that stronger, to make these policies more adaptable, to make sure that people have the ability to overcome the next challenge," said Huish. Huish's team is no longer doing interviews with people, but they would still like to hear stories, which you can submit at the website below. More from CBC P.E.I.